No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and International Security

North Korea, Nonproliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Northeast Asia, Arms Control

Jonathan Pollack, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, John L. Thornton China Center



In his latest publication No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security, Jonathan Pollack chronicles the political-military development of the Korean Peninsula since 1945, with particular attention to North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons. Pollack focuses on how North Korea has shaped Northeast Asian security and nonproliferation policy, and influenced the strategic choices of the United States and regional powers.

Pollack focuses on North Korea’s leaders, institutions, political history, and the system’s longer-term prospects. How has an isolated, highly idiosyncratic, small state repeatedly stymied or circumvented the policy preferences of much more powerful states, culminating with its withdrawal from the Nonproliferation Treaty (the only state ever to do so) and the testing of nuclear weapons in open defiance of adversaries and allies alike? What does this signify for the region’s future? This is a book about decision making in North Korea and the state’s survival in the face of daunting odds.

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Praises for No Exit:

“Many experts have tried to explain North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and to offer solutions to convince Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program. In this extraordinary, indispensable book Jonathan Pollack tackles these difficult issues and provides more complete answers than anyone else.”

-Han Sung-joo, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea

“This is a profoundly important book. No one else has managed to do what Pollack has done. This sends a strong wake-up call to anyone still inclined to view Pyongyang’s nuclear quest as defensive or reactive. He has written a superb and essential guide to one of the greatest threats America and its Northeast Asian allies face today.”

-Evans Revere, Diplomat in Residence, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Jonathan Pollack has written the single best analysis, on either a classified or unclassified basis, of the North Korean nuclear issue. He masterfully captures the complex history, politics and personalities that make this one of the world’s most intractable foreign policy challenges.”

-Mitchell Reiss, President, Washington College and Former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State

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