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Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Cotton, James, “The Proliferation Security Initiative and North Korea: Legality and Limitations of a Coalition Strategy”, Security Dialogue, Vol. 36 Issue 2, pg. 193-211, June 2005.

  1. “Under current norms, the export of missiles by non-MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) countries to non-MTCR recipients does not violate any international agreements or obligations.” Pg. 197
  2. “The PSI lacks sufficient basis in international law to legitimize the interdiction of alleged North Korean WMD and weapons shipments on likely shipping routes.”  Pg. 208
  3. “The vessels in question will most likely be North Korean flagged and will avoid state jurisdictions where these activities may be subject to challenge.” Pg. 197
  4. “If the USA comes to determine that the threat posed by North Korean proliferation is now so great that it cannot await changes to international law or specific UN endorsement, Washington may well seek the backing of a like-minded coalition for more stringent action.” Pg. 204
  5. “It is not yet possible to reconcile the ambitious intentions of the PSI with current international law and practice. Further cooperation with key states will be necessary, and a specific UN Security Council endorsement will be required.” Pg. 201
  6. “If it is supposed that the PSI is especially applicable to North Korea, then any program to restrict the movement of goods in and out of North Korea would require the active cooperation of China and South Korea, given the extensive use of Chinese ports and railways by North Korean commercial entities, and also the extensive and poorly regulated inter-Korean trade.” Pg. 196
  7. “The formation of a truly effective PSI coalition would require the full participation of South Korea. This is the case not only for reasons of geography and because US air and naval units would most likely need to operate from or use bases in South Korean territory, but also because since 2000 South Korea has emerged as North Korea’s most important trading partner and because there have even been some tentative agreements between Seoul and Pyongyang to permit shipping from the North to use South Korean territorial waters.” Pg. 206-207
  8. “Only with regime change in Pyongyang will the danger North Korea poses both to the USA and to world order be removed. This is held to be the case since ‘rogue’ regimes do not necessarily operate according to the conventional canons of deterrence, nor can they be trusted not to pass WMDs to terrorists.” Pg. 205

PSI, Jurisdiction, WMD, North Korea, South Korea, China


Sang-Hun, Choe, “Discredited Cloning Expert Is Convicted of Fraud in South Korea,” NYT, A11, Oct, 27, 2009.

  1. “Hwang Woo-suk, a disgraced cloning expert from South Korea who had claimed major breakthroughs in stem-cell research, was convicted Monday of falsifying his papers and embezzeling government research funds.”
  2. “His school, Seoul National university, disowned him in 2005, saying that he had fabricated the papers he had published to global acclaim.”
  3. “Dr. Hwang, a veterinarian by training, became known as an international pioneer in stem-cell research in 2004 when he and his colleagues published a paper in the journal Science claiming that they had created the world’s first cloned human embryos and had extracted stem cells from them.”

Misconduct, Law Enforcement, South Korea


Ruiz, Rebecca, “More Foreign Students Applying to Graduate Schools,” NYT, A15, April 6, 2010.

  1. “International applications to graduate programs in the United States increased by 7 percent this year, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Council of Graduate Schools.”
  2. “Applications from China, India, the Middle East and Turkey grew by doubledigit figures over the last year.”

Open Science, Jurisdiction, Lab Security, China, India, Middle East, South Korea, Turkey


Kim, Suk Kyoon, “Korean Peninsula Maritime Issues,”  Ocean Development & International Law, pp 166-185, May 10,2010.

  1. “North Korea, in response, issued a bellicose statement and warned of military provocations against South Korea. ‘We will regard South Korea’s participation in the PSI as a declaration of war against us, and accordingly respond to any hostile acts against our vessels,with a prompt and powerful strike; our army will be no longer bound by the Armistice Agreement and hence legally the Korean Peninsula turns into a state of war and our revolutionary forces will act accordingly; the legal status of South Korea’s five West Islands (Paekryungdo, Daechungdo, Sochungdo, Yeonpyungdo, Woodo) off the maritime border in the West Sea and the security of vessels off the islands, including naval ships of South Korea, cannot be assured.'” p179
  2. “The South Korean government had wavered on fully joining the PSI given the volatile and unique security situation on the Korean Peninsula.” p. 180
  3. “Because of requests from the United States and others in the international community to join the PSI since South Korea’s participation was considered vital to the success of PSI in relation to North Korea, South Korea agreed to participate in some limited areas: to add an interdiction exercise to joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, to be briefed about activities concerning the PSI and interdiction exercises, and to send observers to PSI exercises. However, South Korea wavered over providing material assistance to interdiction exercises and becoming a full participant in the PSI.” p.180

PSI, South Korea, North Korea


Sang-Hun, Choe,North Korea Seizes South Korean Boat Near Border“, 8 August 2010, New York Times Last Checked 28 October 2010.

