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Nuclear News - 9/29/2009
PGS Nuclear News, September 29, 2009
Compiled By: Matthew Kapuscinski

A.  Official Statements
    1. Statements by President Obama, French President Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister Brown on Iranian Nuclear Facility, Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Gordon Brown, The White House (9/25/2009)
B.  Iran
    1. China Urges Calm Over Iran Nuclear Talks, Gillian Wong, Taiwan News (9/29/2009)
    2. Iran Says Won't Discuss Nuclear "Rights" in Geneva, The Star (9/29/2009)
    3. Iran Warns West Against "Past Mistakes", Parisa Hafezi and Fredrik Dahl, Reuters (9/29/2009)
    4. Iran Confident as It Prepares for Nuclear Talks, Middle East Online (9/29/2009)
    5. Despite Scheduled Meeting, Iran Test Fires Nuclear Missiles, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (9/28/2009)
    1. China, Japan, South Korea Vow Deeper Cooperation on Nuclear Disarmament, Daily Times (9/29/2009)
    2. North Korea Warns U.S. Against Sanctions Over Nuclear Program, RIA Novosti (9/29/2009)
    3. North Korea Promises UN to Combat Nuclear Proliferation, AlertNet (9/29/2009)
D.  Pakistan
    1. Resolution for Nuclear Disarmament Welcomed, Dawn (9/27/2009)
E.  India
    1. Listen to India’s Voice on Nuclear Disarmament: ElBaradei, Thaindian News (9/29/2009)
    2. Experts Say Yes to CTBT, No to NPT, Seema Guha, DNA (9/25/2009)
    1. China, Others Could Help Test Ban's US Chances, Charles J. Hanley, Taiwan News (9/26/2009)
    2. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Nigerian Ambassador Charges Signatories, Abiodun Oluwarotimi, Leadership Nigeria (9/26/2009)
    3. China Supports Early Entry Into Force of CTBT, FM Says, China View (9/25/2009)
G.  Nuclear Energy
    1. President Calls for Peaceful Use of Nuclear Technology, Uganda Media Centre (9/29/2009)
    2. Meet on Nuclear Energy Today, The Hindu (9/29/2009)
H.  Links of Interest
    1. GeoEye Spots Iranian Nuclear Site, Stephen Shankland, ZDNet (9/28/2009)
    2. MI6: Saudis Will Let Israel Bomb Iran Nuclear Site, Jason Ditz, (9/27/2009)
    3. Mathews Delivers NGO Statement at CTBT Conference, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (9/25/2009)

A.  Official Statements

Statements by President Obama, French President Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister Brown on Iranian Nuclear Facility
Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Gordon Brown
The White House
(for personal use only)

”PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning. We are here to announce that yesterday in Vienna, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France presented detailed evidence to the IAEA demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years.

Earlier this week, the Iranian government presented a letter to the IAEA that made reference to a new enrichment facility, years after they had started its construction. The existence of this facility underscores Iran's continuing unwillingness to meet its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions and IAEA requirements. We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information, and to report to the IAEA Board of Governors.

Now, Iran's decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the basic compact at the center of the non-proliferation regime. These rules are clear: All nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; those nations with nuclear weapons must move towards disarmament; those nations without nuclear weapons must forsake them. That compact has largely held for decades, keeping the world far safer and more secure. And that compact depends on all nations living up to their responsibilities.

This site deepens a growing concern that Iran is refusing to live up to those international responsibilities, including specifically revealing all nuclear-related activities. As the international community knows, this is not the first time that Iran has concealed information about its nuclear program. Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power that meets the energy needs of its people. But the size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program. Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow -- endangering the global non-proliferation regime, denying its own people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world.

It is time for Iran to act immediately to restore the confidence of the international community by fulfilling its international obligations. We remain committed to serious, meaningful engagement with Iran to address the nuclear issue through the P5-plus-1 negotiations. Through this dialogue, we are committed to demonstrating that international law is not an empty promise; that obligations must be kept; and that treaties will be enforced.

And that's why there's a sense of urgency about the upcoming meeting on October 1st between Iran, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and Germany. At that meeting, Iran must be prepared to cooperate fully and comprehensively with the IAEA to take concrete steps to create confidence and transparency in its nuclear program and to demonstrate that it is committed to establishing its peaceful intentions through meaningful dialogue and concrete actions.

To put it simply: Iran must comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and make clear it is willing to meet its responsibilities as a member of the community of nations. We have offered Iran a clear path toward greater international integration if it lives up to its obligations, and that offer stands. But the Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law.

I should point out that although the United Kingdom, France, and the United States made the presentation to Vienna, that Germany, a member of the P5-plus-1, and Chancellor Merkel in particular, who could not be here this morning, wished to associate herself with these remarks.

I would now like to turn to President Sarkozy of France for a brief statement.

