Denuclearisation of North Korea: Learning from Libya, Iran Iraq and South Africa
By Julius Cesar Trajano
Dr Olli Heinonen, Senior Advisor on Science and Nonproliferation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, spoke at a seminar on “Denuclearisation of North Korea: What Can be Learned from South Africa, Libya, Iraq and Iran” on 12 December 2018. At the seminar organised by NTS Centre, Dr Heinonen discussed the tedious process of denuclearisation and explained the specific requirements to realise the complete denuclearisation of North Korea. There should be verification of the correctness and completeness of North Korea’s declarations about its nuclear facilities, weapons, and relevant activities. In addition, the verification should cover the irreversible dismantlement of nuclear weapons and missile production including other means for nuclear weapon delivery. The verification regime includes long-term monitoring of prohibited installations and early detection, if any, of rebuilding the nuclear weapons programme. Denuclearisation also entails dismantling North Korea’s uranium enrichment facilities and verifying foreign assistance it acquired. In this regard, the denuclearisation of North Korea will be the largest ever non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament task undertaken by the international community.
Dr Heinonen also shared first-hand information on lessons learned from verification approaches in Iran, Libya, Iraq, and South Africa. The verification approaches in none of the four countries met all the said denuclearisation requirements. The uranium enrichment capability and missile programme in Iran, for instance, remains intact. Incomplete denuclearisation requirements provide Iran a chance to again get nuclear weapon capability. Hence, Dr Heinonen emphasised that the verification and monitoring scheme to be crafted for North Korea needs to be more robust than previous denuclearisation approaches.
Last updated on 23/01/2019