Seoul workshop on East Asian Security

On3-6 April, 2001, Pugwash Meeting no. 261 was held in Seoul, South Korea.

Pugwash Workshop on East Asian Security

Seoul Workshop Participants at Panmunjom

By Jeffrey Boutwell

The Pugwash Workshop on East Asian Security was held at the Hotel Shilla in Seoul, South Korea from 3-6 April, 2001, and was attended by more than 30 participants from eleven countries. The meeting was organized by the Korean Pugwash Group, chaired by Dr. Mark Byung-Moon Suh, and was supported by Hon. Yong-Taek Chun, Chairman of the National Defense Committee, and Hon. Kun-Hee Lee, Chairman of the Samsung Group.

The workshop took place at a time of uncertainty and heightened tensions in the region. On Sunday, April 1, a US reconnaissance aircraft had to make an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island after a mid-air collision with a Chinese fighter jet, leading to a tense two-week diplomatic standoff between the US and the People’s Republic of China prior to the release of the US Navy aircrew on April 12. Also complicating the picture were uncertainties over Bush administration policies regarding the situation on the Korean peninsula, national and theater missile defense, and arms sales to Taiwan.

Korean Unification

The major breakthrough in inter-Korean relations that occurred at the summit between President Kim Dae-jung and Chairman Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang in June 2000, symbolized by the Joint Declaration of June 15 that set out a framework for peaceful reunification of the two Koreas, has since been followed by delays and postponements in the implementation of several components of the Joint Declaration. Nonetheless, the Pyongyang summit represented a watershed in establishing formal contact and lines of communication between the two governments, which themselves will be vitally important as the two countries address the major outstanding issues between them.

George Rathjens and
Major General Pan Zhenqiang

These issues range from continued tension and military deployments along the inner-Korean border, the need to replace the 1953 armistice with a formal peace treaty, the destabilizing effects of military buildups by both North and South, and the wider ramifications of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. Important as well to the Korean people are closer economic cooperation, family visits and reunification across the border, and the return of Koreans detained in the ‘other’ Korea against their will (e.g., ‘unconverted prisoners’).

Regionally and globally, the thaw in Korean relations has produced both opportunities and challenges. The June 2000 summit on the one hand has led to an opening up of the North, with a number of European and other countries (possibly including Japan) establishing formal diplomatic ties with Pyongyang (helped by the urging of South Korea). On the other hand, challenges remain in the way that countries such as China, the US, Japan and Russia interact and coordinate their policies with the two Korean governments. And, the pace of Korean rapprochement will remain subject to the influence of South Korean domestic politics (e.g., the next Presidential election in South Korea will be in December 2002, leaving little more than a year before election politics will inhibit important diplomatic moves).

Questions were raised about the impact of changes in US Korean policy, should the Bush administration take a harder line on North Korean nuclear weapons and missile programs. Many expected Bush to renew the Korean dialogue process once his foreign policy team is in place, but fears were expressed that the many disparate Korean issues will be inter-linked, making resolution difficult. At a minimum, adequate verification of North Korean compliance with its commitments under the Agreed Framework will be a top priority for Bush.

The importance of domestic politics influencing events in both the US and South Korea was mentioned. First, President Bush’s experience and priorities are in domestic affairs, and the President is mindful that his father was a one-term President because of conservative Republican defections (and the Republican party is divided on many foreign policy issues). Similarly, the South Korean government is going through a process of setting priorities re: North Korea, especially in the aftermath of an awkward meeting in Washington between Kim Dae-jung and President Bush. Finally, there is the issue of North Korea using its direct channel to Washington to bypass Seoul and put inner-Korean relations on hold, which further complicates domestic sentiment in South Korea.

In evaluating how North Korea is following a division of labor on policy issues (missiles and nuclear weapons with US; economic, cultural, and humanitarian cooperation with South Korea), several participants felt that, ultimately, Pyongyang understands that the US and South Korean will closely coordinate policy and not permit a wedge to be driven between them.

Discussion turned to how China, Russia and the EU can best support the Korean reunification process. China’s position was said to be one of non-interference, of letting the Koreans settle their issues themselves. Beijing is, however, confused about the strategic intentions of the US in East Asia (not knowing how to evaluate Bush’s skepticism of North Korea’s intentions and whether the US government feels it needs a North Korean threat to justify its national missile defense efforts).