PRESIDENT SARKOZY: (As translated.) Ladies and gentlemen, we have met yesterday for a meeting -- a summit meeting of the Security Council on disarmament and nuclear disarmament. I repeated my conviction that Iran was taking the international community on a dangerous path. I have recalled all the attempts that we have made to offer a negotiated solution to the Iranian leaders without any success, which what has been revealed today is exceptional. Following the enriching plant of Natanz in 2002, it is now the Qom one which is revealed. It was designed and built over the past several years in direct violation of resolutions from the Security Council and from the IAEA. I am expecting from the IAEA an exhaustive, strict, and rigorous investigation, as President Obama just said.

We were already in a very severe confidence crisis. We are now faced with a challenge, a challenge made to the entire international communities. The six will meet with the Iranian representatives in Geneva. Everything -- everything must be put on the table now.

We cannot let the Iranian leaders gain time while the motors are running. If by December there is not an in-depth change by the Iranian leaders, sanctions will have to be taken. This is for the peace and stability. Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER BROWN: America, the United Kingdom, and France are at one. Iran's nuclear program is the most urgent proliferation challenge that the world faces today.

As President Obama and President Sarkozy have just said, the level of deception by the Iranian government, and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments, will shock and anger the whole international community, and it will harden our resolve.

Confronted by the serial deception of many years, the international community has no choice today but to draw a line in the sand. On October the 1st, Iran must now engage with the international community and join the international community as a partner. If it does not do so, it will be further isolated.

And I say on behalf of the United Kingdom today, we will not let this matter rest. And we are prepared to implement further and more stringent sanctions.

Let the message that goes out to the world be absolutely clear: that Iran must abandon any military ambitions for its nuclear program. Thank you.

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B.  Iran

China Urges Calm Over Iran Nuclear Talks
Gillian Wong
Taiwan News
(for personal use only)

”China said Tuesday the latest uproar over Iran's nuclear program had to be settled through negotiations, but refused to tip its hand on its stance ahead of talks in Geneva later this week.
Diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany will meet Iran's top nuclear negotiator on Thursday, with President Barack Obama's administration planning to push for new sanctions against Tehran.

"We hope relevant countries can make efforts for the relaxation of the situation instead of doing things on the contrary," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news conference.

"We support the maintenance of the international nonproliferation regime and uphold the proper handling of the issue through negotiations," she said.

Thursday's meeting comes after Iran conducted three rounds of missile tests in drills that began Sunday, two days after the U.S. and its allies disclosed the country had been secretly developing an underground uranium enrichment facility. The Western powers warned Iran must open the site to international inspection or face harsher international sanctions.

Jiang would not go into details of China's expectations of the Geneva meeting except to say Beijing hoped for "positive results." Jiang said the Chinese delegation will be headed by Beijing's arms control chief, Cheng Jingye.

Previous meetings _ the last in July 2008 _ have not made progress and the officials said they did not think Thursday's talks in Geneva would produce any significant developments on the nuclear front. Officials have said they expect Iran to raise a broad range of global political concerns while the other participants focused on Iran's nuclear program.

The planned new U.S. sanctions against Iran would target its energy, financial and telecommunications sectors if it does not comply with international demands to come clean about its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials.

Iran repeatedly has denied it wants the bomb and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

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Iran Confident as It Prepares for Nuclear Talks
Middle East Online
(for personal use only)

”A confident Iran starts potentially make-or-break nuclear talks Thursday with six world powers.

Iran discloses to the UN nuclear watchdog on September 21 that it is building a new uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili meets representatives from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States to discuss the nuclear issue. Tehran risks tougher sanctions if the negotiations fail.

Earlier this month Iran presented a new package of proposals to the six powers which it wants to be the basis of the talks on October 1.

The package, it says, aims to address the issue of global nuclear disarmament and does not mention its own atomic programme, including the sensitive uranium enrichment drive.

Iran wants comprehensive talks on a wide range of issues and says it has a lot to offer in terms of security in a volatile region, where US-led forces are involved in wars in Iran's neighbours, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Tehran has underscored that its nuclear "rights" -- uranium enrichment which the UN Security Council wants suspended -- are not negotiable.

"We will not accept any new conditions in the nuclear issue," said Alaeddin Borujerdi, head of parliament's national security and foreign policy commission on Monday.

He also warned against the "propaganda" by pro-Israeli powers over Tehran's disclosure of the new enrichment facility.

"If this ... is effective, the talks will fail and these countries will be back to square one," the conservative lawmaker said.

Iran says it has a right to uranium enrichment, which makes nuclear fuel, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Washington, which has been spearheading international efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear drive, has already expressed dissatisfaction with the proposals but Moscow, which has the closest ties with Iran among the six, said they offered something to talk about.

However, in a major policy shift Russia said earlier this month that Iran could face crippling sanctions if it fails to make concessions in talks.

The United States and its regional ally Israel have threaded Iran with military strikes.

Iran has hit back by vowing a crushing response to attackers on its nuclear sites and has previously threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major passageway for oil, as it regularly flexes military muscles and conducts missile tests.

Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said atomic installations in the country faced "threats every day" and that Tehran "had to take measures to disperse" their locations.

But he vowed that Iran would stick to enrichment up to the five percent level -- much lower than bomb-grade requirement.

In Geneva, Iran is reportedly going to ask world powers the go-ahead to import uranium enriched to 20 percent to use in a research reactor.

China on Tuesday called for restraint over Iran.

"We hope relevant countries can do more things that are conducive to relaxing the situation and positively resolving it rather than to the contrary," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

China has consistently opposed tough action against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.

The United States sought to pile pressure on Iran Monday.

"This is an important day, and an important week for the Iranians, they have decisions to make," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, in the run-up to Thursday's meeting in Geneva between world powers and Iran.

"They can... agree to immediate, unfettered access. I think that would be the least that they can do," Gibbs said.

"I don't believe that there's ever been as broad and as deep a consensus about addressing the concerns that we have right now."

No date has yet been fixed for UN inspectors to visit a new site where Iran has admitted to building a second uranium enrichment plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.

"There's no date yet," a spokesman for the atomic watchdog said.

Iran insists it has the right to develop nuclear technology, which it says is aimed at generating energy for its growing population.

Although Iran has oil, it is still dependent on petrol imports to meet about 40 percent of domestic consumption.

Israel is the only country in the Middle Ease that actually has nuclear weapons.

Observers say due the strong Jewish and pro-Israel lobbies in the US and some European countries, these countries have taken a hypocritical stance in relation to nuclear issues in the region.

Tehran had repeatedly protested against Israeli and US war threats, warning them that it would retaliate in the event of any strike against Iran.

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Iran Says Won't Discuss Nuclear "Rights" in Geneva
The Star
(for personal use only)

”Iran will not discuss issues related to its nuclear "rights" at its meeting with six world powers in Geneva on Thursday, its nuclear energy agency chief said on Tuesday.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, made clear this included a newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant which has drawn Western condemnation.

"We are not going to discuss anything related to our nuclear rights, but we can discuss about disarmament, we can discuss about non-proliferation and other general issues," Salehi told reporters. "The new site is part of our rights and there is no need to discuss (it)," he said, adding Tehran would not abandon its nuclear activities "even for a second".

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Iran Warns West Against "Past Mistakes"
Parisa Hafezi and Fredrik Dahl
(for personal use only)

”Iran said on Tuesday it would refuse to discuss a newly declared nuclear plant at forthcoming international talks and cautioned Western powers it could curb cooperation further if they repeated "past mistakes."

An Iranian MP suggested parliament might seek withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if Thursday's Geneva talks with major powers fail and "if the Zionists and America continue their pressure on Iran" -- a reference to policies including economic sanctions.

Washington has suggested possible new sanctions on banking and the oil and gas industry if Tehran fails to assuage Western fears it seeks nuclear weapons. U.S. officials believe sanctions could now have more effect, playing on leadership divisions evident since a disputed presidential poll.

Comments by Western and Iranian officials suggested little optimism ahead of the Thursday's rare meeting of the P5+1 -- permanent U.N. Security Council members China, Britain, France, the United Sates and Russia, as well as Germany -- with Iran.

"My expectation, or my hope, is that we will be able to get...the guarantees from Tehran, that the program in which they are engaged in is a peaceful program," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told reporters in Gothenburg, Sweden.

"I don't think it will be easy to ask for, but we will continue to engage."

Last week's news of a second uranium enrichment plant, under construction south of Tehran, added urgency to the Geneva talks. Uranium in less refined form can be used for power generation but in a more highly refined state is used in nuclear bombs.

Statements from Tehran on Tuesday allowed some ambiguity on Iran's readiness to talk.

"The site, we can call it a small Natanz site, is a way to show that Iran ... not even for a second will stop its nuclear activities," Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi said, referring to its existing underground plant near the central city of Natanz.

He described the new facility as a "contingency plant" in case the Natanz site was threatened by military action.

Washington has not ruled out military action if it believed Tehran was close to developing a nuclear weapons but says it favors diplomatic action.

Salehi said Iran, which denies any plans for atomic weapons, would not discuss its basic right to develop nuclear energy.

"But we can discuss about disarmament, we can discuss about non-proliferation and other general issues," he said. "The new site is part of our rights and there is no need to discuss."

Iranian state Press TV quoted Salehi as saying on Monday Tehran was in contact with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over a date for inspection of the plant.

Iran's IRNA news agency quoted MP Mohammad Karamirad, a conservative and member of parliament's foreign policy and national security commission, as saying Iran could close the door completely to cooperation with world nuclear authorities.

"If the Zionists and America continue their pressure on Iran and if the not reach a conclusion, then parliament will take a clear and transparent position, such as Iran's withdrawal from the NPT," he said.

Iranian missile tests on Sunday and Monday added to tension with Western powers, who fear a hardline leadership in the Islamic Republic could ultimately use a threat of nuclear attack to pursue its political ends in the Middle East and beyond.

