Presentations 2007-2009

Hinge Points: An Inside Look at North Korea’s Nuclear Program


In 2007, the DPRK engaged in diplomacy through the “Six Party Talks” with the United States, China, Russia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) following a February 13, 2007 Joint Agreement to implement the stalled September 19, 2005 joint agreement on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Hecker joined his American colleagues and their North Korean counterparts twice in 2007, in the United States in February and in North Korea in August.

In a period of renewed dialogue, partial disablement of Yongbyon nuclear complex, and reciprocal diplomacy, Dr. Hecker presented his thinking to diverse stakeholders in efforts to implement the agreements of the Six Parties with reduced risks of defection.

How did North Korea get the bomb and will it give it up?

October 26, 2007
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Livermore, CA; overview and status of DPRK nuclear program, steps to achieve denuclearization, Syria and Iran, photos, and timeline.

Technical considerations for DPRK’s nuclear dismantlement

September 2, 2007
PSNSS & PUGWASH Workshop on Northeast Asia Security; Beijing, China; Status, prospects, problems, and verification of disablement and implementation of 2007 Joint Agreement.

Two Perspectives on the North Korean Nuclear Problem

June 1, 2007
Monterey Institute of International Studies; Monterey, CA; goals of state actors, diplomatic challenges and opportunities, technical/political update.


Dr. Hecker returned again to verify North Korean disablement at Yongbyon in February 2008. These presentations highlight the ongoing assessments, challenges, and prospects associated with denuclearization over the course of the year.

Technical Assessment of DPRK Nuclear Program and Prospects

December 2, 2008
CISAC, Stanford University; Stanford, CA; DPRK nuclear program status as of December 2008, proliferation concerns and denuclearization strategies.

Assessing North Korea’s Nuclear Program

April 29, 2008
Congressional Staff Briefing; Washington, DC; history of nuclear program, nuclear estimates, diplomatic agreements and terms of engagement, facility and life in DPRK photos, Iran.

North Korea Revisited

February 20, 2008
Stanford CISAC; Stanford, CA; Technical assessment, diplomacy update, and a glimpse of the social dimensions.


By 2009, the six party talks had broken down due to several factors, most notably due to disagreements over verification of DPRK nuclear assets and developments following the DPRK’s April 5, 2009 rocket launch condemned by the United Nations Security Council.

Among other presentations, Dr. Hecker spoke at the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation, Texas A&M University Nuclear Engineering Department, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. These presentations highlight modernization and nuclear developments directly after Dr. Hecker’s February 2009 trip to North Korea, insight on action steps after the April 2009 rocket launch, and the capabilities, intents, threats, and proliferation concerns relating to North Korea, respectively.

North Korea: Playing a weak hand to perfection

June 26, 2009
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board Meeting; Chicago, IL; Capabilities, intent, threats, and how to proceed, threat matrix, strategy to denuclearize, Syria, photos from trip.

How did North Korea get the bomb and will it give it up?

April 16, 2009
Texas A&M University; College Station, TX; Updated events of 2009, crisis in perspective, state actors’ perceived threats and strategic priorities, potential next steps.

Report from North Korea

March 10, 2009
Stanford CISAC; Stanford, CA; Photos from February 2009 trip, meeting discussions, updated nuclear developments before crisis.

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