Nuclear Issues

712 Items

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant sarcophagus (Petr Pavlicek/IAEA via Wikimedia).

Petr Pavlicek/IAEA via Wikimedia

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Chernobyl’s Effects Go Far Beyond What You’re Seeing on HBO. It Shook Up Geopolitics for Years.

| July 15, 2019

Chernobyl’s effects went well beyond radiation, rippling through the social and political fabric of a deteriorating society. Chernobyl helped to bring down the Soviet Union and constrained independent Ukraine’s nuclear options. It still reverberates today on the front lines of the war in eastern Ukraine and in Moscow’s denials that it is involved in undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Could a ‘Big Freeze’ Be Trump’s Path to a Nobel Prize?

| July 11, 2019

By turning established diplomatic practice on its head and making an unscheduled stop to shake hands with Kim Jong Un in the DMZ, President Trump demonstrated his readiness to go the extra mile and beyond to meet the challenge his predecessor, Barack Obama, told him would define his presidency.

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.

Eric Rosenbach (left), Belfer Center Co-Director, moderates a JFK Jr. Forum event with former ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan, former U.S. Ambassador to ROK Kathleen Stephens, and former U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Vincent Brooks.

Benn Craig (Belfer Center)

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Inaugural Summit Grapples With Changes in Korean Security Landscape

    Author:
  • Dong-hyeon Kim
| Summer 2019

The Belfer Center’s Korea Project convened the inaugural Harvard Korean Security Summit at Harvard Kennedy School in early April. The Summit featured a prominent gathering of Korean security scholars and practitioners and increased attention to the field of Korean security studies within the Harvard community. Built on the vision of the late Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, who first launched Korean security initiatives at the Belfer Center, the event reflected the two traditions that drive the Belfer Center’s work: bringing together leading scholars and senior practitioners to jointly diagnose policy puzzles; and mentoring the next generation of scholars and practitioners.

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.

Monument for victims of Chernobyl in front of covef

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

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

Thirty-three Years Since the Catastrophe at Chernobyl: A Universal Lesson for the Global Nuclear Power Industry

| Apr. 25, 2019

The world will soberly commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophic accident on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Some may wonder why bother with a gone-by historical event that happened in a distant land — a country that no longer exists — the former Soviet Union (now Ukraine).  On the contrary, Chernobyl and its legacy, with its specters of lingering human toll, radiation contamination, and the massive new shelter ("New Safe Confinement") installed over the old sarcophagus encasing the reactor, will be with us for a long time.

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un stands at attention as the Russian national anthem play in Vladivostok, Russia, April 26, 2019.

Alexander Khitrov (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

With North Korea, Russia Knows It Can Only Play Second Fiddle to China and US

| Apr. 25, 2019

While Putin has demonstrated that he can play a weak hand extremely well in some corners of the world, that is not the case on the Korean peninsula. There China holds the largest stock of carrots and the U.S. probably wields the biggest arsenal of sticks.