With the United States and South Korea at a loss how to end talks on their future nuclear energy ties, Nuclear Debates in Asia project scholar Scott Snyder offers a way forward. In a Policy Innovation Memorandum for the Council at Foreign Relations, where he is a senior fellow for Korea studies, Snyder outlined three steps that may allow the United States and South Korea to continue their collaboration on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy despite an on-going dispute over how South Korea handles U.S.-origin nuclear material.
To accomplish this diplomatic breakthrough, Snyder suggested to:
- Make the results of the U.S.-ROK joint study on spent fuel methods, including the viability of pyroprocessing, the basis for determining whether or not the United States will provide advanced consent to alter U.S.-origin nuclear fuel in a new agreement.
- Make negotiations on the renewal of the U.S.-Japan nuclear cooperation agreement in 2018 the benchmark for cooperation between the United States and countries with advanced nuclear power industries.
- Encourage South Korea to purchase an investment stake in a fuel-enrichment service provider, such as the new Urenco enrichment plant currently being built in the United States.
This innovative strategy, Snyder argued, would allow South Korea to reap the energy security and economic benefits of its robust domestic nuclear industry, for the two allies to expand their nuclear trade, and for the United States to develop “a consistent standard for cooperation with advances nuclear countries.”Continue Reading →
On the heels of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Japan, Yogesh Joshi, former visiting scholar at the Sigur Center and Ph.D. candidate at Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote an op-ed for World Politics Review where he argued that despite the mutual interests of India and Japan to respond to “China’s steady rise and growing assertiveness,” there are still a number of obstacles limiting further cooperation on civilian nuclear energy and security cooperation due to India’s status outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Joshi suggested India become “more sensitive to Japan’s nonproliferation concerns,” by joining the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and upholding its new obligations under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Model Additional Protocol.Continue Reading →
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day trip to Japan last week, the two governments declared “the opening of a new age” in bilateral relations, signing a “Special Strategic and Global Partnership” aimed at strengthening their strategic and economic ties. The agreement delivered some promises, including Japan’s $35 billion investment in India over the next five years, but not others, including civil nuclear energy cooperation and “two-plus-two” security ministerial talks. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from India, Japan, and China on the India-Japan partnership.
The Indian government and newspapers emphasized the importance of India-Japan relations. (more…)Continue Reading →
Deepa Ollapally, Research Professor of International Affairs and the Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, offered her thoughts on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Japan during a recent interview with the Voice of America. While pointing out the potential fruits of economic cooperation and the importance of the shared democratic values between the two countries, she emphasized the diplomatic rapprochement includes a China factor; it is a response to China’s rise and assertiveness, and both countries do not like to see Chinese dominance in the region. The interview article is available here.
Continue Reading →
As the death toll by the Ebola virus continues to rise in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared an “international emergency,” calling for global efforts to combat the deadly disease. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from China, Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil on the Ebola outbreak.
While an Ebola outbreak is unlikely in China, public health officials have implemented a prevention and treatment plan for Ebola. (more…)Continue Reading →
Fighting between Israel and the Palestinians ensued over the past month in response to the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. Israel and Hamas have both drawn international condemnation for the ongoing violence, which has worsened the grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from India, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil on the recent events of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Despite closer ties with Israel in recent years, Indian commentary was by and large critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. (more…)Continue Reading →
Earlier this year, the Rising Powers Initiative launched the RPI Research Database, a specialized bibliography of books and articles on targeted subjects that reflect the RPI’s ongoing research. We will periodically issue a Reading Guide that focuses on a salient research topic or current event.
Here we examine the emerging nuclear cooperation between the United States and Vietnam, following last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee approval of a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement.
Critics have raised concerns that Vietnam is not required to formally renounce plans to enrich or reprocess nuclear material, possibly setting a risky precedent for future U.S. nuclear deals. Advocates have pointed to Vietnam’s growing nuclear energy sector as a source of economic potential for U.S. firms and the value of influencing Vietnam’s nuclear plans. As the deal moves ahead for debate in Congress, the Reading Guide will keep you up to date.
- Hibbs, Mark. “Nuke Deal with Vietnam Good for U.S.“ The Hill (May 12, 2014).
- Manyin, Mark E. “U.S.-Vietnam Relations in 2014: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy.” Congressional Research Service R40208(June 24, 2014).
- McCornac, Dennis C. “Vietnam’s Foreign Policy Tightrope.” East Asia Forum (October 12, 2013).
- Nikitin, Mary Beth D., Mark Holt, and Mark E. Manyin. “U.S.-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress.” Congressional Research Service R43433 (June 13, 2014).
- Nuclear Energy Institute. “Nuclear Energy in Vietnam.” NEI White Paper(June 2014).
- Thayer, Carlyle A. “The U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership: What’s in a Name?“ Thayer Consultancy (July 26, 2013).
A torrent of security, diplomatic, and economic challenges intersect on the Korea Peninsula to complicate debates on nuclear issues. While the threat posed by the North Korean nuclear arsenal looms over the region, experts at a recent conference co-hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, D.C. suggested that an evolving security environment could open up new possibilities to alter the nuclear landscape.
The United States and South Korea are currently engaged in talks on the future of nuclear energy cooperation between the two allies. Park Jin, former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Unification Committee in the South Korean National Assembly, urged Washington to allow Seoul to expand its civilian nuclear program despite concerns about how those activities may impact proliferation risks. According to Jin, decision-makers focus too often on North Korea and not on the needs of South Korea’s civilian nuclear program when discussing nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula. “Under these circumstances,” Jin said “the South Korean government’s desire to revise the nuclear cooperation agreement to allow civilian recycling of the spent nuclear fuel and to move toward uranium enrichment for civilian purposes in a very transparent manner is certainly a challenge.” Nevertheless, South Korea and the United States signed the last so-called “123 nuclear cooperation agreement” over four decades ago when South Korea was still an under-developed economy. Jin insisted today South Korea has become the fifth largest nuclear energy power in the world, and it is crucial that his country supplies nuclear fuel to its domestic reactors in a more stable manner. (more…)Continue Reading →
On July 18, 2014, the Center for Strategic and International Studies held a talk on Asian nuclear Centers of Excellence (CoEs) where experts and officials gathered to review the accomplishments made by Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea in nuclear security matters and to offer their perspectives on future developments.
At the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC launched by President Barack Obama to mitigate the threat posed by loose nuclear materials around the world, three Asian countries pledged to create these CoEs. These training programs aim to develop expertise in nuclear security to support national nuclear energy programs. Japan and the Republic of Korea respectively established their own centers in 2010 and 2014; China will open their facility in 2015. (more…)Continue Reading →
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) held its sixth summit on July 15-16 in the Brazilian cities of Fortaleza and Brasilia, where agreements were signed for creating a Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) worth $100 billion and establishing a $50-billion New Development Bank (NBD), to be headquartered in Shanghai. In this Policy Alert, we examine reactions to the outcomes of the BRICS summit from China, Russia, India, Brazil, and Japan. The RPI’s coverage of previous BRICS summits can be found here and here.
Numerous commentators and media outlets in China hailed the BRICS summit as a milestone, praising the BRICS for positioning the group for a bigger role in both the political and economic spheres. (more…)Continue Reading →