Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 24 October 2013

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"Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly – 24 October 2013", NAPSNet Weekly Report, October 24, 2013,

Image source: Russian video from Center of Public Integrity

DETERRENCE: A New Use for Nuclear Weapons: Hunting Rogue Asteroids, A persistent campaign by weapons designers to develop a nuclear defense against extraterrestrial rocks slowly wins government support, D. Birch, Center for Public Integrity, October 16, 2013

Defending Earth against low probability asteroidal impacts that generates tsunamis, urban and habitat blow-down, etc could require nuclear weapons. The US and Russia have agreed to study this issue.

Photo source: SF Chronicle

DPRK: N. Korea Holds Rare Meeting of Military Officers, Yonhap News Agency, Globalpost, (22 October 2013)

Some may consider North Korea’s efforts to simultaneously reach out and yet strengthen domestic political education as leading indicators of change.  The effectiveness of both efforts will only be visible in the future.  However, the relative stability is certainly welcome.  Also the more connections North Korea makes and rebuilds, the more relief valves exist in the future for North Korea to express displeasure.

Photo source: weazelzippers.comENERGY SECURITY: UN Warms to Idea of Using Giant Mirrors in Fight Against Climate Change Effects, Pilita Clark, Financial Times [20 September 2013]

Short of funds for many of its other activities, UN finds it easy to dream up gigantic mirrors while avoiding looking at a mirror itself. If not carbon capture, solar radiation management, an idea that was around in mid-1970s to fight global cooling. Others demand leaving fossil fuels in the ground. One step toward that was proposed by the USEPA recently, and is sure to be challenged in the courts. Liberal Democrats in UK have switched their allegiance to nuclear power.

Photo source: UPI

GOVERNANCE & CIVIL SOCIETY: Park Seeks a New Image for Her Father’s Saemaul, Heo Jin, Joongang Ilbo (21 October 2013)

ROK President Park has proposed a new direction for the Saemaul Movement, a hallmark of the Park Chung-hee regime, calling for a movement based on community and creativity. However, Saemaul also stirs memories of former President Park’s Yushin policies, leading some to question whether the current administration should tout the movement. The ROK plans to export its experience of Saemaul to developing countries, in cooperation with the UNDP.

Photo source: Herald sunCLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: The National Adaptation Programme: Making the Country Resilient to a Changing Climate, Presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 58 of the Climate Change Act 2008, London: The Stationery Office, UK (July 2013) [4.51 MB, PDF]

If adapting to climate change is in the private interests of an individual and an organization then it should occur naturally and without the government’s intervention (except in areas of the government’s responsibility). This is already happening in some cases. However, barriers to adaptation do exist. To take advantage of the economic and social benefits of adaptation we need to overcome these barriers.

Photo source: GeorgistJournal


Re-thinking colonialism to prepare for the impacts of rapid environmental change, Nicholas James Reo and Angela K. Parker, Climatic Change (2013) 120:671–682

Historical analysis of linked ecological and societal rapid changes may help determine pathways to desirable futures. By the close of King Phillip’s War in 1676 New England was transformed from a heterogeneous patchwork of ecosystems supporting diverse food systems into a depauperate hash of fields and forests susceptible to pest outbreaks and erosion. The concept of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) helped quiet the noise in the chaotic colonial history.

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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