Login/Logout

*
*  

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
March 2009
Edition Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Cover Image: 

March 2009 Bibliography

Of Special Interest

Bayh, Evan, Creating a Nuclear Fuel Bank, Progressive Policy Institute Memo to the President, January 15, 2009.

Blair, Dennis C., Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, February 12, 2009.

Corden, Pierce S., "Organizing for Arms Control in the Obama Administration," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January 12, 2009.

Choubey, Deepti and Schwartz, Stephen I., Nuclear Security Spending: Assessing Costs, Examining Priorities, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, January 2009.

ElBaradei, Mohamed, "Five Steps Towards Abolishing Nuclear Weapons," Sueddeutsche, February 4, 2009.

Kissinger, Henry A., "Our Nuclear Nightmare," Newsweek, February 7, 2009.

Perkovich, George and Acton, James, Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February 2009.

I. Strategic Arms

Blomfield, Adrian, "Cold Warrior Henry Kissinger Woos Russia for Barack Obama," The Telegraph, February 6, 2009.

Cooper, Helene and Kulish, Nicholas, "Biden Signals U.S. is Open to Russia Missile Deal," The New York Times, February 7, 2009.

Corby, Denis, Courtney, William, and, Yalowitz, Kenneth, "Russia's Next Flash Point," International Herald Tribune, January 6, 2009.

Field Marshal Lord Bramall, General Lord Ramsbotham, General Sir Hugh Beach, "UK Does Not Need a Nuclear Deterrent," The London Times Online, January 16, 2009.

Krepon, Michael, Better Safe than Sorry: The Ironies of Living with the Bomb, The Henry L. Stimson Center, February 5, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Russia Outlines Strategic Arms Control Goals," February 20, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Sea Testing Begins on French Nuclear Missile Submarine," January 27, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "U.S. Readies New Uranium Casting Technology," January 22, 2009.

Isachenkov, Vladimir, "Russia Focuses on Upgrading its Nuclear Arsenals," Associated Press, February 25, 2009.

Minnick, Wendell, "China's Nuclear Commander Vows Buildup," Defense News, February 3, 2009.

Pincus, Walter, "Panel Urges Keeping U.S. Nuclear Arms in Europe," The Washington Post, January 9, 2009.

RIA Novosti, "Russia Can Launch ICBMs at Minutes Notice - Missile Forces Chief," February 11, 2009.

Sieff, Martin, "Russia Wants New START and BMD Bases Scrapped," United Press International, February 3, 2009.

Squassoni, Sharon, The New Disarmament Discussion, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, January 2009.

Thompson, Mark, "Obama's Showdown Over Nukes," Time, January 26, 2009.

The London Times Online, "President Obama Seeks Russia Deal to Slash Nuclear Weapons," February 4, 2009.

Trenin, Dmitri, "Give Them an Obama I," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, January 19, 2009.

Turpen, Elizabeth, Retaining Nuclear Know-how, The Henry L. Stimson Center, February 9, 2009.

II. Nuclear Proliferation

Albright, David, Brannan, Paul, and Scheel, Andrea, "Profitable and Low-Penalty: illicit Procurement of Items with Nuclear Applications for Pakistan," Institute for Science and International Security, February 27, 2009.

Broad, William J., "Swiss Release Suspect in Nuclear Case," The New York Times, January 23, 2009.

Davis, Zachary S., "Bombs Away: Interdicting Proliferation," The American Interest, January/February 2009, pp. 32-39.

Global Security Newswire, "Missing Russian Plutonium Could Fuel 25 Nuclear Weapons, Former Air Force Chief Says," January 28, 2009.

Heinrich, Mark, "IAEA Urged to Impose 'Special' Inspection on Syria," Reuters, February 26, 2009.

Min Lee, Chung, "The Evolution of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Implication for Iran," French Institute for International Relations Security Studies Center, Winter 2009.

Mistry, Dinshaw, "Tempering Optimism about Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia," Security Studies, Jan/Feb. 2009, pg. 148-182.

