Podcast

A nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast.
 

Hosted by Jeffrey Lewis & Aaron Stein.
Produced by Scott LaFoy.
 

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Iran’s Four Steps

  Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has announce yet another “step” away from the JCPOA, the fourth this year.  As Iran resumes feeding UF6 into some of the cascades at the Fordow Enrichment Plant, Anne and Jeffrey discuss the steps that led us here and the prospect for preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Support us over at …

 

China’s 70th National Day Parade

Everybody loves a parade, especially one with missiles and drones.   Superproducer Scott joins Jeffrey and Anne to discuss the new hardware displayed in early October, and how great it is to watch the PRC’s flag-raising ceremony. Scott has waited seven years for this parade, so that he can finally get a legitimate high-resolution shot of …

 

Tailkits and the Turks: US Nuclear Weapons in Turkey

The New York Times reported recently that US officials are considering removing US nuclear weapons from Turkey. Aaron knows a bit about this, so Jeffrey called in from his car on the road to San Francisco, and Anne called in from a foggy Monterey to talk about nuclear weapons in Turkey. Producer’s Note: Due to …

 

North Korea’s New SLBM: The Pukguksong-3

It is finally here! Two years after seeing posters for the Pukguksong-3 during Kim Jong Un’s visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science in 2017, the North Korea has finally tested the next generation of its submarine launched ballistic missiles.  Joseph Dempsey of the International Institute of Strategic Studies returns to talk …

 

An Iranian Missile Attack on Saudi Arabia?

Iran may have just rocketed oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The ACW trio asks what else is new, after time spent analyzing Qiam strikes on Riyadh. With tensions increasing in the Gulf, and questions about a potential US strike to punish Iran for its cruise missile strike, Aaron, Anne, and Jeffrey are joined by Fabian Hinz …

 

Abadeh

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking just days before an election, revealed an alleged new nuclear site in Iran, dubbed Abadeh.  On this week’s episode, the ACW trio talk about the revelation, what the satellite pictures show may be happening at the site, and why Iran’s razing of the site doesn’t match up to the …

 

Russia’s Mysterious Nuclear-powered Missile Accident

Russia tested something and maybe kinda sorta told the truth about a subsequent spike in radiation.  What happened? who knows? In this episode, the ACW trio discuss the explosion in Nenoksa and why it may have been a test to support the Skyfall (Burevestnik) program that went wrong.   Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

Deproliferation in the Debates

During one of the Democratic Presidential primary debates, Elizabeth Warren and Governor Whats-his-name sparred over nuclear weapons, no-first use and deproliferation. Aaron, Anne and Jeffrey discuss the use of jargon in gate-keeping and the merits of various proposals relating to no first use. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

CTBTO 2019

Jeffrey and Anne attended the CTBTO’s 2019 Science and Technology Conference in Vienna, which means this is another Wienerpod! Aaron calls in to get the lowdown on the state of the CTBT and the evolving technological environment for nuclear test detection.  Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

First Combat Use: Turkey’s Bora Missile

  Turkey used a ballistic missile, the Bora, for the first time in combat. Launch a missile, get a pod! Aaron, Anne and Jeffrey discuss the Bora, geolocating the launch site, and the state of missile proliferation in the Middle East.   Our 2017 episode on the Bora.   Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

Low-yield Nuclear Testing in Russia?

The United States intelligence community, or a portion of it, has concluded that Russia is conducting very low-yield nuclear tests. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss past allegations of nuclear testing, open source monitoring of Russia’s nuclear test site at Novaya Zemlya and how the Trump Administration might change its mind on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban …

 

Middle East Missile Map

If see any news coverage about missile threats in the Middle East, nine times out of ten it is Iran’s missiles that are in the news. But Iran is just one of many countries in the region. Egypt, Israel, Turkey Saudi Arabia and Syria all produce, to one degree or another, their own missiles. And …

 

Iran and (more) Nuclear Archive

A nuclear archive. JCPOA news. B-52 bomber task forces. A naval armada. And Scuds on ships. What could go wrong? To break down all things Iran, Jeffrey and Aaron spoke about the latest happenings in and with Iran.   Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

North Korea’s New Short-Range Missile

Launch a missile, get a podcast. North Korea launched a short-range missile over the weekend and a Planet satellite was there to see it. Jeffrey and Anne discuss the one in a million picture, the missile itself and what it might mean for the final fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed (or not) …

