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Satellite imagery reveals expansion of N. Korean military university

Satellite images have captured ongoing construction of new buildings at North Korea’s Kim Jong Un National Defense University.

Analysis of WorldView-3 satellite images (30 centimeter resolution) taken on June 28 reveals that a new large-scale facility is being constructed on approximately 7,000 square meters of land northeast of the university. Additionally, a new building is being erected parallel to the existing dormitory buildings.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Daily NK source inside North Korea confirmed on Monday that “the buildings currently under construction are a research building and a dormitory.”

According to the source, a large-scale research facility named the “Juche Weapons Research Complex” is being built in the northeast of the university. This facility is intended for future weapons research and development, as well as educational purposes.

“Comprehensive research and experiments related to weapons will be conducted in the research building. The building was constructed to solve the problem of not being able to conduct practical work in the munitions factories under the Second Economy Committee of the Munitions Industry Department all the time, and not being able to work in parallel with the test institutes under the National Defense Science Academy.

“Lectures on defense science will also be held in the newly built research building. From the undergraduate level, they will hold courses covering the entire defense industry, including advanced weapons systems, defense technology, and strategic military technology development. This is part of a strategic project to strengthen national defense and secure competitiveness in military equipment.”

New dorms suggest establishment of new department

Meanwhile, the source explained that a new dormitory is being built next to the existing dormitory building. However, due to limitations in site and budget, it is being built on a smaller scale, about half the size of the existing dormitories.

“Following the No. 1 directive [from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] in February to train more reserve technicians in the defense sector, the number of students at the National Defense University has increased, and accordingly, new dormitories are being built. The new dormitory is rapidly nearing completion.” 

Indeed, according to satellite imagery examined by Daily NK, construction of the building began in March.

The source said that students from two departments live together in the existing dormitory buildings, so students from one department will probably live in the newly built dormitory.

The source further claimed that a new department would be created at the university, raising the possibility that the additional dormitory is being built with the establishment of a new department in mind.

“The new department will consist of top-level researchers and faculty members who have shown excellent results in the past. This reflects [Kim Jong Un’s] statements and intention that the National Defense University should play a leading role in defense sector research and education.”

Kim Jong Un National Defense University consists of a total of 11 departments, with the most recently established department being the “Hypersonic Weapons Department” in 2021.

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons.

Please send any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

July 10, 2024 at 09:51AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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