Nuclear Issues

31 Items

People at Seoul Train Station watch a a local news program reporting about a North Korean missile launch. Aug. 30, 2017 (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press).

Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

Journal Article - The RUSI Journal

North Korea’s Missile Programme and Supply-Side Controls: Lessons for Countering Illicit Procurement

| Oct. 17, 2018

Despite one of the most extensive sanctions regimes in history, including an embargo on missile technologies, North Korea has taken huge steps forward in its ballistic missile programme. Daniel Salisbury explores the limitations of, and challenges of implementing, supply-side approaches to missile nonproliferation. Considering North Korea’s recent progress and efforts to evade sanctions, the article highlights the continuing need to strengthen efforts to counter illicit trade in missile-related technologies.

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Blogtrepreneur/Flickr

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Solving the Jurisdictional Conundrum: How U.S. Enforcement Agencies Target Overseas Illicit Procurement Networks Using Civil Courts

| September 2018

Over the past two decades, the United States has increasingly turned to targeted sanctions and export restrictions, such as those imposed against Iran and North Korea, in order to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction. One vexing problem, however, is how to contend with jurisdictional hurdles when the violations occur overseas, in countries that are unable or unwilling to assist US enforcement efforts. To solve this problem, US prosecutors are turning to strategies with significant extraterritorial implications—that is, exercising legal authority beyond national borders. One such tool is to use civil legal procedures to seize assets linked to sanctions or export-control violations in jurisdictions that lack cooperative arrangements with US enforcement agencies. While this may be an attractive strategy to bolster enforcement efforts against overseas illicit procurement, using such tools is not without consequence. This article explores the political, legal, and technical implications of enforcing extraterritorial controls against overseas non-state actors by exploring the recent uses of civil-asset forfeiture against Iranian and North Korean procurement networks.

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

New Ways to Detect Nuclear Misbehavior

| Jan. 08, 2018

If we had the technology to detect nuclear materials remotely it could help deter smuggling and make it easier to monitor international nuclear agreements. Several recent breakthroughs, if followed up with continued research and funding, could deliver on this promise. They include technological advances in x-ray and neutron radiography; a method that measures how plasma breaks down when exposed to a radioactive source; and developments in antineutrino detection. While all require more development and testing, they are important steps as the global need for ways to detect nuclear materials grows.

A U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A-90-GR Tomcat.

U.S. Navy

Journal Article - Strategic Trade Review

Tomcat and Mouse: Iranian Illicit Procurement of U.S. Legacy Military Technologies, 1979–2016

| Autumn 2017

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has sought to illicitly procure parts for the U.S. origin fighter aircraft sold to the country under the rule of the Shah. The U.S. has taken steps to quash this trade—these efforts have constituted a relatively large proportion of U.S. export control enforcement over the past near-to-four decades. 

Analysis & Opinions - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Imagining a Post-Sanctions Iran

| October 8, 2014

Financial sanctions against Iran are contributing to the growth of regional criminal networks, which use fraud, bribery, and corruption to facilitate commerce. From airplane parts and medical equipment, to specialized materials for weapons programs, an intricate underground economy of financial and logistic intermediaries play a critical role in helping Iran circumvent Western sanctions. Do not expect this to change in a post-sanctions world...

Analysis & Opinions - Nuclear Security Matters

Beyond the Summits: The Way Forward for Nuclear Security in the Middle East

| April 11, 2014

"This short piece provides a number of recommendations for countries in the region to strengthen nuclear security through a regional process, independent of a global one. In addition to enhancing nuclear security and ensuring that nuclear materials and weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists, our approach would also help establish confidence and security-building measures in a region that lacks both security and confidence."

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Fallout from Jang Song-taek's Execution

| December 13, 2013

"With the elimination of Jang and the dismantling of his lucrative patronage system, there will be setbacks in Sino-DPRK commercial interactions that will decrease the generation of funds for the Kim regime. In order to fill these funding gaps, it's now more likely that the Kim regime may try to increase revenues from illicit activities like WMD-related sales."

Various images shown on screens at the General Satellite Control and Command Center show the launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, Dec. 12, 2012, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - National Bureau of Asian Research

The Leap in North Korea's Ballistic Missile Program: The Iran Factor

| December 2012

John S. Park, Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Project on Managing the Atom Associate, argues that cooperation between North Korea and Iran has been a critical—yet underexamined—enabler of North Korea's recent success. He concludes that the time has come for the United States to view the two previously independent missile programs as two sides of the same coin and recommends strategies for disrupting the procurement channels between Iran and North Korea.

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Antiproliferation: Tackling Proliferation by Engaging the Private Sector

| November 2012

Illicit trade from the international marketplace plays a direct role in sustaining the nuclear and missile programs of several countries, including Iran, in defiance of UN sanctions. This paper sets out what measures the private sector should take in order to manage the legal, financial and reputational risks associated with involvement in proliferation-related trade, and makes recommendations to national authorities for how for how to help the private sector identify and prevent potential proliferation.