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What Kazakhstan's Nuclear Legacy Means For CTBTO

Viewpoint by Marzhan Nurzhan

Photo: Group picture of participants of the CTBTO Youth Group Moscow Conference from 18-20 October 2017 in Moscow with the CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo in the centre. The next conference is scheduled from 28-20 August 2018 in Kazakh capital city Astana. Credit: CTBTO

The CTBTO Youth Group (CYG) holds its second international conference in Kazakh capital city Astana from August 28-30, 2018. The author is a CYG member from Kazakhstan, a convener of Abolition 2000 Youth Network and a PNND Coordinator for CIS countries. This article first appeared in The Astana Times on May 29, 2018 with the title 'Kazakhstan's Nuclear Legacy and Importance of CTBTO'. It is being reproduced with the author's permission. – The Editor.

PRAGUE (IDN) – I am coming from Kazakhstan, the country which inherited around 1,500 nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union making it the 4th biggest nuclear arsenal in the world at the time.

World Peace Eludes, Nuclear Armageddon Looms

Viewpoint by Somar Wijayadasa*

Image undark.org

NEW YORK (IDN) – Lately, we have seen a barrage of international conflicts that have severely undermined the United Nations efforts to maintain peace and security.

The British Prime Minister Theresa May – in total disregard for the noble British norm “innocent until proven guilty” – rushed to accuse Russia of trying to poison the Skripals, and provoked an unprecedented ouster of 151 Russian diplomats from UK, U.S. and EU that the Russians dutifully reciprocated.

ICAN Expects Nuclear Ban Treaty to Enter into Force in 2019

By Neena Bhandari

Photo: Tim Wright addressing the UN conference to ban nuclear weapons on behalf of ICAN on the second last day of negotiations on 6 July 2017. Credit: ICAN | Vimeo

SYDNEY (IDN) – As the world witnesses an increase in nuclear sabre-rattling in 2018, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is supporting global public movement to put pressure on governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN’s Treaty Coordinator Tim Wright (TW) spoke to IDN's Neena Bhandari (NB) about disarmament, raising awareness about the risk and consequences of nuclear weapons, and why the world needs a nuclear ban treaty more than ever before. [P 06JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Asian Sympathy Swinging Towards North Korea

By Kalinga Seneviratne

Photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in embrace Saturday (May 26, 2018) on the North Korean side of the shared inter-Korean area of Panmunjom. Credit: South Korean Presidential Blue House / Getty Images

SINGAPORE (IDN) – The frenzied moves over the weekend of May 26-27 by leaders of South Korea and North Korea to revive the on-again, off-again North Korea-US summit, and pictures flashed across the region of the two Korean leaders warmly hugging each other for the second time within a month, are rapidly turning public opinion across the region in North Korea’s favour with the United States and President Donald Trump seen as the “evil”.

Uncertainty Abounds As Trump Cancels Summit With Kim

By Ramesh Jaura

Image: Montage of Trump and Kim. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

BERLIN | GENEVA (IDN) – May 24, 2018 smacks of a 'historic day' marked by a smokescreen of uncertainty and speculations in the aftermath of U.S. President Donald Trump calling off his summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly known as North Korea.

The situation has prompted United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to remark that he is "deeply concerned." Speaking in Geneva on May 24, where he unveiled his new Agenda for Disarmament entitled, Securing Our Common Future, at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland, Guterres called on the U.S. and North Korea "to continue their dialogue to find a path to the peaceful and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

The 'Libyan Model' is Unhelpful: Korea needs its Own Process for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament

Viewpoint by Rebecca Johnson*

Photo: Women Cross DMZ, in partnership with the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the Women’s Peace Walk, a coalition of more than 30 women’s peace organizations in South Korea, will travel to Seoul, South Korea May 24-26 for the #WomenPeaceKorea: A New Era delegation. Credit: Stepehen Wunrow | Women Cross DMZ

SEOUL (IDN) – I'm now in Seoul, taking part in the peace actions and international meetings organised by Women Cross the DMZ, referring to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

News has been dominated by fears that the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, may have jeopardised the hoped-for Singapore Summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. Was this Bolton's intention? Japanese

Thwart Saudi Threat To Acquire Nuclear Weapons

By Daryl G. Kimball and Thomas Countryman

Photo: Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir told CNN on May 9 that his country stands ready to build nuclear weapons if Iran restarts its nuclear program. @CNNPolitics

Following is the text of Statement from Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association and its Board of Directors Chairman and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation,Thomas Countryman,– The Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – We are deeply disappointed by the counterproductive response from the Trump administration to the statements from senior Saudi officials threatening to pursue nuclear weapons in violation of their nonproliferation commitments.

The Bumpy Road to Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Process

By Sergio Duarte

The writer is President of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

Photo: A view of the General Assembly Hall as Taous Feroukhi (on screen), President of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT, closes the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. 22 May 2015. United Nations, New York. Photo # 631869. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

NEW YORK (IDN) – On July 1, 2018 the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will celebrate the fiftieth aniversary of its opening for signature. Although criticised as discriminatory for establishing different rights and obligations for nuclear and non-nuclear Parties, since that date in 1968 a total of 191 States have acceded to the Treaty, making it one of the most successful instruments in the field of arms control.

Nuclear Weapon States' Long Arm Seen Behind Deferral of Landmark UN Conference

By Alyn Ware*

Photo: Security Council meeting on Maintenance of international peace and security,  Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

NEW YORK (IDN) – May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons."

The UN General Assembly decided five years ago to hold such a conference in 2018, following a series of annual, one-day, high-level meetings at the United Nations. [P 05JAPANESE TEXT VERSION VERSION PDF

CTBTO Must Credibly Confirm Dismantling & Closure of DPRK Nuclear-Weapon Test Site

By Tariq Rauf *

Image: International Monitoring System with 337 Facilities – 90%+ complete. Source: CTBTO.

While North Korea has invited journalists from a handful of countries to witness the dismantling and closure of its nuclear-weapon test site at Punggye Ri, only the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has the required expertise, verification technology and credibility to confirm the closure of the Punggye Ri test site.

Contrary to popular belief, the highly competent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expertise only in monitoring and verification of civilian nuclear programmes, but not in the areas of dismantling of nuclear weapons and dismantling of nuclear-weapon test sites.

The IAEA monitors the “upstream” dimension of nuclear weapons development while the CTBT is intended to monitor the “downstream” final proof of a State's intention to develop nuclear weapons – that is, the actual nuclear test explosion.

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