Middlebury Institute of International Studies
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North Korea Missile Testing:
What, When, and Why
North Korea conducted flight tests of its new short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) on May 4 and May 9, in contravention of a series of UN Security Council resolutions (to say nothing of the #TrumpKim love fest).

Why did North Korea test this SRBM—dubbed the KN-23—and what does it portend for the prospects of denuclearization? Writing for NK Pro, Senior Research Associate Joshua H. Pollack suggests that the tests were Pyongyang's expression of "displeasure" with, inter alia, the resumption of US-South Korean joint military exercises, as well as perhaps to mar the Trump-Abe summit in Tokyo. Pollack also points out that Kim Jong Un declared in April that his patience with the United States will last "till the end of this year," signaling a potential return to a more robust testing schedule, including possible nuclear tests.

What exactly did North Korea test, and does it evince a wholly new capability for the DPRK arsenal? East Asia Program Director Jeffrey Lewis offers a preliminary analysis of the KN-23 SRBM, which is similar to Russia's Iskander-M missile, with some notable differences that have implications for the KN-23's range and payload capabilities.

Why is Trump So Eager to See a Nuclear Saudi Arabia?
The Trump administration twice approved the transfer of nuclear technical expertise to Saudi Arabia after last year’s murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to new revelations. The disclosures have fueled frustrations in Congress over the administration’s apparent eagerness to aid Riyadh and its nuclear ambitions, including repeatedly ignoring and blindsiding lawmakers. The new details only add to questions about the White House’s motivations and the implications of a nuclear Saudi Arabia for the Middle East and US national security.

Senior Fellow Miles A. Pomper and Research Associate Joy Nasr discuss Trump's continuing support for Saudi Arabia despite congressional objections and concerns.
International Nuclear Safeguards Policy Course
Thirty-seven graduate students and young professionals from the United States and 12 other countries came to Monterey for a week-long International Nuclear Safeguards Policy and Information Analysis Course, held by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and CNS, sponsored by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration.

Through lectures and hands-on learning, participants explored the history and legal bases of safeguards and current challenges to safeguarding nuclear materials under the NPT. They also addressed other safeguards-related issues such as the Joint Plan of Action with Iran, issues with North Korea, and movement toward nuclear disarmament.
Microfluidic Technology and WMDs
Picture a computer chip, but instead of wires, tiny channels through which liquids flow and mix. Such "lab on a chip" devices enable far greater control over chemical reactions than traditional bulk, batch chemistry.

CNS Fellow Philipp C. Bleek and Graduate Research Assistant Cyrus Jabbari take a look at this emerging microfluidic technology to better understand its security implications, including its application to WMD proliferation and defense.

Their first study, published by the National Defense University (NDU) Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, looks at how microfluidics may also interact with other emerging technologies, such as additive (3D) manufacturing and swarming drones.

Then, writing for the US Naval Institute, they focus on microfluidics' implications for the production of and defense against chemical weapons.

Their NDU paper is dedicated in memory of Raymond A. Zilinskas, a devoted teacher and mentor to both, who offered "his usual tough but constructive feedback on earlier drafts," and who sadly passed away as the paper was being finalized for publication.

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

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