As for Russia, Moscow has signaled a desire to be involved in a solution of Korean peninsula problems, but has to overcome disillusionment in Pyongyang over the breakup of the Soviet Union. Moreover, the Russian business community is heavily oriented towards South Korean ($2.7 billion in trade versus $100 million with North Korea). Moscow has been letting both the US and EU know about the constructive role it could play, though much of this may be to help shore up Russia’s great power status.

Inside the Negotiation Hut at Panmunjom

The hiatus in President Bush formulating a clearer US policy on Korea has allowed the EU to partially fill the gap in terms of opening up diplomatic relations with Pyongyang and providing economic and humanitarian assistance. Countries like Sweden and Italy are out in front (France is lagging) in areas such as energy and economic, with Sweden in particular having offered to provide inducements (satellite technology) to persuade North Korea to give up its long-range missiles. Overall, many EU governments see a more active North Korean policy as helping to strengthen Europe’s engagement throughout East Asia. While important in and of itself, such engagement also underscores Europe’s need for Asian support (particularly from Japan and South Korea) on issues such as multilateral peacekeeping operations.

Mention was made of North Korean statements that, for the first time, seem to acknowledge the stabilizing effects of US forces stationed in South Korea. It was pointed out that Chairman Kim Jong-il conferred with his counterparts in Beijing on these issues before the June 2000 Korean summit (and that China itself sees US forces as preventing Japan from possibly filling a security vacuum on the Korean peninsula). More than one participant found it ironic that the Cold War deployment of US forces in Korea is now being welcomed by all parties as a post-Cold War stability measure.

Others were less sanguine about the pace of events, thinking that the Koreans should be more cautious in their expectations, and that North Korean tolerance of US forces in the south was expressed verbally and could change at any time. In this view, the integration of two non-adaptable social systems under one government will not be possible. Reunification will need a legal framework, and at present, the two Koreas don’t even formally recognize each other. Far more will need to be accomplished in normalizing their relationship before political integration can be achieved. This process will require North Korean transparency and accountability, and there are outstanding questions over what inducements will be sufficient to get Pyongyang to go along.

A parallel was drawn with China and Taiwan, where low politics, such as interactions in trade ($25 billion a year), investment, and people are extensive, yet political relations remain fractious and tense. Can Korean political integration be sustained without similar extensive links in low politics?

South Korean perspectives included the thought that Seoul’s position is evolutionary: confederation first, federation later. While Kim Song-il seems sincere in his position on US military forces, North Korean public opinion has been so conditioned about getting US forces out of South Korea that Pyongyang’s formal stance will take some time to alter. It was also noted that South Korean public opinion is divided on the issue of US forces.

Whatever the pace of Korean political rapprochement, security issues will remain paramount, both on the Korean peninsula and more widely throughout East Asia. The key element conditioning these issues will be whether the US and China engage in strategic competition throughout the region.

Nuclear Proliferation and the Agreed Framework

The status in the US of the 1994 Agreed Framework seems to be in question, with second thoughts about supplying North Korea with nuclear power plants being expressed, not just by some in the Bush administration, but others as well (including Robert Gallucci). North Korea remains in violation of the NPT, not having allowed full IAEA inspections. Given that such inspections may well take 3-4 years to implement, and that the deadline for them is now about the same, Pyongyang’s compliance with the IAEA safeguards is the determining factor in pacing the schedule of Agreed Framework.

While it was predicted that the Bush administration will stick to the letter of the agreement, US law requires that export licenses and statements of agreement will be needed for the export of US nuclear power equipment to North Korea. Moreover, the two 1000 mw power plants are fundamentally incompatible with North Korea’s electric grid (in part because they will constitute far more than 10 percent of the entire system). Also, the two plants will require a stable and reliable electric system to ensure continuous power for cooling the reactors when they shut down for maintenance. Finally, concerns were expressed that the two plants would produce twice as much plutonium as the original power plants that Pyongyang was contemplating, and that some of this plutonium (200-300 kgs at the first refueling) would be near weapons-grade.

