Policy Brief No.96 - October, 2020
After three years of an erratic approach to North Korea, the Trump administration has made little progress in reducing the nuclear threat and enhancing peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. The Kim Jong Un regime not only maintains its stockpile of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, but these capabilities have grown both quantitatively and qualitatively. The next US president will have to address this grave situation. This Policy Brief examines what might work and outlines four steps on a practical path to building a new framework for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. This article was first published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: https://thebulletin.org/2020/10/a-practical-approach-to-north-korea-for-the-next-us-president/
Policy Brief No.91 - September, 2020
The Cold War-era weapons governance structures are no longer fit for purpose in contemporary equations where nuclear dyads have morphed into nuclear chains. In an increasingly polycentric global order, the dyadic nuclear arms control structure can neither regulate nor constrain the choices of other nuclear-armed states. Yet growing risks point to the urgent need to institutionalise a nuclear restraint regime fit for purpose in the Asia–Pacific. In this Policy Brief, Ramesh Thakur explores the merits of adapting the Open Skies Treaty and the Incidents at Sea Agreement from the North Atlantic to the Asia–Pacific, and, in the reverse direction, of universalising a no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy from China and India to all nine nuclear-armed states.
Policy Brief No.85 - August, 2020
Until very recently, China has been seen as an important and constructive force in the crisis management in South Asia in the event of an India-Pakistan military crisis. However, due to the shifting power balance in the region and the trilateral interactions between China, the United States and India, this view has become increasingly challenged. China’s Belt and Road investments and infrastructure development is also likely to draw it into third-party crisis management. Although China is interested in preventing a nuclear war, its interest in crisis management is constantly subject to its definition of its national interest in the changing regional power balance and great power dynamics. With the deteriorating U.S.-China relations and great power competition, China’s instinct is to preserve its strategic leverage. In addition, with the border skirmishes between China and India continuing to flare up, China itself might become a party to the regional conflict.
Policy Brief No.59 - November, 2019
The September 19 Military Agreement adopted by the two Koreas in 2018 is a modest but remarkable success in arms control history. Nevertheless, heated debates are taking place, both inside South Korea and abroad, over the legitimacy and rationality of the agreement. This policy brief analyses the true meaning of the September 19 Military Agreement between the two Koreas, to identify its problems and policy implications in order to draw up supplementary measures to implement it successfully. Furthermore, the paper draws some implications for the relationship between progress on North Korea's denuclearisation issue and further conventional arms control on the Korean Peninsula.
Policy Brief No.43 - July, 2019
China and India are the two most populous countries in the world and relations between them oscillate between conflict, competition and cooperation. Both countries have dynamic economies. They have fought a war with each other, continue to tussle over territory at their shared border and both invest heavily in their military posture. Their trade relations have greatly improved and cordial cooperation in various global and regional forums brought them closer to each other in selected political and economic areas. Is there hope for better conflict management, for fruitful competition, and for improving collaboration?