Examining the Threat of North Korean Onwards Proliferation

This project examines past cases of North Korean technology transfers to other states, and applies these lessons to recent developments in North Korean missile and nuclear capabilities

REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

North Korea has long been a supplier of missile technology to a wide range of states and – in a limited number of known cases – a source of nuclear technology transfers. In the past decade, North Korea has made substantial progress in developing its nuclear weapons and missile capabilities. While the direct dangers of these advances to regional and international security are clear, there have been few attempts to understand the implications of these advances for North Korea’s onwards proliferation of nuclear and missile technology.

REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Aims and objectives

This project will examine past cases of North Korean transfers of missile and nuclear technology and recent developments in North Korean missile and nuclear capabilities to understand potential future trends in North Korean onwards proliferation. Key questions include:

  • Which technologies may be transferred?
  • Who could be potential customers?
  • What methods may North Korea use to transfer this technology?
  • How effective are current supply-side controls likely to be to identify and counter these transfers?

The objective of the research is to articulate approaches for identifying and countering future instances of North Korean onwards proliferation with the ultimate aim of mitigating the destabilising effects of North Korea’s missile and nuclear advancements for regional and international security.

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