Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 20 February 2014

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"Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 20 February 2014", NAPSNet Weekly Report, February 20, 2014,

english.people.comAnchorDETERRENCE: China’s Deceptively Weak (and Dangerous) Military, Ian Easton, The Diplomat, January 31, 2014

In many ways, the PLA is much weaker than it looks. Its hardware and poor morale in key units suggest that it is a non-professional, party-political, conservative and risk-averse military force.  Lacking combat experience and due to its weakness, it has adopted destabilizing intermediate range missiles and asymmetric cyber, drone, and space weapons.

  • The Arms Race Goes Hypersonic, Why China’s new ultrafast missile has Moscow and Washington scrambling, James Action, Foreign Policy, January 30, 2014.

AnchorDPRK: Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Republic of Korea, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, February 17, 2014

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry documented evidence against North Korea in nine specific areas. However, it also listed several practical steps for engaging North Korea.  North Korea rejected the report.  China denounced the process, but did not reflexively defend North Korea.  China sent two delegations to DPRK in rapid succession; probably to assess conditions as well as possibly inform DPRK of U.S. proposals. A U.S. private delegation visited North Korea indicating some channels have a bit of life.

nytimes.comAnchorENERGY SECURITY: Science Linking Drought to Global Warming Remains Matter of Dispute, Justin Gillis, New York Times, February 16 2014

In California, a drought of ‘once in 500 years’ kind, i.e., before there was a California,  whereas the Thames river swells to some of its highest levels for 60 years. Over in India, unseasonal rains damage books at an open fair. Too little or too much water is not exactly a surprise, and uncertainty is as good as certain. What has changed is human use or abuse of waters and lakes, and arguably deliberate neglect of protection systems. Note: (crore = ten million; current rate 62 Indian rupees per US$)

wikimedia.orgAnchorGOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: 21 Envoys Form Peninsula Club, Joongang Ilbo, February 19 2014

The ROK launched a consultative group of 21 foreign envoys to serve as a platform to lay the foundation for Korean reunification. Former US envoy Christopher Hill stressed the need for stronger ROK, Japan and China relations to resolve DPRK issues to the ROK National Assembly, and ROK and Japan officials met following US Secretary Kerry’s visits. Weak ROK and Japan ties may be an opportunity for China to counterbalance the US in the region. CHANGE ADAPTATION: A Qualitative Examination of the Health Workforce Needs during Climate Change Disaster Response in Pacific Island Countries, Michele Rumsey et al., Human Resources for Health, vol. 12, no. 9, February 12 2014

The intersection between climate change, disasters, health and development is an area of concern for the development community. A growing body of evidence links human-induced global warming to an increased number of observed extreme weather events, particularly heat waves and extremes in precipitation, with ‘plausible’ evidence for a link to an increased severe storm potential. Projections for tropical cyclone frequency for the Pacific follow global trends – that is, less frequent, but more intense, tropical cyclones by the end of the 21st century.

theguardian.comAnchorAUSTRAL PEACE AND SECURITY: Jakarta Sees Chilly Ties with Australia until October, Indonesian Government Document, Aubrey Belford, Reuters, February 16 2014

Standing next to John Kerry, Foreign Minister Natalegawa said it was “very simple.” “Australia must decide if Indonesia is a friend or an enemy.” A near perfect storm has descended on Australian relations with its nominal strategic partner, made up of yet more revelations of Australian spying; Australia’s secretive asylum seeker policy; and allegations of navy torture of asylum seekers. Meanwhile, Australia wants the Triton drone for regional surveillance.

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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