Pathways to Nuclear War with North Korea: The Risks of Catastrophe in 2017 and Today

When: Wednesday, November 10, 2021 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Where: Virtual


Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

East Asia Program presents 

Pathways to Nuclear War with North Korea: The Risks of Catastrophe in 2017 and Today 

How dangerous was the 2017 nuclear crisis with North Korea?  How did it come about?  How did the crisis end without war?  And what are the chances of reliving a crisis of that magnitude on the Korean Peninsula?  This talk, based on the book On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War, will reveal the pathways to war in 2017, why summit diplomacy ultimately failed, and the prospects of it all happening again.  It will argue that while the personalized insults and caprice of the 2017 crisis made the Korean Peninsula uniquely combustible, the structure that made nuclear war possible in the first place is even more pressurized today than in 2017.  

Hosted by: Kristen Patel
Gregg Professor of Practice in Korean and East Asian Affairs


Van Jackson
Senior Lecturer in International Relations
Victoria University of Wellington

Van Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, where he specializes in Asia-Pacific security, the politics of US foreign policy, and the theory and practice of grand strategy. He also holds policy research appointments as a Distinguished Fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; as the Defence & Strategy Fellow with the Centre for Strategic Studies;  and as a Senior Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation & Disarmament. He is the author of dozens of journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports, as well as two books with Cambridge University Press: On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War (2018), and Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in US-North Korea Relations (2016). His third book, forthcoming with Yale University Press, is titled Pacific Power Paradox: American Statecraft and the Fate of the Asian Peace. Van is the host of The Un-Diplomatic Podcast and a regular writer for the Duck of Minerva.

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