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"I want to thank the Arms Control Association … for being such effective advocates for sensible policies to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and most importantly, reduce the risk of nuclear war."
– Senator Joe Biden
January 28, 2004
Arms Control NOW

Punggye-ri Test Site Damaged, But Still Useable, Experts Contend

Two different teams of Chinese geologists reported that North Korea’s sixth nuclear test damaged the mountain over the Punggye-ri test site, which North Korea promised to shut down in May. Neither research team concluded that the mountain damage rendered the site unusable, despite recent media reports to the contrary. Although Chinese researcher Zhao Lianfeng at the Institute of Earth Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who was not part of either research team, contended that these findings signify that the test site has been “wrecked” beyond repair, the research teams did not reach...

Iran's Past Nuclear Experiments Reflect Value of JCPOA

This op-ed originally appeared in The Iran Primer of the United States Institute for Peace. For decades, the international community has grappled with the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation and, in particular, the risk that the Islamic Republic of Iran might seek the capability to design and produce nuclear weapons. For more than a decade following the 2003 revelation that Iran had surreptitiously built a uranium conversion facility and an enrichment plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the world’s major powers have expended enormous effort and political capital to...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, April 25, 2018

Europe Works to Save the JCPOA As time winds down to the May 12 deadline U.S. President Donald Trump set for negotiating a “fix” to the nuclear deal with Iran, Washington’s P5+1 partners (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom) are urging the United States not to violate the agreement and warning Washington of the consequences if the deal collapses. Behind the scenes, E3–France, Germany, and the United Kingdom–and U.S. officials continue working on a supplemental arrangement dealing with the “flaws” Trump demanded the Europeans address before the May 12 deadline to renew U.S...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, March 22, 2018

P5+1 and Iran Meet Amid Uncertainty Over the Nuclear Deal’s Future Members of the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran met last week in Vienna for a quarterly meeting of the Joint Commission, the body set up by the nuclear deal to assess its implementation. This was the first full meeting of the Joint Commission since U.S. President Donald Trump threatened in January to pull out of the deal in May unless Congress and the E3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) worked with his administration to address what he terms as “flaws” in the...

The Perils of Space-Based Missile Defense Interception

Past U.S. efforts to develop and deploy a space-based missile defense have known many names, including "Strategic Defense Initiative,” “Brilliant Pebbles,” and “Global Protection Against Limited Strikes.” And all have suffered the same fate: cancellation due to insurmountable financial, technical, and strategic obstacles. But like a zombie that can’t be killed, the idea keeps coming back. Senator Ted Cruz wrote a letter Feb. 22 calling for a space-based capability to intercept ballistic missiles (SBI) in “boost phase,” when a missile is “traveling its slowest, emitting its clearest heat...

Five Chinese Test Detection Stations Certified

In just twelve months, China has certified its first five International Monitoring System (IMS) stations, of the twelve it is treaty-bound to certify in order to realize the completion of the global nuclear test detection system managed by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). China, as well as the United States, are two of eight countries left which need to ratify the CTBT for the 1996 treaty to enter into force. Both countries have signed, but not ratified, the treaty. The first Chinese IMS station, radionuclide station RN21, was certified in December 2016. The most recent...

Putin’s Irresponsible Nuclear Boasts

In a March 1 pre-election speech to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted about Russia’s pursuit of several nuclear weapons systems, some that have already been tested as well as some new capabilities: Putin cited the “Sarmat’ heavy intercontinental missile, which can carry nuclear and hypersonic munitions, which has been undergoing developmental testing. Putin said Russia is developing a type of cruise missile with nuclear propulsion that has an unlimited range that “is invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems.”...

African American Leadership in the Fight for Nuclear Disarmament

Since Donald Trump became president, many of us in the disarmament community have warned about Trump’s desire to use nuclear weapons. We have witnessed Trump threaten the destruction of North Korea, express a desire to resume nuclear testing, and recommend other countries develop their own nuclear arsenals. The fear of Trump starting a nuclear war only got worse with the release of his new security strategy, Nuclear Posture Review, and budget in which the administration called for more money to be spent on nuclear weapons, while the U.S. “ broaden its use of nuclear weapons ” to include using...

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, February 5, 2017

P5+1, Congress Respond to Trump’s Demands to Change the Iran Nuclear Deal Officials from the United States and the E3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom) gathered Jan. 25 in London for a working group meeting to discuss the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and Iran’s ballistic missile program. The meeting came after U.S. President Donald Trump renewed sanctions waivers required to keep the United States in compliance with the accord Jan. 12, but threatened to withhold the next round of waivers, due May 12, if Congress and...

Final vs. Draft of the Nuclear Posture Review: What Was Changed?

On Friday, Feb. 2, the Trump administration officially unveiled its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) . Huffington Post leaked an earlier version of the document on Jan. 11. The Arms Control Association team reviewed both versions of the NPR and marked up a copy of the final NPR with all changes from the leaked version. (See our annotated version here .)* The final Feb. 2 document includes revised language and new charts on Russian nuclear doctrine, as well as new language on the proposed submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. It also...

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