Yongbyon Declassified Part II: Progress on Building IRT-2000 Reactor

Analysis, Nuclear Weapons
, by and North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons program is nearly six decades old. While archival documents have previously provided some evidence of North Korea’s intent to build weapons of mass destruction at an early stage in the Cold War, newly declassified satellite imagery from the Central Intelligence Agency gives us a more precise picture of how and exactly when North Korea started developing the fundamental components of its nuclear weapons program.

Summit Silver Lining: Absence of North Korean Provocations Continue

Analysis, Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
, by There has been much criticism of President Trump's impulsive actions and the unconventionality of the Singapore Summit. However, absent a complete breakdown of the encounter between the leaders, the summit is likely to produce a negotiation process between the United States and North Korea that will implement the mandates laid out by the leaders on denuclearization, security assurances, and a peace process on the Korean peninsula.

What Hostile Policy?: North Korean Views of the United States

Analysis, Foreign Affairs
, by and With the Singapore Summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on June 12, there is bound to be references made by the North Korean leader to the need to end U.S. “hostile policy” as a precondition for denuclearization. However, CSIS Beyond Parallel research shows that North Korean citizens do not hold uniformly negative impressions of the United States, contrary to the statements of North Korean leaders. A study commissioned by Beyond Parallel of North Koreans currently living inside the country found 68% North Korean respondents do not see the United States as North Korea's enemy.

Seven Takeaways from the April 27 Inter-Korean Summit: Issues and Assessments

Analysis, Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Weapons
, by The absence of specifics on the nuclear issue in the Panmunjeom Declaration means that the inter-Korean summit has passed the nuclear buck on to the U.S.-DPRK summit. In particular, by introducing measures for promoting bilateral relations that are contingent on satisfactorily addressing the nuclear issue, the Panmunjom Declaration makes settling the nuclear issue a precondition for improving inter-Korean relations.

President Personally Welcomes American Citizen Detainees from North Korea: New Procedure with Risks

Analysis, Foreign Affairs
, by The recent return of three detainees from North Korea and the way in which they were welcomed back from Pyongyang, has a number of unique features that suggest significant changes by the Trump Administration from procedures that have been followed by previous administration over the previous decade. Releasing American citizens, who were detained for spurious reasons in the first place, might better be handled with less fanfare to discourage attempts to exploit future incidents.

Yongbyon Declassified: At Ground Zero

Analysis, Infrastructure & Energy, Nuclear Weapons
, by and The exact origins of North Korea’s nuclear program are still shrouded in mystery despite being the object of study for over twenty-five years. Contrary to common perception, early satellite imagery from the Central Intelligence Agency, taken on December 15, 1962 and June 27, 1963, shows that construction on the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in North Korea started sometime after June 27, 1963 and before July 16, 1964.

Signals on U.S.-South Korea Cost Sharing Negotiations Outpace Those of Inter-Korean Talks

Analysis, Military
, by and According to Predata analytics, Korean internet users showed relative indifference toward the high level inter-Korean exchanges this week. Instead, they appeared to care more about upcoming talks with the Americans. All sides would be well-served to know that public attention to this issue, despite other newsbreaking events around the peninsula these days, is focused and significant.