Global Outlook

Curated expert opinion on intractable contemporary issues

The Three Competing Viewpoints in Biden Administration’s Potential North Korea Policy

By Chung-in Moon  |  12 December, 2020

With the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next American president all but certain, the eyes of the world are once again turning to the US. People are speculating about the policy line to be adopted by Biden, who has promised to value American alliances and restore multilateralism in the international community in a departure from Donald Trump’s “America First” approach. But little is known about what policy the Biden administration will adopt on the North Korean nuclear issue, the topic of greatest interest to those of us in South Korea.

South Korea Should Carefully Consider its Own National Interest Regarding Alliance with the US

By Chung-in Moon  |  09 December, 2020

It is diplomats’ job to re-evaluate alliances to suit our interests, and they shouldn’t be criticised for it. South Korea’s conservative establishment has been harshly critical of the Moon administration’s attitude toward the South Korea-US alliance. The latest controversy concerns recent remarks by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Lee Soo-hyuck, South Korean ambassador to the US.

Between the Ban Treaty and Business as Usual: The Role of Umbrella States

By Sverre Lodgaard  |  07 December, 2020

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW or the Ban Treaty) exposes the contradictory engagements of umbrella states. Many of them are strong supporters of nuclear disarmament while subscribing to alliance policies that underline the importance of nuclear weapons and sustain nuclear modernisation.

Latin America and the Quest for Nuclear Abolition: From the Treaty of Tlatelolco to the Ban Treaty

By Cesar Jaramillo  |  30 November, 2020

On February 14, 2014, as the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons came to an end, conference Chair Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo—then deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico—captured the sentiment in the room in the powerful last few words of his closing remarks: in global efforts toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, this conference marked a “point of no return.” His optimistic conclusion was met with a roar of applause.

Disarming the Unarmed: Current Reality of Nuclear Ban Treaty

By Manpreet Sethi  |  28 November, 2020

Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on 24 October 2020. Ninety days from that date, the ban treaty, as it is popularly called, will enter into force. At a time when arms control treaties are falling by the wayside, this should have been a heartening move. However, despite the landmark event, TPNW is unlikely to achieve its goal of ushering in a nuclear weapons free world (NWFW). While it valiantly outlaws the development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, transfer, possession, stockpiling and use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, it presently bans the bomb for those who do not have it!

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: NATO’s Non-Nuclear Weapon States, the NPT and the TPNW

By Paul Meyer  |  26 November, 2020

For many of the Alliance’s members, the last few years have been difficult ones with respect to nuclear policy. The source of the dilemma has been the advent of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which has presented NATO members with something of a Hobson’s choice. The treaty, which was adopted in July 2017, will enter into force on January 22, 2021 (after reaching its entry into force threshold of 50 ratifications on October 24th). For the first time in global nuclear governance, the TPNW outlaws the possession of nuclear weapons in addition to prohibiting their use or threat of use. It also specifically bans the hosting of any nuclear weapons or related infrastructure on the territory of a state party or the rendering of any “assistance” in contravention of the treaty.

The views and opinions expressed in Global Outlook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Toda Peace Institute.