The War in Ukraine and its Implications for Northeast Asia
Weekly Newsletters

The War in Ukraine and its Implications for Northeast Asia



28 October 2022

This week, Paul K. Davis shows how the war in Ukraine increases the range of nuclear-use scenarios in Northeast Asia in his policy brief. Renee Moorjani assesses civil society’s contributions to limiting nuclear dangers. Michiru Nishida reflects on nuclear safety post-Fukushima. Tong Zhao discusses arms control in the Asia-Pacific region. And Amir Hamzah Mohd Nasir advises on how states can better collaborate in support of nuclear non-proliferation. We also continue our search for a graphic designer and highlight member activities.

Potential Implications of the War in Ukraine for Northeast Asia

Paul K. Davis, Professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School, says the Ukraine war has made the range of nuclear-use cases in Northeast Asia, including a limited nuclear war, even more plausible. The war has also upset the calculus of all the actors in the region; China may perceive greater risks in an attempted invasion of Taiwan, while South Korea and Japan may seek ways to strengthen US nuclear guarantees, further heightening tensions.

Read the Policy Brief

This policy brief is a part of a joint project on Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Weapon Use in Northeast Asia (NU-NEA) with the Nautilus Institute and the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA).

The Role of Civil Society in Reducing Nuclear Dangers

Renee Moorjani, Barrister/Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, explores how civil society reduced nuclear dangers in the past and can continue to do so in the future. Despite the current atmosphere of rising nuclear risks, she says now is not the time to despair but rather to recognize opportunities for action, such as a push for the successful ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Read the Commentary

This commentary was published in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

What Nuclear Safety Lessons Have Been Learned Since the Fukushima Disaster?

Michiru Nishida, Professor at RECNA-Nagasaki University, highlights the key cross-cutting and technical lessons from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. Among other realities unveiled by the crisis, he says Fukushima showed the critical importance of transparency in the midst of emergencies, maintaining international cooperation, and fostering a culture of nuclear safety with far greater consideration for low frequency/high impact events (such as tsunamis).

Read the Commentary

This commentary was published in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

How to Promote Arms Control in the Asia-Pacific Region

Tong Zhao, an APLN board member, analyzes the underlying factors affecting substantive arms control cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. He says Washington and Beijing “bear a special responsibility” in securing and maintaining peace; unfortunately, both sides appear “increasingly disillusioned about the prospect of achieving common security.”

Read the Commentary

This commentary was published in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

How Can Countries in the Asia-Pacific Region Collaborate to Combat Further Nuclear Proliferation?

Amir Hamzah Mohd Nasir, a diplomat with the Multilateral Security Division of Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, looks at preparatory work ahead of the 11th NPT Review Conference. He says negotiators must come to a solid realization that the business-as-usual approach will no longer work as combating proliferation in the Asia-Pacific requires substantive progress on disarmament. He argues that much hinges on ASEAN successfully solidifying the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty.

Read the Commentary

This commentary was published in partnership with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

APLN is accepting applications for the position of Graphic Designer. This person will be a critical part of our team, responsible for helping to drive the creative direction of APLN campaigns. Candidates should have a flair for typography, layout, and art direction to produce the best work possible. Applications can be forwarded to

Read the Job Advert

Now, Chairman Xi?

Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India, writes in India Today that a more assertive Chinese posture towards India is likely, even if there are tactical shifts dictated by the G20 and SCO summits.

Why China Must Stop Russia from Using a Nuclear Weapon in Ukraine

Kevin Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister, argues that given Putin’s track record of giving effect to his threats, Xi must act in China’s national interest and intervene to defuse the nuclear threat.

Two Koreas’ Contest of Strength Reaches Fever Pitch

Cheong Wook-Sik, Director of the Hankyoreh Peace Institute, argues that while the two Koreas are quickly becoming engulfed in a contest of strength, a different approach is needed. 



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