India-Pakistan Nuclear Dynamics and Perspectives on AUKUS
Weekly Newsletters

India-Pakistan Nuclear Dynamics and Perspectives on AUKUS






24 September 2021




Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week’s newsletter features an APLN special report on India-Pakistan nuclear dynamics by APLN member and former Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood, reactions from across the region on the AUKUS deal, and a new APLN-Korea Times column on nuclear dangers in Asia. We also share updates on our webinar series on cooperative solutions for North Korean denuclearization, and member activities.





India-Pakistan Nuclear Dynamics

This week, APLN published a Special Report by APLN Member, Indian Ambassador, Rakesh Sood. The report is the latest in a series on WMD threats in the Asia-Pacific and examines the India-Pakistan nuclear relationship.In the report, Ambassador Sood compares the nuclear doctrines of both countries, current nuclear capabilities and future plans, including in the context of emergent technologies. He also assesses the role of external actors, including the United States and China.

Key recommendations include:

  • Dialogue between India and Pakistan is essential for crisis management.
  • Expectations must be modest to prevent overloading the dialogue process.
  • A regional nuclear dialogue between India and China would help, particularly if Pakistan could be drawn into a trilateral no-first-use understanding.
  • A global no-first-use agreement would put pressure on Pakistan to follow suit.
  • A bilateral or multilateral dialogue on new emergent technologies may also facilitate shared understanding about the risks of these technologies.



Read the Special Report here



On September 16, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia announced a new agreement, AUKUS, allowing Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology for the first time. This has sparked concerns over proliferation risks and security implications for the region.Since the announcement, APLN has solicited a range of perspectives and analyses from our members and experts from across the Asia Pacific, including by new Chair and former Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, Vice-Chair Chung-in Moon (ROK), Tôn Nữ Thị Ninh (Vietnam), Sharon Squassoni (US), as well as commentaries by Allan Behm (Australia), John Carlson (Australia) and short pieces by Mely Caballero-Anthony (Singapore) and Gareth Evans (Australia).

APLN will continue to explore the issue in the coming days and weeks.



Read the Pulse on AUKUS here



On 22 September, APLN Senior Research Adviser Dr. Tanya Ogilvie-White published a column in the Korea Times together with Dr. Wilfred Wan (UNIDIR). They argue that nuclear risks in Asia are growing, and highlight three steps to address this risk. Read more








On 24 September, APLN hosted the second of three online webinars to review the potential for an effective DPRK Cooperative Threat Reduction plus (CTR+) initiative.

The webinar featured opening remarks by Dr. Peter Hayes, Director of Nautilus Institute, and a presentation by Dr. David von Hippel on the topic  “Linking CTR to Energy Sustainability and Prosperity in the DPRK.” The session was moderated by APLN Executive Director Shata Shetty.



Watch the Second Session on YouTube

The third webinar, “CTR and Public Health,” will be moderated by Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and will examine the relationship between CTR+ and public health. Professor Jong-koo Lee, former Director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) will give the opening remarks to be followed by two expert presentations:
  • “DPRK’s Covid-19 Outbreak Update, and DPRK Public Health Sector Priorities and Resource Requirements” by Professor Park Sang-min, Seoul National University College of Medicine
  • “Northeast Asian Public Health Initiative” by Professor Shin Yeong-jeon, Hanyang University School of Medicine.
For more information about the CTR+ series, please visit our website. Tune in live to the APLN YouTube channel for the third webinar next Monday 27th September from 7:00 PM (EST) / Tuesday 27th September from 8:00 AM (KST).





China’s new nuclear silo fields: Negotiating card or arms race catalyst
On 22 September, APLN Board Member Tong Zhao, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment, discussed the recent open-source discoveries of the new Chinese nuclear missile fields together with other experts in a live talk hosted by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Watch here




Nuclear Submarines: Mitigating the Proliferation Impacts
On 22 September, APLN Senior Associate Fellow John Tilemann published an article on the AUKUS deal for the Toda Peace Institute. In his article, he argued that the deal will “exacerbate regional military rivalries in a frame of weak or non-existing structures for managing tensions and mitigating nuclear risks.”  Read more




The Real Risks of Australia’s Submarine Deal
On 22 September, APLN Board Member Gareth Evans, published an op-ed on the AUKUS deal in Project Syndicate, expanding on several of the points in his analysis for APLN last week. Read more




Book Review: Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament: A History
On 21 September, APLN Senior Associate Fellow John Tilemann reviewed “Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament: A History” by Yuri Kostenko, former Ukrainian Minister for Environment. Read more




Feminist Foreign Policy and Nuclear Security in India
On 20 September, APLN Policy Fellow Dr. Tanvi Kulkarni published an article in South Asian Voices on the importance of a gender perspective on India’s nuclear policy. Her article argues that it is important to bring gender perspectives into the mainstream of India’s overall national security discourse. Read more




StratNewsGlobal Special Edition on Climate Change Challenges
On 19 September, APLN member Shyam Saran, former Indian Ambassador and Foreign Secretary, was interviewed on StratNewsGlobal discussing next month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26. Watch here



















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