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Nuclear News - 7/22/2010
PGS Nuclear News, July 22, 2010
Compiled By: Brandi Bohannon


A.  Iran
    1. EU to Announce Iran Sanctions , Gulf News (7/22/2010)
    2. Iran Slams US Breach of Swap Statement , Press TV (7/22/2010)
    3. Merkel - Iran Not Working Seriously With IAEA , Reuters (7/21/2010)
    4. New sanctions Have No Effect on Iran , PressTV (7/21/2010)
    5. Iran's Parliament Adopts Bill Against Inspections , Associated Press (7/20/2010)
B.  DPRK
    1. North Korea Anger at US-South Korea War Games, BBC News (7/22/2010)
    2. Myanmar Nuclear Weapon Program Claims Supported by Photos, Peter S. Green, Bloomberg (7/21/2010)
    3. U.S. Wants Transparency from Myanmar after Reports of Nuclear Arms Program , Bloomberg (7/21/2010)
    4. US Announces New Sanctions Against North Korea , Matthew Lee, Associated Press (7/21/2010)
    5. U.S. To Send Stern Message to North Korea , Phil Stewart, Reuters (7/18/2010)
C.  Nuclear Cooperation
    1. US Prepares for Civil Nuclear Deal With Pakistan , Pakistan Patriot  (7/22/2010)
D.  Nuclear Energy
    1. Turkey's Main Opposition to Appeal Nuclear Power Plant Bill , Todays Zaman (7/22/2010)
    2. Vietnam Official: To Sign Nuclear Plant Contract with Rosatom, NASDAQ (7/22/2010)
E.  Links of Interest
    1. Factbox: Nuclear Power Plans in the Gulf and Beyond , Reuters (7/22/2010)
    2. Preventing the Iranian Nuclear Crisis from Escalating , Pierre Goldschmidt, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (7/8/2010)



A.  Iran

1.
EU to Announce Iran Sanctions
Gulf News
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)


The European Union is expected to impose a new wave of sanctions on Iran next week in the wake of UN and unilateral US sanctions.

The sanctions target nearly 75 companies and banks and practically ban all European investments in the Iranian economy.

However, analysts say the toughest sanctions on Iran yet in response to its controversial nuclear programme do not amount to an embargo.

“They are certainly the toughest sanctions, but at the same time, they will not by any stretch of imagination bring the [Iranian] economy to a standstill,” said David Butter, Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“Clearly, Iran is still free to export as much oil as it wants. It has had to adapt its import practices anyway for some time. It has to make more adjustments in the time to come. But this is still not a blanket embargo on the Iranian economy,” Butter told Gulf News.

Strictures

The European sanctions expected to be announced on Monday include strictures against 41 Iranian officials, and about 75 corporate entities, according to a draft published in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Sharq Al Awsat yesterday.

Also, the sanctions aim to stop European investments in Iran’s oil and gas sector, as well as scrutinise the monitoring procedures on Iranian planes, ships and bank branches in European cities, as well as money transfers.

Any money transfer over 35,000 euros will require government approval, the published draft noted. Also, it said that the 27 EU members will not allow more Iranian banks to open branches in any of their cities.

While analysts believe Iran will continue to export its oil to “the same people it was exporting to before”, Butter noted that “there have been no significant US or European investments in Iran anyway for about the past five years”.

Iran produces 3.7 million barrels per day of oil and is the second largest oil producer in Opec after Saudi Arabia. However, Tehran relies on imports of up to 40 per cent of its gasoline needs as it lacks the refining capacity to meet domestic consumption.

The imported amount is likely to be reduced by nearly 75 per cent in the next few years as Iran is expected to expand its refining capacity, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency.

Fuel imports

Iran’s gasoline imports will shrink to 100,000 barrels a day in five years from 400,000 in 2009, the IEA said in its latest report.

But the sanctions on Iran are expected to affect Iran’s future investment plans, according to experts.

“The process will be accumulative,” Butter said. “Effective, yes from the point of view that it will make it more difficult for the Iranian government to continue to increase its investments in key areas, particularly in oil and gas,” he added. “But effective in terms of achieving political results, probably not in the short term, although there might be some impact in the medium to long term.”

