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Research Report


Seongwhun Cheon
Fred McGoldrick
Jon B. Wolfsthal
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2003
Pages: 48
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-4)
    Peter Hayes and Jon B. Wolfsthal

    The nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula continues to pose the most serious security threat to U.S. interests and friends in East Asia. North Korea’s nuclear activities include both an active plutonium production capability and a still-under-construction uranium enrichment capability. This program presents a critical security challenge for the United States, countries in East Asia, and, through North Korea’s potential to sell nuclear materials abroad, the entire world. All of the states engaged with North Korea agree that the goal of international efforts should be the complete elimination of North Korea’s nuclear program and the firm establishment of a non-nuclear...

  2. (pp. 7-16)
    Jon B. Wolfsthal

    This chapter examines North Korea’s plutonium infrastructure and production capabilities, as well as how a freeze over that capability might be reconstituted and verified if an agreement to do so can be reached. The chapter, which also discusses several issues related to the possible final elimination of North Korea’s nuclear capability—a stated goal of U.S. policy—does not prejudge what form a freeze might take, how it might be negotiated, or by what bodies it might be implemented. This chapter is meant to provide a broad view of what hurdles anyone trying to reestablish a freeze might encounter and...

  3. (pp. 17-36)
    Fred McGoldrick

    This chapter attempts to identify steps that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) could take to reduce international concerns about the clandestine uranium enrichment program it acknowledged to the United States in early October 2002. The chapter’s purpose is to identify measures first to verify that the DPRK has put a brake on, or “frozen,” its uranium enrichment program and ultimately to confirm that it has dismantled that program as well as any nuclear weapons activities. The premise is that the DPRK might at some point find it in its interest to freeze its uranium enrichment program and to...

  4. (pp. 37-42)
    Seongwhun Cheon

    Since October 2002, with Pyongyang’s brazen admission of a secret uranium enrichment program and then its recent announcement of its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), North Korea’s accelerated nuclear ambition has continued to astonish and befuddle the international community. During this period, North Korea has also obstructed the monitoring activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and evicted on-site inspectors from the country. As a result, North Korea could potentially restart once frozen key facilities in a month or two, thereby triggering another crisis on the Korean peninsula.

    Although seemingly plunging ahead with...