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The nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast.

The nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast.
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The nuclear weapons, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation podcast.




Sentosa Goat Rodeo

Jeffrey spent the past week making Singapore Slings but it didn't help dull the pain. The conversation then turned to the summit and ended with a conversation about the sustainability of summits without substance and what the two sides can do in the future to settle on an actual agenda for talks. Jeffrey and Aaron commiserate over the complete goat rodeo that played out, including the Joint Statement, Trump's wild presser, and KCNA's excellent trolling of John Bolton. Links of...


Russia's Crashing Cruise Missile

Back in March, Putin said that Russia has been testing a nuclear-powered cruise missile and showed a little bit of video footage. Throughout April and May, stories have come out questioning the success of these tests. Jeffrey and his team at CNS have been peaking into the test site and trying to figure out what is actually going on. Jeffrey and Aaron discuss using satellite images to geolocate the launch site and what that tells about the state of the program. Links of Note: The Gertz...


Iranian ICBMs, Shahrud, and an Important Safety Lesson

This is a full end-to-end OSINT episode, buckle up. Using satellite imagery, SAR data, Farsi-language television coverage, one rocket scientist's favorite color, and one very important box, the team at CNS/MIIS tracked down a second solid-propellant rocket production facility in Iran. We suspect it may be moving towards ICBM research. Scott ventures out to California to join Jeffrey and Dave Schmerler in person to talk about Shahrud, the history of the Iranian missile program, and one...


KCN-eh? May's other North Korea Developments

A Canadian reviews the last month’s news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Hamish Macdonald from NK News about what went boom at Punggye-ri, recaps the diplomatic rollercoaster ride that was May, and ponders the Max Thunder joint military exercises (during an actual thunderstorm). Links of note: Will Ripley’s Instagram snaps from his visit to Wonsan and Punggye-ri. North Korea takes issue with the Max Thunder joint air drills. Press statement by First Vice Minister Kim Kye Gwan,...


The Libya Model and North Korean Nukes

What is going on with the Trump-Kim summit following the recent cancellation of a DPRK-ROK meeting? Will Trump and Kim meet? And how does John Bolton fit into all of this? Today, Aaron and Jeffrey discuss the latest twists and turns in the run-up to the Singapore summit, and raise broader questions about denuclearization and bureaucratic politics in the United States. Links of Note: John Bolton discussing that the summit will fail. Dig! Support us over at!


North Korean Nuclear Tunnels

Kim Jong Un said he is closing the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. But if outside inspectors and exports aren't allowed in, it could just be a PR stunt with no substantive contribution to "denuclearization." Jeffrey and Aaron talk about what this means for North Korea, why inspectors and outside experts need to be allowed in, and what the upcoming Trump-Kim summit may lead to. Links of Note: CNS/MIIS research on the possibility that the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri is possibly...


KCN-eh? April's other North Korea Developments - Part 2

A Canadian reviews the last few weeks of North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea chats with Antoine Bondaz from the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. They dissect the optics and outcomes of the recent inter-Korean summit, analyse the responses, and look at some of the stories you may have missed amongst the flashbulbs. Links of Note: Full text of the Panmunjom declaration, signed by Moon Jae In and Kim Jong Un. Rodong Sinmun’s reporting on the summit the following day....


Netanyahu and the Atomic Archive

Bibi showed off Iran’s bomb. And its pretty crappy. The slide show added some titillating details to what the world already knew about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and, in doing so, made the case for why the JCPOA is so important. The real news was not the documents or their provenance, but what they revealed about Iran’s nuclear weapons planning. They wanted a few bombs in the basement. Literally. Jeffrey and Aaron talk this week about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, how Bibi...


KCN-eh? April's other North Korea Developments - Part 1

A Canadian reviews the last few weeks of North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Ramon Pacheco-Pardo from King’s College London about DPRK summit mania. They cover the recent high-level visits to Pyongyang, Beijing and Washington, consider North Korean pledges to refrain from certain nuclear and missile testing, and debate whether this is all a house of cards. Links of Note: Ramon’s take on the forthcoming inter-Korean summit, for War on the Rocks. Yonhap on the Pompeo...


The Strike on Al Kibar

Haaretz dropped an incredible article with new details about the 2007 Israeli air strike on the nascent Syrian nuclear reactor at Al Kibar. So we thought it would be a good opportunity to interrupt Jeffrey's working vacation to talk about Al Kibar, the North Korean nuclear connection, and how our understanding of the event has evolved over the past decade. Links of Note: The Haaretz article with all the details on the strike on Al Kibar. One reader's trip to the Syrian archaeological...


