Breakfast Briefing - Negotiating Realistic Restraints on North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons

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The failure of the Hanoi summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to reach agreement has focussed new attention on the future of the diplomatic process between the two, the options for its continuation, and the risks of its collapse. It has become increasingly clear that complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is not negotiable in the short and most likely medium term, despite Washington’s repeatedly professed desire to the contrary. Equally, North Korea’s desire for rapid and substantial sanctions relief in exchange for relatively modest concessions in relation to only a part of its nuclear programme has proven once again to be unacceptable to the US.

Based on research carried out by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in collaboration with RUSI, this briefing will present a detailed and realistic route forward that can reconcile the core interests of the two parties.

Speaker Biographies

Tom Plant joined RUSI in June 2017 as the Director of its Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme. His research interests include nuclear deterrence, arms control, proliferation issues – particularly in relation to North Korea – and UK nuclear policy. He is also Director of the UK Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI), a cross-generational network of over 900 members which encourages young scholars and professionals to engage with established experts on contemporary nuclear issues. Before joining RUSI he was a Principal Specialist at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), where he was responsible for technical oversight of arms control verification research programmes, including collaborations and exchanges with counterparts in China, Norway, Sweden and the US. Prior to that he held various posts at the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, mostly focussed on non- and counter-proliferation issues in East Asia and the Middle East. During this time, he spent a year seconded to King’s College London as a Research Fellow, working on a UK-funded project in support of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and remains a Visiting Senior Research Fellow with The Policy Institute at King’s. He holds a Masters in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Postgraduate Certificate in Systems Engineering from Cranfield University.

Dr Toby Dalton is Co-Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. An expert on non-proliferation and nuclear energy, his work addresses regional security challenges and the evolution of the global nuclear order. His research and writing focuses in particular on South Asia and East Asia. From 2002 to 2010, Toby served in a variety of high-level positions at the US Department of Energy, including acting director for the Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security and senior policy adviser to the Office of Non-proliferation and International Security. He also established and led the department’s office at the US embassy in Pakistan from 2008-2009. Dalton previously served as professional staff member to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a Luce Scholar at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, a research associate at the National Bureau of Asian Research and a project associate for the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program. He has authored numerous op-eds and journal articles in publications such as Foreign Policy, the Washington Quarterly, Asia Policy, Politico, the National Interest, the Diplomat, Dawn, the Wire, Force and Dong-A Ilbo.

Dr Ariel (Eli) Levite is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment in 2008, he was the principal deputy director general for policy at the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission from 2002 to 2007. He also served as the deputy national security adviser for defense policy and was head of the Bureau of International Security and Arms Control (an assistant secretary position) in the Israeli Ministry of Defense. In September 2000, Levite took a two-year sabbatical from the Israeli civil service to work as a visiting fellow and co-leader (with Dr Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall) of the Discriminate Force Project at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. Before his government service, Dr Levite worked for five years as a Senior Research Associate and head of the project on Israeli security at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (subsequently renamed INSS) at Tel Aviv University. He has taught courses on security studies and political science at Tel Aviv University, Cornell University, and the University of California, Davis. He has been awarded the Dr Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award at Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership and the Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur. He has published extensively in academic outlets s as well as contemporary journals and newspapers.


Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Tea, coffee and pastries will be available from 0745.

To attend this event, please e-mail Sabrina Downey, Director, Projects and Events:

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