Foreign Policy Playlist


This American Visited North Korea’s Most Sensitive Nuclear Sites. What He Saw Blew His Mind.

Few Americans have ever been to North Korea. Even fewer have been inside one of the country’s nuclear weapons facilities. Siegfried Hecker, a professor at Stanford University and a former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory made his first private visit in 2004 and went back again and again. In our podcast this week, he says what the North Koreans showed him and his team members “blew our socks off.” He can only speculate why they gave him access to the country’s most sensitive nuclear sites. “What they wanted to tell the Americans is, ‘okay, so you know we have…uranium capabilities to the bomb. And by the way, you’ll never know how much we have and you’ll never know where it all is.’”

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