Indonesia gets serious about nuclear energy, Tom Allard, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 2009

Indonesia could formally embrace nuclear power as early as next year as senior Government members push to revive a proposal to build up to four reactors just 30 kilometres from a volcano in Central Java. During this year’s presidential election campaign, Dr Yudhoyono appeared to back away from nuclear power when he addressed voters in Central Java. But, according to RMIT University’s expert on Indonesia’s nuclear program, Richard Tanter, the nuclear option has influential backers in the new Yudhoyono Administration. ”It’s come alive with a ferocity that’s unexpected. It’s back, front and centre of the energy agenda,” said Professor Tanter. ”But it carries high-level risks for which Indonesia is not well prepared. There are very serious volcanic and seismic risks.”


North using battle for diplomatic gain, Sen Lam, Connect Asia, Radio Australia, ABC, 11 November 2009

In an interview with the ABC News Connect Asia Program, Scott Thomas Bruce, Director of US Operations for the Nautilus Institute, discussed the November 10th skirmish between ROK and DPRK ships noting, “This should be understood as North Korea emphasizing its military strength before entering into negotiations. This reinforces the potential threat that the North poses, to show the alternative to negotiation, you can either have talks or you can have a conflict. And furthermore, it allows North Korea to enter negotiations as a tough country with a strong military.”

Tension entre las Coreas ante visita de Obama, Radio Nacional de Colombia, 11 November 2009. Interview with Kiho Yi, Nautilus Institute Director, Seoul.

 Australia’s basing its $87m secret on sensitive absurdity, Tom Hyland, Age, 11 November 2009

In an article in The Age Richard Tanter, Director of the Nautilus Institute’s Australia Office, discussed Australia’s secret construction of a base in the United Arab Emirates noting, “Governments ought to be as transparent as possible, and secrecy should only be justified in serious cases of potential danger to persons,” Professor Tanter said. ”The double standard imposed by the UAE Government corrodes trust in co-operation between allies… They are fooling no one, certainly not their own people. Forcing Australia to collude in what’s a fairly destructive process is a hypocritical basis for public policy.”

Expert warns of potential conflicts from REDD scheme, Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 21 November 2009

Richard Tanter, Director of the Nautilus Institute’s Australia office, discussed the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD) noting, “this could be a new version of a conflict between the West and the rest… rich nations will be very angry if rainforest countries fail to stick to the pledged contracts” while developing countries would feel that “it is not fair for rich nations to impose ecological debts on developing countries.”


Asian leaders call for quick restart of North Korea nuclear talks, Connect Asia, Radio Australia News, ABC, 12 October 2009

Scott Bruce, Director of US Operations for the Nautilus Institute, discussed the North Korean nuclear issue with ConnectAsia noting, “what North Korea is trying to do here, is shift the onus to compromise away from itself and onto the United States. It’s thus playing ‘Divide and Conquer’ between the parties at the six party talks. What it is saying is that the pressure should not be on North Korea to conform to the demands of the international community. It should be on the United States to offer North Korea something that it can work with.”

Seoul’s veteran law revision causes Vietnam’s ire , Kim Ji-hyun, The Korea Herald, 15 October 2009.

Tim Savage, Deputy Director of the ROK Office of the Nautilus Institute, discussed a recent diplomatic squabble with between the ROK and Vietnam noting, “South Korea definitely needs to get more involved with the ASEAN nations… One of the requirements to (expand its horizons) successfully is to become more conscious to the sensitivities of the other nations.”

Guam being used by US as political pawn with Japan, Campbell Cooney, Radio Australia News, ABC, 22 October 2009

The United States’ Defence Secretary Robert Gates has threatened to stop the move of US marines from Okinawa in Japan to the US Pacific territory of Guam. One of the first actions of Japan’s new government was to signal a proposed change to the details of a 2006 agreement with the US to relocate the American marines base to Guam, and change the location in Okinawa of its marine airbase. But during a visit to Japan earlier this week Defence Secretary Gates said if the plan is changed, the whole deal is off… including the relocation of marines to Guam. “This is a brutal diplomatic move by Japan’s principal ally. Mr. Okada would have been looking for an expression of balance and equality in the relationship… Guam is a pawn in this, as are the people of Okinawa… there will be a lot of opposition to this in Japan”, said Richard Tanter, Director of the Australian office of the Nautilus Institute.

