Links – January 13, 2016

The Volunteer Verification Corps in action. As soon as I saw the footage of the North Korean missile test, I knew the crew at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies would be on it. Here’s their analysis. Top photo is from that analysis.  It also looks like the test was from a barge, not a submarine. North Korea presents a perfectly successful hydrogen bomb test to the world, then a marvelous missile test. Neither is quite what North Korea wants us to think. That means we have time to work on diplomacy. My op-ed in the Globe and Mail.

The test was deeper than reported, which means it was larger, but probably not hydrogen bomb size.

To contrast how far we’ve come, here is how difficult it was for the CIA to determine that a Soviet moon rocket had blown up.

Long read: The nitty-gritty of safeguards and verification in Iran, and what they may mean for other countries.

There’s some backtracking from Iran on the status of the Arak reactor. Something like this happened earlier with news about centrifuge removal. The back and forth seems to be related to Iran’s internal politics, and the centrifuges went on being removed. The IAEA will have the last word on whether the work has been done. A summary of what’s been done so far.

Iran seized a couple of US Navy river boats that drifted into Iranian waters and then released them. The seizure happened just before Barack Obama’s State of the Union message, and Twitter and cable tv lit up with politiicians and others insisting that the SOTU be delayed, that we pound our chests and withdraw from the nuclear agreement. And then Iran said that they would release the boats and sailors this morning, and they did. This is pretty much what the US would do with Iranian boats in its waters. That posturing stuff doesn’t work, and it’s a sign that we should think twice about electing those who advocate it. I have noticed that a number of tweets have been deleted from more than one account this morning.

This year will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A great many events built up to that in the years before, like the opening of the Berlin Wall. There were actions for independence across the Soviet Union. Here are ten twenty-fifth anniversaries from Belarus.

 

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