Russia, though cautious on sanctions, has expressed concern about Iranian missile launches and about Tehran's nuclear program. President Dmitry Medvedev has said "other means" could be employed if Geneva talks failed.

But Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying missile tests should not be used as an additional argument for imposing sanctions on Tehran.

The Geneva meeting is the first such encounter since the June re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stirred mass protests in Tehran and signs of division in the leadership over accusations of vote fixing. It is also the first since President Barack Obama took office, seeking to revive contacts.

Ahmadinejad press adviser Ali Akbar Javanfekr said it was for the West, not Iran, to prove its honesty in Geneva.

"After these talks the ball will be in the West's, and especially America's, court," he said.

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Despite Scheduled Meeting, Iran Test Fires Nuclear Missiles
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
(for personal use only)

”Iran test-fired missiles on Monday which a commander said could reach any regional target, flexing its military muscle before crucial talks this week with major powers worried about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The missile drills of the elite Revolutionary Guards coincide with escalating tension in Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, after last week's disclosure by Tehran that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.

News of the nuclear fuel facility south of Tehran added urgency to the rare meeting in Geneva on Thursday between Iranian officials and representatives of six major powers, including the United States, China and Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who says any military action against Iran would only "buy time" and stresses the need for diplomacy, mentioned possible new sanctions on banking and equipment and technology for Iran's oil and gas industry.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said there was no link between the missile maneuvers and the nuclear activities.

"This is a military drill which is deterrent in nature," spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference broadcast by English-language Press TV. "There is no connection whatsoever with the nuclear program."

Press TV said the Shahab 3, a surface-to-surface missile with a range of up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles), was "successfully" test-fired on the second day of an exercise that began on Sunday, when short and medium-range missiles were launched.

Such a range would put Israel and U.S. bases in the region within striking distance. Television footage of the launches showed missiles soaring into the sky in desert-like terrain, to shouts of "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest).

"All targets within the region, no matter where they are, will be within the range of these missiles," said General Hossein Salami, commander of the Guards' air force.

Salami said the exercise was over and had achieved its goals. "All the test-fired missiles managed to hit their targets without any errors and with precision," the forces website quoted him as saying.

The tests sparked swift international condemnation.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the missile test was "part of an annual provocation" by Iran and should not distract from the pending Geneva talks.

"On Thursday (Iran will) need to ... show that they are serious about ensuring that their civilian nuclear power program does not leak into a military program," Miliband told Britain's Sky News.

European Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, who will head the Western delegation in the Geneva talks, said "everything that is done in that context is a concern."

He said the aim of Thursday's talks was "engagement."

When asked what sanctions Iran should face if it failed to comply with Western demands over its nuclear program, Solana said "now is not the time to talk about that."

France called on Iran "to choose the path of cooperation and not that of confrontation by immediately ending these profoundly destabilizing activities and by immediately responding to the requests of the international community in order to reach a negotiated solution on the nuclear dossier."

The United States and its Western allies have made it clear that they will focus on Iran's nuclear program at the Geneva meeting. Iran has offered wide-ranging security talks, but says it will not discuss its nuclear "rights."

Washington, which suspects Iran is trying to develop nuclear bomb capability, has previously expressed concern about Tehran's missile program. Iran, a major oil producer, says its nuclear work is solely for generating peaceful electricity.

The Pentagon chief told CNN he hoped the disclosure of the second facility would force Tehran to make concessions. "The Iranians are in a very bad spot now because of this deception, in terms of all of the great powers," Gates said.

"There obviously is the opportunity for severe additional sanctions. I think we have the time to make that work."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran must present "convincing evidence" at the Geneva meeting.

"We are going to put them to the test on Oct. 1," Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation." "They can open their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for."

Both interviews were taped before Iran started the two-day missile exercise, designed to show it is prepared to head off military attacks by foes like Israel or the United States.

Iran's state broadcaster IRIB said "upgraded" versions of Shahab 3 and another missile, Sejil, had been tested. Officials had earlier said Sejil has a range of close to 2,000 km (1,250 miles). They were powered by solid fuel, IRIB said.

Neither the United States nor its ally Israel have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear row.

Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for world oil supplies.

Iran's defense minister warned Israel on Monday against launching any attack on the Islamic Republic, saying it would only speed up the Jewish state's own demise.

"If this happens, which of course we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be that it expedites the Zionist regime's last breath," Ahmad Vahidi said on state television.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday the discovery of a secret nuclear plant in Iran showed a "disturbing pattern" of evasion by Tehran. He warned Iran on Friday it would face "sanctions that bite" unless it came clean.

Iran has rejected Western accusations that the plant was meant to be secret because it did not inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog as soon as plans were drawn up, saying the facility near the holy city of Qom is legal and can be inspected.

"Nothing has been illegal. It has been absolutely based on law," said the Foreign Ministry's Qashqavi. "All activities are transparent ... we are prepared to clarify other aspects."

