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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Nuclear security cooperation

By Li Bin (China Daily)

10:05, March 20, 2012

Upcoming summit in Seoul will explore ways to combat and prevent radiological terrorism in Northeast Asia

The second Nuclear Security Summit will be held in Seoul on March 26-27, 2012. The event provides an opportunity for China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to develop concrete cooperation on nuclear security.

The issue of nuclear security has a very different nature than most other international security issues. In normal security issues, if one country enhances its security capability, its neighbors may begin to feel threatened and therefore develop countermeasures, these competitions eventually result in a security dilemma. The goal of nuclear security on the other hand, is to stop nuclear terrorism, an enemy of all countries. Improving nuclear security in one country benefits not only that country but others as well.

To better work with one another, the participants of nuclear security summits try not to put controversial topics in the agenda. For example, the first Nuclear Security Summit did not invite Israel and it did not discuss the Iranian nuclear issue. While the upcoming summit will not include the Democratic People's Republic of Korea nuclear issue on the agenda. Such arrangements encourage the participants to develop cooperation in nuclear security although they may not agree with one another on other security issues.

China, Japan and the Republic of Korea are in geographical proximity in Northeast Asia and are economically dependent on each other. The radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as a result of the tsunami last year should remind us that a nuclear accident in any of the three would automatically hurt the other two. A successful terrorist attack on a nuclear plant would in all likelihood have consequences of even greater severity than those arising from the Fukushima crisis.

So, even though they may have disputes on economic and other security issues, the three countries should work together to prevent any terrorist attacks on nuclear facilities in this region.

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