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Nuclear News - 7/14/2009
PGS Nuclear News, July 14, 2009
Compiled By: Luke Wagoner


A.  Iran
    1. Russia Says No Iran Sanctions for START Deal: Report, Oleg Shchedrov, Reuters (7/14/2009)
    2. Iran Drafts Plans for Nuclear Talks, Chip Cummins, Wall Street Journal (7/13/2009)
    3. Iran's Nuclear Program: Three Lessons for Obama, Michael Adler, Christian Science Monitor (7/13/2009)
    4. Iran Could Have a Nuclear Bomb by Next Year, Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post (7/11/2009)
    5. Obama: World Won’t Wait for Iran to Build Nuclear Weapon, Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com (7/10/2009)
B.  Nuclear Energy
    1. GCC N-power Plant Likely by 2015, Satish Kanady, The Peninsula (7/14/2009)
    2. Nuclear Deal ‘Model’ for Arab States, Steven Stanek, The National (7/9/2009)
    3. Obama Makes Nuclear Compromise to Pass Clean Energy Bill, Suzanne Goldenberg, Associated Press (7/8/2009)
C.  DPRK
    1. 'U.S. Eyeing N.K.-Myanmar Nuke Ties', Kim So-hyun, The Korea Herald (7/14/2009)
    2. N.Korea to Build More Nuclear Bombs after UN Vote, Park Chan-kyong, AFP (7/10/2009)
    3. US Admiral: NKorea Threats Could Spark Arms Race, Foster Klug, Associated Press (7/9/2009)
D.  Non-Proliferation
    1. G8 Summit Documents, Partnership for Global Security (7/14/2009)
    2. Voters Want Britain to Scrap all Nuclear Weapons, ICM Poll Shows, Julian Glover, The Guardian (7/13/2009)
    3. Nuclear Arms Pact Faces Slow Go, Josh Rogin, CQ Politics (7/11/2009)
    4. NATO Urged to Drop Dependence on Nuclear Arms, AFP (7/7/2009)
E.  India
    1. India ‘Not Deeply Concerned’ about G8 Stand: Pranab, The Hindu (7/14/2009)



A.  Iran

1.
Russia Says No Iran Sanctions for START Deal: Report
Oleg Shchedrov
Reuters
7/14/2009
(for personal use only)


Russia will not agree to tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program in exchange for a new nuclear arms cuts deal with Washington, Interfax news agency quoted a foreign ministry source as saying Tuesday.

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama's nuclear adviser suggested that progress on a U.S.-Russian nuclear arms pact could help persuade Moscow to be more cooperative on Iran.

"There are no reasons to link these issues or count on Russia being more cooperative in toughening sanctions against Iran if there is progress in talks with the United States on further cuts in strategic offensive weapons," the source said.

Russia is negotiating a new nuclear arms cuts deal with the United States to replace the 1991 START-1 pact, which expires in December. It is also involved in international efforts to persuade Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program.

The sharp tone of the Russian comments contrasted with the positive mood that dominated last week during Obama's visit to Moscow aimed at "resetting" thorny bilateral ties.

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev committed themselves during the talks to working on the new START pact despite outstanding disagreements over U.S. plans to deploy elements of an anti-missile system in Europe.

Obama has said that the European elements of the missile shield will not be needed if Iran halts what the West argues is a military program to create its own nuclear bomb.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has been reluctant to allow strong sanctions against Iran and has praised Obama for promising to pursue direct dialogue with Iranian leaders.

Obama's special assistant for arms control, Gary Samore, made his comments about the potential for a change in Russia's stance at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies last week.

"If we make concessions on strategic nuclear issues the Russians are much more willing to be cooperative when it comes to Iran," Samore told experts.

A Kremlin source told Reuters that the exchange of remarks over START and Iran did not indicate any change in the overall atmosphere of Russia-U.S. contacts.

"It was nothing more than an exchange of remarks over a specific suggestion," the source said.

Available at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/14/AR2009071400423_pf.html


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2.
Iran Drafts Plans for Nuclear Talks
Chip Cummins
Wall Street Journal
7/13/2009
(for personal use only)


Iran is preparing a package of proposals it hopes to use as the basis for fresh negotiations with Western governments over its nuclear program, its government said over the weekend, a possible signal that Tehran is willing to rebuild diplomatic links after weeks of drubbing the U.S. and Britain for alleged complicity in election unrest.

The announcement of the proposals, made by Iran's foreign minister at a news conference in Tehran Saturday, came as five Iranian officials, who had been held by U.S. forces in Iraq for more than two years, returned home after being released. The return of the men, three of whom Iran has identified as diplomats, could remove a major stumbling block to further, high-level talks between U.S. and Iranian officials.

Amid Iran's diffuse power structure, it is difficult to determine if the announcement of the package is a serious effort to kick-start new talks. It could also be window-dressing aimed at distracting foreign critics from still-sporadic protests and the regime's heavy crackdown on dissent after June 12 presidential elections.

Still, the two developments together could represent a thaw in the increasingly heated rhetoric between Iranian officials, who have accused the West of stoking election unrest, and Western officials, who dismiss those allegations and criticize Tehran for its violent crackdown.

