Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s evolving nuclear arsenal presents a complex security challenge. What can states and international organizations do to reduce immediate nuclear risks while planning for a longer term disarmament process?

    UN High-Level Panel Report: Reducing Demand for Nuclear Weapons

    • Caterina Dutto
    • December 23, 2004

    The new UN report, "A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility," addresses emerging threats of the 21st century. It identifies erosion of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the stagnation of disarmament efforts, illicit nuclear trafficking, and the potential threat of nuclear terrorism major crises of the nonproliferation regime as. The report proposes a multi-layered response to these threats.

    Global Implications of the U.S. Election

    U.S. President George Bush has won reelection. He is the first President to receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast since 1988 and got more votes than anyone President in American history. In addition, his Republican Party has increased its majority in both houses of the US Congress, giving the President an even more comfortable base of support in Washington. Overall, President Bush can claim a mandate from the American people, and it is reasonable for him and his advisors to view the vote as an endorsement on their policies and priorities. This will have serious and possibly profound implications for US policy and for many other countries, particularly key US allies in East Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The end result may be to project the split nature of American politics onto the rest of the world, forcing countries to choose between the United States or alternative approaches to their security.

    Global Implications of the U.S. Election

    Detecting Nuclear Tests

    • September 13, 2004

    If last week’s startling explosion in North Korea were really a nuclear test, it is certain that the world would know it by now. Thanks to a combination of technological advancements and international cooperation, there are both national and international monitoring systems in place that can detect nuclear tests worldwide. These systems are able to tell us, with scientific precision, whether or not an atmospheric, space-based, underground, or underwater explosion was nuclear in nature.

    How Sincere Is the US Offer to Negotiate with Pyongyang?

    Now is the Time for a Determined, Comprehensive Effort in North Korea

    • June 23, 2004

    North Korea has an active nuclear weapons program and may now possess several nuclear weapons. U.S. troops, allies in the region, and strategic interests are directly threatened by North Korea's growing nuclear capability, which has been pursued in violation of Pyongyang's commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and other agreements. Given North Korea's economic strains, it is conceivable that for a high price Pyongyang might sell nuclear materials or weapons to other states or even terrorist groups, taking a regional threat to a global level. Such a scenario is so grave that U.S. policy makers could soon face a truly appalling choice between acquiescing in North Korea's transfer of its weapons technology and fighting a full-fledged war on the Korean peninsula.

    US Troop Reductions Risk War in Korea

    Wrong Time to Cut Troops in Korea

    • June 07, 2004

    The Bush administration plans to make significant additional cuts in the size of US troop deployments in South Korea. Such reductions may leave North Korean leaders with the impression that it is their recently enhanced nuclear capabilities that are driving the American withdrawal and embolden the reclusive state to take provocative actions in the months before to the US election.

    The North Korean Waiting Game

    • May 05, 2004

    On May 12, the United States, North Korea and the other members of the 6-Party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program will hold a first round of working level talks. Don’t expect any progress, however, either at these talks or anytime until after the November U.S. election. Both sides are playing the waiting game and hoping the circumstances will improve their position after the election.

    Each day that passes allows North Korea to advance its nuclear capabilities and further establish itself as the ninth nuclear weapon state. The exact size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is a mystery, but press reports suggest that portions of the U.S. intelligence community believe Pyongyang has quadrupled its arsenal to 8-9 weapons in the past year.

    Building Trust with Pyongyang May Not Be Enough to End Nuclear Crisis

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