RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – In early September, as if the international community needed to be reminded about the alleged capabilities of the North Korean armed forces, the country said that it was prepared to carry out a nuclear attack against (big shocker) the United States and “other hostile forces” for pursuing an overly aggressive foreign policy. Statements of this nature are nothing new, and likely to be as empty as previous threats made by North Korea.

North Korea has also made it known that they plan to launch a satellite in the near future. This will likely result in further condemnation from the nation’s peers as such tests could double as ballistic missile tests, which the country is forbidden from conducting under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

It is uncertain when, or even if, the launch will take place, but some believe that if it does, the launch may take place on October 10 as part of a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Workers’ Party, the political party currently in power.

In addition, recently published satellite imagery shows what appears to be a resumption of operations at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. It is currently uncertain whether or not the activity seen in the satellite images is a resumption of plutonium production. Other satellite images suggest that there is little, if any, activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility.