North Korea

Experts guess that North Korea has less than ten nuclear weapons, a tiny amount compared to nations like China, the United States or Russia. But the crisis with North Korea presents one of the greatest global security threats today. And the crisis is only getting worse as Pyongyang races to develop its ability to strike targets farther and farther away. Verbal threats and other provocations between the North and the US have stoked this growing fire, bringing us to the brink of war in early 2017. If diplomatic action isn’t taken soon, it is only a matter of time before North Korea develops an ICBM capable of reaching the United States – or a devastating regional war breaks out in the region.

Applying more sanctions and threatening military action in the region  will almost certainly fail, but more ominously will likely result in one or more of three outcomes, all of them bad: accidental war or military miscalculation, weapons-grade plutonium or uranium secreted out of North Korea, and Pyongyang increasing its leverage by continuing to produce fissile material. Ploughshares Fund and its grantees are committed to preventing a humanitarian catastrophe and finding a peaceful resolution to the North Korea crisis.

Latest News and Analysis on Nuclear Weapons in North Korea

  • Daryl Kimball Reddit AMA

    Arms Control Association director Daryl G. Kimball hosted an AMA (‘Ask me Anything’) session on Reddit, the 25th most visited web site in the world. Reddit’s AMA regularly features noteworthy individuals with unique expertise to take questions from anybody in...

    September 21, 2016 - By Derek Zender
  • This Is What Will Happen If We Don't Block North Korea

    North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, the latest in a series of brazen provocations, desensitizes us to the truly significant. While many will debate in the days ahead the details of the test , we are past asking what North Korea’s capabilities are. Instead we must focus on what can be done now to...

    September 16, 2016 - By Philip Yun
  • Time for Korean Americans to be heard on North Korea

    North Korea’s fifth nuclear test is yet another example of how brazen provocation desensitizes us to the truly significant. While many will debate the details of the latest test, few in the Korean-American community are focusing on the bigger picture – that a US policy of increasing pressure...

    September 16, 2016 - By Philip Yun
  • Grantee Spotlight: Joel Wit on North Korea

    The North conducted its fourth nuclear weapons test in January, and after launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile on June 21, leader Kim Jong-un boasted that his arsenal could hit US forces in the Pacific.  To find out more about what is going on – and what the US should do about it...

    June 28, 2016 - By Will Lowry
  • North Korea Just Got a Little Scarier

    South Korea claims that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit on the tip of a missile. They are probably right.

    April 6, 2016 - By Joe Cirincione
  • The West Must Talk to North Korea

    "Rushing to talks with Pyongyang makes no sense and the political obstacles to getting there are great. But eventual engagement is imperative" -- a sober assessment from an author concerned not with reactive "make-us-feel-better" short term policy thinking, but rather long term strategy for...

    January 15, 2016 - By Philip Yun
  • North Korea doesn't have an H-bomb

    The bad news is North Korea just tested another nuclear weapon, in flagrant violation of the global norm against such tests observed by all other nations since 1998.

    January 8, 2016 - By Will Lowry
  • Models for US policy towards North Korea

    On Democracy Now, Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione suggests a question for thinking about US policy towards North Korea as it relates to their 4th nuclear weapons test: which is a better model -- the Iraq War or the Iran deal?

    January 7, 2016 - By Will Lowry
  • Browsing the headlines, the world looks a dangerous place. Boko Haram is bombing its way across Nigeria, civil war in Syria, transnational terrorism and more. But the biggest danger is conspicuously...

    July 11, 2014 - By Eric Sutphin
  • As the P5+1 negotiations with Iran continue, there are grounds for optimism that an agreement can be reached by the July 20th deadline. A deal would be a significant achievement in the ongoing battle against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But this raises the question: what...

    July 2, 2014 - By Eric Sutphin