ASEAN's Nuclear and Radiological Preparedness
Weekly Newsletters

ASEAN's Nuclear and Radiological Preparedness



20 April 2023

This week, Julius Cesar Trajano discusses measures for improving nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness in ASEAN and beyond, Abdul Hameed Nayyar provides a creative suggestion for denuclearising Pakistan, and APLN welcomes Manpreet Sethi as a new Senior Research Adviser. We also share press coverage of our latest report on humanitarian consequences of nuclear use, as well as member activities.

Enhancing Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response in ASEAN and Beyond

Julius Cesar Trajano, Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, explains how ASEAN can expand its work on nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness to include regional states.

Read the Policy Brief

Denuclearizing Pakistan

Abdul Hameed Nayyar, founding member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, argues that Pakistan’s political, economic, and social crisis, coupled with security threats from jihadist groups and the country’s debt crisis, has raised concerns about the safety of its nuclear arsenal, makes denuclearization challenging but potentially achievable through international economic incentives.

Read The Korea Times column

APLN warmly welcomes Dr. Manpreet Sethi as our Senior Research Adviser. Dr Sethi is an expert on a range of nuclear issues, having published over 120 papers in academic journals. She is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, where she leads the project on nuclear security.

Over the last 25 years she has been researching subjects related to nuclear energy, strategy, non-proliferation, disarmament, arms and export controls, and Ballistic Missile Defense. She is a member of the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons (IGEP).

Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Use Cases in Northeast Asia: Implications for Reducing Nuclear Risk

Year 2 Project Report and Press Conference

In collaboration with APLN and the Nautilus Institutethe Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA) at Nagasaki University held a press conference to announce the release of the report “Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Use in Northeast Asia: Implications for Reducing Nuclear Risk.” The report lays out five sobering scenarios of nuclear weapons use and its horrific human costs.

The press conference highlighted the report’s key conclusions, including the urgent need for increased transparency of nuclear stockpiles and the development of regional and global policy measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

Footage from NBC‘s coverage of the APLN, Nautilus, RECNA press conference. The event was also covered by Nagasaki Shimbun, NHK, and Kyodo News (in Japanese).

Read the Special Report

Decoupling: A Path of No Return Between China and the United States?

Zha Daojiong‘s report on decoupling between China and the United States is now available in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

APLN has more than 130 members from 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific. Below we feature some of their contributions to security debates in the region and beyond.

The latest APLN member activities can be found on the APLN website.

See all member activities

The Human Horror of a Nuclear Conflict in Northeast Asia

Eva Lisowski, APLN Associate Fellow, co-wrote an article with David Von Hippel and lay out stark scenarios of nuclear-weapons use and their horrible costs. The impacts go well beyond the Korean Peninsula and raise the risks of a global nuclear disaster.

Coming to Terms with North Korea’s Nuclear Strength

Chung-in Moon, APLN Vice Chair, co-wrote an article with Kim Jungsup on the security situation on the Korean peninsula, arguing that a level-headed, realistic approach, even one that may acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear-weapons state, is needed to redefine approaches to the threat.

Going Nuclear Would Ruin South Korea’s Prosperity and Prestige

Chung-in Moon, APLN Vice Chair, argues that given what’s at stake for South Korea’s security, economy and reputation in the world, going nuclear is the wrong path to go down.

China’s Role in Shaping South Korea’s Nuclear Choice

Tong Zhao, Senior Fellow at the Nuclear Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, co-wrote an article with Jungmin Kang that examines China’s role in shaping South Korea’s nuclear choices. The authors propose better engagement with China to de-escalate tensions and promote a stable nuclear order.

South Korean Nuclear Weapons Would Make Things Worse

Van Jackson, Professor of International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, co-wrote an article with Toby Dalton, arguing that if South Korea goes nuclear, it could backfire badly and increase rather than decrease the risks and uncertainties the country would face. 

Heading the Wrong Way? Japan and the Growing Nuclear Threats in Northeast Asia

Tatsujiro Suzuki, Vice Director and Professor of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University, analyses the impacts and consequences of Japan’s new military-oriented policies and offers a way forward.

The Long Saga of Nuclear ‘Vortex Politics’ in Korea

Peter Hayes, Director of Nautilus Institute, examines how the first pulse of South Korean nuclear proliferation under the dictator Park Chung Hee compares with current President Yoon Suk-yeol’s proliferation ruminations.

As the U.S. and China Part Ways, the Global South Finds Its Own Path

Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore’s former Ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on the Sinica Podcast to discuss his recent essay in Foreign Affairs, and to advocate for the pragmatic approach that’s held ASEAN together for over five decades of continuous peace and growing prosperity.

For Japan, ‘Ukraine is the Future of Asia’

C Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, writes for Foreign Affair on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s trip to Ukraine. He argues that Tokyo has abandoned decades of passivity and become a global strategic actor. 



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