Nuclear Issues

142 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Postponement of the NPT Review Conference. Antagonisms, Conflicts and Nuclear Risks after the Pandemic

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has published a document from the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs concerning nuclear problems and tensions in the time of COVID-19. The document has been co-signed by a large number of Pugwash colleagues and personalities.

The Bavand, one of two stranded Iranian vessels, sits anchored at the port in Paranagua, Brazil on July 25, 2019. In defiance of U.S. sanctions, Brazil's top court ordered state oil company Petrobras to supply fuel to two Iranian vessels that were stranded off the coast of Parana state since early June (AP Photo/Giuliano Gomes).

AP Photo/Giuliano Gomes

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

A Financial Sanctions Dilemma

| Winter 2020

Over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of financial sanctions as an instrument of US foreign policy to address security threats ranging from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and terrorism to human rights violations and transnational crime. Washington’s policymakers have prized these tools for their ability to rapidly apply pressure against foreign targets with few perceived repercussions against American business interests. The problem, however, is that Washington is ignoring a growing tension between financial sanctions designed to support economic statecraft (with non-financial goals) and those designed to protect the international financial system. Confusing the two sends mixed signals to adversaries as well as allies and undermines US credibility and commitment to upholding international banking rules and norms. If Washington cannot reconcile these competing processes, it is unlikely that future administrations will enjoy the same foreign policy levers, leaving the United States at a significant disadvantage.

President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarized Zone

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Analysis & Opinions - Fox News

Trump Takes Risky Gamble Meeting with Kim and Walking Into North Korea

| June 30, 2019

President Trump’s trip Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and his historic decision to cross briefly into North Korea was a made-for-TV diplomatic spectacular. But it was also a test of whether personal diplomacy can trump (so to speak) longstanding definitions of a country’s national interests by persuading North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to end his nuclear weapons program.

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

A Theory of Engagement With North Korea

| May 2019

At the Hanoi Summit in February 2019, the United States and North Korea reached a familiar impasse—diplomacy broke down over the appropriate order of near-term steps, and the world was left wondering whether any package of rewards would be enough to incentivize denuclearization.

In a new Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Christopher Lawrence outlines an alternative conceptual framework for engaging North Korea. Rather than offering rewards for nuclear rollback, the approach focuses on building credibility around the notion of a shared political future. Lawrence suggests that physical actions—such as shared investments in integrated rail, electricity, or mining infrastructure—speak more credibly about the political future for all the parties involved than do written commitments or more transient “carrots” and “sticks.” The international relationships created by infrastructure projects may alter North Korea's security calculus over time, and incrementally reduce its dependence on nuclear weapons. Drawing lessons from the 1994 Agreed Framework, Lawrence reinterprets the history of nonproliferation engagement with North Korea, and illuminates possible opportunities to break the diplomatic impasse after the Hanoi summit.

Trump and Kim meet in Hanoi on February 27, 2019 (Shealah Craighead/White House).

Shealah Craighead/White House

Analysis & Opinions - Australian Outlook

The Hanoi Trump-Kim Summit: Personal Chemistry Fizzles

| Mar. 04, 2019

The breakdown of the second round of talks between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un highlights the limits of personal chemistry in diplomatic relations. To work towards a negotiated solution to the Korean Peninsula, the United States and North Korea will need to work out some real strategic agreements.

Trump and Kim shake hands at the Hanoi summit meeting on February 27, 2019 (Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo).

Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

After the Hanoi Summit: Next Steps for the US, North Korea, and Vietnam

| Mar. 02, 2019

In the aftermath of the Hanoi summit, it is important to assess how U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will proceed to avoid a collapse of the denuclearization process as well as how Vietnam can reap long-term benefits for its international profile and tourism industry. It may be the case that the Hanoi summit was a failure, but a necessary one in the context of growing unrealistic expectations from both Washington and Pyongyang. Vietnam still has a lot to do after the summit to continue contributing to North Korea’s reform and denuclearization.

President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi.

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

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

Reactions to Collapse of Trump-Kim Summit 2019

Feb. 28, 2019

Following the breakdown of  the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi, Belfer Center Korea experts Matthew Bunn, Nicholas Burns, Martin Malin, Joseph Nye, Gary Samore, Wendy Sherman, and Jon Wolfsthal react to the collapse of the talks and suggest steps the United States should take now.

Photo of U.S. and North Korean flags on sale in Hanoi, Vietnam.

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

U.S. -North Korea Summitry – Lowering the Bar for a Win-Win?

| Feb. 25, 2019

John Park, Director of the Belfer Center's Korea Project, previews what he believes will take place during the 2nd U.S.-North Korea Summit on February 27-28 in Hanoi.  Compared to the 'fire and fury' war threats of 2017, he says, the recent exchange of letters between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un have laid the groundwork for a sequel to the Singapore Summit in June 2018.