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

  • How Donald Trump Could Blow Up the World All by Himself

    President Donald Trump alone controls the US nuclear arsenal. He alone decides whether to use one or one thousand nuclear weapons. He does not have to check with anyone, not even Steve Bannon. At a moment’s notice, he can launch some 900 nuclear weapons with the destructive power of 20,000...

    March 29, 2017 - By Joe Cirincione
  • Watch: Philip Yun on North Korea Threat

    North Korea poses one of the greatest nuclear threats on the planet. The US is in the middle of a slow-motion train-wreck with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and missile program -- and President Trump's loose talk about nuclear weapons in the region hasn't helped. Unless we do something...

    March 10, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Hard Choices on North Korea

    The assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the older half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, is yet another bizarre, “can’t stop watching” episode in a string of reality TV events that is now commonplace in our public discourse.  It’s easy to get sucked into the intrigue, but it distracts...

    February 28, 2017 - By Philip Yun
  • Culture, North Korea and Nuclear Impasse

    At Ploughshares Fund, we support emergent expert voices as a way of injecting fresh ideas into nuclear security and educating the public about nuclear weapons. As part of that commitment, we are beginning a new interview series in which up-and-coming researchers, particularly in the humanities...

    February 3, 2017 - By John Carl Baker
  • Stop Nuclear War

    The nuclear satchel, pictured above, follows the president wherever he goes. Did you know that for as little as $5/month you can help us in our fight to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons threats during the Trump administration?

    December 9, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Learn from Iran, Engage North Korea

    Since official relations between Washington and Tehran were severed in 1980, five American presidents spanning a period of three decades — from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush — have struggled to figure out how to deal with Iran. As a candidate for the presidency in 2007, then-Senator Barack...

    November 15, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • New Report: 10 Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President

    President-elect Donald Trump will soon have to focus seriously on nuclear policy. With this in mind, Ploughshares Fund invited some of the best thinkers in the field to come up with ten bold ideas to help make America safer and more secure. 

    November 14, 2016 - By Tom Collina
  • 10 Big Nuclear Ideas Launch Event

    We are releasing our new report, "10 Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President" at an event you can watch on Facebook via livestream. At this event, Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 12:45pm ET / 9:45 am PT, you can see these ideas discussed by people...

    November 8, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • 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