Nuclear Policy News - March 28, 2012

Mar 28, 2012


North Korea Reaffirms Plan to Launch Satellite
Tehran Nuclear Talks Set for April in Istanbul
Kazakhstan, U.S. and Russia work to clear test site nuclear material in joint clean-up effort
STRATCOM boss: Improve nuke C3 network
Turkey, Iran, and the Bomb
Sinan Ülgen



North Korea Reaffirms Plan to Launch Satellite
North Korea intends to press ahead with its plan to launch a satellite into orbit next month, according to a government statement issued Tuesday, rebuffing President Obama and other world leaders who have told the country to cancel the launching or face the loss of food aid and additional sanctions.
Nuclear Conference in Korea Collides With U.S. Election
Politics, diplomats like to say, stops at the water’s edge. But this week, the American presidential campaign crashed into a nuclear security summit meeting half a world away.
China calls for global nuclear safety cooperation
China called for greater nuclear security cooperation on Tuesday and gave its backing to the development of nuclear energy amid global concern following the Fukushima crisis.
Korean nuclear envoy, IAEA chief discuss NK's rocket plan
South Korea's top nuclear envoy held talks in Seoul on Wednesday with the United Nations nuclear chief to coordinate possible steps in response to North Korea's plan to launch a rocket next month to put a satellite into orbit, a Seoul official said.
Tehran Nuclear Talks Set for April in Istanbul
Talks between Iran and six major powers on its nuclear program look set to start on April 14 in Istanbul, a senior European Union diplomat said.
Israel: Sabotage may slow nuclear Iran
Israel Tuesday played down the prospect of an imminent attack on Iran, saying its archfoe’s controversial nuclear program could still be set back by sanctions and sabotage.
Obama seeks thaw with Pakistan at Seoul summit
President Barack Obama, closing a nuclear security summit Tuesday, sought a thaw in the diplomatic chill with Pakistan, a critical but difficult U.S. partner whose nuclear weapons and historical links to terrorism make its arsenal among the world’s most vulnerable.
India ready to buy Iranian oil with rupees
India says it will continue using foreign currency when buying oil from Iran until the new EU sanctions take effect in July. Bloomberg reports they will then use the rupee as the currency of payment.
India offers help in search of orphan radioactive sources
Offering assistance through the global nuclear watchdog IAEA, India today said that it can help in search and recovery of orphan radioactive sources in countries that were unable to effectively deal with them.
France's enduring nuclear deterrent
At the end of January Francois Hollande, the Socialist Party's candidate for the French presidency, visited the naval base at l'Isle Longue near Brest.
Kazakhstan, U.S. and Russia work to clear test site nuclear material in joint clean-up effort
Work to secure nuclear material left behind at one of Russia’s primary nuclear weapons test sites in a former satellite state is nearing completion, said the leaders of the U.S., Russia and Kazakhstan.
Korea, EU press NK to call off rocket launch plan
Leaders of Korea and the European Union urged North Korea on Wednesday to call off its planned rocket launch, give up its nuclear programs and improve its human rights records, a joint statement said.
Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul; Syria; Middle East; Sudan/South Sudan; and more
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today outlined five areas that deserve greater attention as the world community strives to ensure nuclear security, from curbing terrorism financing to stricter control over fissile materials.
Nuclear Security Summit Ends Without Clear Targets
The Seoul Nuclear Security Summit ended Tuesday with the leaders of 53 countries unanimously adopting a communiqué that encourages nations to take all possible steps and cooperate to secure vulnerable weapons-grade fissile material by 2014.
Obama explains 'flexibility' on missile defense
President Obama attempted Tuesday to clarify his suggestion that he'll have "more flexibility" after the election in November to take on the controversial proposal to build a missile-defense system in Europe.
STRATCOM boss: Improve nuke C3 network
The head of U.S. Strategic Command told lawmakers Tuesday that the command, control and communications component of the nation’s nuclear force is in need of improvement, and that keeping the system updated is problematic.
A Middle Course On Iran
Michael E. O’Hanlon and Bruce Reidel
To contain Iran, or to preempt? That is, at present, the question. President Obama’s recent dismissal of containment as an option would seem to stack the deck. Unless Iran pauses its uranium enrichment activities, an Israeli or U.S. strike against its nuclear facilities looks likely by next year.
Turkey, Iran, and the Bomb
Sinan Ülgen
Turkey, along with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are the countries most often cited as likely to develop indigenous nuclear capabilities to counter Iran. Analysts point to statements last December by Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal as firm evidence of this risk. Prince Turki was plain: a nuclear-armed Iran would cause Saudi Arabia to reconsider its own nuclear options. As a result, it is feared, an Iranian bomb would be the first step toward a disastrous regional proliferation cascade.
Can President Obama Live Up to the Accomplishments of His Predecessors?
Nickolas Roth
President Obama was recently overheard saying to Russian President Medvedev that, assuming he prevails in the election this November, he would have more flexibility to negotiate on arms control issues. In response, some Congressional Republicans have implied that President Obama may have secret plans to aggressively pursue arms control in his second term.
FMWG: Seoul Nuclear Security Summit Delivers Modest Results
Tara Chandra
The communiqué and commitments world leaders agreed to today at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit mark a modest but important step forward in the effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the globe. However, bolder action is needed to effectively counter the threat of nuclear terrorism, according to the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG), an international coalition of nuclear security experts.
Regional Spotlight: Nuclear arsenals: The forgotten threat
Helen Caldicott
Why has it taken so long for the world to decide to get rid of our most ghastly invention, one that could obliterate most of the life on the planet with the push of a button? To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, why can't the world agree to abolish these weapons of mass destruction before they abolish us?