An activist with a mask of Kim Jong-un marches with a model of a nuclear rocket Adam Berry/Getty Images

A Verifiable Path to Nuclear Disarmament

The on-again, off-again summit between the United States and North Korea is on again. But even if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to denuclearization, the international community has no standard set of procedures to guarantee that a country claiming to disarm is actually doing so.

WASHINGTON, DC – As officials from the United States and North Korea prepare for the June 12 summit meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, nuclear experts must come to terms with a significant question: If Kim commits to dismantling his nuclear stockpile, how can the world be sure that he is following through?

There is no question that North Korea poses a unique challenge to the nuclear nonproliferation regime; the political context for advancing disarmament globally is very different. Still, the technical aspects of verifying that a nuclear warhead has been dismantled are the same everywhere. Although a consensus on how to reduce global stockpiles of nuclear weapons may be a long way off, it is not too soon to begin preparing for the day when disarmament – in North Korea or elsewhere – is on the agenda.

For nearly four years, the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification has been working to improve the weapons dismantlement process. As co-chairs of an IPNDV working group, we are collaborating with experts from more than 25 nuclear- and non-nuclear-armed countries to develop formulas, technologies, and expertise that will help in the implementation of future disarmament agreements.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/WfZVkba;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.