KCN-eh? March's Other North Korean Developments

A Canadian reviews the last month's North Korea news with two special guests, Jeffrey and Aaron. It's a family pod! Andrea discusses the new UN Panel of Experts report on North Korea's illicit arms dealing, whether the DPRK is helping reconstitute the Syrian chemical weapons program, and some long awaited discussions on Myanmar's acquisition of North Korean ballistic missile systems. Links of Note: The New Panel of Experts Report! The rest of the PoE reports, if you would like some...


Russian Nuclear Doctrine and Escalation

What is Russia’s nuclear doctrine? Jeffrey talks to Dr. Olga Oliker about Russian nuclear doctrine and developments. Unfortunately, she speaks Russian, which turns out to he really inconvenient for a lot of people's theories. Jeffrey and Olga discuss whether escalate to deescalate is a thing and Putin’s awesome new menagerie of terror weapons. Dr. Oliker's hosts a podcast, Russian Roulette, with Jeffrey Mankoff over at CSIS. It can be found here, go take a listen! Support us over at...


Novichok: The New Guy

The Russian chemical weapons attack in Salisbury is, sadly, not the first assassination to take place on UK soil. Jeffrey and Aaron spoke about Russia’s use of a Novichok nerve agent, what this act says about a return of Soviet patterns of behavior, and some policy options. Links of Note: The Stimson Center report, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects.


A Trump/Kim Summit

President Trump announced that he's going to meet with Kim Jong Un. He seems to think that Kim Jong Un is giving up his weapons. Kim Jong Un seems to think that Trump is recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power. What could possibly go wrong? Jeffrey and Aaron discuss before Sarah Sanders walks this back.


North Korean Missile Lunch

A delegation from South Korea visited Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang. After a sumptuous lunch and what looked like a little boozy, over-the-top happy Kim Jong Un waved goodbye as the South Korean delegation drove off with promises. Aaron and Jeffrey talk about the ROK's post-lunch (not launch, for once) statement, the history of DPRK negotiations, and what could go wrong and right with the talks on the Korean Peninsula. Links of Note Statements on the inter-Korean meeting. Mark Fitzpatrick's...


KCN-eh? February's Other North Korean Developments

Two Canadians review the last month of North Korean developments as they try to ignore Canada's Olympic performance in curling and hockey. Andrea talks to Matt Korda about Olympic diplomacy, DPRK proliferation networks, maritime deception practices, and the most recent set of sanctions. Links of Note: The transcript of the 2008 Burmese military delegation visit to Pyongyang. The Panel of Experts Report covered in Reuters. An update to Olympic Diplomacy: The ROK Delegation meets...


Putin's Nuke-a-palooza

Russian president Vladimir Putin presented his annual address yesterday. He showed off a bunch of new or recent nuclear weapons systems, designed to defeat US missile defenses. The weirdest idea of all is a nuclear power cruise missile with global range. You read that right. Nuclear powered. Aaron, Jeffrey, and Scott convene to discuss Russia’s new generation of insane nuclear weapons, ponder how we got here, and wonder what the hell we can do about it. Links of Note: Video...


Missile Materiel and Adventures in Munich

We’re back. After a brief hiatus, Jeffrey and Aaron return from their myriad trips. The show documents Aaron and superproducer Scott’s visit to missile central down at joint-base Anacostia, where the two got an up close and personal viewing of the Qiam/Burkan 2-H and other assorted Iranian made goodies on display. Jeffrey then filled Aaron in on his trip to the Munich Security Conference and his assorted medical ailments while traveling through out Germany. Links of Note: Our two prior...


KCN-eh? December and January's Other North Korean Developments

A Canadian reviews the last two months' North Korea news with a special guest. Andrea talks to Scott LaFoy for a whirlwind tour of December and January's developments. They cover Kim Jong Un's New Years Address, the Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting, and those pesky ship-to-ship transfers the North Koreans are so fond of these days. Links of Note: Andrea's pre-mortem of the Vancouver Meeting at Arms Control Wonk. Andrea's discussion of the Olympic exchanges and negotiations over...


Agonizing over the Agni

India launched the Agni-V intermediate-range ballistic missile. Launch a missile, get a pod. Aaron is skiing in Vail, so The Diplomat's Ankit Panda joins Jeffrey to discuss India's nuclear and missile programs from rail mobile missiles to the guy who flooded India's only ballistic missile submarine. Links of Note: Ankit's Twitter thread on Agni test imagery. Ankit and Prashanth Parameswaran did an excellent pod over at The Diplomat covering the Arihant and the Agni V. Support us...