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U.S. Undermining the Global Nuclear Testing Taboo

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Early September 2017 the U.S. government conducted flight tests of the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb over Nevada. More are required before it enters service in 2020. Credit: TomoNews YouTube video

BERLIN | GENEVA (IDN) – A new document that outlines U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years proclaims that the Trump Administration does not intend to ratify a global treaty banning nuclear weapons tests. Nor does it rule out resuming such tests.

The document, titled 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), proclaims that "the United States does not support the ratification of the CTBT." But the U.S. will continue to support the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). [P 41] ARABICBAHASA | CHINESE TEXT VERSON PDF | GERMAN | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

Surprise Trump-Kim Summit by May with Global Repercussions

Viewpoint by Jayantha Dhanapala*

Photo: The House of Peace on the 38th parallel, likely to be the venue of the Trump-Kim summit by May 2018. Source: lifeinkorea.com

KANDY (IDN) – Donald Trump has always had the capacity to surprise us. Amidst the actions to fulfil his Presidential Campaign promise to "Make America Great Again" by slapping tariffs on friendly allies and having declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, he has now signalled a dramatic volte-face on talks with Kim Jong-un of the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) whom he had frequently taunted as the "little rocket man".

Action Needed to Ratify the 1996 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Viewpoint by Dr Lassina Zerbo

Photo: Statement by Dr. Lassina Zerbo, CTBTO Executive Secretary, at the UN Conference on Disarmament on 26 February 2018. Credit: Kazakh Mission in Geneva.

The author is Executive Secretary of CTBTO, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The following is a slightly abridged and modified text of his address on 26 February to the High-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament, multilateral disarmament negotiating forum where the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in Geneva was negotiated in the 1990s. (Read the original text here.) Dr. Zerbo stressed that "we must take great care to preserve the integrity of the institutions and instruments we have and to build trust in them and around them. This means maintain and securing the NPT and its entire chain of responsibilities – of which the CTBT entry into force is an integral part". – The Editor

UN, EU, Experts Hail Outcome of Inter-Korean Talks, Call For Availing of Peace Opportunities

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: A view in May 2007 from South Korea towards North Korea in the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom. North and South Korean military personnel, as well as a single US soldier, are to be seen. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

BERLIN (IDN) – The United Nations and the European Union as well as independent arms control experts have welcomed the results of latest talks between South and North Korea, and called for seizing the opportunities opening up for peace in the region and for reducing international tensions.

The significance of emerging prospects is underlined by the fact that though the Korean War ended in 1953, in the absence of a peace treaty the two Koreas are technically still at war. As The New York Times notes, in the United States where coverage of the armed conflict was censored and its memory decades later is often overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War has been called "the Forgotten War".

Mixed Reactions To Inter-Korean Accord

By Yonhap News Agency

Photo: The Conference Row in the Joint Security Area of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, looking into South Korea from North Korea. It shows guards on both sides and a group of tourists in the South. Created: 26 July 2012. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

This report was carried by the South Korean news agency on March 6 (local time: 23.38) and is being reproduced to give a glimpse into how the current development on the Korean peninsula is viewed in the Republic of Korea. – The Editor

SEOUL (IDN-INPS) – South Korean political parties on March 6 demonstrated mixed reactions to the results of the high-stakes visit to North Korea by President Moon Jae-in's special envoys, which included an agreement to hold a cross-border summit next month.

Nuclear Deterrence Policy Gathering Steam in India

By Sudha Ramachandran

Image credit: rediff.com

BANGALORE (IDN) – "Though India is a reluctant nuclear power, nuclear deterrence will continue to play a crucial role in India's national security strategy over the next few decades," says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal, Distinguished Fellow at India's Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

In his recent book 'Sharpening the Arsenal: India's Evolving Nuclear Deterrence Policy', he explains the reason: "Only when India's adversaries are convinced that India has both the necessary political and military will and the hardware to respond to a nuclear strike with punitive retaliation that will inflict unacceptable loss of human life and unprecedented material damage, will they be deterred." [P 40] ARABIC | BAHASA | GERMAN | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF | MALAY | THAI

Kazakhstan Signs Ban Treaty After Security Council Debut

By J Nastranis

Photo: Ambassador Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the UN, signing the Nuclear Ban Treaty on March 2. Credit: Abolition2000

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – Kazakhstan, known as an active and staunch supporter of a world free of nuclear weapons, became 57th country to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on March 2.

The Treaty, which opened for signature on September 20, 2017, will remain open indefinitely. It will enter into force 90 days after 50 nations have ratified or acceded to it. Until now, five states have ratified the Treaty: Guyana, Holy See and Thailand on September 20, 2017 immediately after signing. They were followed by Mexico on January 16 and Cuba on January 30.

Striving to Build a Broader Support for the Nuclear Ban Treaty

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. Credit: Seikyo Shimbun.

BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) – The second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference in April and the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in May will draw the focus of the international community in the coming weeks as it moves toward paving the way for a nuclear-weapons free world.

Since the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted in July 2017, "these will be the first venues for debate and deliberation that will include both the nuclear-weapon and nuclear-dependent states," says eminent Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, founder and President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) with 12 million members in 192 countries and regions. [P 39] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF 

Trump Breaks Nuclear Taboos, Strives For Supremacy

By Daryl G. Kimball and Kingston A. Reif

Photo: U.S. President Donald J. Trump addresses the General Assembly’s annual general debate on 19 September 2017. Credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association and Kingston A. Reif its Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy. This article appeared as Issue Brief on February 15, 2018 with the caption 'The New U.S. Nuclear Strategy is Flawed and Dangerous. Here’s Why.' It is being reproduced with permission from the Association. – The Editor.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – In December 2016, President Donald Trump tweeted that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” and later told MSNBC that he would “outmatch” and “outlast” other potential competitors in a nuclear arms race. The comments mostly prompted condemnation in the United States and around the world and raised concerns about the direction the president would take U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Those concerns, it turns out, were well justified.

From Tlatelolco to the UN Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

Viewpoint by Jorge Alberto López Lechuga

Photo: Commemorating the 51st anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco on 14 February 2018. Credit: OPANAL

Jorge Alberto López Lechuga is Research and Communication Officer of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of OPANAL and its Member States. – The Editor

MEXICO (IDN) – On February 2, the Government of the U.S. published the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which includes the strategy to increase the role of nuclear weapons in national security. The NPR considers the need to double the military budget from 3% to 6.4% in order to modernize the U.S. arsenal. [P 38] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH

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