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SIPRI co-hosts Seoul workshop on nuclear risk reduction in space

Participants of the workshop ‘Regional Perspectives on Nuclear Risk Reduction in Outer Space’.
Participants of the workshop ‘Regional Perspectives on Nuclear Risk Reduction in Outer Space’.

On 19–20 February, SIPRI co-organized a workshop on ‘Regional Perspectives on Nuclear Risk Reduction in Outer Space’. The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament for Asia and the Pacific co-hosted the workshop, which was held in Seoul, South Korea.

The closed-door workshop convened state representatives and space and nuclear experts from 12 countries to exchange perspectives on the space–nuclear nexus. Participants discussed the role of space assets in the nuclear domain and nuclear risks in outer space. Discussions highlighted threat perceptions from East Asia and Southeast Asia respectively, which fed into an analysis of potential nuclear escalation pathways in space. Participants were guided to identify space-nuclear risk reduction mechanisms and possible elements of a common agenda on risk reduction at the space–nuclear nexus, based on regional priorities.

The workshop was funded by the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


About SIPRI’s work on nuclear risk reduction in outer space

SIPRI’s research has highlighted the role of space systems in nuclear deterrence and possible escalation risks at the space–nuclear nexus, focusing on China, Russia and the United States. The threat perceptions of each of these states, coupled with the varying strategic significance of their space systems, impact potential escalation pathways, including to nuclear use. SIPRI’s most recent paper on this topic highlights these threat perceptions and provides recommendations for risk reduction measures at multilateral, bilateral and unilateral levels.