 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Nuclear

The Trump Administration approved some 810s to Saudi Arabia.  And INVAP is building a low power research reactor in Riyadh.  What’s an 810?  What’s INVAP?  It’s complicated.  You’ll just have to listen to the podcast as Jeffrey and Aaron discuss how people are over-reacting to the latest Saudi nuclear news while also noting that it is time …

 

Mission Shakti: The Indian Anti-Satellite Test

Test a missile, get a pod. Kill a satellite? Get a podcast with a special guest. Ankit Panda joins Aaron and Jeffrey to discuss India’s recent anti-satellite test. Also, Jeffrey says he told you so. (Again.) Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

Trump-Kim II: The Scapegoat Rodeo

The summit in Hanoi was a bust.  New podcast co-host Anne Pellegrino joins Jeffrey and Aaron to discuss, as Joshua Pollack calls it, the Scapegoat Rodeo in Hanoi.     Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

IP3, YEAH YOU KNOW ME

The Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform wants answers to allegations about influence peddling and a grandiose plan to sell Saudi Arabia up to 40 nuclear reactors. This week, Aaron and Jeffrey dig into the interim staff report detailing the allegations, what the purported IP3 plan really means, and safeguards on civil nuclear …

 

The Demise of the INF and the Munich Security Conference

Judging from Twitter, the Munich Security Conference is talking about the demise of the INF Treaty.  Jeffrey, back in California after his sojourn to Vermont and Aaron revisit INF pods of the past to focus on what really matters: Getting Taylor Swift to cover Nena’s 99 Luftballoons.   Previous Podcast Episodes about this Topic:   INF Basing …

 

KCN-eh? January’s other North Korea Developments

Andrea hosts one last KCN-eh? before heading off to the Great White North. Jeffrey joins in to talk about North Korea’s other developments from January, including the site of the second Trump-Kim summit, U.S. Special Representative Stephen Beigun’s speech at Stanford, and how to mimic denuclearization without denuclearizing.   Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

From Bone Saws to Ballistic Missiles

Satellite images taken by Planet Labs appear to show that Saudi Arabia has constructed a plant to manufacture solid propellant ballistic missiles. Jeffrey and Aaron talk about the CNS team’s latest find. Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

Avangard: A Boost-Guide Primer

Russia tested a hypersonic missile, or at least they claimed to. As of now, Putin and Russian media have told us a lot, but what do we really know about Avangard? Aaron and Jeffrey are joined by James Acton from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to discuss hypersonics, missile defense, and what Russia’s Avangard may …

 

Kim Jong Un’s 2019 New Year’s Day Speech

Jeffrey and Aaron return from the holidays to talk about … North Korea.  Kim Jong Un gave his traditional New Year’s  Day speech. On the first day of 2017, Kim signaled the ICBM test that was to come. And on the first day of 2018, he hinted at the diplomatic thaw that would bring “love …

 

North Korea’s Expanding Missile Base

The CNS OSINT team did it again. While doing what one does on the weekend, looking at DPRK missile bases, Jeffrey and his team found a new missile base. In this week’s episode, Aaron and Jeffrey talk through the finding, Josh Pollack’s meta op-ed on what OSINT means in today’s media environment, and how OSINT …

 

KCN-eh? November’s other North Korea Developments

A Canadian discusses the month’s North Korea-related developments with some special guests. For November, Andrea is joined by Cristina Varriale of the Royal United Services Institute, and Hamish Macdonald of the Korea Risk Group. They talk through announcements about postponed meetings, joint military exercises, inter-Korean projects and Chinese border infrastructure. Oh, and puppies.    Links of Note: …

 

Nuclear Navies in South Asia

India has some nuclear naval news, with its defense minister claiming a successful “first deterrent patrol.” What does this mean for Pakistan and nuclear dynamics in the Indian Ocean?   Aaron sits down with friends of the pod Ankit Panda and Vipin Narang to talk about the India-Pakistan relationship, India’s ballistic missile subs, and Pakistan’s …

 

INF Basing Modes, Asia Edition

With the US on the precipice of withdrawing from the INF, all eyes have turned to China and its large number of INF range missiles. The think tank community has followed and a bevy of think pieces on basing modes in Asia have been published. On this week’s episode, Jeffrey and Aaron talk about the …

 

KCN-eh? October’s other North Korea Developments

A Canadian reviews the month’s North Korea news together with a special guest. Andrea and Ramon Pacheco-Pardo, the Korea Foundation-Free University Brussels Korea Chair, look at Pompeo’s latest visit to Pyongyang, examine the outcomes of Moon Jae-in’s European tour, and talk about the North Korean middleman now on an FBI Most Wanted poster. Links of …

 

Pulling Out of the INF

The end of arms control, or a sub-culture run amok? In today’s special, live-recorded edition of the Arms Control Wonk podcast, Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the end of the INF, John Bolton’s motivations, and the reasons behind the US pull-out (aka the Stormy Daniels). Previous Podcast Episodes about this Topic: Tightening the Screws on the INF …

 

A Future for Arms Control?

