Michael Auslin is the Williams-Griffis fellow in contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.


Can Kim Jong-un Control His Nukes?

North Koreans watching a news broadcast of their leader, Kim Jong-un, speaking about the country’s nuclear program, Pyongyang, September 22, 2017

Unlike a conventional military, where tanks, trucks, even planes are relatively simple instruments of war, owning nuclear weapons is a huge, expensive, and complex responsibility. Perhaps the world should worry less about the threat of a North Korean-instigated nuclear war and more about the risk of a nuclear accident. The most frightening question raised by Kim Jong-un’s pursuit of the ultimate weapon is also the simplest: Can he control his nukes?