  1. “North Korea seized a South Korean squidding boat in waters near their eastern sea border.”
  2. “The South Korean squid ship left Pohang, a port on the east coast of South Korea, on Aug. 1 and was scheduled to return to port on Sept. 10. It made its last daily radio report to the South Korean Coast Guard on Saturday evening.”
  3. “The 41-ton boat was believed to have been detained after entering the North’s exclusive economic zone, where foreign fishing boats are banned.”
  4. “The boat was being towed to Songjin, a port on the eastern coast of North Korea, for interrogation of the crew. Then the communication was cut off, coast guard officials said.”
  5. “Fishing boats from either side have occasionally drifted into the other’s waters, often after engine trouble. How fast they were released often depended on the tenor of bilateral relations at the time.”

PSI, South Korea, North Korea, Jurisdiction


Editors, “Experts Meet Ahead of Naval Drills in S. Korea“, 13 October 2010, Washington Times, Last Checked 13 October 2010

  1. “South Korea launched its participation Wednesday in a U.S.-led coalition to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction, risking the anger of rival North Korea, one of the countries targeted by the program.”
  2. “Seoul said last year it was joining the maritime web after the North conducted its second atomic test.”
  3. “South Korea was hosting a seminar Wednesday among 15 participating nations in the southeastern city of Busan, to be followed Thursday with naval interdiction drills involving South Korea, the United States, Australia and Japan in international waters between South Korea and Japan.”
  4. “The drills also come amid lingering tension on the divided Korean peninsula following the deadly sinking in March of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang.”
  5. “North Korea long has warned it would consider Seoul’s participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative as a declaration of war against the North.”

PSI, South Korea, North Korea, WMD


Katz, Lee, “Counterproliferation Program Gains Traction, But Results Remain a Mystery”, 10 December 2010, Global Security Newswire, Last Checked 10 December 2010.

  1. “The U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative has recently gained key allied help in the ongoing battle to curb North Korea and other would-be proliferators. However, details of its contribution to the global effort to stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction remain a closely held secret.”
  2. “South Korea has stepped up its participation to become a major partner in the initiative.”
  3. “October PSI naval exercises in South Korean waters along with a conference last month in the critical region have bolstered the program’s efforts to deter or intercept the illicit movement of unconventional weapons. The situation has so rattled North Korea that the regime warned any actual interception of one of its ships would be considered an act of war.”
  4. “Still, critics say that some vital nations, including China, a major power that has been linked to WMD material proliferation, are absent from the program.”
  5. “Beijing fears that signing on to the program would imply ‘you would allow the U.S. to undertake such actions as necessary in your waters. And that’s the last thing that China wants.’”
  6. “China says its refusal to participate is based on the fact that it considers PSI interdictions illegal under international law.”
  7. “While President Obama has taken a different approach on nuclear and other issues than his predecessor, both the Obama and Bush administrations have promoted the Proliferation Security Initiative as a way to globalize the fight against WMD proliferation.”
  8. “Obama administration officials say the Proliferation Security Initiative is part of a global effort that includes U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540, aimed at denying terrorists access to WMD materials. There is an active Resolution 1540 committee at the United Nations to monitor nonproliferation efforts.”
  9. “The Obama administration’s aim is to make the program ‘an enduring effort’ without adding an international bureaucracy, according to the Pentagon official. ‘There’s a need to maintain the voluntary and flexible nature of what everybody signed up to,’ he said, ‘while providing some leadership.’”
  10. “Of the PSI participants, 21 member states form the core of the organization called the Operational Experts Group. These include: Australia, France, Japan, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and United States. South Korea joined the leadership group last month, adding impetus to an experts group meeting in Japan.”
  11. “A joint report by the Defense and State departments to Congress obtained by Global Security Newswire says ‘the U.S. government anticipates participating in seven to 12 U.S.-hosted and foreign hosted’ PSI-related exercises in fiscal 2011-2013.”
  12. “By having nations practice seizing material, PSI exercises such as the recent trials in South Korea can hold value for future WMD challenges. ‘These guys get out there and work together,’ Joseph said. ‘You have Australian and Japanese and now South Korean vessels working alongside American ships. You build important and lasting relationships that way.’”
  13. “Yet the initiative’s actual effectiveness and cost of is hard to measure. The clandestine nature of actual PSI operations along with its loose organization makes it hard for even its supporters to point to actual results or specific dollar costs.”
  14. “With caveats on the difficulty of pinning down actual costs, the report projects PSI spending at slightly less than $1 million dollars annually. Projected spending ranges from $900,000 to $996,000 per year from fiscal 2011 to 2013.”
  15. “‘Quite frankly, there’s no single budget line for PSI,’ said a Pentagon official. ‘A lot of the activities … are sort of integrated with other budgets.’”