Aaron and Jeffrey return to the topic to discuss the potential for a New Start extension and what it could mean for the future of the US-Russian relationship.   Support us over at Patreon.com/acwpodcast!

 

If You See, Kay

US Ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, made some news. And not in a good way. She was trying to say that the US would develop countervailing capabilities — something that started under the Obama Administration and that almost no one disagrees with. But she mangled the quote and, in doing so, reinforced Russian paranoia …

 

KCN-eh? September’s other North Korea Developments

Andrea is joined again by John Hemmings, Director of Asia Studies at the Henry Jackson Society, to talk about the major developments in North Korea relations during September. They consider Pyongyang’s tamer military parade, examine the optics and outcomes of Moon Jae-in’s trip to North Korea, and look at the way those outcomes are being …

 

JCPO-eh? Iran, the EU, and the US

Andrea discusses friction between Europe and the United States over the Iran nuclear deal with Justine Walker, Director of Sanctions at UK Finance. They review European engagement in the Iranian market over the last two years, consider the EU’s reaction to Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, and examine the implications for companies now caught between two …

 

Nuclear Rationality and the 2020 Commission

In today’s episode, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the 2020 Commission and its relationship with how we are conditioned to think about nuclear weapons. The podcast is filled with spoilers (you’ve been warned), but attempts to use the book — and one of the main characters, President Donald Trump — to discuss nuclear war, American nuclear policy, the …

 

South Korean Missile Tracking

In today’s podcast, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the geolocation work that underpinned Jeffrey’s research for his novel and how open source investigations can be leveraged to inform analysis. Links of Note: Previous Arms Control Wonk Podcast episodes on South Korea’s missile arsenal: South Korea’s Missile Arsenal Expands The Hyunmoo-2C: South Korea’s 800km Missile Jeffrey’s new …

 

KCN-eh? July’s other North Korea Developments

It’s a family pod today! Andrea, Aaron, and Jeffrey review July’s new North Korean developments. They dive into the developments at Sohae Satellite Launching Grounds, sanctions enforcement, and the repatriation of POW/KIA remains from the Korean War.  Links of Note: Treasury’s press release of sanctions ordered against the Russian Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank. Imagery analysis from …

 

North Korea’s Continuing Missile Production

Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick have a bombshell story about North Korea producing one, possible two, Hwasong-15 ICBMs at its Sanumdong facility.  Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the role that MIIS and open source played in corroborating the report. This episode brought to you by Jeffrey’s new novel, The 2020 Commission Report.   Links of Note: …

 

North Korea’s New Old Enrichment Site: Kangson

KANGSON.  We have the (probable) location of North Korea’s original enrichment site: Kangson, now called Chollima. This is probably the spot where the DPRK has been enriching uranium since the early 2000’s, which has previously not been openly identified!  Jeffrey, Grace Liu, and Dave Schmerler combed over information dropped by friend-of-the-pod Ankit Panda. Jeffrey, Aaron, and …

 

KCN-eh? June’s other North Korea Developments

A Canadian reviews the last month’s news with two special guests. Andrea talks to CNS Senior Research Associate Melissa Hanham and FAS Adjunct Fellow Ankit Panda as they go through the trajectory of U.S./DPRK diplomacy after the Singapore Summit, parse through the differences between U.S and DPRK public statements, and developments within the U.S./ROK Alliance.

 

Sentosa Goat Rodeo

Jeffrey spent the past week making Singapore Slings but it didn’t help dull the pain. The conversation then turned to the summit and ended with a conversation about the sustainability of summits without substance and what the two sides can do in the future to settle on an actual agenda for talks. Jeffrey and Aaron …

 

Russia’s Crashing Cruise Missile

Back in March, Putin said that Russia has been testing a nuclear-powered cruise missile and showed a little bit of video footage. Throughout April and May, stories have come out questioning the success of these tests. Jeffrey and his team at CNS have been peaking into the test site and trying to figure out what …

 

Iranian ICBMs, Shahrud, and an Important Safety Lesson

This is a full end-to-end OSINT episode, buckle up.  Using satellite imagery, SAR data, Farsi-language television coverage, one rocket scientist’s favorite color, and one very important box, the team at CNS/MIIS tracked down a second solid-propellant rocket production facility in Iran. We suspect it may be moving towards ICBM research.  Scott ventures out to California …

 

KCN-eh? May’s other North Korea Developments

A Canadian reviews the last month’s news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Hamish Macdonald from NK News about what went boom at Punggye-ri, recaps the diplomatic rollercoaster ride that was May, and ponders the Max Thunder joint military exercises (during an actual thunderstorm).  Links of note:  Will Ripley’s Instagram snaps from his visit to Wonsan …

 

The Libya Model and North Korean Nukes

What is going on with the Trump-Kim summit following the recent cancellation of a DPRK-ROK meeting? Will Trump and Kim meet? And how does John Bolton fit into all of this? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the latest twists and turns in the run-up to the Singapore summit, and raise broader questions about denuclearization and …

 

North Korean Nuclear Tunnels

Kim Jong Un said he is closing the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. But if outside inspectors and exports aren’t allowed in, it could just be a PR stunt with no substantive contribution to “denuclearization.” Jeffrey and Aaron talk about what this means for North Korea, why inspectors and outside experts need to be allowed …

 

KCN-eh? April’s other North Korea Developments – Part 2

A Canadian reviews the last few weeks of North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea chats with Antoine Bondaz from the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. They dissect the optics and outcomes of the recent inter-Korean summit, analyse the responses, and look at some of the stories you may have missed amongst the flashbulbs. Links …

 

Netanyahu and the Atomic Archive

Bibi showed off Iran’s bomb. And its pretty crappy. The slide show added some titillating details to what the world already knew about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and, in doing so, made the case for why the JCPOA is so important. The real news was not the documents or their provenance, but what they revealed …

 

KCN-eh? April’s other North Korea Developments – Part 1

A Canadian reviews the last few weeks of North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Ramon Pacheco-Pardo from King’s College London about DPRK summit mania. They cover the recent high-level visits to Pyongyang, Beijing and Washington, consider North Korean pledges to refrain from certain nuclear and missile testing, and debate whether this …

 

The Strike on Al Kibar

Haaretz dropped an incredible article with new details about the 2007 Israeli air strike on the nascent Syrian nuclear reactor at Al Kibar. So we thought it would be a good opportunity to interrupt Jeffrey’s working vacation to talk about Al Kibar, the North Korean nuclear connection, and how our understanding of the event has …

 

KCN-eh? March’s Other North Korean Developments

A Canadian reviews the last month’s North Korea news with two special guests, Jeffrey and Aaron. It’s a family pod! Andrea discusses the new UN Panel of Experts report on North Korea’s illicit arms dealing, whether the DPRK is helping reconstitute the Syrian chemical weapons program, and some long awaited discussions on Myanmar’s acquisition of …

 

Russian Nuclear Doctrine and Escalation

What is Russia’s nuclear doctrine? Jeffrey talks to Dr. Olga Oliker about Russian nuclear doctrine and developments. Unfortunately, she speaks Russian, which turns out to he really inconvenient for a lot of people’s theories.  Jeffrey and Olga discuss whether escalate to deescalate is a thing and Putin’s awesome new menagerie of terror weapons.  Dr. Oliker’s hosts a podcast, …

 

Novichok: The New Guy

The Russian chemical weapons attack in Salisbury is, sadly, not the first assassination to take place on UK soil. Jeffrey and Aaron spoke about Russia’s use of a Novichok nerve agent, what this act says about a return of Soviet patterns of behavior, and some policy options.   Links of Note: The Stimson Center report, Chemical Weapons …

 

A Trump/Kim Summit

President Trump announced that he’s going to meet with Kim Jong Un. He seems to think that Kim Jong Un is giving up his weapons. Kim Jong Un seems to think that Trump is recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power. What could possibly go wrong?  Jeffrey and Aaron discuss before Sarah Sanders walks this …

 

