Monthly Archives: September 2017

North Korea’s Threat to Airburst a Hydrogen Bomb Over the Pacific: Causes and Consequences.

For 10 years, if not more, I have been writing in various fora regarding the North Korean nuclear crisis. I have always argued that without a change of course that we are “sleepwalking” toward catastrophe on the Korean peninsula, and … Continue reading

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Russia Tests RS-24 Yars ICBM and then BMD Goes Silent on the Hwasong-12

On September 12 Russia conducted a reliability test of the RS-24 Yars ICBM, which serves as a reminder that the established nuclear weapon states do so to maintain the credibility of their deterrent forces. North Korea, naturally, does and will … Continue reading

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North Korea’s September 15 Hwasong-12 Test: The Why and The Wherefore.

On September 15, at 627am Pyongyang time, North Korea test fired a Hwasong-12 IRBM that landed 3,700km into the Pacific Ocean. When you watch video footage of the launch you can see preparations, that is the placing of the Hwasong-12 … Continue reading

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North Korea’s Next Move: Tactical Nuclear Weapons and a Window of Vulnerability?

Following North Korea’s September 3 test of a hydrogen bomb the United Nations Security Council has placed further economic sanctions upon North Korea, and analysts have since focused on what Pyongyang might do in response to them. North Korea itself … Continue reading

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The Space Launch System and the Copernican Principle

There has been a trifecta of very recent news regarding the Space Launch System, which I almost missed given the frenetic activity associated with North Korea’s strategic nuclear programmes. NASA reports that a full scale model of the core of … Continue reading

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North Korea and Nuclear Strategy: Risk , Rational Expectations and the Stability of Deterrence.

With regard to the nuclear standoff with North Korea, rightly, attention is increasingly turning from considerations of missile throw-weights, re-entry vehicle dynamics, and weapons type and yield to questions of nuclear strategy. I have, naturally, written much regarding both here … Continue reading

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North Korea’s Strategic Nuclear C3I, Cyberwarfare, and Strategic Stability

We are for the moment, naturally, heavily focused on the hard and altogether more tangible aspects of North Korea’s strategic nuclear programme, most especially its land and sea based ballistic missiles, reentry vehicles, and nuclear warheads. But just as important, … Continue reading

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Fogbank, North Korea’s Hydrogen Bomb and the Reliable Replacement Warhead.

The Reliable Replacement Warhead was a Bush era programme for developing new nuclear warhead designs, which was eventually cancelled but some of its key features live on in the Obama era Interoperable Warhead concept. The RRW programme faced a tough … Continue reading

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North Korea’s Peanut Shaped Hydrogen Bomb and the W87 Warhead

There have been some reports stating that the peanut shape of North Korea’s two-stage thermonuclear warhead displayed, and tested, on September 3 is unlike that of other hydrogen bombs. This is not accurate. The physics package of the W87 warhead … Continue reading

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North Korea’s Sixth Nuclear Test: A Two Stage Thermonuclear Warhead

Kim Jong-un knows how to ruin a man’s week. The plan this week was to chill after a hectic one the week before, but Kim Jong-un just keeps bobbing up that rude head of his time and time again. As … Continue reading

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