Japan hesitates over US base moves, Radio Australia News, ABC, 22 October 2009

Japan’s Government says it cannot sign off on a planned reorganisation of US bases on Okinawa before President Barack Obama visits Tokyo next month. The statement came after America’s visiting Defence Secretary Robert Gates bluntly called for the deal to be implemented. Professor Richard Tanter, an expert on Japanese and South Asia political issues, says he is very surprised at the reaction of the US defence secretary. He says Japan is a strong US ally in the Asia Pacific region and he thought Mr Gates would have compromised. “Instead in his first statement – the first statement by a senior american cabinet member in Japan – he’s very bluntly ruled out any possibility of even discussion about this,” said the professor.’

China favours trade links over nuclear politics with North Korea, John Garnaut, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2009.

Peter Hayes, a North Korea expert at RMIT University in Melbourne and a director of the Nautilus Institute, said China and Western nations had different aims in North Korea and denuclearisation was a fading prospect.


Uncharted territory for Australia’s relationship, Daniel Flitton, The Age, 1 September 2009

Richard Tanter, Director of the Australian Office of the Nautilus Institute, discussed the implications of recent elections in Japan noting, “They [the DJP] are likely to break up… The Democratic Party is indeed a strange mix of diverse opinion, united only in opposition to the old regime… The learning curve is going to be fantastic.”

NKorea says it is testing uranium enrichment process, David Chen with Peter Hayes and Rory Medcalf, Connect Asia, ABC, 9 September 2009

Peter Hayes, Executive Director of the Nautilus Institute states, “My own guess is there is a more than 50 per cent chance that they will conduct a nuclear test before the end of the year. The most likely nuclear alliance that could emerge to put even more pressure on the United States would be a North Korean-Iranian alliance where the North Koreans would offer to provide the Iranians not so much with the material, but rather test data which is actually extremely valuable and rather difficult to stop the transferrals and in return of course the Iranians it is now well known have pretty much established themselves as having uranium enrichment technology and having solved all the problems in that technology. So they can save the North Koreans a great deal of time.”

Japan’s new Prime Minister sworn in, Karen Snowdon, Connect Asia, Radio Australia, ABC, 17 September 2009

Richard Tanter, North Asia Security analyst with the Nautilus Institute, says the Minister will push the new government’s demand a more equal partnership with the US and will have to tackle the question of Japan’s deployment in Afghanistan.

TANTER: He’s going to be pushing very much for a calmer, more equal approach and this is something both what the left and the right in Japanese politics want. They felt for many years the Americans don’t treat them the same way, as do they treat, for example, Germany within NATO. Otherwise the big issue is going to be about Afghanistan and the naval deployment in the Indian Ocean is winding up. I think they will also resist American pressure to send troops to Afghanistan. Other than that, I don’t think we are going to see great structural changes in that relationship.

Afghanistan war and US plans for its future, Drivetime, Radio 3AW, 17 September 2009, Interview with Richard Tanter, Nautilus Institute Director, Australia.

Should we be building a war in Afghanistan instead of fighting one?, The Wire, 23 September 2009

The Australian government has announced it won’t send more troops to Afghanistan, but is considering increasing civilian support. This includes rebuilding infrastructure destroyed in battles and improving the operations of the Afghani police. But will it make a difference for the Afghani people? Featured in this report: Raspal Khosa, research fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and Professor of International Relations at RMIT, Richard Tanter.

