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

Two men, Hecker and DPRK host, posing for photo

Safeguard Section Chief Li Yong Ho and Hecker, Aug. 2007.

In his new book, Hinge Points, Siegfried Hecker reflects on the circumstances that led to his decision to join Stanford professor John W. Lewis in what became Hecker’s first trip to North Korea in 2004. He describes the moment when he realized that “all the years at the [Los Alamos] lab working on plutonium and other nuclear materials had prepared me well for this trip to North Korea, a place that offered a daunting set of new, complex issues to unknot and understand”.

Hecker traveled to the DPRK seven times between 2004 and 2010, and logged four visits to the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center.

Organized by the year, we present photos and documents from these seven trips, along with information about the members of Stanford delegations and highlights of the developments of the time. These materials add to the story narrated in Hinge Points and offer a rare view into the complex fabric of science diplomacy.

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