Experts Say North Korea Still Improving Nuclear Fuel Plant

March images suggest activity at Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant

Satellite photos from March are being claimed by experts to show activity at Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant. The plant is believed to concentrate unenriched uranium fuel. They said there were signs of waste at the site, and new construction.

Though they are trying to present this as a sign that Iran is further advancing its nuclear fuel program, it’s not at all clear this would have any sort of weaponization component. North Korea has been believed to have a primarily plutonium-based nuclear weapons program.

Analysts often cite satellite images, since North Korea isn’t publicly doing anything, to claim that “secret” activity is ongoing. North Korea’s Pyongsan is the largest operating uranium mine in the country, and North Korea never suggested they were closing the mine.

Though uranium would have plenty of industrial applications, officials often hype up scare-pieces about weaponization, chiefly because if you say nuclear and yellowcake and North Korea it sounds scary. In practice, North Korea has a limited need to produce any more weapons, and has a substantial deterrent as it was.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of