Upcoming Webinar: Cooperative Solutions for North Korean Denuclearisation

Upcoming Webinar: Cooperative Solutions for North Korean Denuclearisation

Join webinars with ROK Minister of Unification, Lee In-Young, former US Senator Sam Nunn, and others as they discuss the potential for an effective Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Cooperative Threat Reduction plus (CTR+) initiative. 

Webinar 1: “Applying CTR to the Korean Peninsula” – 15 Sept, 8-10am (KST) | 14 Sept, 7-9pm (EST) 
Webinar 2: “CTR+ and Energy Security in the DPRK” – 24 Sept, 8-10am (KST) | 23 Sept, 7-9pm (EST)
Webinar 3: “CTR+ and Public Health”- 28 Sept, 8-10am (KST) | 27 Sept, 7-9pm (EST)  

Webinars live-streamed on the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) YouTube channel.   

 In September 2021, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) will be hosting three online webinars to review the potential for an effective North Korean Cooperative Threat Reduction Plus (CTR+) initiative in the context of a renewed diplomatic approach to the DPRK. 

The webinar series will commence with special remarks by the ROK Minister of Unification Lee In-Young and will feature senior experts from the US and ROK who will consider how to conceptualize and implement CTR+.  

CTR+ is based on the US-Soviet Cooperative Threat Reduction program but tailored to the specific and unique circumstances presented in the case of the DPRK. The CTR+ initiative envisions a Cooperative Threat Reduction program in the DPRK that will successfully facilitate not only the shutdown of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program and elimination of its related nuclear weapons facilities, but also the redeployment of its nuclear weapons’ capable personnel. 

The purpose is to explore the viability of a CTR program which facilitates not only CTR-nuclear, but also parallel, linked, and concurrent engagement in other critical sectors of the North Korean economy (i.e. space, energy, and public health), hence CTR+.  

Each session will feature an expert presentation based on an analytical paper. 

The first webinar, “Applying CTR to the Korean Peninsula,” will be held on Wednesday 15 September, 8am KST. Opening remarks will be given by Senator Sam Nunn, Chair of Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Dr Marty Natelagawa, Chair of APLN and former Foreign Minister of Indonesia. Moderated by Chung-in Moon, Vice-Chair of APLN and Chair of the Sejong Institute, this webinar will feature presentations by Dr Siegfried Hecker, former Director of Los Alamos Laboratory and Dr Namrata Goswami, independent scholar on space policy.  

  • Dr. Siegfried Hecker on “Lessons Learned, Differences, and Practical Approaches Comparing US-Soviet and Russian CTR-nuclear program with DPRK-CTR-nuclear program.”
  • Dr. Namrata Goswami on “CTR+, Space Engagement, and Cooperation with the DPRK.”

The second Webinar, “CTR+ and Energy Security in the DPRK,” will be live on Friday, September 24, 8am KST featuring opening remarks by Dr Peter Hayes, Director of Nautilus Institute, and presentation by Dr David Von Hippel. Moderated by APLN Executive Director, Ms Shata Shetty, this webinar will discuss how CTR can be linked to energy sustainability and prosperity in the DPRK and potential for converting military work to civilian in the energy domain.  

  • Dr David von Hippel on “Linking CTR to Energy Sustainability and Prosperity in the DPRK.

On Tuesday, September 28, 8am KST, the third webinar “CTR and Public Health,” will cover how regional cooperation on public health could enable engagement with the DPRK as part of a broader CTR package to enhance peaceful scientific engagement and cooperation. Professor Jong-koo Lee, former Director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) will give the opening remarks. Moderated by Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, this webinar will feature presentations by Professor Park Sang-min, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Professor Shin Yeong-jeon, Hanyang University School of Medicine. 

  • Professor Shin Yeong-jeon, Hanyang University School of Medicine: “Northeast Asian Public Health Initiative.” 
  • Professor Park Sang-min, Seoul National University College of Medicine, “DPRK’s Covid-19 Outbreak Update, and DPRK Public Health Sector Priorities and Resource Requirements.” 

The webinars are supported by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and sponsored by the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Unification and MacArthur Foundation. 


Note to Editors 

For further information about the CTR+ project please contact Ms Elaine NATALIE, Policy Fellow on nataliee@apln.network 

For press information please contact Ms Dawoom JUNG, Communications Officer on jungdw@apln.network. 

What is the Cooperative Threat Reduction program? 

The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program was created by the United States after the dissolution of the Soviet Union to provide financial assistance and technical expertise to secure or eliminate nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

The former Soviet Union was focused on the need to transition the nuclear weapons complex to non-nuclear weapons work, and to reduce nuclear risk from migration, materials leakage, etc. This is also the case with the DPRK, but the complex is much smaller; and the opportunities for gainful nuclear-related employment in nuclear weapons or nuclear power is low to zero.   

The need to supplement CTR-nuclear with other strategic benefits in the DPRK also diverges substantially from the former Soviet Union’s case. Thus, the CTR equation and DPRK calculus are different, and missiles and space, energy, and public health are an integral part of that difference.

We refer to such an expanded version of CTR for the DPRK as CTR+. Senior experts from ROK and US will speak on how to conceptualize and implement CTR+ in the context of a renewed diplomatic approach to the DPRK.