Jeffrey LewisNORK Nuke Test Site

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports that North Korea is “unloading of large reels of cable outside P’unggye-yok, an underground facility in northeast North Korea [that] can be used in nuclear testing to connect an underground test site to outside observation equipment.”

Without commenting on the merit of the report, I simply note that the P’unggye-yok site is probably the same site mentioned by David Sanger in a series of stories in 2005.

A quick search of the NIMA Gazeteer locates P’unggye-yok at 41° 07’ 51” N, 129° 09’ 49” E

The Sanger site, although described as near Kilchu (or Kilju), is actually 20-25 miles north and up river from Kilchu. Based on satellite photographs published in the New York Times, I have located the test site at 41° 13’ 35” N, 129° 06’ 27” E and 41° 16’ 45” N, 129° 05’ 10” E.

(Oh and DAMN THE NEW YORK TIMES for not publishing the coordinates. I’ve been staring at every shack with a half decent roof in North Hamgyong County for an hour.)

P’unggye-yok is only 7 – 11 miles down river from the alleged test site, lying between the test site and Kilchu further downriver.

But don’t take my word for it, click this .kmz file and see for yourself. Oh, and please note that my use of the NYT descriptions does not imply endorsement.


  1. Richard

    Hm…now it says that this location has a granite bedrock and would be suitable? Never heard that before…Any geologists here?

    ‘He said the facility is far away from the North’s borders and has firm granite bedrock. Preparatory activities, including movements of vehicles and the unloading of large reels of cable, have allegedly been taking place outside the facility.’

    Nuke Test Highly Probable