"I am concerned that using a dead drop location your friend prepares makes me very vulnerable."

No shit, dude.

"I must consider the possibility that l am communicating with an adversary who has intercepted my first message and is attempting to expose me. Would not such an adversary wish me to go to a place of his choosing, knowing that an amateur will be unlikely to detect surveillance?"
"One day, when it is safe, perhaps two old friends will have a chance to stumble into each other at a cafe, share a bottle of wine and laugh over stories of their shared exploits. ... I will always remember your bravery in serving your country and your commitment to helping me."
This guy's emails read like terrible spy thriller fanfic.

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More from @ArmsControlWonk

6 Oct
Glad to see the Biden Administration resuming the Obama-era practice of being transparent about the size of the US nuclear stockpile. A thread.
Funny story. George W. Bush dramatically reduced the size of the nuclear stockpile -- but never took credit for it because the stockpile size was secret. He cut the stockpile in half and then by a further 15 percent.
Bush's record on reducing the size of the US nuclear stockpile is excellent. But no one knew it. There were even stories that he had slowed the pace of dismantlement, stories that turned out to be false. The moral to the story is that doing the right thing isn't always enough.
Read 15 tweets
21 Sep
Still waiting on the transcript of Kendall's remarks, but I don't think we should dismiss the possibility of countries developing orbital bombardment systems, including China and North Korea. A short thread.
The Soviet Union developed a "fractional orbital bombardment system" (FOBS) in the 1960s. The Soviets deployed this system from 1969-1983. @historyasif wrote the best article on Soviet FOBS.
(A word about the "F" in FOBS. The Soviets added "fractional" because, as a party to the Outer Space Treaty, it agreed "not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons..." It's a polite fiction.)
Read 13 tweets
17 Sep
I've noticed that some people are expressing skepticism that the DPRK could have acquired or developed a 1,500 km-range land-attack cruise missile. TL/DR: It's not 1978 any more.
A short thread.
Starting in 2014, North Korea showed ship-based copies of Russia's Kh-35 cruise missile. In 2017, North Korea test-fired a land-based variant of the Kh-35, called the Kumsong-3.
The Kh-35, also known as the Kharpunski, is a fairly capable 130 km-range cruise missile developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It used the R-95-300 turbofan engine. (The engine produces 300-400 kgf of thrust and weighs 95 kg).
Read 9 tweets
16 Sep
North Korea appears to be expanding the size of the uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon by about 25 percent. @DaveSchmerler, @Joshua_Pollack and I think this may relate to growing weapons requirements for highly-enriched uranium.
"US officials acknowledge," @ZcohenCNN writes "those developments could signal plans to increase production of weapons-grade uranium, according to two sources familiar with the situation."
Why now? In January, Kim Jong Un announced that "continuously push ahead with the production of super-sized nuclear warheads." That means thermonuclear weapons --and secondaries require a *lot* of HEU.
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep
North Korea tested a 1500 km-range cruise missile, which is capable of delivering a nuclear or conventional warhead against targets throughout South Korea and Japan. A short thread.
Kim Jong Un, in January, announced that North Korea had developed "intermediate-range cruise missiles" during his speech to the Worker's Party Congress. As a result, all the DPRK watchers I know had "LACM test" on their 2021 bingo cards. The national defence science sector developed the super-larg
At the time, Kim's remark caused a lot of us to reassess some launchers we saw at the October 2020 and January 2021 parades. The system tested looks a bit different from the one in the parade. One difference of several: The system tested today had five canisters instead of four.
Read 9 tweets
31 Aug
The @iaeaorg announced that North Korea restarted its 5 MWe gas-graphite plutonium production reactor at Yongbyon in July. A short thread with some satellite images on open source monitoring of nuclear reactor operations.
The @iaeaorg observed that North Korea was discharging cooling water into the river. Reactors get very hot when they operate. North Korea cools the reactor core with CO2 gas (hence "gas-graphite") and then uses water in a secondary cooling loop.
If North Korea runs the reactor, it must dump hot water in the river or the core will melt. Water discharge signaling operations is what the @iaeaorg and the open source community saw over the summer. @planet got an especially pretty picture of water discharge on July 30.
Read 10 tweets

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