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  • Author: Andrea Berger, Cameron Trainer, Shea Cotton, Catherine Dill
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea’s commercial information technology (IT) industry has operated overseas, largely unnoticed, for decades. It sells a range of products and services including website and app development, administrative and business management software, IT security software, and biometric identification software for law enforcement applications. Its global network includes a myriad of front companies, intermediaries, and foreign partnerships. Yet despite the attention currently paid to North Korea’s overseas revenue streams and its offensive activities in cyberspace, the spotlight has yet to illuminate the money-spinning North Korean IT firms whose offerings seem to have found their way into corporate supply chains and potentially even Western-allied law enforcement agencies. Drawing upon extensive open-source investigations by the authors, this paper examines several nodes in North Korea-linked IT networks and considers the implications for current and future policy efforts to stem North Korean revenue and mitigate the cyber-security threats the country poses.
  • Topic: Cybersecurity, Information Age, Disinformation, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Melissa Hanham
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: The most impressive discovery was North Korea’s Kangson uranium-enrichment facility. CNS believes it to be the first time this facility has been identified or analyzed in the open-source literature. It represents the possibility that North Korea has been producing—and can continue to produce—as much, if not more, fissile material for nuclear weapons than it could have using the only previously known enrichment site at Yongbyon. The first section of this report discusses the evolution of the platform: from the conception of Geo4Nonpro 1.0 and the initial training of G4N team members, to the lessons learned during the first phase of the project and how these lessons fed into the platform’s continued development. The second section describes the launch of Geo4Nonpro 2.0, its new features, and highlights news stories that featured Geo4Nonpro and the central role that it played in many of these discoveries. This is followed by an analysis of each campaign. Lastly, the team proposes the next steps and future applications for this innovative platform.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Nuclear Power, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Melissa Hanham
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: Although uranium mining and milling constitute the first step in any nuclear-weapons program, nuclear nonproliferation analysts have devoted surprisingly little attention to monitoring these processes. Understanding and monitoring uranium mines and mills can provide deeper insight into fissile-material production. This report focuses on the insights gleaned from remotely sensed images of known Chinese uranium mines and mills to understand the current status of uranium mining and milling in North Korea.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Surveillance, Mining, Uranium
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Joshua Pollack, Scott LaFoy
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has described research and development as crucial to his regime’s efforts to overcome the international sanctions regime. By developing key technologies indigenously, North Korea seeks to reduce its need to import sensitive goods that might otherwise be denied to it through export controls, sanctions enforcement, or lack of funds. Direct collaboration between North Korean and foreign scientists is playing an expanding role in the regime’s pursuit of technological advancement. To assess the extent of this activity, and to identify collaborative research involving dual-use technologies and other technologies of potential military significance, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey developed a new dataset capturing publications coauthored by North Korean scientists and foreign scientists between 1958 and April 2018.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea