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Dialogue and Diplomacy Essential To Prevent Nuclear Disaster

By U.S. Civil Society Groups

Following is a slightly abridged version of an open letter to the leaders of USA, South Korea and North Korea signed by more than 100 US civil society groups, released at the UN media briefing by Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation on 28 March 2018. – The Editor

As US civil society groups and individuals deeply concerned about dangerous military tensions between our nation and the DPRK, and the rising global risks of nuclear catastrophe, we wish to convey our deepest gratitude for the groundbreaking steps you have taken to begin the essential dialogue and diplomacy that must be undertaken if we are to prevent a war that would likely result in an unthinkable disaster for the Korean Peninsula, the United States and the world.

Bolton's Policy Opinions Would Worsen Proliferation Dangers

By Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: John Bolton speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015. Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. Following is the text of his statement on the choice of John Bolton, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, as President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) – The United States already faces an array of complex and dangerous foreign policy challenges that require pragmatic decision and sober diplomatic engagement with American allies and foes alike.

In 2018, Who Will Speak Up for Peace in the Korean Peninsula?

Viewpoint by Rick Wayman

Photo: In May 2015, on the 70th anniversary of Korea’s division into two separate states by cold war powers, 30 international women peacemakers from around the world walked with thousands of Korean women, north and south, to call for an end to the Korean War, reunification of families and women’s leadership in the peace process. Credit. San Francisco based Niana Liu.

Rick Wayman is Programs Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). In April 2016, he received the 'Activist of the Year' award from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) for "dynamic leadership in bringing the Marshall Islanders' Nuclear Zero litigation to world attention, activating the next generation of peace leaders, and guiding ANA as board member and tech guru." – The Editor

SANTA BARBARA, CA (IDN) - A possible summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is just weeks away. Questions abound: Is it a good idea? When and where will it take place? What will they talk about? Who, if anyone, is preparing the U.S. president for this high-stakes meeting? Will it be a success? [P 42] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF | MALAY | PERSIAN | SPANISH | TURKISH | THAI

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.

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