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2019年5月20日

Verification of DPRK Nuclear Disarmament: The Pros and Cons of Non-Nuclear-Weapon States (Specifically, the ROK) Participation in This Verification Program

John Carlson1, A Member of Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear non-proliferation and Disarmament (APLN)

PSNA Working Paper Series (PSNA-WP-7)2

May 20, 2019

[PDF version]

Summary

In the expert and diplomatic communities, it is generally considered that disarmament verification should be undertaken as far as possible on a multilateral basis. Partly this reflects experience with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards system, and partly it reflects the view of non-nuclear-weapon states that international participation is required to ensure transparency and credibility in the disarmament process. The main argument against this is proliferation risk from the diffusion of proliferation-sensitive information. However, a number of aspects of disarmament verification will not involve sensitive information, and where sensitive information is involved there are ways of enabling effective verification while protecting such information.

As yet no specific details have been negotiated on how nuclear disarmament in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will proceed, and how this will be verified. Whatever is negotiated, the international community will certainly want assurance of the integrity of the verification process. In particular, the ROK has a very direct interest in what is happening across the DMZ and has every reason to be involved in the disarmament effort. This paper discusses how this can be possible consistent with non-proliferation principles.
 

1. Introduction

As yet no specific details have been negotiated on how nuclear disarmament in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will proceed, and how this will be verified. Internationally, there is no established model for conducting and verifying nuclear disarmament. There have been bilateral arms control agreements between the United States and Russia (or the Soviet Union), but these are of limited scope compared with what would be required for complete disarmament.

To date the only precedent for a state that had produced nuclear weapons disarming completely is South Africa, which dismantled its warheads secretly, and submitted the recovered fissile material (highly enriched uranium – HEU) to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as part of joining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Other precedents are:

(a) Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which at the dissolution of the Soviet Union had Soviet nuclear weapons on their territories and agreed to transfer these weapons to the Russian Federation; and

(b) Iraq, Iran and Libya which were found to have nuclear weapon programs at varying stages of development.3

None of these precedents is comparable to the situation of the DPRK. Accordingly, whatever process is developed for the DPRK will be a pioneering effort, important in itself and also in helping to set a precedent for eventual disarmament in other nuclear-armed states.

In 2015 the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV) was established to facilitate international collaboration on verification approaches and methods in support of nuclear disarmament. So far, the IPNDV has focused its studies on a specific aspect – monitoring and inspection of a notional nuclear weapon dismantlement process, what it calls the Basic Dismantlement Scenario. The IPNDV has not yet placed this dismantlement process into a broader disarmament framework. However, there has been substantial discussion of this subject within the verification expert community. Drawing on these discussions, this paper outlines a model framework for disarmament verification, discusses how this might apply to the DPRK, and discusses who might be given responsibility for the various verification tasks.

In the expert and diplomatic communities, the general view is that disarmament verification should be undertaken as far as possible on a multilateral basis. The establishment of the IPNDV reflects this view – from the outset the IPNDV has been focused not just on developing disarmament verification, but specifically how non-nuclear-weapon states can be involved in such verification.

Partly this reflects the experience gained with the IAEA safeguards system, which has a multilateral inspectorate, and partly it reflects the view of non-nuclear-weapon states that international (that is, multilateral) participation in nuclear verification is required to ensure transparency and credibility in the disarmament process. It is a matter of trust – non-nuclear-weapon states are not prepared to leave it to the nuclear-weapon states to inspect each other. The main argument in favor of non-nuclear-weapon state participation in nuclear disarmament verification, therefore, is to ensure international confidence in the integrity of the process.

The main argument against non-nuclear-weapon state involvement is the risk of proliferation arising from the diffusion of sensitive information. Some states, notably Russia, have taken a firm position against non-nuclear-weapon state involvement, maintaining disarmament verification can be undertaken only by personnel from nuclear-weapon states. However, this position fails to consider two key factors:

(a) a number of aspects of disarmament verification will not involve classified or proliferation-sensitive information, and in this case, there should be no objection to a multilateral process. For example, once ex-weapons nuclear material is in non-classified form and composition, it is no different to other comparable nuclear material and can be safeguarded accordingly – see the discussion in section 3 below; and

(b) where classified information is involved, it may well be possible to develop approaches and methods that enable effective verification while ensuring such information is fully protected.

In developing multilateral verification, therefore, the key issue to address is protection of classified information – how to ensure that involvement of non-nuclear-weapon state personnel in disarmament verification does not result in them acquiring nuclear weapon designs and know-how, which would be a violation of the NPT (discussed further in section 6). This is a particular focus of the IPNDV’s current work. It is absolutely crucial to both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states to ensure effective protection of classified information – but states should be prepared to consider on their merits internationally-developed approaches to meet this objective.

In the case of the DPRK, the international community as whole (which predominantly comprises non-nuclear-weapon states) certainly wants assurance of the integrity of the verification process: apart from anything else because this is an important precedent for future disarmament efforts in the nuclear-weapon states. In particular, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has a very direct interest in what is happening across the DMZ and has every reason to be involved in the disarmament effort. This paper will discuss how this can be possible consistent with the NPT’s non-proliferation principles.
 

2. A model approach to nuclear disarmament

A generic approach to nuclear disarmament in a state would look something like this:

Stage 1 Cease production of fissile materials (HEU, separated plutonium – Pu)

(a) Declaration of all fissile material production facilities (enrichment and reprocessing facilities).

(b) Monitoring of these facilities to ensure production has ceased.

(c) In addition, tests of nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable missiles are to be terminated

– these tests are not covered by this paper.

Stage 2 Declaration of all nuclear material and all nuclear facilities

(a) Nuclear material – (i) total quantities per material category for all nuclear material in the state, including in warheads; and (ii) inventories at each nuclear facility

– total material per category (HEU, Pu) in warheads or military custody would be black boxed – the overall quantity within the military program would be declared, but without any breakdown by forms and locations;

■ this is because such information is sensitive and the state is unlikely to be prepared to declare it – of course if the state is prepared to give any details these would be extremely useful for verification purposes;

■ materials in warheads would not be available for verification until the warheads are dismantled (stage 5).

(b) Nuclear facilities – enrichment and reprocessing facilities should be declared in stage 1. Here all related facilities would be declared: reactors, fuel fabrication, conversion, mines/mills, storage, radwaste, etc.

(c) Historical nuclear material flows (production, consumption, losses)

– declarations, and supporting documentation, will be required in due course, but are not essential at the outset.

(d) Nuclear-related locations – declarations including:

– centrifuge R&D;

– centrifuge manufacturing;

– activities, items and materials covered by the IAEA Additional Protocol;

■ Annex I – items and materials specially prepared for nuclear use;

■ Annex II – dual-use items and materials;

– dual-use activities with potential nuclear weaponization application (based on the Iran JCPOA4).

(e) Tritium – declaration of relevant facilities (reactors, separation plant) and material flows also required in due course

– by stage 6 – earlier if production is proscribed at outset.

Stage 3 Inspections of declared facilities and related nuclear materials

(a) Where facilities are shut down/decommissioned – status to be verified.

(b) Where facilities remain in operation – inspections to verify they are operated as agreed (all nuclear material under safeguards; quantity and quality limits if applicable).

(c) Nuclear materials – safeguards to verify that materials remain in peaceful use and are transferred only to safeguarded locations and activities.

(d) Nuclear-related locations – activities at these locations should be terminated if the related nuclear activity (e.g. enrichment) is shut down. Inspections are required to verify shutdown, or that continuing activities are as agreed.

(e) This stage would also include establishment of a procurement channel where required for agreed nuclear-related activities and potential weaponization activities.

Stage 4 Excess nuclear materials in military program to be declared and removed from the state or transferred irreversibly to the safeguarded nuclear program

(a) There should be no valid reason for the state to retain separated plutonium. This would be removed from the state.

(b) Likewise, there is no valid reason for the state to retain HEU. This would be removed from the state. If the state is operating reactors requiring low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, the state could be supplied with LEU fuel corresponding to the quantity of HEU removed.

Stage 5 Progressive reduction in warheads (and missiles)

(a) Declaration of types and numbers of warheads and missiles will be required at an appropriate time (arrangements regarding missiles are not covered in this paper).

(b) Warheads are to be dismantled, and fissile materials are to be converted to unclassified forms and treated as excess materials (see stage 4 – materials to be verified and removed from the state).

(c) An issue to be negotiated is how dismantlement would be monitored/verified

– the usual concept is for warheads to be dismantled by the possessor state under black box/chain of custody arrangements, so the verifying entity can confirm that a warhead entered dismantlement and a corresponding quantity of fissile material exited.

Stage 6 Verification activities to provide assurance against existence of undeclared nuclear facilities and nuclear materials

(a) This is likely a contentious area as it requires intrusive activities including challenge inspections. The state needs to understand this is a necessary aspect of verification, without which confidence is not possible.

The state can be assured that a mandate to look for undeclared facilities and materials is not carte blanche for access anywhere for any purpose. In the verification context undeclared means something that should have been declared in accordance with the agreements applicable at the time in question.

Obviously until the state is required to give up all its warheads it will have some nuclear material it is not yet obliged to submit for inspection – verification activities will not be seeking to locate items and materials unless the state is required to declare them and has not done so. The purpose of verification against undeclared facilities and materials is to detect possible violations of applicable agreements.

(b) This stage will include establishing a historic nuclear materials balance, drawing on declared material flows (stage 2 (c)), facility operating records, sampling and analysis of materials, interviews of personnel and related activities.

(c) Activities to provide assurance against undeclared warheads and missiles will also be required but are not covered in this paper.

(d) Also required, but not covered in this paper, are programs, and appropriate verification/monitoring, to, inter alia:

– convert nuclear weapons-related labs, workshops and factories to peaceful purposes;

– redeploy specialists from the nuclear weapon program to peaceful purposes;

– track key specialists to ensure they don’t become involved with nuclear weapon programs elsewhere.

Stage 7 End of the disarmament process – the state is shown to meet the requirements for a non-nuclear-weapon state

At the end of the disarmament process the state would become a non-nuclear-weapon state. In the case of a non-NPT party the state should join the NPT. In either case – whether a former non-NPT party or a former NPT nuclear-weapon state – the state would be a non-nuclear-weapon state, subject to the most rigorous form of IAEA safeguards.

Recognising that the state had nuclear weapon capabilities (therefore the capability to rebuild its nuclear weapon program – and even the possibility that it has successfully hidden parts of its former program), it will also be subject to additional verification, confidence-building and transparency measures, including those referred to in 6 (d) above.

 

3. Applying this model to the DPRK

As yet it is not known if agreement can be reached with the DPRK for applying this model. It would be possible to apply a more limited version initially, reflecting more limited goals (for example, cessation of fissile production, dismantling of a specified number of warheads). However, as discussed in a complementary paper, Denuclearizing North Korea: The Case for a Pragmatic Approach to Nuclear Safeguards and Verification (see References), achievement of complete disarmament will require all of the elements outlined in the model.

Who should be responsible for undertaking the various monitoring and verification tasks? Most of these tasks are the same as or very similar to activities conducted by the IAEA in the implementation of safeguards around the world. While these tasks would not necessarily be undertaken by the IAEA, there seems no in-principle reason why they should not be. For example:

Stage 1 – cease production of fissile materials

This requires declaration of all enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and monitoring of these to ensure they are no longer operating. Monitoring the status of nuclear facilities is a standard part of IAEA safeguards procedures. The IAEA has previously undertaken monitoring of the reprocessing plant and 5 MWe reactor at Yongbyon.

Stage 2 – declaration of all nuclear material and all nuclear facilities, and nuclear-related activities, items and materials

Receipt and analysis of declarations of nuclear facilities, and nuclear material inventories and flows, are a standard part of IAEA safeguards procedures.
While the IAEA does not usually verify inventories and flows of non-nuclear materials such as tritium (stage 2 (e)), it could do so, INFCIRC/66 safeguards agreements5 allow for this possibility.

Stage 3 – Inspections of declared facilities and related nuclear materials

Inspections to verify the operational status of nuclear facilities, and to verify nuclear material inventories and movements, are a standard part of IAEA safeguards procedures. Where proliferation-sensitive activities are involved (such manufacturing of centrifuge components) it may be necessary to use inspectors drawn from technology-holder states.

Stage 4 – Excess military nuclear materials to be declared and transferred from the DPRK or transferred irreversibly to safeguarded program

This involves verifying materials that are declared excess, and tracking them to ensure they are transferred from the DPRK or are placed under safeguards in the DPRK and remain under safeguards. These activities are similar to standard IAEA safeguards procedures.

Stage 6 – Verification for assurance against possible undeclared nuclear facilities and materials

This involves a range of activities, such as:

– information collection and analysis (including open-source information, satellite imagery, possibly wide-area environmental sampling, information from states) looking for possible indicators undeclared nuclear activities and materials;

­

– establishing a historic nuclear materials balance, looking for discrepancies and inconsistencies in declared information;

– investigation of possible indicators, including through inspector access to suspect locations, using mechanisms such as complementary access, technical visits, or special inspections.

All of these activities are part of standard IAEA safeguards procedures. Special arrangements may be required if the IAEA has to investigate possible weaponization activities (this may require specially cleared inspectors from nuclear-weapon states). Such arrangements have applied during IAEA investigations in Iraq, Iran and Libya, and in South Africa.

Stage 7 – The DPRK qualifies as non-nuclear-weapon state

At this point standard IAEA safeguards arrangements will apply, as in any other non-nuclear-weapon state. As noted above, additional confidence-building and transparency measures will also be required.

Monitoring and verification that would not be undertaken by the ILEA

Stage 1 (c) – no tests of nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable missiles

Activities for detection of any nuclear tests would be undertaken by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). There is no international inspectorate for detection of missile tests, this is a matter for national intelligence and technical means.

Stage 2 (d) – monitoring at nuclear-related locations

In appropriate cases might be undertaken by supplier states or through cooperation among the authorities of relevant states – or through establishment of a Joint Commission along the lines of the JCPOA.