Despite the recent bloodshed in Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama and other Western leaders have signaled they are committed to pursuing dialogue with Tehran over its nuclear program but say they won't extend an open invitation. On Friday, at the end of a summit of the Group of Eight leading nations in Italy, Mr. Obama said September -- when the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations convenes in Pittsburgh -- should be considered a "time frame" for assessing progress.

Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Tehran had begun work on new proposals that Iran will offer as a basis of discussion with the West, according to state media. He didn't detail the proposals. He also didn't say whether any part of the package would deal specifically with Iran's nuclear program, but state-controlled media suggested the package was aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff.

Western and Arab powers suspect Iran of seeking weapons as part of its nuclear-energy program. Tehran says the program is aimed solely at peaceful energy. "We are formulating a new package, which covers a range of political, security and international issues and can be a basis for talks on regional and international affairs," Mr. Mottaki said, Iran's state-run, English-language news outlet, Press TV, reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier this year described a similarly vague set of proposals that he said Tehran was readying. Last summer, Western officials crafted a package of economic incentives aimed at persuading Iran to halt nuclear-fuel enrichment. But they determined that Tehran's response to the package was inadequate. The U.S. and others have threatened more economic sanctions against Tehran if the nuclear issue isn't resolved.

Mr. Mottaki's statement Saturday is the first comment on the subject since last month's contested presidential elections. Iranian officials declared Mr. Ahmadinejad the winner of the poll by a landslide, triggering weeks of sometimes-violent protests.

Mr. Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials have accused Western governments and foreign media of stoking the unrest. Tehran expelled two British diplomats and briefly detained some Iranian employees of the British embassy in Tehran over the issue.

On Sunday, Iranian state media said the five Iranian officials landed in Tehran after more than two years in U.S. detention in Iraq. Last week, U.S. forces handed the five to Iraqi authorities as part of a bilateral security pact between Washington and Baghdad.

Available at:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124742862332128925.html


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3.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Three Lessons for Obama
Michael Adler
Christian Science Monitor
7/13/2009
(for personal use only)
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0713/p09s01-coop.html


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4.
Iran Could Have a Nuclear Bomb by Next Year
Herb Keinon
Jerusalem Post
7/11/2009
(for personal use only)


Both the US and Israel believe Iran has the technical capacity to build one nuclear bomb within a year if it decides to do so, but both countries also believe the chances that Teheran will indeed make that decision are slim, according to assessments made known to The Jerusalem Post.

According to these Israeli assessments, there is not much difference now between the US and Israel regarding a timeline for a "worst case scenario" on Iran's development of a bomb. At the same time, both Jerusalem and Washington currently believe that "worst case scenario is not likely to materialize."

The assessments come in the wake of comments made Sunday by US Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the effect that Iran could be as little as a year away from completing a nuclear bomb, while Mossad head Meir Dagan recently surprised many by saying Iran won't have a nuclear weapon until 2014.

"I would be careful about all the declarations on this matter," said one senior government official who deals with the issue, adding that a decision by Teheran to go full throttle toward the building of a bomb was dependent on numerous different decisions the government would have to make, and which it had simply not yet made.

In the meantime, the official said, the Iranians have decided to continue to enrich as much low grade uranium as they can, and to also continue development in the field of ballistic missiles at a level that would not make their situation with the international community much worse than it already is.

Some American and Israeli experts have long argued that, rather than pushing for a bomb the moment they can, the Iranians may want to gain the potential capacity, over a longer period, to build an entire nuclear arsenal - and then stay weeks or months away from final bomb-making but ready to make the ultimate push should they so choose.
The international community, meanwhile, signaled on Thursday that it was still keeping its eye on the nuclear issue, with the G-8 leaders giving Iran until late September to accept negotiations over the issue.

The US is still waiting for an Iranian answer to President Barack Obama's offer of engagement on the nuclear issue.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the situation would be reviewed at a G-20 meeting of developed and developing countries in Pittsburgh on September 24, and that "if there is no progress by then, we will have to take decisions."

A unilateral attack by Israel on Iran to thwart the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions would be an "absolute catastrophe," Sarkozy was quoted by AFP as saying on Thursday after the G-8 summit in Italy.

From an Israeli perspective, the senior government official explained, the G-8 deadline included both positive and negative aspects.

On the positive side, there has been a degree of concern in Jerusalem since the events that followed the June elections in Iran that the international community would try to push back the timetable on the nuclear issue until the dust cleared in Teheran.

The G-8 statement, the official said, strengthened the sense in Jerusalem that the international community was sending a message that "time is of the essence," and that international stocktaking of Iran's position on the issue would take place regardless of Iran's internal situation.

On the negative side of the ledger from an Israel perspective, however, was that the G-8 deadline was also a sign the international community was sill locked into "engagement" mode, dashing any thinly held hope in Jerusalem that the Iranian regime's brutal repression of the protests there would lead toward immediate sanctions.

According to the senior government official, under the current timetable Iran had until September to give a decision on engagement. If the talks began, then by the end of the year - as Obama said in May during his meeting in Washington with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - there would be a reassessment of the situation, and a determination whether to continue dialogue or take more serious sanctions.

