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Panghyon Airfield

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) identified the location of one of North Korea's early uranium enrichment plants that could have played a key role in the country's nuclear program in the 1990s. The DPRK denied the exitence of any enrichment plants other than the one it declared in 2010 after years of denial. The report by the institute quoted "knowledgeable officials" who told researchers that the site could have held up to 200-300 centrifuges. However, the Institute said 22 July 2016 that it had no information on whether the "secret facility" located near the Yongbyon nuclear plant was still operating as a centrifuge plant.

ISIS reported that it received information indicating that North Korea may have had an "early-stage" uranium centrifuge research and development (R&D) facility at the Panghyon Aircraft Plant, at or near the Panghyon Air Base. The facility was located about 45km west of the Yongbyon nuclear site, according to the report that said further confirmation is required on this "preliminary site identification". "The underground aircraft manufacturing plant was first developed in the 1960s to manufacture spare parts for Soviet-supplied MIG fighter jets," the report said, adding that satellite imagery indicated the enrichment plant was located in the underground complex southeast of the air strip.

Information about the research-stage centrifuge unit in North Korea first emerged on 9 June 2000, when the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun cited Chinese sources about an enrichment plant located inside a mountain called Mount Chonma.

Imagery of the Panghyon Airfield
Click on the small image to view a larger version

CIB Imagery Sampled to 10 meters

CIB Imagery Sampled to 5 meters



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