Supporting Seoul’s Need to Reprocess Nuclear Fuel

Seoul and Washington are kicking the nuclear reprocessing can down the hill – until this autumn.

Korea and the United States have agreed to start talks about the revision of a bilateral atomic energy agreement this fall, it emerged on Monday. Seoul is keen to reprocess its own spent fuel rods, which it is barred from doing under the agreement, but Washington has so far been reluctant to permit it since the process results in the production of weapons-grade plutonium.

But in a meeting Monday with senior Foreign Ministry officials in Seoul, Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department’s special advisor for non-proliferation and arms control, apparently signaled willingness to consider Seoul’s proposal to use a process known as pyroprocessing, which does not produce plutonium that is pure enough for nuclear weapons.

No Prize for Demonizing China

GEORGE JONAS, columnist for the National Post of Canada, is a treasure of the Anglosphere–everything he writes, whether serious or light-hearted, is worth reading. Readers with an interest in Northeast Asian affairs will find this recent column especially worthwhile. It’s called Dear Leader’s see-no-evil enablers, and it examines the international response to North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan. Here’s the point: Westerners who look to China fo … Read More


What?! Are we handing out medals for pointing out the frakking obvious! Now, what do you propose we do?

Korea 2012 Looks Like Fun (Audio)

Diane Rehm posts yet another show devoted to the “Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula“, featuring Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Michael Green, Leon Sigal, and Kurt Campbell. The one guest whose comments stood out for me was Sherman’s. Her call for a medium-to-long-term commitment to a political settlement on the peninsula, without shelving the short-term value of the Six-Party format, complements Charli Carpenter argument on bhTV about regime change. And then, Sherman just sounded scary. All those elections in 2012 are a recipe for all manner of foolishness.

China Is the Loser, Post-Cheonan (Audio)

John Pomfret, David Kang, and Ambassador Chung Min Lee hold an excellent discussion on the current escalation of tensions in Northeast Asia following the sinking of ROKS Cheonan by a North Korean submarine strike. Two comments struck me as important. … Continue reading

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