• EU Non Proliferation and Disarmament Conference

    The EU, China and Non-Proliferation: From Iran to North Korea?

    11 November 2015. 

    EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference 2015 Special Session 4
    Chair: Erwin Häckel, Associate Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) 
    Fabienne Pehuet Lucet, Independent Consultant
    Bong Geun Jun, Professor, Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, Korean National Diplomatic Academy
    Hamad Alkaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA

  • IISS Voices

    William Choong: Abe's security bills represent evolution not revolution

    01 October 2015.  The prime minister's move to increase the role of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces has caused controversy, but the country long ago moved away from a pacifist stance

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Iran deal leaves N. Korea alone in rogue states club

    23 July 2015.  North Korea’s rejection of an Iran-style nuclear deal, as conveyed by a Foreign Ministry spokesman on July 21, came as no surprise. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is different from Iran, he said, and its nuclear weapons programme 'is not up for bargain'. The differences are indeed vast. Whereas Iran’s official policy is to reject nuclear weapons as haram (forbidden), North Korea’s nuclear-armed status is enshrined in its constitution and...

  • Shangri-La Voices

    Mark Fitzpatrick: The country that keeps one up at night

    29 May 2015.  By Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme In a recent interview, Admiral Harry Harris Jr, who is participating in the Shangri-La Dialogue just after assuming leadership of the US Pacific Command, called North Korea ‘the greatest threat we face’ and the country that keeps him ‘up at night’. The nuclear challenge that Pyongyang presents to its immediate neighbours is supplemented by land- and sea-based ballistic-missile programmes that are being developed to...

  • Strategic Dossiers

    Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2015

    29 May 2015. 

    Key developments and trends in Asia-Pacific security

  • Shangri-La Voices

    Matthew Cottee: North Korea - Are more sanctions the answer?

    27 May 2015.  By Matthew Cottee, Research Associate, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme In response to North Korea’s test of a prototype submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) earlier this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that the existing sanctions regime should be extended to curb further progress in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes. Although the effectiveness of this approach may be questioned, are there any viable alternatives? In a 9 May report, Kim Jong-un...

  • Strategic Dossiers

    Chapter Eight: South Korea’s Regional Relations

    26 May 2015. 

    China relations: engage but hedge; The DPRK issue; Diplomatic overtures continue; Repercussions for the ROK–US alliance; Balancing against Beijing; Japan Relations: Tangled Histories; Disputes and disagreements; US Relations: Trilateral Challenges; The US–ROK alliance continues; Challenges to the alliance; Southeast Asia Relations; Regional Power, Global Aspirations

  • Expert Commentary

    Guardian: Gold seizure highlights dilemma of diplomacy with North Korea

    19 March 2015.  By Matthew Cottee, Research Analyst, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme Last week a North Korean diplomat was caught smuggling gold estimated to be worth £1m from Singapore to Bangladesh. The route of travel and amount of gold seized suggests that North Korea was probably in the process of paying for something, but for what remains unclear. Whilst some might question the outdated payment method, a recent UN security council report suggests that this a...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Netanyahu’s False Analogy

    06 March 2015.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest argument against the impending nuclear deal concerns the prospect that Iran could get away with cheating, especially after the limits on the enrichment programme expire in about 15 years. If and when an agreement is reached, the Western nations involved in the talks will have to provide a substantive response. Since the debate is already raging, here are my two cents. Verification of non-proliferation rules...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: North Korea won’t have 100 nukes by 2020, but that’s no comfort

    02 March 2015.  When analysts offer a range of possibilities about future nuclear and missile threats, the typical journalistic response is to hype the worst of the cases presented. Thus, the lead in most stories about a new report on growth in North Korea’s strategic arsenal focused on the dire prediction that by 2020 Pyongyang could have up to 100 nuclear warheads. Such a ten-fold increase over the IISS strategic dossier estimate in...

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