Jeffrey LewisGreetings from Seoul

I am in Seoul to attend the Asan Plenum, which the Asan Institute is hosting in advance of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.

I am on four panels — no, that is not a typo.  Buy me a drink and I will explain how that happens.  I’ve already given a talk on Myanmar, with panels today on China’s nuclear weapons program, a comparative look at nuclear weapons programs in Iran and Pakistan, and engaging China and Russia on disarmament.

It has been a very interesting meeting so far.  The Asan Institute for Policy Studies, which is hosting the Plenum, is extraordinarily professional and well-funded.  (The Asan Institute for Public Policy is a research institution funded with the Hyundai fortune.) This makes the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference look like a roundtable in a church basement.

Last night at dinner, Chung Mong Joon —  scion of the Hyundai fortune and a candidate for President in South Korea (or at least his party’s nomination) — reiterated his support for redeploying US tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea.  I am waiting to see if that will make the papers here or back home.


  1. Daniel Pinkston (History)

    Chung’s comments are old; it was in the papers three months ago. And he’s not the first National Assembly member to express this opinion. Park Sun-young said the ROK should have its own nukes years ago.

    • Kingston (History)

      And they’re just as crazy as they were three months ago!

  2. Anon (History)

    What did you say about engaging China and Russia?

    • Jeffrey (History)

      The talk was about engaging China and Russia on disarmament. I discussed the challenges of missile defense and conventional strike in moving to lower numbers.