EPA

Uncertainty

A South Pars gas processing plant in Iran’s southern port of Assaluyeh. The country’s plans to increase its refining capacity may be hit by a new wave of sanctions.

flexibility

tehran vows to cope

International sanctions against Iran are not new and it will adapt to the latest round of more severe US and European measures that specifically target the oil and gas industry, Iran’s Opec governor told Reuters.

He also said Iran was willing to be flexible about which currencies it used for oil trade following statements it was contemplating the United Arab Emirates currency for its European transactions.

“The point is the sanctions are not new. The shape is different. We can carry on,” Mohammad Ali Khatibi said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The US, which suspects Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb — something it has denied — has signed into law new sanctions that US President Obama said are the toughest yet.

Analysts have said the tougher measures would make it even more difficult for Iran to develop its dilapidated oil industry and to import refined products to make up for the country’s lack of refining capacity.

Available at: http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidGN_21072010_220753

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2.
Iran Slams US Breach of Swap Statement
Press TV
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)


Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says Tehran's declaration on a possible nuclear fuel swap deal is the only solution to the nuclear issue, adding that sanctions are sure to result in failure.

Speaking in a meeting with Speaker of Japan's House of Representatives Takahiro Yokomichi in Geneva on Wednesday, Larijani said the Tehran declaration was the product of negotiations held in Japan earlier in February.

"After those discussions, Iran made certain efforts as a result of which the Tehran declaration was issued which came as a clear sign of our positive cooperation," the Iranian speaker said.

Iran, Brazil and Turkey issued a joint nuclear fuel swap declaration on May 17, based on which Tehran agreed to exchange 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium on Turkish soil with fuel for its Tehran research reactor.

The US and its European allies snubbed the declaration and, in less than a month after its announcement by the Tehran government, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear work.

"If the Tehran declaration is fully implemented many issues will be resolved completely. The path of the resolutions will bear absolutely no fruit," Larijani cautioned.

He went on to say that the US-driven sanctions against Iran breached the nuclear fuel swap declaration and a Washington pledge to commit to any such deal.

During Larijani's earlier visit to Tokyo, Japan offered to enrich uranium for Iran seeking to allay international concerns that Iran might be pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program.

The enriched uranium would be used at Tehran's research reactor to produce medical isotopes.

Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology.

Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=135788§ionid=351020104

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3.
Merkel - Iran Not Working Seriously With IAEA
Reuters
7/21/2010
(for personal use only)


German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Iran did not seem to be working seriously to solve disagreements over its nuclear programme and she was sceptical a new round of talks would yield much.

"At the moment Iran does not seem to be working on solving the problems with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with real seriousness," Merkel told a news conference.

"We have already started many rounds of negotiations with Iran, and it will surprise no one that I am a little sceptical whether that will lead anywhere."

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBAT00561820100721

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4.
New sanctions Have No Effect on Iran
PressTV
7/21/2010
(for personal use only)


Iran's OPEC governor has outlined Tehran's plans for countering US and European sanctions, dismissing the unilateral measures as old bids in a new disguise.

"The point is the sanctions are not new. The shape is different. We can carry on," Iran's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

With the European Union poised to impose tougher sanctions against Iran, Khatibi stressed Tehran is flexible about its currency of choice for oil trade and would not be limited by new restrictions.

"I can say that we are flexible if we feel that the euro is good, also the dollar, also the dirham, the yuan, the yen. We're flexible."

"Still we are developing projects and we can expand our gas industry, refining, petrochemicals industry…We can change our industry to produce more gasoline. We are constructing some refineries," he added.

Khatibi also announced plans for the gradual reduction of fuel subsidies and hikes in the price of gasoline and other fuels "from very low levels to international levels."

"People understand this limitation is because we are engaging in something like war. There are some difficulties I know, but everybody understands that there is some difficulty," he said.

Khatibi added that the market price of USD 78 a barrel (on Wednesday) is bound to rise, noting the disastrous BP deepwater spill in the Gulf of Mexico as well as price dependency on other commodities for equipment involved in the industry.

Four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions and new unilateral measures are an integral part of efforts aimed at pressuring Iran into abandoning its civilian nuclear program, amid Israeli-led charges that Tehran is harboring a military agenda.