Stewart Bell and Adrian Humphreys, "Canadian pleads guilty to buying missiles for Tamil Tigers," The Vancouver Sun, January 26, 2009.

Webb, Greg, "IAEA Rejects Syrian Uranium Claim," Global Security Newswire, February 19, 2009.

World Nuclear News, "Enrichment Group to Grow," February 10, 2009.

Waraich, Omar, "Freedom for Pakistan's Nuclear Proliferator," Time, February 6, 2009.

India

Albright, David, Brannan, Paul, and Scheel, Andrea, An Inside Look: India's Procurement of Tributyl Phosphate (TBP) for its Unsafeguarded Nuclear Program, Institute for Science and International Security, January 28, 2009.

Davison, Sarah, "India Risks Losing its Nuclear Ally in Washington," The National, January 29, 2009.

The Economic Times, "India Ready for Ban on Nuclear Weapons, NSA," February 7, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "India Nuclear Submarine Trials Planned for February," February 20, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "U.S. Nuclear Sales to India Could Face Long Delays," January 21, 2009.

Müller, Jörn, "The Signing of the U.S.-India Agreement Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy," Göttingen Journal of International Law, January 2009.

Singh, Shalini, "US Nuclear Mission to Visit India," The Times of India, January 6, 2009.

Tellis, Ashley J., Delivering on the Promise: Advancing U.S. Relations with India, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, January 2009.

Iran

Albright, David, Jacqueline Shire, Paul Brannan, and Andrea Scheel, Nuclear Iran: Not Inevitable: Essential Background and Recommendations for the Obama Administration, Institute for Science and International Security, January 21, 2009.

Albright, David, Brannan, Paul, and Shire, Jacqueline, Is Iran Running Out of Yellowcake?, Institute for Science and International Security, February 11, 2009.

Associated Press, "Analysis: Iran Can Up Nuke Program," February 26, 2009.

Bolton, John, "Bolton: A Circular Negotiations Game?" The Washington Times, January 27, 2009.

Bolton, John, "Obama Promises Bush III on Iran," The Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2009.

Borger, Julian, "Iran has Enriched Enough Uranium to Make Bomb, IAEA Says," The Guardian Online, February 19, 2009.

Bozorgmehr, Najmeh and Khalaf, Roula, "Iran Says U.S. Must Accept Nuclear Programme," The Financial Times, February 4, 2009.

Bozorgmehr, Najmeh and Khalaf, Roula, "Tests for Tehran," The Financial Times, February 12, 2009.

Bryant, Chris and Ben Hall, "Paris and Berlin Could Toughen Iran Sanctions," The Financial Times, February 4, 2009.

Burns, Roberts, "Former Pentagon Chief Predicts Iran Crisis Soon," Associated Press, January 8, 2009.

Champion, Marc, "ElBaradei Urges U.S., Iran to Meet," The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2009.

Chubin, Shahram, "Iran's Power in Context," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February 2009.

Cooper, Helene and Landler, Mark, "On Iran, Obama Plans Talk and Some Toughness," The New York Times, February 3, 2009.

Daniszewski, John, "Netanyahu: Iran Nukes Trump Global Economy," Associated Press, January 29, 2009.

Delpech, Thérèse, Levite, Ariel (Eli), and Perkovich, George, Talk Nuclear With Iran Now, With a Time Limit, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February 3, 2009.

Dyomkin, Denis and Guy Faulconbridge, "Russia to Start Iran Nuclear Plant by Year End," Reuters, February 5, 2009.

Simpson, Glenn R. and Soloman, Jay, "Fresh Clues of Iranian Nuclear Intrigue," The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Iran Denies Uranium Yellowcake Shortage" January 30, 2009

Global Security Newswire, "Iran Running Low on Uranium Yellowcake, Officials Say" January 26, 2009

Global Security Newswire, "U.N. Powers to Confer on Iran," January 22, 2009.

Hess, Pamela, "Hayden: al-Qaida Boxed in, Iran Near Nuke Decision," Associated Press, January 16, 2009.

