Monthly Archives: August 2017

North Korea’s August 29 Hwasong-12 IRBM Test: The Threat That Leaves Something To Chance

I have an article published by Pursuit the official publication of The University of Melbourne, Australia’s leading university, on North Korea’s August 29 Hwasong-12 IRBM test. The article explores some of the technical aspects of North Korea’s nuclear programme and … Continue reading

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Minotaur IV Launches ORS-5 Satellite: What’s the Deal With the Secondary Payloads?

The Minotaur IV Space Launch Vehicle is an adapted MX or Peacekeeper solid fuelled ICBM for delivery of satellites into low earth orbit, and a Minotaur IV was launched for the first time from Cape Canaveral on August 25 (not … Continue reading

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The LRSO Nuclear Cruise Missile and Tailored Deterrence

As stated in my previous post there were two big strategic nuclear news items this week, one Kim Jong Un’s visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Sciences, and the other the US Air Force’s awarding … Continue reading

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Kim Jong Un’s Chemical Material Institute Photo-Op: What Might Kim Have in Store for the Future?

Most of the news on the nuclear front is usually devoted to stuff pointed at the United States, rarely the other way around, and there was news on both fronts this week and guess which dominated the headlines? So I … Continue reading

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North Korea and Nuclear Strategy: Preventive War Or Counterproliferation?

South Korea and Japan have been living under the North Korean nuclear shadow for quite a while now, and when we think about nuclear deterrence in the context of North Korea’s Hwasong-12 IRBM and Hwasong-14 ICBM, which begin to put … Continue reading

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The Sharp Nose Coned Reentry Vehicle on North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM

There’s much to write about at the moment regarding North Korea and its growing nuclear capabilities, and thus far most of my attention has been on the technical aspects, kind of narrow at that given the bias toward analysis of … Continue reading

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Is North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM Really Powered by the Soviet RD-250 Engine? Beware the Theory Ladenness of Observation

When North Korea statically tested the Pektusan or March 18 Revolution engine, which forms the main engine of the Hwasong-12 IRBM and the main engine of the first booster stage of the Hwasong-14 ICBM, Kim Jong Un stated that its … Continue reading

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Is North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM Blowback?

Blowback is an intelligence community term for the unintended negative consequences that follow the pursuit of policy conducted for reasons of state. For an economist, I suppose, they would be a type of externality. The concept was popularised by Chalmers … Continue reading

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Is North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM a Paper Tiger?

A lot has happened this week on the North Korean front, and rather than discuss each discrete issue in one mega post I’ll stretch them, when able, over a number of posts. One of the things, I’ll confess, that threw … Continue reading

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Hwasong-14 ICBM: Conjectures and Refutations

A little bit more detail, and a little bit more controversy, has emerged regarding the comparative analysis of the Hwasong-14 test one (July 4) and Hwasong-14 test two (July 28). First, the detail. Ankit Panda writing at The Diplomat has … Continue reading

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