Paths to Peace on the Peninsula: The Case for a Japan-Korea Nuclear Weapon Free Zone

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Hayes, Peter and Hamel-Green, Michael (2011) Paths to Peace on the Peninsula: The Case for a Japan-Korea Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Security Challenges, 7 (2). pp. 105-121. ISSN 1833-1459


Nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula in the form of North Korean nuclear tests and new uranium enrichment capabilities have made new paths to peace on the Peninsula more necessary than ever if a regional nuclear arms race—and potential nuclear war—is to be averted. One avenue to peace is the establishment of legally binding and internationally verified regional nuclear-weapon-free-zones (NWFZs). These have already been successfully established in such regions as Latin America (1967), the South Pacific (1985), Southeast Asia (1995), Africa (1996) and Central Asia (2006). After reviewing previous proposals for such a zone on the Peninsula and in the region more generally, the authors advance the case for the establishment of a Korea-Japan Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone that would build on the current nuclear-weapon-free status of Japan and South Korea, and facilitate phased and verified North Korean accession to the zone using similar “later-entry-into-force” mechanisms as those of the Latin American NWFZ (Tlatelolco Treaty). The political preconditions for this already exist, given North Korea’s endorsement in principle of NWFZ arrangements; and new approaches among several major actors, including Japan, the US Obama Administration, and China, on multilateral initiatives to address Northeast Asian regional issues.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Historical > SEO Classification > 9403 International Relations
Keywords ResPubID23652, nuclear weapon free zones, North Korea, Japan, security arrangements
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