James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
CNS News & Views:
April 2017
CNS experts are the go-to experts on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs

Following the military parade in Pyongyang on April 15  to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, experts from CNS have been widely cited by diverse media outlets, appearing in print, on the radio, and on television. As tensions have escalated in the region, CNS and MIIS staff  have authored robust analysis  and served as key sources for in-depth and up-do-date analysis. Selected articles include:
New North Korean Missile Test Database

The North Korea Missile Test Database developed and produced by CNS for the Nuclear Threat Initiative tracks all major North Korean missile tests dating back to 1984. The database catalogs every flight test of a missile able to  deliver a payload of at least 500 kilograms a distance of at least 300 kilometers. An interactive map displays the various test sites that have been used by the North Korean military, and allows users to search for tests by missile type and whether or not the launches were successful. 

Accompanied by additional info graphics and  expert analysis by Research Associate Shea Cotton, the database will be updated as new tests occur. 

CNS Deputy Director highlights nuclear weapons risks

CNS Deputy Director Elena K. Sokova explores the vulnerability of nuclear weapons and materials to non-state actors and provides an overview of efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring these items in her chapter in a new study by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) titled "Understanding Nuclear Weapon Risks."

The chapter examines both the possibility that non-state actors could remove an existing weapon from the arsenal of a nuclear weapon state, and that these actors could indigenously  develop a bomb using nuclear materials such as highly enriched uranium or plutonium. Sokova further assesses the successes and failures of past efforts to reduce the likelihood of these scenarios.
Critical Issues Forum Spring Conference

Over 80 high school students from the United States, Russia and Japan attended the Spring conference of the Critical Issues Forum held this month in Nagasaki, Japan. The conference was organized by CNS in partnership with Kwassui High School in Nagasaki, the Research Center for Nuclear Abolition,  Nagasaki University,  and the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace.

The conference showcased presentations from students and teachers on the topic of "Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and its Role for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons." Dr. Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, delivered the keynote address on April 4.

CNS Occasional Paper #27 

A new CNS Occasional Paper by Bryan Lee, Margaret Arno, and Daniel Salisbury examines the role of online marketplaces in the transfer of dual-use technologies. While previous studies have highlighted the issue of illicit online networks, it remains to be seen whether screening methods for tracking transfers has been effective. 

The report examines the utility of a semi-automated approach to collect and analyze data about these online marketplaces and associated transfers  of illicit  dual-use goods. Though it is relatively easy to use open source tools to collect such data, the report finds that machine learning techniques will likely offer better results and provide opportunities for cooperation between online marketplaces and compliance officials.