Hagap Underground Suspected Nuclear Facility

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Last Updated: September 30, 2011
Other Name: 하갑지하의혹핵시설; Hagap Underground Reprocessing Facility; Hagap High Explosive Test Site
Location: Area around Gaphyundong (갑현동), Huicheon (희천시), Jagang Province (자강도), North Korea. Note: Hagap (하갑), Nammyeon (남면), Huicheon-gun (희천군), North Pyeongan Province is an old administrative name for Gaphyeondong. In 1949, Huicheon-gun became part of Jagang Province, which was formed from part of North Pyeongan Province. Huicheon is now a city.
Subordinate To: Probably the 5th Machine Industry Bureau (5기계공업총), Korean Workers Party (조선노동당)
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Unknown

North Korean defector Kang Myeong Do claimed to have seen a large excavation project around Gaphyeondong, Huicheon, Jagang Province  – previously known as Hagap – when he was traveling from Huicheon to Ganggye, Jagang Province in January 1989. [1] Kang claimed that the Third Engineer Bureau (제3공병국) was constructing tunnels at the site. [Note: The Third Engineer Bureau of the Nuclear Development Unit (핵개발부대3공병국) built the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, and reportedly is responsible for the construction of all North Korean nuclear facilities.] Since Mr. Kang’s testimony, the site and surrounding areas were put under watch by both American and South Korean intelligence agencies. Although the existence of underground facilities was confirmed, whether or not they are a part of North Korea’s nuclear program has not been determined. [2]

In October 2002, North Korea admitted that it possesses a enrichment program, and this facility was named as a potential site for the uranium enrichment program. Other suspected sites include a facility at Yeongjeo-ri and the Academy of Sciences. [3] In 2010, North Korea revealed a recently-constructed uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon. [4]

[1] “북지하핵시설 보도로 북핵개발 논란 재연 [North Korean Nuclear Development Controversy Stirred Anew Following Reports of Underground Nuclear Facility],” Yonhap News Agency, 19 August 1998, yonhapnews.co.kr.
[2] “북핵 있나 없나 / 대부분 지하 은폐 … 물증 못찾아 [Does North Korea Have Nuclear Facilities or Not? / Most Hidden Underground and Evidence Not Found],” Segye Ilbo, 3 February 1998, www.segye.com; Eric Rosenberg, “U.S. Suspects North Korean Building is Nuclear Arms Facility,” The Times Union (Albany, NY), 18 January 1998.
[3] "미국 북핵 개발 의심 시설 3곳 [U.S. Suspects 3 Locations for North Korean Nuclear Facility]," Yonhap News Agency, 19 October 2002, www.yonhap.co.kr.
[4] Siegfried S. Hecker, "A Return Trip to North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Complex," Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, 20 November 2010, http://iis-db.stanford.edu.

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