Arms Control Wonk

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 Congress created the requirement to certify the Iran nuclear deal, why Trump hates it, and what happens now.

Links of Note:
 
NPR full video and transcript of Trump's Iran speech.

Main and addendum text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
 
Text of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA).
 
Jeffrey and Aaron can also be seen talking about this issue on Vice News Tonight (Season 2, Episode 4, October 16). 
Direct download: 62.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

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 to promote disarmament

Links of Note:

NTI's fact page on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Our episodes on the ban treaty negotiations, Banning the Bomb:

Part I

Part II

Part IIIA (with Beatrice Fihn herself!)

Part IIIB (with Beatrice Fihn herself!)

 

Direct download: 61.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EDT

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 about the prospects for Trump to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal, why that would be a bad idea, why the "section T" talking point is tendentious nonsense, and why its time to make peace with the fact that the future of nonproliferation is mostly about persuading countries to take a pass on the bomb.

Links of Note:

Full text of President Trump's United Nations General Assembly Speech.

Section T of Annex 1 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Direct download: 60.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07am EDT

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.

Direct download: 59.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

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 former investment banker-turned financial crime specialist. 
 
Links of Note
 
The Financial Action Task Force Recommendations
 
 
 
Direct download: 58.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am EDT

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 low-yield ones, as well as how partisan framing and foreign perceptions may matter more than the technical reality.
 
Links of Note:
 
 
 
Direct download: 57.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am EDT

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.

 
Joseph Dempsey from the International Institute for 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 the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
 
Part 2 of 3, originally recorded in August, before ICBM and H-Bomb fever

Links (and Pictures) of Note

North Korea's SLBM and associated subsystems testing record, provided by Joseph

The Pukguksong-1 on parade with its potentially-new airframe on display.

Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, flanked by posters of the Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3

Direct download: 54Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EDT

The second part in our three part series! Episode 1 can be found here.

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 for 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 the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
 
Part 2 of 3, originally recorded in August, before ICBM and H-Bomb fever

Links (and Pictures) of Note

North Korea's SLBM and associated subsystems testing record, provided by Joseph

The Pukguksong-1 on parade with its potentially-new airframe on display.

Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, flanked by posters of the Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3

Direct download: 54B.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am EDT

 

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 for 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 the Chemical Material Institute in Hamhung.
 
Part 1 of 3, originally recorded in August, before ICBM and H-Bomb fever

Links (and Pictures) of Note

North Korea's SLBM and associated subsystems testing record, provided by Joseph

The Pukguksong-1 on parade with its potentially-new airframe on display.

Kim Jong Un visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, flanked by posters of the Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3

Direct download: 54A.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm EDT

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 ever, with a yield of a few hundred kilotons.  Aaron and Jeffrey talk about North Korea's H-bomb and try to end on that ever elusive happy note.

Links of Note:

 NTI Punggye-ri Model with article

Just the NTI Punggye-ri Model

USGS Earthquake Reporting for the 6th nuclear test.

CTBTO Reporting for the 6th nuclear test.

Direct download: 56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT