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Should Japan and South Korea become nuclear powers?

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Poll: Should Japan and South Korea become nuclear powers? (0 member(s) have cast votes)

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#1 Soheil

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:54 PM

News Analysis: Japan's plutonium stockpiles raise specter of nuclear security, de facto deterrence

2016-03-28

Pressure is mounting on Japan to explain itself regarding its considerable stockpiles of nuclear materials that could be weaponized and threaten the safety of the global community, against a backdrop of rising tensions in the region and a worldwide threat of increasing terrorism.

Ahead of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit slated to be held in Washington, the United States, from March 31 to April 1, at which global powers will convene to discuss issues and mechanisms to prevent, among other potential calamities, nuclear terrorism, additional points that have been tabled include those designed specifically to prevent nuclear material production and smuggling and to thus lessen the inherent global threats.

The Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in China, has been hailed as a successful collaboration between the U.S and China which will see the latter's capacity building to detect illicit smuggling of nuclear materials increase in the best interests of global security, but, with such successes currently under the spotlight, analysts here are suggesting it's high time that some of the ongoing failings are also brought to the fore.

While some countries are following through with commitments towards non-nuclear proliferation, anti-terrorism measures and devising lasting solutions to ensure nuclear materials will not fall into the hands of terrorists, or be in other ways misused, Japan, over the years and more so recently, is being called into question over its own adherence, or lack thereof, to the global movement, as regards its own policy and contrary activities.

"It has been highly-publicized that a cargo of 331 kg of highly rich plutonium, enough to make up to 50 nuclear bombs, is currently on its way from Japan to the United States under armed escort, following a bilateral deal struck between Japan and the U.S. (in 2014)," David McLellan, a professor emeritus of postgraduate Asian Studies told Xinhua.

"Ostensibly, this is a good thing as there, under the guidance of global superpowers, has been a dynamic shift since the cold war towards non-nuclear proliferation and, more recently, anti-terrorist operations, and the return of the substances originally provided to Japan by Britain, France and the U.S. in the 1970s for neutronic testing falls under this remit and more recent deals made between Japan and the U.S.," McLellan said.

He went on to explain however, that Japan still continues to have one of the largest stockpiles of separated plutonium and highly-enriched uranium in the world and that concerns are growing as Japan is being equivocal as to why it deems it necessary to accumulate such vast amounts of deadly substances, and that calls for the government to fully explain itself were particularly valid considering the current global climate.

Japan itself is a committed signatory of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with nations supporting the treaty dedicated to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and related technology, with an ultimate aim of seeing global nuclear disarmament, whilst striving to promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Japan, as recently as Monday, has reiterated its stance that it has no intention of shifting its nuclear stance and will adhere to its three non-nuclear principles of not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear weapons on Japanese territory.

But with Japan's ever-shifting security dynamic, including the recent actualization of a reinterpretation of key constitutional clause last year that paved the way for war related bills to be forced through parliament and into law by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is, henceforth, setting about to see the constitution amended further to allow his military to be reinstated beyond the constraints of defense and operate borderlessly, questions are being asked of Japan's intended adherence to its own nuclear principles.

Japan's Three Non-Nuclear Principles have been a guide for the nation's nuclear policy since their inception in the late 1960s and were formerly adopted in the the early 1970s, explained McLellan, "but what we have to understand is that these policies were made under the unshakable faith in a nuclear deterrent provided to Japan by the United States, a notion that according to 'chatter' in parliament and more importantly among Abe's ministers and members of the Legislation Bureau recently, is again being questioned."

Other analysts elucidated, and while explaining that the situation was far from elementary, said that there were a number of key factors to be considered that primarily revolved around Japan's ongoing security shift and the notion that Japan's Constitution may not necessarily ban the use of nuclear weapons; the current U.S. presidential race; Japan's commercial nuclear operations, and geopolitical tensions in the area.

"It's largely conjecture at this point, but the facts remain thus: Japan has just less than 47,000 kg of plutonium, both in and outside the country, with as much as 9,600 kg stored here. That is a sizable amount, so the return of a mere 331 kg to the U.S. for disposal or reprocessing for commercial use is largely insignificant, if not a 'gesture'," suggested Asian affairs commentator Kaoru Imori.

He added that Japan's claims of producing and storing plutonium for the future of its fast-breeder nuclear reactor program - reactors that feed off plutonium - may be a valid one, but the fact that such reactors are largely in a developmental phase and thus far have seen one forced shutdown of a reactor unit owned by Kansai Electric that uses plutonium MOX fuel, due to a fault, and another forcibly taken offline by a court order, owing to safety concerns, detracts hugely from this argument.

"The fast-breeder nuclear reactor argument is flawed as the program is years, if not decades from being viable, which begs the question, why has Japan been stockpiling plutonium for so many years? 331 kg being returned to the U.S. is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount Japan has, and this, quite rightly, should be questioned by the international community and explained in detail by the government," Imori said.

There has also been widespread condemnation from some groups who have blasted Japan's nuclear ambitions over the past 25-years, as well as its plans to continue production of plutonium over the coming decades, as not just being a commercial security risk, but a loosely-veiled nuclear deterrent from a military standpoint.

"Hailing a shipment of hundreds of kilograms of plutonium as a triumph for nuclear security, while ignoring over 9 tons of the weapons material stockpiled in Japan and in a region of rising tensions, is not just a failure of nuclear non-proliferation and security policy but a dangerous delusion," Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany, was quoted as saying in Japan recently.

Burnie pretty much hit the nail on the head. Skeptics have long-since maintained that Japan's stockpiles have served as a tacit nuclear deterrent and in the event that the "United States' deterrent was scaled back, was withdrawn and Japan granted more nuclear autonomy, as has been suggested during U.S. Presidential campaigning, or Japan amended its constitution to allow it to rewrite its own Three Non-Nuclear Principles, within the NPT framework, to 'better suit the current geopolitical landscape,' we could, theoretically, see a fully-nuclear Japan," Imori said.

He concluded, however, that this is the exact opposite of what is essential for the region in light of current tensions and broader terrorist-related activities in the world. "As we've seen in the past and as we're continuing to see, weapons proliferation, nuclear or otherwise, leads to arms races, which exacerbates tensions."

"When a situation reaches tipping point, powerful countries need to lead by example with non-proliferation moves, pledges and substantial action to denuclearize the world and, above all, while maintaining the inalienable right to defend ones' country, to always hold dialogue and diplomacy as the ultimate means of achieving sustainable peace," said Imori, adding that Japan's dubious moves and nebulous communication on such matters were creating further problems rather than much-needed solutions. 

 

http://news.xinhuane...c_135230988.htm


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#2 Soheil

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:57 PM

1# Soheil
 
Trump would allow Japan, S Korea to build nuclear arsenals

Sun Mar 27, 2016

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said, if elected, he would consider allowing Japan and South Korea to build their own nuclear arsenals instead of depending on Americas severely depleted military for their protection against North Korea and China.

The Republican frontrunner said in an interview with The New York Times on Saturday that the US military cannot protect Japan and South Korea for a long time, adding that the US cannot always be the policeman of the world.

Therell be a point at which were just not going to be able to do it anymore, he said. We have nuclear arsenals which are in very terrible shape. They dont even know if they work.

If the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, theyre going to want to have that anyway with or without me discussing it, because I dont think they feel very secure in whats going on with our country, he said of Japan and South Korea.

Trump said North Korea probably has nuclear weapons. And, would I rather have North Korea have them with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if thats the case.

We have a nuclear world now, he declared.

Trump also criticized Americas 1951 security agreement with Japan, officially known as the Security Treaty Between the United States and Japan.

If we are attacked, they dont have to do anything, he said. If theyre attacked, we have to go out with full force Thats a pretty one-sided agreement, right there.

The billionaire businessman from New York went on to say that he would consider withdrawing American forces from Japan and South Korea if these countries do not increase their own contributions significantly.

"The answer is not happily, but the answer is yes. We cannot afford to be losing vast amounts of billions of dollars on all of this," he said. "I have a feeling that theyd up the ante very much. I think they would, and if they wouldnt, I would really have to say yes."

The United States still has 28,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed to South Korea, more than six decades after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that Seoul and its ally, Washington, remain technically at war with Pyongyang.

Additionally, the United States has stationed more than 50,000 troops in Japan as part of the security treaty between the US and Japan, which was first signed in 1952, and was later amended in January 1960.
 
CepZU2DWIAAorsz.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CepZU2DWIAAorsz.jpg 

http://presstv.ir/De...uclear-arsenals

Edited by Soheil, 07 May 2016 - 09:59 PM.

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#3 Soheil

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:07 PM

1# Soheil





Opinion: Japan's excessive nuclear materials pose threat to world

2016-04-01

Japan's massive nuclear material stockpiles, enough to produce thousands of nuclear bombs, pose a threat to the world given the growing danger of nuclear terrorism.

Japan claims that its stockpiles are for power generation and research in line with the resource-short island country's aspirations for energy independence.

It is understandable that the shortage of conventional energy resources has led Japan to the pursuit of nuclear energy, but the country's alarming nuclear material stockpiles, which include 1.2 tons of highly enriched uranium that can be directly used to make nuclear weapons, are way above its needs for civilian purposes.

Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was damaged in a tsunami in the wake of a massive earthquake in 2011, only a few Japanese nuclear facilities are in operation, with the supply of nuclear materials overwhelmingly dwarfing the actual need.

Storing more than necessary nuclear materials also goes against the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which require countries to keep a balance between the demand and supply of nuclear materials.

Moreover, the excessive stockpiles are a time bomb for a populous country prone to both natural and man-made disasters like Japan. No doubt, the more nuclear stockpiles it has, the higher risks it faces.

Japan's new controversial security laws, which allow the Self-Defense Forces to engage in armed conflicts overseas even if Japan is not attacked, leave Japan's nuclear facilities and nuclear materials more likely to be targeted by terrorists.

Also alarming than the ecological and environmental consequences is Japan's rightist tendency. For example, Yusuke Yokobatake, director-general of the Japanese Cabinet Legislation Bureau, allegedly said that Japan's Constitution does not necessarily ban the use of nuclear weapons.

Such remarks have no doubt deepened the world's skepticism over the stance of Japan, which had vowed not to produce, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons. Its nuclear ambition would add uncertainty and pose a huge threat to the already tense situation in Northeast Asia.

As its nuclear material stockpiles would do good to none, it is advisable that Japan, which clearly understands the horrible consequences of nuclear proliferation, cut its storage as soon as possible.

56f6ad3ec3618845478b45ce.jpg
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https://www.youtube....h?v=OWAWR4k0W7Q

http://news.xinhuane...c_135243368.htm


Edited by Soheil, 07 May 2016 - 10:09 PM.

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#4 Soheil

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:15 PM

1# Soheil

Imperialists' nuclear negotiator revealing its true colors as hypocrite and warmonger :bwadr:
 

Progress in North Korea nuclear, missile programs justify calls for nuclear armament in the South and Japan: Gallucci

2016/04/22

Advances in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs could justify demands in South Korea and Japan for developing their own nuclear weapons, a former U.S. nuclear negotiator with Pyongyang said Thursday.

Robert Gallucci, who negotiated a now-defunct 1994 denuclearization deal with the North, made the case during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, saying North Korea is on its way to perfecting capabilities to deliver nuclear warheads to the U.S. on long-range missiles.

"The North Koreans ... detonated a nuclear weapon not too long ago. I think it was a fourth test. They've been testing ballistic missiles, they have medium-range ballistic missiles. They are advertising the capability of mating the nuclear weapons with the capability of ballistic missiles," Gallucci said.

"You could imagine all kinds of reasons why this is bad news. But the proposition I wanted to give you today was that this all creates fertile ground for discussion at least in Seoul and Tokyo of desirability of breaking out of the NPT. It legitimizes the debate in those countries for the acquisition of nuclear weapons," he said.

NPT refers to the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons while promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. North Korea stepped out of the treaty in early 2003 after the current nuclear crisis broke out in late 2002 with revelations that it had a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January and its satellite launch in February have led some leading members of South Korea's ruling party to make the case for nuclear armament, arguing that it makes no sense to rely on the U.S. "nuclear umbrella" as North Korea's nuclear arsenal grows.

But the government rejected the idea as contrary to the principle of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

Gallucci also expressed concern about a massive nuclear fuel reprocessing plant under construction in Japan and a nuclear power plant that China plans to build in cooperation with France.

"If China goes through eventually with the construction of a plant that the French would be providing, there'd be another 500-ton plant in the energy sector producing that amount of material again for another 800 nuclear weapons each year," he said.

"It will be harder, if these things happen, to persuade the Republic of Korea that they really are the odd country out. And they shouldn't even though China, a nuclear weapons state, and Japan, a non nuclear weapons state, can do this," he said.

http://english.yonha...2003300315.html


Edited by Soheil, 07 May 2016 - 10:21 PM.

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#5 Soheil

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:20 PM

1# Soheil

More sycophantic south warmongers exposed! :anger:
 

South Korea's nuclear armament would make U.S. safer

2016/05/04

The United States and South Korea should seriously consider having Seoul develop nuclear weapons and jointly manage the arsenal if the security situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to worsen, a senior South Korean expert claimed Tuesday.

Cheong Seong Chang, senior research fellow at the state-run South Korean think tank Sejong Institute, made the case during a seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, calling for immediate negotiations to resolve North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

"Unless these negotiations take place and if North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities become further sophisticated, calls in South Korea for nuclear armament cannot help but rise," Cheong said, adding that polls already show a majority of South Koreans are in support of nuclear armament.

Should the security situation on the peninsula worsen further, and if Donald Trump is elected president, the two countries should seriously study an option in which South Korea develops nuclear weapons and the weapons are jointly managed by the South and the U.S.

