APLN Policy Brief 69
The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.
In the post-Cold War nuclear age the epicentre of global nuclear threats has returned to Asia-Pacific with six nuclear actors on fault lines that run through the Korean peninsula, the East and South China Seas, across the Himalayas and the Karakorum to the Punjab Plain, forming a complex matrix of escalating nuclear tensions.
The Asia-Pacific, therefore, has vital interest in strengthening the non- proliferation norm and containing and ultimately eliminating nuclear threats. To this end, it has an interest in avoiding politicization of the NPT and in extending political, financial, and technical support to the IAEA and its safeguards inspection system. North Korea’s nuclear challenge remains the most important regional proliferation issue. The region needs to be ready to act collectively to support a solution. Asia-Pacific leaders need reminding of the ongoing existential threat posed by nuclear risks. In the short term, they must take the opportunity offered by the delayed convening of the NPT Review Conference to create momentum on nuclear risk reduction.
About the Author
John Tilemann is an APLN member, former career diplomat and was chief of staff to IAEA directors-general Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei.