Nuclear Conundrum of Iran and North Korea: From Proliferation Crisis to Non-Proliferation Promise?

Dr. Hina Pandey

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This book examines Iran and North Korea from a non-proliferation lens. It highlights how these two countries stand out as nuclear challenges vis-à-vis the NPT and unpacks their nuclear history, recent developments, externalities; nuclear resolve in the times of the pandemic and future challenges in a comprehensive manner. It shows how these two issues remain similar, distinguished, dynamic but static so far progress on non-proliferation is concerned.

The need for understanding these issues is accentuated as the current state of play related to both remain worrisome and unpredictable. Further, recent events such as the nuclear signalling during the Ukraine crisis; failure of the tenth NPT Review Conference at a time when there is an erosion of mutual trust between two nuclear adversaries—the US and Russia, has renewed attention to nuclear issues in the post-pandemic era. While challenges multiply, consensus is difficult to arrive at as global institutions remain paralysed. Lofty goals of nuclear disarmament and preserving of non-proliferation order seems to have taken a backseat.

The book assumes significance in this context. It will be a valuable read for students, scholars, academicians, policy practitioners and anyone invested and interested in nuclear issues.

Nuclear Conundrum of Iran and North Korea is a very timely book by Hina Pandey, a budding scholar of nuclear issues in India. The Western and the Eastern efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula have borne no fruits and on the contrary North Korea has been indulged in expanding its nuclear and missile arsenal.

Pyongyang was party to the NPT, walked out of this near universal non-proliferation agreement and decided to go nuclear. Iran, on the other hand, is a member of the NPT, repeatedly swears that it has only a civilian nuclear programme, yet is perceived by the United States, Israel and a few others as a country with nuclear weapon potential. Efforts to constrain the Iranian nuclear programme and to realise a nuclear weapon free zone in the Korean Peninsula are still on the table.

In this backdrop, Hina has done painstaking research, analysed the issues in great detail and has brought out this volume that seeks to answer many questions and explain the nuclear conundrum of Asia. It is a book that needs the attention of the scholarly community as well as the policymakers.”

Prof.Chintamani Mahapatra
Honorary Chairperson of Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies and formerly Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

Dr. Hina Pandey is a Policy Analyst, having demonstrated research experience focussing on nuclear issues, including non-proliferation, security, energy-politics and the US-India’s foreign policy. This book is a part of projects undertaken during her tenure at CAPS. She is currently working as a Consultant to the Disarmament & International Security Affairs Division (D&ISA), MEA, GoI.

In 2018, she concluded a Visiting Fellowship for the South Asian Voices (SAV), Stimson Centre, Washington DC. She has presented her work in India and abroad (participated in Track-II dialogues; roundtables) and has regularly published her research papers in CAPS journals including Air Power and Defence & Diplomacy.

Her work is also published by the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP) Sweden, The Diplomat, Japan Forward, Stimson Centre, NIICE Nepal, Pakistan-Politico, Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) andKalinga Institute for Indo-Pacific Studies (KIIPS).

An alumnus of NPIHP (Nuclear) Boot Camp (Wilson Centre), she holds a Doctorate from the American Studies Division, School of International Studies (SIS), JNU.


Tables and Figure

1. Theoretical Lens and Historical Developments
2. The JCPOA Accord: Difficult Negotiations to Abandonment
3. US-North Korea Summit Diplomacy
4. China Factor in Nuclear North Korea
5. Sanctions and Pandemic: Proliferation Challenge Continues
6. Conclusion



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