North Korean Missile Lunch

A delegation from South Korea visited Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.  After a sumptuous lunch and what looked like a little booze, over-the-top happy Kim Jong Un waved goodbye as the South Korean delegation drove off with promises. Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the ROK’s post-lunch (not launch, for once) statement, the history of DPRK …

 

KCN-eh? February’s Other North Korean Developments

Two Canadians review the last month of North Korean developments as they try to ignore Canada’s Olympic performance in curling and hockey. Andrea talks to Matt Korda about Olympic diplomacy, DPRK proliferation networks, maritime deception practices, and the most recent set of sanctions.   Links of Note: The transcript of the 2008 Burmese military delegation …

 

Putin’s Nuke-a-palooza

Russian president Validimir Putin presented his annual address yesterday. He showed off a bunch of new or recent nuclear weapons systems, designed to defeat US missile defenses. The weirdest idea of all is a nuclear power cruise missile with global range. You read that right. Nuclear powered. Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott convene to discuss Russia’s …

 

Missile Materiel and Adventures in Munich

We’re back. After a brief hiatus, Jeffrey and Aaron return from their myriad trips. The show documents Aaron and superproducer Scott’s visit to missile central down at joint-base Anacostia, where the two got an up close and personal viewing of the Qiam/Burkan 2-H and other assorted Iranian made goodies on display. Jeffrey then filled Aaron …

 

KCN-eh? December and January’s Other North Korean Developments

A Canadian reviews the last two months’ North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Scott LaFoy for a whirlwind tour of December and January’s developments. They cover Kim Jong Un’s New Years Address, the Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting, and those pesky ship-to-ship transfers the North Koreans are so fond of these days. …

 

Agonizing over the Agni

India launched the Agni-V intermediate-range ballistic missile. Launch a missile, get a pod. Aaron is skiing in Vail, so The Diplomat‘s Ankit Panda joins Jeffrey to discuss India’s nuclear and missile programs from rail mobile missiles to the guy who flooded India’s only ballistic missile submarine. Links of Note: Ankit’s Twitter thread on Agni test imagery. Ankit and …

 

Reviewing the Nuclear Posture Review

A draft of the Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review has leaked — and its a doozy.  Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the history of these reviews and recommendations to develop a new sea-launched cruise missile and a variable yield warhead for the Trident D5 submarine launched ballistic missile. Links of Note: The Huffpost article that originally leaked the …

 

Tightening the Screws on the INF

The Trump Administration is naming names, confirming what Jeffrey has long said ? that the new cruise missile Russia is building in violation of the 1987 INF Treaty is the 9M729, which is known in the US as the SSC-8 Screwdriver. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty, offering a deep dive …

 

The Donald and The Nuclear VI: Pushin’ My Buttons

We usually avoid chasing Trump’s tweets but when the President of the United States says his button is bigger than Kim Jong Un’s … well, we’re not made of stone. Aaron and Jeffrey talk about whether Trump is bluffing and what the disarray in the White House says about policy process issues.   Links of …

 

Up Close and Personal with Iranian Drones

Ambassador Nikki Haley gave quite the presentation a few weeks ago. Standing in front of two Qiam/Burkan-2H missile pieces, the US Ambassador the UN called out Iran for its proliferation activities in the Middle East. Two weeks, Aaron and Jeffrey talked at length about the missile. In this episode, Aaron circles back to the other …

 

Japan and JASSM

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced that Tokyo wants to acquire a pair of long-range cruise missiles — the 500 km-range Joint Strike Missile from Norway and the 1000 km range JASSM-ER — to arm the country’s new F-35.  Aaron and Jeffrey discussion the implications for Article 9 of Japan’s constitution and stability in the region. …

 

Up Close and Personal with the Qiam

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gave a dog-and-pony show with debris from the recent Houthi missile strikes against Saudi Arabia. Jeffrey and Aaron go over the debris, explaining why the U.S. thinks the Yemeni Burkan-2H is actually the Iranian Qiam and asking what that means.  Links of Note: DVIDS Hub link to …

 

A Swing and a Miss in Saudi Arabia

“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down,” Donald Trump told reporters. “That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we’re selling it all over the world.” Except it missed. Or maybe never even fired. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the …

 

KCN-eh? November’s Other North Korean Developments

A Canadian reviews the month’s North Korea news with a special guest. For November, Andrea talks to John Hemmings, the Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society. They dig into major stories about North Korean defectors and the Kim Jong Nam assassination, and consider the stunning views from Cathay Pacific flights.   Links …

 

North Korea’s Big Frickin’ Missile

North Korea tested a new ICBM called the Hwasong-15. We’ll keep these show notes brief. Its frickin’ huge. Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott discuss the missile, the launch site, the truck that carried it, and its oh-so-roomy payload. Links of Note: Dave Schmerler compiled the KCNA imagery into one big flickr album.  

