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

The SIGINT Satellites of Pine Gap: Conception, Development and in Orbit

Pine Gap’s initial and still principal importance to the United States lies in its role as a ground control and processing station for geosynchronous signals intelligence satellites. Nine geosynchronous SIGINT (signals intelligence) satellites have been operated by Pine Gap over the past 45 years. That role has grown as the satellites and their associated ground systems have developed in size, capacity and range of applications far beyond what was envisaged half a century ago – or understood by the host government that accepted the base at that time. During the ground station site selection process in 1966, one of the main criteria was that the horizon angle from the floor of the selected location and over the surrounding hills ‘should not exceed six degrees’. From Pine Gap’s latitude of 23.80° S and longitude of 133.74° E, this would allow connectivity (for both command and control and for data reception) with satellites stationed as far west as 60° E (or as far east as 153° W if ever required). The stations of the current three Orion SIGINT satellites controlled by Pine Gap make possible the collection of a wide range of signals across more than half the surface of the planet outside the polar regions – every continent except the Americas and Antarctica, and every significant region of contemporary US military concern. There is now just one US highly integrated geosynchronous signals intelligence satellite system, with comparable satellites operated by Pine Gap and Menwith Hill, with much greater capacities and much more focussed military roles than their Cold War equivalents.

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The Implications of Civic Diplomacy for ROK Foreign Policy

by Kiho Yi and Peter Hayes with Joan Diamond, Steven Denney, Christopher Green, and Jungmin Seo 5 October 2015 I. Introduction This chapter focuses on the Republic of Korea and the implications for its foreign policy of the actual and potential role of civil society in solving complex global problems in Northeast Asia. It looks at […]

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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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