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  • Author: Henry Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: In the next decade, it is all too likely that the past success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons among the world’s nations will be reversed. Three trends make more proliferation likely. First is the decay of nuclear taboos. Second, and arguably worse, is renewed vertical proliferation—the increase in size and sophistication of nuclear arsenals by states that already have them. Third, the technical information to fuel nuclear breakouts and ramp-ups is more available now than in the past. These trends toward increased proliferation are not yet facts. The author describes three steps the international community could take to save the NPT: making further withdrawals from the NPT unattractive; clamping down on the uneconomical stockpiling and civilian use of nuclear weapons materials (plutonium and highly enriched uranium); and giving real meaning to efforts to limit the threats that existing nuclear weapons pose.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power, Disarmament, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: G. Ivashentsov
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: TENSION around the Korean Peninsula is one of the main threats to international security. North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear and missile weapon systems has become a new serious factor in global strategic sta- bility. Previously, during the cold war era, the only tool of control over strategic weapons was the relationship between Moscow and Washington. At present, the international situation has radically changed. New nuclear powers – India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea – regard- less of whether or not the original five members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) acknowledge them as such, are not under the control of either Washington or Moscow or Beijing: they act at their own discretion, as they see fit. The current polycentrism of nuclear proliferation is based on region- al rivalry. India has created its nuclear arsenal as a counterweight to China; Pakistan, as a counterweight to India; and Israel, as a shield against Arab states. None of these states, however, are seeking global supremacy and so their nuclear status is taken by the world community more or less in stride.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Emine Akçadağ Alagöz
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper presents an application of the concept of strategic culture as a possible way to analyze North Korea’s nuclear program. The goal is to illustrate that the strategic culture approach is a useful method to understand North Korea’s determination to develop nuclear capability, demonstrating the link between culture and behavior through Alastair Johnston’s methodology. The question of the formation of a North Korean strategic culture will be scrutinized through scoring the speeches and written messages of three North Korean leaders in terms of the presence of key cultural assumptions. Then, it will accordingly suggest that North Korea’s strategic culture, affecting the practices of its security policy, leads this country toward an active defense strategy, which implies a credible nuclear deterrence.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Kim Jong-un, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Daniel R. Russel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: After decades of broken promises and failed diplomatic efforts, North Korea has become a nuclear power. Kim Jong Un’s charm offensive over the past year, as seen in summit meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders, has enabled him to shed his pariah status without shedding his nuclear weapons. While Kim has frozen testing, he continues to expand the country’s nuclear arsenal, defy and evade Security Council resolutions, and is now getting support from China in his call for sanctions relief. In the wake of the failed February 2019 Hanoi Summit, North Korea is warning of a return to testing by year’s end. But even if Kim were to reverse course and agree to freeze his entire nuclear and missile program, North Korea’s capacity to threaten the U.S. and its allies with a formidable arsenal would be undiminished. What’s worse, Kim seems to be turning to a powerful new weapon of mass destruction to gain leverage. Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy Daniel Russel asserts in this ASPI issue paper that North Korea’s next weapon of choice is likely to be cyber: a high-impact, low-cost, and low-risk digital-age weapon that North Korea already can and does use to steal money, hack secrets, and terrorize nations. In the 5G era, developed nations such as the United States are particularly vulnerable. North Korean cyber-attacks have already succeeded in crippling critical overseas infrastructure and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars, reducing the efficacy of international sanctions. Future Scenarios: What to Expect from a Nuclear North Korea details the consequences of North Korea’s slow but steady trajectory toward acceptance as a nuclear power. The report highlights the urgency of focusing U.S. national security efforts against the threat from North Korea’s rapidly growing cyber warfare capability. Russel writes that the combined threat from North Korea’s nuclear and cyber programs can only be reduced through “coercive containment” — a multi-pronged strategy of diplomacy, defense, deterrence, and denial that will require substantial cooperation among key international players.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Nuclear Power, Cybersecurity, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Terry Branstad
