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'Atoms For Sale': From 'Atoms For Peace' (South Korea) To 'Weaponized' Plutonium (North Korea), 1955-2009

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Chapter Summary

This chapter places the nuclear debate with North Korea in the context of American technical assistance in East Asia, especially with reference to the 'Atoms for Peace' program. Why did new (South Korea, Taiwan) and recovering nations (Japan) eagerly participate in American programs offering new forms of training and technical exchange? With South Korea as its starting point it addresses this question by bringing together Korean and American sources concerning the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project. The chapter examines that tense relations over the power issue, with South Korea in the 1950s and 60s, and with North Korea since the early 1990s, are linked by a similar set of historical concerns; and that any approach to the North Korean situation therefore needs to consider the critical issue of energy autonomy. Atomic Energy Research Institute (AERI) expanded its mission to include two new affiliated institutes, including new work with radioisotopes and agriculture.

Keywords: Atomic Energy Research Institute (AERI); atoms for peace program; Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project; North Korea; nuclear debate; South Korea



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