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Kazakhstan Joins UN's Nuclear Watchdog in a Milestone Step Toward Non-Proliferation

By Ramesh Jaura

ASTANA (IDN) – While a moment of silence was observed on August 29 at 11:05 a.m. local time in Kazakhstan's capital city Astana to honour the memory of the victims of all nuclear weapons tests, some 2713 miles (4365 kilometres) away, North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile that flew over Japan: The same day a new facility was inaugurated in Kazakhstan under the auspices of the UN's nuclear watchdog that could open a fresh chapter in non-proliferation.

In the five decades between July 1945, when the United States exploded its first atomic bomb, and the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, over 2,000 nuclear tests were carried out all over the world. After the CTBT was opened for signature in September 1996, nine nuclear tests had been conducted until 2016. Since then, only North Korea is known to have been conducting nuclear tests. [P 16] | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF

Kazakhstan Plays a Crucial Role in Making the Nuclear Fuel Bank a Reality

By Tariq Rauf*

ASTANA (IDN) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan will formally inaugurate a Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant at Öskemen (formerly Ust Kamenogorsk) on August 29.

This event will mark an important milestone in the long march for the IAEA to set up an IAEA owned and operated nuclear fuel bank as envisaged in the 1957 IAEA Statute. This initiative was proposed in September 2006 by the Washington, DC-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) which offered US$50 million to the IAEA, provided by global investor Warren Buffet, to set up an IAEA LEU Bank by raising an additional $100 million.

Iceland, Norway Debate UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

By Lowana Veal

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – With a population of 344,000, Iceland does not have a military of its own. Nevertheless, it is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and as such was one of the countries that boycotted the discussions leading up to the potentially groundbreaking UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted on July 7.

Prior to the start of the conference leading up to the Treaty, Foreign Affairs Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson replied to a parliamentary question by Left-Green MP Steinunn Thora Árnadóttir on whether Iceland would take part in the UN discussions about banning nuclear weapons, as she felt that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Nuclear Weapons (NPT) had not been very successful. [P 15] | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF

Serious Doubts Whether Sanctions Against DPRK Are Effective

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) maintains a tight spider network around the world that enables it "to employ great ingenuity in using formal banking channels and bulk cash transfers to facilitate illicit endeavours," a close look at the Report of the UN Panel of Experts monitoring the implementation of Security Council sanctions against North Korea reveals.

An analysis of the Report covering the period from February 6, 2016 to February 5, 2017 does not give cause for hope that the expanded sanctions imposed unanimously by 15 members of the Security Council on August 5 would achieve the declared objective, which the Resolution 2371 (2017) defined as follows:

Trump Should Learn From Reagan, Stop Nuclear Sabre-Rattling

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - Does President Donald Trump ('also known as' Fire and Fury) have an idea what a nuclear war would be like? I ask the question because President Roland Reagan confessed he did not until he decided to look at some movies (once an actor, he was a cinema man), like “On the Beach” that depicted a nuclear war. The exercise changed his thinking and he became an anti-nuclear-weapons militant. Together with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev they cut their nuclear stockpiles sharply. They also came near an agreement to destroy all their nuclear weapons.

Despite 'Fire and Fury' Milestones Toward A Nuclear-Weapons-Free World

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Considering the "fire and fury" characterizing the heated exchanges between the U.S. and North Korea, July 7 appears to be light years ago. That was the day when 122 member states of the United Nations voted to adopt a legally binding global Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that may eventually lead towards their total elimination.

The Treaty that opens for signature on September 20, was adopted four weeks ahead of the 72nd anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945 – giving cause for hope, as Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said in the Nagasaki Peace Declaration, that "all the efforts of the hibakusha over the years" would finally take shape.

Japanese Govt. Asked to Support Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone

By Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki

On August 9, 2017, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue called on the Japanese government to examine the North-East Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone (NWFZ) as a possible solution to the growing nuclear crisis. The call was made in the Nagasaki Declaration, presented by Mayor Taue at the annual event commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Mayor Taue is one of 545 Japanese heads of cities and 126 Japanese religious leaders who have given their support for the NE Asian NWFZ proposal.

NAGASAKI (IDN-INPS) - “No more hibakusha”: These words express the heartfelt wish of the hibakusha that in the future nobody in the world ever again has to experience the disastrous damage caused by nuclear weapons. This summer, the wish has moved many nations across the globe and resulted in the creation of a certain treaty.

Trump and Kim Jong-Un Need To Find A Diplomatic Off-Ramp

By Daryl G. Kimball

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) - Just six months into the administration of President Donald Trump, the war of words and nuclear threats between the United States and North Korea have escalated, and a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis is more difficult than ever to achieve.

Both leaders need to immediately work to de-escalate the situation and direct their diplomats to engage in an adult conversation designed to resolve tensions

A Nuclear-Weapons-Free World Requires Global Effort

By António Guterres’

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the Peace Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6 2017 as distributed to the media and posted online https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sgsm18634.doc.htm – The Editor

UNITED NATIONS (IDN-INPS) - It is a profound honour to pay my deep respects to the victims of the atomic bomb and to the Hibakusha and the city of Hiroshima for your fortitude and example.

In 1946, when eminent personalities were invited to share their ideas for rebuilding Hiroshima, the distinguished Hibakusha novelist Yōko Ōta said her vision was “to interweave dream and reality in harmony and enrich citizens’ lives”.  As the world looks to Hiroshima today, we see a city built on resilience and hope. Your determination for peace is an inspiration to the world.

U.S. Court Dismisses Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuit

By J C Suresh*

TORONTO | SAN FRANCISCO (IDN) –The largest of the thirteen courts of appeals in the United States, the Ninth Circuit Court, has ruled to affirm the U.S. Federal District Court’s dismissal of the Nuclear Zero lawsuit, brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

The lawsuit sought a declaration that the United States was in breach of its treaty obligations under Article VI of the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and international law, and asked the court to order that the United States engage in good-faith negotiations. Article VI states:

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