In response to the suggestion that organizations like Pugwash might have a role to play in reorienting the Agreed Framework to thermal power plants, it was asked what kind of new package would be acceptable and feasible? The issue is not just bilateral between Pyongyang and Washington, but involves the interests of South Korea as the prime contractor and the multilateral efforts of KEDO (which some thought should refocus its attention on energy issues, in particular on the need to restructure and modernize North Korea’s electric grid). Many thought that Washington pulling the plug on the project would be a political and perhaps security disaster.

Sentiment was widespread that, while the Agreed Framework met its short-term objective of freezing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, less thought had been given to its long-term implementation. Even though some of the highlighted problems may not have been known earlier (reactor-electric grid safety issues), the underlying feasibility of the project was certainly questionable. While supportive of sticking with the Agreed Framework, several participants were doubtful that the project would ever be completed.

While the ball is currently in Pyongyang’s court in terms of complying with IAEA safeguards, waiting for a violation to occur and then canceling the agreement doesn’t take into account the long lead times involved. IAEA compliance should also be a factor in providing North Korea with short-term energy aid (such as the currently requested supply of 500 megawatts from South Korea and potential help in upgrading the North Korean electric grid). One example of the problems being encountered is that North Korea denied a request from Seoul for a survey of the North Korean electric grid to ensure safe delivery of the 500 megawatts of power. While the easiest way for Pyongyang to fully utilize the power generated by the two 1000 mg plants would be to integrate the two electric grids, there are sensitive safety and security issues involved.

As for whether US domestic law will ultimately prevent the use of US components in the nuclear power plants, full scope safeguards will make parts substitution very difficult and some redesign of the plants would be necessary. And, as evidenced by the recent pullout of General Electric from the project, there may be substantial liability and insurance issues to be negotiated.

Discussion broadened with proposals for a formal denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and a broader nuclear weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in northeast Asia involving Japan and perhaps even some Russian and Chinese territory. It was argued that a formalization of the current non-nuclear status of the peninsula would have an important psychological effect, backed up by obligations under international law. It was noted that both North Korea and South Korea have declared their intentions not to have nuclear weapons, but North Korea needs to clarify its status. Many in the south are suspicious of Pyongyang’s intentions, of manipulating negotiations to obtain economic aid. Also, North Korean behavior under the NPT raises questions both of North Korean compliance and enforcement/sanctions by others to maintain the integrity of the NPT.

In this regard, some noted, US policy is especially important, in both implementing the Agreed Framework and supporting South Korea’s sunshine policy, and clear signals are needed on both from the Bush administration. Also, the US should not dramatize the verification issue, but talk about it quietly with Pyongyang. While acknowledging that North Korea might have developed one or two nuclear warheads, this view held that Pyongyang would only use them if it felt extremely threatened. In a wider context, Japan has the capability to go nuclear, and non-proliferation efforts need to be multi-faceted without singling out North Korea.


An overview of issues regarding Taiwan described the security situation as sensitive and very similar to that in the 1950s, with all the countries of northeast Asia involved. Domestic politics in Taiwan, and especially the democratization trends since the late 1980s that give rise to a separate Taiwanese identity, are making the situation more difficult. New PRC military technologies across the Taiwan Strait (missiles, naval assets, information warfare) are making Taiwan nervous. Although the island can never hope to match PRC military capabilities, additional military deployments by Taipei are felt to be needed in order for Taiwan to negotiate an ultimately peaceful solution with Beijing. President Lee seems to be trying to elevate the China-Taiwan issue to a level similar to that between the two Koreas.

For the US, Taiwan is one of the most important security issues, making prevention of conflict a top priority. Domestic events in both the PRC and Taiwan are making this more difficult, and the preferences of the Taiwanese people seem to be driving events more than before. Although the Clinton administration was pro-active in encouraging dialogue between the two sides, the US ultimately has little concrete leverage. Moreover, US policy is hampered by conflicting signals from the executive branch and Congress, and there is little appreciation among the US public of Taiwan’s international status. While Taiwan is interested in theater missile defenses from the US, its ultimate security will depend most on its assistance from the US and on its diplomatic finesse in gaining international support for its position. From a US perspective, Beijing would be better off making more positive appeals to woo the Taiwanese people, yet nationalism in the PRC is making Beijing more impatient and less conciliatory. Thus, on both sides, a combination of nationalism, impatience and military modernization is complicating the problem.