PSI, South Korea, North Korea, WMD, China, UNSCR 1540


Miller, J. Berkshire, “North Korea’s Other Weapons Threat“, 12 November 2011, The Diplomat,’s-other-weapons-threat/, Last Checked 15 November 2011.

  1. “North Korea’s latent nuclear weapons program is rightfully the main point of concern for its neighbors and the international community. But far less publicized is Pyongyang’s ongoing efforts to build upon its capabilities to produce and maintain chemical and biological weapons (CBW). “
  2. “North Korea’s expansion of these programs is no secret to intelligence agencies around the world, and there are a number of reports detailing sites across the country dedicated to the production of CBW.”
  3. “North Korea isn’t a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and has never been subject to inspections of its chemical industry facilities or sites believed associated with its CW program. Regardless, there’s little debate about the existence of the North’s CW program, with intelligence assessments from Russia, Britain, the United States and South Korea all indicating that Pyongyang continues to produce CW stocks.”
  4. “Much less clear is the scope of the CW program and its level of advancement. Most assessments concur that the North has produced all of the main chemical agents such as nerve (including VX gas), blood, blister and choking agents.  There’s less certainty regarding the amount of chemical agents stockpiled by the regime, although estimates range from 1,000 to 5,000 tons. However, even if the North’s program is at the low end of estimates, its capacity is bolstered by the fact that its military has a variety of sophisticated delivery vehicles for CW attacks including missiles, artillery and airborne bombs.”
  5. “While Pyongyang publicly denies the need for transparency on its CW program, its production of biological weapons is muddied and concealed by weak international non-proliferation standards. Unlike the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has robust verification standards, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is plagued by the failure of its members to agree on a universal verification mechanism that would adequately ensure that all state parties are held to account for their treaty commitments.”
  6. “States at the BWC have been engaged in talks to come to an agreement on a suitable verification arm, but these efforts were cut short after the United States withdrew its support back in 2001. At the time, George W. Bush’s administration insisted that such a mechanism would require considerable financial capital with little pay off in security terms. The Pentagon also stressed that it was concerned about diverting precious resources on combating BW to a multilateral organization that would in turn take away funds from its successful biodefense programs. But perhaps the largest hurdle is to overcome U.S. and other members’ concerns that a strict verification regime may impose heavy restrictions on the biotech industry.”
  7. “Regardless, Pyongyang has taken advantage of the BWC’s verification gap by using its position as a state party to the BWC in order to blanket accusations that it continues to produce and maintain biological weapons.  The South Korean Defense Ministry claims that North Korea has possession of several biological agents such as anthrax bacterium, botulinum and smallpox – all of which can be weaponized.”
  8. “The thorniest issue between members of the BWC relates to the dual-use nature of biological agents and how to determine whether a program is peaceful or intended for nefarious purposes. The global science industry relies on the research conducted by studying biological materials. However, from an international security perspective, there’s the potential that this dual-use research could be diverted into a biological weapons program.”
  9. “There’s also the terrifying possibility that the government may – or already has – traded chemical or biological agents and suitable delivery vehicles to terrorist groups, which could weaponize them to use in an asymmetric attack. The improved ability of intelligence agencies around the world to determine weapons forensics would in theory deter such an illicit transfer, but it can’t be guaranteed”
  10. “South Korean officials have recently claimed that their intelligence confirms that CBW factories were constructed in the North Korean province of Chagang last year. In response to this, the South Korean government has indicated that it will continue to pour millions of dollars into programs aimed at detecting, deterring and protecting their citizens and soldiers from a possible CBW attack from an unpredictable regime in the North.”
  11. “However, while the government is satisfied with its CW prevention efforts, Seoul has largely neglected creating a sufficient biodefense infrastructure. Korean parliamentarian Shin Hak-yong recently outlinedthis, stressing that the country’s“military defense has been excessively focused on preparedness for North Korea’s chemical attacks, rather than for its biological attacks.”
  12. “Seoul’s new biodefense strategy has three central prongs. The first relies on detection, and has been supported by the government’s planned implementation of scanning technology at ports of entry that will be able to detect ten separate disease threats. The second pillar focuses on deterrence, which is based on South Korea’s continued investment in its hard power resources, such as medium and long range surface-to-air missiles. The final ingredient is the much needed investment in protecting South Koreans in the event of a biological attack through the development and stockpiling of vaccines.”
  13. “Beginning a serious dialogue on CBW with North Korea is necessary, and could facilitate an opening for a smoother resumption to the stalled Six Party Talks on the regime’s nuclear weapons program.”
  14. “Kim Jong-il’s regime has displayed its insincerity and belligerence on several previous occasions when such talks resumed. Attempting to include CBW in the Six Party Talks would be counterproductive and would give Pyongyang more avenues to stall and launch salvos against Korea and the United States.”