Iranian officials say that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) the country has the right to peaceful nuclear technology for civilian electricity generation and medical research.

Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=135722§ionid=351020103

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5.
Iran's Parliament Adopts Bill Against Inspections
Associated Press
7/20/2010
(for personal use only)


Iran's parliament authorized tit-for-tat retaliation Tuesday against countries that inspect cargo on Iranian ships and aircraft as part of new U.N. sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

A fourth Security Council sanctions resolution imposed last month calls on, but does not require, all countries to cooperate in such cargo inspections if there are "reasonable grounds" to believe the items could contribute to the Iranian nuclear program, and any inspection must receive the consent of the ship's flag state.

The parliamentary bill passed Tuesday allows Iran's government to respond in kind, with cargo inspections of its own.

The new U.N. sanctions, which also include financial penalties, were imposed because of Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology the United States and other world powers suspect Tehran is seeking to master as a possible pathway to nuclear weapons. Iran says it is only after nuclear power.

The Iranian bill also requires the government to maintain its limited level of cooperation with United Nations nuclear safeguards agreements. Iran, for example, refuses to allow surprise visits by U.N. nuclear inspectors.

The bill, which still needs approval by a constitutional watchdog, also requires the government to retaliate against nations that refuse to fuel Iranian aircraft by prohibiting their planes from fueling in Iran. Two Iranian planes recently failed to receive fuel in Hamburg airport in Germany, though the reason was unclear.

Iran's uranium enrichment program is at the center of international concerns about its nuclear work because of the possibility it could be used to make weapons. At lower levels of processing, enriched uranium is suitable for making fuel for power plants. Iran recently increased its enrichment to a level of 20 percent, which it says is needed for a medical research reactor.

That development, however, puts it much closer to being able to advance toward the 90 percent level needed in weapons production.

The bill adopted Tuesday presses the government to continue enriching uranium to 20 percent levels and to pursue self-sufficiency in nuclear fuel production.

Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iRqjZV1Meppj40hTs8IBOv4DdsQwD9H2OE600

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B.  DPRK

1.
North Korea Anger at US-South Korea War Games
BBC News
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)


The US and South Korea's plans to hold joint military exercises pose a major danger to the region, North Korea says.

Some 20 ships and submarines and 100 aircraft are to take part in four days of manoeuvres in the Sea of Japan from Sunday.

North Korea has also said new US sanctions against it will violate a UN statement issued after the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

The North Korean comments came at a regional security conference.

The Asean summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, brings together foreign ministers from the US and South East Asian nations, including China and North and South Korea.

It is set to issue a statement on Friday about the sinking of the Cheonan - with the loss of 46 lives - in March.

A multinational investigation team found the ship had been torpedoed by North Korea - a conclusion that Pyongyang rejects.

Chinese concerns

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in the Vietnamese capital for the meeting, announced the sanctions during a visit to South Korea on Wednesday.

The US-South Korean joint military exercises, which will involve about 8,000 personnel and the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, drew criticism from a member of Pyongyang's delegation in Hanoi.

"The decision to hold military drills is a major danger for the security of the region," said the official, Ri Tong-il.

He said that if Washington and Seoul were really interested in the de-nuclearisation of the peninsula, they would take the lead in creating the conditions under which the six-party talks on the North's nuclear programme could resume.

China has objected to any foreign military operations in the Yellow Sea, which is on the western side of the Korean Peninsula.

On Wednesday, China expressed "deep concern" over the plans, which the US says are purely defensive in nature.

Later exercises are set to take place in the Yellow Sea.

Ri Tong-il added that the US decision to impose new sanctions violated a statement from the UN about the sinking that was issued earlier this month.

The UN statement held back from directly blaming North Korea, but condemned the sinking as a threat to regional security.

It called for "appropriate and peaceful measures" against those responsible.

Separately, the US-led United Nations Command said there would be a second round of talks with North Korea about the incident on Friday.

New sanctions

Speaking in South Korea on Wednesday, Mrs Clinton said the new US sanctions would target Pyongyang's sale and purchase of arms and import of luxury goods, and would help prevent nuclear proliferation.

