CNS “Sleuths” Featured on PBS Newshour

February 28, 2018

In the final part of a series on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, PBS Newshour’s Miles O’Brien talks with Jeffrey Lewis and his team about how they use open-source data to geolocate missile tests, model the missiles and testing facilities, and ascertain the prowess of North Korean missiles by timing their acceleration off the launch pad.

Lewis discussed with O’Brien not just how he and colleagues such as Melissa Hanham and Dave Schmerler analyze North Korean propaganda to decipher North Korea’s capabilities, but why Pyongyang releases these tidbits of information at all. “If I were the North Koreans, one thing I might do is just stop all of this propaganda altogether. But then they lose the deterrent value, right? They lose the threat, because if you can’t see it, then you don’t know it’s real,” Lewis told O’Brien. “So, I think we’re both locked in this game where they want to tell us some things and not others, and our job is to figure out what those other things they don’t want to tell us are.”

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