Asia & the Pacific

77 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Field Experience in Pursuit of a Richer Understanding

    Author:
  • Celia Carbone
| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

Elizabeth Philipp’s passion for international relations sprouted at a young age. When learning to walk, she was also learning the French language from her Montessori school teachers. Global priorities have always been part of her life.

A satellite view of the Pyongyang Bio-Technical Institute, April 22, 2017.  ©2016 Google Earth, CNES/Airbus. Used with Permission.

Google Earth, CNES/Airbus

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

North Korea’s Biological Weapons Program: The Known and Unknown

| October 2017

Amidst the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear program, the assassination of Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother via VX nerve agent in February 2017 brought renewed interest in North Korea’s other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs—chemical and biological weapons. If used on a large scale, these weapons can cause not only tens of thousands of deaths, but also create panic and paralyze societies.

Ri Tong Il in Kuala Lumpur

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Stimson Center

Malaysia's VX Incident: Six Months Later

| Aug. 03, 2017

"Even though the VX incident in Kuala Lumpur did not result in a mass killing, the use of a toxic chemical agent in a public space could have generated great threats to the public. Furthermore, the use of a weapon of mass destruction, regardless of the magnitude of its effect, is by itself a matter of grave concern. The international community has created various important norms and rules to prevent the use and spread of WMD. For now, the responsibility rests with Malaysia and its ongoing investigation. Depending on the results, the international community may also need to respond."

Analysis & Opinions - OUPblog

Addressing Japanese Atrocities

| April 11, 2016

"Some may argue that the US government bears no moral responsibility, as it did not directly participate in this human experimentation. But the United States declined to hold many of the perpetrators accountable, and benefited materially as well. US government officials were interested in the potential utility of the work of Ishii and other Japanese, however unethical, to the US military. Senior American officials felt that obtaining data from the experiments was more valuable than bringing those involved to justice, because the information could be used to advance the US government’s own weapons development program."

Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?

commons.wikimedia.org

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?

| April 4, 2016

The attacks in Brussels last month were a stark reminder of the terrorists’ resolve, and of our continued vulnerabilities, including in an area of paramount concern: nuclear security.

The attackers struck an airport and the subway, but some Belgian investigators believe they seemed to have fallen back on those targets because they felt the authorities closing in on them, and that their original plan may have been to strike a nuclear plant. A few months ago, during a raid in the apartment of a suspect linked to the November attacks in Paris, investigators found surveillance footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official. Belgian police are said to have connected two of the Brussels terrorists to that footage.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

A 2014 meeting between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Netherlands

US Embassy, The Hague

Analysis & Opinions

Shunning Beijing's infrastructure bank was a mistake for the US

| June 7, 2015

The Obama administration’s negative response to China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was a strategic mistake. Though some Chinese moves might be destabilising and require US resistance, this initiative should have been welcomed.

The US should be careful about opposing ventures that are popular and likely to proceed. Losing fights does not build confidence. Moreover, the new bank’s purpose — to develop infrastructure in Asia — is a good goal. The world economy needs more growth. Many emerging markets are eager to boost productivity and growth by lowering costs of transportation, improving energy availability, enhancing communications networks, and distributing clean water.

The AIIB offers an opportunity to strengthen the very international economic system that the US created and sustained. The AIIB’s designated leader, Jin Liqun, a former vice-president of the Asian Development Bank, sought advice in Washington. He engaged an American lawyer who was the World Bank’s leading specialist on governance. He also reached out to another American who had served as World Bank country director for China and then worked with the US embassy.

If the AIIB was indeed threatening the American-led multilateral economic order, as its opponents seemed to believe, then its Chinese founders chose a curiously open and co-operative way of doing so.

Analysis & Opinions - European Leadership Network

On the Road to Nowhere? New Proposals on the Middle East WMD-Free Zone May Backfire

| May 11, 2015

"One of the dramas playing out this month in New York at the 2015 Review Conference for parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concerns the future of discussions on establishing the weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East..."

Policy Brief - Stanley Foundation

Strengthening International Cooperation on Nuclear Materials Security

| Nov. 04, 2014

The Stanley Foundation convened a group of experts and policymakers from the United States and abroad to address these issues October 15–17, 2014, at its 55th annual Strategy for Peace Conference. The group discussed overcoming challenges to nuclear security cooperation faced by the United States, Russia, and China, and next steps in ensuring that countries put in place effective and sustainable nuclear security measures with strong security cultures. This policy memo offers highlights of the discussion and recommendations of roundtable participants.