US Korea Institute

Monday March 27th 2017
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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.

Giving North Korea the Bomb

Giving North Korea the Bomb

North Korea has nuclear weapons—or does it? According to the conventional wisdom, North Korea’s October 2006 nuclear test marked the country’s entrée into the nuclear club, and the May 2009 explosion confirmed that it is improving and presumably expanding its small arsenal. Last week’s revelation about North Korea’s uranium enrichment [...]

The Cooling Tower

The Cooling Tower

This past week, the Institute for Science and International Security released a commercial satellite image showing heavy machinery tracks as well as trucks and heavy construction equipment at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear complex, near the area where the cooling tower for North Korea’s nuclear reactor once stood. It is not clear what North [...]

North Korea’s Nuclear Exports: On What Terms?

North Korea’s Nuclear Exports: On What Terms?

A 38 North Special Report Summary: Senior U.S. government officials maintain that North Korea is willing to sell its nuclear technology anywhere in the world for money. While the evidence is ambiguous, a careful examination suggests that many past transfers were actually done not for profit but in exchange for components or materials that [...]

Special Report: North Korea and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Special Report: North Korea and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

On its seventh anniversary, Dr. Mark J. Valencia evaluates the effectiveness of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). This initiative, started under the Bush adminstration in 2003 and inherited by the Obama administration, was designed to prevent weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems and related materials from entering [...]

Can North Korea Build the H-Bomb?

Can North Korea Build the H-Bomb?

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas A gigantic nuclear furnace Where hydrogen is built into helium At a temperature of millions of degrees ~ They Might Be Giants, Why Does the Sun Shine? On May 12, 2010, North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper declared that the “Scientists of the DPRK succeeded in nuclear fusion reaction on the [...]

Master Proliferator or Simple Front Company?

Master Proliferator or Simple Front Company?

Is North Korea a “master proliferator,” providing complete production facilities and extensive know-how for manufacturing weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems to rogue regimes? Or is it a simple front company for passing along other country’s discarded, obsolete technology? If the latter is true, we might still have a few [...]

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