North Korea

Experts estimate that North Korea may have enough plutonium and highly enriched uranium for 20 to 25 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 mid 2017. North Korea has developed an ICBM capable of reaching the United States and reportedly has a miniaturized nuclear warhead to match. If diplomatic action isn’t taken soon, it may be only a matter of time before a devastating regional war breaks out in the region. 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

  • North Korea, Bellicose Tweets and Other Nuclear Challenges

    The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recently set the Doomsday Clock ahead 30 seconds, 2 minutes to the proverbial 'midnight' signifying the end of humanity as we know it. This 30‑second move from last year, sets the clock as close to midnight as it has been since 1953, after the Soviet Union and...

    January 25, 2018 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Path of Peace and Diplomacy

    Right now, we stand as a country more divided and fractured than we have in decades. The wisdom of American policy is being questioned around the world and is considered by many a source of profound uncertainty and international instability. President Trump and our nation's leaders are...

    December 11, 2017 - By Philip Yun
  • Grantee Spotlight: Jeffrey Lewis and the Middlebury Institute for International Studies

    When North Korea launches another missile, or conducts another nuclear weapons test, CNS’s analysts are the ones sought out for their technical expertise and public communication talents. They provide objective, nonpartisan, factual information about North Korea’s nuclear program, which aids in...

    December 11, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • VIDEOS: Nuclear Weapons Policy in a Time of Crisis

    Videos, in chronological order, from the conference: 1. Welcoming Comments from Joe Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund; Opening Address: Congresswoman Barbara Lee 2. Senator Dianne Feinstein 3. Senator Ed Markey 4. Congressman Ted Lieu 5. Congressman Adam Smith 6. Future of the Iran Deal 7...

    November 3, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Factsheet: History of US Negotiations with North Korea, 1992-Present

    At the end of the Cold War, President George H.W. Bush authorized the withdrawal of most US tactical nuclear weapons deployed abroad, including approximately 100 nuclear weapons based in South Korea (September 1991). Shortly after, the two Koreas signed the South-North Joint Declaration on the...

    November 2, 2017 - By Catherine Killough
  • Stop Trump from Attacking North Korea

    President Trump's erratic policies, insults and inflammatory tweets are increasing the chances that we may go to war with North Korea. This would be a catastrophe unlike anything we have seen since World War II. Millions could die. North Korea's nuclear and missile tests must stop, but Trump's...

    November 2, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Livestream: Nuclear Weapons Policy in a Time of Crisis 10/26

    Join us on Thursday, October 26th on Facebook for a live streamed, in-depth briefing on nuclear weapons policy in a time of crisis. This event will be live streamed on the Ploughshares Fund Facebook page.

    October 18, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Factsheet: US-ROK Military Exercises

    Heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula have renewed proposals for a suspension of joint US-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises in exchange for a pause on North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing. This “freeze-for-freeze” concept has been proposed by North Korea, which has long ...

    October 11, 2017 - By Catherine Killough
  • Debate is Important

    Together with the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI), Ploughshares Fund recently provided a periodic forum for in-depth exploration of arguments on both sides of key nuclear policy issues.

    September 29, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • We Have Got to Stop This Madness

    Like you, I am deeply worried. Everything we worked so hard to achieve is under attack. President Trump is overturning decades of bipartisan efforts that have blocked the spread of the deadliest weapons ever built. New policies coming out of the White House and Congress threaten the progress we...

    September 22, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione