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"I actually have a pretty good collection of Arms Control Today, which I have read throughout my career. It's one of the few really serious publications on arms control issues."
– Gary Samore
Former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD Terrorism
Arms Control NOW

UN Security Council Passes New Sanctions in Response to N. Korean Nuclear Test

The United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution imposing a new round of sanctions on North Korea following the country's February 12 nuclear test explosion . These sanctions are particularly noteworthy because they were drafted by the United States in concert with China, Pyongyang's closest ally and supporter. This is the fourth set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since the country's first nuclear test in 2006. The resolution imposes new financial sanctions, which require states to block financial transactions that could contribute to North Korea's weapons programs...

CTBTO's Monitoring Capabilities Continue to Improve

The CTBTO has seen a marked increase in its ability to locate and analyze nuclear test explosions since North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006. This is largely a result of an increase in the number of completed monitoring stations in the CTBTO's International Monitoring System (IMS) , combined with increasingly larger nuclear explosions by North Korea. The IMS uses a combination of seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, and radionuclide stations to detect nuclear test explosions. In October 2006 , the IMS was approximately 60% complete, with 99 seismic stations in operation. The organization...

Former Secretary of State Shultz Reiterates Support for CTBT

At a March 8 event sponsored by the Partnership for a Secure America, President Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz underscored once again his support for U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Shultz’s remarks came in response to a question following his talk at an event organized on Friday, March 8 by the Partnership for a Secure America on Capitol Hill. Shultz was asked for his “personal view on whether the U.S. should ratify the test ban treaty as a way to enhance U.S. security?” Shultz, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State from...

The Cost of Ignoring UN Inspectors: An Unnecessary War with Iraq

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei (L) and UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans Blix (R) brief the UN Security Council on Iraq inspections March 7, 2003 By Greg Thielmann On March 7, ten years ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNMOVIC) reported to the UN Security Council on the latest results of their inspections in Iraq, monitoring enforcement of the Council's demand that Saddam Hussein eliminate his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related programs. The IAEA's Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, and UNMOVIC's Executive Chairman,...

Better Odds on Iran Negotiations After Almaty?

By Kelsey Davenport Ambassador Thomas Pickering speaks at an Arms Control Association event on Feb. 25 on what can be accomplished in 2013 in negotiations with Iran. Photo Credit: Jackie Barrientes/ACA Career Ambassador Thomas Pickering said at a Feb. 25 Arms Control Association event that he would be "willing to put a little money" on progress toward a positive outcome in negotiations with Iran in 2013. After the conclusion of the Feb. 26-27 talks between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Ambassador Pickering'...

Ambassador Thomas Pickering Urges U.S. Ratification of the CTBT

Ambassador Pickering called for U.S. leadership on the CTBT in a February 20 opinion editorial in The Christian Science Monitor. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and under secretary of state for political affairs called for the White House to "launch a high-level push for ratifying the treaty" and urged the Senate to provide its advice and consent on the test ban treaty. Pickering pointed out that the United States has not conducted a nuclear test in over 20 years and reiterated the fact that Washington has "no technical or military need to do so ever again." Ambassador Thomas...

North Korean Nuclear Test and Meteorite over Siberia Demonstrate CTBTO Capabilities

According to a February 26 Global Security Newswire story, the recent North Korean nuclear test "brought fresh attention to the capabilities" of the CTBTO's monitoring system. The CTBTO's International Monitoring System (IMS) was able to detect the North Korean nuclear test within moments and forwarded information from its seismic and infrasound stations to state parties just over an hour after the explosion. The IMS was also able to record the February 15 meteor explosion over the Ural Mountains in Siberia with 17 of its 45 infrasound stations. The IMS currently employs 274 certified...

NATO agrees on new arms control body

By Oliver Meier A German Luftwaffe Tornado fighter-bomber capable of carrying nuclear gravity bombs. (BERLIN) On Feb. 8, NATO agreed on the mandate of a new arms control body. Allies tasked the "Special Advisory and Consultative Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Committee" to prepare a dialogue on confidence building and transparency measures on tactical weapons with Russia. Potentially, the new body could also deal with other arms control-related issues, including a dialogue between Russia and the United States about further nuclear cuts. Agreement in principle to establish a...

A First Look at the February 2013 IAEA Report on Iran

By Tom Z. Collina and Kelsey Davenport According to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) February 2013 quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program, Tehran is continuing to develop its nuclear program and slowly enhancing its nuclear weapons breakout potential. While this progress is troubling, Iran still remains years away from having a workable nuclear arsenal. IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria The IAEA's February 2013 report (PDF), which was leaked to reporters today, indicates that Iran has begun installing, for the first time, advanced second-generation centrifuges in the...

Nuclear North Korea: the View from Seoul

Robert Gallucci, former U.S. negotiator with North Korea at the 2013 Asan Nuclear Forum. By Kelsey Davenport ( Seoul, Republic of Korea )—North Korea's third nuclear test on Feb. 12 sparked concern in the international community about possible qualitative and quantitative improvements to Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. But concerns about an increasing number of nuclear weapons on the Peninsula should not solely be limited to the North. Recent polling data collected by the Asan Institute indicates that the majority of South Korean favor acquiring their own nuclear arsenal. A public opinion poll...

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