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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 

Iran Nuclear Deal Is Menaced by Trump's Cynical Gambit

By Kelsey Davenport

Photo: The ministers of foreign affairs and other officials from the P5+1 countries, the European Union and Iran while announcing the framework of a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme. April 2015. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The writer is director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association, where it first appeared on 17 January.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – President Donald Trump’s Jan. 12 decision to waive sanctions on Iran keeps the United States in compliance – for the time being – with its obligations under the multilateral nuclear deal with Tehran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Trump’s ultimatum that Congress pass legislation to unilaterally address what he describes as "flaws" in the agreement is based on flawed assumptions. His demands are unrealistic and put the future of the accord in doubt.

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

U.S. Decision to Respect Iran Deal Obligations Averts Self-Made Crisis But Uncertainty Persists

By J C Suresh

Photo credit: Arms Control Association

TORONTO (IDN) – One day after the European Union reiterated its commitment to support "the full and effective implementation of the agreement" with Iran, the Trump Administration announced on January 12 that it will continue to waive sanctions on the Islamic Republic in accordance with U.S. commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The agreement between the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Iran is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Posture Rather Menacing

By Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: President Donald Trump joined by Vice President Mike Pence meets with members of the Republican Legislative Leadership on January 5 at Camp David. Credit: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the caption 'Trump’s More Dangerous Nuclear Posture'.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – Just one year ago, Vice President Joe Biden delivered an address touting the progress achieved during the Obama years to reduce the salience and number of nuclear weapons and curb their spread.

Biden argued that “given our non-nuclear capabilities and the nature of today’s threats, it’s hard to envision a plausible scenario in which the first use of nuclear weapons by the United States would be necessary. Or make sense. President Obama and I are confident we can deter and defend ourselves and our allies against non-nuclear threats through other means.”

Landmark Vatican Conference on Nuclear Disarmament Brings a Breeze of Expectation

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: The Vatican Conference in session. Credit: Katsuhiro Asagiri | IDN-INPS.

The following article is based on an interview with Hirotsugu Terasaki, the Director General of Peace and Global Issues of the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in Tokyo, Japan. SGI was the sole Buddhist organization that participated in the Vatican Conference on nuclear disarmament on November 10-11, 2017.

BERLIN | ROME (IDN) – There was an air of surprise when religious leaders and representatives of civil society, officials of State and international organizations, eminent academics, Nobel Laureates, and students, gathered in the Vatican City against the backdrop of an escalating face-off between the U.S. and North Korea.

Surprise because for the first time the Vatican's newly created Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was hosting a Conference on the 'Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament'.

Former ICBM Launch Officer Calls for Reforming Presidential Nuclear Launch Authority

By J C Suresh

Photo: Testing of the Peacekeeper re-entry vehicles at the Kwajalein Atoll. All eight fired from only one missile. Each line, if its warhead were live, represents the potential explosive power of about 300 kilotons of TNT, about nineteen times larger than the detonation of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – Cofounder of the organization Global Zero, and a former Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile launch officer has called for major changes to prevent a U.S. President from ordering the use of nuclear weapons.

In a new article published in the forthcoming issue of Arms Control Today, Bruce Blair, who is also a member of the Princeton University research faculty, provides an authoritative summary of current U.S. nuclear launch protocol and its dangerous liabilities. The article includes new information about the process, including who is involved and how a nuclear use order would be executed.

Ten Nuclear Wishes For The New Year

By David Krieger

Image: Test launch of minuteman missiles. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

  1. That Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s past will not become any other city’s future.
  2. That the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will get at least 50 ratifications and enter into force.

UN Chief Issues 'Red Alert,' Calls for Defending Shared Values

By J Nastranis

Photo: Secretary-General António Guterres addresses Security Council meeting on the non-proliferation by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has issued "a red alert for our world" in his message on the occasion of 2018 New Year. It's probably the first time ever a UN Chief has done so.

He does not explicitly refer to the nuclear muscle-flexing between the United States and North Korea, but warns: "Global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War."

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