Latest Issue

How the US turned North Korea into a nuclear power

The US has forgotten the cold logic of nuclear diplomacy. Time to remember it

By Jeffrey Lewis   November 2017

Missiles on parade in North Korea. Photo: AP/Rex/Shutterstock

North Korea is now, unquestionably, a nuclear power. Over the past year, under the leadership of its dictator, Kim Jong-un, it has completed a decades-long effort to acquire the ability to deliver a thermonuclear weapon against major cities in the United States. It has tested a new long-range ballistic missile, designed and produced domestically, that can strike targets thousands of miles away, as well as a thermonuclear weapon—with 10 times the destructive force of the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki—to arm it.…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect