Nautilus Institute’s Policy Forum‘s focus is on the timely publication of expert analysis and op-ed style pieces on the foremost of security-related issues to Northeast Asia. Its mission is to facilitate a multilateral flow of information among an international network of policy-makers, analysts, scholars, media, and readers. Policy Forum essays are typically from a wide range of expertise, political orientations, as well as geographic regions and seeks to present readers with opinions and analysis by experts on the issues as well as alternative voices not typically presented or heard. Feedback, comments, responses from Policy Forum readers are highly encouraged.
Peter Hayes, Executive Director of the Nautilus Institute, analyses developments in the system of United States nuclear hegemony in East Asia deriving from North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons. Hayes argues that “the nuclear threat projected by the US in this hegemonic system drove the DPRK to adopt a nuclear weapons proliferation strategy that was aimed at compelling the United States to change its policies towards the DPRK. The latter’s successful nuclear breakout demonstrates that today, the hegemon has no clothes, that is, it is not capable of stopping nuclear breakout by a key adversary.” Arguing that the reinforcing of guarantees of extended nuclear deterrence will be unsuccessful and “will lead to eventual nuclear proliferation by the allies themselves”, Hayes concludes that only conventional deterrence “is likely to curb the DPRK’s nuclear threat, head off long-run proliferation by the ROK and Japan, and by realigning its legitimating ideology (“Global Abolition”) with alliance institutions and force structures, restore the now rapidly dwindling US hegemony in the region.”Go to the article
Policy Forum 09-094: Symbolism of the New North Korean Currency: Heralding a Change of Power in North Korea?
Rudiger Frank, Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna, writes, “Technically, the new North Korean currency is an attempt to bring the economy back under control. But the picture of the elderly Kim Il-sung, the first-ever appearance of Kim Jong-il, and the reminder that these two leaders form a unity and that the Party is above the military also indicate that a power change in North Korea is drawing closer.”Go to the article
Aidan Foster-Carter, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea at Leeds University, writes, “Nuclear weapons may be misguided self-defence, but state crime is North Korea’s unforced and persistent choice. This is a pit Pyongyang dug for itself, as it has so many others – while often resisting or even biting the helping hand that offers to pull it out. So the fear must be that Kim Jong-il has no desire to go straight; that indeed he cannot conceive of doing so. Or again, in all honesty what hope is there for a ruler who quails in fear at TV adverts for beer?”Go to the article
Rudiger Frank, Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna, writes, “In hindsight, we will realize that the currency reform of December 2009 might have been a short-term victory for the North Korean government, but that it was not able to root out private economic activities and in the long run contributed significantly to a dangerous loss of the system’s legitimacy.”Go to the article
Policy Forum Online 09-079A: Response to “U.S. Strategy Towards North Korea: Rebuilding Dialogue and Engagement
Policy Forum Online 09-079A: October 1st, 2009 By Tong Kim CONTENTS I. Introduction II. Comments by Tong Kim III. Notes IV. Nautilus invites your responses Go to U.S. Strategy Towards North Korea: Rebuilding Dialogue and Engagement (October 1st, 2009) I. Introduction The following are comments on the essay, “U.S. Strategy Towards North Korea: Rebuilding Dialogue […]Go to the article
Policy Forum 09-078: North Korea’s Second Nuclear Test: Implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874
The Congressional Research Service prepared this report on the implications of UNSC Resolution 1874 which placed “sanctions on North Korea’s arms sales, luxury goods, and financial transactions related to its weapons programs, and calls upon states to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying such shipments.” The report outlines the main provisions of the bill and notes the implications of both the resolution and the sanctions it imposes.Go to the article
Masa Takubo, an independent analyst on nuclear issues and Operator of the Nuclear Information website Kakujoho, writes, “the fear-mongering claims that Japan will want nuclear weapons if the US adopts a new policy need to be examined more rigorously. Misinterpretation of Japan’s intentions should not become the reason for no change. Nor should Japan be used as an excuse by those who want to keep US nuclear policies stuck in the cold war.”Go to the article
Qiong Qiao and Zhou Hualei write, “Public interest litigation aims to adjust the unequal allocation of resources as it impacts the poorest and most marginalized groups in society. However, in the current situation public lawyers themselves are a vulnerable group.”Go to the article
Policy Forum 09-075: A Smart Alliance in the Age of Complexity; ROK-U.S. Alliance in the 21st Century
Seongho Sheen, assistant professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University and member of Policy Advisory Board of the ROK Ministry of Defense, writes, “It is clear that the two allies need each other to face both old and new challenges. The alliance needs change to deal with those challenges more effectively. A smart alliance combining a hard and soft approach will provide answers for one of South Korea’s ‘closest friends and greatest allies’ of the twenty-first century.”Go to the article
Policy Forum 09-074: Hatoyama Government and Japan’s Defense Guidelines: Pause or End to Alliance Deepening?
Sourabh Gupta, Senior Research Associate at Samuels International Associates, Inc., writes, “the Hatoyama government issued Defense Guidelines could potentially facilitate the SDF’s deployment in threat-based instances, both in rear area military support mode and pre-and-post-conflict ‘policing’ mode collective security operations – subject to the minimum condition that such deployment be covered by an explicit U.N. Chapter VII mandate. And by the same token, military or policing activities beyond individual self-defense ceilings that are seen to be loosely authorized, either of its own accord or at the initiative of the U.S. and select allies, will not be entertained – short of Japan suffering a direct armed attack.”Go to the article