Stage 3 (e) – procurement channel

Clearance and monitoring of procurement might be undertaken by supplier states or through cooperation among the authorities of relevant states – or through a Joint Commission.

Stage 5 – Reduction and dismantlement of nuclear warheads

This is the main area where new verification arrangements need to be developed. This is the current focus of IPNDV studies. (Stage 5 would also include destruction of missiles, but this is not covered by this paper).

 

4. Dismantlement of nuclear warheads

This is an area of high secrecy from two perspectives:

(a) National security – while the state continues to hold nuclear weapons, it does not want others to learn specifics of its capabilities (including questions of warhead yield and reliability);

(b) Non-proliferation – there is an over-riding international interest to ensure that information potentially helpful to a proliferator is totally protected.

These considerations, as well as the requirement for verification effectiveness, will influence the specifics of the verification arrangements on which agreement can be reached.

A threshold question is whether the DPRK is prepared to simply hand over warheads (for example, to a team of specialists from the nuclear-weapon states). If so, monitored dismantlement would not be necessary. However, it is likely the DPRK will be concerned to protect national security information, so for this paper it is assumed the DPRK will not hand over intact warheads.

Safety must be paramount   Apart from DPRK sensitivities, a compelling argument for warheads to be dismantled by DPRK personnel is for reasons of safety. First, transporting the warheads elsewhere could be dangerous. Second, those who made the warheads know their design and characteristics and are in the best position to dismantlement them safely. Particular care will be required to build a dismantlement facility that provides adequate protection for surrounding populations in case of accidental explosion (it will also be essential to warn neighbouring states when dismantlement operations are proposed).

A further threshold question is whether verification of warhead dismantlement is essential. The immediate reaction is, of course it is. However, this is not a straightforward issue, it depends on the objective sought. If the objective is immediate elimination of an agreed number of warheads, then monitored dismantlement will be required. On the other hand, if (as is likely) it is assessed that the DPRK has limited holdings of fissile material (so has limited ability to replace dismantled warheads if it sought to do so), it might be considered acceptable to have dismantlement without monitoring, with the DPRK simply handing over the quantities of HEU and plutonium estimated for the agreed number of warheads.

There may be some concern that dismantlement by the DPRK without monitoring would leave the possibility that warheads declared to be dismantled have really been concealed – but this is an issue anyway, because the number of warheads actually produced by the DPRK is not known (so calling for the elimination of a specific number of warheads may be of uncertain utility). It will probably not be until the end of the disarmament process that there is sufficient information to conclude that all warheads and nuclear materials are satisfactorily accounted for.

This paper is not recommending against requiring monitored dismantlement, but simply noting that if there are difficulties in establishing monitored dismantlement, the pros and cons could be further considered. In support of monitored dismantlement, it can be pointed out to the DPRK this would have a substantial confidence-building benefit.

The following diagram shows IPNDV’s visualization of key steps in the process of dismantling nuclear weapons.6
 

img-1
 

The concept of monitored warhead dismantlement

The basic approach is that the state would be responsible for dismantling its own warheads, thereby ensuring it maintains secrecy over warhead characteristics (design, fissile material quantity, quality and shape, and so on). Dismantlement would take place in a black box – this black box would comprise a specially constructed facility together with appropriate procedures. Movement of warheads into the facility and objects and materials out of the facility would be monitored by inspectors of the verifying entity (see section 5 below). All fissile material exiting the facility would be transferred to monitored storage and disposition.

The generic concept is illustrated in the following diagram from IPNDV documentation.7
 

img-2
 

A description of monitored warhead dismantlement is as follows:

(a) Dismantlement facility

This facility would be specially designed and constructed for safe and secure dismantlement of warheads in circumstances that enable confidence that all movements of objects and materials into and out of the facility can be monitored effectively. Inspectors would be given the facility design information and would have access during construction to verify there are no hidden exit pathways (doorways, pipework) or places where objects and materials could be hidden for subsequent removal. Inspectors would have regular access to the facility to check there have been no alterations and that objects and materials are not being retained within the facility.

In the (unlikely) event that warhead reductions proceed at a faster pace than the construction of the dismantlement facility, warheads could be held in monitored storage until the dismantlement facility is ready.

(b) Confirmation that an object entering the facility is a warhead

It is assumed the DPRK will wish to conceal the specific characteristics of its warheads. There are two possible situations:

(i) the DPRK presents a warhead to inspectors to check prior to dismantlement; or

(ii) the DPRK presents a container declared to contain a warhead. In the latter case standardized containers would be used, approved by inspectors for the purpose.

In either case inspectors would perform a range of measurements designed to confirm, without revealing classified information, that (i) the object presented is a warhead or (ii) the container holds a warhead. This approach, described as attribute measurement, is discussed below.

(c) The dismantlement process

DPRK personnel would dismantle each warhead, and re-form the fissile components (weapon cores, or pits) into unclassified shapes and mass (for example, 1 kg or 2 kg buttons), and possibly convert the materials into other forms (for example, from metal to oxide).

Because re-forming or converting the fissile material involves very different processes to dismantlement (for example, melting or chemical reactions), it is possible the DPRK may wish to undertake these processes in a separate facility. In this case it would be necessary to establish a system for verifying transfers of materials from one facility to the other and maintaining a chain of custody over these materials.

(d) Transfer of fissile material from the dismantlement facility to storage and disposition

When plutonium or HEU is ready to be transferred from the dismantlement facility, inspectors would measure the material to confirm its mass and isotopic composition. Inspectors would also check the cumulative mass for outgoing transfers in a given period to ensure this is at least equal to the cumulative threshold values for the warheads that entered the dismantlement facility during the period.

There will be some uncertainties in deriving a material balance between fissile materials entering and exiting the dismantlement facility, because material inputs will be calculated on minimum threshold values for mass and isotopic composition, while material outputs will be precisely measured. Because the threshold values are minimums, total material outputs can be expected to exceed total inputs. Total output may be reduced by conversion losses, but these would be very small (and it should be possible to confirm losses by measurement of wastes and discards).

(e) Rigorous monitoring of all movements into and out of the dismantlement facility

In addition to declared transfers of warheads into the facility, and declared transfers of nuclear materials out of the facility, all other movements of objects and personnel will require rigorous monitoring to ensure there are no undeclared movements of nuclear materials.

(f) Regular inspections of the dismantlement facility

Inspectors will need to check for undeclared alterations to the building, and for possible concealment of nuclear materials. As inspectors should not have the possibility of access to classified information, these inspections would be conducted between dismantlement campaigns, when there are no warheads or intact pits in the facility.

Attribute measurement

Attribute measurement is an approach by which inspectors can take measurements to confirm whether an object is a warhead, or a container holds a warhead, without accessing classified information. The approach is based on information barriers, enabling instruments to be used to measure for expected attributes without revealing classified details to the inspector.

A series of attributes would be defined for particular warhead types. The attributes would be described as threshold numeric values, for example:

(i)   a mass of plutonium above a specified threshold;

(ii)   a Pu-240/Pu-239 ratio below a specified threshold;

(iii)  a mass of U-235 above a specified threshold;

(iv)  a U-235/U-238 ratio above a specified threshold;

(v)   presence of high explosives.

Modified instruments, that would give a go/no go (or green light/red light) indication but not specific readings, would be used for these measurements. The result is that inspectors would be confident that a warhead containing “x” kilograms or more of weapon grade plutonium, or “y” kilograms or more of weapon grade HEU, has entered the dismantlement facility.

One form of attribute measurement involves the use of templates. Where there are a number of identical warheads, inspectors would take readings from a randomly selected warhead, to create a template against which the other warheads could be compared. It is not clear whether the characteristics of the DPRK’s nuclear arsenal are such that templating would be useful.

The idea of an attribute measurement system with information barriers was developed and demonstrated as part of the Trilateral Initiative undertaken by the United States, Russia and the IAEA in the period 1996 to 2002.8 The concept is proven, but further development may be required before it is ready for practical application. One area requiring further research is cyber-security aspects, ensuring that information barriers and authentication measures are not defeated. Attribute measurement was one of the techniques trialled in the United Kingdom-Norway Initiative on the Verification of Nuclear Warhead Dismantlement9, discussed below.

The dismantlement concept outlined above has been developed with a large weapon program in mind, and it may be possible to simplify it for the relatively small DPRK program. For instance, for a small number of warheads being dismantled in relatively short campaigns, attribute measurement might not be considered essential. If inspectors witness the transfer of say five warheads, each declared to contain at least “x” kilograms of HEU, into the dismantlement facility for a campaign expected to take say “z” weeks, then the DPRK would be expected to hand over to inspectors at least 5x kilograms of weapon grade HEU at the end of this period.

Cheating scenarios can be envisaged, for example:

(a) if the threshold value is set too low, the DPRK could submit four real warheads and a dummy (thus retaining one real warhead), knowing that the total recovered material will meet the expected threshold value:

– say the threshold value is 15 kg HEU/warhead, but each warhead actually contains 20 kg. The DPRK could submit four real warheads and one dummy. The inspectors would expect an output of 75 kg HEU (5 x 15), and would be presented with 80 kg, so all would appear to be in order, when actually the DPRK has withheld one warhead;

– this example suggests it is preferable to have attribute measurement of all warheads submitted for dismantlement;

(b) the DPRK could submit five dummy warheads each containing the threshold mass (say 15 kg HEU), while retaining the real warheads that contain a larger mass (say 20 kg HEU):

– on this scenario the DPRK appears to dismantle five warheads – in reality it has given the inspectors 75 kg of HEU, but still has the warheads.

Attribute measurement is more important if there are large numbers of warheads and there could be an extended period (maybe years) before the recovered fissile material could be correlated with the warheads submitted. With a small program the risk of cheating is reduced, but cannot be excluded. Ultimately confidence in disarmament depends on availability of complementary, mutually reinforcing information, such as nuclear archaeology (historical nuclear material balance substantiated by contemporary documentation and sampling at facilities and waste storage) and verification activities for providing assurance against undeclared missiles.10
 

5. The verifying entity

As discussed in section 3, most of the verification activities that would be involved in denuclearization in the DPRK are the same as or very similar to activities conducted by the IAEA in safeguards implementation. It follows that these activities could be undertaken by the IAEA, pursuant to a mandate given under a safeguards agreement concluded between the DPRK and the IAEA, or a mandate given by Security Council resolution. In due course a new safeguards agreement will be required between the DPRK and the IAEA. While some of these verification activities do not correspond exactly to a standard IAEA safeguards agreement, the IAEA Statute provides flexibility to conclude an agreement as requested by the parties.11

Other possibilities for the verifying entity, touched on below, include:

● nuclear-weapon states, or P5 (the Permanent Members of the Security Council) – either all the P5 or those most engaged with the DPRK (the United States, China and Russia);

● the parties to agreements with the DPRK pursuant to the denuclearization process – at this point it is not clear which states might be directly involved, the Six Parties again (the DPRK, United States, China, Russia, the ROK and Japan) or some other grouping. Possibly the parties might decide to establish a Joint Commission along the lines of the Iran JCPOA;

● bilateral arrangements between the DPRK and the United States;

● bilateral arrangements between the DPRK and the ROK, along the lines of ABACC (the Argentine-Brazilian Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials);

● a regional safeguards inspectorate, along the lines of Euratom.

IAEA inspections can involve staff from non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon states, commonly a mix of the two. Usually no distinction is made between the two groups of states. However, if the subject of an inspection is proliferation-sensitive, it is established practice to form a team of inspectors from nuclear-weapon states, comprising individuals having appropriate security clearances from the relevant national authorities.

For example, where the IAEA has been responsible for establishing that a nuclear weapon program had been terminated (South Africa) or investigating suspected nuclear weapon programs (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the DPRK), much of the verification work was undertaken by normal safeguards inspectors but, where necessary to protect classified information, tasks were assigned to inspectors who were appropriately cleared nationals from nuclear-weapon states, as just discussed. In some cases, teams were established that included non-staff specialists provided by nuclear-weapon states. Thus, the IAEA has developed substantial expertise in dealing with and appropriately protecting classified information.

As regards monitoring and verification of warhead dismantlement, the attribute measurement approach was developed in the context of bilateral arms control inspections between the United States and Russia – the objective was to enable an inspector from one state to confirm that an object presented by the other state is a warhead, without the inspector gaining classified information. Clearly this approach could also be valid for an inspector from a third state, or an international inspector, which is why the IAEA participated in the Trilateral Initiative. In other words, application of attribute measurement could be undertaken by inspectors from non-nuclear-weapon states.

The possibility of warhead dismantlement being verified by inspectors from non-nuclear-weapon states has been trialled in the United Kingdom-Norway Initiative, which has successfully conducted several practical exercises. The Initiative has involved three areas of work:

● managed access – how inspections can be carried out in practice;

● information barriers – procedural and technical measures to enable unclassified measurements to be made of a classified object;

● confidence in verification processes – including multinational participation in verification research.

The work of the United Kingdom-Norway Initiative has been an important input to the work of IPNDV. IPNDV has stated that “… actual dismantlement is the most important, complex, and technically challenging task of nuclear disarmament verification”, and has expressed the judgment that:

… while tough challenges remain, potentially applicable technologies, information barriers, and inspection procedures provide a path forward that should make possible multilaterally monitored nuclear warhead dismantlement while successfully managing safety, security, non-proliferation, and classification concerns in a future nuclear disarmament agreement.12 (underlining added)

In line with this judgment, there seems no reason why dismantlement of warheads in the DPRK could not be monitored by IAEA inspectors, which could include ROK nationals, and/or also by ROK government personnel. There is one caveat – because attribute measurement, and also the concept of monitored warhead dismantlement, are still in the development stage, there will likely be a need for specially qualified and cleared personnel from one or more nuclear-weapon states to oversee the operation to ensure there is no inadvertent transfer of classified information.

Non-IAEA monitoring and verification

It is possible there may be some resistance to early involvement by the IAEA in monitoring and verification in the DPRK. If this is delayed for any reason, monitoring and some other verification tasks could be undertaken by suitably qualified personnel from states involved in the denuclearization process (for example, the Six Parties, or a Joint Commission?) and from other states willing to support the process and acceptable to the parties.

There is some speculation that the DPRK may prefer bilateral verification arrangements, that is, inspections by United States personnel. This would present two difficulties. First is the question of credibility and integrity – will the international community have full confidence in inspections undertaken by the nationals of only one state, especially if there might be political pressures to reach favourable results? For this reason, multilateral inspections are the well-established international practice. Second, it should be recognized that the IAEA must be involved as soon as possible, having regard to the Agency’s nuclear verification mandate, its specialized expertise and equipment, and its international standing. The objective should be to develop DPRK-IAEA cooperation as soon as possible.

Summary of verification options

The following table summarizes the above discussion. In this table, Joint Commission is used to encompass either a formally constituted Joint Commission along the lines of the Iran JCPOA or a less formal grouping of parties to the denuclearization agreement(s) with the DPRK.
 

table
 

6. Possible ROK participation in denuclearization verification activities

If the ROK wished to participate in inspections in the DPRK the possibilities seem to be as follows:

(a) If initially, prior to agreement on IAEA involvement, monitoring and verification activities are carried out by Six Party or Joint Commission personnel, this is an opportunity for ROK participation. There are obvious advantages in having Korean inspectors in the team.

(b) Once IAEA activities start, ROK safeguards inspectors on the IAEA staff could join the team that the IAEA is likely to establish to carry out inspections in the DPRK. Here too there are obvious advantages in having Korean inspectors. However, it must be kept in mind that an inspected state can reject inspectors of specific nationalities, so it will be essential to ensure that the DPRK has no objection to ROK inspectors (this is also a possible issue under (a)).

(c) Another possibility is either bilateral safeguards arrangements between the ROK and the DPRK, or a wider regional safeguards inspectorate.

On a bilateral arrangement, the ROK and the DPRK might consider concluding arrangements similar to ABACC, under which safeguards inspections would be undertaken jointly by the IAEA and an ROK/DPRK bilateral inspectorate. It should be noted that although ABACC is generally thought of as a bilateral arrangement, actually it is more complex – it is a quadripartite arrangement, between Argentina, Brazil, ABACC and the IAEA.

It is for the ROK and the DPRK to consider whether a bilateral safeguards arrangement would be useful, for example, for transparency and confidence-building. It is important to note that the ABACC arrangements are reciprocal, so following this model would result in DPRK inspectors participating in inspections in the ROK as well as vice versa.

On a regional arrangement, the precedent is Euratom. Euratom was established a decade before the NPT, and it can be questioned whether a regional safeguards entity is warranted in today’s circumstances. Nonetheless, this is something states in the region, or states in the immediate neighbourhood, might consider – for example, whether an entity comprising ROK, DPRK, China, Japan, and maybe Russia and the United States (that is, the Six Parties) would serve a useful purpose. One way to look at this, quite different to the Euratom precedent, would be in support of the creation of a North Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone. If a regional safeguards entity were to proceed, the responsibilities of the IAEA would have to be accommodated, for example through a partnership approach as established between Euratom and the IAEA.

Treaty issues relating to ROK participation in denuclearization verification

NPT   The key issue, in terms of the NPT, is whether the ROK’s participation in denuclearization verification activities could result in it acquiring information that could materially assist in the design or manufacture of a nuclear weapon. As a non-nuclear-weapon state Party to the NPT, the ROK has undertaken

“… not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons … or … control over such weapons … directly, or indirectly; not to … acquire nuclear weapons …; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons …”13

Although the language of the NPT is not explicit, there is no doubt that acquisition by ROK nationals of data that could materially assist in the design or manufacture of a nuclear weapon would be considered a violation of the NPT.14 Also acquisition of data that could assist in the production of fissile material would raise difficult issues because of international concerns about any spread of proliferation-sensitive data.

The NPT places a corresponding obligation on nuclear-weapon states not in any way to assist any non-nuclear-weapon state to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons.15 Thus the ROK must be scrupulously careful not to acquire, even inadvertently, any classified or proliferation-sensitive data, and nuclear-weapon states having control of such data through verification and monitoring in the DPRK must be scrupulously careful to prevent access to the data by a non-nuclear-weapon state.

Accordingly, the ROK must not be involved in any activity where it could acquire proliferation-sensitive data, and nuclear-weapon states in a position to do so must ensure that the ROK and other non-nuclear-weapon states do not acquire such data in the DPRK. As discussed in this paper, this does not mean a blanket exclusion from denuclearization verification in the DPRK. Many of the stages involved in denuclearization do not involve sensitive technology or information, or fissile material in sensitive forms or composition. There should be no objection to ROK personnel being involved in these stages.

Areas where ROK and other non-nuclear-weapon state personnel would have to be excluded include facilities where sensitive technology and information could be accessible (including weaponization activities, manufacturing of centrifuge components, and so on), and areas where nuclear weapon design and know how could be revealed. This is especially the case with warhead dismantlement (described as stage 5 in this paper), unless a black box approach with rigorous protective measures is established.

United States-ROK agreement concerning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy

The current agreement was concluded in 2015. The agreement reaffirms the Parties’

… strong partnership on strengthening the global nonproliferation regime … and close cooperation on advancing their shared objective to address the security and proliferation threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program.

There are no provisions in the agreement that have a direct bearing on the issue of ROK participation in denuclearization verification in the DPRK. The Parties may agree on cooperation in research, development and demonstration, including safeguards and physical protection, and other areas as mutually agreed16 , but this language does not readily apply to verification implementation in the DPRK and there seems no reason why the Parties would seek to bring this under the terms of the agreement. Likewise, the Parties may agree to include under the High Level Bilateral Commission established pursuant to the agreement any topics related to peaceful nuclear cooperation mutually agreed to … by the Parties17, but there seems no reason why the Parties would seek to apply this to denuclearization verification.

The agreement could apply in the case of nuclear supply to the DPRK (for example, if nuclear supply is part of a denuclearization agreement), but this is beyond the scope of this paper.

Pros and cons for the ROK in participating in monitoring and verification in the DPRK

Pros:

● It would be a major plus for the ROK government to achieve DPRK acceptance of such a role; and also, recognition of the ROK’s co-equal status with the nuclear-weapon states.

● Most importantly, it could be a confidence-building measure between the DPRK and the ROK, smoothing the way for extending monitoring and verification arrangements to non-nuclear arms control measures in support of reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

● Taking a long-term perspective, in-depth involvement in dismantling the DPRK’s military program would reinforce the ROK’s understanding and capacity to deal with the DPRK’s nuclear weapon capabilities in a unified Korea.

● The ROK’s involvement might be implemented as part of a bilateral or a multilateral nuclear-weapon-free zone inspectorate that would also create a binding legal framework for the monitoring and verification activity between the disarmament process and the DPRK’s re-entry into the NPT, and give the three proximate nuclear-weapon states a formal role in DPRK denuclearization.

● ROK inspectors are the most likely of all to pick up cultural and other signals of deception and/or misunderstandings related to safety, security, and other limits imposed by the DPRK on monitoring and verification of its disarmament. Typically, the DPRK provides access and transparency in precise calibration to a mutually agreed rationale for such, and no more than minimally required. Being able to understand and negotiate that boundary is a critical conflict-avoidance issue in a monitoring and verification activity, to defuse such situations before they escalate into wars of words and then actions.

● The ROK may provide considerable logistical, technical, and financial support that could be hard to mobilize in the nuclear-weapon states.

Cons:

● The DPRK reaction may be strongly negative, adhering to the past view that this is a matter for the United States only (because the DPRK treats compliance with monitoring and verification as a way to get the United States’ attention, not because it wants monitoring and verification per se, let alone the involvement of the IAEA or other parties).

● It may complicate the negotiations over monitoring and verification in general, for example, by providing an argument for Japan that it too deserves to be confident that the DPRK has disarmed and to be treated co-equally.

● It could complicate the IAEA’s role if the DPRK objected to the ROK’s involvement.

● In the short to medium term some may suspect that the ROK wants to be involved as a way of gaining knowledge of how to produce nuclear weapons.

● It might be read as validating somehow that in the long run, a reunified Korea will combine ROK technological prowess with DPRK nuclear weapons knowledge.

 

7. Conclusions

There is a general view in the international community that nuclear disarmament verification should be undertaken as far as possible on a multilateral basis, in order to establish confidence in the integrity and credibility of the disarmament process. The main argument against a multilateral process is the possibility of classified and proliferation-sensitive information being compromised. However, a number of aspects of disarmament verification will not involve such information – for example, once fissile materials have lost classified form and composition, they are no different to comparable materials that are covered by IAEA safeguards. Further, IAEA safeguards demonstrate that a multilateral approach, incorporating special arrangements where necessary, can ensure the protection of sensitive information.

While it is absolutely crucial to both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states to ensure effective protection of classified information, states should be prepared to consider on their merits internationally-developed approaches to meet this objective – a major focus of the IPNDV is to develop verification appropriate arrangements for non-nuclear-weapon state participation.

In the case of the DPRK denuclearization effort, the ROK has an obvious interest and every reason to be involved. This paper discusses a number of approaches to enable ROK participation consistent with the NPT’s non-proliferation principles. There are some challenges, but the parties involved in the denuclearization effort should be prepared to work collaboratively to address these.
 


 
References

A Verifiable Path to Nuclear Weapon Dismantlement, Dismantlement Walkthrough, IPNDV (accessed 14 November 2018), https://www.ipndv.org/learn/dismantlement-interactive/.

Denuclearizing North Korea: The Case for a Pragmatic Approach to Nuclear Safeguards and Verification, John Carlson, 38 North Special Report, 24 January 2019, https://www.38north.org/reports/2019/01/jcarlson012419/

Phase I Summary Report: Creating the Verification Building Blocks for Future Nuclear Disarmament, IPNDV November 2017, https://www.ipndv.org/reports-analysis/phase-1summary/.

IPNDV Working Group 2 – 2016-17 Output Report: Inspection Activities and Techniques, November 2017, https://www.ipndv.org/reports-analysis/deliverables-4-5-6-inspectionactivities-techniques/

Innovating Verification: New Tools and New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks, NTI, July 2014, https://www.nti.org/analysis/reports/innovating-verification-new-tools-new-actors-reducenuclear-risks/

Nuclear Disarmament: The Legacy of the Trilateral Initiative, Thomas E. Shea and Laura Rockwood, Deep Cuts Working Paper 4, March 2015, http://deepcuts.org/images/PDF/DeepCuts_WP4_Shea_Rockwood_UK.pdf.

Nuclear disarmament verification: the case for multilateralism, David Cliff, Hassan Elbahtimy, David Keir and Andreas Persbo, VERTIC Brief 19, April 2013, http://www.vertic.org/media/assets/Publications/VERTIC%20Brief%2019.pdf.

Trilateral Initiative: IAEA Authentication and National Certification of Verification Equipment for Facilities with Classified Forms of Fissile Material, Eckhard Haas, Alexander Sukhanov, John Murphy, IAEA Safeguards Symposium 2001, https://wwwpub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/ss-2001/PDF%20files/Session%2017/Paper%201704.pdf.

UK-Norway Initiative on the Verification of Nuclear Warhead Dismantlement, https://ukni.info/; https://ukni.info/mdocs-posts/2012-npt-prep-com-presentation-theunited-kingdom-norway-initiative-on-the-verification-of-nuclear-warhead-dismantlement/.
 



1 John Carlson was director general of the Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office. He was appointed as chairman of the IAEA’s Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation by former IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei and served from 2001 to 2006. He also served as Alternate Governor for Australia on the IAEA Board of Governors. He is an Australian member of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network.

2 This report is published under a 4.0 International Creative Commons License the terms of which are found here. It is published by Nautilus Institute here; by the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament here; and by the Research Center for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Nagasaki University, here.

3 Mention should also be made of Syria, where the IAEA’s investigation of a suspected nuclear weapon program has not progressed due to civil war. Of course, the other case of safeguards non-compliance was the DPRK itself, but the IAEA’s investigations were thwarted by the DPRK’s withdrawal from the NPT.

4 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

5 INFCIRC/66 safeguards agreements are described as “item-specific” agreements. They are used for non-NPT states, specifically India, Israel and Pakistan. Prior to joining the NPT in 1985, the DPRK had an INFCIRC/66 agreement covering the Soviet-supplied IRT reactor.

6 From IPNDV Working Group 2 Report of November 2017, page 89.

7 From IPNDV Working Group 2 Report of November 2017, page 36.

8 See Nuclear Disarmament: The Legacy of the Trilateral Initiative (References).

9 See References.

10 Missiles are considerably larger than warheads, hence are harder to conceal.

11 IAEA Statute Article III.A.5.

12 IPNDV, Phase I Summary Report, page 6.

13 NPT Article II.

14 Though probably not relevant in the context of DPRK denuclearization, it might be argued that acquisition of data in the public domain would not constitute a violation. However, there would be international concerns about a state’s motives in acquiring such data, and the NPT’s prohibition on seeking to manufacture nuclear weapons applies regardless of the status of the data involved.

