South Korea Joins PSI

psi_shipFor those of you following proliferation issues, it will come as very welcome news that South Korea has finally joined the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). It was created by the United States in 2003 to proactively interdict shipment of WMD related materials and covers land, sea and air. Importantly, it uses existing legal frameworks and agreements as the basis for action and is proactive. This means that the PSI is really an activity, NOT an organization. There is no headquarters, secretariat etc. The State Department describes it as:

The PSI is an innovative and proactive approach to preventing proliferation that relies on voluntary actions by states that are consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks. PSI participants use existing authorities — national and international — to put an end to WMD-related trafficking and take steps to strengthen those authorities as necessary. UN Security Council Resolution 1540, adopted unanimously by the Security Council, called on all states to take cooperative action to prevent trafficking in WMD. The PSI is a positive way to take such cooperative action.

Previously, South Korea had refused to join for fear of upsetting the North, maintaining the illusion that placating Pyongyang would somehow help achieve its foreign policy goals. It’s good to see them change their minds. This means the US and other PSI members will have a new and valuable partner in the fight against the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and materials.

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
This entry was posted in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to South Korea Joins PSI

  1. feeblemind says:

    I have low expectations even though some cargoes have been intercepted in the past. I see the PSI being formed as a gesture of solidarity. Though it may be an ‘activity’, it must be pursued with some enthusiasm for it to be effective. I hope my perception is way off base.

  2. Amy_Jane says:

    It’s a bit ironic that a US administration would initiate tactics to prevent WMD proliferation, when they are the top producers/users/purveyors of weapons of mass (and limited) destruction. PSI appears to be just another boys club to prevent ‘market outsiders’ from hawking their goods in a very lucrative marketplace.