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Saturday March 25th 2017
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Michael Elleman

Michael Elleman is IISS Senior Fellow for Missile Defence. A leading global expert, his work is focused on assessing and countering missile threats, particularly from North Korea and Iran. He is the principal author of Missile-Defence Cooperation in the Gulf (IISS, 2016), Iran’s Ballistic Missile Capabilities: A net assessment (IISS, 2010) and the chapter on ballistic missile capabilities in the Strategic Dossier entitled North Korea’s Security Challenges (2011). He has also written numerous articles on missile proliferation and US–NATO–Russian cooperation on missile defence and is increasingly exploring issues regarding space security. Earlier this year he testified to the US Congress and is frequently asked to provide expert commentary on CNN, Al Jazeera , PBS and other news outlets.

Before joining the IISS in 2009, Mike Elleman spent five years at Booz Allen Hamilton, a US consulting firm, where he supported the implementation of Cooperative Threat Reduction programs sponsored by the US Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. He also provided weapons proliferation analyses to the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He spent 18 months at the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission as a missile expert for weapons inspection missions in Iraq. Prior to joining the UN, he spent two decades as a scientist as Lockheed Martin’s Research and Development Laboratory, where his activities focused on solid propellants, weapons elimination technologies, nuclear effects and special materials research. From 1995 to 2001, he led a Cooperative Threat Reduction program in Russia, aimed at dismantling obsolete long-range missiles. He is a graduate of physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Iran’s Missile Test: Getting the Facts Straight on North Korea’s Cooperation

Iran’s Missile Test: Getting the Facts Straight on North Korea’s Cooperation

On January 29, Iran tested a new ballistic missile it dubbed the Khorramshahr, which reportedly flew a distance of about 1,000 kilometers. Little is known about the missile, though some have speculated that it relies on a liquid-fueled engine originally developed by the Isayev Design Bureau for the Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic [...]

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?

Can the US Prevent North Korea from Testing an ICBM?

According to the New York Times, Kim Jong Un proclaimed to the North Korean people, during his annual New Year’s address, that the military is in the “final stages in preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket.” A North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, would be capable of threatening the continental [...]

North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

North Korea’s ground test of a powerful, liquid-fueled engine on September 20, and the launch of three modified-Scud missiles earlier this month renewed allegations that Pyongyang and Tehran are collaborating on ballistic-missile development. The accusations are mostly speculative, based largely on the apparent similarities of ballistic missiles [...]

North Korea Launches Another Large Rocket: Consequences and Options

North Korea Launches Another Large Rocket: Consequences and Options

On February 7, 2016, North Korea boosted a small satellite into space from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station using a three-stage, liquid-fueled Unha rocket. According to a CBS News report, the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite is orbiting earth, but is tumbling and likely inoperative. The controversial launch violates numerous United Nations Security [...]

From Under the Sea: North Korea’s Latest Missile Test

From Under the Sea: North Korea’s Latest Missile Test

(Photo: KCNA.) On May 9, 2015, North Korea’s state-run media, KCNA, aired a series of still images of a ballistic missile bursting through the ocean’s surface and igniting its main engine, all under the attentive eyes of Kim Jong Un. The authenticity of the images initially released by KCNA is unknown, as is the date of the test. The [...]

Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.