Burundi became the 28th country to ratify the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba July 15, meeting the pact’s requirement for entry into force and creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) in Africa. The treaty prohibits the possession, development, manufacture, testing, or deployment of nuclear weapons on the African continent and associated islands. (Continue)
The UN Security Council last month broadly expanded sanctions and counterproliferation measures against North Korea in response to that country's May 25 nuclear test.
Resolution 1874, which the council unanimously adopted June 12, builds on the measures the council took in 2006 when it adopted Resolution 1718 in response to North Korea's first nuclear test. (Continue)
North Korea conducted its second nuclear test May 25, prompting international condemnation for violating UN demands and raising tensions in the region. The test comes a month after North Korea declared that it would no longer participate in multilateral talks on its denuclearization and would carry out nuclear and missile tests to strengthen its deterrent capability. (See
ACT, May 2009.) After the test, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) struck a similar note, saying the blast was "part of the measures to bolster up [North Korea's] nuclear deterrent for self-defense." (Continue)
North Korea's second and the world's 2,052nd nuclear weapon test explosion represents yet another low in the long-running multilateral diplomatic effort to freeze and verifiably dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities. Pyongyang's test blast is also a stark reminder of the need to finally bring about a permanent, global test ban.
Coming just two years after North Korea agreed to refreeze its plutonium separation operations and disable some of its key nuclear facilities in accordance with the 2005 Six-Party denuclearization agreement, North Korea's estimated 2-4 kiloton test blast, missile launches, and renewal of plutonium separation are reckless and exasperating. (Continue)
ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball and Former Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker debate the merits of ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Moderator - ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball Speakers- Sidney Drell, Ambassador James Goodby, and Ambassador Tibor Tóth
Chapter from Reykjavik Revisted: Steps Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons on the CTBT by Raymond Jeanloz.
President-elect Barack Obama's November victory represents a clear mandate for change on a number of national security issues. One of the most decisive ways in which Obama can restore U.S. nonproliferation leadership and spur action toward a nuclear-weapons-free world is to win Senate support for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) within the next two years.
By banning the "bang," the CTBT limits the ability of established nuclear-weapon states to field new and more sophisticated warheads and makes it far more difficult for newer members of the club to perfect smaller, more easily deliverable warheads. The CTBT is one of the key disarmament commitments made by the nuclear-weapon states at the 1995 and 2000 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conferences. (Continue)
It was a clear and sunny day when the earth shook in Arcania. Several seismic stations that are part of the International Monitoring System (IMS) that is monitoring compliance with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) picked up the event a short time later and transmitted the data in near real time to Vienna. There, the International Data Center of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) determined that the seismic event on Aug. 22 had a magnitude of 4.05 and placed it in the middle of the so-called Barrier Zone, where Arcania had conducted several nuclear test explosions in the 1970s and 1980s. Arcania claimed to have closed its nuclear test site in 1989 and stated that an earthquake triggered the seismic network. But Arcania’s neighboring state and regional competitor, Fiducia, remained apprehensive, not least because it had obtained its own information about suspicious activities prior to Aug. 22 in the Barrier Zone. Because both states are CTBT members, Fiducia requested an on-site inspection (OSI) to clarify what happened in Arcania on Aug. 22. That request was granted, and a team of international inspectors from 22 different countries began assembling immediately in Vienna. (Continue)
In October 1999, the U.S. Senate declined to consent to ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Although the floor debate itself was so short as to be perfunctory, verification concerns played a role in the Senate’s action. At the time, some senators contended that the treaty’s verification provisions were inadequate to deal with potential cheating, despite assertions to the contrary by the White House. Since then, the Bush administration has refused to reconsider the CTBT, despite widespread, almost unanimous international support for the pact. (Continue)