Regarding the contradictory messages that came out of Washington this week as to whether the US was giving Israel a green light for military action, with Vice President Joe Biden implying that a green light was being given, and Obama categorically denying that, the official said that Obama has been consistent in speaking against an Israeli military action.

What needed to be explained, the official said, were Biden's comments.

"Biden's comments seem to have come out of the blue," he said. "There has been no discussion with the US over the last few months about the possibility of an attack."

The official said it was also not clear how the recent events on the ground in Iran would impact on the nuclear issue.

On the one hand, he said, the protests have highlighted the vulnerability of the regime, which now appears significantly weaker than it was before the elections and their aftermath.

On the other hand, the official said, many believe that Iran's foreign policy and its policy on the nuclear issue will only become more intransigent as a result of the developments.

"There is a contradiction," the official said. "While the regime is more vulnerable than in the past to pressure from the international community, this may lead in the early stages to a hardening of its positions."

"When you are weak domestically, you can't show that you are weak externally as well. The opposite is true," he said. "You have to take a tougher stand with the world so they don't conclude that because you are under domestic pressure, you will fold under external pressure."

According to this logic, if the Iranians were willing to absorb the harsh international criticism that came with cutting down the reformers, then they would also be willing to absorb international censure in going forward with the nuclear program.

The international community, however, is now more prepared to impose serious sanctions on Iran than it was before the recent events, the official added.

If just a few months ago the assessment in Jerusalem was that European governments were ready to impose significant sanctions on the Iranians, but that European public opinion was not supportive, now the situation has changed dramatically and public opinion favors sanctions.

In the past the European public seemed "completely apathetic as to what was happening inside Iran," the senior government official said, adding that pictures broadcast from Teheran, and the brutal manner in which the government put down the reform movement, has significantly altered the public mood in Europe.

Available at:
http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2009/07/46352.php


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5.
Obama: World Won’t Wait for Iran to Build Nuclear Weapon
Jason Ditz
Antiwar.com
7/10/2009
(for personal use only)


President Barack Obama stepped up his harsh anti-Iran rhetoric today at the G8 summit, declaring that world leaders were “appalled” by the post-election violence in the nation and declaring that the US and the rest of the international community are “not going to just wait indefinitely and allow for the development of the nuclear weapon.”

President Obama also praised the results of the G8 summit, saying he had gotten “a statement of unity and strong condemnation” against Iran. It was noted by multiple media outlets that the US “failed” to gain support for new sanctions, however diplomats had previously said that the US was opposed to those moves in the first place.

G8 member Russia was dismissive of the anti-Iran measures, insisting that the post-election situation was an internal matter and not something for the group to take up. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had visited Russia just days after the disputed election, and was received warmly.

President Obama and other US officials have repeatedly treated their claims that Iran is developing nuclear weapons as a matter of course, however officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) insist that there is no evidence that the nation has an active weapons program. The IAEA has also repeatedly certified that the civilian nuclear program in Iran, a source of major US criticism, has not diverted any of its material to military use.

Available at:
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/07/10/obama-world-wont-wait-for-iran-to-build-nuclear-weapon/


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B.  Nuclear Energy

1.
GCC N-power Plant Likely by 2015
Satish Kanady
The Peninsula
7/14/2009
(for personal use only)


The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) common nuclear power plant is expected to become a reality by 2015. The GCC will announce the name of the host country early next year, said a top official who is actively involved in the coordination of the proposed nuclear power plant.

Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of a three-day workshop on “National nuclear legislation and international legal elements for GCC member states”, that started here yesterday, he said: “There is no guessing on the name of the country that would be hosting the common nuclear power plant. The member countries will consider all the options before finalising the name.”

Launching a nuclear power plant is time-consuming. As per the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stipulations, the GCC has to complete three critical stages before installation of the plant. It is in the process of completing the first one.

“We need to complete seven different milestones, including the security and safety assessments, during the initial stage. Once this phase is over, we will announce the name of the host country,” he said. “We can perhaps expedite the second and third phases, which include floating of tenders and the commissioning, but not the first phase,” he added.

He said options are open for member countries to set up separate nuclear plants in their respective countries. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are exploring such possibilities.

Of late, a high-level team from Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) visited Russia and held discussions with Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy (Rosatom).

Qatar discussed utilisation of the newly-developed Russian floating nuclear power plants (FNPP). Experts point out that the Russian floating nuclear power plants are ideal for Qatar because they not only have the capability to generate electricity, but can also be used to desalinate water. This is important keeping in view that the projected daily water demand of Qatar would be about 681,000 cubic metres per day by 2012. Experts say Russian FNPP’s can supply roughly 240,000 cubic metres of water each day, which would at least partially meet the projected demand.

The Qatari delegation attended several programmes and presentations hosted by Russia’s nuclear energy agencies. It toured several Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) construction companies. The delegation also held several rounds of discussions with Rosatom’s International Cooperation department on preliminary lines of cooperation with Russia.

