Update: Roofing work completed at suspected submarine training facility

Recent satellite images obtained by Planet Labs shows construction activity at the suspected submarine training facility located at the North Korean city of Sinpo.  As previously published in NK News, North Korea appears to have built a larger submarine training facility to replace the smaller one previously located at Mayang island just off the coast of Sinpo.

With excavation and construction activity spanning nearly ten years, roof work began mid last year with the addition of a blue covering which spanned half of the training center by July of 2019.  After which point, major construction activity seemed to have halted for a year. Images from between June 1st and 14th of 2020 show that the roofing work has been completed on the other half of the center.  While this work appears to be complete there is no indication as to the operational status of this facility.

In a building to the northwest of the training center, there are periodic formations of people gathering in a courtyard, usually occurring between 04:50:00 – 05:12:00 UTC, which are visibly missing in images taken earlier in the day. If this location is connected to the training center, it could be that this building facilitates the academic or classroom portion of their submariner training program, and that it has already started.

This new center will compliment the other large submarine training center located at the Pipa-got naval base (38.5912, 124.9837) on the country’s west coast. As North Korea modernizes and expands their ballistic missile capabilities, they are continuing to move forward towards modernizing their submarine training capabilities, albeit at a much slower pace.