Tackling the Resistance to No First Use
Weekly Newsletters

Tackling the Resistance to No First Use


21 January 2022

Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week, Dmitry Stefanovich analyses risk reduction and incident prevention mechanisms for the Asia-Pacific while Matt Korda assesses the nuclear weapons that might be used in a Korean Peninsula conflict. Tanya Ogilvie-White argues that Asian leadership on institutionalising No First Use policies could promote their wider adoption.

In the latest APLN special report, Dmitry Stefanovich examines existing and future risk reduction measures and incident prevention mechanisms with a focus on opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region.Key recommendations: 

  • Establish a regional, multilateral long-range missile and space launch rocket notification regime that enable states to monitor and verify compliance with the regime.
  • Establish hardened, modernized, and harmonized multilateral hotlines between the capitals of the region for transmission of missile launches notifications and for crisis communications.
  • Delimit deployment of ballistic missile-firing submarines to reduce adversaries’ fear of disarming strikes and development and deployment of long-range Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities.
  • Decouple nuclear weapons from aircraft staging bases so that non-strategic nuclear weapons are noticed when they are deployed.  
  • Reinforce the nuclear-use taboo by more stringent application of the Law of Armed Conflict to nuclear operations of all kinds. 

Read Now (PDF)

This special report is a part of an APLN project on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In this project, experts and APLN members assess key features of WMD infrastructure, force structures, capabilities, envisioned uses and solutions across the Asia-Pacific WMD landscape.

In a new report, Matt Korda evaluates the nuclear arsenals of the DPRK, the United States, Russia, and China, and how these may be used in a conflict on the Korean Peninsula.Korda argues that it is highly unlikely that any party would use nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula but explains how nuclear use could be possible in some scenarios:

  • The DPRK might launch nuclear weapons at targets in the ROK, Japan, and the United States if it perceived an immediate existential threat to its survival.
  • The United States would likely only initiate a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula if it believed that the DPRK was about to launch its own nuclear weapons.
  • Russia and China are only likely to use nuclear weapons in a conflict involving the Korean Peninsula if their core strategic interests were threatened.

Read Now (PDF)

This report is a part of a joint project on Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Weapon Use in Northeast Asia (NU-NEA) with the Nautilus Institute, the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA), and the Panel on Peace and Security of North East Asia (PSNA).

Lessons from Asian Leadership on No-First Use

In the latest APLN commentary, Tanya Ogilvie-White makes the case for better understanding and addressing the reasons against adopting No First Use, and for China and India to lead the way by institutionalising their NFU pledges.

Read Now

APLN Member Contributions to Asian Security
The latest issue of Asian Security features articles on No First Use, with contributions by several APLN Members:

  • “Asia-Pacific perspectives on no-first use of nuclear weapons” by Tanya Ogilvie-White.
  • “No-first-use of nuclear weapons: Australian perspectives and possible contributions” by Marianne Hanson.
  • “Examining NFU – lessons from Southern Asia” by Manpreet Sethi
  • “China and the international debate on no first use of nuclear weapons” by Tong Zhao.
  • “‘No first use’ in the context of the U.S.-Japan Alliance” by Nobumasa Akiyama.

Nuclear disarmament and human security
On 19 January, APLN Members Abdul Nayyar, Chungin Moon, and Manpreet Sethi, participated in a panel discussion co-hosted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the World Future Council (WFC). Read more

Geopolitics drives Xi’s economic agenda
On 17 January, APLN Member Shyam Saran, published a column in Business Standard, where he wrote about China’s economic statecraft. Read more

Was this newsletter forwarded to you?
Sign up here to receive weekly updates from APLN.

Want direct updates on non-proliferation and disarmament issues
in the Asia-Pacific?

Before it’s in the newsletter, it’s on social media.
Follow APLN for direct updates in your favorite social media feed.






Copyright © Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
All rights reserved.
4th fl., 116, Pirundae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea, (03035)
Tel: +82-2-2135-2170
Email: apln@apln.network
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.