Arms Control Wonk

Put another pot of coffee on because it is launch week again. North Korean launched two missiles off of the back of a train this week, right as the president of South Korea watched their own tests of a submarine launched ballistic missile, stealthy air launched cruise missile, ballistic missile test, supersonic anti ship cruise missile test, large diameter solid motor test, and good lord it is a hard week to keep up. Oh right and North Korea is expanding its uranium enrichment facilities. 

One day we'll catch up to AUKUS.

Jeffrey and Scott try to keep up and parse through everything that is happening, from why trains are a strategically sensical choice for North Korean missile basing to why the South Korean conventional SLBM makes us very, very nervous. 

Recent Episodes of Note:

North Korea's recent long-range strategic land-attack cruise missile test:

North Korea's plutonium reprocessing campaign:


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Direct download: 189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

The DPRK tested a cruise missile, but this time it was a big one. Like "INF Treaty" big, if that term still meant anything. 

The DPRK announced that it launched a 1500 km range cruise missile, after months of hints that a strategic nuclear-capable cruise missile was in the works. While it technically does not fall under the United Nations Security Council resolutions sanctioning DPRK ballistic missile and space tests, it is a huge concern, especially since it is probably meant to carry a nuclear payload one day. 

Jeffrey and Aaron talk about the tech, cruise missile proliferation, how the DPRK has been signaling this capability for a while, and why this is a very serious capability that needs to be addressed.

And, of course, they make fun of the JLENS.

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Direct download: 188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

Looks like Yongbyon is running a little hot.

The IAEA has announced that it believes the DPRK is conducting a plutonium reprocessing campaign at Yongbyon. 

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss why the DPRK would want to do this. What could the mystery be? Why would the DPRK reprocess plutonium?

For nukes. It's for nukes. Basically like the DPRK has been saying. 

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Direct download: 187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06pm EDT

Jeffrey and his team fear no cloud. Working with Capella Space to acquire cloud-piercing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, the MIIS team has been monitoring eternally-cloudy Novaya Zemlya, Russia, for evidence of Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile tests.

Evidence pointed to the Burevestnik test site being revived after the previous failures, and the team started utilizing radar returns to obviate the satellite-imagery-frustrating weather that plagues Russia's northern nuclear test ranges. 

Jeffrey and Aaron discuss remote sensing technical education, and the value of teaching practical imagery interpretation, technical processing skills, and how to evaluate imagery at a non-technical level.

 Previous Episodes:

Discussing the tragic accident during the previous Burevestnik test.

Links of Note:

Zachary Cohen's CNN article on monitoring the Burevestnik.

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Direct download: 186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48am EDT