No Bueno - North Korea - a two-fer

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Just when things were going smoothly. First, from Associated Press:

North Korea test-fires a new tactical guided weapon
North Korea announced that it has test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon.

The Korean Central News Agency says Chairman Kim Jong Un observed the firing of the weapon Wednesday by the Academy of Defense Science.

The agency reports that Kim said “the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army.”

Second, from Beyond Parallel:

Yongbyon: Movement of Specialized Railcars May Indicate Transfer of Radioactive Material
DigitalGlobe satellite imagery of North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Facility acquired on April 12t shows the presence of specialized railcars near the Uranium Enrichment Facility and the Radiochemistry Laboratory. In the past these specialized railcars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns. Elsewhere, throughout the facility, the level of activity appears to be typical of spring during the past several years. Continued spring snowmelt and runoff have maintained a high level of water in the Kuryong-gang, which continues to overflow the earthen dam adjacent to the 5 MWe and Experimental Light Water (ELWR) reactors.

And they did a bullet-list of key findings:

  • DigitalGlobe satellite imagery of North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Facility acquired on April 12 shows the presence of five specialized railcars near the Uranium Enrichment Facility and the Radiochemistry Laboratory.
  • In the past these specialized railcars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns. The current activity, along with their configurations, does not rule out their possible involvement in such activity, either before or after a reprocessing campaign.
  • IRT-DPRK Reactor: What appears to be a large construction crane is present on the road just west of the reactor building. No readily apparent reason for its presence can be determined at present.
  • Kuryong River Dam: The spring snowmelt and runoff noted in our previous report has continued to maintain a high level of water in the Kuryong-gang and water is still overflowing the earthen dam at several points. The current concern is that if this condition continues it may cause a significant breach that could quickly expand and erode major sections of the dam, which could appreciably degrade the quantity of cooling available to the reactors.
  • Radiochemistry Laboratory: Only notable activity is the presence of several vehicles in the vehicle maintenance area and what appears to be a tanker truck on the road south of the shipping/receiving building.
  • Uranium Enrichment Plant: The only notable activity is the presence of what appears to be a 20-foot shipping container in the utility yard on the west side of the facility.
  • Elsewhere, throughout the facility, the level of activity appears to be typical of spring during the past several years. 

Not good. Very glad that President Trump did not budge on the sanctions.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 17, 2019 3:19 PM.

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