Experts Say

Thinking Through Nuclear Command and Control in North Korea

The Diplomat
September 16, 2017
By Vipin Narang and Ankit Panda

A new nuclear state, in a major crisis with a conventionally superior nuclear-armed adversary, contemplates and prepares to move nuclear assets in the event it has to use them. Who controls the nuclear forces? Who decides when they might be assembled, mated to delivery vehicles, moved, and launched? Who has nominal authority to order those decisions? Who has the physical ability to implement them even without proper authorization? How experienced are the relevant units in these operations? What could go wrong?
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