Arms Control Wonk

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 working on an Iranian pod. 

 

 

Direct download: 51.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EST

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. 
 
AndreaGaukhar, and Beatrice Fihn from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons continue their discussion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty) and talk about what made the cut for the final treaty, debate some of the implications, and states sitting on their arsenals. 
 
 
 
Links and Documents of Note:
 
 
 
 
Revised texts of the working groups (held on 30 June) are available at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents 
 
Text which incorporates working group proposals, and which was circulated to capitals on 3 July 2017, as Kim Jong Un was smoking his pre-launch cigarette: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents/L-X.pdf
 
 
Direct download: 49B.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34am EST

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 solid, a liquid, or a gas. 
 
 
Links and Documents of Note:
 
 
 
 
Revised texts of the working groups (held on 30 June) are available at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents 
 
Text which incorporates working group proposals, and which was circulated to capitals on 3 July 2017, as Kim Jong Un was smoking his pre-launch cigarette: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/documents/L-X.pdf
 
 
Direct download: 49A.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am EST

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 joint release with The Diplomat's Asia Geopolitics Podcast.

 

New KN-17/Hwasong-12 Data:

Now we know the KN-17 has been tested at least 4 times with 3 failures. Two shots out of Sinpo, one of which failed during flight and one of which tipped over and exploded. One came from Pukchang Airfield and appears to have crashed in the DPRK.

Early reports of DPRK missile ‘pinwheeling’ during a failed test. The details led a lot of analysts (ourselves included) to assume this was the MaRV/Terminally Guided Scud, and thus continue to believe that the KN-17 was said Scud. However, the KN-17 is now known to be the Hwasong-12. The pictures below include some stills that may come from the pinwheel launch.

Designations we discuss:

KN-12: 122mm MRLS

KN-15: Pukguksong-2

KN-16: 240mm MRLS

KN-17: Hwasong-12 IRBM

KN-18: MaRV/Terminally Guided Scud

KN-19: KM-3 Coastal Defense Cruise Missile (Ground Based)

KN-20: Hwasong-14 ICBM

Links of Note:

Ankit Panda’s Twitter Feed

Joshua Pollack’s two articles on aging Russian Early Warning systems and the launch events they have missed.

South Korean lawmaker says ROK intel service doubts that the Hwasong-14 reentry vehicle was successful.

Images of Note:

The new MRLS designations

That nosecap that is bothering Scott so much, posted originally by Joseph Dempsey:

Hwasong-12 launch footage shown at the concert:

Direct download: 48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm EST

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 discussion of the DPRK's engine developments.

Ankit Panda's article that first mentions the KN-20 designation and that the U.S. observed the missile for around 70 minutes prior to launch (and Russian denial that the KN-20/Hwasong-14 an ICBM... a topic for another pod).

And, for your viewing pleasure, the Hwasong-14 and Kim Jong-Un doing the Smooth Criminal lean in the bottom right. 

Direct download: 47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54pm EST

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 Jeffrey with Schmerler.

Jeffrey wrote a blogpost about the Anheung Proving Ground with annotated Planet imagery.

The discussed Canadian Tuxedo Man holding a model of the reentry vehicle: 

Direct download: 46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EST

Norm enforcement: You test a missile, you get a pod. You test a missile in a shipping container, you get a pod and a reference to Russian techno music.

In today’s episode, Jeffrey, Aaron, and Scott talk Israel’s LORA, the spread of small solid fueled missiles, and improved guidance.

 

Links of Note:

Video/advertisement of the event.

Israel Aerospace Industries announcement of the trial.

Raytheon advertisement and fact sheets for the DeepStrike. (Seriously Raytheon folks, send me your best video)

Update on the DeepStrike's progress.

Direct download: 45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Iran fired a number of ballistic missiles, including the new solid Zolfaqar missiles, from bases in Kermanshah and Kurdistan against at least two ISIS targets in Mayadin in eastern Syria. 

Aaron and Jeffrey discuss using open source information to identify the launch points and impact points, and what the launches tell us about Iran's growing missile program. 

 

Links of Note:

Early analysis of the Zolfaqar by Jane's.

If you're interested in the Shahed-129 drone mentioned.

Jeffrey tweeted a bunch about tracking down the launch and impact sites.

 

 

Direct download: 44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EST

The UAE is a missile power. Who knew? 

In today's episode, Jeffrey and Aaron discuss the UAE's 1989 purchase of the Scud B (or Hwasong 5) from North Korea, a second purchase of the Scud C in 1999, and the country's well maintained missile base.

 

Links of Note:

NIE 5-91C discussing missile proliferation. 

The 2015 Emirati email leak.

Direct download: 43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

The US conducted a successful test, FTG-15, of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system designed to protect the United States against a ballistic missile launched from North Korea. The Missile Defense Agency takes a victory lap after its first intercept of an ICBM-class target. 

Scott joins Jeffrey to discuss what the test proves -- and what it does not.

Links of Note:

Vice Admiral Syring (Director, Missile Defense Agency) made an unclassified written statement linked here.

A Department of Defense statement with video of the intercept event (FTG-15) linked here.

Video of Vice Admiral Syring's testimony before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, FY18 Priorities & Posture of Missile Defeat Programs & Activities.

 

Direct download: 42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16am EST