Tag Archives: north korea

In Conversation with: Paul Bracken, Expert on Nuclear ‘Power Politics’

North Korea, which just conducted its third nuclear test, is using its weapons program to deter the United States by holding its allies “hostage,” according to Paul Bracken, who teaches management and political science at Yale.

Bracken is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on several Department of Defense advisory boards, and is the author, most recently, of “The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics” (Times Books, 2012). The following is an edited version of an email interview with him. (more…)

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Commentary: Lyle Goldstein: Sunshine Returns to the Korean Peninsula?

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, Park Geun-hye was elected South Korea’s new president, making her the first woman to hold the title. It’s a victory some say signals the beginning of a new era for the tension-riddled region. Lyle Goldstein, International Relations program visiting faculty and associate professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute of the U.S. Naval War College, comments on what Park’s election means for the future of South Korea and the country’s relationship with the United States and China.

Park Geun-hye’s election will come as a major relief to many strategists in Washington, given her pro-American credentials. Her opponent was inclined to fully reinstate the “sunshine policy” of a decade ago, a disposition that would have no doubt entailed a more discriminating look at the newly invigorated U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance. Irrespective of which candidate came to occupy the Blue House, South Koreans seemed to be looking for more sunshine and less inter-Korean tension. (more…)

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Seeing Stars, Finding Nukes: Radio Telescopes Can Spot Clandestine Nuclear Tests

SAN FRANCISCO — In the search for rogue nukes, researchers have discovered an unlikely tool: astronomical radio telescopes.

Ohio State University researchers previously demonstrated another unlikely tool, when they showed that South Korean GPS stations detected telltale atmospheric disturbances from North Korea’s 2009 nuclear test.

Both techniques were born out of the discovery that underground nuclear explosions leave their mark—on the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. (more…)

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Spy Hackers

Intelligence historian cites changing focus of American espionage

In the spy trade, predicting the future is a risky business at best, but experts believe that America’s intelligence efforts will focus on Iran, North Korea and China.

Matthew M. Aid, intelligence historian and expert on the National Security Agency, discussed the forces driving this emerging strategy during a talk on Wednesday, May 2, in Mitchell Hall.

Aid’s talk, “The Future of Intelligence and Espionage,” concluded the spring 2012 Global Agenda speaker series “Spies, Lies and Sneaky Guys: Espionage and Intelligence in the Digital Age.” (more…)

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Examining The Changing Face of Christianity

U of T leading centre for study of global Christianity

A century ago, 80 per cent of the world’s Christians lived in Europe and North America; today, nearly 70 per cent live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, making Christianity a predominantly non-Western religion.

A critical mass of scholars who are looking into the implications of this shift has made the University of Toronto a leading centre for the study of global Christianity.

Christianity today has more than 2.2 billion adherents worldwide. The majority are overwhelmingly poor, displaced from rural villages into overcrowded cities in search of work, and adhere strictly to the word of Scripture, which can command their loyalty far more than state or society. (more…)

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GPS Stations Can Detect Clandestine Nuclear Tests

VIENNNA, Austria – At the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) meeting, American researchers are unveiling a new tool for detecting illegal nuclear explosions: the Earth’s global positioning system (GPS).

Even underground nuclear tests leave their mark on the part of the upper atmosphere known as the ionosphere, the researchers discovered, when they examined GPS data recorded the same day as a North Korean nuclear test in 2009. Within minutes on that day, GPS stations in nearby countries registered a change in ionospheric electron density, as a bubble of disturbed particles spread out from the test site and across the planet. (more…)

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Korean Reunification, and the Sound of Rattling Weapons

On August 15, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak delivered a plan for unification of his country with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The proposal was made during the ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from the Japanese colonial rule.

(more…)

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