Panel discussion to explore North Korea’s nuclear weapons program

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy will convene a panel of distinguished experts on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to discuss the difficult questions surrounding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

“Avoiding a Sea of Fire: Dealing with a Nuclear-Armed North Korea” will be held at 7 p.m. in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall. To RSVP, visit the Pell Center’s Eventbrite page.

In the summer of 2017, North Korea carried out a series of long-range missile tests. The weapon systems tested appeared to be intercontinental ballistic missiles, with the potential to range the continental United States. While North Korea has been a nuclear power for over a decade, this latest evolution is something of a turning point and raises a number of difficult questions.

How should the United States, its Northeast Asian allies, and the international community writ large deal with the growing threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea? Beyond levying additional economic sanctions, are there any non-kinetic means of persuading or compelling the regime in Pyongyang to arrest its nuclear developments? In early August, national security advisor H.R. McMaster claimed that the U.S. was prepared to wage “preventive war” against North Korea. What might such a grim possibility entail? How might combat operations unfold on the Korean peninsula and what is the state of North Korea’s conventional capabilities? Last but not least, what role might nuclear weapons play in North Korea’s evolving security strategy? How will the maturation of its nuclear deterrent affect its regional behavior?

Panelists will include:

  • Dr. Vipin Narang, associate professor of political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Terence Roehrig, professor of national security affairs and director of the Asia-Pacific studies group, U.S. Naval War College
  • Dr. Iskander Rehman, senior fellow for international relations, Pell Center

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