August 2009

The US can’t have nuclear abolition while maintaining its nuclear umbrella, KPFA Radio, 10 August 2009

Scott Bruce, Director of US Operations of the Nautilus Institute, said, “the nuclear bomb is now 64 years old, in the US that makes it just a year away from retirement age, but… it will be very hard for the Obama administration to meet its nuclear abolition goals while at the same using these weapons as a support for our alliance structure in East Asia.”

Will elections be free and fair in Afghanistan? , The Wire, 17 August 2009

In five days time Afghanis will take part in the second ever election to be held in their country since the US led invasion. The success of the elections is vital to the coalition of Western nations. There is growing concern on the home front about the number of fatalities and the paucity of an exit strategy in Afghanistan. Featured in this story: Richard Tanter, Professor of International Relations at RMIT

North Korean defectors network fears crackdown, John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times, 23 August 2009

Scott Bruce, Director of US Operations for the Nautilus Institute, expressed concern for the network of DPRK defectors in China after the capture of two US journalists noting, “people in this network face dire consequences if discovered… China has engaged in human rights violations to send these defectors back. North Korea has a real incentive to make examples of anyone trying to escape their workers paradise.”

Regional policy shifts loom if Japan changes gov’t, Liam Cochrane, Aiji Tanaka, Connect Asia, Radio Australia, ABC, 28 August 2009

The Japanese lower-house election is expected to bring a “political tsunami” that will wipe out the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Radio Australia takes an in-depth look at the the main players, the issues and the implications of Sunday’s vote in this extended panel discussion. Presenter: Liam Cochrane, Speakers: Richard Tanter, professor of International Relations at RMIT University


China Spy Case Risks Hurting Foreign Investment, Andrew Batson and Lyndall McFarland, Wall Street Journal, 13 July 2009

“It’s a very politically expensive move by the authorities,” said Richard Tanter, professor of international relations at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. “It is certainly in the interests of Chinese state-owned enterprises, but it really blasts a hole in the idea they are independent from government interference.”


Egypt set to join N-club with help from Australia, Richard Tanter, Sue Lannin, The World Today, ABC Radio, 19 June 2009

PETER CAVE: Egypt has signed a deal with an Australian engineering company to build a 1200 megawatt power station and nuclear power station in the country.  The engineering firm WorleyParsons will advise the Egyptian Government on site and technology selection, construction and training.

SUE LANNIN: Egypt signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1981 but it hasn’t signed protocols allowing short notice inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Richard Tanter from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT says that’s a concern.

RICHARD TANTER: The additional protocols have been significant tightening in the AEIA’s regime of safeguards. That’s certainly what was a very important outcome of that whole debacle with Iraq. It’s certainly what tripped up South Korea and revealed experiments which were secret there. And in the case of Egypt, particularly given the proliferation potential in that region, not saying anything of the anxieties about nuclear energy in the region, it’s very important that the additional protocol be in place before there’s any further developments of Egyptian nuclear power.

Democrats polling well ahead of Japan election, Richard Tanter, Sen Lam, Asia Connect, Radio Australia, ABC, 18 June 2009 [audio]

LAM: The political funding scandal also cost the previous Democratic Party leader his job, but the change in leadership restored the Democrats’ poll ratings.

TANTER: I think that it really is a serious possibility now. That said six months ago people were saying that but they were also saying when’s the scandal going to occur, meaning that in the pattern of Japanese politics in the past each time the opposition has looked like it has a resonable chance there’s been a serious scandal emerging through the media, through the Prosecutor’s office. And that sounds fairly cynical but there is a pattern there that has emerged and it cost not only Mr Ozawa his job but for a few months people were saying ‘look there is just no possibility of the Democrat Party of Japan coming back’, but they are back now.

LAM: And Richard if the Democrats win the Lower House elections, which have to be held by October will it be a strong government or will they have to rely on support from smaller parties?

TANTER: They’ll definitely have to rely on support from other parties, it’s even conceivable they may have to rely on support from the New Komeito party, which is the current junior partner in government with the Liberal Democratic Party. So it’ll be a change but how big a change we won’t know. It won’t be stable, there’ll be a sense that well a change has begun but there’s a lot more that’s going to have to happen before Japanese politics gets into a more stable ongoing position.

