The United States and North Korea committed during their summit in Singapore to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. However, their joint statement does not offer a definition of what “denuclearization” would entail. UN Security Council resolutions continue to call for complete verifiable denuclearization of North Korea as well as seek the elimination of its delivery mechanisms. A credible verification system should cover all weaponization activities from cradle to grave with a full declaration. Verifying denuclearization in North Korea will be the largest ever undertaking faced by the international community.
In this seminar, Dr Heinonen will discuss measures that should be in place to ensure North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is not reconstituted. In this regard, he will also explain key lessons that can be drawn from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification activities carried out in South Africa, Libya, and Iran. Dr Heinonen will argue that dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and related mechanisms might take more than two years as negotiators have to tie the implementation of denuclearization with confidence-building measures and security guarantees requested by Pyongyang.
About the Speaker
Dr Olli Heinonen Olli Heinonen is Senior Advisor on Science and Nonproliferation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC. From 2010 to July 2017, he was a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Before joining the Belfer Center, Heinonen served for 27 years at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. He was the deputy director general of the IAEA, and head of its Department of Safeguards. Prior to that, he was director at the Agency’s various operational divisions, and an inspector, including at the IAEA’s overseas office in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining the IAEA, Heinonen was a senior research officer at the Technical Research Centre of Finland Reactor Laboratory, in charge of research and development related to nuclear waste solidification and disposal.