Nautilus Peace and Security – 3 September 2015

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"Nautilus Peace and Security – 3 September 2015", NAPSNet Weekly Report, September 03, 2015,

Deterrence imageDeterrence: Obama pledged to reduce nuclear arsenal, then came this weapon, Len Ackland, Burt Hubbard, Reveal News, Center for Investigative Reporting (14 July 2015)

The US is testing the modified B61, which is a smart 0.3-50 Kt thermonuclear bomb that has a tail kit enabling guided targeting. 400 B61-12s will be made after 2020 costing $348 billion+. The B61 descends from the Marshall Islands H-bomb test in 1952. The dial-a-bomb, GPS precision guided weapon may lower the use threshold.

DPRK imageDPRK: Unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army: A realistic assessment of North Korea’s operational nuclear capability, Peter Hayes and Scott Bruce, The Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability (22 September 2011)

Fortunately, the most recent inter-Korean dispute remained far from going critical which is to say all sides stayed well clear of invoking nuclear threats. Taken in conjunction with Ukraine, it should be clear that nuclear weapons have almost no utility even in tense times. North Korea’s nuclear doctrine is immature and evolving. The types of weapons and delivery methods will tell us what their doctrine CAN be and it is unlikely to look like anything we’ve seen even as it threatens North Korea’s economic integration.

Governance imageGOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: China explosions: Tianjin residents hold protests, BBC (17 August 2015)

The community and ecological impacts of a factory explosion in Tianjin are coming to the fore, as citizens continue to hold daily protests and the extent of corruption involved becomes clear. Nearby water sources are showing significantly higher levels of cyanide than recommended, with reports that this is already having a large impact on ecological systems.

austral imageAUSTRAL PEACE AND SECURITY: Turning back the clock on UNCLOS, Sam Bateman, The Strategist (20 August 2015)

Three separate events in the South China Sea global games. Firstly, whose islands, rocks and shoals? An event for the imaginative. Secondly, the ‘invention of territory’ by reclamation, an event for multiple participants. Thirdly, the United States v. UNCLOS, redux. And then, there is the regional arms race, a popular event for all levels of participants.

The Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly Report presents articles and full length reports each week in six categories: Austral security, nuclear deterrence, energy security, climate change and security, the DPRK, climate change adaptation and governance and civil society. Our team of contributors carefully select items that highlight the links between these themes and the three regions in which our offices are found — North America, Northeast Asia, and the Austral-Asia region.

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