The Republic of Korea will hold the High-Level Political Meeting (HLPM) of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and Eastern Endeavor 23 in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the PSI on May 30, 2023 to June 2, 2023 in Jeju Island for the first time in Asia.
Approximately 70 states, including the United States of America, Japan, and Australia, will participate in the PSI 20th Anniversary HLPM.
The PSI HLPM will be followed by Eastern Endeavor 23, composed of a maritime interdiction exercise, academic session, and tabletop exercise. It will allow the participants to experience a range of PSI activities.
On the first day, the HLPM will be held. There will be three sessions, each focusing on the PSI’s past, present, and future. Second Vice-Minister Lee Do-hoon of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs will chair the first session on “Reviewing Twenty Years of the PSI Activities and Achievements.” Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs of the U.S. Bonnie Jenkins will hold the chairmanship of the second session on “Addressing the Changing International Security Environment and Challenges to Nonproliferation.” The third session on “Exploring Ways Forward for the PSI” will be chaired by Assistant Secretary of Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation of Australia, Sarah Roberts. Following the discussion, there will be a video exhibition on how interdiction operates at ports by the Korea Customs Service. The meeting will conclude with the adoption of a joint statement highlighting the PSI’s accomplishments, current proliferation threats, and future directions.
On the second day, the Ministry of National Defense will host the maritime interdiction exercise. Military assets and personnel from the ROK, the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Canada will take part in the exercise to interdict, board, and inspect the ship suspected of transporting weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Representatives from participating states, including the Minister of National Defense, will observe the exercise from another vessel. Following the exercise, there will be a naval review of the participating assets.
The third day will feature an academic session and tabletop exercise with participation from experts around the world. During the academic session, experts will present and discuss the major interdiction cases, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear issue, as an example of regional proliferation threat. The tabletop exercises will simulate a virtual scenario of WMD interdiction, emphasizing international cooperation in achieving successful interdiction and enhancing understanding of PSI activities.
The last day will involve the Operational Experts Group (OEG) meeting. Twenty OEG members will discuss the implementation of tasks identified during the HLPM.
The DPRK’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests highlight the importance of strengthening the international nonproliferation regime and preventing the spread of WMD and their means of delivery. The meeting will reconfirm its role as an effective tool for preventing the spread of WMD through international cooperation. Furthermore, the meeting will serve as an excellent platform to discuss the implications of emerging technology on the global nonproliferation regime.
Moreover, by hosting the 20th Anniversary PSI HLPM, the Government of the Republic of Korea aims to enhance collaboration with key regional states such as the U.S., Japan, and Australia and strengthen its cooperation with all PSI-endorsing states. Also, the ROK, as a Global Pivotal State, seeks to demonstrate its commitment to leading international cooperation in the field of counter-proliferation and sharing the counter-proliferation capabilities of the ROK such as the Korea Customs Service and the National Maritime Policy Agency. /END/