All posts by Project Alpha

New Alpha case study: examining allegations that Pakistan supplied nuclear-related goods to the DPRK

A series of allegations made in June has re-awakened the issue of Pakistani nuclear cooperation with North Korea. These allegations, published by an Indian news agency, state that Pakistani authorities have continued to supply nuclear-related material to North Korea, in violation of sanctions.

Project Alpha sought to substantiate or otherwise the allegations utilising open source information. The purpose of this case study is to set out what steps were taken and what information was validated such that follow-on study might be undertaken, should further information become available that could allow a conclusion to be drawn about the validity of the allegations.

The report can be downloaded from the link below:

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Alpha In Depth: North Korea’s Proliferation and Illicit Procurement Apparatus

 

Available now to purchase at the Project Alpha page at the King’s College London e-Store

Project Alpha is today releasing the second in a new series of reports – Alpha In Depth. Alpha In Depth reports are intended as comprehensive studies of issues of particular interest to policymakers. They will be available for purchase from Project Alpha.
Continue reading Alpha In Depth: North Korea’s Proliferation and Illicit Procurement Apparatus

US Export Licence Denials 2001-2015

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Alpha In Depth: Iran’s missile industry

Available now to purchase at the Project Alpha page at the King’s College London e-Store

Iran’s missile industry: A baseline study for non-proliferation efforts after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and UN Security Council Resolution 2231

The recently finalised negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme leave Tehran’s missile-related activities a matter of substantial international concern. Under the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, passed on 20 July 2015, international restrictions on Iran’s missile activities and procurement will remain in place for the next eight years. Various UN, European Union and United States sanctions on Iranian missile-related entities will also continue during this time, and most likely beyond.
Continue reading Alpha In Depth: Iran’s missile industry

This time, no objection to India’s MTCR membership

One year after India first applied for membership to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the country is set to be admitted after the unanimous approval of the MTCR’s current 34 Member States. The MTCR is a multilateral group which seeks to limit the spread of missile equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, and technologies related to the production of delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.

Continue reading This time, no objection to India’s MTCR membership

Project Alpha’s Ian Stewart addresses Proliferation Security Initiative meeting in London

The Proliferation Security Initiative’s Operational Experts Group met last week in London, bringing together government representatives from 21 countries together with civil society experts in counter-proliferation for discussions on a broad range of topics relating to counter proliferation, including proliferation finance, intangible technology, and 3D printing.

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UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Online Implementation Monitoring Tool now available

Project Alpha is pleased to announce the creation of an online implementation monitoring tool for UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

The interactive visualisation tool was prepared by King’s College London in cooperation with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies with the aim of increasing understanding of the implementation of Resolution 1540. Continue reading UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Online Implementation Monitoring Tool now available

UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Online Implementation Monitoring Tool

Introduction

This interactive visualisation tool was prepared by King’s College London in cooperation with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies with the aim of increasing understanding of the implementation of Resolution 1540.

The tool allows for the dynamic display of 1540 ‘matrix’ reports for each UN Member State in map format. It aims to supplement the UN Security Council’s existing 1540 Matrix toolset through an enhanced, flexible, and more user-interactive interface, with the aim of assisting the comprehensive review of 1540 implementation that will take place in summer 2016.

The tool consists includes two main datasets: the first relates to national legal provisions – legislation and regulations relevant to prohibiting proliferation – and the second to national enforcement provisions – actions to combat proliferation. These can be toggled using the first filter on the right hand side.

The tool also includes three other filters: question, description, and NBC (short for nuclear, chemical or biological). These filters can be used to display implementation of specific measures or groups of measures. The NBC filter can be used when viewing responses to certain questions – those with [NBC in their title] – to examine whether a state has implemented nuclear, chemical, and biological provisions relevant to the particular measure. You should manually change this to ‘all’ when viewing other question types.

Project Alpha and CNS aim to further refine this tool over the course of 2016. In particular, we intend to develop analytics to supplement the current visualisations. This work will focus on specific thematic issues or regional issues. A further iteration of this project might also see the tool take into account risk factors, such as whether states produce WMD-relevant materials.

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Continue reading UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Online Implementation Monitoring Tool

Alpha Trade Management Database: a new tool to help companies monitor exposure to dual-use goods

Project Alpha is pleased to introduce Alpha-TMD : a new tool to help monitor corporate exposure to restricted dual-use goods.

Global sanctions measures against countries like Iran and North Korea make it essential for firms to monitor their exposure to trade involving dual-use goods and technology: those items that can be used for legitimate industrial purposes, but could also contribute to building weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Ignoring international restrictions on the supply and brokering of dual-use goods can lead to hefty penalties, not to mention the reputational damage that comes from assisting WMD proliferation.

But monitoring trade and financial systems for dual-use technology of WMD concern is not easy. The technology control lists mandated by multilateral organisations like the Nuclear Suppliers Group are fragmented, highly-technical in nature and often unstructured. Moreover, they are not easily compatible with systems used in the anti-money laundering and due diligence context.

To help companies overcome these hurdles, Project Alpha has created Alpha-TMD (Trade Monitoring Database), a structured database of controlled dual-use technology. Alpha-TMD has collated all of the chemicals, materials and technologies controlled under the main dual-use technology export control regimes (the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Australia Group) – more than 600 dual-use items in total.

Each dual-use item in Alpha-TMD is listed with the following information:

–          Control regime status;

–          Item description or rationale for control;

–          Keywords to identify controlled technology, each developed by Project Alpha experts;

–          ‘Not’ keywords and Boolean search terms to reduce false positives;

–          Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) reference numbers for chemicals and metals;

–          A qualitative assessment of each item’s broader industrial utility beyond the WMD context (low, medium or high), to help companies decide whether to regulate or block trade in these items.

We believe that Alpha-TMD can help companies working in the trade, shipping and financial space maintain their compliance obligations with respect to trade in dual-use goods, and would be pleased to discuss its pricing and availability.

Please contact Ian Stewart (ian.stewart@kcl.ac.uk) for further information.