Available at:
http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&month=July2009&file=Local_News2009071425840.xml


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2.
Nuclear Deal ‘Model’ for Arab States
Steven Stanek
The National
7/9/2009
(for personal use only)


The first congressional hearing on the the US-UAE nuclear accord yesterday offered praise for the agreement as a “model” for Arab states with nuclear ambitions, but also raised concerns by some lawmakers regarding export controls and fears that nuclear materials could find their way to Iran.

Ellen Tauscher, the recently sworn-in under-secretary for arms control and international security, sought to assuage many of the legislators’ concerns. She noted the United States and the UAE “share a common vision for a secure a stable and prosperous Middle East”.

Ms Tauscher called the 123 agreement – named after a section in the US Atomic Energy Act – a “significant non-proliferation achievement”.

“The UAE’s expressed commitment not to pursue enrichment or reprocessing capabilities represents a marked contrast to Iran,” she said, citing “considerable progress in enforcing an export-control law”.

“The UAE has decided at the highest levels not to be a source of proliferation in the future,” she said.

The accord was negotiated under the Bush administration and approved by the Obama administration. Congress has until Oct 17 to amend the agreement or try to block it. Ed Markey, a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, introduced a measure in May disapproving of the agreement which could potentially block it. It appears unlikely, however, that enough opposition exists in the House and the Senate to do so.

Howard Berman, a Democratic congressman from California and chairman of the committee, said he thought the language and strict non-proliferation provisions of the agreement were strong, particularly a “take back” clause that would allow the US to demand the return of all equipment, material, and facilities if the UAE violates any provisions.

He said the deal “inevitably raises questions about the broader implications of civil nuclear power in that volatile region”.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the top Republican on the committee, has introduced legislation calling on the White House to certify to Congress – before the agreement enters into force – that the UAE is taking “effective actions” to prevent the transfer of sensitive material to Iran and fully implementing UN Security Council sanctions against the Islamic republic.

The UAE’s civilian nuclear programme is not dependent on the US-UAE deal. It has signed similar agreements with other countries, including South Korea, France and the United Kingdom.

Available at:
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090709/FOREIGN/707089838/1010


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3.
Obama Makes Nuclear Compromise to Pass Clean Energy Bill
Suzanne Goldenberg
Associated Press
7/8/2009
(for personal use only)


The Obama administration endorsed a revival of America's nuclear industry yesterday in an effort to build forward momentum for climate change legislation before the Senate.

The seal of approval for nuclear power – a cause embraced by Republican senators – came on day one of a full-on lobbying effort by the White House for one of Obama's signature issues.

Obama sent four of his top lieutenants to the Senate – his secretaries of energy, interior, agriculture and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – to try to drum up support for a global warming bill.

The PR effort saw direct appeals to the farming and nuclear lobbies – some of the fiercest critics of Obama's clean energy agenda – with Steven Chu, the Nobel-winning energy secretary, calling for new nuclear plants to re-establish America's technological dominance in the world.

"I think nuclear power is going to be a very important factor in getting us to a low carbon future," Chu told the Senate's environment and public works committee. "Quite frankly, we want to recapture the lead on industrial nuclear power. We have lost that lead as we have lost the lead in many energy technologies and we want to get it back."

The endorsement of a nuclear revival – a generation after the last reactor was commissioned – suggests the Obama administration is open to further compromises as it seeks to find a path through the Senate. The House of Representatives narrowly passed a climate change bill late last month.

Republicans in the Senate, who are almost universally opposed to action aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as Democrats from rust belt states, have been clamouring for a "nuclear renaissance" in America, which would see the construction of 100 new nuclear power plants by 2030.

The administration officials also tried to make inroads among the powerful farmers' lobby, saying they hoped the effort could help ensure passage of the bill through the Senate.

Yesterday's hearing marks the opening round of a second major push by the White House for Obama's climate and energy agenda.

Obama is in Europe where he hopes to persuade the G8 to commit to limiting global warming to 2C, and to persuade Russia to make its lumbering industries more efficient.

But the White House acknowledges it must also demonstrate American willingness by ensuring passage of a climate bill through both houses of Congress by December, when international climate change negotiations end in Copenhagen. It is widely believed that the international community will not sign up to action on climate change without evidence of US commitment.

The Democratic leadership in the Senate hopes to use the house bill as a template. It has pencilled in a schedule that would see the bill clear the committee process by mid-September and move to vote by late autumn.

But the way ahead is daunting. Despite the Democrats' 77-seat advantage in the house, the bill gained just 219 votes – one more than a bare majority – and the reform package had swollen to more than 1,427 pages. Much of that bloat was in the political sops to ensure the bill's support: concessions to farmers that ultimately damage the bill, protectionist measures to help heavily polluting industries – and even a hurricane centre in Florida.

The administration's case is also damaged by rising criticism of the bill, from environmentalists who say it does not go far enough as well as those opposed to any action.

Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA, stopped short of endorsing the package yesterday, saying: "It sends the right signal and you all in the Senate have work to do."

But she said the Senate had little choice, and that inaction on climate change could lead to America's global economic decline.

"Clean energy is to this decade and the next what the space race was to the 1950s and 60s and America is behind," Jackson told the Senate. "Governments in Asia and Europe are ahead of the United States in making aggressive investments in clean energy technology."

Available at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/08/nuclear-power-obama-us


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C.  DPRK

1.
'U.S. Eyeing N.K.-Myanmar Nuke Ties'
Kim So-hyun
The Korea Herald
7/14/2009
(for personal use only)


The newly-appointed U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific reportedly said Washington was eyeing nuclear ties between North Korea and Myanmar.

Kurt Campbell said in a written reply for a Congressional confirmation hearing that the Southeast Asian country suspected of nuclear development and North Korea were strengthening their partnership, according to Radio Free Asia, a private station funded by the U.S. Congress that broadcasts in nine Asian languages.

RFA reported that Campbell picked North Korea and Russia as supporters of Myanmar's nuclear development, while noting that the Southeast Asian country was not running a nuclear reactor.

Russia and Burma (Myanmar) signed an agreement in May 2007 to build nuclear facilities, including a 10-megawatt reactor for research purposes, Campbell was quoted as saying by the radio station.

The United States raised concerns regarding this in an ASEAN Regional Forum where both Russia and North Korea attended, Campbell said.

Under the bilateral agreement, hundreds of Burmese scientists were to be trained in Russia, he said.

As North Korea was strengthening its ties with Burma, Campbell said he would continue to closely watch all external support for Burma's nuclear development, including those by Russia and North Korea.

The U.S. official added that he believed Burma did not have the legal, technological or financial infrastructure essential for safe nuclear development.

Campbell, who assumed the post last month, is expected to visit Seoul later this week to meet with top officials here ahead of talks between Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum from July 17-23.

Campbell is expected to make his first tour to Northeast Asian nations, including South Korea, just before attending the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phuket.

Campbell, who replaced Christopher Hill, is known to be an expert on Asian affairs, having served as a top adviser on Asian affairs to former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

Available at:
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2009/07/15/200907150036.asp


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2.
N.Korea to Build More Nuclear Bombs after UN Vote
Park Chan-kyong
AFP
7/10/2009
(for personal use only)


A defiant North Korea on Saturday vowed to build more nuclear bombs and to start enriching uranium for a new weapons programme after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions over last month's nuclear test.

The North, describing Friday's sanctions resolution as a "vile product" of a US-inspired campaign, said it would never abandon nuclear weapons and would treat any attempt to blockade it as an act of war.

The 15-member Council voted unanimously on Friday to slap tougher sanctions on the North to cripple its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Washington hailed the measure but warned that Pyongyang might respond with "further provocation."

The hard-line communist state, in a foreign ministry statement reported by its official news agency, said all new plutonium it extracts would be weaponised.

One third of used fuel rods from the Yongbyon reactor have so far been reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium, it said

"Secondly, we will start uranium enrichment," it said, adding the North had successfully developed the necessary technology.

In 2002, the North denied US claims that it was operating a secret uranium enrichment programme in addition to its admitted plutonium-based operation.

The plutonium-producing plants were shut down under a six-nation disarmament deal in 2007. But the North vowed to restart them after the Security Council in April condemned its long-range rocket launch.

"It has become an absolutely impossible option for the DPRK (North Korea) to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons," the statement said, adding it would consider any blockade as an act of war and would retaliate militarily.

The North said it never wanted nuclear weapons "but it was an inevitable course of action forced upon us by the US hostile policy and nuclear threats."

"No matter how hard the US-led hostile forces may try all sorts of isolation and blockade, the DPRK, a proud nuclear power, will not flinch from them."

Resolution 1874 passed Friday, which does not authorise the use of force, calls on UN member states to expand sanctions imposed after the North's initial nuclear test in October 2006.

The new resolution calls for tougher inspections of cargo suspected of containing banned missile- and nuclear-related items, a tighter arms embargo with the exception of light weapons, and new targeted financial restrictions to choke off revenue for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile sectors.

The resolution also "demands that the DPRK not conduct any further nuclear test or any launch using ballistic missile technology" and abandon all nuclear weapons and programmes "in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner."

US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said from Washington that based on a pattern of "reckless and dangerous actions, it would not be a surprise if North Korea reacted to this very tough sanctions regime in a fashion that would be further provocation."

US intelligence officials believe it will respond with a third atomic test, according to sources quoted by American TV networks.

The North followed up its May 25 nuclear test by testing short-range missiles, renouncing the armistice on the Korean peninsula and threatening possible attacks on South Korea.

Seoul has sent some 600 Marine reinforcements to two border islands amid the high tensions.

The claim to have developed uranium enrichment technology is alarming, said Professor Yang Moo-Jin of Seoul's University of North Korean Studies.

"If this is true, the world would face a very disturbing situation," he told AFP. "The North has abundant natural uranium of good quality which, if combined with technology and facilities, would result in a great nuclear arsenal.

"This means the US policy to disarm the North by sanctions simply did not work."

The North last year said it had extracted 30 kg (66 pounds) of plutonium from Yongbyon over the years. It is not known whether this has already been weaponised.

It could produce an additional 6 kg by reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods, Yang said, giving it access to 36 kg — enough for eight or nine bombs.

Baek Seung-Joo of the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses said the North "will face a strong backlash from the international community for lying in the past about its uranium enrichment programme."

A key question will be whether China, the isolated North's major ally, will seriously implement the sanctions.

Its UN ambassador Zhang Yesui told reporters countries involved in cargo inspections must act prudently in accordance with international and domestic laws" and with "sufficient evidence."

"Under no circumstances should there be the use of force or the threat of use of force," he said, raising a concern that was also underscored by his Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin.

Available at:
http://www.ethiopianreview.com/articles/13103


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3.
US Admiral: NKorea Threats Could Spark Arms Race
Foster Klug
Associated Press
7/9/2009
(for personal use only)


President Barack Obama's choice to lead U.S. forces in the Pacific warned Thursday that North Korea's missile and nuclear threats could spark an arms race in Asia.

Admiral Robert Willard also told senators at his confirmation hearing that China's huge military buildup remains a serious worry for the U.S. military.

North Korea's recent missile and nuclear tests and belligerent rhetoric aimed at the United States, Japan and South Korea have had northeast Asia on edge for months.

Willard said North Korean actions pose a significant threat to the United States and its allies and "could spur a limited arms race as neighbors seek to enhance their own deterrent and defense capabilities."

The North carried out its second nuclear test in May. On Saturday it test-fired a barrage of ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast, its biggest display of missile firepower in three years. The North deploys hundreds of missiles that have all of South Korea and Japan within their striking range.

During the hearing, lawmakers also questioned Willard about North Korea's intentions and about the frail appearance Wednesday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who reportedly suffered a stroke last year.

Willard said that Kim's ill health, questions about a successor, and a change of administration in South Korea, where a new conservative leader has infuriated Pyongyang, may be contributing to the North's provocative actions.

The U.S. military, Willard said, stands ready to defend the United States should Kim follow through on threats to attack.

On China, Willard spoke of "major concerns" about the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's development of advanced weapons that are "beyond what is required for its national defense." He said he would pursue "careful, measured military engagement" with China to reduce the chance of miscalculation and to press for transparency on military spending.

China and the U.S. have recently resumed military consultations after Beijing suspended talks in anger over American arms sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China claims as part of its territory.

The United States questions China's nearly 20 years of annual double-digit percentage increases in its defense budget; Beijing says any worries are unfounded.

China's emergence as a "constructive partner in regional security" is crucial, Willard said, and U.S.-Chinese talks are important to encouraging cooperation and addressing differences.

Even as China deals with ethnic unrest in its western region, Willard said, it should exert its influence on North Korea to stop its recent provocations.

Available at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090709/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_nkorea_china


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D.  Non-Proliferation

1.
G8 Summit Documents
Partnership for Global Security
7/14/2009
(for personal use only)
http://www.partnershipforglobalsecurity-archive.org/


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2.
Voters Want Britain to Scrap all Nuclear Weapons, ICM Poll Shows
Julian Glover
The Guardian
7/13/2009
(for personal use only)


Voters want Britain to scrap nuclear weapons altogether rather than replace Trident, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll today. The result marks a sharp turnaround in public opinion amid growing debate about the cost of a new generation of nuclear weapons and the impact of conventional defence cutbacks on the war in Afghanistan.

For decades nuclear disarmament has been seen as a minority issue, with most voters assumed to favour continued investment in an independent British nuclear weapons system. But today's poll shows that 54% of all voters would prefer to abandon nuclear weapons rather than put money into a new generation of Trident warheads, as the government plans.

Last week's G8 summit brought suggestions that Britain might include Trident in international disarmament talks. "What we need is collective action by the nuclear weapons powers to say that we are prepared to reduce our nuclear weapons," said Gordon Brown.

Today's figures mark a dramatic turnaround in public opinion since Trident renewal was announced by Brown three years ago. In July 2006, 51% backed renewal, while 39% opposed it. Since then support for a new Trident system has fallen by nine points while opposition has grown by 15 points.

Overall, only 42% of all voters now back renewal, according to the poll. Until now a majority of voters have always supported a British nuclear system, although one other recent ICM poll showed most people wanting to extend the life of the existing Trident system rather than spend money upgrading it.

In 2006 Gordon Brown reaffirmed Britain's commitment to Trident, and the government won Commons backing, thanks to Tory support. A design contract is expected to be signed this September, during the parliamentary recess, and the nuclear weapons were excluded from the defence review announced last week.

The poll shows for the first time that a majority of Labour voters oppose nuclear weapons, as well as most Liberal Democrats.

On balance, 59% of Labour voters want Britain to scrap nuclear weapons, against 40% who want to replace them. In 2006 Trident renewal was backed by a majority of Labour voters. Even among Conservative voters, 41% would now rather see unilateral nuclear disarmament than a new generation of weapons. That may encourage the opposition to defer renewal as part of a package of spending cuts.

Today's results are one consequence of the growing political battle over public spending, with retired defence chiefs, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs suggesting that the £20bn cost of replacing Trident would be better spent on conventional forces.

The poll also suggests that the Conservatives are outflanking Labour in the debate over spending. More than two-thirds of voters say they want spending to be cut, double the proportion who believe the government should increase expenditure, as some ministers continue to argue. Even a majority of Labour voters want to see cutbacks.