She said the measures would increase Washington's ability to "prevent North Korea's proliferation, to halt their illicit activities that help fund their weapons programmes, and to discourage further provocative actions".

The sanctions were not directed at the North Korean people but at the "misguided and malign priorities of their government", she said.

Mrs Clinton said she expected North Korea to "take certain steps that would acknowledge [its] responsibility" for the incident and to move towards denuclearisation.

"They know very well that they made commitments over the last years to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula which they have reneged on and which we expect them to once again adhere to," she told reporters.

"We are looking for irreversible denuclearisation."

Mrs Clinton and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates visited the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, in a show of support for Seoul following the sinking of the Cheonan.

North and South Korea technically remain at war because their three-year conflict ended in an armistice in 1953 and no peace treaty was signed. The US has since stationed thousands of troops in South Korea.

Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10722218

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2.
Myanmar Nuclear Weapon Program Claims Supported by Photos
Peter S. Green
Bloomberg
7/21/2010
(for personal use only)


Allegations by a Myanmar defector that the military-run country is pursuing a nuclear program are corroborated by newly available commercial satellite images, Jane’s Intelligence Review said in an article released yesterday.

The photos of buildings and security fences near the country’s capital, Naypyidaw, confirm reports by Major Sai Thein Win of machine tool factories and other facilities alleged to be part of a nascent program to build nuclear weapons, the magazine reported from London.

“They will not make a bomb with the technology they currently possess or the intellectual capability,” Jane’s analyst Allison Puccioni said in an interview. “The two factors do make it possible to have a route to one.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern about reports that North Korea and Myanmar are expanding military ties and sharing nuclear technology at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Thailand last year.

Clinton said the U.S. would remain “vigilant” against any military cooperation between the two countries. Yesterday, Clinton announced further sanctions against North Korea in an effort to halt the country’s nuclear-weapons program.

Sai said he worked at two factories involved in the nuclear program. His report to a Burmese opposition news website, Democratic Voice of Burma, based in Norway, included documents and color photographs of the interior of the installations.

The satellite imagery reviewed by Jane’s showed only the exterior of the buildings, Puccioni said.

‘Overly Ambitious’

Jane’s said Myanmar’s nuclear program is “overly ambitious with limited expertise,” in a statement yesterday. While Myanmar is a signatory to international agreements to control nuclear weapons use, it hasn’t agreed to more recent changes in the treaties and therefore isn’t subject to international inspections, the magazine said.

“With Myanmar’s current freedom from sanctions and relative economic prosperity, the junta may be able to outsource the technical know-how and tools to reach its goals far sooner than expected,” Christian Le Mière, editor of Jane’s Intelligence Review, said in a statement.

“Someone had to be assisting them, that’s the frightening thing,” said David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector and now a fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia, in an interview. “Myanmar is uniquely incapable of carrying this through.”

North Korea could be the country providing aid, said Michael J. Green, an adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former senior director for Asia on the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

North Korea

During the Bush administration, North Korea discussed delivering short-range missiles and nuclear capability to Myanmar, Green said.

“We worry about the transfer of nuclear technology” and indications of clandestine military cooperation between two of Asia’s most secretive regimes, Clinton said last year. “I’m not saying it is happening, but we want to be prepared to stand against it.”

State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said on July 12 that the U.S. continues “to have concerns about Burma’s relationship with North Korea. It’s something that we watch very, very carefully and consistently.”

Last year, the U.S. Navy followed the Kang Nam I, a North Korean freighter headed in the direction of Myanmar with unknown cargo. The ship turned around and returned home.

The evidence points to a method of uranium enrichment, laser enrichment, that the North Koreans have never used, Kay said. “If it is laser enrichment the finger points more toward Chinese assistance or some place in the former Soviet Union,” he said.

Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-21/myanmar-nuclear-weapon-program-claims-supported-by-photos-jane-s-reports.html

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3.
U.S. Wants Transparency from Myanmar after Reports of Nuclear Arms Program
Bloomberg
7/21/2010
(for personal use only)


The U.S. called on Myanmar to disclose its relationship with North Korea amid concerns Kim Jong Il’s regime is helping the military-run Southeast Asian nation pursue a nuclear weapons program.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold meetings in Hanoi today with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar. Tomorrow, she will join North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun at Asia’s biggest security forum.

