DPRK SRBM Pulse Analyses, Webinar on No First-Use Policy, and Member Activities
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DPRK SRBM Pulse Analyses, Webinar on No First-Use Policy, and Member Activities


April 28, 2021

Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

We would like to share with you our latest Pulse series on North Korea’s new type of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) launched on 25 March 2021.

The Pulse features incisive and timely analyses on policy developments and debates in the Asia Pacific. In this series, Dr. Paul Seukhoon Choi, Director of Stratways Group; Dr. Balbina Y. Hwang, Visiting Professor at Georgetown University; Jessica J. Lee, Senior Research Fellow of the Quincy Institute; and Jenny Town, Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center offer short analyses on the implications of the missile test.




“The recent North Korean ballistic missile launches underscore the need to re-direct DPRK-US-ROK relations. They highlight the accompanying risk of ongoing diplomatic deadlock—an advancing North Korean nuclear and missile posture designed not only for deterrence but also warfighting. The launches demonstrate the expanding operational utility and strategic value of these weapons to the Kim regime. This alters the dynamics of any future negotiations North Korea may have with the United States and South Korea.” – Dr. Paul Seukhoon Choi, StratWays Group




“While denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should continue to be a goal of negotiations, as agreed to in the Singapore Joint Statement and the Panmunjom Declaration, the US and South Korea must recalibrate expectations about how quickly this can be achieved and reprioritize what comes first in that process to reduce risks and threat perceptions.” – Jenny Town, Stimson Center




“Pyongyang’s recent missile tests need to be understood in the context of recent  shifts in the global strategic environment, regional security arrangements, and key regional players’ national interests. These include changed global perceptions of US power and influence;  the US shift from a “Northeast” to “Southwest” Asia-Pacific strategy through the Quad;  and the trend towards an increasingly inward-looking US.” – Dr. Balbina Y. Hwang, Georgetown University




“As the Biden administration concludes its policy review, it must resist pressure from hawks on Capitol Hill for whom there is no such thing as too much pressure on North Korea. What is urgently needed is real negotiation with North Korea, leveraging all of our carrots and sticks toward a comprehensive deal that addresses nuclear, political, and economic issues.” – Jessica J. Lee, Quincy Institute



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Webinar on No-First-Use, Nuclear Risk-Reduction and Disarmament

Tomorrow, Thursday 29 April, APLN members are participating in a webinar exploring the adoption of No-First-Use (NFU) policies, their contribution to nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament, and new possibilities for their adoption by additional nuclear-armed and allied states.APLN Chair and Distinguished Honorary Professor Gareth Evans and APLN Members Dr. Manpreet Sethi, Dr. Tong Zhao, and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs and Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe discuss the arguments that support and prevent the adoption of NFU in the Asia Pacific.

Time: Islamabad 10:30 AM, Delhi 11 AM, Beijing 1:30 PM, Seoul/Tokyo 2:30 PM, Sydney 3:30 PM.

To watch the session, register now.



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The Third Anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration
The last inter-Korean summit between ROK President Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un took place almost exactly three years ago on 27 April 2018. Over the years, APLN has provided in-depth, authoritative research and analyses on promoting peace and security across the Korean peninsula. Please find below selected APLN analyses on DPRK nuclear engagement.



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Network Member Activities
Chinese Perspectives on Enhancing US-China Strategic Stability
On 26 April, APLN board member Dr. Tong Zhao provided his insights on Chinese perspectives of conventional missiles, missile defense, and strategic stability for a report by the United States Institute of Peace. Dr. Zhao discusses the perception gaps between the United States and China concerning the threats posed by their respective missile and missile defense capabilities. Read moreThe Nuclear Taboo and South Asia
On 21 April, APLN board member Dr. Manpreet Sethi wrote for South Asia Voices on the impacts of the global nuclear environment on the nuclear taboo in South Asia. Dr. Sethi argues that while restraint is practiced, complex security conditions significantly raise the possibility of war, which could break the nuclear taboo in India and Pakistan. Read more


















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