15 NPT Article I.

16 See Article 3.

17 Article 18.


 

Category PSNA Activities
2019年4月24日

2019年4月29日(月)から5月10日(金)まで、核軍縮・不拡散問題の国際会議「2020年NPT(核不拡散条約)再検討会議第3回準備委員会」がアメリカ・ニューヨークの国連本部で開催されます。世界各国から多数の政府関係者・専門家・NGOが集まるこの会議に、RECNAの教員とナガサキ・ユース代表団第7期生が参加し、現地からのレポートをお届けいたします。教員のレポートは「RECNA NPT Blog 2019」にて、ナガサキ・ユース代表団のレポートはナガサキ・ユース代表団のFacebookにて掲載しますので、是非ご覧ください。

RECNA NPT Blog 2019こちら

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Category お知らせ
2019年4月10日

Dispatches from Nagasaki(日本語版付)

No.27March 31, 2019
The notice of withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty – Statement from an atomic-bombed city
日本語版]INF全廃条約破棄通告について ― 被爆地からの発言 ―

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Category お知らせ
2019年4月9日

Reducing Nuclear Dangers on the Korean Peninsula:
Bilateral versus Multilateral Approaches

Thomas Graham, former US Ambassador,
Executive Chairman, Lightbridge Corporation

PSNA Working Paper Series (PSNA-WP-6)1

April 9, 2019

[PDF version]

Summary

This paper addresses the important issue of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. It reviews alternate solutions: an essentially bilateral solution with the United States as an associated party and a multilateral regime establishing a nuclear weapon free zone in a designated part of Northeast Asia which would include the militarily significant states in the region along with the NPT nuclear weapon states as associated parties. The effectiveness of a non-binding pledge versus a legally binding agreement and the possible availability of a nuclear assurance commitment itself a non-binding declaration or a legally binding obligation is analyzed. The verification requirements of a legally binding arrangement are outlined and associated issues such as transit through the zone established by an agreed arrangement are considered. The political salience of the two types of solutions, bilateral and multilateral is commented upon: for example what has the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] indicated it would accept and the likelihood that the DPRK is now prepared to be, or can be, persuaded to make the hard decision to eliminate weapons and accede to the vast verification requirements of a legally binding regime; and whether the United States would be willing to provide a negative nuclear assurance of any sort in a bilateral non-binding agreement situation as well as the level of verification it might demand in a legally binding agreement.


1 This working paper is published under a 4.0 International Creative Commons License the terms of which are found here (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). It is published also by the Nautilus Institute as a NAPSNet Special Report (https://nautilus.org/?p=97724) and Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (here), and by the Research Center for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Nagasaki University (RECNA), as a Working Paper (http://www.recna.nagasaki-u.ac.jp/recna/psnaactivities/21909) of Panel on Peace and Security of Northeast Asia (PSNA). PSNA acknowledges its kind contribution from the Nautilus Institute on publication of this paper. The views expressed here is of author’s own and do not necessarily reflect views of PSNA or RECNA.


 

Introduction

The Korean Denuclearization Declaration (signed January 20, 1992, into force February 19, 1992) committed the two Koreas to agree not to test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy, or use nuclear weapons; to use nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes; and not to possess facilities for nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment. The two Koreas also committed to conducting inspections of locations in the other Korea and established the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission (JNCC) to implement the inspections. However, since 1993, the JNCC has been unable to reach agreement on reciprocal inspections and none have taken place under its purview. Article 4 commits the two Koreas to verify the nuclear-free status of the Korean Peninsula within about two months from 19 March with inspections to begin in less than a month.[1]

However, the two sides were unable to agree on the frequency of inspections, and their demands on what would be inspected were also a-symmetric, with the ROK demanding inspections of any suspect locations in the DPRK; and the DPRK demanding that it also be able to inspect any US military facilities in the ROK. In June, the issue came to a head over the DPRK’s demands and the ROK’s rejection of North Korean inspections of US military facilities in the ROK, and by October 1992, multiple disagreements surfaced in the JNCC talks, and the implementation of the inspection regime ground to a halt in December 1992 as suspicions increased about North Korean reprocessing, and the US and the ROK began to prepare for the next Team Spirit exercises.

Not only was the agreement not legally binding (because it was struck between the two Koreas on the basis of their special interim relationship stemming from the process towards unification as stated in the preamble of the South-North Basic Agreement and in the recently legislated ‘Act for development of the south-north relationship’),[2] but it also lacked a number of the key attributes of a meaningful NWFZ as defined by UN Disarmament Commission in its 1999 report, including:

1. Total absence of nuclear weapons: any states should not develop, test, manufacture, produce, acquire, possess, store, transport and deploy nuclear weapons within a nuclear weapons-free zone;
2. Effective verification of compliance;
3. Clearly defined boundaries;
4. Negative Security Assurance: legally binding commitments to the zone by the nuclear weapon states not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the zone parties

Ironically, the 1992 Joint Declaration went beyond a standard NWFZ in that it not only banned nuclear weapons in Korea (although it did not define the boundaries of the zone) by banning the possession of “nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities,” it failed to establish an effective mechanism for verification of compliance (Article IV, V). Also, the Joint Declaration did not address the transit or transportation of nuclear weapons in or over its territorial waters, straits and international water, or airspace by a nuclear armed state (although the DPRK raised this issue at several JNCC meetings, it is a generic issue that relates equally to Chinese and Russian nuclear weapons in or around the Korean peninsula).[3]

Of great importance, the Joint Declaration imposed no obligation on the nuclear weapon states not to use or threat to use nuclear weapons against the two Koreas, and lacked any protocols that would have bound the nuclear weapon states to the Joint Declaration in this regard. Political statements by Russia and the United States welcoming the Joint Declaration and calling for the full implementation were no substitute for negative security assurances in a standard NWFZ treaty.
 

As noted above, the Joint Declaration foundered on the inspection mechanism, and is now moribund. However, moribund is not dead, in spite of the DPRK’s nuclear testing and declared armament, and the Denuclearization Declaration is an important common reference point referred to in the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework, and in the September 19, 2005 Six Party Talks Principles and Joint Statement.

It also contains no provision for termination and therefore is arguably still in force with respect to the two Korea’s initial commitments, no matter how much (or little) each of them is in breach of the Joint Declaration.

As the two Koreas and the great powers, especially the United States, consider their options of the best political and legal framework in which to realize a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, it is prudent to note the strengths and weaknesses of the 1992 Joint Declaration, and to ascertain if a new but more comprehensive bilateral agreement might be used today, or whether an alternative, more robust multilateral framework exists such as a nuclear weapons-free zone that might subsume the 1992 Joint Denuclearization commitments, and overcome its evident shortfalls.

Need for Robust Legal Framework Today

As noted above, the bilateral framework has inherent limitations. It is conceivable that a new bilateral declaration might address some of the deficits of the 1992 Joint Declaration. For example, it is possible that the United States might consider issuing a nonbinding executive statement containing a security assurance directly to the DPRK. More than this, however, in the non-binding area does not appear possible. In general, on this and other critically important dimensions, it is necessary to search for a more robust legal framework in which to realize denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Following the Singapore Summit another attempt is being made to create such a framework. The DPRK and the ROK may prefer a solution that in its eyes would represent a broader commitment than a bi-lateral treaty. A multilateral treaty is not stronger than a bi-lateral treaty in a technical legal sense. But by creating legal obligations to more than one other state, violating such a treaty breaches treaty relations with more than one state thereby creating a somewhat greater penalty for the violating state. In this sense a multi-lateral treaty perhaps can create somewhat broader legal obligations and potentially greater penalties than a bi-lateral treaty. The best-known form to address nuclear disarmament in a broader regional setting is the nuclear weapon free zone treaty. Both sides say that the agreed objective is a denuclearization Agreement which covers the Korean Peninsula. However even though the objective of the two negotiating parties is the same in writing, substantively they are far different. For the United States the term means North Korea relinquishing all of its nuclear weapons. But to the DPRK the term means reducing nuclear weapons in a “balanced and synchronous way” as Kim Jong-un said to China President XI prior to the Singapore Summit. This means to North Korea that weapons are reduced only if certain conditions are met. These likely include ending the United States nuclear umbrella in East Asia and terminating the American presence in South Korea. The DPRK may want commitment to reductions by the U.S. as well. So, the two negotiating parties at this point are not even on the same page as to the desired end result. The DPRK appears unlikely to even consider Washington’s demand for “complete, verifiable, and universal” denuclearization—it would challenge the fundamental structure of North Korea’s political system.
 

What North Korea appears to mean by a security guarantee as a prerequisite for a commitment to denuclearization is a regime guarantee—an undertaking to keep the Kim hereditary political system intact and the absolute authority of the leader in place. However, it should be noted that in the 1994 Agreed Framework between the U.S. and the DPRK the North settled for the following in the text. “The U.S. will provide formal assurances to the DPRK, against the threat or use of nuclear weapons by the U.S.” This Agreement was not a Treaty but it was an international agreement with legal force.

Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) Treaty

The nuclear weapon free zone treaty form is quite familiar to the world community. There exist five functioning treaty-based nuclear weapon free zones: Latin America (the Treaty of Tlatelolco—1967); South Pacific (the Treaty of Rarotonga—1985); Africa (the Treaty of Pelindaba—1996); South-east Asia (the Treaty of Bangkok—1997); and Central Asia (the Treaty of Semipalatinsk—2006); when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was negotiated in the late 1960s it explicitly codified—in Article VII—the right of the parties to the NPT to establish nuclear weapons free zones in their regions.

Responding to a proposal submitted by Finland, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) commissioned a comprehensive expert study (which was carried out at the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva) of NWFZs in 1974. It was completed in 1975. And it established multiple criteria for such a treaty:

“1 – Obligations related to the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone may be assumed not only by groups of states, including entire continents or large geographical regions, but also for smaller groups of states and even individual countries.

2 – Zonal arrangements must ensure the complete absence for the present and future nuclear weapons in the region covered by the treaty.

3 – The initiative for the zonal treaty must come from within the region concerned.

4 – If the zone is intended to embrace a region, the participation of all militarily significant states, and preferably all states, would be important.

5 – The zonal treaty must have an effective system of verification (the experts were of the view that the viability of the nuclear weapon free zone will largely depend on this).

6 – The treaty established must be of indefinite duration.”

In 1975 at the 30th session of the UNGA the United Nations on the initiative of Mexico defined the concept of a nuclear weapon free zone.

“A nuclear-weapon-free zone shall, as a general rule, be deemed to be any zone recognized as such by the United Nations General Assembly, which any group of states in the free exercise of their sovereignty, has established by virtue of a treaty or convention, whereby: (a) The statute of the total absence of nuclear weapons to which the zone shall be subject, including for the procedure of the delineation of the zone, is defined; (b) An international system of verification and control is established to guarantee compliance with the obligations deriving from that statute.”[4]

At the same time the General Assembly also provided that in every case of a nuclear-weapon-free zone treaty recognized by the UNGA the NPT nuclear weapon states should conclude an internationally legally binding instrument in which they undertake the following obligations:

“(a) To respect in all its parts the statute of total absence of nuclear weapons defined in the treaty or convention, which serves as the constitutive instrument of the zone;

(b) To refrain from contributing in any way to the performance in the territories forming part of the zone of acts which involve a violation of the aforesaid treaty or convention;

(c) To refrain from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against a state included in the zone.”[5]

All nuclear weapon free zone arrangements are different and the negotiations upon occasion have had to develop novel solutions to different problems. In Latin America while the Treaty of Tlatelolco was being negotiated there were two potential nuclear weapon programs within the zonal limits. The lead negotiator, Ambassador Garcia Robles of Mexico, developed a flexible structure whereby a state would become subject to the obligations of the zonal treaty only when that state had deposited with the nation serving as the depository—Mexico in this case—a certificate of waiver of the Treaty’s Article 28 entry into force requirements as well as the instrument of ratification of the Treaty. Thus, Brazil could and did ratify the Treaty in 1968 but was not subject to its obligations until 1994 when it had shut down its program entirely and formally delivered a waiver of the Article 28 requirements. Argentina signed the Treaty in 1968 but deposited its instrument of ratification and as well as the waiver document when it joined the Treaty in 1994.

Some important issues for other NWFZ treaties were:

(a) The dumping of radioactive substances in the high seas by the French (banned by the Rarotonga Treaty, approximately 10 years before France became a protocol party and could make its own commitment to this). Of course, the Rarotonga parties (the Pelindaba Treaty also has this provision) do not have jurisdiction over the high seas, no state does, but the 1975 United Nations London Dumping Convention parties decided in 1993 at the consultative meeting of contracting parties that the disposal of radioactive waste into the high seas was prohibited.[6] Thus the unrestricted dumping of radioactive substances into the high seas is internationally prohibited.

(b) The status, under the Treaty establishing the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, of islands off shore of Africa claimed by the Organization of African Unity to be part of Africa as well as states outside the Treaty zone placing territories they possess within the zone under the Treaty obligations (the Latin American and South Pacific free zone treaties had variants of this issue as well), for example, Réunion Island possessed by France. The most difficult such problem was the Chagos Archipelago, which includes the Island of Diego Garcia, a major U.S. naval base leased from Britain. The Archipelago comprises the British Indian Ocean Territory, located approximately 1,000 miles south of India, and 2,000 miles east of the African mainland. It is also claimed by Mauritius, an island state near Réunion Island. This claim is supported by the Organization of African Unity;

(c) The continuing security relationship with Russia, a nuclear weapon state, by four of the five parties to the Treaty of Semipalatinsk;

(d) The insistence by the parties to the Treaty of Bangkok that the non-nuclear weapon statute of the Treaty apply to the high seas out to the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) limit of each party. This has the effect of blocking China from basing nuclear weapons on islands and other partially submerged reefs claimed by China to be islands in the Southeast Asian high seas area.

The Korean Peninsula likely will present comparable problems for negotiations to establish a NWFZ in Northeast Asia.

Treaty of Tlatelolco Phased Implementation

The Treaty of Tlatelolco was negotiated over the period 1964-67 in Mexico City. The impetus for the Treaty was the then recent Cuban Missile Crisis. Latin America had had enough of nuclear crises. Garcia Robles and his fellow negotiators spent much time and effort developing the provision for the entry into force of the Treaty. As said, at the time of the negotiation there were two potential nuclear weapon programs in Latin America, in Argentina and Brazil. Garcia Robles wanted all Latin American states to have the opportunity to be involved with the Treaty at the beginning, regardless of their situation. There were two groups of states among the negotiating parties. The first group proposed that the Treaty would come into force among those states that had ratified it once eleven Latin American states-representing a majority of the participants in the Preparatory Commission which managed the negotiations—had ratified the Treaty. The second group took the position that the Treaty would only come into force after the following four things had happened.

1 – The signature and ratification of the Treaty by all states to which it was opened.

2 – The signature and ratification of Protocol I (for outside states—the United States, Britain, France, and the Netherlands—which had jurisdiction over territory in Latin America) by all states to which it was opened.

