Thinking About the Unthinkable & NPT RevCon event
Weekly Newsletters

Thinking About the Unthinkable & NPT RevCon event



10 December 2021




Dear Network Members and Colleagues,

This week, the APLN publishes the first paper in a series on nuclear use cases in Northeast Asia written by Dr Paul Davis and Dr Bruce Bennet. We also share an important paper on the 2022 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty from our colleagues at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the latest activities within our network.





Nuclear-Use Cases for
Contemplating Crisis and Conflict in East Asia




A new special report by Paul Davis and Bruce Bennett illustrates the many possibilities of nuclear weapons being used on the Korean Peninsula.  They map out some illustrative nuclear first use scenarios, including:

  • The DPRK threatens then demonstrates innocuous nuclear-use to get attention and benefits from the US and/or ROK.
  • The DPRK uses nuclear weapons on one or two ROK locations to coerce the withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula during a weakening of the alliances.
  • The ROK is developing nuclear weapons so the DPRK attempts to achieve quick victory through the extensive use of its nuclear weapons.
  • DPRK’s wartime use of chemical or biological weapons on the Korean Peninsula pressures the United States to respond immediately and decisively.

Rather than estimating the relative likelihood of these scenarios, the authors contend that the challenge is to avoid the circumstances that could make the any of the nuclear-use cases more likely.



Read Now

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).





Recommendations for a Successful 10th NPT Review Conference




Ahead of the 10th NPT Review Conference set for January 2022, the APLN co-hosted a briefing for Network Members on recommendations for a successful RevCon, together with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

Click the link below to read NTI’s paper “Recommendations for a Successful 10th NPT Review Conference,” written by Lewis A. Dunn, Patricia Jaworek, Mark Melamed, and Isabelle Williams.



Read Now



Putin’s visit must be used to realise the potential of India-Russia ties
On 7 December, APLN Member C. Raja Mohan wrote on the state of Russia-India relations, and how President Putin’s visit to India can strengthen the economic ties between the two countries. Read more




Attacks on possible Korean peace plan are politically and financially motivated
On 6 December, APLN Senior Associate Fellow Jessica Lee, wrote for Responsible Statecraft, where she responded to arguments against an end of war declaration on the Korean Peninsula. Read more




Responding to skepticism about an end-of-war declaration
On 6 December, APLN vice chair and chairman of the Sejong Institute Professor Chung-in Moon published his monthly column in Hankyoreh on the ROK administration’s efforts to make an end of war declaration. Professor Moon also discussed the subject at roundtable, broadcast on Arirang News. Watch on YouTube.




The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Safeguards Standard
On 2 December, APLN Senior Associate Fellow John Carlson published a paper with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, where he argued that states that sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) must adhere to strict IAEA safeguards. Read more


















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