Security Council grapples with sanctions on North Korea, Peter Hayes, Sen Lam, Asia Connect, Radio Australia, ABC, 10 June 2009

HAYES: The real problem is nuclear weapons material, fissile material, which can be broken up into small amounts and moved in diplomatic pouches if necessary and data and designs, and particularly test datas is very valuable. And these are items that really cannot be interdicted physically. It’s not just possible, and not only would you have to track every single North Korean travelling around the planet and in and out of North Korea, you’d also have to track any potential customers around the planet wherever they might intersect with those North Koreans and, or going in and out of North Korea.”

The North Korean nuclear test: The South Korean reaction, Kiho Yi, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 5 June 2009

In South Korea last week, not even North Korea’s nuclear test and its subsequent missile launches could overshadow the sad news of former President Roh Moo-hyun’s death. In fact, South Koreans spent most of last week grieving, not angry at Pyongyang for its latest provocation. Such a reaction is the product of a decade’s worth of reconciliation and cooperation between Seoul and Pyongyang that has helped develop a perception in the South that the North is no longer the enemy. Also, the South Korean people tend to regard the North Korean nuclear issue as a diplomatic affair that should be handled as part of the Six-Party Talks and not as a military crisis between Seoul and Pyongyang.”

North Korea dangers lurk whatever nuclear test result, Scott Bruce and Peter Hayes, Paul Eckert, Reuters, 1 June 2009

Hayes and Bruce argue that North Korea’s second nuclear test delivered far more diplomatic clout than military punch, because Pyongyang lacks three things: a medium- or long-range delivery system, the ability to make small nuclear warheads and a tested re-entry vehicle that can withstand heat.

“Unless they buy some other country’s design and materials, the DPRK will not be able to integrate a miniaturized nuclear warhead with an operationally effective long range missile system for another ten to fifteen years,” they wrote, referring to North Korea by its official acronym.


North Korea tests short-range missiles in wake of nuclear test, Peter Hayes, Lisa Millar, ABC, 26 May 2009

“I actually think that they’ll do a second test. There’s a fairly high probability of that over the next week or two. They’ll conduct a second test which will be a small, a much smaller nuclear weapon, more like the one in 2006; actually nuclear device is the appropriate term. And whether that works or not doesn’t really matter after yesterday’s test, but it would indicate that they’re trying to miniaturise a warhead for long-range delivery.

North Korea now is now in a position to be the natural complement for Iran and that we could have some kind of alliance between the North Koreans and the Iranians whereby the North Koreans provide possibly fissile material for a plutonium weapon, certainly design information and certainly extremely valuable test information to the Iranians in return for which they’d get enrichment technology and possibly material from the Iranians.

And they have uranium in North Korea so they can actually enrich significant quantities for a weapons program and possibly to be an exporter of enriched uranium to other countries such as Iran. So you know they can go down some pretty provocative paths.”

North Korean Defiance Likely to Continue, Christina Bellantoni, Betsy Pisik, The Washington Times, 26 May 2009

“There isn’t really a good solution here. Pressure from the U.S. isn’t going to go anywhere . . . This is the beginning of a long series of very negative things, not the end of them.”

North Korea: Q&A, Tania Branigan, The Guardian, 25 May 2009

“This time we will likely get a stronger response than [to the] rocket launch since there is no ambiguity … but whether the council will have any tools to use is another question. Against North Korea, it seems highly unlikely.”


ADF plays down warlord’s role on crucial supply chain, Mark Dodd and Jeremy Kelly, The Australian, 28 April 2009

“The politics of Uruzgan are pretty messy, and while there is no record of the Australians having done this before (hiring warlords) – the Americans have been doing it for a long time – paying for loyalty,” said RMIT’s Afghan expert, professor Richard Tanter.

“The question is – when does the loyalty run out?”