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the BBC he had had a couple of meetings with IAEA inspectors and it was agreed they would be given access to the site "in the near future." He gave no date.

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China, Japan, South Korea Vow Deeper Cooperation on Nuclear Disarmament
Daily Times
(for personal use only)

”Foreign ministers from China, Japan and South Korea on Monday pledged to deepen cooperation on non-proliferation and disarmament, as pressure grew on Pyongyang over its nuclear programme.

The three ministers, who met in Shanghai to prepare for an October 10 leaders’ summit in Beijing, did not specifically refer to efforts to end North Korea’s nuclear drive in a joint statement, read by China’s Yang Jiechi. But their meeting coincided with the news that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao would travel to Pyongyang next week and officials made it clear the issue was on the agenda for Yang, Japan’s Katsuya Okada and South Korea’s Yu Myung-Hwan.

Japanese foreign ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama said before the talks that the three countries needed to “deliver a strong message” to North Korea that it must return to stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. “Unfortunately, (Pyongyang) hasn’t responded in any way to our requests, so if we are going to have a dialogue, we have to send a consistent message, we think that is the most important thing,” Kodama said.

The October summit in Beijing is likely to bring together new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and Wen, who would have the opportunity to brief the others on his Pyongyang trip. It would be only the second three-way summit ever and would mark Hatoyama’s first visit to China since taking office earlier this month.

Leaders of the three nations, which accounted for 16 percent of global GDP last year, held their first trilateral summit in December last year in Japan, when Taro Aso was the Japanese premier. China, Japan and South Korea are parties - along with North Korea, Russia and the United States - to the stalled six-way talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament.

North Korea quit the talks in April after the United Nations censured its long-range rocket test, and Pyongyang was further angered when the world body imposed tougher sanctions after its nuclear test in May. But earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il told a top Chinese envoy visiting Pyongyang that he was willing to engage in bilateral and multilateral talks on the nuclear issue.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said Wen would travel to Pyongyang from October 4-6 to “meet with North Korean leaders and exchange views on developing China-North Korea relations as well as issues of common interest.” She gave no other details about the rare trip to the North by a Chinese leader. However, quoting diplomatic sources in Beijing, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Kim was expected to make an “important announcement” during Wen’s visit - perhaps stating his willingness to give up nuclear weapons.

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North Korea Promises UN to Combat Nuclear Proliferation
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”North Korea's atomic weapons were for deterrent purposes only and will be handled "in a responsible manner" to ensure there was no nuclear proliferation, a senior official said on Monday.

But in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon said the Korean peninsula could only be denuclearized if the United States abandoned a policy of "confrontation" with Pyongyang.

Pak's speech came less than four weeks after the isolated communist state said it was in the final stage of enriching uranium, a process that would give it a second path to making a nuclear weapon. Hitherto it has mostly used plutonium.

In May, North Korea conducted a second nuclear test. Before that, U.S. officials said it had produced about 50 kg (110 pounds) of plutonium, which experts say would be enough for six to eight weapons.

North Korea has not shown, however, that it has a working nuclear bomb.

Charging that Washington had made nuclear threats against North Korea, Pak said Pyongyang had concluded it had no choice but to "rely on our dependable nuclear possession to ensure nuclear balance of the region."

But, he said, "The mission of our nuclear weapon is to deter a war. We will only possess nuclear deterrent to such an extent as to deter military attack and its threat against our country."

North Korea, he said, "while in possession of nuclear weapons, will act in a responsible manner in management, use and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as in nuclear disarmament."

North Korea joined the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1985 but left in 2003 after the United States confronted it with evidence Washington said pointed to a covert uranium enrichment program. The United States suspects the impoverished North has sought to sell its nuclear know-how abroad.

Pak said Pyongyang had always sought denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but for that, "the U.S. administration must discard (its) old concept of confrontation and show the 'change' in practice, as it recently stated on several occasions."

The minister said it was North Korea's policy to react to dialogue with dialogue but he made no direct reference to nuclear talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, which halted about a year ago.

China said on Monday its prime minister, Wen Jiabao, would visit North Korea next week, raising speculation the trip could help revive the stalled talks.

Pak launched a stinging attack on the U.N. Security Council, which approved expanded sanctions in June against North Korea after its nuclear test. He said the 15-nation body had "become more arrogant, resulting in further inequality and prevalent double standards in international relations."

Pak proposed that Security Council decisions should be submitted to the 192-nation General Assembly for approval.

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North Korea Warns U.S. Against Sanctions Over Nuclear Program
RIA Novosti
(for personal use only)

”North Korea will increase its nuclear deterrence forces if the U.S. threatens it with new sanctions, the country's deputy foreign minister told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

"North Korea's position is to react to dialogue with a dialogue and to respond to sanctions by boosting nuclear deterrence. If the U.S. approaches the dialog from the position of sanctions, we would also take part in the dialog with boosted nuclear deterrence forces," Pak Kil Yon said.

He added that in order to "denuclearize the Korean Peninsula" the U.S. must "discard the old concept of confrontation and show the 'change' in practice."

Pak added that his country would "act in a responsible manner in management, use and non-proliferation" of nuclear weapons.

"The task of our weapons is to deter a war. We will only possess the nuclear deterrent to an extent, which is necessary to deter any military attack or a threat of such an attack to our country," he said.

North Korea quit international talks and announced the restart of its nuclear program after the UN Security Council condemned its April 5 long-range missile launch. The Security Council imposed tougher sanctions on the North after it conducted its second nuclear test in May.

Speaking to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly last Wednesday, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak urged the North to abandon its nuclear program. He also reiterated that the South would offer economic and political incentives for the North to scrap the program.

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D.  Pakistan

Resolution for Nuclear Disarmament Welcomed
(for personal use only)

”Pakistan has described as a significant step the UN Security Council resolution that seeks to rid the planet of nuclear weapons.

Talking to Voice of America, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said Pakistan always supported efforts meant for global peace and stability and had adopted a balanced and principled approach on disarmament.

He said Pakistan’s stance was that every country had right to take measures for its security and it was imperative to meet international obligations in this regard.

He said Pakistan did not want any arms race in the region.

The spokesman pointed out that Pakistan had a comprehensive approach of restraint regime based on three points: nuclear restraint in the light of Pakistan-India situation, conventional imbalances should be corrected and disputes, including that on Kashmir, should be resolved so that the risk of arms race could be minimised.

He said Pakistan had suggested that a regional CTBT should be concluded at the S. Asian level, if it could not be implemented at the world level. He said Pakistan welcomed efforts for non-proliferation and disarmament.

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E.  India

Listen to India’s Voice on Nuclear Disarmament: ElBaradei
Thaindian News
(for personal use only)

”Hailing India as a “leading advocate” for nuclear disarmament, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammad ElBaradei Tuesday asked the world to listen to its “voice” on eliminating nuclear weapons.

“India called for the elimination of all nuclear weapons as far back as 1948. It is important that India’s voice should continue to be heard as a leading advocate for nuclear disarmament,” he said at an international conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy here.

ElBaradei called for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in security doctrines of countries. “We have to start laying the groundwork for a global security system that does not depend on nuclear weapons,” he said.

It has to be a system built on human solidarity and equity; a system based on cooperation and not confrontation; on inclusion and not exclusion, ElBaradei stressed.

Alluding to then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 1988 plan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday rooted for “universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory” nuclear disarmament and reiterated India’s commitment to prevent the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction.

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Experts Say Yes to CTBT, No to NPT
Seema Guha
(for personal use only)

”Shyam Saran, former foreign secretary and prime minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy on climate change, told reporters in Pittsburg on Friday that India will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state.

Does this mean that if the nuclear five - the US, China, Russia, the UK and France -- are ready to accommodate India, New Delhi will sign the NPT? Saran's words can only be interpreted as India refusing to come on board as a non-nuclear weapon state.

Many in the Indian political establishment say there is no reason not to sign the NPT if we are given the same status as the five in the exclusive nuclear club.

Another former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh said: "We should sign the NPT as a nuclear weapon state, there is no problem if we are given that status.''

However, it is unlikely that New Delhi will be allowed that. No exclusive club likes to extend the charmed circle. If India comes in, what happens to Pakistan which is also nuclear-capable?

"India should take a principled position and not sign the NPT even if by chance it is accommodated. It will be hypocrisy. We should not go on board whatever the circumstance," a senior government official said.

Analyst G Parthasarathy had a different take on the UNSC resolution adopted in New York on Thursday. "UN resolutions which are non-biding and do not come under chapter 7 of the UNSC regulations, may sound great on paper but are of little value. These cannot be enforced."

External affairs minister SM Krishna said in New York on Friday that India had taken a "principled" stand on CTBT and there was no scope for a change, unless a number of other "developments" took place. He did not

Despite the government's stand that it will not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), chances are it may change its view in the long run. Much will depend on how the Obama administration's efforts to get it ratified in the US Congress pan out. Once the US Congress ratifies it, China will follow suit and the pressure on India will increase.

"If the rest of the world does so, India will also have to come around. India cannot be seen to defy the spirit of the age," analyst Salman Haider said.

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China, Others Could Help Test Ban's US Chances
Charles J. Hanley
Taiwan News
(for personal use only)

”By ratifying the nuclear test-ban treaty, such key countries as China and Indonesia would build pressure on the U.S. Senate to do the same, treaty advocates said Friday at a U.N. conference promoting the pact.

”This is going to be a tough fight. It's tough to get 67 Senate votes on anything," said Jessica Mathews of Washington's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, leader of an alliance of 40 arms-control organizations and campaigners that issued a joint statement to the two-day session as it wrapped up.

