With technology, these researchers are figuring out North Korea’s nuclear secrets

There were reports going around last month that North Korea had tested another solid-fuel missile engine, a type of engine that can be deployed much faster than the older liquid-fueled ones. 

Kim Jong Un’s media outlets hadn’t bragged about it — as they had done previously — so the experts at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ nonproliferation center got to work.

They figured that the North Korean rocket scientists would have used the same immovable concrete block they used for an engine test last year.

Dave Schmerler — a researcher nicknamed “Geolocation Jesus” by Jeffrey Lewis, who runs the center’s East Asia program — had quickly located the site of the earlier test. 

He’d made 3-D models of the buildings in the North Korean photos and noted the surroundings. Then he’d taken official reports about Kim’s recent public activities — in that case, the leader had just been to a machinery plant near Hamhung on the east coast — and wham, he pinpointed the exact building on Google Earth.

Nate Taylor, a graduate student, spent hours making a 3-D computer model of the “peanut,” a mock-up of the nuclear device that North Korea detonated in September. (Anna Fifield/The Washington Post)

Technology is making it

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/with-technology-these-researchers-are-figuring-out-north-koreas-nuclear-secrets/2017/11/20/274d9786-c9e2-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html

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