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News Picks : The three men behind North Korea's nuclear program

By: Physics Today
08 January 2016

Reuters: According to international experts on North Korea's nuclear program, three men—So Sang Guk, Jon Pyong Ho, and O Kuk Ryol—have been crucial in guiding its development and successes. So Sang Guk is a 77-year-old nuclear physicist who was the head of the Kim Il Sung University's nuclear physics department. While a student in the Soviet Union, he formed connections that he was later able to use to obtain nuclear reactor parts. O Kuk Ryol, the military coordinator behind the project, rose quickly through the ranks of the Korean People's Army partly because he was related to a guerrilla who fought alongside Kim Il Sung during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. Jon Pyong Ho, who died in 2014, was a bureaucrat and diplomat who led the development of North Korea's ballistic missile program. In the 1990s, he crafted a deal with Pakistan's Abdul Qadeer Khan for technology critical to uranium enrichment.

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