President Barack Obama says his administration will push for U.S. ratification of the 1996 pact, which would ban all nuclear tests everywhere but which has been in diplomatic limbo since a Republican-dominated Senate rejected it in 1999. The Senate, now Democrat-led, is expected to bring it to a vote next year.

The treaty, the CTBT, requires ratification by 44 states with nuclear weapons or technology before it can take effect. All but nine of those have ratified, along with the governing bodies of 115 other nations.

Besides the U.S., the holdouts among the 44 are China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan. Meanwhile, the U.S. and four other original nuclear powers _ Russia, Britain, France and China _ have observed weapon-testing moratoriums.

The "entry into force" conference, which drew foreign ministers or other envoys from more than 100 countries, is held every two years to encourage additional ratifications.

Indonesia has announced it will wait for U.S. ratification before acting on the pact itself, and China is believed also to be waiting on Washington.

The largely U.S.-British advocacy coalition advised quicker action.

"Washington's renewed pursuit of CTBT ratification opens up opportunities for China and other (requisite) states _ such as Indonesia _ to lead the way toward entry into force by ratifying before the United States does," the group told the conference. "Action by Beijing would increase its credibility as a nonproliferation leader."

Tibor Toth, head of the Vienna-based agency overseeing treaty implementation, also called for such early ratifications.

"No one should wait on the other eight countries, but move forward," Toth told reporters.

Toth noted that non-ratifiers China, Egypt, Israel and Indonesia spoke at this week's conference, and tacitly endorsed ratification by not objecting to the conference's consensus final declaration, which said the CTBT's entry into force is "more urgent today than ever before."

"This is quite important," Toth said. "The symbolism is good symbolism."

"There is a very strong case for China, for Indonesia, for any other of the eight to act in advance," Mathews told reporters. "Any movement among the eight would help U.S. ratification, no doubt."

Senate CTBT opponents in 1999 objected that the U.S. might need to test its weapons to ensure the reliability of its nuclear stockpile, and contended that a planned International Monitoring System underpinning the treaty might fail to detect secret tests by nuclear cheaters.

Treaty supporters point out that 10 years later the treaty monitoring system is not simply a blueprint, but a working, $1-billion network of high-tech stations on alert for secret nuclear tests.

Experts of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences are studying the effectiveness of the verification system, along with the reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without testing, and will report their findings this winter. Advocates hope that report will help win the handful of Republican votes needed to achieve the required two-thirds in the Senate.

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Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Nigerian Ambassador Charges Signatories
Abiodun Oluwarotimi
Leadership Nigeria
(for personal use only)

”Nigerian Ambassador and Deputy Representative of the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations has charged the signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to underscore a commitment to higher principled position for the elimination of all forms of nuclear testing.

Speaking at the 6th conference of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty in New York yesterday, Ambassador Bukun-Olu Onemola said that Nigeria supported the goals of the treaty whose intention was the enforcement of a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests, with all the ramifications.

He further said that the development of one aspect of nuclear material and other nuclear weapons was not an end, but a means to the development of more sophisticated types, adding that the challenge must generally be resisted.

The ambassador disclosed that the year 2009, like no other, had brought nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation to prominence and delicate issue in the international political discourse.

"It has also reflected in overwhelming outpouring of support for the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

The doubts that persisted for many years have waned, and the entry into force of the treaty has become increasingly realisable.

As States Signatories, we must not wait but seize the momentum," he pointed out.

Onemola pressed further that the achievement of a nuclear disarmament required tremendous political will, noting that commitment of Weapons States at the 1995 and 2000 Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference was duly recognised.

He, therefore, urged a continued commitment and support to pave way for early entry into force of the Treaty after making it known that the Nigerian delegation to the conference attached great importance to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as a sin qua non to international peace and security.

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China Supports Early Entry Into Force of CTBT, FM Says
China View
(for personal use only)

“Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Thursday that China supports the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and will continue to work with the international society towards this end.

In a written speech to the sixth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT opened here at the UN headquarters in New York, Yang said the early entry into force of the treaty is of realistic significance to promote nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, as well as safeguard international peace and security.

Yang said China has always supported the early entry into force of the CTBT and will continue to honor its moratorium commitment on nuclear testing.

As one of the first countries to sign the treaty, China will goon cooperating with the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization to conduct relevant preparatory activities, the foreign minister said.

The treaty, which was adopted in New York on Sept. 10, 1996, constrains the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons. It also provides for the establishment of a global verification system to monitor compliance with the treaty's provisions.

It becomes operational 180 days after 44 states, whose ratification is required under Annex II of the text, have ratified it. To date, 181 states have signed it and 150, including 35 of the Annex II States, have ratified it.

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G.  Nuclear Energy

Meet on Nuclear Energy Today
The Hindu
(for personal use only)

“The world’s major players in nuclear energy have arrived here for the first major international conference on Tuesday.

The meet will discuss the peaceful use of atomic energy after a gap of over three decades.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the three-day conference and a major highlight will be the address by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.

The audience will comprise executives from the world’s top nuclear power companies and chiefs of state nuclear corporations and regulators besides leading scientists and academicians.