As a result the Conservative party has extended its lead over Labour to 14 points. At 41%, up two, Tory support is at its highest in an ICM poll since March, before the expenses scandal broke. Labour, unchanged on 27%, is stuck on its second-lowest ICM score since June last year.

The Liberal Democrats are on 20%, up two points, while backing for other parties is 12%, down three as minor party support from the European elections fades.

Available at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/13/icm-poll-nuclear-weapons


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3.
Nuclear Arms Pact Faces Slow Go
Josh Rogin
CQ Politics
7/11/2009
(for personal use only)


Despite progress by U.S. and Russian leaders this week toward a new nuclear arms reduction treaty, it appears less and less likely that the Senate will ratify any agreement signed by the two governments before the end of the year.

In the face of GOP Senate calls for other issues to be addressed along with any agreement that would replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires Dec. 5,

Democratic leaders acknowledge that Senate approval might not be possible this year — and also might not be necessary.

“It doesn’t have to be ratified by December for the president to say that we’re going to live by the law,” said John Kerry , D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The United States adheres informally to several treaties the Senate has never ratified, including the Law of the Sea Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Kerry noted, adding, “It’s better to ratify it, and we will try to do what we can.”

If the Senate cannot ratify the START follow-on treaty, the Obama administration might have to implement new nuclear arms reductions without congressional consent and without the force of law.

But the lack of ratification poses problems for the drive to establish a new arms regime both at home and abroad.

Foreign Relations ranking Republican Richard G. Lugar of Indiana said it might be possible to extend the current START agreement if the Senate and the Russian Duma can’t ratify a new treaty by the December deadline.

“It’s possible, but not necessarily acceptable” to implement arms reductions without Senate ratification, said Lugar, who supports having a full debate over the issue in Congress.

Experts say that if Congress doesn’t endorse the new treaty, nationalist interests in Russia will gain leverage in their drive to kill that country’s own ratification effort.

“If the treaty is not ratified by the U.S. Senate, the Russian Duma will certainly use that as an excuse to block it,” said Alexandros Petersen, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank that focuses on trans-Atlantic relations.

Republican Resistance
Republican Senate resistance to a new treaty is centered on two issues. Many GOP senators believe that a plan for modernization of the nuclear stockpile and a renewed commitment to build missile defense sites in eastern Europe must accompany any reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The Obama administration’s position is that those two issues are now being studied — the modernization plan as part of the Nuclear Posture Review and the missile defense sites in the Quadrennial Defense Review — but will be considered in some fashion as part of the START negotiations.

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to further reductions in nuclear arsenals during their July 6 summit meeting but did not come to any conclusions about missile defense, agreeing only to discuss it further.

“I think the administration will make a mistake if they don’t recognize the missile defense component of this debate has to be addressed,” said Armed Services member Lindsey Graham , R-S.C., arguing that Obama must commit to going forward with planned sites in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to get widespread GOP support for a new START treaty.

Russia believes the European missile defense sites are linked to the nuclear arms negotiations, but in a way opposite from the Republican senators’. Several Russian officials have said the administration must agree to scuttle the sites if it wants a new nuclear treaty. The administration maintains the sites are directed at defending against a potential nuclear attack from Iran, not Russia.

Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin , D-Mich., expressed the Senate Democrats’ position: The two issues should be dealt with separately.

“I don’t think they ought to be linked at all,” Levin said. “I hope the Russians don’t link them, and I hope we don’t link them. They are very different issues.”

A group of GOP senators told Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in a May meeting that if there is any linkage between the agreement and shuttering the European sites, the senators would work against ratification, Senate aides said.

Nuclear Modernization
A plan for nuclear stockpile modernization, which could include the George W. Bush administration’s Reliable Replacement Warhead program, is another precondition Senate Republicans want before agreeing to support a new START treaty.

“I think a central first step to even consider it . . . is getting on a path, which we’re clearly not on, for a robust nuclear modernization program,” said David Vitter of Louisiana, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works subcommittee that oversees nuclear safety.

Many Senate Republicans expressed concern that the United States was giving up too much in initial stages of the talks, because the Russians had internal reasons to concede on some reductions anyway.

“Much of what Russia is acting like they’re going to give away, they’re going to give away anyway, for budget reasons and for other strategic reasons,” said Bob Corker , R-Tenn.

Jeff Sessions , R-Ala., said the administration was rushing to complete an agreement quickly and neglecting issues of substance.

“It seems to be driven by public perception rather than strategic need,” he said.

Adam Graham-Silverman contributed to this story.

The Obama administration’s position is that those two issues are now being studied — the modernization plan as part of the Nuclear Posture Review and the missile defense sites in the Quadrennial Defense Review — but will be considered in some fashion as part of the START negotiations.

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to further reductions in nuclear arsenals during their July 6 summit meeting but did not come to any conclusions about missile defense, agreeing only to discuss it further.

“I think the administration will make a mistake if they don’t recognize the missile defense component of this debate has to be addressed,” said Armed Services member Lindsey Graham , R-S.C., arguing that Obama must commit to going forward with planned sites in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to get widespread GOP support for a new START treaty.

