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Nuclear Posture Review 'Recipe for a Disaster', Warns Pugwash

By J Nastranis

Photo: Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify on the National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C., Feb. 6, 2018. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm

NEW YORK (IDN) – The Nobel Peace laureate 'Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs' has warned that the latest development of U.S. nuclear weapons policy "will serve only to increase the saliency and attractiveness of nuclear weapons, and will certainly not enhance international security."

Trump Might Well Break International Law Over North Korea

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo: U.S. President Donald J. Trump (on screen) addresses the General Assembly’s annual general debate on 19 September 2017 in which he declared:

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – We are soon going to have a clash between President Donald Trump and international law. This is predicable when one examines the presidential discourse over what to do about North Korea and its possession of nuclear-tipped rockets.

He has threatened "fire and fury" which doesn’t sound like the opening words of the UN’s Charter: "We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…..and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained……and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours."

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

'New START' Milestone Could Help Halt Nuclear Arms Race

By J C Suresh

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) – The Arms Control Association has called for extending the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) set to expire on February 5, 2021. The plea follows on the heels of an announcement each by the United States and Russia that they have met their obligations under the Treaty to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces by February 5, the implementation deadline.

Nuclear-Weapons Ban Will Help Usher In Peace, Human Rights

By Jamshed Baruah

Photo credit: IPPNW

NEW YORK | TOKYO (IDN-INPS) – Eminent Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), has welcomed the July 2017 adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as a turning point in the global history of efforts to achieve peace and disarmament, emphasizing that while nuclear weapons exist, a world of peace and human rights will remain elusive.

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 

Two Minutes to Midnight on Doomsday Clock

By the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Image credit: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – Citing growing nuclear risks and unchecked climate dangers, the iconic Doomsday Clock is now 30 seconds closer to midnight, the closest to the symbolic point of annihilation that the Clock has been since 1953 at the height of the Cold War.

The decision announced on January 25 to move the Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight was made by the 'Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board in consultation with the Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel Laureates.

ICAN Chief Shows Japan the Way From a Blind Alley

By Katsuhio 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 

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