The conference is being organised as part of the centenary celebrations in memory of Homi Baba, the founder and architect of the Indian atomic energy programme.

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President Calls for Peaceful Use of Nuclear Technology
Uganda Media Centre
(for personal use only)

“The Security Council today affirmed its commitment to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and established a broad framework for reducing global nuclear dangers, in an historic summit-level meeting chaired by United States President Barack Obama.

Today’s meeting – the fifth in the Council’s history to be held at the level of heads of State and government – began with the unanimous adoption of a resolution by which the 15-member body voiced grave concern about the threat of nuclear proliferation and the need for global action to combat it.

“Although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches,” said Obama, the first US President to preside over a Security Council meeting.

“Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city – be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris – could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And it would badly destabilize our security, our economies, and our very way of life.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the resolution, adding that the summit was an historic event that has opened a new chapter in the Council’s efforts to address nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Stressing that “nuclear disarmament is the only sane path to a safer world,” Mr. Ban said in his opening remarks that “nothing would work better in eliminating the risk of use than eliminating the weapons themselves.”

During his address to the Security Council, President Yoweri Museveni called for peaceful use of nuclear technology for Africa saying it is the best alternative to cheap electricity if it is to push its development agenda forward.

President Museveni commended President Barrack Obama for chairing the session and commended the USA on its position on nuclear power.

“I want to thank President Barack Obama for convening this meeting of the Security Council to discuss the issues of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. The holding of this meeting at this level attests to the importance the Council and the international community attach to creating a more secure and peaceful world,” he said

The president hailed the decision by the US on disarmament saying as long as some countries have nuclear weapons, there will be others who aspire to get them as a deterrent measure.

“This, no doubt, leads to an arms race that increases the potential of proliferation.
Action leades to reaction and counter reaction. The nuclear weapons, themselves, were borne out of the unholy contest for world domination of man by man in the Second World War. Germany was trying to get these weapons. The USA got the nuclear bomb first and used it against Japan. The chain reaction then started. The Soviet Union developed the bomb in 1949, China developed theirs in 1965, India, Pakistan, France, the United Kingdom, etc. followed suit. The action and reaction in the field of these dangerous weapons should stop if we want a stable world,”

The president who gave a brief background of the dire need for electricity in Africa said there was not enough resources to provide enough electricity in Africa even if all its natural resources where harnessed.

He said It is important that peaceful use of nuclear technology for development purposes by non-nuclear states be supported. Non-nuclear states should be able to harness nuclear technology for a wide range of civilian uses.

In Uganda, like on any other corner of the globe, every aspect of human development such as health, education, agriculture, industry and infrastructure depends on reliable access to energy. However, energy production in Uganda and Africa in general is unacceptably low. Although not yet exploited, the total hydropower potential on all the African rivers is about 300,000 megawatts. This potential is not enough to address the electricity needs of the 1.3 billion Africans by 2020 even if all of it is developed.

“By comparison, the USA – with a population of only 316 million people – had installed electricity capacity of 1,021,000 megawatts in 2007, as opposed to Africa with a population of one billion people and an installed capacity of only 123,000 megawatts. Those numbers translate into a per capita consumption of electricity of 14,124 kWh for USA and 547 kWh for Africa. Unless you scientifically prove that Africans do not need electricity, it is clear that all sources of energy will have to be used including nuclear energy. Some people talk of solar energy; yet it is still expensive at 30-40 American cents per kWh compared to nuclear energy at 5-8 American cents per kWh,” he said.

President Museveni said the use of nuclear technologies in developing countries, especially in Africa to overcome the present power crisis can contribute to the continent’s economic and social development. “We support the use of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes and support the need for states to conduct all activities for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in compliance with the non-proliferation regime,” he said.

In resolution 1887, the Council called on countries to sign and ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)), and created additional deterrence for withdrawal from the treaty. In addition, the Council called on all States to refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby bringing it into force as soon as possible.

Russia’s President said his country continues to reduce nuclear arms “way ahead of schedule,” adding that all of its nuclear weapons are “located on its national territory and under reliable protection.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev highlighted the “unprecedented” reductions of strategic nuclear arsenals by Russia and the US.

‘Removing the threat of nuclear war is vital to realizing a safer world for all”, China’s President Hu Jintao, told the Council, while acknowledging that nuclear disarmament remains a “long and arduous” task.

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H.  Links of Interest

GeoEye Spots Iranian Nuclear Site
Stephen Shankland
(for personal use only)

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MI6: Saudis Will Let Israel Bomb Iran Nuclear Site
Jason Ditz
(for personal use only)

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Mathews Delivers NGO Statement at CTBT Conference
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
(for personal use only)

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DISCLAIMER: Nuclear News is presented for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to visit the websites from which the source material originates. Views presented in any given article are those of the individual author or source and not of Partnership for Global Security. Partnership for Global Security takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained in any article presented in Nuclear News.

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