David Wright

Co-director and senior scientist

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Dr. Wright received his PhD in physics from Cornell University in 1983, and worked for five years as a research physicist. He was an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow in International Peace and Security in the Center for Science and International Affairs in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and a Senior Analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. He is a Fellow of the American Physics Society (APS) and a recipient of APS Joseph A. Burton Forum Award in 2001. He has been at UCS since 1992. Areas of expertise: Space weapons and security, ballistic missile proliferation, ballistic missile defense, U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons policy. David also blogs on the Equation.

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David's Latest Posts

North Korea’s New Rocket Engine Test: What Does It Mean?

North Korea announced on Tuesday that it had successfully tested a new, larger rocket engine. It says the engine will allow it build a more capable satellite launcher—a “rocket for the geo-stationary satellite.”

Many outside North Korea, however, see its satellite launch program as a way of developing technologies that it could use to build long-range military missiles.

What do we know about the new engine, and what might its implications be? Read more >

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Range of the North Korean KN-11 Sub-Launched Missile

Last week, on August 24, North Korea conducted a test of the KN-11 submarine-launched missile it is currently developing. This is the third test of the missile this year, and the first time the missile appeared to operate as planned. (A list of previous tests can be found here.) Read more >

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What Can North Korea’s Missiles Reach?

          Updated 9/9/16

North Korea launched a series of missile tests in recent weeks. Here’s a summary of the North’s various missile systems and my understanding of where they stand, based in part on computer modeling of their capabilities. Read more >

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Analysis of North Korea’s Musudan Missile Test–Part 2

In my previous post, I looked at what we could learn about North Korea’s Musudan (Hwasong-10) missile from the lofted flight it launched on June 21. In this post, I look at some other aspects of the test. Read more >

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Analysis of North Korea’s Musudan Missile Test–Part 1

After four failed attempts to launch its so-called Musudan missile (called Hwasong-10 in North Korea), it appears to have had at least one success in a new sets of flight tests on June 21. That test tells us something interesting about the range of the missile. Read more >

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