 

The Donald and the Nuclear V: The Senate Strikes Back

“Liddle Bob Corker” and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the President’s authority to use nuclear weapons. A bipartisan panel testified that “it’s fine.” But is it? Aaron and Jeffrey discuss Trump, the bomb, and President’s War Powers.   Links of Note: C-SPAN video of the entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing …

 

Missiles over the Middle East

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, recently stated that Iran has no need to extend the range of its missiles beyond 2,000 km. With debates about Iran’s missile program affecting the debate about the Iran nuclear deal, Aaron and Jeffrey take a survey of regional missile proliferation from Egypt to …

 

South Korea’s Missile Arsenal Expands

The US and South Korea agreed to revise the missile guidelines that have limited South Korea’s missile programs since the 1970s. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the origin of those limits, their evolution, and the impact of missile proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.   Links of Note: Arms Control Wonk article about South Korea’s Anheung Proving …

 

KCN-eh? September’s Other North Korean Developments

A Canadian reviews the month’s North Korea news with a special guest. For September, Andrea talks to Alison Evans — deputy head of Asia-Pacific country risk at IHS Markit. They revisit UN General Assembly drama, developments in alliance politics, and North Korea’s stunning victory at Disney puns.  

 

Our Source was the New York Times

The New York Times has a splashy interactive editorial, “Trump’s Nuclear Arsenal.” It’s good, but gets a few things wrong — things that matter like Mutual Assured Destruction, Robert McNamara’s famous thought experiment on sizing US nuclear forces, and how the US targets nuclear weapons. Also, they misuse decimate. Aaron and Jeffrey talk through the problems with …

 

97% Invincible

President Trump said each of the missile defense interceptors at the Ground-based Midcourse Defense site in Alaska has a 97% chance of shooting down a North Korean missile and that two would have a 100% chance. Statistics don’t work like that, at least that’s not how it was taught where Jeffrey and Aaron went to school. We …

 

Uranium Fever

No, Hilary Clinton did not sell America’s uranium to Russia. Aaron and Jeffrey attempt to patiently discuss the Uranium One purchase of Willow Creek uranium mine, the US firm that bribed Russian officials to win trucking contracts, and why this particular conspiracy theory is so prevalent in American political discourse.   Links of Note: The …

 

Decertification Day

Donald Trump announced a new “strategy”  — loosely defined — for confronting Iran. Trump also will refuse to certify that Iran is implementing its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), throwing the issue back to Congress and (possibly) starting a second nuclear crisis.  Jeffrey and Aaron discuss why …

 

ICAN wins the Nobel Peace Prize

ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.” Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the prize, the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, and efforts …

 

Scuttling Der Weinerplan

Donald Trump told the United Nations that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka the Iran nuclear deal aka the Vienna Plan aka der Weinerplan) between Iran and the so-called E3/U-3 “Is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.” Aaron and Jeffrey talk …

 

Banks and the Bomb

Proliferators not only need to move goods around the world to support their WMD and missile programs, they need to move money too.   How do they get into the international financial system undetected? Can banks do more to stop them? Who is leading the global charge on countering proliferation finance? Andrea talks to Tom Keatinge, a …

 

Tiny Nukes for Tiny Hands

The Trump Administration is reportedly mulling the development of new “low yield” nuclear weapons in its Nuclear Posture Review. But is this really new? Or is it that we just don’t trust the Trump Administration with sharp objects, let alone the bomb.   Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the recent history of proposals for new nuclear weapons, including …

 

North Korea’s Missile Submarine(s): Part 2

In addition to a new ICBM and thermonuclear weapon, North Korea is also developing new class of solid-fueled missiles.   Joseph Dempsey from the International Institute of Strategic Studies joins Jeffrey in a special three part episode to discuss the Pukguksong-1 submarine launched ballistic missile, the land-based Pukguksong-2 medium range ballistic missile, and Kim Jong Un’s visit to …

 

