Policy Forum

Nautilus Institute’s Policy Forum‘s focus is on the timely publication of expert analysis and op-ed style pieces on the foremost of security-related issues to Northeast Asia. Its mission is to facilitate a multilateral flow of information among an international network of policy-makers, analysts, scholars, media, and readers. Policy Forum essays are typically from a wide range of expertise, political orientations, as well as geographic regions and seeks to present readers with opinions and analysis by experts on the issues as well as alternative voices not typically presented or heard. Feedback, comments, responses from Policy Forum readers are highly encouraged.

NAPSNet, Policy Forum

Re-Branding Abe-Nationalism

Tessa Morris-Suzuki writes ‘in recent months sections of the media in Japan, and even internationally, have gone into overdrive to sell the message that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not a nationalist.

‘Those who care about the future of Japanese society should not allow the dazzle of verbal juggling to induce a political version of the Gruen Transfer. The prime minister’s ideology may be re-branded for the global market, but the old adage remains: buyer beware.’

Tessa Morris-Suzuki is a historian of modern Japan and Korea. She is Professor in the School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University.

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US-China: Joined At The Hip

by Peter Hayes June 27, 2013 I. Introduction Peter Hayes writes “The tug of war over Taiwan and the contest between the US and Chinese military to deny access to the other in China’s coastal zone and the western Pacific States is……simply the most dangerous possible conflict in the region….Yet even here, we find that […]

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Park Geun-Hye’s China Challenge

Is it possible for President Park to get China to commit to more than a symbolic statement regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program during her upcoming meeting with President Xi Jinping? According to Peter Hayes, “The answer is definitely yes. South Korea can propose at least three types of “three party talks” at the Summit that would put South Korea in the driver’s seat, and break the deadlock with North Korea. These are all consistent with the eventual resumption of the Six Party Talks, although they do not depend upon this happening to have positive effects.” He goes on to state that, “At this juncture, only President Park can provide the necessary leadership to move this agenda forward.”

Peter Hayes is the Executive Director of the Nautilus Institute and a Professor at RMIT University.

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The South China Sea: Evolution of or Disregard for International Law?

Huy Duong and Tuan Pham analyze statements that Mark Valencia, in his article The South China Sea: What China Could Say, asserts that China could potentially issue in order to ‘clarify its position regarding its maritime claims and actions in the South China Sea.’ Huy Duong and Tuan Pham conclude that these statements show that China’s stance is at odds with the current regime of international law in a way that cannot be addressed by rhetoric or justified as evolution of international law. Mark Valencia offers a rejoinder to this response.

Huy Duong works at the  Southeast Asian Sea Foundation and contributes articles to the BBC and Vietnam’s  online publication VietNamNet. Tuan Pham is an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. The authors wish to thank David Brown and Dang Vu for valuable comments.

Mark J. Valencia is a Visiting Senior Scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou, China.

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A Regional Framework for a Comprehensive Security Settlement in the Korean Peninsula

James Goodby writes that if the Administration’s “pivot to Asia” is meant to signal a new era of American activism in the Asia-Pacific region, the president should describe to his partners in Asia how he sees the elements of a comprehensive security settlement coming together. A beginning can be made by defining the categories of security issues that need to be addressed, and by which states. The three main categories are:

(1) issues left over from the 1950-53 Korean War and the elements of a North-South peace regime (most of which have solutions that have been formally agreed upon in past statements issued by the North and South Korean Governments and many have been at least implicitly endorsed this year by Kim Jong-un)

(2) issues related to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program (and President Obama’s call for “a world without nuclear weapons” could be a device for placing a de facto nuclear weapons-free zone on the agenda to address this), and

(3) issues related to regional inter-state relations in Northeast Asia (one approach to solving these would be to organize something like an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for Northeast Asia).

James Goodby is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Northeast Asia Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution. Ambassador Goodby’s analysis does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the institutions with which he is affiliated.

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China and the United Nations Sanctions on North Korea

In this Policy Forum Zhang Guihong argues that United Nations Resolutions on North Korea, while necessary, will not solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula since resolutions do not address U.S.-North Korea relations. Zhang also spells out three basic principles China uses to deal with the security dilemma. The principles are derived from China’s fundamental interests on the Korean Peninsula: maintain peace and stability; denuclearize the peninsula; and use peaceful dialogue to resolve the issue.

Zhang Guihong is the Executive Director of the United Nations Research Center at Fudan University in Shanghai. This article came from a “United Nations Report” sponsored by China’s Ministry of Education and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

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Coping with North Korean Nuclear Quagmire – What Options are Available: Remarks at Jeju Forum Panel

As a panelist at the Jeju Forum, Peter Hayes remarks that “At this late stage in the DPRK’s nuclear breakout, one should begin with the question:  what would be worth more to the Kim Jong Un government than its nuclear weapons capacities, such as they are?  The answer is not this or that economic gain, or this or that change in its nuclear fuel cycle activities.   They aren’t going to put all their investment in the nuclear weapons program at risk after decades of effort and setbacks without seeing very bright light at the end of the tunnel of denuclearization. ”

This Policy Forum is a version of remarks given by Peter Hayes at the Jeju Forum, Jeju, Korea, May 30th 2013. The remarks are in response to questions for the panel “Coping with North Korean Nuclear Quagmire – What Options are Available?” for which he was a panelist.

Peter Hayes is director of Nautilus Institute and Professor of International Relations at RMIT University in Melbourne.

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Gaming the North Korean Nuclear Crisis

In this Policy Forum Fan Jishe argues that North Korea may also become one of the main variables affecting strategic relations between the U.S. and China. Regional reactions to North Korea’s nuclear issues challenge China’s traditional policy toward North Korea. However, the core or source of the problem also contains the core of the solution. The “core” is a double-entendre evoking both the root cause and the nuclear nature of the issues.

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Rising Sun, Morning Calm, Redeeming Step

Roger Cavazos writes “Both Japan and North Korea are presently taking concrete steps, and responding primarily to their own perceived national interest. The path to redemption is rarely linear and never easy. North Korea’s tentative reaching out should be met with reversible actions and Japan’s bold steps should be encouraged – maybe even followed.”

Roger Cavazos is a Nautilus Institute Associate and retired US military intelligence officer.

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A Northeast Asian Regional Security Framework: Does it Work?

Michael Green: The short answer to the question posed in the title is: yes, it could work –but the bar will have to be high.

Michael Green is Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Associate Professor at Georgetown University.

This report was originally presented at the New Approach to Security in Northeast Asia: Breaking the Gridlock workshop held on October 9th and 10th, 2012 in Washington, DC.

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