U-M experts available to discuss North Korea’s third nuclear test

February 12, 2013
  • umichnews@umich.edu

North Korean soldiers march at the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, that divides the Koreas. Image credit: TSGT James Mossman, U.S. Air Force via wikimediacommons.orgNorth Korean soldiers march at the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, that divides the Koreas. Image credit: TSGT James Mossman, U.S. Air Force via wikimediacommons.orgANN ARBOR—University of Michigan experts are available to discuss the scientific, legal and political issues involving in North Korea’s third nuclear test.

They include:

Sara Pozzi, associate professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, can address the significance of the test and how close it brings North Korea to delivering a nuclear weapon at long range. Her interests include new methods for nuclear materials identification and characterization for nuclear nonproliferation and homeland security applications.

“A missile that could hit the U.S. from North Korea would require ballistic missile technology to deliver the nuclear weapon at long range. It would also require a nuclear weapon that is small enough to fit in such a missile,” Pozzi said. “It appears that this third test is a step toward making the nuclear weapon small enough to be used in a ballistic missile. How big of a step is yet to be determined. It is believed at this point that the third test was performed with highly enriched uranium, whereas the prior two tests were performed with plutonium weapons. The latter weapons are easier to detect than the former.”

Pozzi can be reached at (734) 615-4970 or pozzisa@umich.edu. More information: http://www-ners.engin.umich.edu/people/pozzi.html

Steven Ratner, professor of law, can discuss international law and the use of force and nonproliferation. His research focuses on public international law and on a range of challenges facing governments and international institutions since the Cold War, including ethnic conflict, border disputes, counter-terrorism strategies, corporate and state duties regarding foreign investment, and accountability for human rights violations. Ratner can be reached at (734) 647-4985 or sratner@umich.edu. More information: http://www.law.umich.edu/FacultyBio/Pages/FacultyBio.aspx?FacID=sratner

Kenneth McElwain, assistant professor of political science, can discuss how the nuclear tests influence Japan’s defense and foreign policy considerations. He was a co-editor of the book “Political Change in Japan.” He can be reached at (734) 615-5685 or kmcelwai@umich.edu. More information: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/polisci/people/faculty/ci.mcelwainkenneth_ci.detail