Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) co-conveners, Chung-in Moon and Ramesh Thakur, released a statement at the APLN annual meeting held May 23-27th in Jeju province, Korea. The statement deplores the fourth nuclear test and ballistic missile provocations by North Korea and calls on global and regional policymakers to urgently re-energize the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament agenda.
Excerpts from the statement are below:
On North Korea nuclear testing and ongoing missile testing:
"[The participants] deplored the fourth nuclear test and continued ballistic missile provocations by North Korea since the fifth meeting of the APLN in Hiroshima in August 2015. The APLN again calls on global and regional policymakers to urgently re-energize the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament agenda."
On a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula:
"Asia Pacific states must work to denuclearise the Korean peninsula by a combination of strategies to contain and deter while being open to opportunities for dialogue and negotiation. Recalling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to successfully address Iran’s nuclear program, the APLN calls for a similar structure of incentives that combines inducements with penalties in a negotiated process to engage with and end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and activities."
On the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit and adoption of nuclear energy in the Asia Pacific:
"The 4th Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on 1 April charted several new directions for continued international efforts to deny terrorists access to nuclear materials that might be used for nuclear weapons or radiological devices. The APLN urges all Asia Pacific countries to:
- join as soon as possible all relevant international legal instruments governing the protection of nuclear materials
improve national nuclear theft and sabotage precautions, and
- avail themselves of international support services and peer reviews
Nuclear power is expanding more rapidly in Asia than elsewhere, meeting an ever-growing demand for energy. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the tragic accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, and the 5th anniversary of the powerful earthquake and tsunami to hit Japan which triggered the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The safe management of all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle will remain critical. APLN encourages the adoption by all countries in the region of international best-practice nuclear safety standards."