ACDIS Certificate Alumnus Publishes Report on North Korea
Published: October 13, 2011
Jonas Vaicikonis, a 2010 recipient of the ACDIS Undergraduate Certificate in Global Security has published a report on North Korea. An internship with The Fund for Peace in Washington, D.C. led to research and publication of the report: North Korean WMD Trading Relationships.
The following is a summary from The Fund for Peace:
North Korea threatens world security by hastening the spread of nuclear weapons and related technologies to state and non-state actors interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. The North uses two pathways to acquire banned nuclear equipment for itself and for others: through state-to-state contact and through its network of individuals engaged in illicit trade. Both pathways pose a danger to the international community, but it is increasingly North Korea’s collaborations with other states interested in nuclear weapons technology that threaten the global nonproliferation regime. North Korea’s unscrupulous history of selling narcotics, counterfeiting currency, and selling arms does not encourage optimism in its willingness to refrain from spreading nuclear weapons technology. Indeed, the examples in this paper demonstrate that North Korea’s relationships with Pakistan, Syria, and Iran have advanced the nuclear programs of all four states, despite United Nation’s sanctions.
Jonas has also co-authored a report that has been published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Unblocking the road to zero: US-Russian cooperation on missile defenses by Barry Blechman and Jonas Vaicikonis
The following is taken from the abstract:
Missile defenses have been a source of contention in US-Russian relations since the beginning of the strategic dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union. Almost every nuclear arms reduction treaty has involved tough negotiations over the extent to which missile defenses would be permitted for each side and this year, the New START treaty ratification process made clear that missile defenses will remain a primary source of contention during future rounds of disarmament negotiations. The US Congress is not willing to accept constraints on missile defense capabilities and the Russians do not want any significant increase in US strategic missile defense capacity. The issue seems zero-sum, but there is a way to move beyond these positions—a way that has been much discussed but, so far, little pursued.
The differences between the two positions can be reconciled through a series of gradual steps leading toward US-Russian cooperation on missile defenses. The brief history of missile defenses presented in this article highlights the urgent need for bilateral cooperation that could build trust that the two nations' missile defense systems not only would not destabilize the strategic balance, but would serve common purposes. Such missile defense architectures would provide the insurance necessary for both sides to move to very low numbers of nuclear weapons and eventually to zero. In conclusion, the authors offer specific ideas about how tangible progress can be made toward cooperation within a few years.