North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: History and Policy

Jonathan D. Pollack, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center,Brookings Institution

RSVP Required by 5PM November 29

The designation of a new lead official to oversee U.S. relations with Pyongyang and the resumption of nuclear diplomacy in Geneva in late October yet again prompt attention to the open-ended nuclear impasse with North Korea. But any assessment of U.S. strategy requires an understanding of the history of nuclear weapons development in the DPRK—a history that long antedates U.S. negotiations with North Korea of the past two decades. How has North Korea defied, stymied, deferred, and circumvented the efforts of allies, adversaries, and the International Atomic Energy Agency to inhibit its development of nuclear weapons, all amidst international isolation and acute economic privation? What does the North’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons imply for security in Northeast Asia and for global non-proliferation policy? Drawing on Cold War archival materials, interviews with those with deep experience in North Korea, and assessments of technical development in the DPRK, this seminar will delve into the extraordinary history of this profoundly idiosyncratic system, and of its ability to shape security in a pivotal geostrategic region.

Jonathan D. Pollack is a senior fellow with the John L. Thornton China Center in the Foreign Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. He is the author, most recently, of No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security (Routledge/IISS, 2011), on which his seminar will draw.

Thursday, December 01, 2011 | 12:00 pm — 1:30 am
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Shorenstein APARC