From Tlatelolco to the UN Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

Viewpoint by Jorge Alberto López Lechuga

Photo: Commemorating the 51st anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco on 14 February 2018. Credit: OPANAL

Jorge Alberto López Lechuga is Research and Communication Officer of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of OPANAL and its Member States. – The Editor

MEXICO (IDN) – On February 2, the Government of the U.S. published the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which includes the strategy to increase the role of nuclear weapons in national security. The NPR considers the need to double the military budget from 3% to 6.4% in order to modernize the U.S. arsenal. [P 38] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH

Transforming Risks on the Korean Peninsula into Stable Peace in Northeast Asia

By Katsuhiro Asagiri

Photo: Toda Institute Director Kevin P. Clements briefing media on the Colloquium. Credit: Kotoe Asagiri | IDN-INPS

TOKYO (IDN) – 'Building Stable Peace in Northeast Asia: Managing and Transforming Risks on the Korean Peninsula' was the subject of a colloquium in which regional experts on peace and security, policy makers and civil society organizations from the United States, China, South Korea and Japan participated against the backdrop of a volatile situation in the region.

In the run-up to North Korea claiming that it had conducted its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that can "reach anywhere in the world," 1995 Nobel Peace Laureate Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs expressed concern in a statement on May 4, 2017 that "the mounting confrontation with North Korea is raising grave dangers." [P 37] JAPANESE TEXT VERSONPDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSON PDF 

Kick Off To A Nuclear Race Threatening Doomsday

Viewpont by Sergio Duarte

Photo: An Airman completes a missile assembly on an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a load crew competition at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., June 30, 2017. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver

The writer is President of the 1995 Nobel Peace Laureate Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and a former Ambassador of Brazil who served in key posts. He was President of the 2005 Seventh Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs with UNODA, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (2007-2012). – The Editor

NEW YORK (IDN) – As if by coincidence, almost simultaneously the world learned of the Doomsday Clock moving closer to midnight and of the release of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) by the government of the United States. [P 36] BAHASA | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE | SWEDISH

Trump Awaits a 'Magical Moment' to Ban Nuclear Weapons

By Shanta Roy

Photo: Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan, center, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon Jr., left, and Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette brief the press on the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review at the Pentagon, Feb. 2, 2018. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released February 2, is a dangerous departure from the past, and appears to reflect a firm U.S. commitment to readily use the world's deadliest weapons of mass destruction – even if the United States is only a target of "significant non-nuclear strategic attacks", including cyberattacks.

The new policy statement – reflecting a wide justification for a nuclear war – should also be viewed against the continued contradictory statements made by President Donald Trump on issues such as climate change, the Iranian nuclear deal, and most importantly, the use of nuclear weapons. [P 35] ITALIAN | NORWEGIAN | PERSIAN | SPANISH  | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF 

Doomsday Clock Warning Makes UN High Level Conference Even More Important

By Alyn Ware*

Photo: António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, at the Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation/Democratic People's Republic of Korea on December 15, 2017. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias.

NEW YORK (IDN) – The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight, on January 25, indicating that the threat of a nuclear war through accident, miscalculation or intent has risen to an alarming level, and that climate change is not being averted.

The Bulletin highlighted nuclear threats between the U.S. and North Korean governments, including "hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions on both sides." They also lamented "the decline of U.S. leadership and a related demise of diplomacy under the Trump administration". [P 34] GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF 

ICAN Chief Shows Japan the Way From a Blind Alley

By Katsuhiro Asagiri

Photo: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) close to the main building of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which ICAN Chief Beatrice Fihn visited, and wrote in the Museum's guestbook:

TOKYO (IDN) – "I wish for all states, in particular Japan, to join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. No more hibakusha," wrote Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), on a message board at the opening of an exhibition on January 12 at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.

The exhibition marked the award of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN on December 10 in Oslo, "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons." [P 33] GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF

Successful Test Firing of India's Agni-5 Evokes No Fury

By Kalinga Seneviratne

Photo: India's longest range nuclear capable missile Agni-5 was successfully test fired from the Kalam Island off Odisha coast on January 18 by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Source: NDTV

BANGKOK (IDN) – The successful launch of the nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-5 on January 18 has hardly been noticed in Asia. The western media however have given it coverage focusing on India's ability now to strike major Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

This partly adulatory coverage is in sharp contrast to hysteria in the western media in particular when North Korea tested a similar missile on November 28, 2017. While North Korea’s tests are projected as threats to global denuclearization efforts, India's are not. [P 32]  BAHASA | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | THAI  

Kazakh President Offers Astana as Venue for Disarmament Negotiations with North Korea

By Santo D. Banerjee

Photo: Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan and President of the Security Council for the month of January, addresses the Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, with a focus on confidence-building measures. 18 January 2018. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

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] ARABIC | TURKISH | URDU | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF 

NATO Demands Cause Headaches in Iceland

By Lowana Veal

Photo: U.S. Navy Poseidon P-8A at Keflavik. 8 November 2017. Credit: b737.org.uk

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] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE

Israeli Disarmament Movement Steers Through Nuclear Ambiguity

By Bernhard Schell

Photo: Demonstration in Tel-Aviv against nuclear weapons. Credit: The Israeli Disarmament Movement.

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] ARABIC JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN