Satellite imagery analysis has possibly helped to locate and identify a former nuclear related facility in North Korea, according to a report published by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) on Wednesday.
The report, authored by David Albright, is a preliminary site identification of an “early small-scale centrifuge enrichment plant” located within 45 kilometers of the existing Yongbyon nuclear research facility.
“Recent information suggests that an early centrifuge research and development (R&D) facility was located at the Panghyon Aircraft Plant, at or near the Panghyon Air Base,” the report reads.
“Based on analyzing commercial satellite imagery, the most likely site of the aircraft manufacturing plant and thus the centrifuge R&D facility is the underground complex located southeast of the air strip,” the report added.
The site of the alleged facility is identified as being within Channgun-dae mountain, which imagery reveals to have multiple tunnel entrances large enough to store military aircraft.
The report also includes an unnamed government source assessment and publicly available defector testimony as supporting evidence that a gas centrifuge facility was likely active. A former North Korean general, Chun Sun Lee, had previously claimed that a nuclear related facility was located at the site and while his is assessment of the location is not exact, his claims are consistent with the reports findings.
All Source Analysis’ Chief Analytical Officer, Joseph Bermudez, was also cited in the report as having aiding with the geolocation of the possible facility.
The report also says that there is no information to suggest the possible nuclear research and development site is currently active and continuing to house nuclear related research and development.
“The suspect site could have held up to 200-300 centrifuges, according to a knowledgeable official. We have no information suggesting that this site continues to function as a centrifuge plant,” the report read.
Despite the initial site assessment the report says that further information is necessary and currently being sought.
Featured Image: Google Earth
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