Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 2 May 2013

Recommended Citation

"Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 2 May 2013", NAPSNet Weekly Report, May 02, 2013,

Image source: Penglai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine BureauDETERRENCE: UN Sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: prospects and problems, IISS Workshop with UN Panel of Experts, Johannesburg (19 March 2013)

DPRK Sanctions UNSCR 2094 clarifies that the term ‘luxury goods’ includes, but is not limited to, jewellery, yachts, automobiles and racing cars. It was noted that the EU considers malt whisky aged 18 years to be a luxury, by which one might infer that 12-year malt whisky is considered essential.

Image source: Pool (GETTY)DPRK: Why do U.S. senior officials visit China in succession? Liang Jun, People’s Daily Online (27 April 2013)

The steady stream of U.S. visitors to China continues.  China stepped up customs checks on shipments to and from North Korea.  A former United States Forces Korea Commander advocates re-considering Operational Control transfer due to North Korea’s threats.  North Korea will harshly sentence Kenneth Bae.  He will likely be allowed to leave after that as a goodwill gesture.  The formal rapprochement likely starts shortly thereafter.

Image source: Kyodo News, via Associated PressENERGY SECURITY: World has stalled on clean energy, World Nuclear News (17 April 2013)

When it comes to nuclear power, everybody resorts to exceptionalism. Each country believes – at least, argues in public, that it is different. Whatever happens anywhere, “It Will Not Happen Here”. Or at least, “Not again.” The IEA, transformed from a policy coordination think-tank to an advocacy shop for special interests, now recommends a nuclear build rate of at least 16 GW per year to 2020 and 20 GW per year after that, essentially an investment plan of a couple of trillion dollars over the next ten years. For an industry with a record of excellence interspersed by shoddiness, secrecy, roguish and criminal elements and risks of catastrophic failures whose price tab is given to the taxpayers, and whose outputs are weapons of mass destruction.

Image source: Jon Rabiroff, Stars and StripesGOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: Official: China positive on talks with South Korea, U.S. on N. Korea, UPI (25 April 2013)

As dialogue on the Korean peninsula appears more likely with the ending of US-ROK military exercises, the US and ROK are seeking joint policy coordination with China on DPRK issues. A 24-hour hotline was established between Seoul and Beijing to facilitate this coordination. The closure of the Kaesong complex remains troublesome, with the US and China holding opposite viewpoints on the ROK’s decision to withdraw all workers from the complex.

Image source: National Geographic SocietyCLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: Adaptation or development? exploring the distinctions (or lack thereof) through case studies in Bangladesh and Vietnam, Partner report series No 8, Stockholm Environment Institute and Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform (2013)

Development is considered a ‘safer’ objective than adaptation, due to the lack of tools to assess success in achieving adaptation through projects. Differentiating between adaptation and development may be an artificial exercise. In theory, there is a difference between adaptation and development. In project implementation, that difference is mostly considered insignificant. In practice, the actions taken to achieve adaptation can hardly be distinguished from those required to achieve sustainable development.

Image source: Department of DefenceAUSTRAL PEACE AND SECURITY: Japan stirs Campbell’s US ‘pivot’ soup, Peter Lee, Asia Times (26 April 2013)

The less-than-desirable by-product has been the tendency of the pivot’s designated junior partners to tug at the dragon’s whiskers. In the case of Japan, adventurism has gotten out of hand, and the US is responding with anxiety. Japan cutting all sorts of anti-China deals on its own raises the specter of an independent Japanese security policy and, with it, the kind of destabilization that the US pivot to Asia was meant to pre-empt.

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. 

Subscribe to NAPSNet to receive free weekly email reports