3 – The signature and ratification of Protocol II (for the five NPT recognized nuclear weapon states) by all states to which it was opened; and

4 – The conclusion of safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by all contracting parties of the Treaty and of its Protocols.

Article 28 of the Treaty provides that the Treaty will come into full force and effect only when the four requirements are met. Article 28 of the Treaty however permits a ratifying state to submit a formal waiver along with its instrument of ratification and the treaty will apply to that party’s land area, including its internal waters and territorial seas—but not the adjacent expanded sea areas. This then bridges the views of the two groups.

In practice each party to the Treaty of Tlatelolco has brought the Treaty into force for itself by depositing its instrument of ratification and the formal waiver document with the government of Mexico, the Depository. The fourth condition may never be met—and the broad adjacent sea areas brought under the Treaty which only happens upon full force and effect—as expensive IAEA safeguard arrangements likely will never be in the economic interest of small states, like the Bahamas. Such states probably will never have nuclear facilities for which safeguards would be applied.

For many years after the conclusion of the negotiations in 1967, Argentina while a signatory had not ratified, while Brazil and Chile had signed and ratified but had not waived. Cuba did nothing for a long time. Argentina and Brazil had active national programs, while Chile just followed Brazil and Cuba alone, marched to its own drummer.

By 1994 both Argentina and Brazil no longer wished to keep the nuclear weapon option open. Argentina ratified the Treaty of Tlatelolco and waved the four requirements in 1994. Brazil and Chile deposited their declarations of waiver with the government of Mexico the same year. Argentina and Chile became parties to the NPT in 1995, Brazil in 1998. With the full accession to the Treaty by Cuba in 2002, all Latin American states had signed, ratified and submitted their waiver documents pursuant to Article 28 and thus the Treaty applied to the land area of all Latin American states. Only three of the four requirements have been met. But for all practical terms the Treaty is in full force. The Treaty’s de facto zone of application is the land area territory of the parties. If the fourth requirement is ever met, the area of the application of the Treaty will expand to large ocean regions surrounding Central and South America, in the west touching the border of the South Pacific sea area which surrounds the states of the Treaty of Rarotonga.[7] Should this ever happen it could negatively affect the navigational rights of nuclear ships including warships.

Inclusion of Japan?

In addressing the specific possibility of a nuclear weapon free zone for the Korean peninsula some variation of the Garcia Robles formula might be workable. But first the following should be noted. United Nations rules provide that in order for a NWFZ treaty to be recognized by the UN, it must include, as mentioned before, “all military significant states in the region”—that may make it desirable to include Japan if the object is a treaty with a broad non-nuclear weapon commitment—and the Protocol must include all five NPT recognized nuclear weapon states as Protocol parties which among other things binds them to a negative security assurance (NSA) for treaty parties. A more detailed treatment is provided in Attachment 1.

The NPT Conundrum

The DPRK cannot rejoin the NPT until the IAEA pronounces it nuclear weapon free, a process likely to require a great many years to complete. Probably it will prove to be the case that a verification system is required that would be more stringent than that of the so-called Iran Agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA—IAEA anytime, anywhere inspection rights (some facilities could be exempted by specific agreed provision) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to last many, many years, then perhaps the U.S. would be comfortable bringing the Treaty into force. And as with South Africa, after the special verification system comes to an end, the DPRK would be subject to ongoing IAEA inspections to verify that it remains in a non-nuclear weapon status. The principal obligation that the DPRK would defer, since the DPRK would not be bound by the Treaty during verification and the U.S. would not ratify the Protocol during this period either would be the requirement to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. That would only come when verification is complete and the Treaty is brought into force. And the U.S. would defer its Protocol obligations of no U.S. nuclear weapon facilities in South Korea and a legally binding nuclear negative security assurance (NSA) for the DPRK.

However, during the years that the DPRK was being verified, the international law rule (Article 18 of The Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties) that a signatory to a Treaty prior to ratification (which in this case would happen after verification) would not take acts that would “defeat the object and purposes of the Treaty” would apply. This presumably would mean no testing, transfer, or fabrication of new weapons or components for the DPRK while entry into force is pending. These constraints would impose serious limitations on the DPRK and it might want reciprocity from the U.S.
 

Once the DPRK is declared nuclear weapon free and it submits its instrument of ratification it would be bound by the Treaty and no longer by the international law rule. The U.S. would then ratify the Protocol where as indicated the principal obligations the U.S. would implement would be not to have nuclear weapons or related facilities in the Treaty Zone and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any Treaty party in good standing. There could be additional U.S. obligations in its Protocol. There could be important obligations applicable to the DPRK that the U.S. will want to see included in the Treaty and to happen promptly—likely non-transfer, no weapon testing and no fabrication of weapons or components. As stated above the International law rule could be sufficient but this also could be explicitly agreed in a separate agreement to reinforce the international law rule referred to above.

Again, the DPRK cannot rejoin the NPT until the IAEA formally declares the country to be nuclear weapon free and also that any sensitive nuclear technology or material it possesses are under full scope IAEA safeguards. The DPRK has no relationship to the NPT regime until it returns to the Treaty as a party.

Interim Measures

As indicated specific provisions additional to those in the NPT and the NWFZ Treaty for the interim period while verification is ongoing—arguably covered by the International Law rule—could for additional confidence be established by a separate agreement. For example, a separate protocol designed to come into force immediately signed by the DPRK and the U.S. could provide such interim arrangements. Or it could be signed by all parties—including protocol parties and provide for an interim or anticipatory regime, while the Treaty itself was proceeding towards entry into force. This has been done before—or something somewhat similar—in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. It was called the Provisional Application Protocol, designed to prepare for the treaty regime, pending entry into force. It could mirror the rule of international law mentioned above or it could provide specific interim obligations to preserve the treaty regime until entry into force. As said, to make such a concept palatable to the DPRK there might be a need to have a United States commitment as well, perhaps some easily reversible undertaking such as suspension of military maneuvers in South Korea, or at least those involving nuclear weapon delivery platforms.

Then there is the question of reciprocity. One might assume that, among other things, part of the final settlement would be that all U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon related facilities and components on the land territory of any of the parties within the Zone, presumably including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan (as explained above Japan’s inclusion as a party may be a requirement for this Treaty to be supported by the United Nations) would be prohibited. This obligation would be also verified by the IAEA. There also would be the NSA in the Protocol.

Inspections of any U.S. facilities located in the Treaty Zone (presumably the Korean Peninsula and Japan, but not parts of Russia and China—should they be Protocol parties) would also have to be with the consent of the host party for the facilities, the ROK or Japan. For the United Nations facilities along with the western islands to be inspected it would seem sufficient to include a provision calling for this in the Treaty with an acceptance letter by the Commander of UN Peacekeeping Forces. If the Depository is to be the Secretary General as with many such treaties like this one today the Commander again could make a declaration accepting the inspections. At first glance there does not appear to be any reason for this Treaty to in any way affect the work of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission with respect to the Armistice. If part of the agreed package is a Peace Treaty the Commission likely would go away in any case.

The NWFZ Treaty being discussed herein-pursuant to existing U.N. rules would have a permanent duration like the other NWFZ Treaties. It would be a legally binding international agreement forever barring nuclear weapons from the area of applicability of the Treaty. The reintroduction of nuclear weapons would be prohibited by the Treaty absent a material breach.

Transit

Transit has been an important issue in the NWFZ process. It was not addressed in the Tlatelolco treaty but the United States as part of its ratification of Protocol I to the Treaty submitted several understandings, which are formal communications to other parties as to the Treaty’s interpretation. If an understanding is not challenged by another party it is included in the legal structure of the Treaty regime. If it is challenged renegotiation would be necessary. None of the U.S. understandings were challenged so they became parts to the Tlatelolco Treaty regime. One of them explicitly stated that the transit of nuclear weapons through the zone by ship or airplane is not affected by the Treaty. This provision was made explicit in all subsequent NWFZ treaties. The Rarotonga Treaty set the form this provision would take. This provision was drafted to be acceptable to Australia which permitted port visit by warships carrying nuclear weapons and New Zealand which did not. The relevant provision states that in the exercise of its national sovereignty “each party is free to decide for itself” whether to permit port visits and transit through its territorial waters by ships and visits and overflights by aircraft “in a manner not covered by the right of innocent passage”. Territorial waters are under the sovereign control of the littoral state. Innocent passage through such waters is guaranteed to all states but subject to certain rules. Therefore, whether nuclear powered or nuclear weapon capable ships or nuclear capable aircraft can make port calls or traverse the territorial sea and make visits as well as overflights in the case of aircraft depends on the policy of the states whose waters or airspace it is. If that state chooses to prohibit transit by such ships and aircraft then traversing the territorial waters or airspace would not be “innocent”.[8]

The Treaty of Pelindaba utilizes the same language as Rarotonga to the same effect that each party in the exercise of its sovereignty can decide whether to allow port visits and transit of territorial waters by ships and overflights by aircraft in a manner not subject to innocent passage. All aircraft in order to overfly or utilize the airport of a state must only do so pursuant to permission of that state which for normal commercial aircraft is part of the world-wide commercial air traffic control system regulated by international agreement. This is of course different from innocent passage through territorial waters but considered under NWFZ treaties in a similar way for certain aircraft. Port visits, transit of territorial waters by nuclear powered and nuclear capable ships and nuclear capable aircraft overflights and landing at airfields are treated together. And the program applies in the NWFZ treaties to ships and planes that are nuclear weapon capable as well as to nuclear powered in the case of ships. Overflights by aircraft of the territorial sea designed to be threatening if carried out without the permission of littoral state—as they wouldn’t be—are a breach of sovereignty and not permitted under international law.[9] Such overflights along the land border—such as along the DMZ might not be contrary to international law but they certainly would be contrary to the spirit of the Treaty regime.

Verification

Now turning to verification provisions, it seems likely that these provisions have to be at least as severe—and probably more so than the JCPOA regime, applicable to Iran. The following is an outline of what this regime possibly might look like in general.

A preambular paragraph could contain a similar no nuclear weapons ever pledge that Iran undertakes in the JCPOA making the DPRK the second country in the world to make this pledge: “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea affirms that in the future under no circumstances will the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea again seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.” (It is good to have this general principle stated.).

Second, the plutonium production reactor at Yongbyon should be verifiably destroyed according to agreed procedures. (The only purpose that this reactor has is to make plutonium for nuclear weapons therefore it should be destroyed.)

Third, the enrichment plant, likely built with the design and components supplied to the DPRK by A.Q. Khan should be dismantled according to agreed procedures. This facility was built with designs and components illegally acquired and there is no reason to permit the DPRK to enrich uranium on the large scale that this plant permits. Almost certainly other enrichment plants exist. Enrichment is permitted to NPT parties in good standing under the Treaty. But under the most positive scenario the DPRK is many years away from such a status. Indeed, it may be that a decision will be taken years from now to readmit the DPRK to the NPT with less than complete certainty that the country is in fact free of nuclear weapons because complete certainty is impossible to achieve. The DPRK may contain too many caves, tunnels, etc., to enable certainty to be achieved no matter how many highly intrusive inspections are carried out. Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, a veteran of years of negotiations with the DPRK, believes this and has said so in print. As a result, enrichment is simply too dangerous a technology for the Nuclear Supplier’s Group to permit to be exported to the DPRK or for it to continue to possess or to develop such technology for the foreseeable future.

Fourth, there must be 24 hours a day, 365 days a year highly intrusive inspections on-site by the IAEA—and, for political reasons, the inspection teams must include some American experts—looking for nuclear weapons and related technology. This process will continue for many years, likely years after the DPRK has returned to the NPT and this Treaty has entered into force. At least ten years beyond the entry into force of this Treaty should be the duration of the enhanced inspection regime. After some agreed point in time perhaps a more normal verification regime could be agreed upon—such as other NPT parties have agreed to work with the IAEA—but this would be many, many years in the future. Verification that the DPRK is nuclear weapon free will be excruciatingly different.

Fifth, DPRK borders should be placed under tight control 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with respect to any nuclear weapon related technology. The duration of these controls should be the same as for the IAEA inspections.

Sixth, likewise for the same duration, the uranium mines and any thorium production should be closely monitored under an identical regime.

Seventh, research and development with respect to any nuclear weapon related technologies should be closely monitored continuously and for the same duration.
 

Eighth, as specific identifiable progress is confirmed by the IAEA sanctions could slowly be lifted over a number of years. Specific goals should be set and periodic reports by the DPRK to the IAEA Board of Directors required.

Ninth, any violations of the inspection process reported by the IAEA will result in the return of all sanctions that have been lifted and new ones added.

A nuclear weapon free zone treaty for Northeast Asia certainly should be the longer-range objective for the region. It was Garcia Robles’ vision that “We should attempt to achieve a gradual broadening of the zones of the world from which nuclear weapons are prohibited to the point where the Territories of Powers, which possess these terrible tools of mass destruction, will become ‘something like contaminated islets subjected to quarantine.’”[10] This is the philosophy we all should follow. But in Northeast Asia we are far away from this now. The DPRK currently has said that all it will accept in terms of a denuclearization agreement is a non-binding Resolution akin to the 1992 Resolution. This could be seen by the world community as worthless but that isn’t necessarily so. It depends on what it’s linked to and accompanied by. The Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and The Stockholm Document on Confidence Building Measures in Europe, 1986 are examples of non-legally binding agreements which proved very valuable. They led to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty in a few years, and other developments in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War in 1991.

It would seem that the primary objective should be a Peace Treaty ending the Korean War. Hostilities associated with a state of war on the Korean Peninsula ended 65 years ago. That would appear to be long enough to wait. A Peace Treaty—actually probably two peace treaties one between the two Koreas—but that would involve recognition—so perhaps the inter-Korean Peace Treaty could be with the United States as an intermediary third party—and there could be a separate Peace Treaty between the DPRK and the U.S. Much would follow from this: U.S. diplomatic recognition of the DPRK, an exchange of Ambassadors and the end of threatening overflights and close border flights. Such flights except arguably flights along the DMZ border, would be breaches of sovereignty, and inconsistent with peaceful relations. And the land border flights would certainly be questionable. There could also be a protocol to the U.S.-DPRK Peace Treaty or it could be an associated standalone agreement. This agreement could put in legally binding obligations the DPRK decision to do no more nuclear weapon or missile tests and no exports of such technology. The U.S. would have to give something for this, as suggested above, an ending of U.S. military exercises in the South, at least those involving strategic platforms.

