US Korea Institute

Thursday March 5th 2015
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WMD

The realities of North Korea’s WMD ambitions are complex but so are the technological developments that make its programs possible. We will help our readers understand both.

Further Shades of Grey: North Korea Sanctions and the 2015 UN Panel of Experts Report

Further Shades of Grey: North Korea Sanctions and the 2015 UN Panel of Experts Report

United Nations Security Council Resolutions are not known for their specificity. They tend to include vague wording agreeable to the 15 nations present at the time, which leaves substantial space for interpretation or ignorance once Member States are told to go forth and implement. The three resolutions that form the core of the sanctions regime [...]

Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Future Directions in the DPRK’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Three Scenarios for 2020

Like many secret nuclear weapons programs, the DPRK goes to great lengths to hide its capabilities to produce nuclear explosive materials and nuclear weapons. Despite these actions, a picture can be drawn of North Korea’s current and projected plutonium and weapons-grade uranium (WGU) stocks. Knowing these plutonium and WGU stocks can, in turn, [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons: The Great Miniaturization Debate

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons: The Great Miniaturization Debate

On December 20, 2014, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) released a white paper that contained a surprising statement about North Korea’s nuclear program. “North Korea seems to have made significant progress in miniaturizing its nuclear weapons.” The MND Minister had made a similar statement in October, but for some [...]

No Sign of Preparations for an Impending Nuclear Test at North Korea’s Punggye-ri

No Sign of Preparations for an Impending Nuclear Test at North Korea’s Punggye-ri

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Jack Liu In the aftermath of the Third Committee of United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution condemning the human rights situation in North Korea including encouragement to the Security Council to consider and ICC referral, Pyongyang has responded with threats to conduct a fourth nuclear [...]

The Passing of the Nuclear Torch: The Next Generation of WMD Scientists

The Passing of the Nuclear Torch: The Next Generation of WMD Scientists

You probably missed the obituary. But on July 7, when North Korean media announced the death of the 88-year-old senior North Korean official Jon Pyong Ho, it highlighted an important but largely ignored development in Pyongyang’s effort to build weapons of mass destruction (WMD). While most observers focus on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile [...]

Next Steps in DPRK Sanctions: Is There a Magic Bullet?

Next Steps in DPRK Sanctions: Is There a Magic Bullet?

Sanctions are a growth industry in Washington. Whether the problem is international terrorism, external aggression, humanitarian crisis, human rights violations, civil war or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the US government reaches first for its rather ample powers to restrict access of target countries to the international [...]

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