Nuclear Issues

32 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Asia Times

China Frets Over Japanese Nuclear Program

| May 30, 2014

Many Chinese worry that as Japanese politics moves rightward, it could result in the country seeking its own weapons. Beijing's concerns have intensified with its confrontation with the Abe administration over historical recognition and territorial issues. In this op-ed, Hui Zhang argues that it is time for Tokyo to stop reprocessing and eliminate its surplus plutonium as soon as possible. Tokyo should address concerns over its reprocessing plans and plutonium stocks. To reduce suspicions, Tokyo should take specific steps to abide strictly by its "no surplus plutonium policy".

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Fallout from Jang Song-taek's Execution

| December 13, 2013

"With the elimination of Jang and the dismantling of his lucrative patronage system, there will be setbacks in Sino-DPRK commercial interactions that will decrease the generation of funds for the Kim regime. In order to fill these funding gaps, it's now more likely that the Kim regime may try to increase revenues from illicit activities like WMD-related sales."

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Plutonium Mountain Mission: Lessons

| Sep. 27, 2013

In Summer of 2013, The Project on Managing the Atom released “Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure a Dangerous Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Testing.” In the report, Eben Harrell and David Hoffman tell how dedicated scientists and engineers in three countries overcame suspicions, secrecy, bureaucracy, and logistical obstacles to secure more than a dozen bombs worth of plutonium that had been left behind at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the outline of the Semipalatinsk operation had been made public before, the report filled in new details.

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Saving the World at Plutonium Mountain

| August 16, 2013

Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.

Scientists and technicians at the General Satellite Control and Command Center on the outskirts of Pyongyang watch the successful launch of the Unha-3 rocket from the west coast, about 56 km from the Chinese border, Dec. 12, 2012.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Future Strategy and Doctrine

| May 2013

A nuclear North Korea makes it crucial that all countries in Northeast Asia work hard at maintaining a stable security environment that avoids the dangers of a crisis while encouraging North Korea to adopt a nuclear strategy that retains its "no first use" pledge, a strong command and control system, and a stable nuclear weapons posture. Given its relationship with North Korea, China is best positioned to encourage DPRK leaders in these directions.

Confronting the Reality of a Rising Nuclear-armed China

Shadowfox CC

Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Confronting the Reality of a Rising Nuclear-armed China

| April 2013

"The military buildup by China, its Asia-Pacific neighbors and the United States is creating a classical security dilemma that is increasing the potential for military conflict in the region. Although history is replete with conflicts between existing and rising powers, conflict between China and the United States is not preordained. Opportunities exist in both the diplomatic and military arenas for both countries to actively engage the other in open and direct communication to increase transparency, reduce tensions, and improve understanding. It is in the best interest of the United States, China and countries around the world to confront the reality that is a rising nuclear-armed China and, in doing so, manage its accession into the regional and world order without conflict."

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Dealing with North Korea—What Comes Next?

| April 18, 2013

"A military strike against North Korean nuclear facilities would be very dangerous, possibly setting off a chain of events that could wreck the peninsula. South Korea has made absolutely clear that it will retaliate if North Korea initiates some type of provocation but a direct military strike to eliminate its nuclear program is unlikely. Finally, despite some indications of unhappiness with Pyongyang's actions, there are limits to what China is willing to do to exert pressure on North Korea."

Analysis & Opinions - Asia Times

North Korea Stirs Cuban Crisis Memory

| March 25, 2013

"President Barack Obama and Kim Jong-eun could end up confronting each other 'eyeball to eyeball', each with nuclear weapons on hair trigger, as president John F Kennedy and Nikita Khruschev did over five decades ago during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. However, the younger and less-experienced Kim of the smaller and isolated Kingdom might not behave as rationally as Khruschev."

Jan. 1, 2013: In an image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong-eun makes his first New Year's speech in Pyongyang, North Korea.

AP Photo

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Deciphering North Korea's New Year's Address: The Real Road Ahead

| January 2013

Kim Jong-eun's New Year's Day address signaled a willingness to ease tensions with South Korea and focus on economic development, but how credible is this message? Project on Managing the Atom Associate and MIT Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow John Park analyzes the address in an HKS PolicyCast.

Report - Council on Foreign Relations Press

Global Korea: South Korea's Contributions to International Security

    Authors:
  • Scott Bruce
  • John Hemmings
  • Balbina Y. Hwang
  • Scott Snyder
| October 2012

Given the seriousness of the ongoing standoff on the Korean peninsula, South Korea's emergence as an active contributor to international security addressing challenges far from the Korean peninsula is a striking new development, marking South Korea's emergence as a producer rather than a consumer of global security resources. This volume outlines South Korea's progress and accomplishments toward enhancing its role and reputation as a contributor to international security.