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

  • Video games are often accused of promoting violence, stunting social skill growth and leading to inactive lifestyles. Now, they could be contributing to something even more dangerous – the creation of nuclear weapons.

    August 12, 2011 - By Megan Murphy
  • July 15, 2011 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • It has been two years since North Korea set off its second nuclear test, and nearly as long since an American official has been to the Hermit Kingdom.

    May 26, 2011 - By Paul Carroll
  • While Americans are filing their taxes, North Koreans are throwing a party.

    April 15, 2011 - By Paul Carroll
  • North Korea's nuclear program has always been shrouded in secrecy.  Over the years the government of the DPRK has been very selective about who sees what and who goes where.

    December 15, 2010 - By Sarah Beth Cross
  • Joe speaks to CNN International about recent events in North Korea. 


    November 29, 2010 - By Reid Pauly
  • By Paul Carroll and Joe Cirincione

    Headlines and pundits once again declare that we have a crisis on our hands in the wake of discovering that North Korea is building a new nuclear reactor and a uranium enrichment plant.

    November 24, 2010 - By Joe Cirincione
  • Joe speaks with KCRW's "To the Point" in a discussion on North Korea's recent military actions and U.S. policy options going forward.

    The interview begins 15 minutes 45 seconds into the show.

    November 24, 2010 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • 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