Analysts: China Looking to U.S. on N. Korea, Pascale Trouillaud, Agence France-Presse, 15 April 2009.

“China sees the nuclear issue as a problem between the United States and North Korea,” said Scott Bruce, the U.S. operations director for the Nautilus Institute, a think tank that specializes in international affairs. “China is waiting for the United States to make a move to resolve this issue. They will not fix the problem for the U.S.” The U.S. has some powerful means with which to bring North Korea out of its isolation, he said. “It can recognize the country, it can end the state of perpetual insecurity that North Korea faces by being technically at war with the most powerful nation on Earth,” Bruce said.

???????????????? [Doubts on future of Japanese democracy] Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Test Monitor, 15 April 2009, Interview with Richard Tanter, Nautilus Institute Director, Australia.

UN condemns NKorean rocket, Joanna McCarthy with Peter Hayes, Asia Connect, Radio Australia, ABC, 14 April 2009

The United Nations Security Council has issued a statement unanimously condemning North Korea’s long-range rocket launch.

It is a compromise position after intense negotiations to overcome a week of deadlock between the major powers. Japan had been pushing for a formal resolution declaring Pyongyang in violation of a UN ban on launching ballistic missiles. China and Russia were not convinced the rocket launch was a violation. They argued a tough stance would only drive the North further away from six party disarmament talks.

The council’s statement, which says the test contravened the missile ban and calls for existing sanctions to be enforced, is generally seen as weaker than a formal resolution. So is it an appropriate response?

Back to Square One?, (video) Fred Katayama, Reuters, 14 April 2009, Interview with Steve Noerper, Nautilus Institute Senior Associate.

North Korea Seeks Political Gain From Rocket Launch, Choe Sang-Hun, Helen Cooper and David E. Sanger, New York Times, 6 April 2009

Peter Hayes, director of the Nautilus Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank, said the main motivation behind the launch was “to demonstrate the strength and vitality of Kim Jong Il’s leadership to the military and the population, and for the scientific sector to declare its fealty to Kim Jong Il’s leadership.”

Yudhoyono backs down on nuclear power plans, Tom Allard, Age, 6 April 2009

Analysts such as Professor Richard Tanter, from RMIT University in Melbourne, had been expecting that Indonesia could move swiftly to approve as many as four nuclear power plants on the Muria peninsula in the north of Central Java province once the country’s election season had finished this year.

Indonesia/ Presidente sospende progetto centrale nucleare, ?Wall Street Italia, 6 April 2009

Analisti come il professor Richard Tanter dell’RMIT University, si aspettavano che il Paese, dopo le elezioni di quest’anno, approvasse il piano per la realizzazione di 4 centrali.


‘N. Korea Yelling to Seek Equal Footing in Talks’, Dong-a Ilb, 23 March 2009

Peter Hayes, executive director of the Nautilus Institute in San Francisco, said “The North is doing preparatory work to get what it wants”, referring to the North’s preparation for a missile launch, rejection of U.S. food aid, and the detention of two American journalists. “The North intends to send a clear signal to the Obama administration that Pyongyang is not a regime that implores the international community for food aid, and that food is a separate issue from the North Korean nuclear program.”

Pine Gap Four, Part One and Part Two, People & Power, Al-Jazeera, 21 March 2009

One of the most important links to Pine gaps ROLE comes from what we call the decapitation strikes launch by the American airforce and navy in the very first days of the attack on Iraq in March and April 2003. The intelligence information came from the interception of satellite phones they thought were being used by the Iraqi leadership. It’s highly likely they were intercepted by signals intelligence satellites which are down linked and operated by Pine Gap. And in the case of most of those attacks they failed completely to kill the leadership. They did kill a large number of civilians.

Indonesian Nuclear Power, Radio Active Show, 3CR, 17 March 2009

Richard Tanter and Arabella Imhoff from the Nautilus Institute join us to talk about the potential for nuclear power in Indonesia.

