Right after I graduated, I interned with the Arms Control Association. It was terrific.

– George Stephanopolous
Host of ABC's This Week
January 1, 2005
Arms Control NOW

North Korea Reports Nuclear Test Site Closure

Following a late April announcement by Kim Jong Un, North Korea announced on May 24 that it had destroyed its nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri. “Dismantling the nuclear test ground was done in such a way as to make all the tunnels of the test ground collapse by explosion and completely close the tunnel entrances,” a deputy director at North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Institute said, according to state media. North Korea claimed to destroy the north, south and west portals to the testing site as well as barracks, observation towers and other buildings. The east portal was abandoned shortly...

Pompeo's Vision of “Better” Iran Deal is an Illusion

In his May 21 speech at the Heritage Foundation , the new U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, defended Trump’s decision earlier this month to violate the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, withdraw from the agreement, and pursue a “better deal.” But the Trump administration’s vision of a “better deal” with Iran is like a mirage in the desert—it may look good, but it is not real and there is no path to get there. And by trying to, the United States only risks the deal at hand. What Pompeo failed to articulate is how that “better deal” is possible, given that key U.S. allies and...

The P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, May 16, 2018

The Nuclear Deal Minus the United States? President Donald Trump’s irresponsible decision to violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with Iran and withdraw from the accord was unanimously denounced by the other parties to the agreement. Washington’s P5+1 partners – the EU, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom, also announced their intention to sustain the agreement and fully implement it without the United States. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also pledged to continue abiding by the terms of the deal if Iran’s interests are met. But he ordered the...

Notable Read: Shutting Down Punggye-ri: Confirming Dismantlement of North Korea’s Nuclear-Weapon Test Site

Tariq Rauf, an independent consultant for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, makes the case for a CTBTO presence at the upcoming closure of the Punggye-ri test site in a May 13 article. Kim Jong Un would “bolster his credibility and commitment to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula were he to reach out to the CTBTO and invite the CTBTO’s technically competent and impartial verification capabilities to Punggye Ri to demonstrate transparency and fulfillment of North Korea’s announced commitment to permanently shut down its nuclear-weapon test site,” he wrote. The full article is...

Reasons to Doubt Laser Missile Defense

For years the disheveled YAL-1 Airborne Laser baked in the Air Force Boneyard in Tucson, Arizona. Stripped of its chemical laser and turbofan engines, its airframe became a skeletal albatross—a monument to the futility of laser-based missile defense. But in 2014, it was unceremoniously destroyed, and the Defense Department wiped the failure from its memory. The system was meant to fly above hostile territory to track and destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles in flight. But after 16 years and $5 billion , the program was canceled simply because it did not work. Four years later, however...

Notable Read: Test and Effect

George Perkovich assesses the impact of India’s first nuclear tests, 20 years later, by reviewing then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton explaining India’s rationale. The full article is available here .

Trump just opened the door for Iran to expand its nuclear capabilities

This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill . Fulfilling a misguided campaign pledge, President Trump has chosen to violate the 2015 nuclear deal between the United States and its partners — the EU, U.K. France, Germany, Russia, and China — with Iran and reimpose U.S. sanctions that were waived according to the terms of the 2015 accord in exchange for severe limits and very robust international monitoring on Iran’s nuclear activities. Now, the valuable nonproliferation barriers established by the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are at risk. Contrary to Trump...

International Support for the Iran Nuclear Deal

International support for the 2015 nuclear deal between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran remains strong, despite comments by U.S. President Donald Trump threatening the future of the agreement. The Arms Control Association will be adding international statements in support of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on this page as they are released. May 2018: General Australia Australia is disappointed that the United States has announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (...

Notable Read: Make North Korea’s Nuclear Test Pause Permanent

Jon Wolfsthal, Global Zero’s Nuclear Crisis Group director, recommends steps North Korea can take to build on its pledge to shut down its Punggye-ri test site and stop further nuclear weapons tests in a May 7 article for 38 North. In particular, Wolfsthal urges North Korea to invite the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to verify the closure of its test site, to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to invite CTBTO inspectors to install nuclear test monitoring equipment in North Korea. “Using Kim’s April offer as a starting point, there is an opportunity to...

Trump's Reckless Violation of the Iran Deal Jeopardizes U.S. National Security

This op-ed originally appeared in TIME , May 9, 2018. By blocking Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons, the 2015 agreement with Iran had helped resolve a long-standing crisis that was destabilizing the Middle East. But on Tuesday, President Donald Trump put this critical accord at risk with his reckless and irresponsible decision to violate the multilateral nuclear deal. By walking away from the agreement, Trump is jeopardizing U.S. national security interests and risks precipitating a nuclear crisis that the international community can ill afford. Trump’s justification for abandoning the deal...


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