During 7-9 March, ONN Regional Issues Strategist Veronika Bedenko and Analyst Jaewoo Shin, took part in a field exercise organized by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), called the “Menzingen Verification Experiment.”
The experiment was part of UNIDIR’s ongoing research on nuclear disarmament verification. ONN teamed up with UNIDIR to help test the applicability of commercial satellite imagery use in support of an on-site inspection. Imagery was obtained to verify the lockdown phase of the experiment, ensuring that no objects were removed while inspectors are en route to the site, and provide baseline imagery to help verify the accuracy of the site diagram.
This experiment was aimed at testing a hypothesis on the possibility of verifying the absence of nuclear warheads on a military site. It was a product of more than a year of research and preparations, drawing on past experiences of arms control and disarmament treaties such as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and New START, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).
The full result of the experiment will be published in a forthcoming UNIDIR report. Additionally, ONN and UNIDIR will produce a joint paper on the use of satellite imagery for disarmament verification inspections.
For more on the experiment and its preliminary results, see the attached brochure.