North Korea’s Missile Submarine(s): Part 3

The final part in our three part series! Episode 1 can be found here. Episode 2 is here. This addendum episode includes discussion on new developments, the DPRK’s ‘Site B’ for SLBMs, and the Golf submarines. In addition to a new ICBM and thermonuclear weapon, North Korea is also developing new class of solid-fueled missiles. …

 

North Korea’s Missile Submarine(s): Part 1

  In addition to a new ICBM and thermonuclear weapon, North Korea is also developing new class of solid-fueled missiles.   Joseph Dempsey from the International Institute of Strategic Studies joins Jeffrey in a special two part episode to discuss the Pukguksong-1 submarine launched ballistic missile, the land-based Pukguksong-2 medium range ballistic missile, and Kim Jong Un’s visit …

 

North Korea Tests an H-bomb

Jeffrey was lounging at the beach with his phone off. You know what the means: NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST TIME! North Korea released images of Kim Jong Un inspecting what looked like a two-stage thermonuclear weapon and then, before analysts could pretend it was just a pinata, kablooie! North Korea detonated its largest nuclear explosive …

 

An Era Without Arms Control?

The relationship between the United States and Russia is in the toilet.  The FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act contains a number of provisions that call into question the viability of the INF and New START treaties, as well as the future of the entire bilateral arms control process. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss Russian nuclear …

 

North Korean Sanctions and Shellfish

In all the squinting at shiny missile bits, the bigger picture on North Korea has gotten a bit lost. Jeffrey and Andrea talk about some of the less pointy topics like new sanctions on North Korea, mollusks, and the reaction in Japan and South Korea.    Links of Note U.S. Fact Sheet on Resolution 2371 …

 

The Donald and The Nuclear Goblet of Fire (And Fury)

The fourth part in our The Donald and The Nuclear series. The crazy lunatic with the odd hair style and long-range nuclear weapons is talking about “fire and fury”.  So naturally North Korea’s Kim Jong Un threatened to fire four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range  ballistic missiles into the waters around Guam, saying that Donald Trump was “bereft …

 

Iranian Space Launch and the JCPOA

Amidst all the hoopla surrounding North Korea’s ICBM, Iran launched a Simorgh, a rocket designed to put a satellite into space. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the Iran’s space launch program, how it relates to the nuclear program. And, of course, the Dudes from the SHIG. Links of Note: Detailed video of the Simorgh and the NTI …

 

Hot Launch Hot Take

The DPRK just launched a looooong range missile. According to podfriend Ankit Panda, it went farther, higher, and farther than the July 4th Hwasong-14 launch (with a data refresher here, courtesy of noted seersucker suit aficionado Shea Cotton) Jeffrey and Aaron knock out a snap episode with very first reactions to a launch that literally happened while we were …

 

Banning the Bomb III: Subsection B

The second half of yesterday’s Banning the Bomb III. Make sure to listen to that one first.    122 countries just adopted the Treaty banning nuclear weapons, in the same week that North Korea tested an ICBM.    Andrea, Gaukhar, and Beatrice Fihn from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons continue their discussion of the Treaty on …

 

Banning the Bomb III: Subsection A

122 countries just adopted a treaty banning nuclear weapons, in the same week that North Korea tested an ICBM. Andrea, Gaukhar, and Beatrice Fihn from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons talk about what made the cut for the final treaty, debate some of the implications, and evaluate whether diplomats are most like a …

 

North Korea’s New Missiles

No one has better sources in the U.S. government when it comes to North Korea’s missile program than the Diplomat’s Ankit Panda.  He joins Jeffrey and Scott to discuss the Hwasong-12, Hwasong-14, a very strange North Korean concert, and Ankit shares some never-before-released data on the Hwasong-12 and some KN designations.  This podcast is a …

 

North Korea’s ICBM: Hwasong-14

  Test a missile, get a pod. North Korea tested a missile. The big one. An ICBM. To discuss recent events, Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott talk about the KN-20/Hwasong-14, how we got here, and what we know about the missile. Links of Note: The pod about the Hwasong-12, the immediate precursor to the Hwasong-14, including …

 

The Hyunmoo-2C: South Korea’s 800km Missile

  South Korea tested the 800km Hyunmoo-2C ballistic missile … from a barge! New President Moon Jae-in was in attendance, resulting in some geolocation goodies. Aaron and Jeffrey talk about using open source information to track the interesting, but under-studied, South Korean missile program.   Links of Note: A series of various twitter threads from …

 

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