Hughes, John, "A Russian Answer to Iran's Threat," The Christian Science Monitor, February 19, 2009.

IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737( 2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, February 19, 2009.

Murphy, Francois, "Iran Cooperation Poor, But Slows Nuclear Growth, IAEA," Reuters, February 17, 2009.

Roberts Jr., Arch, "Why Iran Seeks Nuclear Weapons," The Epoch Times, January 25, 2009.

Sanger, David E., "U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site," The New York Times, January 11, 2009, p. A1.

Bajaj, Vikas and Eligson, John, "Iran Moved Billions via U.S. Banks," The New York Times, January 9, 2009, p. B1.

Warrick, Joby, "Iran Using Fronts to Get Bomb Parts From U.S.," The Washington Post, January 11, 2009, p. A01.

Weinthal, Benjamin, "How Europe's Companies are Feeding Iran's Bomb," The Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2009. 

North Korea

Association of Fundraising Professionals, "S. Korea to Name New Nuclear Negotiator with North Korea," February 27, 2009.

Associated Press, "NKorea could give up nukes for US ties," January 21, 2009.

Bolton, John R., "Hillary Clinton's North Korea Naivete," Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2009.

Chang Jae-Soon, "SKorean Nuclear Team to Inspect NKorean Fuel Rods," Associated Press, January 14, 2009.

Luce, Edward, Sevastopulo, Demetri, and Ward, Andrew, "US Warns on North Korea Nuclear Intent," Financial Times, January 18, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "North Korea Has Weapon-Grade Uranium, Rice Says," January 16, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "North Korean Leader Pledges Support for Denuclearization," January 23, 2009.

Harrison, Selig S., "Living With a Nuclear North Korea," The Washington Post, February 17, 2009, p. A13.

Huntley, Wade, "The Promise of the Six-Party Process," Foreign Policy in Focus, February 10, 2009.

International Herald Tribune, "Carter Says US Can Get North Korea to Give Up Nukes," January 27, 2009.

Jong-Heon, Lee, "North Korea Back to Brinkmanship," United Press International Asia, February 6, 2009.

Kessler, Glenn, "White House Voices Concern On North Korea and Uranium," The Washington Post, January 8, 2009, p. A11.

Kim Tong, "Obama can disarm nuclear North Korea," Korea Times, January 23, 2009.

Stares, Paul B. and Wit, Joel S., Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea, Council Special Report No. 42, January 2009.

Reuters, "North Korea Says South Exercises Could Provoke War," January 24, 2009.

Jung Sung-ki, "Debate Re-ignited Over N. Korea's Nuclear Status," The Korea Times, February 6, 2009.

Pakistan

Associated Press, "Pakistan, India Exchange Nuclear Facilities Lists," January 1, 2009.

Gehriger, Von Urs, "Interview with AQ Khan," Die Weltwoche, January 21, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "New Strategy Needed for Pakistan, U.S. WMD Panel Members Say," January 23, 2009.

Sanger, David E., "Obama's Worst Pakistan Nightmare," The New York Times, January 11, 2009, p. MM32.

Syria

Hibbs, Mark, "UO2-Like Find in Syrian Samples Might Point to Oxidized Metal Fuel," Nuclear Fuel, February 23, 2009.

IAEA Director General, Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic, February 19, 2009.

Jahn, George, "Diplomats: Syria Puts Missile Facility on Hit Site," February 24, 2009.

III. Nonproliferation

Darcy, Darlene, "Sensor Maker Helps Fight 'Trojan' Nuclear Threats," Washington Business Journal, January 22, 2009.

The Economist, "Nuclear Safeguards: Every Little Helps," January 8, 2009.

Evans, Gareth, Yoriko Kawaguchi, and Mathews, Jessica T., The International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament: Breaking the Stalemate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February 17, 2009.

