Arms Control Wonk

Would South Korea ever build the bomb? Probably not, but there is a constituency in the country that has thought about it. Aaron and Jeffrey discuss South Korea’s nuclear weapon history - and constraints on proliferation.

Direct download: ACW_26_Mar_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:12pm EDT

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visited a missile factory and posed with a nuclear weapon promoting the obvious question: Which one is Fat Man and which one is Little Boy? Aaron and Jeffrey discuss.

Direct download: ACW_10_Mar_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

The DPRK launched a small satellite using its latest SLV, the Kwangmyŏngsŏng. In response, the United States and its regional allies deployed missile defense systems to defend their population from the DPRK threat. One problem: the systems deployed had no hope of shooting down the DPRK rocket. Today’s podcast explores the politics of alliance reassurance and why the US needs a new playbook to deal with DPRK space launches.

Direct download: ACW_10_Feb_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

The U.S Treasury Department sanctioned individuals in the UAE and Iran, including some “dudes from the SHIG” for cooperation with KOMID. What the hell is KOMID? Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the Korea Mining Development Corporation, North Korea’s major arms seller and ponder the future of efforts to stop the (further) spread of ballistic and cruise missiles.

Treasury Sanctions Those Involved in Ballistic Missile Procurement for Iran

Direct download: ACW_20_Jan_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

North Korea tested a submarine launched ballistic missile called the KN-11. The North Koreans released footage of the test that showed the missile soaring into the heavens. A close analysis of the footage by the Middlebury Institute team, however, determined that is exploded catastrophically shortly after launch. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss North Korea’s missile programs, the analysis of the test and what we should do about a problem like this.

Catherine Dill, “Video Analysis of DPRK SLBM Footage,” Arms Control Wonk, January 12, 2016

Direct download: ACW_14_Jan_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

North Korea tested a nuclear weapon, claiming it was an H-bomb. Was it? Aaron Stein returns to talk with Jeffrey about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Direct download: ACW_North_Korea_test_6_Jan_16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:03pm EDT

Russian cruise missiles are in the news lately, from allegations from strikes in Syria to ongoing allegations that Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.  Why are the Russians so nutty for cruise missiles?  Jeffrey talks to Tom Moore, a former professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to discuss Russia new air, sea and ground-launch cruise missiles.

Direct download: ACW_Russian_Cruise_Missiles_14_Dec_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:11pm EDT

Red Mercury. It does not exist and anyone promising you riches for it is a conman. Following CJ Chivers massive story in the New York Times magazine about the red mercury hoax, inlcuding efforts by groups like ISIS to obtain what they think is an ultra-secret nuclear material, Jeffrey talks to Michael Moore about the awful humanitarian impact of the widespread belief in Subsaharan Africa that landmines are a source of Red Mercury, and how he started a website, The Campaign Against Red Mercury, to get the word out.

C.J. Chivers, “The Doomsday Scam” New York Times Magazine, November 19, 2015.

The Campaign Aganst Red Mercury Website

Direct download: ACW_3_Dec_15_Red_Mercury.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:48pm EDT

The IAEA has completed its managed access to Iran’s Parchin site, which reportedly included the taking of samples and images. The process by which the samples were taken and questions about how the IAEA would authenticate the samples has led to a recurring debate about whether Iran is “inspecting itself.’ Jeffrey is joined by Cheryl Rofer, a retired chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory and founder of Nuclear Diner, a blog about nuclear policy stuff.

Sampling At Parchin | Nuclear Diner

How the AP Got the Iran Inspections Story Wrong

Direct download: ACW_2_Oct_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 8:35pm EDT

In this week’s podcast, Jeffrey speaks to Aaron live from Hiroshima. Seventy years after the first use of nuclear weapons, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the decision to use the bomb, the bureaucracy underpinning American nuclear decision-making, and the role of nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century.

Links:

Direct download: ACW_Hiroshima_10_Aug_15.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:27pm EDT