“We have told Burmese officials that they have international obligations we expect them to heed,” State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said yesterday in an e- mail, referring to Myanmar by its former name. “This requires greater transparency in their dealings with North Korea.”

Myanmar told its Asean counterparts at meetings this week that it’s not seeking nuclear weapons. Jane’s Intelligence Review released an article yesterday with newly available commercial satellite images that it says corroborate allegations by Myanmar defector Major Sai Thein Win that the government is pursuing an atomic bomb.

“Myanmar’s government, the foreign minister, has told us categorically that they don’t have a nuclear weapons program, and have no ambitions” to start one, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo told reporters in Hanoi on July 20.

Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win hasn’t addressed reporters at the meeting. Last month, after Al Jazeera television reported the allegations, his government said they were “baseless accusations based solely on the fabrications of deserters, fugitives and exiles.”

North Korea Ties

Myanmar conducts relations with North Korea “in the same way as it has been trying to maintain friendly relations with every nation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a June 11 statement. The country upholds United Nations resolutions regarding North Korea and shipments between the nations involve “normal commercial activities,” it said.

Photos of buildings and security fences near the country’s capital, Naypyidaw, confirm reports by Sai Thein Win of machine tool factories and other plants alleged to be part of a nascent program to build nuclear weapons, Jane’s reported from London.

“They will not make a bomb with the technology they currently possess or the intellectual capability,” Jane’s analyst Allison Puccioni said in an interview. “The two factors do make it possible to have a route to one.”

Military Ties

Clinton expressed concern about reports that North Korea and Myanmar are expanding military ties and sharing nuclear technology at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Thailand last year. The U.S. will remain “vigilant” against any military cooperation between the two countries, she said.

Yesterday, Clinton announced further sanctions against North Korea in an effort to halt the country’s nuclear-weapons program.

Sai said he worked at two factories involved in the nuclear program. His report to a U.S.-funded Myanmar opposition news website, Democratic Voice of Burma, based in Norway, included documents and color photographs of the interior of the installations.

The satellite imagery reviewed by Jane’s showed only the exterior of the buildings, Puccioni said.

Myanmar’s nuclear program is “overly ambitious with limited expertise,” Jane’s said in a statement yesterday. While Myanmar is a signatory to international agreements to control nuclear weapons use, it hasn’t agreed to more recent changes in the treaties and therefore isn’t subject to international inspections, the magazine said.

Nuclear Free

The reports about Myanmar’s nuclear weapons program “perplexed” Asean member states, Indonesia Foreign Marty Natalegawa said in a July 20 interview. Asean ministers, including Myanmar, reiterated intentions to keep Southeast Asia free of nuclear weapons at the meetings this week.

The allegations directed at Myanmar are a “manifestation of the lack of information about what’s happening in the country,” Natalegawa said. “That’s why we think the best approach would be to ensure greater transparency so we have greater confidence about what’s going on.”

Asean works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency and can send inspectors to Myanmar under the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone treaty, he said.

During President George W. Bush’s administration, North Korea discussed delivering short-range missiles and nuclear capability to Myanmar, according to Michael J. Green, an adviser at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and former senior director for Asia on the National Security Council under Bush.

The evidence points to a method of uranium enrichment, laser enrichment, that the North Koreans have never used, David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector and now a fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia, said in an interview.

“If it is laser enrichment the finger points more toward Chinese assistance or some place in the former Soviet Union,” he said.

Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-22/u-s-wants-transparency-from-myanmar-after-reports-of-nuclear-arms-program.html

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4.
US Announces New Sanctions Against North Korea
Matthew Lee
Associated Press
7/21/2010
(for personal use only)


The Obama administration moved Wednesday to push new sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates showed solidarity with South Korea during a visit to the area that separates it from the North.

Clinton announced the new measures — targeting the sale or purchase of arms and related goods used to fund the communist regime's nuclear activities, and the acquisition of luxury items to reward its elite — after she and Gates toured the heavily fortified border in a symbolic trip four months after the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North.

The penalties are intended to further isolate the already hermetic North and persuade its leaders to return to talks aimed at getting it to abandon atomic weapons. The U.S. is also trying to forestall future provocative acts like the torpedoing of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

With specifics of the sanctions still being worked out, the more striking demonstration of U.S. resolve came when Clinton and Gates — in a first for America's top two cabinet members — together toured the demilitarized zone in the village of Panmunjom.

Under sporadic downpours and the watchful gaze of curious North Korean guards, they paid tribute to the U.S., South Korean and international forces that patrol the world's last Cold War-era border. Sixty years after the fighting began, the peninsula remains divided in a state of war because the conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

At one point, in the Military Armistice Commission building where officials from North Korea and the U.N. Command meet for talks, Clinton and Gates stood briefly on North Korean soil while a North Korean solider peered at them through a window.

Gates said the visit was intended "to send a strong signal to the North, to the region and to the world that our commitment to South Korea's security is steadfast."

"In fact, our military alliance has never been stronger and should deter any potential agressor," he said.

In response to the Cheonan sinking, the U.S. and South Korea have announced plans to conduct new military exercises in the coming weeks, sparking threats from North Korea and expressions of concern from its lone major ally, China.

Both Gates and Clinton noted that since the Korean War, the South has become a major economic power while the North has stagnated under international isolation.

"Although it may be a thin line, these two places are worlds apart," Clinton said, referring to the three-mile-deep buffer zone that stretches from east to west and lies just 30 miles from the South Korean capital. She urged North Korea to turn away from the isolation that has left its people suffering.

"We continue to send a message to the North: There is another way. There is a way that can benefit the people of the North," she said. "But until they change direction, the United States stands firmly on behalf of the people and government of the Republic of Korea, where we provide a stalwart defense along with our allies and partners."

Clinton repeated that message later after security talks with Gates and their South Korean counterparts.

Presenting the outlines of the fresh sanctions, Clinton said the North could win "the security and international respect it seeks" by stopping its provocative behavior, halting threats towards its neighbors and returning to denuclearization talks.

Details of the sanctions are being finalized, but Clinton and other U.S. officials said they would enhance and expand on existing international financial and travel sanctions. The U.S. will freeze additional assets, prevent more individuals from traveling abroad and collaborate with banks to stop suspect transactions, they said.

The U.S. will also seek to stop North Korea's abuse of diplomatic privileges to carry out illegal activities, notably cigarette and currency counterfeiting and money laundering, they said.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed stiff sanctions on North Korea in recent years to punish the regime for defying the world body by testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and illegally selling arms and weapons.

The council earlier this month approved a statement condemning the Cheonan incident, but did not directly blame Pyongyang. Still, the U.S. and South Korea are adamant that North Korea apologize for the incident or face punishment, and warned against further provocations.

An international team of investigators pinned the explosion of the Cheonan on a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine. But North Korea denies any involvement and has threatened war if punished for it.

Available at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j-44wf8uK2vJIFId5gvnZ-VF5u-gD9H3D6D00

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5.
U.S. To Send Stern Message to North Korea
Phil Stewart
Reuters
7/18/2010
(for personal use only)


President Barack Obama's top diplomat and defense chief head to Seoul this week to discuss ways to respond to North Korea and deter it from any future attack after the sinking of a South Korean warship.

But the high-profile visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates risks angering China in the process, with an expected announcement of U.S.-South Korean military exercises that have set off alarms in Beijing.

Tension between North and South Korea remain high following the March sinking of the warship, Cheonan, killing 46 South Korean sailors. Pyongyang has denied responsibility and escaped censure this month from the United Nations, which condemned the attack but, in deference to China, did not blame North Korea.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said the talks in Seoul were aimed at assessing the next steps with North Korea, including whether and how to resume stalled talks about Pyongyang's nuclear program. Pyongyang said this month it was willing to return to disarmament talks, in limbo since 2007.

"The United States is considering a variety of options associated with North Korea and we will be in deep consultations," Campbell said.

But he stressed that an essential precondition for any new talks would be that Pyongyang cease its "provocative ways" and commit to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Victor Cha, a former director of Asian Affairs at the White House National Security Council under the Bush administration, said he expected that re-engagement will take a back seat to the main message of deterrence during the visit to Seoul.

