James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
CNS News & Views:
February 2019
Inaugural intensive course participants in Accra
Inaugural Intensive Course on Nuclear Nonproliferation & Security for Women in STEM

Partnering with the African Center for Science and International Security, CNS held the inaugural intensive course on nuclear nonproliferation and security for women working in science, technology, engineering, and math, February 11-15, in Accra, Ghana.

The intensive course presented female technical experts in the nuclear field with first-hand opportunities to gain in-depth understanding of critical issues in the fields of nonproliferation, arms control, disarmament, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and nuclear security. The course also facilitated discussion on how women could advance their insights and increase their participation in decision making across all areas of the nuclear field.

One participant said that the course "redirected my understanding of the Nonproliferation Treaty." Another remarked that hearing from other women in the field "encouraged me and [showed] a path of knowledge transfers in my home country." Others called the course an "eye opener" and "one of [the] best events I have attended."

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Probable solid propellant missile plant Al Dawadmi.
Saudi Arabia's Suspect Missile Site and the Saudi Nuclear Program

Recent satellite images of Saudi Arabia led CNS researchers to believe that the Kingdom has constructed its first known ballistic-missile factory.

News of the discovery was reported in the Washington Post, the Economist, NPR, the Associated Press, Jerusalem Post, Jane's Defence Weekly, Newsweek, and Fox News.

CNS is organizing a policy briefing in our Washington, DC, office, to explore this discovery, its implications for the pending US-Saudi nuclear deal, regional security, and more. (The original date was postponed due to inclement weather.) 

Angela Kane at the WEF 2019
The US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty

Now that the United States began the formal withdrawal process from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty earlier this month, "the only remaining arms control agreement between the US and Russia is the New START, which is expiring in 2021," Senior Fellow  Angela Kane told the audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "Now one must wonder what the possibility of extending it will be." 

Senior Research Associate Sarah Bidgood wrote in Foreign Policy that "the end of the INF Treaty... will undermine global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that don't yet have them." 

Other CNS experts expressed their views and reactions to the INF withdrawal in the media: 
  • Nikolai Sokov in Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Angela Kane on the BBC, the Express (UK), and CNBC
  • Jeffrey Lewis on NPR
  • Nikolai Sokov and Miles Pomper in Sputnik News
The withdrawal, wrote Senior Fellow Miles Pomper and Fulbright Visiting Researcher Valeriia Lozova, "obscures a deeper truth: the inability of the two nuclear superpowers to adapt the treaty to today's strategic realities."

(L-R): IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety and SecurityJuan Carlos Lentijo, VCDNP Executive Director Laura Rockwood, and CNS Deputy Director Elena Sokova  

From February 4-8, the Vienna Center on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation--working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency's Division on Nuclear Security--conducted its first Nuclear Security Professional Development course, designed for representatives of countries that are considering or have made the decision to develop their first nuclear power plant. The 20 participants from these "nuclear-newcomer states" attended more than 30 lectures by world-class experts from the IAEA, VCDNP, CNS, and other research and industry institutions. 

Mansudae Hill statues. Credit: Wikicommons.

Internal North Korean propaganda continues to focus on its nuclear program as a source of domestic pride. Satellite images detecting site visits to monuments by senior North Korean officials indicate that this emphasis continues. 

East Asia Nonproliferation Program Director Jeffrey Lewis explains the importance of monuments in North Korea, and how satellite imagery analysis seems to contradict many observers' claims that the North is de-emphasizing its nuclear program in favor of economic development.  

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