The 2020 APLN and Korea Times Student Essay Contest
Past Events

The 2020 APLN and Korea Times Student Essay Contest

The APLN and Korea Times Essay Contest on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament in the Asia-Pacific Region

“Youth, Disarmament, and Peace in the Asia-Pacific Region”

In July 2020, the APLN in collaboration with The Korea Times and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an essay contest inviting young people from universities to submit essays on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in the Asia-Pacific region. The competition provides the opportunity to engage with next generation to share their perspectives on challenging security issues. Undergraduate and graduate students were invited to submit essays in English between 800-1000 words on the following topics by 31 October 2020. A total of 73 papers were received.

Essay topics

1. Analysis of the erosion of international nuclear governance such as the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF), and New START and to prescriptions to revive them.

2. The strategic nuclear rivalry between China and the US and emerging patterns of nuclear arms race in the Asia-Pacific region.

3. The North Korean nuclear problem involving the analysis of current stalemate in negotiations and prescriptions to resolve it.

4. Impacts of emerging technologies, such as hypersonic and space related technologies, autonomous drones, additive manufacturing, and artificial intelligence on nuclear security and stability in the region.

5. Balancing and encouraging the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the region while guarding against proliferation.

6. Regional perspectives on missile defense, the role of the offense-defense relationship in regional stability, ways to increase regional cooperation and/or dialogue to reduce the risk of nuclear use.

7. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nuclear security in the Asia Pacific region.

The winners were selected and announced in November. The top three winners were awarded with 2,000,000 KRW from the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1,000,000 KRW from the Korea Times and 1,000,000 KRW from the APLN. The winning essays were published in The Korea Times and on the APLN website. Five runners up also received a monetary reward of 500,000 KRW each and their essays will also be published on the APLN website. The top three winners will also have the opportunity to participate in the 19th ROK-UN Conference on Disarmament and a round-table discussion with high-profile APLN members.

Contact Information

  • Yoonsoo KIM, Program Fellow
  • The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN)
  • 302, 102 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, ROK 03169
  • Phone: +82-70-4866-0796
  • Email: