NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator Frank Rose visited East Asia from July 18-24, including stops in Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The trip aimed to strengthen bilateral ties, regional nuclear security, and enable discussions of how best to address challenges in the evolving geopolitical landscape in the region.
The trip also underscored the U.S. commitment to continued collaboration with our partners on nuclear security and nonproliferation while facilitating crucial dialogue on those topics and the role of nuclear power in climate change mitigation.
“It was heartening to witness firsthand the firm commitment of our regional partners to nuclear security issues and their eagerness to collaborate to meet our common challenges,” Rose said.
In Japan, Rose participated in a series of high-level meetings with officials. The discussions revolved around NNSA’s mission and capabilities to help defend our partners, nuclear security, the climate crisis, and the challenges posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rose met with Japan’s Cabinet Office Director General for Nuclear Disaster Prevention, Matsushita Hitoshi, and highlighted the U.S. commitment to the role of nuclear power in addressing the climate crisis. The two discussed the safety and security challenges associated with increasing nuclear power.
At the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Rose met with JAEA President Koguchi Masanori and discussed the complex security environment, regional threats, and emerging technologies. Rose expressed appreciation for Japan’s support in removing and minimizing the use of highly enriched uranium and reaffirmed NNSA’s partnership on nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response.
During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister’s Office Deputy National Security Advisor Okano Masataka, Rose highlighted the role NNSA plays in maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent and contributing to arms control and nonproliferation.
Later, Rose met with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Disarmament, Nonproliferation, and Science Department, Hayashi Mitsuko. They focused on the work of the U.S.-Japan Working Group on Nuclear Security, which manages bilateral cooperation on nuclear security. Rose also spoke to Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Director General for R&D Bureau, Chihara Yoshiyuki. They discussed the challenges being placed on the nonproliferation regime and the role of nuclear energy in climate change mitigation.
In a meeting with Japan’s Ministry of Defense Director General for Defense Policy Bureau Kano Koji, Rose highlighted the U.S. National Security Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review, noting the flexible framework those strategic documents provide for addressing the current environment. He summarized NNSA’s role in implementing U.S. nuclear policy and NNSA’s key mission areas, highlighted the five ongoing nuclear warhead programs, and emphasized NNSA’s efforts to revitalize the United States’ nuclear production infrastructure.
Before departing Japan, Rose participated in a roundtable with Japanese nuclear policy experts at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, where he spoke about the security challenges in our current geopolitical environment, and NNSA’s role, missions, and bilateral work with Japan. Fielding questions on Russia, China, and U.S. weapons programs, Rose highlighted the need for integrated deterrence, focusing on nuclear capabilities, investing in production infrastructure, and inserting flexibility into the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
Rose continued bilateral meetings in the Republic of Korea with key officials and discussed the current threat environment, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the North Korean expansion of capabilities, and China’s nuclear buildup.
Rose met with Heo Taekeun, Deputy Minister of the ROK’s Ministry of National Defense, where he highlighted aspects of the U.S. National Security Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review, and NNSA’s roles and missions.
During a roundtable discussion hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Rose provided an overview of the current strategic environment and the Nuclear Security Enterprise. He also highlighted the bilateral work between the Republic of Korea and the United States on nuclear deterrence, nonproliferation, and nuclear emergency management.
At the ROK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rose met with Park Yongmin, Deputy Minister for Global and Multilateral Affairs, and Youn Jong Kwon, Director General for Nonproliferation and Nuclear Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They discussed a number of issues, including emergency preparedness and response, as well as the importance of the nonproliferation regime and extended deterrence.
At the Korea Institute for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control, Rose met with Acting President Dr. Lee Na Young, and discussed the emerging nuclear power trends in the U.S. and internationally. He highlighted the need for nuclear power to combat the climate crisis, as well as the integral role of nonproliferation and nuclear security.
At the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), Rose met with President Dr. Joo Han Gyu and expressed appreciation for recent meetings with NNSA and KAERI’s strong support for collaborating on proliferation-resistance optimization. KAERI also provided a tour of their research reactor fuel facility.
Rose also met with Cho Sunhak, Director General for Space and Nuclear Energy at the ROK’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology and emphasized how our collaboration is an important aspect of the U.S.-ROK partnership.
While in Korea, Principal Deputy Administrator Rose also visited U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). During his visit, he met with USFK Chief of Staff, Brigadier General John Weidner, and other members of the USFK staff. They discussed several issues, including NNSA’s support to the command and the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Before departing ROK, Rose met with Wang Yunjong, Secretary to the President for Economic Security, and provided an overview of NNSA and the broader Nuclear Security Enterprise. He highlighted the work of NNSA’s partner laboratories across a variety of national security issues and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, hypersonics, quantum, and cybersecurity.