, 11 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Now it can be told. A short thread. (1/11)
As you know, @DaveSchmerler, myself and the rest of the @CNS_Updates team like to geolocate stuff -- especially Kim Jong Un visits. Well, sometimes, North Korea likes to make it hard for us. That's what makes this job fun. (2/11)
Twelve times, North Korea did this funny thing. Instead of just telling us where a Kim was, or not telling us at all, it said he visited a "machine plant managed by" so-and-so. An example, from @Michael_NKLW ... (3/11)
A little more than two years ago -- starting with the "Machine Plant Managed by Ho Chol Yong" -- I decided that we were going to find everyone of these suckers. And so, one-by-one, we tracked them down. (4/11)
Over winter break, we finally found the last few sites. There were 12 visits were to 6 different locations. Five of those locations were previously known facilities and one is a previously unreported plant for making integrated circuits. (5/11)
Of course, the real treasure was the friends we made along the way. 😀 That, plus the insights about why North Korea chose to hide some of these sites. In some cases, we think North Korea feared exposing sites to STUXNET-like attacks. (6/11)
I am skeptical that the US has actually *succeeded* in hacking North Korean missiles, but North Korea can't afford to be complacent. And there are press reports that the site involved in the manufacture of integrated circuits is of great interest. (7/11)
In other cases, North Korea may have been trying to obscure a plant's involvement in the missile program or new capabilities under development. Three of these plants were later rewarded with the honor of hosting Kim to view a launches of the Hwasong-12 and -14 missiles. (8/11)
In retrospect, the many visits to the Machine Plant Managed by Ho Chol Yong were probably related to the development of tracked launch vehicles for some of North Korea’s ballistic and cruise missiles. (9/11)
Anyway, the New York Times as a nice summary of the findings. It's rewarding, and a little bittersweet, to see more than two years of work all tied up with a bow. (10/11)
If you want a longer discussion of the sites, there is also a summary cross posted at the ACW blog and at the @CNS_Updates website. (11/11)
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