event BI

Asan Nuclear Forum

US-China: North Korean Nuclear Dance Card

The Korean Peninsula, which is surrounded by superpowers and divided into two countries that are hostile towards each other, is a security hotspot in Northeast Asia. Although military alliances have shifted around the globe after the end of the Cold War, previous ties remain strong in Northeast Asia. The US continues to be a strong ally of both Japan and South Korea. Likewise, China remains a strong ally of North Korea. However, when it comes to the Korean Peninsula the two major powers have different policy priorities and interests. The US wants the Korean Peninsula to be denuclearized and strongly discourages the development of nuclear weapons or any activity that could trigger a military conflict. On the other hand, China also agrees that North Korea should be denuclearized, but considers the stability of the North Korean regime as its top priority. What options does South Korea have to promote its national security, when caught between the competing interests and different policy priorities pursued by the US and China? What kind of leverage can each country use without causing major conflict in the region? Despite their different interests can the US and China peacefully resolve the North Korean problem?

Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Debates on Multilateral Approaches.

There are growing concerns about the dissemination of sensitive nuclear technology worldwide. A number of countries have developed or are developing civilian nuclear energy programs but the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel remains a problem. Multilateral approaches towards the nuclear fuel cycle and the strengthening of nonproliferation regimes have been suggested as possible solutions. While many countries aim to close their nuclear fuel cycle, there are only a few countries that have actually closed it, due to political reasons and nonproliferation issues. Under current circumstances, because the Republic of Korea has limited options for nuclear waste disposal and storage and cannot reprocess spent fuel, various multilateral approaches carry serious implications for future use of nuclear energy in the country. This panel will discuss the pros and cons of multilateral approaches. It will also address the technical, political, and economic feasibilities of the multilateral nuclear fuel cycle and its impact on nuclear policy.

Will Iran Go Nuclear?

Iran has defied several UN Security Council resolutions intended to suspend its enrichment of nuclear material and has refused to fully explain its nuclear activities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Some argue that because the government in Tehran is determined to go nuclear, even a successful military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would delay its program only for a few years. Given these circumstances, what global or regional implications does a nuclear Iran have? How will other states in the Middle East respond to a nuclear Iran?