Chemical, Biodefense, BWC, CWC, North Korea, South Korea, Dual Use


Yoon-mi, Kim, “Nuke summit to discuss everyday radioactivity,” Korea Herald, Dec. 13, 2011 Last checked 12/27/11

  1. ”The upcoming 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit’s agenda will include how to ensure the safety and security of radioactive materials widely used in people’s daily lives, a government official said Tuesday.”
  2. ”Korea will host the summit on March 26-27 as a continuation from the first nuclear security summit in April 2010, led by U.S. President Barack Obama, to prevent nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists.”
  3. “’Terrorism using nuclear materials such as highly enriched uranium and plutonium would have a massive impact, but the probability is low. While terrorism using radioactive materials, widely used in hospitals, would have a smaller impact but the probability is high,’ a foreign ministry official said.”
  4. ”Fifty-one leaders ― 47 heads of state and the heads of the U.N., IAEA, EU and Interpol ― are expected to attend the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.”
  5. ”President Lee Myung-bak repeatedly has said he welcomes Pyongyang to join the summit in March if it shows the international community its sincerity about giving up its nuclear ambitions.”
  6. ”South Korea’s hosting of the nuclear security summit, inviting 47 national leaders, will positively impact the security of the Korean Peninsula, the ministry official said.”

Nuclear, South Korea, North Korea, Law Enforcement, Dual Use


McClelland, Carol Lt. Col., “Small CBRNE teams pack large capabilities” 30 April 2012,,, Last Checked 7 May 2012.

  1. “Called CRTs, a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high-yield explosives response team is made up of only 15 soldiers but its mission is to do field presumptive identification, which means detecting bio-weapons while donning protective gear and entering sites deemed too dangerous for others.”
  2. “It’s dealing with germ warfare—when the enemy commits a war act by using biological toxins or infectious agents like bacteria, viruses or fungi with the intent to harm or kill humans, animals or plants.
  3. “Bravo Company from the 110th Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort) deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to South Korea and participated in Foal Eagle, a monthlong, annual, joint/combined field training exercise that concluded, April 30. CRTs were created to deploy within the U.S. or overseas and can conduct CBRNE assessments, disablement, elimination, escort, site remediation and restoration in support of combatant commanders and other federal agencies.”
  4. “During Foal Eagle missions, the CRT worked together with CBRN specialists from 2nd Infantry Division and the Republic of Korea.”
  5. “While some soldiers remained outside establishing decontamination lines, guiding communication flow, or directing the course of events, others entered a dimly lit tunnel to safeguard it from explosives or other possible hazards and provide an initial assessment, followed by a different set of soldiers who gathered and packaged samples for analysis.”
  6. “Members of 2ID’s 4th Chemical Company are CBRN specialists. They include medics, engineers, mechanics and communicators.”
  7. “In order to give the most accurate account of what they saw, they’ll take photos, draw maps and relay detailed information to help the next team – the samplers.
  8. “It’s important for us to give a back brief on what we saw. It could be liquids, solids, powder or could be any kind of chemicals or nerve agents. It could be anything really,” Harris said. “We’re supposed to go narrow down the possibilities.”
  9. “A heads up display inside the mask will help the recon team track remaining air time. The team surveys make-shift rooms inside the tunnel while checking the air quality outside their suits. There are stairs to navigate through fogged up face masks and a laboratory with chemicals still brewing in beakers. The team also discovers six shells that represent chemical munitions and two are leaking. The three end their survey session and head down a steep hill to go through decontamination procedures before providing information that will help the next team.”
  10. “The ROK army has studied and learned from the U.S. for several years so our procedures are similar,” Pyo said. “But I’m impressed by U.S. procedure because the U.S. specifies following the manual step-by-step. ROK procedures are kind of loose compared to U.S. procedures.”

Chemical, Chemical Surveillance, Military, South Korea




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