These would be very positive steps which would add considerably to stability. But into this will be thrust by the media the non-legally binding and unverifiable denuclearization declaration. There would be little confidence anywhere that the DPRK would actually eliminate any of its nuclear weapons. The U.S. would not be able to give the DPRK a legally binding NSA. Almost certainly the U.S. Senate would never consider abandoning the U.S. nuclear deterrent absent complete confidence that the DPRK stockpile had been or was about to be eliminated. A two-thirds vote in the Senate would be required to approve a legally binding NSA and such a vote is tough to get. The U.S. of course could give to the DPRK a non-binding NSA in the form of a national statement, which all of the P-5 gave to all NPT parties in 1995. The DPRK also was the recipient of such assurances while it was an NPT party. It is essential that the denuclearization declaration not be presented as an end in itself but as the key to the Peace Treaty and all of its benefits.

The issue of NSAs for non-nuclear weapon states from the NPT nuclear weapon states goes back to the beginning of the NPT.

In the 1960s, as the number of states possessing nuclear weapons rose to five, there were projections that 20-30 additional states would acquire nuclear weapons over the next two decades, and if such a scenario had occurred, there would have likely been many more in the following decades. As part of an effort to stem the trend toward the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons, 62 states signed the NPT on July 1, 1968, the first day the Treaty was open for signature. During the NPT negotiations, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) states sought negative security assurances from the nuclear-weapon states, arguing that after all, if the non-nuclear-weapon states were to foreswear nuclear weapons, the least the nuclear weapon states could agree to was not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states.[11] In 1965, the United Arab Republic (UAR) rejected the idea of bilateral security guarantees, claiming that it would result in “a situation where vast areas were divided under a nuclear trusteeship of this or that Power.”[12] Several non-nuclear-weapon states requested that assurances or guarantees from the nuclear-weapon states accompany or be included in the emerging non-proliferation treaty. Soviet Premier Kosygin proposed (on February 1, 1966 in the Soviet draft of the Non-Proliferation Treaty) “a clause on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear States parties to the treaty which have no nuclear weapons on their territory.”[13] The UAR, Mexico, Nigeria, and India (ultimately not a signatory of the NPT) supported this initiative. UAR Ambassador Khallaf submitted treaty language that incorporated Kosygin’s proposal, specifying that “each nuclear-weapon state undertakes not to use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon state Party to this Treaty which has no nuclear weapons on its territory.”[14] Romania and Switzerland made similar proposals.

US President Lyndon Johnson had assured nations that did not seek nuclear weapons that they would, if the need arose, enjoy strong US support “against nuclear blackmail threat,”[15] but the United States refused to accept the Soviet proposal. Canada also refused such a proposal arguing that reaching a consensus to include it in the Treaty would prove difficult, and attempting to do so would unacceptably prolong negotiations. Canadian representative Burns suggested instead that the nuclear-weapon states make parallel declarations that could include negative security assurances. More specifically he proposed that the nuclear-weapon states pledge in these declarations “not to use nuclear weapons against non-aligned non-nuclear parties.”[16]

In the beginning of 1968, the revised draft treaty still did not include any security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states.[17] At the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Commission (ENDC), certain non-nuclear-weapon states voiced their regret regarding the absence of any such assurances and the Federal Republic of Germany stated that the treaty should ban nuclear blackmail against the non-nuclear weapon states. Romanian Ambassador Ecobesco again requested that the nuclear-weapon states include an undertaking not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.[18] In March 1968, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom agreed to offer some positive security assurances.[19] Such assurances generally refer to action that would be taken by the Security Council or by its permanent members to assist an NPT non-nuclear-weapon state if it was attacked or threatened with nuclear weapons. However, US Ambassador de Palma stated that the draft treaty did not include security assurances because the issue proved “too difficult and complicated to be reduced to a treaty provision.”[20] Thus, NATO concerns about the conventional superiority of the Warsaw Pact and the credibility of the Western Alliance’s “flexible response” policy, as well as the Soviet Union’s reluctance to give negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states members of NATO, precluded any agreement among the nuclear-weapon states on negative security guarantees at that time.[21] Only China (not a NPT party until 1992) unilaterally pledged a no first use policy.

During the Cold War, mutual fear on both sides of the Iron Curtain prevented further progress in this area as the nuclear-weapon states denied repeated requests by non-nuclear-weapon states for the NSAs to be made legally-binding. The primary reason lay in distrust across the East-West divide. It was contended that non-nuclear-weapon states in the Warsaw Pact countries, as an alliance, possessed conventional superiority over NATO, and were closely allied to the Soviet Union. For its part, the Soviet Union argued that NATO stationed nuclear weapons on the national territories of its non-nuclear-weapon state members.

In 1995 at the NPT Review and Extension Conference, the five nuclear-weapon states reaffirmed, and to a degree harmonized, their political commitments not to threaten NPT non-nuclear-weapon states parties with nuclear weapons in the context of the NPT extension in 1995. The NPT nuclear weapon states agreed to legally binding NSAs when signing the relevant protocols to the African, South Pacific, Central Asian, and Latin American Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ) Treaties. The Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty remains unresolved on this point because of the extension of the treaty limits to the high sea areas in Southeast Asia by extension to the EEZ limits. The protocols to these NWFZ Treaties strengthen the NSAs as they require the nuclear weapon states (they have all signed the relevant protocols) not only to refrain from the use of nuclear weapons against the states parties to the NWFZ Treaties, but also from the threat of use of nuclear weapons. The Latin American Nuclear Weapon Free Zone signed in 1967, a year before the NPT was the first to require a legally binding NSA for the nuclear weapon states—which non-nuclear weapon states not in a NWFZ treaty ask for to this day. All of the other Zonal treaties have followed the Latin American lead on this.

One other comment, the P-5 countries have only given legally binding NSAs to parties to NWFZ treaties. This is recommended by the UN rules and the P-5 members have judged that in general NWFZ treaties arguably one exception to this practice, the NSA given to the DPRK by the United States in the 1994 Agreed Framework is part of a legally binding international Agreement—not a treaty but an international agreement—as a result of being one of the provisions of the Agreement. This NSA could have been considered legally binding as well.[22] However, the language used in the text is not such as to indicate legal obligation: “The U.S. will provide formal assurances to the DPRK, against the threat or use of nuclear weapons by the U.S.”[23] Thus, the impact of the provision is not clear. The same issue exists with respect to the relevant provision of the 2005 joint statement of principles developed in the Six Party Talks involving the DPRK, the ROK, the U.S., China, Russia, and Japan. The relevant provision there reads, “The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons.”[24] Unlike the provision in the Agreed Framework this language almost implies that it is only present intention that is referred to. However, the joint statement does contain a general provision of assurance in which the two parties agree to respect each other’s sovereignty, co-exist peacefully and take steps to normalize their relations. This did not appear to satisfy the DPRK.
 

Two treaties signed with the Soviet Union in 1961 provided the basic security assurance for the DPRK for many years, however with the collapse of the Soviet Union the DPRK realized that it would have to look for its security assurances elsewhere. The DPRK therefore undertook a series of negotiations with the United States. In general, the DPRK seemed satisfied or at least found acceptable to the NSA in the 1994 Agreed Framework. With respect to the Six Party Talks neither the security assurance nor the general reassurance clause in the Joint Framework appeared to be sufficient. The only regime assurance undertaking with the United States which has been valued by the DPRK is the 2000 Clinton-Myong-Rok “No Hostile Intent” communiqué signed by the two parties in October, 2000. More precisely it said that neither government would have “hostile intent” against the other and both sides were intent on building a “new relationship free from past enmity.”[25] This document was of great importance to the DPRK, it was regarded by North Korea in much the same way that the Chinese regarded the Shanghai communiqué of 1978, as the foundation of a new relationship.

But in all this the DPRK was seeking a better relationship with the United States and the survival of the regime. The 1994 Agreed Framework and the 2000 “no hostile intent” communiqué appeared to be important steps on the road to achieving that, the Joint Statement of Principles of 2005 did not. In the Singapore process the DPRK is seeking an NSA, perhaps a non-legally binding assurance will suffice when associated with a Peace Treaty.

Conclusion

An arrangement between the DPRK and the United States and other countries on the elimination of the DPRK nuclear weapon stockpile and related equipment and technologies could of course take many forms and can be shaped to the desires and requirements of the parties. But if it ever becomes possible there is merit in the NWFZ form. It is well understood around the world. If done according to United Nation rules it would virtually guarantee the full support of the United Nations which could be very valuable. It would also help the DPRK to become a full-fledged member of the world community. The UN played a central role in the negotiation of the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty and the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty providing staff, expert and logistical support. This of course would not be lacking in any negotiation involving the United States and the DPRK but the UN would bring a special perspective. The CTBT Verification Center in Vienna with its unrivaled capability in seismic and other technologies of monitoring would be part of the package. There is no reason that such an agreement would have to precisely mirror the five NWFZ treaties that have gone before. They all differ among themselves. But their provisions provide past solutions which can be guides and precedents for this most important project. Let us hope one day this can be done.

So as a final note what to make of the two approaches.

The bilateral approach:

Pros:

It appears to be negotiable, the DPRK has so indicated.

It can unlock the door to the Peace Treaty which can bring a number of good things.

• diplomatic recognition
• exchange of Ambassadors
• commerce and trade
• a possible side agreement halting the weapon and missile testing and export of nuclear weapon related technology permanent on a legally binding basis.
• an end to threatening overflights
• an agreed policy promulgated to eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and stop threatening their use.
 

Cons:

The Denuclearization Declaration will be seen by countries around the world and the political class in the U.S. as worthless, non-binding, unverifiable and unreliable. This may poison the Peace Treaty process and the good things that can come from it.

Only a non-binding NSA for the DPRK will be possible, likely nothing for the ROK. The ROK already has a non-binding NSA through the NPT.

This agreement will not significantly bring the DPRK into the world community.

The multilateral approach:

Pros:

It would solve the problem of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. It would have the full support of the world community and all six powers. The six power talks participants all would be centrally involved. DPRK security would be protected.

The DPRK would receive legally binding NSAs from the P-5 as would the ROK and Japan.

It would bring the DPRK into the world community as a full-fledged member. This would be very positive for the DPRK economy. It could even bring a close relationship with the U.S.

The verification process would significantly change DPRK society (likely seen as a con in some quarters).
 

Cons:

This is not negotiable at this time.

The verification process would be exceedingly long.
 

In conclusion, the multilateral approach is where we should eventually be. Garcia Robles should remain our guide. In the short term we should make the best of the bilateral approach and keep our focus on the Peace Treaty.

 


ATTACHMENT: APPLYING LATIN AMERICAN NWFZ PRECEDENTS TO NORTHEAST ASIA

This attachment expands on the suggestion on page 7 of this essay that: “In addressing the specific possibility of a nuclear weapon free zone for the Korean Peninsula some variation of the Garcia Robles formula might be workable.” It provides more specific explanation of how a variation of the Garcia Robles formula might be applied to the Korean Peninsula.

In developing his concept of a nuclear weapon free zone, Garcia Robles was undoubtedly influenced by the thinking about the subject that existed already at the time of the negotiation of the Treaty of Tlatelolco that established a nuclear weapon free zone for Latin America.[26]

The central thought was that any such negotiated zonal treaty should be based on four basic principles, viz:

1. Participating countries must undertake a legally binding international commitment not to produce or deploy nuclear weapons anywhere in their territories and not to permit other countries to do so. This obligation remains valid in times of war and times of peace.
2. Nuclear weapon states recognized under the NPT must agree to respect such a zone and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons on participating states.
3. An international verification system must be established.
4. A zone must be established in such a way that it enhances international peace and security, which suggests that all states in the region affected directly by the zonal treaty should concur with it.

To these four fundamental principles, Garcia Robles made three important innovations.

First, he held that all significant states in the region to which the zonal treaty applies should be parties; second, that the motivation for the zonal treaty should come from countries within the zone; and third, that the right of the parties to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes must be preserved.

Garcia Robles also established an implementing body for the treaty, OPANAL, with an implementing staff and periodic high-level meetings of the parties to provide oversight. Verification would be by the International Atomic Energy Agency with parties signing Safeguards Agreements with the Agency. Also pursuant to an Understanding submitted by the United States but accepted by all parties, the transit of nuclear weapons through the treaty zone by sea and air is not covered by the constraints of the zonal treaty.

Garcia Robles produced two Protocols for relevant outside states to attach themselves to the Treaty: One Protocol invites outside states responsible for administrating territory in the zone, such as the United States with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, to place these areas under the zonal treaty’s constraints. Another Protocol is open only to the five recognized nuclear weapon states and invites them to assume the obligations never to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against treaty parties.
 

All subsequent nuclear weapon free zones are based on the above principles: South Pacific, Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. All of the regional treaty regimes work closely with the United Nations through their implementing bodies. Each of these zones was also custom-tailored to regional circumstances. Northeast Asia is no different.

Applying these principles to the Korean Peninsula would involve the following:

First, it would require that the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Japan all become parties to the Treaty and undertake the fully meet all the non-nuclear weapon constraints referred to in the first pillar above.

Second, a verification system would have to be established. Given the diplomatic situation that exists today, it would have to be at least as intrusive as the system established for the Iran Agreement with the Security Council, the JCPOA, which also is administered by the IAEA.

Third, an implementing body should be established by the three parties with a Secretary General and international staff.

