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

  • 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
  • Nagasaki Day 2017

    On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped the ‘Fat Man’ atomic bomb on Nagasaki, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. This was the second time a nuclear weapon was used in warfare, both times by the United States, whose government still maintains the right to a first nuclear...

    August 9, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Hiroshima Day 2017

    On August 6, 1945, the United States became the first and only nation to use a nuclear weapon in combat, when it dropped the ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb on Hiroshima and ‘Fat Man’ on Nagasaki three days later. The two bombings killed at least 129,000 people and injured many others. Radiation from...

    August 4, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • VIDEO: John Kerry in Defense of Diplomacy

    Secretary of State John Kerry spoke in Defense of Diplomacy at our Chain Reaction 2017 event in San Francisco on June 5. Here what he said: "There's really a bigger fight right now that we have to undertake. And I just want to say a word about that. It's a fight on behalf of diplomacy. It's a...

    July 6, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Joe Cirincione discusses the North Korea situation

    The Trump Administration has still failed to define a coherent approach to dealing with North Korea's missile tests and budding nuclear weapons program. President Donald Trump has recently signaled that his administation would be willing to talk with North Korea, contradicting Secretary of State...

    May 19, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • North Korea: On the Verge?

    We are extremely alarmed by reports that North Korea is preparing for another nuclear test. We have now reached a new stage of crisis on the Korean Peninsula. To prepare and respond to the growing emergency, Ploughshares Fund has activated a network of partners and grantees to do everything we...

    April 14, 2017 - By Philip Yun
  • Philip Yun on Stopping a North Korea Catastrophe

    "It's not clear what North Korea is going to do on April 15th, before, on or around, but you can expect they are going to do something. There is speculation that there will be either a missile test or a nuclear test. We know that the testing grounds for where they normally do the...

    April 13, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • 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