By Alyn Ware*
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
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.
By Katsuhio Asagiri
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
By Kalinga Seneviratne
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
By Santo D. Banerjee
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
By Kelsey Davenport
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.
By Lowana Veal
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
By J C Suresh
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).
By Daryl G. Kimball
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.”
By Ramesh Jaura
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'.
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