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The PLA Rocket Force's Rapid Expansion

Arms Control Wonk

Release Date: 03/24/2020

The 2020 North Korean Military Parade show art The 2020 North Korean Military Parade

Arms Control Wonk

On 10/10/2020, the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the Worker's Party of Korea, the DPRK showed of a lot of missiles. Again. In addition to all the stuff they've been testing over the last two years, they introduced a new, oddly shaped solid-propellent missile, the Pukguksong-4, and what appears to be the largest TEL-based liquid propellant ICBM in history.  Kim Jong Un gave the clearest declaration of DPRK nuclear policy to date.  Jeffrey, Anne, and Scott sit down for Anne's last official episode and talk about what we saw, what that it means for North Korea's nuclear...

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Saving the World with Datayo show art Saving the World with Datayo

Arms Control Wonk

, director of and Deputy Director of the , joins Jeffrey and Scott to talk about Datayo, a project aimed at reducing nuclear risks and fostering a transparent, collaborative, and high-quality analytic information environment. Scott fawns over Datayo's video annotation capabilities for military hardware tracking, and Melissa talks about how much bandwidth Jeffrey's satellite imagery habits actually eat up. Everybody competes to correctly do the podcast's outro.  Go check out Support us over at !

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The Deal show art The Deal

Arms Control Wonk

Now that a few episodes have dropped, Anne and Jeffrey talk about Jeffrey's new project, The Deal.  Jeffrey chronicles how researchers like Corey Hinderstein chased down data before satellite imagery was so easily available, Wendy Sherman's incredible memory for names, and just how many BBs Jeffrey has in his car. The Deal tells the story of the Iran nuclear deal: how it came together, how it fell apart, and what that means for the rest of us. Hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the...

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At The Brink show art At The Brink

Arms Control Wonk

How do we step back from the brink and reduce the very real threat that nuclear weapons continue to pose? Nuclear weapons continue to impact people's lives, even if they are sometimes treated as historical threats of a prior era. Jeffrey and Aaron sit down with and Dr. , 19th Secretary of Defense, to discuss their work conducting interviews with and chronicling the personal stories of presidents, cabinet members, congressmen, nuclear physicists, atomic bomb survivors, military officials, and activists in their podcast, At the Brink, and through the William J. Perry Project. They've...

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The Deal Episode 1: The Revelation  show art The Deal Episode 1: The Revelation

Arms Control Wonk

In 2002, Corey Hinderstein, a young research analyst, follows a hunch after a routine press conference in Washington, D.C. The results of her scavenger hunt sparked a diplomatic crisis that stretched more than a decade, lasted through two presidencies, and ended with a deal that, depending on whom you ask, either “makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure” or is “a horrible deal that should never, ever have been made.” The Deal tells the story of the Iran nuclear deal: how it came together, how it fell apart, and what that means for the rest of us. Hosted by Dr....

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The Deal: Promo show art The Deal: Promo

Arms Control Wonk

The Deal: The story of the Iran nuclear deal; how it came together, how it fell apart, and what that means for the rest of us. Hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  You can find The Deal on or your preferred podcast platform. 

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Diamond Tempest in a Teapot show art Diamond Tempest in a Teapot

Arms Control Wonk

In 2018, the US and the UAE conducted a joint military exercise called Diamond Tempest. While looking through still images and videos from the exercise, Jeffrey and his colleagues at CNS thought it would make a great case study.  Just how much can we learn using open source tools? They were able to piece together a detailed timeline of the exercise and figure out which bits of footage didn't belong. Support us over at !

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Lessons Learned from the War in Yemen show art Lessons Learned from the War in Yemen

Arms Control Wonk

The war in Yemen has seen the highest usage of ballistic missiles since the Iraq War, and the highest usage of ballistic missile defense assets in any conflict, offering a preview of any future conflicts with Iran. Aaron and Scott talk about a new CSIS report, The Missile War in Yemen, the utility and difficulties in producing accurate datasets on ballistic missile usage in Yemen, and the operational lessons learned by air and missile defense strategists during the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Scott unironically uses the phrase "theory of missile power." Links of Note: Ian Williams and Shaan...

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The Wollo-Ri Suspected Nuclear Warhead Manufacturing Facility show art The Wollo-Ri Suspected Nuclear Warhead Manufacturing Facility

Arms Control Wonk

Another day, another suspected nuclear facility in North Korea. Anne and Jeffrey discuss the Wollo-ri Suspected Nuclear Warhead Manufacturing Facility.  They discuss how the CNS team has monitored this site since 2015, the satellite imagery analysis that went into it, and Ankit Panda's impressive sourcing. They also discuss the immediate pushback, claims that this site is a training facility, and the open-source methods used to evaluate this site.  Arms Control Wonk post on the Wollo-Ri Facility, by Catherine Dill, David Laboon, Jeffrey Lewis, and Dave Schmerler: CNN reporting on...

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Mysterious Explosions in Iran show art Mysterious Explosions in Iran

Arms Control Wonk

In a cross-over podcast with FPRI’s Middle East Brief, Aaron speaks with Fabian Hinz, a frequent guest on the podcast, about the recent explosions in Iran and what open source intelligence has revealed about the two incidents. You can find the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Middle East Brief at: Support us over at !

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More Episodes

China's People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) has been very busy in the last few years, testing new high-tech missiles and standing up new launch brigades. 

Superproducer Scott joins Jeffrey and Anne to talk about reports of the PLARF test launching over 100 missiles in 2019, rapidly expanding since 2017, and some of the data issues with analysis of the PRC's nuclear and missile arsenal. 

Links of Note:

The PLARF launched over 100 missiles in 2019: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/02/50ceb602df35-china-fires-over-100-missiles-in-2019-far-more-than-us.html

The PLARF stands up 11 brigades since 2017: https://www.popsci.com/story/blog-eastern-arsenal/china-missile-force-growing/

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