"Right now on this trip the focus is going to be on the deterrence part, that will be the big public message ... But privately, the conversations will also deal with getting these talks back on track," said Cha, who works for the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington.

The visit has symbolic overtones, a show of U.S.-South Korean unity 60 years after the outbreak of the 1950-1953 Korean War. Gates will meet some of the 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea on Tuesday.

The trip will culminate Wednesday in the first talks between the U.S. and South Korean secretaries of defense and state. U.S. officials say the top-level event, reserved for only the closest U.S. allies, shows how important Obama views relations with South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Clinton also plans discuss the U.S.-South Korea economic relationship, where President Barack Obama has vowed to push through a long-stalled free trade agreement, as well as South Korea's preparations to hold the a G20 summit this year.

WAR GAMES

U.S. officials say the talks are likely to yield at least one concrete result: the announcement in Seoul of a series of joint U.S.-South Korean military drills over a period of months in both the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan.

"These are exercises that enhance our anti-submarine warfare capabilities. They will also, by extension, be a show of force to the North Koreans, and send a message -- what we hope to be a very strong message -- of deterrence," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

China, North Korea's sole ally, has voiced deep concerns about any U.S.-South Korean drills in the Yellow Sea, which separates China and the Korean peninsula, and urged regional powers to put the Cheonan incident behind them.

U.S. officials, briefing reporters ahead of the trip, dismissed those concerns, saying drills in international waters in the Yellow Sea or elsewhere were "routine."

"This is about sending a message to (North Korea). It's not about sending a message to the Chinese. And it should not be interpreted as such," Morrell said.

John Park, a researcher at the United States Institute of Peace who studies Chinese-North Korean relations, said drills risked aggravating ties between the United States and China.

"As much as the (U.S.-South Korean) announcement will be focused on a sending a message to North Korea, the unintended consequence is that messages are also being sent to China," Park said.

Beijing broke off military-to-military contacts with the United States this year after the Obama administration notified Congress of a plan to sell Taiwan up to $6.4 billion worth of arms. Underscoring its displeasure, Beijing turned down a proposed fence-mending visit by Gates to China in June.

Park said that inside China, some believe the United States and South Korea are using the Cheonan "as its own pretext to enlarge the scope of the U.S.-South Korean alliance" west toward Chinese coastal waters.

"Their question is: Will the anti-submarine warfare exercises signal an expansion of the coverage area of the U.S.-(South Korea) alliance?"

Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66H0A520100718

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C.  Nuclear Cooperation

1.
US Prepares for Civil Nuclear Deal With Pakistan
Pakistan Patriot
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)


“We have started discussions on the civilian nuclear energy deal and we will continue them but Pakistan’s energy crisis needs immediate attention and for that we are working on plans that can come to fruition in the short term,” Gerald Feierstein, US deputy chief of mission, told a group of journalists on Thursday.

He explained that American assistance for Pakistan’s energy needs would comprise three phases.

The first two, he said, included rehabilitating the existing electricity generating infrastructure; improving energy conservation; fixing the power distribution system; and developing additional capacity to produce electricity. The nuclear programme, he made it clear, was not part of the first two phases.
He further said that the projects for the first phase had been identified while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would announce the ones for the second phase during her trip to Pakistan later this year. The second phase is believed to include construction of new dams and establishment of renewable energy projects.
“The nuclear deal,” he said, “if it ever happened, would take place in the third phase.” This last phase, the deputy chief warned, were “long term”.
C Christine Fair, in her Wall Street Journal article “Pakistan Needs Its Own Nuclear Deal“, stressed on a need to make a civilian nuclear pact with Pakistan. She argues that it will help reduce the trust deficit and serve mutual interest of US and Pakistan. It will give US a leeway in asking for tougher demands such as “Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism.” She suggests that a deal like this could be very meaningful to the Pakistanis, which could also help in getting Pakistan to adhere to some of the tougher conditions on the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation.
Clinton in an interview with a Pakistani media outlet said there are committees already set up to focus on the Civilian Nuclear deal with Pakistan.
The Hindu reports the following.

In the clearest sign yet from Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said the U.S. would “consider” Pakistan’s request for a civil nuclear deal as Islamabad sought atomic cooperation and military hardware to bring itself on par with India.