Fourth, the recognized nuclear weapon states, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russian and China, would sign a Protocol in which they would undertake never to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the parties to the “North-East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty (NEANWFZ).” Pursuant to the diplomatic situation of today, the United States might wish to delay its ratification of this Protocol until the nuclear weapon stockpile of the DPRK has been fully verified by the IAEA and process of reductions has at least begun.

In the course of actually negotiating the Treaty of Tlatelolco, Garcia Robles wove a set of linkages to enable the different parties to commit to the treaty from the outset, thereby keeping all the relevant states “inside the tent” (or in this case, the zone) while coming into compliance and/or ratifying the treaty. In Article 4, he set up four requirements for entry into force, viz:

1-signature and entry into force of the Treaty by all eligible parties (all Latin American states).
2-signature and ratification of Protocol I by all eligible states( United States, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands).
3-signature and ratification of Protocol II by all eligible states (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China).
4-Completion of IAEA Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA by all eligible states (all Latin American states).

Conditions 1-3 are fully met and have been since 2002 (Cuba was the last to join). As noted above, condition 4 will probably never be met as small Latin American states don’t want to spend money on Safeguards when they are never going to have safe-guardable nuclear facilities. Thus, it is likely the Treaty will never fully come into force, yet it provides effective constraints on all the parties to the treaty.

Article 28, paragraph 2 permits each individual Latin American state to sign, ratify and then formally waive the requirements and thereby apply the obligations to its national territory and territorial sea (twelve-mile zone). A party therefore could sign, ratify and waive and apply the treaty to its national territory only and join the treaty individually (no broad ocean areas).

By exploiting this clause, Garcia Robles permitted the two states in the region with potential nuclear weapons programs in 1967 to associate themselves with the Treaty but not have the Treaty obligations apply until they were ready: by signing and ratifying but not waiving. Garcia Robles wanted to involve all Latin American states with the Treaty from the outset if he could. Brazil chose to take advantage of this option (as did Chile which followed Brazil in this area) but Argentina did not.

This is a different situation from the Korean Peninsula but a variant of Garcia Robles’ formulae could be pursued in Northeast Asia.

To describe this approach in Northeast Asia in Garcia Robles terms: There would be only three requirements for full Treaty entry into force, the first three of Garcia Robles Tlatelolco requirements cast in Korean Peninsula terms, that is:
 

1-signature and ratification of the Treaty establishing a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.

2-signature and ratification of the Protocol placing territory in the Nuclear Weapon Free Zone controlled by an outside state (probably not required in the case of a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty).

3-signature and ratification of the Protocol adhered to by the NPT recognized nuclear weapon states (the P-5).

In the Korean case probably only requirements 1 and 3 apply, so in practice there would be only two requirements.

These requirements are only met when the Treaty and the necessary Protocol or Protocols are signed and ratified by all parties to which the Treaty or Protocol or Protocols are opened for signature-or in other words by all relevant parties.

The relevant states for the NWFZ for NE Asia Treaty would be the ROK, the DPRK and Japan. The relevant states for the Protocol would be the P-5.

Thus, at the outset, in a Robles approach, Japan would sign, ratify and waive; four of the P-5 might do the same with the Protocol; but probably the United States for the Protocol and South Korea and North Korea for the Treaty would sign, ratify but not waive (like Brazil) or do nothing (like Argentina) until the complete DPRK nuclear weapons production program has been satisfactorily verified by the IAEA and DPRK nuclear weapon reduction is at least well underway and perhaps completed.

An additional possibility, suggested by Morton Halperin, is that ROK and Japanese commitment may be contingent upon specified denuclearization of the DPRK over timelines and that if sufficient progress in this regard is not achieved, for example, within three or five years, these states reserve the right to withdraw from the treaty.[27]

A further important precedent was set in the Treaty of Tlatelolco. This was the inclusion of the US territory of Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands in the territories covered by Protocol 1 of the zone. Originally, the United States opposed this inclusion, as was noted in the UN 1976 Comprehensive Report.[28] Ultimately, however, Protocol I of the Treaty of Tlatelolco was signed by President Carter in 1977, it was approved by the Senate in 1980 pursuant to three Understandings making clear that transit is unaffected-not objected to by other nations- and it was ratified for the US in 1981 by President Reagan. President Nixon dealt with Protocol II.

US adherence to Protocol I provided that all US possessions in the Treaty Zone are placed under the nuclear weapon free zone provisions of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Thus, nuclear weapons may not ever be stationed, deployed, manufactured or tested in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.

This precedent has obvious application to the possible inclusion of Guam in a regional nuclear weapons free-zone, given the fixation of the DPRK’s leadership on this territory as a site from which nuclear attack might be launched against it; which in turn raises the issue of symmetry, and whether areas of Northeast China and the Russian Far East might also be included—noting that every addition introduces complicated asymmetries of interest and negotiation costs.

 


ENDNOTES


[1] Nuclear Threat Initiative, “Joint Declaration of South and North Korea on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Last Updated: October 26, 2011, at: https://www.nti.org/learn/treaties-and-regimes/joint-declaration-south-and-north-korea-denuclearization-korean-peninsula/


[2] Ji Hyun Lee, “Assessing the idea of South Korea being a virtual NWFZ since the 1992 Joint Declaration for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” paper presented to the “Strong connections: Australia-Korea strategic relations – past, present and future” workshop, Nautilus Institute, Seoul, June 15, 2010, pp. 3-4, at: http://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Lee-JI-hyun.pdf


[3] Ji Hyun Lee, op cit, page 5.


[4] Shaker, Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, p. 920.


[5] Ibid., pp. 923-924.


[6] Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (1975); Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties (1993). It should be noted that the 1975 Convention is still a treaty, therefore, as in the Rarotonga Treaty, the states parties cannot create obligations for non-parties in areas beyond their national jurisdiction.


[7] Garcia Robles, Latin American Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, pp. 18-19.


[8] Article 5, Treaty of Rarotonga.


[9] Article 4, Treaty of Pelindaba.


[10] Alfonso Garcia Robles, quoted in UN General Assembly, First Committee Provisional Verbatim Record, 13 and 32; Michael Hamel-Green, “Peeling the Orange: Regional Paths to a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World,” accessed February 16, 2015, http://nwp.ilpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Peeling-the-orange_-regional-paths-to-a-nuclear-weapon-free-world.pdf.


[11] On March 9, 1967, the Nigerian representative argued before the ENDC that it would be unfair to ask any responsible government to adhere to an NPT without guarantees. The Brazilian delegate added that non-nuclear-weapon states signatories to the NPT would be surrendering “the most important means they might otherwise have at their disposal to counter possible aggression.” See International Negotiations of the NPT, ACDA (US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency), p73.


[12] Statement by the UAR representative in the UN First Committee, see International Negotiations of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, publication 48, January 1969, p26.


[13] International Negotiations on the NPT, ACDA, p42.


[14] Ibid., p89.


[15] Ibid., p73.


[16] Ibid., pp89-90.


[17] Ibid., p112.


[18] Ibid., p112.


[19] For more detail, see Tripartite Proposal on Security Assurances, March 7, 1968, ibid., p112.


[20] Ibid., p112.


[21] George Bunn, “Security Assurances to Non-Nuclear-weapon states,” The Non-proliferation Review, The Monterey Institute of International Studies, Fall 1994, Volume 2, Number 1.


[22] Agreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


[23] Ibid.


[24] Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks, September 19, 2005.


[25] US-DPRK Joint Communiqué, Washington, D.C., October 12, 2000.


[26] Garcia Robles, The Latin American Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (1979) is available for download here: https://nautilus.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Robles-1979-The-Latin-American-Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone.pdf.


[27] “The treaty could be structured so that it goes into effect when the three nuclear weapons states (the US, Russia and China) and the two non-nuclear states (Japan and South Korea) ratify it. However, South Korea and Japan would have the right to withdraw from the treaty after three or five years if the provisions were not being enforced effectively throughout the Korean Peninsula. Effective enforcement would occur if either North Korea ratified and implemented the treaty, or if it collapsed and the Peninsula were unified under South Korea.” Morton H. Halperin, “A Proposal for a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in Northeast Asia”, NAPSNet Special Reports, January 03, 2012, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/a-proposal-for-a-nuclear-weapons-free-zone-in-northeast-asia/


[28] “In 1965, the United States declared that neither the United States Virgin Islands nor Puerto Rico could be included in the nuclear-weapon-free zone because the Virgin Islands were part of the territory of the United States and Puerto Rico had a special relationship with the United States. The Canal Zone, the United States added, could be included, provided that the rights of transit through the Panama Canal were not affected, as well as the Guantanamo base, if Cuba joined the Treaty. In 1974, the representative of the United States declared at the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly that the position of his Government with respect to Additional Protocol I remained unchanged (A/C.l/PV.2023, p. 12).” In COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE QUESTION OF NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONES IN ALL ITS ASPECTS, SPECIAL REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE COMMITTEE ON DISARMAMENT, A/10027/Add.1, New York, 1976, page 14.

 

Category PSNA Activities
2019年4月8日

REPORT OF
Panel on Peace and Security of Northeast Asia (PSNA) 2018

Tatsujiro Suzuki and Satoshi Hirose

January, 2019

 

ABSTRACT

The Panel on Peace and Security of Northeast Asia (PSNA) was established in November 2016 in order to facilitate “political processes, through timely policy recommendations and public engagement, to create a NEA-NWFZ as part of establishing peace and security in the region”1. The Panel consists of 17 members from 8 countries (Australia, China, Germany, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, UK and the US) with four co-chairs (Peter Hayes, Michael Hamel-Green, Chung-in Moon(Acting Co-chair, Yansoo Hwang) and Masao Tomonaga)2. PSNA held its third meeting in Moscow, Russia on May 31-June 1, 2018. This report contains two sections: 1) Summary of the discussion at the third PSNA meeting, and 2) Comments from the Co-chairs. While the contents of this report is based on the PSNA activities, the author is responsible for the contents.


1 PSNA Mission Statement. November 20, 2016. http://www.recna.nagasaki-u.ac.jp/recna/psna
2 PSNA Members. http://www.recna.nagasaki-u.ac.jp/recna/psna-members


 


1. Summary of Presentations and Discussion at
the 3rd PSNA (Panel on Peace and Security of Northeast Asia)
May 31 (Fri) – June 1 (Sat), Moscow, Russia

The 3rd meeting of PSNA (Panel on Peace and Security of Northeast Asia) took place in Moscow, Russia, from May 31 (Fri) and June 1 (Sat). The meeting was sponsored by RECNA and co-organized by RECNA in cooperation with Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Russian Pugwash Committee under the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), and Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS).

The main theme of the meeting was “Responsibility and Role of Nuclear Powers in Promoting International Peace and Security”. The meeting was held under the Chatham House rule, and thus the following is the summary of presentations and discussions of the meeting. The secretariat of PSNA (RECNA) is responsible for its contents.


 

May 31 (Friday)


Special Session: “Global Perspectives and Russia’s Foreign Policy”
Key Note Speech by Mr. Alexey Drobimin, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Government

  At this Special Session, Mr. Alexey Drobimin, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Government, gave an excellent key note speech on Russian foreign policy. After outlining basic policies of various areas, he referred to the five important nuclear issues; first is nuclear disarmament and its relationship with the US, second is Iran and Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA), third is the DPRK issue, fourth is Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and finally the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapon (TPNW). Especially, he expressed his concern over the latest US Nuclear Posture Review and its decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. Meanwhile, he welcomed the recent developments on DPRK nuclear issues but emphasized that Russia would not seek “regime change” with putting more emphasis on stability and the need for multilateral talks among the countries in the region including Russia. For the TPNW, Russia shared its goal but the approach is different and emphasized that as long as the threats exist it would be a mistake to prohibit nuclear weapons without solving security situation.
  In response, Mr. Kensuke Yoshida of Japanese Embassy in Russia, made a brief comment on Japan’s basic positions on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues, especially he agreed with Russia on the DPRK nuclear issues. He also emphasized the need for dialogues between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states.


Session 1: “Need for Changes in Nuclear Doctrines of Nuclear Weapons States”

Presentations: There were two presentations (one from Russia[Lt-Gen(ret.) Evgeny Buzhinsky] and the other from China [Gen. Zhenqiang Pan]), and one comment (from Russia[Mr. Andrey Malyugin]). All three speakers expressed their concerns over the latest US Nuclear Posture Review(NPR). In particular, its explicit willingness to use nuclear weapons in non-nuclear weapon conflicts was a source of major concern. Meanwhile Russia also stressed its need to have tactical nuclear weapons although there is a generic concern that tactical nuclear weapons exchange could escalate to global nuclear war. A presentation from China stressed that all NWS must change its doctrine to “reduce the role of nuclear weapons” in its security policy. Besides, Chinese presentation emphasized the need for “vision” of nuclear-weapon-free-world and supported the initiative to promote Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Finally, it was noted that the future of nuclear strategy might become much more complex due to advancement in military technologies, such as cyber, space and robot.

Discussion: One comment was made on the vulnerability of Command and Control system of nuclear weapons. There was also a discussion on the need of nuclear weapon modernization and new doctrines to allow limited use of nuclear weapons. There were also comments on mutual distrust, risk of nuclear terrorism and importance of no first use of nuclear weapons. In addition, there were opinions to renew negotiations between US and Russia on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).


Session 2: “Assessment of Prospects for Missile Defense in Pacific and European Areas”

Presentations: There were four presentations (two from Russia [Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Pavel Zolotarev and Dr. Viktor Mizin], one from the US [Prof. Frank von Hippel] and one from Japan [Dr. Jae-Jung Suh]). While Russian presentations expressed their concerns over US Missile Defense programs, claiming that role of nuclear weapons should be limited to deterrence and no action to harm such policy should be introduced. Meanwhile analysis given by the US presentation suggests that these are over-reactions. Its presentation reminded the participants of two important facts about the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD); 1. Exo-atmospheric interception is easily counter-measured, 2. Strategic defenses can provoke an offense-defense arms race. Prof. von Hippel emphasized the need to reeducate policy makers on those “basic facts” about BMD. A presentation by Dr. Suh from Japan focused on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployed in South Korea and possibly in Japan. Dr. Suh stressed that deployment of the THAAD system has triggered a series of counter-measures by North Korea as well as China and Russia, saying that THAAD has a potential not only to undermine the strategic balance between the US and Russia as well as China but also to drive an arms race in Northeast Asia to an unprecedentedly dangerous level. He also warned that Japan too is directly contributing to the global and regional strategic instability through deployment of THAAD radar and co-development of a more advanced missile defense system with the US.

