DPRK WMD Conference Classroom Simulation

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Twelve states have agreed to meet to resolve the ongoing tensions surrounding North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction. Each delegation is composed of representatives of multiple different ministries within each country. Collectively, the goal of the conference is to pass a joint resolution to move towards a resolution of these tensions.

The DPRK Simulation is a classroom simulation originally developed by Scott D. Sagan at Stanford University; this 2019 version is by Professor Alexander H. Montgomery at Reed College. It allows students to act as delegates to discuss tensions surrounding the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction. The version here is intended for the end of an introduction to international relations class with about 48 students. It has a long runtime (18 hours!), but can easily be adapted for fewer students (as few as 18) and shorter runtimes (as short as 3 hours). Students seek to achieve a set of secret goals vis-à-vis the other countries present in the simulation, many of which directly contradict each other and some of which have nothing to do with the topic but are provided to increase interactions among the delegations. Students are “credentialed” and must send all agreements to their “heads of state” via email for approval to keep their policies and strategies in-bounds.

The ZIP file contains the materials used in the simulation, and several files for the educator, including:

  • Instructions for educators
  • Background readings
  • Guide for the students
  • Research links for the students’ memos
  • Sample memos
  • Powerpoint briefing given to the students (sorry, no notes, I have a recording if you contact me directly)
  • Secret goals
  • An assignment given at the end
  • Syllabus for context

Content Attributes

Video Url
Topic / Subject Matter , ,
Skillset , , ,
Lens / Approach / Method ,
Download Category , , ,
Content Tag , , , , , , , ,
Activity Type
Audiences ,
Minimum Number of Participants 18
Maximum Number of Participants 48
Group or Individual Groups, Individuals
Number of Leaders
Total Prep Time
Total activity time from 180 to 1080 minutes
Divisible Yes
Divisible Explanation
Learning Objectives
  • Crisis Decision Making
  • Strategy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Negotiation
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