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Watch List: Nov. 29, 2017

Status of North Korea’s missile guidance system, conflicting statements from Israel

|December 4, 2017

The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.

Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.

  • North Korea: Following North Korea’s missile test on Nov. 28, the big question that remains is the status of its guidance system. South Korea’s prime minister said the control center on the ground lost communication with the missile while it was in flight. There has been no other public discussion of the missile test’s success. Either more data needs to be collected, or the data is not being released. We will be searching for more details on this matter.
  • Israel: Israel’s defense minister said there are no Iranian troops in Syria. This comes after Israel’s prime minister claimed that Iran is trying to build military bases in Syria. As Israel continues to reconsider its national strategy in response to Iranian moves in the region, political tensions will rise. The status of Iranian troops in Syria is a major driver of Israeli strategy. Why would the defense minister make this statement?
  • North Korea: DailyNK, an online newspaper based in South Korea, reported that the North Koreans’ command-and-control system is limited in mountainous areas. According to the report, residents in these areas say they get orders from authorities in Pyongyang a week later than people living in other areas. What does the command-and-control system look like in North Korea’s south, where the bulk of the country’s artillery is located? What is the source of this report, and why would this media outlet release this information now?

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