One view held that PRC-Taiwanese relations are of an entirely different nature from those of the PRC and US. Concerns were expressed over promoting the notion of Taiwanese independence. In terms of Sino-American relations and how these are affected by Taiwan, the PRC is seeking a cooperative relationship with Washington in various areas, including economics and trade, stability in the Asia/Pacific region, and curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Such cooperation could even extend to the Taiwan issue, especially in terms of crisis management.

Domestically in China, there is increased public frustration over the failure to reach a positive solution for Taiwan. While Washington talks of peaceful solutions, it continues the sale of modern weapons to Taiwan. Accordingly, PRC deployment of missiles across the Taiwan Straits will likely increase. The role of China’s military is to ensure the integrity of its territory, not to engage in military coercion. International concern for the situation is understandable (and Beijing appreciates the international support it has received for its Taiwan position), but not international involvement in China’s domestic affairs. Above all, Taiwan is a vital, core interest, and the PRC will defend it even at the cost of international political and economic implications. Conversely, Taiwan is not a core US interest. War with Taiwan is not the issue, but with the US (parallels being drawn with US involvement in Vietnam).

In this increasingly sensitive situation, all sides have a duty to prevent self-fulfilling prophecies. Should Taiwan seek independence, there would be war. In response, it was asserted that Taiwan will not declare independence, and is willing to talk and negotiate even without preconditions (such as a PRC promise not to use force). For China, the precondition is Taiwan accepting the goal of a one state solution.

A comparison of Asian and European security issues noted a more common trait in the latter for international involvement to resolve conflicts. This has been less so for India-Pakistan, the Taiwan Straits, and the Korean peninsula. Many Europeans are getting nervous about conflict in East Asia and its global implications. There is also puzzlement about resurgent nationalisms in the region, when globalizing trends are transcending nationalist sentiment.

Discussion focused on the need for constructive US-PRC relations, and how these are made more difficult by domestic politics and nationalist statements made for domestic consumption. It was noted that many in China, however, feel that time is working against them. Since the early 1990s, especially, there has been an increase in demonstrable Taiwanese moves towards independence, with much tacit support from both the US and Japan. If Taiwan forswore independence, China would reduce its military pressure and be willing to discuss processes for peaceful integration (e,g., one country, two systems).

Taiwan is clear about having no ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction. By the same token, many in Taipei and elsewhere have urged Beijing to rethink a policy based on military coercion, as this is counterproductive, stimulating unwanted reactions in both the US and Taiwan. By contrast, Taiwanese leaders are encouraged when they hear PRC statements that dialogue and political solution are possible as long as independence is not the goal.

It was noted that few confidence-building measures (CBMs) exist between the US and China, similar to those negotiated with the USSR during the Cold War (especially relevant is the Incidents at Sea agreement). While some US-China discussions have taken place to minimize accidents at sea (but not in the air, as made painfully evident by the March 31 mid-air collision), there is a complete absence of any agreements involving Taiwanese vessels and aircraft. More than ever, steps to build confidence (similar to the Chinese withdrawal of forces in the 1980s from the coast opposite Taiwan) are much needed and should be explored.

Susan Shirk, Hon. Chun, Yong-Taek,
Mark Suh, and Sir Joseph Rotblat

Missile Defenses and Asian Security

An overview of US plans for national missile defense noted that efforts to defend against a nuclear attack have been underway since WWII, and that the current US program is either the 5th, 6th, or 7th such attempt, depending on how you count them. Pending the outcome of the Bush administration review and revision of the Clinton NMD plan, the US is likely to opt for early deployment (2006-2008) of an NMD system (possibly in North Dakota rather than Alaska) in conjunction with vigorous research, development and testing of land, sea and space-based missile defense components. In addition, the Bush administration would appear to like to get rid of NMD and TMD distinctions (as outlined in the 1997 US-Russia demarcation agreements). Whatever system the administration does propose, deployment is not inevitable (given both technical hurdles and the need for Congressional approval). Despite these uncertainties, it is possible, perhaps even probable, that the administration will withdraw from the ABM Treaty within two to three years, the first such withdrawal from a major arms control treaty since 1945.

