Monthly Archives: March 2020

More on Myanmar and CWC

A little while back, I wrote about a November report from State’s AVC Bureau concerning a suspected chemical weapons program in Myanmar. Recently, Greg Koblentz and Madeline Roty wrote a piece in BAS about the same program. There’s a good history of the program and news about a more recent action:

In January, Myanmar accepted a standing US offer to send a delegation of experts for consultations, marking the first time the country has been willing to discuss concerns about violations of the treaty. It’s likely that Myanmar’s military, given its continued role in government, approved of the invitation, an important indication that the civilian government may be able to not only declare the past program, but also offer the level of transparency and cooperation necessary for the Organization for the Prohibition on Chemical Weapons to verify any future declaration.

Iraq Survey Group and 1991 Iraqi Sarin Attack

I mentioned the 1988 Iraqi chemical weapons attack in Halabja. Here’s what the Iraq Survey Group said about the CW attack “on rebel groups as a part of its strategy to end the revolt in the South.”

ACT had a good piece on this topic back when. (Although I am not averse to self-promotion, I am not the author). The article notes that UNMOVIC “had not uncovered this incident during its investigation.”

CIA Nuclear Energy Group

I don’t think I knew about this evolution of nuclear intelligence:

The Scientific Intelligence Branch of ORE was established in January 1947 and shortly thereafter incorporated the Nuclear Energy Group, which had been in charge of atomic energy intelligence in the Manhattan Project, within its ranks. At the end of 1948, the branch was separated from ORE and elevated to office status, becoming the Office of Scientific Intelligence.

From this document.

More on N Korea and Magnox

After I stated that “I can’t speak to whether it’s necessary to reprocess” the “type of spent fuel” produced by the original Yongbyon reactor, someone more knowledgeable than I wrote “It is necessary.”

That was my impression. I would add that the UK in 2014 was looking for a way to dispose of Magnox spent fuel, according to this report from the British Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. If the British were looking into that topic in 2014, it’s probably safe to say that the North Koreans during the 1980s probably had to reprocess the spent fuel .