US Korea Institute

Tuesday April 25th 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.

Secretary Gates and the North Korean Missile Threat

Secretary Gates and the North Korean Missile Threat

On January 11, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made headlines during his trip to China by forecasting an increased threat of nuclear missile attack on the United States by North Korea. Referring to the next five years, Gates said, “I think that North Korea will have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile within that time [...]

Should the US Put Nuclear Weapons Back in Korea?

Should the US Put Nuclear Weapons Back in Korea?

After North Korea’s latest shenanigans, a hawkish South Korean lawmaker asked South Korea’s then-Defense Minister Kim Tae Young about the possibility of bringing US nuclear weapons back into South Korea to deter Pyongyang. Kim suggested the issue could be discussed in the next meeting of the US-ROK Extended Deterrence Policy [...]

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 [...]

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