What is the likely Russian reaction to such outcomes? Most probably, retaining MIRVed warheads on their land-based missiles (the SS-28 Topol M especially), which would undercut one of the major arms control achievements of the first President Bush in the early 1990s. To that end, the demise of the ABM Treaty would unravel its original premise of constraining defensive systems in order to facilitate cuts in offensive systems. In the end, while Russia might accept moderate changes to the ABM Treaty, China likely won’t.

Regarding missile defenses and Asia, formal arms control up to now (SALT, START, INF) has been Euro-focused, and largely bilateral between the US and Russia. In Asia, one is dealing with a multi-country scenario. Although not a party to the ABM Treaty, China has not pursued missile defenses. Its ICBMs now have a free ride as long as the US remains bound by the current ABM Treaty with Russia. Also, US-Russian arms control efforts have focused on long-range offensive systems and NMD, not theater missiles and TMD, which are of more importance in Asia.

For many participants, China seems justified in thinking that US NMD efforts, ultimately, are aimed at them. In this regard, some felt the disappearance of any threat from North Korea would not influence Bush administration support for NMD, but it could weaken Congressional support.

The possibly provision of TMD systems (PAC-3 and Aegis) to Taiwan is of direct concern to Beijing. On the other hand, theater missile defense is of little military use for South Korea, threatened as it is primarily by long-range artillery. Japan is more interested in the technology than the deployment of TMD, while India and Pakistan would likely be affected by China’s reaction and possible response to NMD.

The primary conclusion to emerge from all this is that early discussions on NMD and TMD are needed among all parties, but especially with China. During the Clinton administration, there were some US-Chinese discussions on missile defense (with Russia intervening heavily to get Chinese support in opposing NMD plans), with China expressing the most concern about TMD for Taiwan.

In the discussion, one view held that the US obsession with NMD was predicated on wanting to avoid a mutual assured destruction relationship with China, as the US had with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The US seems to want to change the rules of the game on the ABM Treaty and missile defense, similar to how it has in the past with non-proliferation issues (reprocessing). Another held that the US perception of the threat will be driven by events in Iran and North Korea; missile tests there would drive even Democrats to support NMD.

In Russia, many feel that the September 1997 NMD-TMD demarcation agreement was a failure, giving the US too much leeway in pursuing theater defenses (to the extent of the US not having to violate the ABM Treaty). The line between national and theater missile defense also becomes blurred for many parties in Asia; providing TMD to Taiwan essentially gives the island a national missile defense (especially from Beijing’s perspective). Is the US taking seriously Russian proposals for cooperation on TMD? From Moscow’s vantage point, a combination of globalizing processes that are changing international security dynamics and requirements, as well as increased US unilateralism, are posing special challenges to countries like Russia.

In response, the demarcation agreement is not likely to get Senate approval. Indeed, some Senators erroneously think the agreement puts more restrictions on the US than exist now, while others believe the ABM Treaty ‘expired’ with the collapse of Soviet Union (neither of which is true) and that approving the demarcation agreement amendments would at the same time ‘revive’ an ABM Treaty that they don’t want in the first place. As for the relationship of NMD with TMD, utilizing data from the SBIRS-low satellite system with theater missile defenses could provide some national defense capability. Regarding joint cooperation on missile defenses, many in the US feel there is not much to react to with the Putin proposal.

To the question of whether a final Bush decision on NMD will be largely unaffected by performance criteria (the next test is scheduled for summer 2001), it was noted that, despite a strong unilateralist strain in the Bush administration, some of the key supporters of NMD (e.g., Senator Kyl and Representative Weldon) are not unaffected by performance criteria; they want something that works.

Missile Defense and Nuclear Stability

The point was raised that missile defense efforts should be analyzed in the wider context of how best to reduce nuclear weapons and the nuclear threat. While the ABM Treaty was well-suited for a particular period of the nuclear age, perhaps its tenets should be re-thought. The US-Russia relationship is fundamentally different now, so a rethinking of the ABM Treaty may be in order.

For example, why are missile defenses necessarily destabilizing, especially when offensive forces are being reduced and defenses could protect against small numbers of nuclear weapons launched accidentally or through miscalculation? At the height of the Cold War, a 99% effectiveness criteria for missile defenses might have been appropriate, but not necessarily now, when such defenses might either dissuade attacks or a country’s decision to acquire a small nuclear force.

