Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly

Recommended Citation

"Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly", NAPSNet Weekly Report, May 17, 2012,

 17 May 2012

The Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly Report presents articles and full length reports each week in six categories: Austral securitynuclear deterrenceenergy security, climate change adaptation, the DPRK, 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. Each week, one of our authors also provides a short blog that explores these inter-relationships.


NEW! See this week’s blog from our Climate Change Adaptation contributor, Saleem Janjua.

DETERRENCE:  China and a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in northeast Asia,  Pan Zhenqiang, NAPSNet Special Report (15 May 2012)

Pan states that while China would support the creation of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) in Northeast Asia, at least two issues must first be resolved: 1) North Korea’s nuclear weapons program must be dismantled and 2) the United States policy of extended deterrence (both nuclear and conventional) in the region must be discontinued.

DPRK: No plans to deploy tactical nukes in S. Korea: Pentagon, Lee Chi-dong, Yonhap News Agency  (15 May 2012)

Most U.S., some Korean and all official Chinese reactions to a U.S. Republican proposal that would re-introduce nuclear weapons onto the Korean peninsula ranged from unhelpful to a “stupid move.” Both Koreas sent senior leaders to Southeast Asia with different outcomes. Myanmar agreed to stop buying North Korean Weapons. North Korea sent an official delegation to Singapore and Indonesia. DPRK likely sought investment and economic advice.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: Barriers to effective climate change adaptation – draft report, Productivity Commission, Commonwealth of Australia, 2012 [PDF, 1.49 MB]

Australians would need to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, notwithstanding current and future efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Policy reforms that would help people, firms and governments deal with current climate variability and extreme weather events should be prioritized. These ‘no-regret’ or ‘low-regret’ reforms would deliver benefits and build adaptive capacity for responding effectively to future climatic impacts.

Check out this week’s Climate Change Adaptation blog: Australians Must Adapt to Changing Climate.

ENERGY SECURITY: The energy wars heat up: Six recent clashes and conflicts on a planet heading into energy overdrive, Michael T. Klare, Huffington Post (10 May 2012)

Theories of oil/gas exhaustion and of wars over control of resources do not fail to excite. Klare mentions six conflict areas and claims the reason is that “many of the giant oil and gas fields … are being depleted at a rapid pace.” Resource exhaustion need not lead to wars, just price increases. It doesn’t matter how much is left in the ground, what matters is marginal cost. Two other papers challenge the faith in “peak oil.”

GOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: UPP’s internal meltdown was a long time coming, Kim Hee-jin, Joongang Ilbo (14 May 2012)

ROK minority party United Progressive Party (UPP) faces a split between pro-DPRK hard-liners and its more centrist members, with one representative accused of being a DPRK spy by a former pro-DPRK activist. While many supporters have been turned away, others have called for greater citizen participation and a re-launching of the progressive movement. China has detained four ROK activists in arrests that appear to be related to DPRK refugee issues.

AUSTRAL PEACE AND SECURITY: Chinese official: It’s us or America, Philip Wen, The Age (16 May 2012)

Australia cannot juggle its relationships with the United States and China indefinitely and must choose a ”godfather” to protect it, according to a prominent Chinese defence strategist. The warning by Song Xiaojun, a former senior officer of the People’s Liberation Army, comes after Foreign Minister Bob Carr was told by his Chinese counterpart that Australia’s close military alliance with the US was a throwback to the Cold War era.

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