1220 Items

Pyongyang, North Korea

AP/Kim Kwang Hyon

Analysis & Opinions - The Conversation

North Korea tests not just a bomb but the global nuclear monitoring system

| Sep. 13, 2017

North Korea’s apparent nuclear detonation on September 3 has drawn our attention to a remarkable international organisation that helps detect and identify nuclear tests.

For the Vienna-based Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the latest North Korean explosion was easy to detect and locate. With a seismic magnitude of 6.1 and a blast yield of 160 kilotons (Hiroshima was around 15), the purported hydrogen bomb test mimicked a major earthquake. It was quickly sourced to North Korea’s nuclear test site.

Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile launch

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Atlantic Council

North Korean Missile Engines: Not from Ukraine

| Sep. 12, 2017

"A new report points to Ukraine as a possible source of liquid propellant engines (LPE) powering intercontinental-range missiles successfully ground-tested by North Korea last year and flight-tested this year. As the world grapples with the fait accompli of North Korean nuclear and missile capability, the path Pyongyang took to acquire it is of considerable interest, and allegations of aiding it are of serious consequence."

Pyongyang, North Korea

AP/Kim Kwang Hyon

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

North Korea and America Could Stumble into a Nuclear War

| Aug. 17, 2017

People from Los Angeles and San Francisco are calling me and asking: “Should we be getting our families out of the city? Are we about to be nuked?” The short answer is no. Despite North Korean missile tests and President Donald Trump’s warnings about “fire and fury,” the missiles are not about to fly. All parties have overwhelming interests in avoiding an actual shooting war. That said, there are steps that can and should be taken to reduce the danger of deadly accidents.

Mansudae Grand Monument Pyongyand, DPRK

Clay Gilliland/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Weaponizing US Courts Against North Korean Proliferators

| Aug. 01, 2017

In July, North Korea test fired a ballistic missile said to be capable of reaching the United States. Not surprisingly, Kim Jong-un’s provocations have been met with increased calls by congressional leadership and policymakers to ratchet up the pressure on China — North Korea’s lifeline to the international financial system, according to a recent UN report. A difficult question for policymakers now is how far should the United States go to increase pressure against China?

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Has South Korea Renounced "Nuclear Hedging"?

| June 27, 2017

"While it remains to be seen how the Moon administration's nuclear energy and security policies will materialize, it is too early to conclude that Seoul is renouncing the option of nuclear hedging. Uncertainty over the US commitment to security alliances under President Trump, combined with the election of a South Korean president who is promoting more independent national security, makes it unlikely that South Korea is abandoning the hedging option altogether."

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Sen. Sam Nunn: 'We Have a Choice Between Cooperation or Catastrophe'

| June 20, 2017

As a U.S. senator, Sam Nunn played a key role in conceiving the legislation—and then securing Congressional and government support—to fund the dismantling and safeguarding of nuclear weapons and materials in the possession of a disintegrating Soviet Union. This effort came to be known as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, and June 17 marked 25 years since the signing of the first general framework agreement for CTR-funded projects by presidents George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin. To learn more about this painstaking process, see our timeline of nuclear-security cooperation among the U.S., Russia and the other Newly Independent States.

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Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The future of US–Russian nuclear deterrence and arms control

| June 19, 2017

During the latter part of the Cold War, many strategists thought of nuclear deterrence and arms control as two of the most essential stabilizing elements of the same strategy in managing an adversarial relationship. The renewed crisis between the West (the United States and NATO member states) and Russia demonstrates how critical these elements are to the strategic nuclear relationship. As a result of recent setbacks between Washington and Moscow in the past few years, arms control has taken a back seat, and the risk of conflict due to miscalculation is the highest it has been since the 1980s.

Anti-THAAD protest

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

THAAD Illuminates Problems in South Korea's Civil-Military Relations

| June 16, 2017

"Civil-military relations, which refer to the relationship between the civilian political leadership and the military, have been widely studied due to the latent danger of a state's military usurping control from civilian authorities. As Socrates once said, soldiers protect the state from external threats, but they themselves are also potential threats to society. For this reason, limits must be placed on the military's role within a society, and civilian control of the military has been accepted as a norm within democratic regimes — political leaders set policy (ends), while the military use their military expertise to devise strategies (means) to implement that policy. This is essential for the democratic system, where civilian political leaders exercise the authority delegated to them by the people to rule. Thus, unelected soldiers must obey decisions made by political leaders. To this end, in most democracies civilians hold top national security posts."