While some agreed that bipolar strategic stability is no longer relevant, there was less certainty as to what is evolving to replace it. Questions about nuclear stability really rest on how different force configurations (e.g., land-based MIRVs, sea-based missiles, NMD, TMD) will affect political decisions in crises. In this regard, NMD efforts are less worrisome from a military or resource allocation perspective as they are in accelerating changes in the rules of the game that will undermine great power relations and make cooperation more difficult, especially over sensitive issues and in times of crisis.

Others pointed to the destabilizing nature of defenses, where technical malfunctions, erroneous assessments of launch, etc., can increase the risk of conflict. Stability should consist of maintaining existing ceilings on missiles and preventing a new arms race. Russia’s response to the US withdrawing from the ABM Treaty could be one of following a unilateral nuclear policy and not being tied to bilateral constraints with the US. Unlike the bipolarity of the Cold War, nuclear stability is coming to rest on four bilateral equations: US-Russia, US-China, Russia-China, and India-Pakistan, with two important conventional equations (Taiwan-China and North Korea – South Korea) and uncertainties over possible conflict in the Middle East.

Some stressed that NMD has to be seen in the larger context of US efforts to reconfigure force structures and rearrange the rules of the game in the 21st century. While this process will take many years, it was noted that countries like China need to recognize future trends and formulate responses now. While major nuclear exchanges are no longer credible, new doctrines may emerge. In this respect, modifications to the ABM Treaty that allow limited defense deployments are not the problem; it’s the open-ended nature of NMD. Nuclear weapons are not a priority item for China’s military, and it will not engage in an arms race with US or develop its own NMD. Rather, China will respond in proportion to the perceived threat (e.g., developing penetration aids for its strategic nuclear forces, improving its anti-satellite capability) while focusing on conventional force modernization. Politically, Beijing might also seek a strategic partnership (not a formal alliance) with Russia. Yet, China remains interested in discussions with the US to promote transparency about US plans, especially as NMD relates to Chinese offensive forces and how a withdrawal from ABM Treaty would affect the web of other arms control agreements (MTCR and verification measures for BTWC are two particular areas of interest).

Similar discussions are going on in Russia regarding how best to protect the country’s security, given uncertainties over missile defense and other US policy options. Possible Russian responses to a unilateral US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty include deploying three warheads on the Topol-M; withdraw from the START, INF, and CFE treaties; deploying INF systems on its western borders (and possibly in Kaliningrad). Yet Russia is putting itself in a risky position of having to implement these actions if US does withdraw from the ABM Treaty.

Some noted that Russian policy on TMD is inconsistent; it develops TMD and is ready to sell its S-300 and S-400 systems (and work with Europeans on TMD), yet Moscow joins with China and North Korea in opposing US TMD plans in East Asia. Russia would like a formal military pact with China, yet China is not interested in formal agreements. What other options exist to neutralize the missile proliferation threat? There are several, but none totally satisfactory: globalize the INF treaty, the Russian global protection system, MTCR, and financial inducements to countries to forego ballistic missile development.

Dynamics of Asian Security

There are a number of special issues regarding Asian security, including: the lack of a broad-based security organization in the region; a more salient proliferation problem (North Korea); the emergence of India and Pakistan as nuclear powers; the future role of China; and greater interest than in Europe in theater missile defenses. In a worst case scenario, North Korean and Chinese missile programs could accelerate as NMD/TMD moves forward, and both could renew missile exports as an additional response to NMD.

In Japan, there is neither decision nor consensus on missile defenses. Tokyo has just begun its participation in the Navy Theater Wide study and there are differences of opinion within the military, the Diet, government agencies, and business, with little overall public awareness of the issue. Navy Theater Wide deployments are years in the future, giving plenty of time for decision. On the other hand, Japan traditionally has had a difficult time saying no to the US. The most active supporters of missile defenses are those who see China as a threat and influential segments of the industry/technology community.

As for South Korea, it was reiterated that TMD can do little to defend South Korea, given the main threat posed by North Korean artillery. Moreover, the presence of US troops already provides a deterrent, and South Korean support for TMD would undermine its sunshine policy and efforts at reunification. Nonetheless, as in Japan, questions remain about Seoul’s policy independence from the US.

