North Korea shocked the world in September 2017 by exploding the most powerful nuclear device tested anywhere in 25 years. Months earlier, it had conducted the first test flight of a missile capable of ranging much of the United States. Soon after, Kim Jong Un, the reclusive state’s ruler, declared that his nuclear deterrent was complete. World leaders, intelligence officials and many ordinary people around the world shuddered at the thought of a fully nuclear-armed North Korea.
But how did this brutal and impoverished nation build such a sophisticated nuclear programme? If the international community had taken non proliferation more seriously after the Cold War could things have turned out differently? And what should be our end game with the North Koreans? Should we be seeking an Iran style nuclear deal or would that be a fatal error of judgment?
In September 2020 we were joined by Ankit Panda, renowned security expert and author of Kim Jong Un and The Bomb, who will speak to Dr Patricia Lewis, former Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research and head of international security at Chatham House, about how this small nation became a nuclear power—and how we can learn to live with it.
Speakers are subject to change.