CWIHP publishes Working Paper #53, "North Korea's Efforts to Acquire Nuclear Technology and Nuclear Weapons: Evidence from Russian and Hungarian Archives"

Sep 14, 2006

CWIHP is pleased to announce the publication of Working Paper #53, "North Korea's Efforts to Acquire Nuclear Technology and Nuclear Weapons: Evidence from Russian and Hungarian Archives," presenting analytical essays by Balazs Szalontai and Sergey Radchenko along with an appendix of translated documents. In "The International Context of the North Korean Nuclear Progam, 1953-1988" Szalontai argues that the decades-long development of the DPRK nuclear program was influenced by the nuclear policies of Pyongyang's opponents and allies alike. Outlining a lengthy chain reaction of one nation's efforts sparking those of another, Szalontai places North Korea's nuclear program in the context of its rivalry both with South Korea and with its nominal East European allies, concluding that for Kim Il Sung, nuclear capability was not merely a means of electrical power generation and a diplomatic trump card, but was also a symbol and guarantee of economic, political, and military self-reliance. In "Nuclear Cooperation between the Soviet Union and North Korea, 1962-63: Evidence from Russian Archives," Radchenko asks why Moscow shared nuclear know-how of potential military application with an ally it considered trouble-prone and untrustworthy. He concludes that in the early 1960s ideological issues were in the forefront. Since nuclear power represented, in part, the advantages of socialism, Nikita Khrushchev sought to bolster the prestige of the socialist camp by sharing nuclear technology with Soviet allies. Moreover, since nuclear expertise was one carrot China could not match, this cooperation continued despite the worsening of Soviet-North Korean relations from 1962-64.

The Working Paper can be download from the Publications area of the CWIHP website or by clicking the link below.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project