A different view held that North Korea’s offensive conventional capabilities have been greatly exaggerated; Pyongyang is using that capability primarily for political and psychological leverage. And, doubts were expressed that North Korea can develop a credible missile threat beyond 300-400 kms. South Korea’s main goal should be to help North Korea survive and not totally collapse.

In terms of meeting the proliferation threat, the main US goal should be working with Russia to reduce and safeguard fissile material, yet this will be difficult if the Bush administration is shoving NMD down Russia’s throat. US unilateral actions could also jeopardize the NPT regime. While an ASAT Treaty could be beneficial, the US is unlikely to be interested. In general, the Bush administration will have little interest in new negotiations/agreements, wanting as free a hand as possible to take actions it sees fit (whether NMD or unilateral reductions in offensive forces).

In the broader context of Asian security, there is a need to strengthen multilateral institutions (especially ASEAN and ARF) and their capabilities for collective conflict resolution; to promote transparency and confidence building measures on weapons acquisition, deployment of forces, missile tests, etc.; to employ a trilateral dialogue between China, Russia, and the US on nuclear issues; and to strengthen UN mediating and peacekeeping capabilities.

Many thought that future Pugwash work could focus on analyzing the European experience of confidence building measures and collective security organizations as these might be feasible for Asia. Especially troubling in Asia is the lack of transparency in conventional force acquisition, deployments, and doctrines. There is also a need to manage the increased use of nuclear energy in Asia (e.g., proposals for creating an Asiatom).

While there have been some positive developments along these lines (ASEAN), trying to create something like OSCE will be difficult. On the other hand, the ARF could develop into a viable forum for discussing Korean security and other issues. It was agreed that transparency on nuclear issues is important (China is evaluating the concept of Asiatom). For others, what is missing is military to military contacts. Constructive US-China relations (and military to military contacts) are fundamental, as is bringing North Korea into East Asian forums. Despite the importance of regional forums, however, the Taiwan issue will ultimately have to be decided bilaterally.

List of Papers

Missile Defense in East Asia” by John Rhinelander

The Impact of US NMD on Chinese Nuclear Modernization” by Li Bin

Working Papers

Jong-Chun Baek (South Korea): In Search of a Peace Regime for the Korean Peninsula

Yuri E. Fedorov (Russia): Missile Proliferation and Theatre Ballistic Defenses in Northeast Asia’s Security Landscape

Victor Gilinsky (USA): Fixing the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework

Camille Grand (France): Europe, East Asia, Missile Proliferation and Missile Defenses

Michael Ying-Mao Kau (Taiwan): Building a Collective Security Regime in the Asia-Pacific: Trends, Patterns, and Prospects

Hans Maretzki (Germany): Unsolved Problems of Normalization and Detente between Both Koreas

Chung-In Moon (South Korea): The Korean Summit and Inter-Korean Relations: Assessment and Prospects

Alexander Nikitin (Russia): Military Competition in East Asia: Current Trends and Prospects for Constraint

John Rhinelander (USA): Missile Defense and East Asia

Yuri Ryzhov (Russia): The Changing World and Missile Defense

Yong Soon Yim (South Korea): The Summit and Beyond: Remaining Challenges

Background Papers/Documents

Monte R. Bullard (USA): “Undiscussed Linkages: Implications of Taiwan Straits Security Activity on Global Arms Control and Nonproliferation”

Chen Jifeng (China): TMD and Its Impact on Security in the Asia-Pacific Region

Chun Yong-Taek (South Korea): “Missile Proliferation on the Korean Peninsula and Consequences of the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) Program”, paper presented at the Forum onThe Missile Threat and Plans for Ballistic Missile Defense: Technology, Strategic Stability and Impact on Global Security, 18-19 January 2001, Rome, Italy

Camille Grand (France): “Ballistic Missile Threats, Missile Defenses, Deterrence, and Strategic Stability”, Occasional Paper, Monterey Institute for Strategic Studies

Michael Ying-Mao Kau (Taiwan): “The Challenge of Cross-Strait Relations: The Strategic Implications of the Missile Crisis”, in The Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific, Hung/mao Tien and Tun-Jen Cheng eds., An East Gate Book, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY and London, England, 2000

Li Bin (China): The Impact of the U.S. NMD on the Chinese Nuclear Modernization

Li Bin (China): Ballistics Missile Defense and the Missile Technology Control Regime, Paper prepared for the VIII International Castiglioncello Conference – “New Challenges in the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction”, Castiglioncello (Italy), September 23th – 26th, 1999