N Korea energy crisis could threaten regime, Christian Oliver, Financial Times, 15 March 2009

North Korea’s electrical power grid is dying, according to international experts and foreign diplomats.Satellite photographs showing North Korea as a black void surrounded by South Korea and Japan, ablaze with light are already famous.“What we are looking at is the x-ray of a dying body,” said Peter Hayes, executive director of the Nautilus Institute. “There is not that much time left.”

“This indicates that many of the rural citizens are in survival mode,” said Mr Hayes. One side-effect is that people now scavenge for timber for burning, causing heavy deforestation, he said.


Pyongyang needs a good neighbour, Cynthia Banham, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 February 2009

Peter Hayes, executive director of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development and an expert on North Korea, believes “Australia needs to establish its own lines of communication, create relationships of influence and co-operation”. It should be providing training to North Korean economic planners, technocrats and enterprise level managers, especially in the energy sector, he says.

US calls for Afghan troop boost, Kathy Novak, SBS World News, 19 February 2009

“If they did [boost their numbers] or if some of those other countries come to the party, then there would then be very considerable pressure on Australia, I believe, to increase its commitment.”

NKorea reshuffle signals tougher policy: analysts, AFP, Khaleej Times, 12 February 2009

A missile test, or suggestions of a future test, “would be an effective calculated move to ensure that negotiations with North Korea become a very high priority item on the president’s to-do list.”

Pyongyang attention seeking with missile moves, Sen Lam with Scott Bruce, ABC, 4 February 2009

“Well North Korea has conducted three missiles test in the last 11 years. To put that in perspective it took the United States 40 tests to perfect the targeting of its ICBM system. So if we’re assuming that North Korean missiles are as effective of those of the United States, which is a pretty big assumption, a test at this point would be North Korea is right on schedule to perfect its missile program some time in the next 125 years or so. So, if the aim of these moves is to develop its missile system, North Korea is doing a pretty bloody poor job. However, if the aim is to draw attention to itself and get the attention of the new administration in Washington, then this missile test has excellent timing. Barak Obama has inherited many urgent problems that are all vying for his attention at this point. So a deliberately provocative move like a missile test, or perhaps just the implication of a possible future missile test would be an effective calculated move to ensure that negotiations with North Korea becomes a very high priority item on the President’s to-do list.”

Empantanados en Afganistán, La Vanguardia, 2 February 2009

“Para el Pentágono, y para la opinión pública americana, incrementar el frente del Hindukush podría ser compensación por la retirada en Irak, pero tanto Estados Unidos como sus aliados europeos están agravando más las cosas allá. Por qué? “Confusión estratégica, inercia institucional y diversos intereses propios, ofrecen el grueso de la respuesta”, dice Richard Tanter, un experto del Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. “A menos que la política de la coalición occidental cambie, la supervivencia de Pakistán será amenazada, y ese es un asunto que India no puede ignorar”, dice Tanter. “La supervivencia de Pakistán depende de un cambio de rumbo en Afganistán”, considera este especialista.”


South Korea to deploy remote-controlled mines along border, Sonja Heydeman, Peter Hayes, Radio Australia, ABC, 27 January 2009

South Korea says it will deploy remote-controlled mines along its heavily fortified border with North Korea by 2013. A defence ministry spokesman says bids have been invited for the development of the new mines called “spider bombs”.

China announces big defence spending increase, Sen Lam, Richard Tanter, Connect Asia, Radio Australia, ABC, 22 January 2009

“I think if you like there are two myths abroad about China and its military power. One if you like from the more hawkish elements of the Pentagon suggest that Chinese economic rise must inevitably lead to conflict if not war with the established powers and the United States. The other is that the Hu Jintao regime is the inheritor of revolutionary China and therefore is inherently on the side of the angels. I think in fact both myths imprison us a lot and China is certainly not the aggressive in the sense of that Pentagon image from years ago, but it’s equally it’s quite very direct in pursuing Chinese national interest, and particularly in a fairly brutal way against those that it sees as threatening to Chinese interests, in this case the image in Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan.”