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

  • 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

    President Trump, responding to questions about what security assurances he would give North Korea following the historic Singapore Summit, said “We will be stopping the war games.” The announcement has reignited a debate...

    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. Debate: European Missile Defenses for NATO, February 16, 2017: Frank Rose, Former Assistant Secretary of...

    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
  • North Korea's Sixth Nuclear Weapons Test

    North Korea's sixth nuclear test produced a huge explosion that could level a city. North Korea experts, including our grantees, are still assessing the details, but North Korea claims it tested a hydrogen bomb that can fit on a long-range missile. The test was a provocative act that poses a...

    September 5, 2017 - By Tom Collina
  • My Two Days with Bill Perry

    On July 4, while many of us were watching parades or flipping burgers, North Korea set off its own fireworks by launching a ballistic missile that could reach the United States. Then, on July 28, it did it again. President Donald Trump had tweeted in January that such a test "won't happen!"...

    August 28, 2017 - By Tom Collina
  • John Lewis (1930-2017)

    Ploughshares Fund mourns the passing September 4, 2017 of longtime grantee, friend and East Asia expert Dr. John Lewis of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC)

    August 28, 2017 - By Jennifer Abrahamson
  • North Korea: Avoiding Nuclear Catastrophe

    North Korea first tested a nuclear weapon almost eleven years ago. The Trump administration's response has turned a concerning situation into a legitimately dangerous one. The two leaders are facing off with nuclear weapons and inflammatory language, increasing the risk of nuclear war.

    August 17, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund