By Santo D. Banerjee
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – In the run up to the fiftieth anniversary of the UN inviting nuclear haves and have-nots to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on July 1, 1968, Kazakhstan has proposed a set of six measures aimed at the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and offered a platform for disarmament negotiations with North Korea.
The initiative has been launched on January 18 at the high level briefing of the Security Council which focused on the theme of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: confidence-building measures convened by Kazakhstan in its capacity as the Council President for the month of January. And this at a point in time when, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres says, "global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War." [P 31]
By Lowana Veal
REYKJAVIK (IDN) – In February 2016, the U.S. government started discussions with its Icelandic counterpart on the possibility of carrying out necessary changes to the doors of the NATO hangar at Keflavik airport so that newer, larger submarine reconnaissance planes could be housed there. The matter was eventually concluded in December 2017, when the U.S. government agreed to funding.
The hangar is located in the security zone of the old U.S. military base, “Naval Air Station Keflavik”, and the reconnaissance planes in question are of the Poseidon P-8A type, designed to track the increased presence of Russian nuclear and conventional submarines in waters around Iceland – the so-called Greenland, Iceland and United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap. [P 30]
By Bernhard Schell
AMMAN (IDN) – The Israeli media ignored the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honour of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on December 10, 2017 in Oslo. The Israeli Ambassador to Norway however attended the event.
The silence of the Israeli media, according to observers, was not surprising though ICAN's eminent partner in the Middle East, the Israeli Disarmament Movement (IDM), founded and chaired by Sharon Dolev, has influenced the Israeli public discourse for the past six years. [P 29]
By J Nastranis
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres desires to make 2018 "a pivotal year" for the achievement of sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement attributable to his spokesperson, following the adoption of a new Security Council resolution (UNSCR 2397), he said: "The only way forward for a comprehensive peaceful and political solution requires de-escalation and open communication channels, now."
The resolution was approved on December 22 in response to the latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), widely known as North Korea, on November 28. [P 28] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Jamshed Baruah
NEW YORK (IDN) – Since the United Nations General Assembly adopted on July 7, 2017 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, urging the prohibition and complete elimination of the atomic arsenal, the question of verification and the dismantlement of nuclear weapons has acquired particular importance. Because there are several areas where adequate technologies either need to be developed or re-engineered.
Over the past four decades, the United States and the Soviet Union as well as its successor the Russian Federation have used a series of bilateral agreements and other measures to limit and reduce their substantial nuclear warhead and strategic missile and bomber arsenals. [P 27] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*
LUND, Sweden (IDN) - When, soon after the election, President Barack Obama invited Donald Trump to the White House we didn't learn much about their conversation. But we were briefed on one thing: Obama had told Trump that North Korea would be the most pressing and difficult issue on his agenda.
How right that was. But the Americans have missed the boat. It's as simple as that. What’s done is done. While Washington has dithered and dithered through three successive presidencies, missing opportunity after opportunity, North Korea has gone from zero nuclear weapons to an arsenal of at least 20. Its test of an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, in the early hours of November 29, is said to be capable of striking the U.S. It doesn't have a nuclear tip yet but that will come sometime in the next two or three years. [P 26] | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Ramesh Jaura
VATICAN CITY (IDN) – The Vatican's first international conference on the prospects for "a world free from nuclear weapons and for integral disarmament" on November 10-11 was not intentionally planned to overlap with U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to Asia as the U.S. faces heightened tensions with North Korea. It has been in the works for several years, and the timing, as Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana quipped, is a coincidence that could be seen as an act of "divine providence". [P 25] CHINESE TEXT VERSON PDF | GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By J C Suresh
TORONTO | WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) – A new study throws limelight on the skyrocketing costs of the current plan to sustain and upgrade U.S. nuclear forces and outlines several pragmatic options to maintain a credible, formidable deterrent at less cost.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study published on October 31 estimates that sustaining and upgrading U.S. nuclear forces will cost taxpayers $1.24 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars between fiscal years 2017 and 2046. When the effects of inflation are included, the CBO expects the 30-year cost to exceed $1.5 trillion. These figures are significantly higher than the previously reported estimates of roughly $1 trillion. [P 24] BAHASA | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | TURKISH
By Shanta Roy
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – U.S. President Donald Trump's highly erratic behavior on nuclear weapons – and his public threats to "totally destroy" North Korea – have triggered a strong political backlash from anti-nuclear and anti-war activists.
"A central problem is that Donald Trump seems ignorant about what nuclear weapons really are, and the humanitarian catastrophe that would be unleashed if he fired even one at North Korea – or anywhere," said Dr. Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, a founding co-Chair of the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate. [P 23] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | THAI
By Ramesh Jaura
UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – "They will continue to be guided by their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," says the historic Joint Statement U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his counterpart from the then Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, signed on December 10, 1987 in Washington.
Thirty years on, Gorbachev – who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community" – is "deeply concerned about the fact that military doctrines once again allow for the use of nuclear weapons". [P 22] | JAPANESE Part 1, Part 2 |
- UN Treaty Signing a Significant Step Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
- Opening for Signature of the UN Treaty a Milestone for Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons
- Heed the Voices of the Hibakusha Urging All States to Sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- Ulaanbaatar Conference Stresses the Role of Individual States in Nuclear Disarmament Process
- UN Panel Remains Sceptical about Sanctions on North Korea