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Understanding the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex and its role in nuclear testing in the DPRK

Nuclear weapon in silo

SIPRI, Signalistgatan 9, Solna

Since the mid-1950s, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been building infrastructure to develop nuclear weapons. The fourth and most recent nuclear test carried out by the DPRK in January 2016 indicates that the DPRK has been qualitatively improving the technical characteristics of its nuclear weapons. In addition, the DPRK has been test-firing ballistic missiles that are designed to carry nuclear weapons. The continuing testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by the DPRK has significantly enhanced political tensions and threat perceptions in the East Asian region.

Dr Yongsoo Hwang will discuss the key installations and capabilities of the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex in the DPRK, including nuclear reactors, uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing facilities, as well as the construction of new facilities at the site. He will analyse the technical characteristics of the January 2016 nuclear test and its implications for future DPRK nuclear activities. Finally, he will examine potential approaches for dealing with nuclear proliferation by the DPRK and its implications for proliferation in the East Asian region.

Dr Yongsoo Hwang is the Director General for the Centre of Strategic Policy and Research in the Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control (KINAC).

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