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

UN Chief Expects New Sanctions To Help Make 2018 'A Pivotal Year' for the Korean Peninsula

By J Nastranis

Photo: The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2397 (2017), condemning in the strongest terms the ballistic missile launch conducted by the DPRK on 28 November 2017 in violation and flagrant disregard of the Security Council's resolutions on non-proliferation. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

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 | NORWEGIAN | SPANISH | SWEDISH

Monitoring Dismantlement Key to Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

By Jamshed Baruah

Photo: A meeting of the IPNDV in session. Credit: IPNDV

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

No More Bluster, A Way Out of North Korean Nuclear Crisis

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo: People in Pyongyang watch Kim Jong-un on North Korean TV, 2015. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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

The Vatican Galvanizes Support For A Nuke-Free World

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana welcoming Vatican conference participants on November 10. Credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri | IDN-INPS

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