William J. Perry (USA): Review of US Policy Toward North Korea: Findings and Recommendations”, Unclassified Report to the President and the Secretary of State, Washington, DC, October 12, 1999

Mark Byung-Moon Suh (South Korea/Germany): “Progress and Prospect of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones in East Asia”, paper prepared for the Pugwash Workshop on Eliminating Nuclear Weapons, 1-3 March 1998, New Delhi, India

Tatsujiro Suzuki (Japan): A Proposal for Asian Non-proliferation Research Cener (ANREC)

Marc Th.Vogelaar (Netherlands): The Role of the EU in the Rehabilitation of the Power Sector in the DPRK

Matin Zuberi (India): “The Proposed Indian Nuclear Doctrine”, Journal of Indian Ocean Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, July 1999

Matin Zuberi (India): “Soviet and American Technological Assistance and the Pace of Chinese Nuclear Tests”, Strategic Analysis, October 2000, Vol. XXIV, No. 7, New Delhi: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

Recommendations to President Bush of the Independent Task Force on Korea, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, March 22, 2001


Non-Korean Participants

Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell
Associate Executive Officer, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, USA

Prof. Paolo Cotta-Ramusino
Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Milan, Italy; Secretary General, Union of Italian Scientists for Disarmament (USPID); Director, Program on Disarmament and International Security, Landau Network – Centro Volta, Como, Italy

Prof. Yuri Fedorov
Professor of Political Science, Moscow State Institute of International Relations; Head of Strategic Studies Department, Institute for USA & Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Dr. Victor Gilinsky
Energy Consultant, Glen Echo, Maryland, USA

Mr. Camille Grand
Research Associate, Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI), Paris, France; Adviser for arms control, French Ministry of Defence

Prof. Taku Ishikawa
Associate Professor of International Relations, Department of Social Sciences, Toyo Eiwa University, Yokohama, Japan

Dr. Michael Ying-mao Kau
Senior Advisor to the President, National Security Council, Taipei, Taiwan; Professor of Political Science, Brown University

Mr. Richard A. Leach
Technical Editor, English Instructor, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea

Prof. Hans Maretzki
former Ambassador of the GDR to the DPRK

Dr. Alexander Nikitin
Director, Center for Political and International Studies (CPIS), Moscow, Russia; Deputy Chair, Russian Pugwash Committee of Scientists for Disarmament and International Security; Vice-President of the Russian Political Science Association; Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations; Member, Pugwash Council

Gen. Pan Zhengqiang
Professor, Institute of Strategic Studies, National Defense University, PLA, China

Prof. George Rathjens
Secretary-General, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Honorable John B. Rhinelander
Senior Counsel, Shaw Pittman, Washington, DC, USA; Vice Chairman, Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS)

Sir Joseph Rotblat (UK)
Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of London; 1995 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Member, Pugwash Executive Committee

Yuri Ryzhov
Chair, Russian Pugwash Committee; President, International University of Engineering

Dr. Susan Shirk
Research Director, University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), and Professor, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, UC-San Diego

Prof. Matinuzzaman Zuberi
Member, Executive Committee, Indian Pugwash Society; retired Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
Korean Participants

Mr. Kang Young-Hoon
former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea

Chun Yong-Taek
Chairman, National Defense Committee

Cha Young-Koo
Lieut.General, Head of Planning, Ministry of Defense

Baek Jong-Chun
Director, The Sejong Institute

Im Yong-Sun
Dean, Graduate School, Sungkyunkwan University

Noh Kyung-Soo
Seoul National University

Moon Jung-In
Yonsei University

Dr. Mark Byung-Moon Suh (Germany/South Korea)
Member, Pugwash Council; Senior Researcher, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Member, Advisory Council on Democratic & Peaceful Unification of Korea


Mr. Narushige Michishita
Research Fellow, National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Japan Defense Agency, Tokyo, Japan; Visiting Fellow, Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES), Kyungnam University, Seoul, Korea

Claudia Vaughn
Pugwash Conferences
via della Lungara 10, I-00165 Rome, Italy
Tel. (++39-06) 6872 606
Fax: (++39-06) 6878 376