Director Emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Siegfried Hecker

About the Speaker

Presented by The World Affairs Council of Connecticut in cooperation with the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville & Global Santa Fe


Hinge Points brings readers literally inside the North Korean nuclear program and explains how the “Hermit Kingdom,” with the weakest of hands became one of only three countries in the world that might target the United States with nuclear weapons.

Join this Book Talk and hear Dr. Siegfried Hecker, director emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, describe what he saw and heard during his seven visits to North Korea from 2004 to 2010.

Hecker goes beyond the technical details―described in plain English from his on-the-ground experience at the North’s nuclear center at Yongbyon―to put the nuclear program exactly where it belongs, in the context of decades of fateful foreign policy decisions in Pyongyang and Washington.

Describing these decisions as “hinge points,” he traces the consequences of opportunities missed by both sides. Hecker’s unique ability to marry the technical with the diplomatic is well informed by his interactions with North Korean and U.S. officials over many years, while his years of working with Russian, Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani nuclear officials have given him an unmatched breadth of experience from which to view and interpret the thinking and perspective of the North Koreans.

Siegfried Hecker was at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for 34 years, including 12 years as director. He was at Stanford University for 17 years, including 6 years as co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He is now professor of practice at Texas A&M University and at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.