I’ve been tough on @US_Stratcom for their ridiculous “Myth Monday” posts, but allow me to say something that comes close to agreeing with one of the points they sought to make this Monday (but not exactly). It concerns this tweet (and others like it from today).
Presumably this person (and others) who saw the footage and were *absolutely convinced* it was a nuclear weapon have received their sense of what a nuke looks like (or should look like) from certain sources.
And there’s a strong human tendency to refer to known examples of things (real and imagined) to explain new, possibly uncertain phenomena (see: availability heuristic).
The history of US "negative guidance" (indirect technical assistance) to the French nuclear weapons program is fascinating; see point (d) on Paris' development of a "fusion warhead" trigger. wilsoncenter.org/publication/us…
AFAIU, "negative guidance" was basically the equivalent of US technical experts telling their French counterparts whether a certain design choice was heading in the right direction or not. (Don't let them copy your homework, but tell them if they're making obvious mistakes.)
An interesting addendum on a September 25, 1973, memorandum on a meeting between Schlesinger and Robert Galley (French defense minister).
Yes. I’ve seen the reports. I’m zeroing in on the phrasing here (attributed to one official).
a) monitoring “intelligence” could mean a few things
b) wording does not imply direct US sources/methods have verified this
c) the premise—Kim in trouble after surgery—is plausible
I haven’t commented on Twitter because I found them not credible, but rumors have been circulating for a couple days that Kim is in a coma or brain dead. These are familiar rumors from previous bouts of his absence from public appearances; let’s wait.
The state of Kim Jong Un’s health is closely guarded, in general (to the point that his bodily waste was collected and shipped home after his overseas travel to summits with Trump, etc.).
He’s really spelling things out here: we’re doing this so Trump wakes up and smells the need to do a deal right now. (Really, this has been part of the goal since this year’s missile-testing campaign began back in May.) #NorthKorea
Really underscores what @NarangVipin and I wrote earlier this year about Kim’s “maximum pressure” campaign: 26 missile tests and one static engine test later, the pressure is still insufficient for Trump to be “surprised.” foreignaffairs.com/articles/north…
@NarangVipin ...and so the pressure is set to rise. Kim Yong Chol still references to the end-of-year deadline, which suggests we should see more testing before the year ends. (Probably before the 5th Plenum of the 7th CC of the WPK convenes.)
This is jaw-droppingly false from South Korea’s national security adviser: “Once the Tongchang-ri missile facility is abolished completely, I can say with confidence that the North will not be able to launch an ICBM” koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/201…
North Korea has launched three ICBMs to date (2 x Hwasong-14/KN20, 1 x Hwasong-15/KN22); none of these launches have taken place from Tongchang-ri (Sohae).
Hard to view Mr. Chung’s comments as anything other than the politicization of intelligence; NIS & MOD senior staff (also appointed by Pres. Moon Jae-in) offer sharply divergent assessments.
Note: if North Korea launches another missile this year, it’ll be the busiest missile testing year in its history. (2016 and 2019 are currently tied at 24 launches.) This year’s testing campaign is also compressed, given that it only began in May!
2019 lacks the drama, system diversity, and overall pizzazz of 2016/2017, but in quantitative terms, the Munitions Industry Department/Academy of Defense Science have been busy.
(Also, don’t @ me about MRLs not being “ballistic missiles”—the distinction is semantic.)
Bruh. “North Korea’s newest missile capabilities do not appear to pose ‘very grave threats’ to the South’s national security, director of the presidential National Security Office (NSO) Chung Eui-yong said Friday” nknews.org/2019/11/north-…
No one’s asking for threat inflation, but come on.
Looks like they’re actually doing their due diligence and hewing to the official SinoMaps (2013) version, which did indeed add the 10th dash. Most popular maps that portray the Chinese South China Sea claim still use the 9 dashes.
Jaw drop: “The informant, according to people familiar with the matter, was outside of Mr. Putin’s inner circle, but saw him regularly and had access to high-level Kremlin decision-making — easily making the source one of the agency’s most valuable assets” nytimes.com/2019/09/09/us/…
The claims that are reported here are huge: “The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself”
This would seem to be the biggest overseas CIA asset loss story since the 2017 story on China’s counterintel campaign: nytimes.com/2017/05/20/wor…