North Korea’s Missile Launch
Dr. David Wright
Union of Concerned Scientists
Senior Scientist & Co-Director, Global Security Program
Director and Senior Fellow
Proliferation Prevention Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies
On April 12, North Korea launched an Unha-3 rocket, which appeared to break apart less than two minutes after takeoff. The White House stated that “North Korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments.”
The failed launch may indicate that the North’s missile program is less advanced than previously estimated. In a military parade late last week, North Korea unveiled a new missile of unknown capabilities.
Dr. Wright disscussed the rocket launch, including what is known about North Korea’s missile program, and other North Korean missiles under development.
Dr. David Wright is a nationally known expert on the technical aspects of missile defense systems, missile proliferation and space weapons. He has authored numerous articles and reports on arms control and international security, such as Securing the Skies: Ten Steps the United States Should Take to Improve the Security and Sustainability of Space, North Korea’s New Launch Site, and The Physics of Space Security. He also has testified before Congress on arms control issues and is frequently cited by the New York Times, NPR and other news organizations.
Since 1990, he has been a primary organizer of the International Summer Symposiums on Science and World Affairs, which foster cooperation among scientists around the world working on arms control and security issues. In 2001, he was a co-recipient of the American Physical Society’s Joseph A. Burton Forum Award for his arms control research and his work with international scientists.
Before joining UCS in 1992, Wright was a senior research analyst with the Federation of American Scientists and served as an SSRC-MacArthur fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his doctorate degree in physics from Cornell University in 1983 and worked as a research physicist from 1983 to 1988.