Asia & the Pacific

222 Items

A DF-15B short-range ballistic missile as seen after the military parade held in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in 2015 (Wikimedia/IceUnshattered).

Wikimedia/IceUnshattered

Analysis & Opinions - East Asia Forum

China's Calculus After the INF Treaty

| May 08, 2019

It seems that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is coming to an end. The Treaty prohibits the United States and Russia from possessing, producing or testing land-based ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500–5500 kilometres, including both conventional and nuclear-armed missiles. On 1 February 2019, US President Trump said that he would suspend obligations under the INF Treaty and initiate the withdrawal procedure. After withdrawing, the United States might deploy conventional and nuclear missiles to the West Pacific against China. How would the potential deployment of each missile type impact China’s security?

A U.S. Trident II missile launches (Wikimedia Commons).

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - War on the Rocks

Can This New Approach to Nuclear Disarmament Work?

| Jan. 23, 2019

An estimated 14,485 nuclear weapons exist on earth today — most are far more powerful than those that twisted railway ties, leveled buildings, and crushed, poisoned, and burned human beings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The majority of these weapons belong to the United States and Russia. For some in the U.S. government, including Chris Ford, assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, this number represents significant disarmament progress since Cold War highs of over 70,000 nuclear weapons. They argue the current security environment means that further reductions are not possible at this time. In contrast, for many disarmament advocates and officials from non-nuclear weapons states, this number is still far too high. They are now clamoring to ban all nuclear weapons. Because of this divide, according to Ford, we currently face a “disarmament crisis.”

The K-pop group BTS receiving an award in Seoul in January 2017 (AJEONG_JM, Wikimedia/Creative Commons).

AJEONG_JM, Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

BTS, the "Atomic Bomb Shirt," and South Korean Attitudes Toward Nuclear Weapons

| Nov. 19, 2018

Over the past few weeks, BTS members have found themselves entangled in a bizarre scandal over an “atomic bomb shirt” that led to the cancellation of their appearance on a popular TV Asahi music show in Japan, which has been the main foreign source of revenues for K-pop groups since the 1990s. The 23-year-old singer, Jimin, was caught on the street wearing a white t-shirt bearing the slogan “Patriotism Our History Liberation Korea” repeated in numerous lines and overlapped by a black-and-white picture of the mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb that the United States detonated over Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry delivers a speech during the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency

AP/Ronald Zak

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Post-Iran Deal, the US Needs a Plan to Keep Nuclear Weapons from Spreading

| May 11, 2018

The authors lay out their case for the United States maintaining a coherent nonproliferation policy in the Middle East and beyond to limit the damage to nuclear nonproliferation efforts and offer three steps for strengthening nonproliferation after withdrawal from the JCPOA.

AP/Evan Vucci, Wong Maye-E

AP/Evan Vucci, Wong Maye-E

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

A Roadmap for the Day After the Trump-Kim Summit

| Apr. 17, 2018

President Trump surprised almost everyone—probably not the least Kim Jong-un—when he agreed to meet the North Korean leader at the end of May (now maybe early June). By accepting Kim’s invitation, President Trump overturned decades of conventional wisdom on how to separate North Korea from its nuclear and other WMD programs. If Trump and Kim meet—as of now this is still a big “if,” although North Korea has now confirmed its willingness to meet directly—the summit could be an important ice breaker and open up a chance to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis and bring peace to the Korean peninsula. But success, however remote it may seem, will require new thinking and entail major risks. It will also require a plan.

People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 9, 2018.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Why the United States Might Accept a Nuclear North Korea

| Mar. 22, 2018

Many Americans were aghast at President Trump’s announcement this month that he would meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

But in moving toward diplomacy, Trump is following in the steps of previous presidents. If he continues down their path, the end result would be a deal that allows Pyongyang to keep its nuclear weapons — not because Trump gets taken in by Kim, but because such a deal boosts American interests. Since World War II, the United States has labored to prevent nuclear weapons from spreading. But once a country has them, Washington ultimately accommodates it, opting to develop some kind of diplomatic influence, if not control, over other nuclear powers, instead of going to war.

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Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Why China stopped making fissile material for nukes

| Mar. 15, 2018

Some western scholars have expressed growing concern about China’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal and what they see as a “sprint to parity” with the United States. One scholar even claimed that China could have built as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons, far above the estimate of Western intelligence agencies, which assume that China has between 200 and 300. As a comparison, the United States and Russia each keep roughly 7,000 nuclear weapons. If China had any interest in parity, that would leave it with an awfully long way to go.

Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, second from right, talks with the South Korean delegation in Pyongyang, North Korea. March 5, 2018 (South Korea Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Associated Press). Keywords: South Korea, North Korea

South Korea Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - NPR

Wanted: U.S. Envoy To Talk To North Korea

| Mar. 06, 2018

Kim Jong Un's reported offer to extend the current freeze on nuclear and missile tests as a basis for beginning denuclearization negotiations with the United States is an opportunity not to be missed. Whether the opening produces significant progress toward North Korea's denuclearization or merely a lull in its activities is uncertain. To take full advantage of the opportunity, President Trump should appoint a senior envoy to represent him in the talks, backed by a strong interagency team.