Cooperative Threat Reduction Plus for the DPRK
Weekly Newsletters

Cooperative Threat Reduction Plus for the DPRK


22 December 2021

Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week, we feature APLN’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Plus project on how to adapt the Nunn-Lugar CTR program to the DPRK. Through a series of Track 1.5 workshops, special reports, and a final synthesis report published this week, the APLN project assessed multilateral and multisectoral approaches to engaging with the DPRK, including on energy and public health. This offers a pragmatic means for confidence-building, laying the groundwork for future diplomacy and the eventual denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The APLN wishes to thank the ROK Ministry of Unification, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the MacArthur Foundation for their generous support for this project.

Cooperative Threat Reduction Plus:
Breaking the Stalemate with the DPRK

This week, APLN publishes the report Cooperative Threat Reduction Plus: Breaking the Stalemate with the DPRK, highlighting the findings from the CTR Plus project. It proposes the implementation of discrete projects with the potential for large-scale impact. It includes the following recommendations:

Energy: Energy insecurity has been an important driver of the DPRK nuclear weapons program. Cooperative projects in the energy sector and energy-intensive projects in other sectors will help address DPRK’s energy insecurity.

Chemical: The United States and the DPRK should cooperate on chemical weapons disposal modelled on initiatives such as the China-Japan cooperative chemical weapons disposal program.

Nuclear: Following a US-DPRK agreement to freeze DPRK’s nuclear program and declare its uranium enrichment activities, the United States and the ROK should assist the DPRK with converting its nuclear and space infrastructure to civilian use.

Public Health: The DPRK should be encouraged to join the ROK-led Northeast Asia Cooperation for Health Security (NEACHS). Research exchanges with the DPRK’s bioresearch facilities would improve biosecurity and could be modeled on the International Science and Technology Center.

Space Cooperation: The DPRK should recommit to its moratorium on long-range testing of ballistic missiles in exchange for US/ROK-provided satellite data for weather and disaster monitoring, and resource exploration.

Sanctions: The UNSC permanent members should make a careful assessment of partial sanctions relief for the DPRK.

Read the Report (PDF)

As a part of the CTR Plus project, the APLN published five Special Reports that analyzed various aspects of engagement with the DPRK.

In a report that draws on his personal experience with CTR, Siegfried Hecker discusses how lessons learnt from the Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction experience can be applied to the DPRK.

Namrata Goswami examines the DPRK’s space capabilities, explores how space cooperation can be operationalized and funded, and offers a scenario-based analysis.

David von Hippel and Peter Hayes outline a new energy project as complementary to engagement-focused Cooperative Threat Reduction activities for the DPRK.

Sang Min Park proposes the creation of an inter-Korean Biomedical Cluster as a sustainable model for cooperation in the post-pandemic era.

Young-jeon Shin discusses the prospects of Inter-Korean and Northeast Asian cooperation on public health.

Visit the CTR Plus Project Page

The APLN staff wishes you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

APLN Secretariat Staff, from top left: Tanya Ogilvie-White (Senior Research Adviser), Tyler Kim (Operations Manager), Tanvi Kulkarni (Policy Fellow), Amber Jones (Intern), Joyce Lee (Graphic Designer), Elaine Natalie (Policy Fellow), Shata Shetty (Executive Director), Peter Hayes (Research Director), Sungmin Choi (Program Officer), Dawoom Jung (Communications Officer), Joel Petersson Ivre (Policy Fellow).





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