Richard Engel of NBC News recently visited the Middlebury Institute campus, “where academics use publicly available maps and media, and a lot of creative problem solving, to assess North Korea’s progress toward nuclear weapon capability.”
He traveled to California to learn more about the work of Dr. Jeffrey Lewis and his team at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, researchers he describes as, “watching North Korea obsessively, trying to separate truth from propaganda.” Engel’s feature was teased on NBC Nightly News last week, and broadcast in its full length on his show On Assignment that was broadcast from South Korea on MSNBC Friday, March 2nd and re-broadcast on Sunday, March 4th.
“Monterey, California is best known for its rugged coastline and laidback attitude, but it also is home to the Middlebury Institute where Lewis is a professor. Middlebury isn’t a secret department of the CIA, the NSA, - it is part of a liberal arts college. There are no spies here, just a team of researchers working what is known as open source intelligence.” In a feature close to ten minutes long, Engel interviews Lewis and his colleagues Melissa Hanham and David Schmerler MANPTS ’15, and shows some of the techniques and open source tools they use to gain insights and information about North Korea’s nuclear missile program. Also featured are some of the Middlebury Institute students who work closely with the team as research assistants.
Experts at the Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation provided extensive analysis and commentary to national and international media on the latest missile test by North Korea—around the same time they were hit with a cyber-attack.