Recent satellite photos at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) primary nuclear facility, show renewed activity in recent weeks, not all of which is connected to ongoing repairs in response to catastrophic floods earlier this year.
Satellite images from Maxar show flood recovery, dam and river infrastructure strengthening, ongoing construction of residential complexes and other infrastructure, as well as some work at the main site, where, according to the IAEA, uranium is being enriched.
The Nyongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center is North Korea’s major nuclear facility, operating its first nuclear reactors. It is located in Nyongbyon County in North Pyongan Province, about 100 km north of Pyongyang.
Pyongyang has repeatedly offered to dismantle the site, which sits about 60 miles north of the capital city, during its denuclearization negotiations with the United States. Yongbyon has been the socialist state’s first and primary nuclear facility since it opened in 1980, building all of the nuclear warheads used in its six nuclear weapons tests since 2006. However, Washington was unwilling to trade dismantling of the site for relief from its crushing economic sanctions against North Korea, so the deal fell apart