North Korea

Experts estimate that North Korea may have enough plutonium and highly enriched uranium for 20 to 25 nuclear weapons, a tiny amount compared to nations like China, the United States or Russia. But the crisis with North Korea presents one of the greatest global security threats today. And the crisis is only getting worse as Pyongyang races to develop its ability to strike targets farther and farther away.

Verbal threats and other provocations between the North and the US have stoked this growing fire, bringing us to the brink of war in mid 2017. North Korea has developed an ICBM capable of reaching the United States and reportedly has a miniaturized nuclear warhead to match. If diplomatic action isn’t taken soon, it may be only a matter of time before a devastating regional war breaks out in the region. Threatening military action in the region  will almost certainly fail, but more ominously will likely result in one or more of three outcomes, all of them bad: accidental war or military miscalculation, weapons-grade plutonium or uranium secreted out of North Korea, and Pyongyang increasing its leverage by continuing to produce fissile material. Ploughshares Fund and its grantees are committed to preventing a humanitarian catastrophe and finding a peaceful resolution to the North Korea crisis.

Latest News and Analysis on Nuclear Weapons in North Korea

  • In the last two weeks, North Korea unveiled the construction of a new nuclear reactor and a uranium enrichment facility. These advances in the nuclear program demand that the United States reassess its policies toward North Korea and reinvigorate its attempts to engage with the rogue regime.

    November 22, 2010 - By Reid Pauly
  • Expert analysis of construction at a North Korean nuclear site has generated concern and intrigue about the North's actions, The Washington Post

    October 5, 2010 - By Reid Pauly
  • Asia watchers are pouring over recent announcements from North Korea and speculating about their meaning. While there is little doubt that things are afoot in Pyongyang, it is not exactly clear what.

    October 1, 2010 - By Sarah Beth Cross
  • North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Il, may be lining up a successor to his rule in a historic meeting of the Workers Party.  Ploughshares Fund supports many of the top experts who are closely following these events.

    September 27, 2010 - By Reid Pauly
  • September 15, 2010 - By Sarah Beth Cross
  • News broke today of a new report detailing Burma's potential nuclear weapons ambitions.

    June 4, 2010 - By Elise Connor
  • As the 189 signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty gather in New York this week for the five-year review of the progress toward the goals of the treaty, Ploughshares Fund staff, board members and grantees are providing analysis and commentary on the range of issues under discussion, from Iran's nuclear program to global efforts to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world. 

    June 1, 2010 - By Deborah Bain
  • North Korean expert and Ploughshares Fund grantee Joel Wit argues that America must pursue "sustained diplomatic engagement" with North Korea.

    June 1, 2010 - By Elise Connor
  • There are times when you can feel the hinge of history moving. This is one of them.

    April 11, 2010 - By Joe Cirincione
  • In one of the busiest weeks for nuclear diplomacy in memory, here's a way for you to take diplomatic action of your own.

    April 6, 2010 - By Deborah Bain