Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 20 June 2013

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"Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 20 June 2013", NAPSNet Weekly Report, June 20, 2013,

United States Department of DefenseDETERRENCE: Back to the drawing board: the need for sound science in U.S. missile defense, Phillip Coyle (13 February 2013)

If US Missile Defense Agency pursues scientific dead ends, then US missile defenses will be expensive pipe dreams, cobbled together from components that do not work together in a “system of systems,” failing to satisfy the mission.

Image source: www.zimbio.comDPRK: (China’s) Foreign Ministry to hold strategic talks with DPRK, China Daily (18 June 2013)

North Korea’s relationship with China is subtly yet perceptibly changing. Kim Kye-gwan, former head of North Korea’s Six Party Talks delegation, will be in Beijing shortly before South Korea’s President visits and shortly after the South Korean Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited.  Notably, Kim’s visit is State to State; one of the few NOT Party to Party discussions. No overarching framework has been articulated for the talks.

Image source: Rungroj Yongrit/Agence France-PresseENERGY SECURITY: Four energy policies can keep the 2 °C climate goal alive, IEA (10 June 2013)

Keeping the goal alive only by setting an ambitious but doable goal for 2020; how one goes from there to drastic cuts by 2050 and whether international negotiations are a help or a hindrance is the bigger question. IEA also warns of higher warming, while NY Times points out “important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system” and the FCCC talks in Bonn break down on disagreements over “hot air”. Reality fits the metaphor.

Image source: ReutersGOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: N. Korea alters definition of “denuclearization”, Gil Yun-hyung, Hankyoreh (17 June 2013)

The DPRK has called for high-level talks with the US following the breakdown of talks with the ROK last week. The DPRK says there must be no preconditions to US talks as the DPRK National Defense Commission released a statement further redefining “denuclearization” to include both Koreas. Some see the DPRK’s latest moves for dialogue as a means for gaining back favor with China rather than sincere offers.

Image source: ABCCLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: Planning, building and insuring: adaptation of built environment to climate change induced increased intensity of natural hazards, David King et al., James Cook University and NCCARF (2013) [4.41 MB, PDF]

The complexity and social and economic importance of the built environment requires focused governance to develop adaptation and hazard mitigation for community resilience to climate change and to predicted extreme events. Where issues of adaptation and hazard mitigation impact public safety, they are best tackled through legislation, codes and policy.

Image source Jordon Cooper/FlickerCLIMATE CHANGE AND SECURITY: Climate Change and Conflict: Avoiding small talk about the weather, Emily Meierding, International Studies Review, Vol. 15, No. 2 (June 2013)

Rather than developing claims that are specific to climate change–conflict relationships, analysts tend to import arguments from the earlier environmental literatures. It is often unclear whether the climate change–conflict relationship is actually being tested. Recommendations: incorporation of agricultural variables into models; emphasis on conditional effects, with attention to local institutions; and a shift from climate change to climate uncertainty.

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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