Nuclear History

Strategic Gossip

Getting the story straight on Germany’s nuclear ambitions

On March 19th, 1969, alarm spread through the British security establishment. Rumors of West German nuclear weapons ambitions could no longer be dismissed as Warsaw Pact propaganda. Highest-level French officials warned of their common ally's secret plutonium reprocessing projects. One advisor of President de Gaulle was quoted:

Desert Mystery: Intelligence Assessments of Israel’s Nuclear Program

The CIA missed Dimona, but their peers fared worse

Israel’s nuclear program is unique: foreign intelligence agencies extensively evaluated its progress during the Cold War, yet we understand only the outlines of its overall history. As part of its “opacity” policy, Israel refuses to admit to developing weapons at its nuclear facility near the desert town of Dimona, whose name came to stand for the entire nuclear program.

Excavating South Korea’s Nuclear History

Diplomatic records and oral histories offer leads, while other sources remain out of reach

Anyone could tell you that secrecy and limited access to North Korean sources constrain our understanding of the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear intentions and technical capabilities.

The United States and South Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program, 1974-1976

Secret South Korean Nuclear Weapons Program Created Anxiety in Washington in Mid-1970s

President Park Chung-hee reportedly instructed South Korean scientists to build nuclear bombs by 1977, according to a secret report to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.  The Ford administration accumulated other evidence that raised worries about proliferation and regional instability.

Why International Histories Need More Canadian Sources

Library and Archives Canada offers new perspectives on the Euromissiles Crisis and much more.

For much of the period since 1945, multilateralism has been an “article of faith” of Canadian foreign policy. Canadians relished these international connections, participating in a wide range of multilateral organizations: the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, la Francophonie, the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States…the list went on.

Latin America's Nuclear Weapon Free Zone: Fifty Years Later

Fifty years ago today, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America opened for signature

Apply for the 2017 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research

Extended Deadline: Applications are now due Sunday, February 19, 2017. All materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program and the GW Cold War Group seek applications for the 2017 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR).

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Nuclear History Institute

Asia-Pacific Nuclear History Institute

The Wilson Center's Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP), in partnership with Kyungnam University's Institute for Far Eastern Affairs (IFES), is pleased to announce the convening of the first Asia-Pacific Nuclear History Institute. The Institute is being organized in Paju, South Korea, from November 5-12, 2016.