NAPSNet 29 September 2011

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"NAPSNet 29 September 2011", NAPSNet Weekly Report, September 29, 2011,

NAPSNet 29 September 2011

DETERRENCE:  Global Hawk set to watch over North Korea, Unmanned Vehicles (15 September 2011)

The US Global Hawk spy drone may be deployed shortly to South Korea.  It can fly for 40 hours at a 20 km altitude using cameras, radar and listening devices to intercept foreign military signal targets up to 550 km—that is, north of the Yalu River.

ENERGY SECURITY: Energy in Japan: Out with the old, The Economist (23 September 2011)

In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis, The Economist argues that though Japan’s people and businesses have adopted many measures in a short time to reduce their electricity demand and avert blackouts, a long-term solution to the nation’s electricity crisis requires an end to its regional electricity monopolies, which have stifled innovation and, through their culture of secrecy, eroded the public’s trust in nuclear power.

DPRK: Unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army: A realistic assessment of North Korea’s operational nuclear capability, Nautilus Institute (22 September 2011)

A realistic assessment of the DPRK’s nuclear capabilities shows that “North Korea’s outrageous nuclear threats… are not backed up by actual capabilities.” This dubious capability means that the most effective way to address the DPRK nuclear threat is to engage the North and reduce the perceived need for nuclear weapons. Reintroducing US tactical nuclear weapons in the ROK would be particularly counterproductive to threat reduction measures.

AUSTRAL SECURITY: Ken Henry to oversee blueprint for building Asian ties, Australian (29 September 2011)

The Prime Minister has signalled that Australia’s destiny lies in closer links to China, launching a detailed review to establish the nation’s place in what she calls ”the Asia century”.  China’s demand for resources to cope with 400 million people moving into cities is a key driver in the policy change. The following articles and reports discuss the Australia’s strategic options in Asia.

GOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: S. Korean religious leaders end visit to N. Korea, AFP (24 September 2011)

Leaders of South Korea’s 7 major religious groups travelled to North Korea last week, meeting with the DPRK’s number two leader and signalling a further ease in tensions between the two states. In another sign of progress, the Chinese Foreign Minister called for a return to the Six Party Talks at an international forum marking the anniversary of the September 19 agreement, at which the DPRK’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs was also in attendance.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: Food security and climate change in the Pacific: Rethinking the options, Pacific Studies Series, Asian Development Bank (September 2011) [PDF 910KB]

The Pacific island governments view climate change as a priority issue, especially in terms of its potential impacts on food security, and need clear directions in addressing both issues. This ADB report describes the present state of food security and its contributing factors in the Pacific region, and assesses its prospects amid the growing threats and likely impacts of climate change.


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