top of page

It's time for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Northeast Asia

Since 1945, when the United States and the Soviet Union divided Korea along the 38th parallel, Northeast Asia has been in a state of war. North Korea, Russia and China to the north, and South Korea, Japan and the US to the south. The Berlin Wall fell at the end of the Cold War, but the 38th parallel that still separates the Koreans is becoming the symbol of a new Cold War and a serious nuclear threat. It is urgent to declare the end of the Korean War, build confidence in the area by setting up a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NEA-NWFZ) .

The illustration is from "A Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons"  2016 study survey, by International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI), and United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), modified to highlight the Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NEA-NWFZ) area.

Screen Shot 2021-09-15 at 15.05.21.png

What is a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ)?

All the existing NWFZ treaties prohibit the development, manufacture, possession, stockpiling, deployment, testing, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons anywhere within the zones. Therefore, expanding such zones is an effective measure to attain a nuclear weapon-free world (NWFW).

United Nations General Assembly resolution 3472 (XXX) B defines a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone as

…any zone recognized as such by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which any group of States, in the free exercises of their sovereignty, has established by virtue of a treaty or convention whereby:

I. Definition of the concept of a nuclear-weapon-free zone

I.1.A(a) The statute of total absence of nuclear weapons to which the zone shall be subject, including the procedure for the delimitation of the zone, is defined;

I.1.A(b) An international system of verification and control is established to guarantee compliance with the obligations deriving from that statute.

II. Definition of the principal oblications of the nuclear-weapon States towards nuclear-weapon-free zones and towards the States included therein

II.2.(c) To refrain from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against the States included in the zone.

What's 3+3?

The 3+3 is a proposed treaty between Japan, ROK (Republic of Korea), and DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) to create a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ), with Negative Security Assurances (NSAs) guaranteed by the US, China, and Russia, not to attack or threaten the area by nuclear weapons. It is based on the definition of the NWFZ set forth by the UN General Assembly in 1975.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 12.05.31.png

What is the 3+3 Comprehensive Approach?

"If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there."

The first step in the 3+3 Comprehensive Approach process should focus on agreeing on the details of the final solution embodied in a single binding international treaty. Only then should we negotiate the steps that each party will take to bring the full agreement into force in a way that assures compliance with all the provisions of the agreement.

The elements of the Comprehensive Approach are; 

・Termination of the Korean war 

・Mutual declaration of a non-hostile intent 

・Expressing equal sovereignty

・Termination of the UN Security Council sanctions against DPRK

・Supporting economy and energy conditions within the zone 

・Establishing a regional Permanent Security Council

・Establishing a NEA-NWFZ

A recent example of a NEA-NWFZ 3+3 Comprehensive approach is linked here:

bottom of page