World Affairs Discussion Luncheon on North Korea with Siegfried Hecker

Topic: The North Korean Nuclear Puzzle

Speaker: Siegfried Hecker, PhD, Co-Director of CISAC and Professor (Research), Department of Management Science and Engineering; FSI Senior Fellow

Location: Santa Fe Hilton, 100 Sandoval St.

Cost: $26 CIR Members 

          $32 Non-members & Guests

Dr. Hecker has followed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program closely. In his November 2010 visit, he was the first outsider to be shown its new centrifuge-based uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon.


Dr. Hecker states, “My seventh trip to North Korea in seven years produced another surprise North Korea decided to build its own light-water reactor and uranium enrichment facility. During my first visit I was shown plutonium produced in its Yongbyon nuclear complex to convince me they have the bomb. For more than 30 years, Pyongyang has moved along parallel paths of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, opting to chose bombs over electricity. I will discuss how North Korea got the bomb, why it got it, and the prospects of whether or not it will give up the bomb. Finally, I will try to show with photos and stories of how North Korea is not such a hermit kingdom after all.”

At Stanford University, Siegfried Hecker is Professor (research) in the Department of Management Science and Engineering, and co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He is a Senior Fellow at the Federal Security Institute and is also Emeritus Director of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Hecker’s research interests include plutonium science, nuclear weapon policy and international security, nuclear security (including nonproliferation and counter terrorism), and cooperative nuclear threat reduction. Over the past 18 years, he has fostered cooperation with the Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard the vast stockpile of ex-Soviet fissile materials.

His current interests include the challenges of nuclear India, Pakistan, North Korea, and the nuclear aspirations of Iran. Hecker works closely with the Russian Academy of Sciences and is actively involved with the U.S. National Academies, serving as a member of the National Academies Committee on International Security and Arms Control Nonproliferation Panel.

Hecker joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as graduate research assistant and postdoctoral fellow before returning as technical staff member following a tenure at General Motors Research. He led the laboratory’s Materials Science and Technology Division and Center for Materials Science before serving as laboratory director from 1986 through 1997, and senior fellow until July 2005.

Among his professional distinctions, Hecker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; fellow of the TMS, or Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials Society; fellow of the American Society for Metals; fellow of the American Physical Society, honorary member of the American Ceramics Society; and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He recently received the Presidential Enrico Fermi Award.

Through CIR’s Student Outreach Support program, interested students and teachers are invited to attend World Affairs Discussion events for free.  You can donate to this fund by selecting Student Outreach Support at the bottom of the Shopping Cart. 

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