Discussion: There was a discussion about who is driving the arms race in the Northeast Asia. Even if DRPK stopped and dismantled its nuclear programs, it may not end the arms race in the region, as the tension between US and China may continue due to deployment of THAAD system and development of advanced missile defense system by Japan and the US. While it was also argued that US was simply reacting to Chinese military expansion in the region, so-called “security dilemma” (measures to reduce external threats may increase the possibility of arms race) was the main problem of regional tension.


Session 3: “Peace and Security for Northeast Asia: Confidence Building in NE Asia”

Presentations: There were seven presentations (4 from Russia [Dr. Alexander Zhebin, Amb. Gleb Ivashentsov, Amb. Alexander Sadovnikov, Dr. Tatyana Parkhalina], 1 from the US [Dr. Leon Sigal] , 1 from Japan [Dr. Hiromichi Umebayashi] and 1 from ROK [Chung-in Moon]), and two commenters (two from Japan [Prof. Seiji Endo and Dr. Jae-Jung Suh]). This session was the most heated and the longest session in the entire workshop.
  Russian presentations mostly focused on the differences in approaches to the DPRK nuclear issues between the US and Russia. The main difference is, according to the presentations by Russian experts, that US demands “non-conditional” denuclearization by the DPRK, but Russians believe that DPRK will not give up nuclear arms unless the US also guarantees security and the end of military threats against DPRK. Dr. Zhebin and Dr. Ivashentsov both stressed the need to establish a regional scheme to discuss security issues unlike Western Europe. Dr. Pakhalina also argued that confidence building measures in Europe can be a good example for Northeast Asia, saying that loss of confidence is the main source of arms race.
  Dr. Sigal from the US outlined the possible denuclearization process, saying that step-by-step approach is the best way to move forward. He argued that the first step is the declaration of number of nuclear weapons and quantity of fissile materials produced/stockpiled by DPRK and verification of such declaration might start. But he emphasized that “reciprocal commitment” for Peace Treaty is very important. He also stressed that reciprocal inspection of North and South Korea is also important. Dr. Sigal also supported the concept of Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NEA-NWFZ) as it would provide a multilateral legal framework for denuclearization.
  Dr. Umebayashi emphasized that all regional parties should share the common goals of denuclearization of Korean Peninsular and the end of Korean War. He argued that the common goals should include not only “denuclearization of Korean Peninsular” but also non-aggression agreement, mutual phased disarmament and pursuit of a peace treaty to end the Korean War. Once bilateral agreements are reached, he argued, next step should be to make those common goals more solid and firm through multilateralization, such as six party talks held in the past negotiation. Dr. Umebayashi also emphasized the important roles of United Nations and of civil society as a monitor and mediator of the current process, as a non-biased and reliable organization.
  Prof. Moon first outlined the significance of the Panmunjon Summit between the DPRK and ROK, saying that this was a great success as a confidence building measure to reduce tensions and to end hostile relationship. Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, he argued, is the final stage of the whole process. However, he cautioned that there are numerous hurdles to achieve such peaceful relationship since hostility against North still exists in the region.
  For comments, Prof. Endo reconfirms the importance of confidence building measures. He also suggested that sharing the vision of the future is needed as it would help the current positive atmosphere to survive. He also said that root cause of “driving for arms race” is “fear”. This is not necessarily unique to DPRK, but all countries in the region. Prof. Endo referred to the concept of East Asian community which was once proposed by is not politically viable in Japan now. He noted that we may need such a positive proposal or concept and he welcomed the unilateral initiative if multilateral negotiation may face obstacles in the future. Prof. Suh suggested that Panmunjom Declaration could end the Cold War in the region. He also suggested that the two Koreas may need to find new ways to manage the border.

Discussion: There was a discussion between Russian and the US participants that there are differences in approaches toward the DPRK issue. Russian participants argued that Russia respects the DPRK regime while the US demand not only denuclearization but also regime change. But US participants argued that the regime change was never a part of the US government policy. Russian participant also argued that a military option is not a part of Russian’s policy while US insists that all options (including military option) are on the table. Other participant agreed that military option should not be a part of policy mix, and a regional confidence scheme is needed in the region to avoid future conflicts (as in Europe).

 

June 1 (2nd day): At Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS)


Session 4: “Towards the NPT 2020 Review Conference and the Implications of the Nuclear Weapon Prohibition Treaty”

Presentations: There were five presentations, (two from Russia [Acad. Vladimir Baranovsky
and Amb. Serguei Batsanov], one from Italy /Pugwash[ Dr. Paolo Cotta-Ramusino] and two from Japan [Dr. Masao Tomonaga and Prof. Fumihiko Yoshida]) and two comments (two from Russia [Ms. Elena Vodopolova and Ms. Nadezhda Obukhova]).
  Dr. Cotta-Ramusino summarized the importance of NPT but also identified the threats to the NPT such as the recent US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA which may generate serious problems for the NPT and the Middle East. He also pointed out the weakness of NPT, whose credibility may face challenges as recommendations of the final documents adopted by the Review conferences have not been implemented fully, which led to the lack of credibility of the entire NPT process. But he supported the TPNW and emphasized that TPNW can strengthen the NPT. He also pointed out that TPNW now prohibits NNWS to host nuclear weapons and so-called “nuclear sharing” which should be considered as “unacceptable” in the future.
  On the other hand, Dr. Baranovsky claimed that the TPNW is too radical under the current international security environment and argued that “incremental approach” is a better approach. He argued that no NWS or no nuclear-umbrella states will ratify the TPNW and it would increase the gap between the NWS/Umbrella states and NNWS.
  Dr. Tomonaga stressed the importance of “harmony” between the NPT and TPNW. As a member of Eminent Persons Group(EPG) set up by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, he introduced the summary of recommendations given by the EPG, suggesting that EPG’s recommendations may be useful for “bridge-building” between the NWS and the NNWS. He also specifically proposed to hold an international conference between NWS and the NNWS to discuss “nuclear deterrence” issue.
  Dr. Yoshida also made specific recommendations for Japan to play meaningful role in nuclear disarmament even if the Japanese government decided not to ratify the TPNW. Such recommendations include; 1) victim assistance and environmental remediation (article 6 of the TPNW), 2) peace and disarmament education (Preamble), 3) establishment of a competent international authority for verification of nuclear weapon and programs (article 4) and 4) persuade other “umbrella states” to join these contributions.

Discussion: Both commentators made critical comments on the TPNW and the NPT Review Conference process. In fact, there was a heated discussion on the TPNW. The opponents of the TPNW argued that TPNW does not address the current security threats and there would even be a bigger risk as it may undermine the NPT Review Conference. The proponents of the TPNW argued that we need to understand that the current security threats are not adequately addressed by nuclear weapons and need new security policy not dependent on nuclear deterrence. But both agreed that improvements may be needed to the NPT Review conference process and we should help the process to make progress at the next Review Conference.


Session 5: “Nuclear Security and Safety Challenges”

Presentations: There were three presentations (One from Japan [Dr. Tatsujiro Suzuki], one from the US [Dr. Peter Hayes] and one from Russia [Dr. Sergey Oznobishchev]) and one comment from Russia [Mr. Adlan Margoev].
  Dr. Suzuki focused his remarks on plutonium stockpile management. He outlined possible international management options to deal with existing large plutonium stockpile which is one of the most serious global security challenges. Four options are: 1) enhanced transparency by strengthening International Plutonium Management Guideline (INFCIRC/549), 2) International Plutonium Storage, 3) International Cooperation on plutonium disposition, and 4) moratorium on commissioning new reprocessing facilities.
  Dr. Hayes focused his remarks on nuclear terrorism risks but the ones with the risk of inadvertent nuclear war between nuclear-armed states. He also discussed the potential triggering effect of a non-state nuclear threat or attack on the nuclear–conflict prone relationships swirling around DPRK; the role of social media storms in triggering nuclear early warning systems, fake media, false alerts and losses of control that might arise from new technologies such as artificial intelligence. Finally, he also discussed increased risk that non-state actors may trigger inter-state nuclear war, and the need for increased transparency and accountability of nuclear armed states and non-state actors by creation of a nuclear crimes tribunal, possibly by states party to the TPNW. Dr. Oznobishchev discussed nuclear proliferation risks posed by the guarantee of access to civilian nuclear technologies, while lack of progress and problems in nuclear disarmament may have negative implications on the nuclear proliferation and nuclear security issues.

Discussion: Comment from Mr. Margoev raised the issue of spent fuel management and posed the question whether reprocessing service and eventually fast reactor may provide a good solution to the spent fuel management. There was a discussion on the benefit/risks of reprocessing but there was a general agreement that plutonium stockpile should be safely managed and reduced. International management on enrichment was also discussed. Risk of possible attack on civilian nuclear facilities was also a subject of discussion, and possible safety risks of nuclear facilities in DPRK was also a subject of discussion. The Cooperative Threat Reduction program used for Russia after the end of Cold War could be applied to the DPRK denuclearization process. Electricity grid connection from ROK to DPRK was also suggested as a good confidence building measure and could contribute to reduce safety risks of nuclear facilities in DPRK.


Concluding Sessions

Dr. Michael Hamel-Green, one of Co-chairs of PSNA, summarized the discussion and pointed out the following important points.
1) Now the TPNW is strongly supported by the NNWS, responsibility of NWS is becoming more important.
2) New approach may be needed to address DPRK denuclearization process.
3) New confidence building measures may be needed between NWS/umbrella states and NNWS. Nuclear-umbrella states should play key roles in filling the gap between NWS and NNWS.

 


2. Comments from Co-Chairs


・ Comment from Prof. Michael Hamel-Green

The June 2018 Moscow PSNA Workshop took place shortly after the historic Panmunjom Summit and Declaration of April 2018 between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in. In the wake of this encouraging development, there was a new degree of optimism at the workshop that the nuclear issues and threats on the Korean Peninsula might finally be addressed in a realistic and constructive way – through dialogue and negotiation rather the dangerous threats and counter threats exchanged by President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un in the preceding year. The workshop proved exceptionally useful in identifying and discussing some of the key steps for achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, securing a permanent end to the Korean War, and negotiating wider regional frameworks for addressing nuclear, economic and security issues, including establishment of a regional Northeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.

The optimism at the workshop was more than borne out in the ensuing June 1918 2018 Trump-Kim Singapore Summit. This followed the unilateral confidence building steps that both sides had undertaken: North Korean suspension of nuclear and missile testing; and US postponement of major US-ROK military exercises near the border with North Korea. While the second February 2019 Trump-Kim Hanoi Summit failed to reach agreement, in part because of disagreements over the lifting of sanctions, the two sides have continued to affirm their willingness to continue substantive talks. It is significant that shortly after the Hanoi Summit, the US and ROK indicated that they would continue to suspend all major annual military exercises close to the North Korean border, one of the major sources of tension with North Korea over the past decade. Every effort will need to be made by PSNA, the disarmament community, and concerned governments. to pursue further diplomatic steps and solutions for resolving the Korean Peninsula issues if the windows of opportunity afforded by the Panmunjom and Singapore Summits are not to be lost.

The workshop also worked on constructive approaches to a number of other nuclear and security challenges; and particularly helped to clarify Russian Government positions on many of the relevant issues, including the need for renewed START negotiations. Unfortunately, in recent months, both the US and Russia appear to have retreated in terms of arms control and disarmament. Both governments have made announcements about withdrawing from their bilateral Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty, a move that could reopen global concerns about the risks of nuclear escalation associated with tactical and intermediate range nuclear weapon deployment.

The workshop also examined the new UN 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), with arguments raised both for and against the new treaty. In the ensuing period there has been steady progress on signatures and ratifications of the new treaty amongst non-nuclear-weapon states, with 70 signatures and 22 ratifications as at March 2019. Critics of the treaty, particularly in nuclear weapon states, emphasize that the NPT remains the main forum for negotiating nuclear disarmament. However, fears of an exodus from the NPT as a result of the new treaty have not been borne out: no TPNW signatory states have withdrawn or shown lack of support for the NPT. At the same time, the recent Kashmir crisis between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, and consequent risk of a South Asian regional nuclear war, have once again exposed the limitations of the NPT as a disarmament negotiation forum, since both India and Pakistan are not parties to the NPT. Recent research has indicated that even a limited nuclear war in South Asia, with an exchange of some 100 nuclear weapons, would not only be an unthinkable catastrophe for those within the region but also cause world wide environmental and climatic impacts on crops that would result in some two billion deaths. All nine of the nuclear weapon states, whether within or outside the NPT, frequently justify nuclear-weapon possessions in terms of protecting their own ‘security’. Yet, when even a ‘limited’ nuclear war will result in an unparalleled global catastrophe, non-nuclear-weapon-states may legitimately ask, as New Zealand asked nuclear weapon states at the 2014 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, “Whose security are you talking about?”.


・ Comment from Dr. Peter Hayes

On the discussion in the Session 3, “Peace and Security for Northeast Asia: Confidence Building in NE Asia”, deployment of THAAD system was referred as the main reason of conflict between US and China. But the major nuclear weapons arms racing is not BMD but land-based IRBM by China and Russia in the Far East; and by China, Russia and the United States with SSBNs and their anti-SSBN ASW forces. I don’t know if that was discussed, but in real arms race, these forces matter, whereas BMD is all about symbolic politics, not perceived real capabilities to annihilate the other.

Besides, on the same discussion in the Session 3, there was a clause that “But US participants argued that the regime change was never a part of the US government policy”. This may be applied to a few US participants, including myself, but that elements of the US Government, especially Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Treasury, did launch financial sanctions aimed at destabilizing and changing the regime. Of course, they failed.

 

Category PSNA News

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