NAPSNet 2 February 2012

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"NAPSNet 2 February 2012", NAPSNet Weekly Report, February 02, 2012,

DETERRENCE: Nuclear conventional extended deterrence in a Northeast Asian nuclear weapons-free zone, summary report, East Asia Nuclear Security Workshop, International House of Japan, Tokyo (18 January 2012) [PDF, 0.5 MB]

Having arguably survived the workshop’s “road test,” it is now time to put the concept of a Northeast Asia nuclear weapons-free zone to the “acid test” by probing for the perspectives of key players in Pyongyang and Washington DC.

DPRK: China urges international help for N. Korea, Asia One News (30 January 2012)

China agreed to supply the DPRK with 500,000 tons of food and 250,000 tons of crude oil and urged the others to “provide North Korea with more humanitarian assistance.” It was also reported that North Korea will resume nation-wide food distribution for the first time in seven years. The DPRK asked the US government to resume food aid as a “confidence building measure” that could help restart negotiations over the DPRK’s nuclear program.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: A meta-analysis of global urban land expansion, Karen C. Seto et al., PLoS ONE, vol. 6, issue 8 (August 2011) [PDF, 511 KB]

Karen C. Seto et al. provide the first estimates of how fast global urban areas are currently growing and how that growth may develop in the future. They draw from peer-reviewed studies that used satellite data to map urban expansion and found that from 1970 to 2000 the world’s urban footprint had grown by at least 22,400 square miles.

ENERGY SECURITY: This week in clean economy: Renewables industry, advocates weigh in on Obama plan, Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate News (27 January 2012)

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama emphasized passage of a federal clean energy standard, and extension of renewable energy tax credits/subsidies. Clean energy advocates were supportive, noting large historical oil and gas industry subsidies, recent success in reducing costs of solar power, and the policies’ potential to jump-start the clean energy economy. Funding for early-stage clean technology R&D was cited as a key need.

GOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: North Korea topic of South Korea, Japan, US defense-level talks, Charlie Reed, Stars and Stripes (31 January 2012)

The US, ROK and Japan held two-day trilateral defense talks, leading some scholars to believe the US may seek a NATO-style alliance in Asia while the DPRK has interpreted the US shift towards Asia as a threat to regional peace. In a sign of easing tensions, however, a bipartisan group of ROK parliamentarians plan to visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex next week and the US has signaled its openness to restarting the six party talks.

Note: We regret that the Austral Security section is not included in this week’s NAPSNet report and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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