Russia believes the European missile defense sites are linked to the nuclear arms negotiations, but in a way opposite from the Republican senators’. Several Russian officials have said the administration must agree to scuttle the sites if it wants a new nuclear treaty. The administration maintains the sites are directed at defending against a potential nuclear attack from Iran, not Russia.

Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin , D-Mich., expressed the Senate Democrats’ position: The two issues should be dealt with separately.

“I don’t think they ought to be linked at all,” Levin said. “I hope the Russians don’t link them, and I hope we don’t link them. They are very different issues.”

A group of GOP senators told Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in a May meeting that if there is any linkage between the agreement and shuttering the European sites, the senators would work against ratification, Senate aides said.

Nuclear Modernization
A plan for nuclear stockpile modernization, which could include the George W. Bush administration’s Reliable Replacement Warhead program, is another precondition Senate Republicans want before agreeing to support a new START treaty.

“I think a central first step to even consider it . . . is getting on a path, which we’re clearly not on, for a robust nuclear modernization program,” said David Vitter of Louisiana, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works subcommittee that oversees nuclear safety.

Many Senate Republicans expressed concern that the United States was giving up too much in initial stages of the talks, because the Russians had internal reasons to concede on some reductions anyway.

“Much of what Russia is acting like they’re going to give away, they’re going to give away anyway, for budget reasons and for other strategic reasons,” said Bob Corker , R-Tenn.

Jeff Sessions , R-Ala., said the administration was rushing to complete an agreement quickly and neglecting issues of substance.

“It seems to be driven by public perception rather than strategic need,” he said.

Adam Graham-Silverman contributed to this story.

“It seems to be driven by public perception rather than strategic need,” he said.

Available at:
http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003163957&parm1=5&cpage=1


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4.
NATO Urged to Drop Dependence on Nuclear Arms
AFP
7/7/2009
(for personal use only)


The head of the UN nuclear watchdog urged NATO nations Tuesday to end their dependence on nuclear weapons, as the military alliance launched a re-think of its future direction.
"You have to decrease heavily your reliance on nuclear weapons," the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed El Baradei told NATO officials and experts in Brussels.

He said that by relying on a nuclear deterrant, NATO was sending the wrong message to the world that "we need to develop nuclear weapons".

"Insisting that nuclear is the supreme guarantee is the absolute wrong message to the rest of the world," said the Egyptian-born Nobel peace laureate, who is stepping down in November after 12 years in office.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer rejected the call.

"It is crystal clear that NATO will continue to have a mix of nuclear and conventional means," he told reporters later. "As far as NATO is concerned, I don't think there will be a change.

"I would not be in favour of such a change," said Scheffer, who hands over the reins at NATO to former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the end of the month.

On Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama signed a declaration pledging to reach a new nuclear arms reduction pact to replace the 1991 START accord.

El Baradei's remarks came as NATO launched debate on a new "strategic concept".

NATO's current strategic concept -- which equips the alliance to face security challenges and guides its political and military development -- is a decade old, having been agreed in Washington in April 1999.

It mentions nuclear weapons as an essential deterrent.

The new text will have to take into account challenges like cyber attacks, climate change and energy security, as well as developments in terrorism since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

It could be unveiled at NATO's next summit due in Lisbon, Portugal late next year.

Available at:
http://www.spacewar.com/2006/090707171006.txtus25x.html


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E.  India

1.
India ‘Not Deeply Concerned’ about G8 Stand: Pranab
The Hindu
7/14/2009
(for personal use only)


The government on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that it was “not deeply concerned” over the stand of the G8 countries to ban transfer of enrichment and reprocessing items to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Responding to the issue raised by Najma Heptulla (BJP), Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee pointed out India had received country-specific clean waiver from the appropriate bodies — the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

“We have got a clean waiver and not concerned over the position of the G8 countries….so far as trade [is concerned] every individual country has the right to enter or not to enter… so far as the civil nuclear cooperation is concerned, the appropriate agency is the IAEA and the 45-member NSG. We have got a clean waiver. We are not deeply concerned [over the G8 stand],” Mr. Mukherjee said.

As for the issue whether the government was consulted by the G8 before taking such a stand since Manmohan Singh was present at the L’Aquila summit last week, he said India was not a member of the grouping but part of the G5 outreach countries.

The Minister’s response came after the Opposition insisted that the government clarify, though Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan reminded the members the rule that the Chair could not issue such directions on a issue raised during zero hour.

Ms. Heptulla was supported by several members, including Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley. Brinda Karat (CPI-M) said the provisions of the Henry J. Hyde Act 9 (passed by the U.S. Congress), allowing the Bush administration to enter into a civilian nuclear cooperation with India, were now coming into play.

In the Lok Sabha, the BJP extended full support to CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia when he demanded a statement from the Prime Minister on the G8 decision to block full nuclear trade with India unless it signed the NPT.

Raising the issue after question hour, Mr. Acharia said the Left had warned of such a possibility when India pressed ahead with its decision to sign the nuclear agreement. Stating that the government had then assured Parliament that India had secured a “clean waiver” from the NSG, he wanted to know what the government had to say now.

Available at:
http://www.hindu.com/2009/07/14/stories/2009071458230100.htm


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