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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

North Korea Reiterates End to Test Moratorium | North Korea Denuclearization Digest, Jan. 30, 2020

North Korea Reiterates End to Test Moratorium North Korea will no longer observe its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing, a counselor to Pyongyang’s mission at the United Nations in Geneva said Jan. 21 . The April 2018 moratorium was designed to “build confidence with the United States,” but given that Washington “remains unchanged in its ambition to block the development” of North Korea, Pyongyang has “no reason to be unilaterally bound” by its past commitment, Ju Yong Chol said. The statement did not indicate if or when North Korea would resume nuclear or long-...

Russia Warns Time Running Out for New START | U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch

Russia Warns Time Running Out for New START Russian officials repeated in late December and early January President Vladimir Putin’s call for extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) as soon as possible, though Washington continues to remain silent on the future of the accord, which is scheduled to expire in just over 12 months. Acting Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov commented in a Dec. 26 interview that “we might end up under intense time pressure” if the Trump administration maintains its silence on the future of the treaty. “We would not like to be forced to...

As 2020 Dawns, Disarmament Treaties Face Financial Hardship

The last decade has been a trying period, by any stretch of the imagination, for multilateralism and international peace. Recent years have seen some agreements rejected by signatories and others lapse, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty being only the latest example. However, as the United Nations system staggers under increasing levels of debt, a small group of other multilateral treaties, many of which focus on disarmament topics, are threatened for another reason: lack of money. As these treaties find their meetings cut or canceled, and their organizations face losing the...

Iran Announces New Nuclear Deal Breach | P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert

Iran Announces New Nuclear Deal Breach Iran announced its fifth breach of the 2015 nuclear deal Jan. 5, stating that it “discards the last key component of its operational limitations” put in place by agreement. In the Jan. 5 statement Iran said its nuclear program “no longer faces any operational restrictions,” however Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did say that Iran will still continue to “fully cooperate” with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Zarif’s statement implies that Tehran intends to abide by the additional monitoring and verification measures put in place by the nuclear...

Putin Puts Ball in Trump’s Court on New START Extension | U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch, December 2019

Putin Puts Ball in Trump’s Court on New START Extension Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear this month that Moscow is open to unconditionally extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), but the Trump administration remains undecided about the future of the accord. “Russia is willing to immediately, as soon as possible, before the year is out, renew this treaty without any preconditions,” Putin told a meeting of defense ministry officials. He noted that Moscow has not received a response from Washington to its proposal to renew the treaty. Putin reiterated his offer...

Looking Ahead 2020: Arms Trade Issues Should See Center Stage in the U.S. Election

A version of this post was the first of a series of short blog posts , to be published by the ACA's Forum on the Arms Trade, which will feature perspectives from Forum experts on weapons use, the arms trade, and security assistance in 2020. The "should" in the title to this post is not an admonition, but rather a prediction. And a bold one. An impeachment effort is now underway related to conditions placed on security assistance to Ukraine. Plus, four Presidential vetoes were used in 2019: one to stop Congressional assertion of war powers in relation to the war in Yemen, and three to override...

North Korea, United States Issue Threats as Deadline Approaches | North Korea Denuclearization Digest, December 11, 2019

North Korea, United States Issue Threats as Deadline Approaches The window for negotiations between the United States and North Korea appears to be closing, as both sides are resorting to threats ahead of the end-of-the-year deadline for progress imposed by Pyongyang in April. North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song cautioned Dec. 2 that “what is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will get,” likely referring to North Korea’s willingness to continue diplomacy if the Trump administration changes its approach to talks or the...

Fifty Years Ago, the First Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Began

Fifty years ago, on Nov. 17, 1969, the United States and the Soviet Union launched the first-ever Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in Helsinki, Finland. The chief American negotiator was Gerard Smith, who had been appointed the director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency by then-president Richard Nixon. Smith’s opening message that day: “The limitation of strategic arms is in the mutual interests of our country and the Soviet Union.” Negotiated in the midst of severe tensions, the SALT agreement and the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty were the first restrictions on the...

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch, Nov. 15, 2019

Moscow Expresses Frustration About U.S. Stance on New START Top Russian Foreign Ministry officials have issued a fresh set of warnings about the future of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) because, they say, the Trump administration continues to refuse to engage in talks on extending the treaty. Washington “is evading any serious discussion, making public discouraging signals regarding the future of this treaty,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Nov. 8 at a nonproliferation conference in Moscow. Lavrov’s deputy, Sergey Ryabkov, voiced similar criticisms at the...

New IAEA Report Details Iran’s Retaliatory Moves | P4+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert EXTRA

The Nov. 11 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran’s implementation of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal confirms that Tehran resumed enrichment at its Fordow site under agency monitoring and is accelerating its production of low-enriched uranium. Iran’s frustration with the reimposition of U.S. sanctions in violation of the deal is understandable, but its most recent breach at Fordow is a very serious escalation that increases the risk that the nuclear agreement will collapse. Like Iran’s three prior breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive...

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