Nautilus Peace and Security Network: 18 June 2015

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Recommended Citation

"Nautilus Peace and Security Network: 18 June 2015", NAPSNet Weekly Report, June 18, 2015,

nuclear-buttonDETERRENCE: Cyber threats and the challenge of de-alerting US and Russian nuclear forces, Andrew Futter, NAPSNet Policy Forum (16 June 2015)

Futter outlines the cyber-vulnerabilities of nuclear forces, especially Russian forces on 24-7 alert, to third party cyber interference, miscalculations and accidents. Kaspersky’s report on Equation Group cyber-espionage and warfare since 2001 suggests this threat to strategic stability is urgent.

DPRK imageDPRK: North Korea drought ‘worst in a century’, U.S. Department of State (5 June 2015) [PDF, 522KB]

North Korea says it is suffering the second drought of a century in the past three years. Droughts and global climate change writ large pose quadruple threats to its existing regime. Drought means 1) poor harvests and more people turning to markets; 2) lower than projected water stores and hence lower than projected hydropower available; 3) lower than projected hydropower imposes economic costs on the limited industries that do exist; 4) less hydropower means North Korea will turn to other forms of energy such as coal and biomass which are likely to further degrade North Korea’s environment. However, drought also increases the chances North Korea will ask for food aid and presents the international community a limited opportunity for discussions that are not prompted by threats and to prevent shocks to the system.

Gov imageGOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: South Korea axes four coal plants, plans two new nuclear units, Reuters (8 June 2015)

The ROK has moved to shut down a nuclear reactor for the first time, marking what some call a victory for civic groups against the use of nuclear power. However, it also has plans to build two new nuclear units, restart another nuclear reactor and is aiming to run a total of 36 reactors by 2029, an increase from 23 reactors currently. Given these numbers, it seems clear that a shift away from nuclear power is not in the ROK’s near future.

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