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November 2, 2017

Moral and Policy Questions on Nuclear Arms and North Korea

A Dahlgren Dialogue

The panelists are sitting at the front of Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart discussing nuclear arms and North Korea.

At a time of danger, fear, and confusion, this Public Dialogue examined the moral, human, and policy questions surrounding the conflict with North Korea over nuclear weapons. Experienced leaders analyzed the current crisis, its moral challenges, and the policy implications for citizens and leaders of U.S. and global institutions and explored the following issues:

  • the facts, dynamics, and dangers in the North Korean conflict over nuclear arms;
  • key principles from Catholic Social Teaching on nuclear arms, international conflict, and war that could shape U.S. choices;
  • lessons from past and current efforts to address these issues regarding North Korea and other nations seeking nuclear arms capacity;
  • information that citizens, students, faculty, people of faith should know about this crisis and how to make their voices heard.

This Dialogue brought together a former defense secretary, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ point person on these issues, a moral theologian, and an experienced government and academic expert on the Korean peninsula for a unique conversation of the neglected moral and policy questions facing our nation at this time of crisis. 

Father Greg Schenden, S.J., of the Office of Mission and Ministry offered opening prayer and reflection. John Carr of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life moderated the discussion. 

This Dahlgren Dialogue was co-sponsored by the Office of Mission and Ministry at Georgetown and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life. 


Chuck Hagel is the former U.S. secretary of defense, a U.S. senator from Nebraska, and a Vietnam War veteran, as well as a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Institute of Politics at Georgetown.

Dr. Stephen Colecchi is the director of the Office of International Justice and Peace at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love is an associate professor of international relations at the Catholic University of America and author of the Notre Dame Journal of Law article entitled, "Globalization, Ethics, and the War on Terrorism."