However, her remarks were tempered with the rider that the civil nuclear deal with India did not happen “easily or quickly” and was the result of “many, many” years of strategic dialogue.

The first ministerial-level U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue, scheduled to start on Wednesday in Washington, is aimed at sorting out different issues expected to be raised by Pakistan, including a possible demand for a civil nuclear deal, Ms. Clinton said in an interview with a Pakistani news channel.

Ahead of the crucial dialogue, Pakistan submitted a 56-page document to the Obama Administration, seeking among other things a civil nuclear deal and drone technology.

Notwithstanding India’s reservations, Ms. Clinton made it clear that the issue of energy would be one of the subjects of discussion.

“I’m sure that that’s going to be raised and we’re going to be considering it but I can’t pre-judge or pre-empt what the outcome of our discussions will be except to say that this strategic dialogue is at the highest level we’ve ever had between our two countries,” she said. In response to another query about the need for a civil nuclear deal to help Pakistan cope with an energy crisis and to address the Pakistan Army’s concerns related to India, she said: “I can’t speak for anyone else’s impressions but that [the civil nuclear deal with India] was the result of many, many years of strategic dialogue. ”

Ms. Clinton added: “I think on the energy issue specifically there are more immediate steps that can be taken that have to help with [Pakistan's power] grid, other sources of energy, to upgrade power plants and the like. We are certainly looking at those and we want to help Pakistan with its immediate and long-term energy needs.”

The Pakistani delegation includes Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and the ISI’s Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha. It is headed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

In the 56-page document, Islamabad has also sought U.S. help in reviving the India-Pakistan dialogue stalled since the 26/11 attacks.

Available at: http://www.pakistanpatriot.com/?p=32000

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D.  Nuclear Energy

1.
Turkey's Main Opposition to Appeal Nuclear Power Plant Bill
Todays Zaman
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)


The main opposition party in Turkey decided on Thursday to appeal the law on construction of a nuclear power plant in the south of Turkey.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) will resort to the Constitutional Court, demanding annulment of some articles of the law on ratification of an agreement between Turkish and Russian governments to construct and operate a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu town of the southern province of Mersin.

CHP says a tender has to be opened for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in Turkey, however a tender was not opened for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

The main opposition party will also ask the court to cancel some articles of the law on foundation and duties of the Foreign Ministry, envisaging restructuring of the ministry.

The law on construction and operation of a nuclear power plant in Mersin's Akkuyu town entered into force after it had been published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday.

The Turkish parliament adopted the bill on July 15.

Turkey and the Russian Federation signed an agreement in Ankara on the construction of the nuclear power plant on May 12, 2010.

According to the agreement, the two countries will cooperate in construction and operation of nuclear power plant in Akkuyu.

Russia's Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom) and Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Ministry are the parties to the agreement.

Russia will launch necessary procedures to establish a project company within three months after the agreement was signed. The Russian authorized institutions will have at least 51 percent share in the project company.

The Russian Federation will undertake creation of a new project company to fulfil the liabilities of the agreement in case the first company fails.

The power plant will have the total capacity of 4,800 MW.

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant is expected to meet 14 percent of the energy Turkey currently generates.

Available at: http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-216826-100-turkeys-main-opposition-to-appeal-nuclear-power-plant-bill.html

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2.
Vietnam Official: To Sign Nuclear Plant Contract with Rosatom
NASDAQ
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)


Vietnam will sign a contract with Russian energy group Rosatom for the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant, a senior government energy official said Thursday.

"We will likely sign the contract in October this year for the construction of the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant," Pham Khanh Toan, head of the Vietnam Institute of Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Toan was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of energy ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Dalat City in Vietnam's Central Highlands

Available at: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201007212309dowjonesdjonline000783&title=vietnam-officialto-sign-nuclear-plant-contract-with-rosatom

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E.  Links of Interest

1.
Factbox: Nuclear Power Plans in the Gulf and Beyond
Reuters
7/22/2010
(for personal use only)
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66L1AC20100722


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2.
Preventing the Iranian Nuclear Crisis from Escalating
Pierre Goldschmidt
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
7/8/2010
(for personal use only)
http://carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=41205


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