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When I welcome visitors to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing, they often comment on a black-and-white photo of my first meeting with Xi Jinping. In the picture, the members of the 1985 Chinese agriculture delegation to Iowa stand calmly behind my desk, peering into the camera, as Xi Jinping stands unobtru­sively to my right. Some visitors ask, “Ambassador Branstad, did you know this young man would become President of China?” Indeed, I did not—I treated him with the same Iowa hospitality with which I welcome all my guests. His importance as a rising leader of China, though, became increasingly apparent over the course of six gubernatorial visits I made to China during the subsequent 30 years. The same is true of U.S.-China relations. Today, I have the honor of representing the United States in the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world, one that we absolutely have to get right. During President Donald Trump’s November 2017 state visit to China, the President identified three priority tasks for the two nations’ relationship. First, work with the Chinese govern­ment to address the North Korean nuclear and missile threat. Second, seek a more balanced and reciprocal trade and investment relationship. And third, partner with Chinese authorities to reduce the flow of illicit opioids from China to the United States. Each task presents its own unique challenges and opportunities.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Charles Knight
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: Most interlocutors thought that there is almost no chance that the presently stringent sanctions can force the DPRK to agree to disarm. The Chinese and the Russians generally believe that the maximal concession that sanctions can win from the DPRK is an agreement to freeze their warhead and missile development — particularly inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) development — in return for some combination of confidence-building measures, security guarantees, and progress toward political normalization. The North Koreans will not give up the nuclear weapons they already have… at least not until there is a permanent peace on the peninsula and the US is no longer understood to be an enemy.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Charles Knight
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: The April 27, 2018 Inter-Korean Summit was a visibly cordial, even happy, event. At its conclusion, North and South Korea released a “Declaration of Peace, Prosperity and Unification.” This paper reviews a selection of key sections and phrases in “The Declaration” with attention to understanding their implications for the goal declared by both parties of ending “division and confrontation” on the peninsula and for addressing the overhanging issue of denuclearization. Notably, both parties strongly assert their rights as Koreans to take leadership in this task before them. Among the issues this review examines are the implications of various provisions in The Declaration for two great powers with long-standing interests in and influence on the Korean peninsula: China and the United States.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Melissa Hanham
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: The most impressive discovery was North Korea’s Kangson uranium-enrichment facility. CNS believes it to be the first time this facility has been identified or analyzed in the open-source literature. It represents the possibility that North Korea has been producing—and can continue to produce—as much, if not more, fissile material for nuclear weapons than it could have using the only previously known enrichment site at Yongbyon. The first section of this report discusses the evolution of the platform: from the conception of Geo4Nonpro 1.0 and the initial training of G4N team members, to the lessons learned during the first phase of the project and how these lessons fed into the platform’s continued development. The second section describes the launch of Geo4Nonpro 2.0, its new features, and highlights news stories that featured Geo4Nonpro and the central role that it played in many of these discoveries. This is followed by an analysis of each campaign. Lastly, the team proposes the next steps and future applications for this innovative platform.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Nuclear Power, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Melissa Hanham
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: Although uranium mining and milling constitute the first step in any nuclear-weapons program, nuclear nonproliferation analysts have devoted surprisingly little attention to monitoring these processes. Understanding and monitoring uranium mines and mills can provide deeper insight into fissile-material production. This report focuses on the insights gleaned from remotely sensed images of known Chinese uranium mines and mills to understand the current status of uranium mining and milling in North Korea.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Surveillance, Mining, Uranium
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Joshua Pollack, Scott LaFoy
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
  • Abstract: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has described research and development as crucial to his regime’s efforts to overcome the international sanctions regime. By developing key technologies indigenously, North Korea seeks to reduce its need to import sensitive goods that might otherwise be denied to it through export controls, sanctions enforcement, or lack of funds. Direct collaboration between North Korean and foreign scientists is playing an expanding role in the regime’s pursuit of technological advancement. To assess the extent of this activity, and to identify collaborative research involving dual-use technologies and other technologies of potential military significance, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey developed a new dataset capturing publications coauthored by North Korean scientists and foreign scientists between 1958 and April 2018.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea