Special Reports

Special Reports are longer, often more technical, documents consisting of entire articles, government statements, and other documents relevant to security and peace in Northeast Asia.

NAPSNet, Special Reports

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: There were other choices

There is no single compelling factor to justify the bombings as inevitable, argues Peter Hayes. Rather, a series of decisions and events cumulatively drove the bomb forward from development to deployment at Hiroshima. The later nuclear attack on Nagasaki, moreover, was gratuitous.

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Energy sector cooperation with the DPRK in support of a regional Nuclear Weapons Free Zone

In this paper, we describe the DPRK energy economy, including a description of recent trends in DPRK energy supply and demand. We then summarize the DPRK’s energy security situation and energy sector needs, along with a brief description of potential regional/international cooperation options for providing energy sector development assistance to DPRK. These options include conventional energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. They are followed with more general approaches to engagement and an example “package” of cooperation measures. These non-nuclear options are benchmarked to a quantitative estimate of the net present value of the two light water reactors that were to be provided in the US-DPRK Agreed Framework but never completed, as a reasonable benchmark, followed by a review of the DPRK nuclear energy sector and related potential cooperation options and issues related to the DPRK domestic pilot light water reactor and enrichment programs. We conclude by highlighting key insights and opportunities for increasing the DPRK’s energy security in the context of regional energy development in which all states have a stake.

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Complexity and Weapons of Mass Destruction in Northeast Asia

by Peter Hayes and Roger Cavazos 14 September 2015 I. Introduction Peter Hayes and Roger Cavazos write “This chapter examines the increasingly complex problem of the threat posed by nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Northeast Asia. The first section sketches the recent evolution of the role played by nuclear weapons in international affairs […]

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The Search for Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage in South Korea

Plans call for a continued expansion in South Korea’s fleet of nuclear reactors, but at the same time, facilities for the temporary storage of spent fuel, mostly in at-reactor pools, continue to fill up. Negotiations between the nuclear industry and central government agencies on one side, and local host communities on the other, for siting of interim spent fuel storage facilities, let alone permanent waste disposal facilities, have been largely ineffective to date, due in large part to a combination of the tactics used by authorities in approaching local communities, and a lack of unbiased information about nuclear facilities on the part of local stakeholders. In the last few years, a new effort to engage host communities has been undertaken, and shows some promise, though much work remains before agreements on facility siting can be reached.

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Urban Security and Complexity in Northeast Asia

Cities have become complex systems by virtue of their intersection with multiple global problems. Cities face new vulnerabilities and uncertainties as globalization proceeds apace. Conversely, by exploiting their increasing interdependence, cities can learn from each other and contribute to creating cross-city solutions to these common problems via complex, networked, and shared strategies.

In this report, Lee and Minato argue that city-city linkages, rather than central governments, are far more likely to create solutions commensurate with these rapidly evolving, linked problems.

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The Higher Management of Pine Gap

by Desmond Ball, Bill Robinson and Richard Tanter 18 August 2015 The full report is available here. I. Introduction The higher management of Pine Gap is and has always been an entirely American affair. To understand Pine Gap today, it is necessary to understand the organisations of the US intelligence community and military concerned with […]

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The militarisation of Pine Gap: Organisations and Personnel

Many Australians associate Pine Gap with the Central Intelligence Agency, and it probably remains the CIA’s most important technical intelligence collection station in the world. Yet Pine Gap is much more thoroughly militarised than in the past, with units of all four branches of the US armed forces now present, with close involvement in operations of the US military worldwide, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military personnel now comprise about 66 per cent of the US Government employees (not counting contractor personnel) at Pine Gap. US military Service elements form a Combined Support Group (CSG). Through the 1990s, the growing Service presence supported Pine Gap’s primary (and during that period its sole) role, that of controlling and processing and analysing SIGINT collected by the NRO/CIA geosynchronous SIGINT satellites. Since then, the larger proportion of the CSG personnel have evidently been engaged in FORNSAT/COMSAT (Foreign Satellite/Communications Satellite) collection. Officially, they are engaged in Information Operations, Cyber Warfare and the achievement of Information Dominance. In practice, this involves monitoring Internet activities being transmitted via communications satellites, scouring e-mails, Web-sites and Chat Rooms for intelligence to support military operations, and particularly those involving Special Operations Forces, in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are undoubtedly key participants in NSA’s X-Keyscore program at Pine Gap.

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Crossing Borders: a feminist history of Women Cross DMZ

Suzy Kim writes, “On May 24, 2015, thirty women peacemakers from fifteen nations walked with Korean women of the North and South to call for an end to the Korean War and the peaceful reunification of Korea on the seventieth anniversary of its division.

“In this essay, I begin by exposing the subtle forms of sexism embedded in the critical reaction to our Peace Walk while debunking the specific arguments made against Women Cross DMZ and the women of both Koreas who supported and co-organized the walk. Then, I situate the Peace Walk within the broader history of the global women’s peace movement, and finally go on to share some of my experiences behind-the-scenes of both organizing and participating in the Peace Walk that illustrate a feminist history of Women Cross DMZ.”

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Japan’s Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Ground Stations: A Visual Guide

This is a study of Japan’s ground-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) stations, the 17 (soon to be 19) major facilities that intercept, monitor, collect, process and analyse foreign electronic signals. Official statements convey nothing of the scale or detail of the Japanese SIGINT effort, which is probably the third or fourth largest SIGINT establishment in the world. These Japanese ground signals interception and location facilities are integrated with its air and missile defence radar facilities. Together with Japan’s own long-range underwater surveillance systems, and combined with the Japan-based US parallel air, ground and underwater surveillance systems, they take Japan a very long way towards its stated aim to ensure information supremacy in the region. As potentially lucrative targets in the event of war, destruction of these important but vulnerable facilities could alter escalation dynamics in such a way that the widespread assumption that a Japan-China armed conflict could be controlled before substantial escalation may not hold true.

This report is a visual guide, hopefully making it easier for those who come after us to identify what they are seeing. Similar and comparable systems are critical to the strategic planning of all countries with substantial military capacities – or ambitions. Accordingly an understanding of the Japanese ground stations, their physical characteristics, and the logic of their deployment may be of use in understanding non-Japanese systems.

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An Updated Estimate of Energy Use in the Armed Forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

North Korea’s new leader inherited a large standing conventional military. Shortly after taking over, he succeeded in launching a rocket and testing a nuclear device. His actions were likely primarily driven by domestic concerns. North Korea’s governance system seems to seek strong domestic support in part by being able to demonstrate a set of strong external forces allied against the nation, which helps to make acceptable the consolidation of decision power under one charismatic leader and justifies diverting a larger portion of the populace away from the civilian sector of the economy and into the military than is the case in any other country. This large standing conventional force demands a surprisingly modest proportion of North Korea’s overall energy usage (though a much larger fraction of the DPRK’s limited petroleum fuels supplies) indicating a large, but not particularly active military. Despite increased tensions in recent years, it is not clear that North Korea’s military has actually increased its overall energy demand. North Korean military energy usage seems more or less static over the years and is consistent with observations that North Korean rhetoric regarding potential military actions has increased, but that the actual actions of the DPRK’s conventional military remain muted.

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