Nuclear weapons in South Korea would pose direct threats to North Korea and make Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threats meaningless, thus making the U.S. safer, Cheong said. Concerns about proliferation could be put down as the U.S. would be involved in taking care of the arsenal, he said.

Nuclear weapons would also give Seoul an upper hand in inter-Korean negotiations with Pyongyang, he said.

The North Korean's fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch the following month have rekindled calls in South Korea for nuclear armament, with some leading members of South Korea's ruling party arguing that it makes no sense to rely on the U.S. "nuclear umbrella" as North Korea's nuclear arsenal grows.

But the government has rejected the idea as running counter to the principle of a nuclear-free peninsula.

Fueling the debate was the suggestion from U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump that South Korea and Japan could be allowed to develop their own nuclear weapons for self-defense to reduce the U.S.' burdens in protecting the allies.

U.S. government officials have also repeatedly reassured Seoul that it doesn't need nuclear weapons.

Moon Chung In, a professor at Seoul's Yonsei University, rejected the calls for nuclear armament, saying the South should believed in the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Nuclear armament would be a "curse" not a "blessing" for Seoul, he said.

http://english.yonha...4001300315.html


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#6 Soheil

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 01:01 PM


Russia to strengthen defenses on far-east islands
 
Fri May 27, 2016 10:36AM
 
Russia will take measures to develop military infrastructure in far-eastern islands that are also claimed by Japan, in an effort to prevent the emergence of even “the smallest threats.”
 
Commander of the Eastern Military District, Colonel-General Sergey Surovikin said on Friday that the military would launch “unprecedented measures to develop military infrastructure” in the Islands.
 
“The main goal of the expedition is to study the possibility of basing Pacific Fleet forces there,” said the commander.
 
Around 200 forces are currently deployed to an uninhabited island in an archipelago called Matua. They have built a mobile camp and are reviewing the state of infrastructure there.
 
Earlier this month, Russia sent six ships to the island as part of a rearmament plan, which also includes the deployment of 60 new aircraft and helicopters, in addition to three vessels and over 20 drones.
 
Back in March, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow would deploy a range of coastal missile systems on Kuril Islands. “The planned rearmament of contingents and military bases on Kuril Islands is under way.”
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also reaffirmed in April that Moscow will protect the Kuril Islands and will continue to develop military infrastructure there.
 
Russia has military bases on the Kuril Pacific archipelago. Japan claims sovereignty over four of the islands in the archipelago. The disputed islands, which were inhabited by the Japanese and under Tokyo’s control based on an agreement with Russia in 1855, were captured by the Soviet Union in 1945.
 
Earlier this year, Japanese media said Tokyo believes that it is time to engage in negotiations with Moscow over the territorial dispute.
 
President Vladimir Putin, however, has ruled out the possibility of engaging in any negotiations in order to “sell” control over the islands at a “better price.”
 
“We are ready to purchase a lot, but we aren’t selling anything,” Putin has said.
 
 
 

 


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#7 Soheil

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 01:04 PM


Russia, China stage virtual war games
 
Thu May 26, 2016 10:4PM
 
Russian and Chinese missile defense commands have partaken in three-day-long “computerized” joint anti-missile drills.
 
The exercises, which started on Thursday and are to last until Saturday, enlisted staff members of the country’s respective missile defense command centers, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.
 
The Russian Defense Ministry said the drills majorly sought “to train cooperation of Russian and Chinese air defense and anti-missile groups, aimed at protecting their territories from accidental or provocative strikes by ballistic and guided missiles."
 
They are to be followed by a bilateral meeting where the countries’ military officials would address the potential of increased anti-missile cooperation.
 
Moscow and Beijing are both wary of the United States' increased military activities in their backyards.
 
Recently, officials from the US and the Western military alliance of NATO declared a missile system based in southern Romania operational. The missiles’ activation marked the penultimate step in the completion of a so-called missile shield, which Washington proposed nearly a decade ago.
 
The United States later broke ground on the final site in Poland on May 20. Upon completion in late 2018, the umbrella would be stretching from Greenland to the Azores region in western Portugal.
 
The US insists it is not aimed against Russia, but Moscow views it as a security threat on its doorstep.
 
Separately, Washington has been pursuing a widely-advertised shift to Asia, dubbed pivot to Asia strategy, since 2011. The White House argues that no region is more important to Washington's long-term interests than Asia. Some political observers, however, believe the US tries to use the strategy to impose its hegemony and thwart China's peaceful rise in Asia.
 
Based on the strategy, the administration of US President Barack Obama has been seeking closer ties with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has also been increasingly critical of China’s activities in the disputed islands claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea and, on occasions, dispatched warships on patrols close to the territories.
 
 
 

 


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