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The research programme consists of two broad portfolios. The first, which deals with issues relating to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, focuses on: North Korean and Iranian nuclear diplomacy; countering proliferation finance and the sanctions regimes imposed to address proliferation threats; and the structure, operations, and evasion tactics of North Korean proliferation networks. The second, covering nuclear policy more broadly, involves research into: the UK’s nuclear weapons programme and its policies on arms control and deterrence; contemporary stresses on the non-proliferation regime, and UK policy towards it; and the effect of advanced conventional precision-strike capabilities on nuclear stability.
The team conducts a range of engagement activities alongside this research, foremost among which is the UK Project on Nuclear Issues (UK PONI), a cross-generational initiative that connects emerging nuclear scholars and professionals with established experts. Other important components include Track II dialogues, both discreet and public, in which capacity RUSI leads the UK component of the high-level, France/UK/US Trilateral Nuclear Dialogues. Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme experts also train government, military and industry representatives in the UK and overseas on nuclear policy and nuclear technologies, and on best practices for countering proliferation finance.