History Behind the News 1 – North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program

This is a special episode of History Behind the News: we talk about North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program, from the Cold War to today.


Image credit: Mansudae Grand Monument, Pyongyang.
By Nicor, 2012, from Wikimedia Commons

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Show Notes

In this special episode of History Behind the News, we look at the history of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program, to better understand the significance of recent events surrounding this secretive and belligerent country. I will give you the historical background on this subject, from the origins of the North’s nuclear ambitions in the aftermath of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War, to the development of nuclear reactors from the 1960s, and the first nuclear bomb tests in the early 21st century.

Links for this episode:

American Security Project (with a timeline)

Nuclear Files .org : Key Issues

Document from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation : North Korea’s Nuclear Program (with another timeline)

Arms Control Association : Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy (and yet another timeline!)

Wikipedia article: North Korea and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Further reading : 

The Wilson Center’s North Korea International Documentation Project

For current news about North Korea: NK News

And this recent article helps demystify NK’s nuclear ambitions

If you enjoyed this episode and have questions, suggestions or feedback, send an email to:


Cover art by Philippe O’Connor: www.oconnorlacroix.com

Music: Noble March, by Mjollnir, from www.AudioJungle.com

Author: Jordan

Host of the History News Show podcast