Finlay, Brian D., and Turpen, Elizabeth, The Next 100 Project: Leveraging National Security Assistance to Meet Developing World Needs, The Henry L. Stimson Center and the Stanley Foundation, February 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Canada Boosts Nonproliferation Aid for Ukraine," January 22, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "CTR Program Eliminated Hundreds of Nuclear Weapons in 2008," January 26, 2009.

Goldschmidt, Pierre, Exposing Nuclear Non-compliance, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February-March 2009.

Squassoni, Sharon, British and French Nuclear Submarine Collision and Nonproliferation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February 19, 2009.

Tisdall, Simon, "The Nuclear-free Dream Fades," The Guardian, January 22, 2009.

The Washington Post, "A Conversation with Mohamed ElBaradei," February 1, 2009.

IV. Missiles and Missile Defense

Agence France-Presse, "Pentagon Denies Missile Defense Talks with India," January 8, 2009.

Andreasen, Steve, "Rethinking U.S. Missile Defense," San Francisco Chronicle, January 29, 2009.

Spring, Baker, Brookes, Peter, and Carafano, James Jay, "Obama Should Boost Armed Services' Role in Missile Defense," United Press International, January 20, 2009.

Broad, William J., "Syria Discloses Missile Facility, Europeans Say," The New York Times, February 24, 2009.

Cooper, Helene and Kulish, Nicholas, "Biden Hints at Compromise with Russia on Missile Defense Plan," International Herald Tribune, February 8, 2009.

Czuczka, Tony, "Steinmeier Seeks U.S. Missile Defense Shift, Sueddeutsche Says," Bloomberg, February 3, 2009.

Bokhari, Farhan and Kazmin, Amy, "New Delhi Weighs Up US Missile Shield," Financial Times, January 8, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Belarus Says Air-Defense Deal with Russia Not Directed at U.S.," February 10, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "India Plans Missile Defense Test," January 23, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Poland, Czech Republic Worried by Obama's Intentions on Missile Defense," February 19, 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Russian Space Agency to Support Nuclear Missile Project," January 28, 2009.

Gray, Andrew, "U.S. to Review Europe Missile Shield Under Obama," Reuters, January 15, 2009.

Harden, Blaine, "North Korea Puts Launch in Innocuous Terms," The Washington Post, February 25, 2009, p. A11.

Herskovitz, Jon, "North Korea Assembling Longest-Range Missile-paper," Reuters, February 13, 2009.

Herskovitz, Jon, "N. Korea Eyes Disputed Sea Border for Missiles-Media," Reuters, February 5, 2009.

Jones, Gareth, "Poles, Czechs Wary on Russia Missile Move, Eye Obama," Reuters, January 29, 2009.

Kilner, James and Lowe, Christian, "U.S. Offers Moscow Concession on Missile Shield," Reuters, February 13, 2009.

Lowe, Christian, "Russia Offers Obama Olive Branch on Missiles," Reuters, January 28, 2009.

Mistry, Dinshaw and Ferguson, Charles D., "Iran's Missiles: Don't Go Ballistic," International Herald Tribune, February 4, 2009.

Rubin, Uzi, "Yes We Should Worry About Iran's Satellite," The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2009.

Shalal-Esa, Andrea, "Obama Renews Pledge to Invest in Military," Reuters, January 20, 2009.

Taipei Times, "China's 'Missile Reduction' is Fantasy," January 6, 2009, p. 8.

Thompson, Loren B., "Ballistic Missile Threat Growing in 21st Century," United Press International, January 22, 2009.

Thompson, Loren B., "Kinetic Energy Weapons May be Best Way to Intercept Missiles," United Press International, February 6, 2009.

V. Chemical and Biological Arms

Global Security Newswire, "New Russian Chemical Destruction Site Reaches Milestone," February 2, 2009

Global Security Newswire, "Scientists See Bioterrorism Threat, Doubt Their Work Could Contribute to Attack," February 6, 2009.

Lake, Eli, "Al-Qaeda Bungles Arms Experiment," The Washington Times, January 19, 2009.

Margolin, Josh and Ted Sherman, "UMDNJ Facility Loses Two Plague-Infected Dead Lab Mice," The Star-Ledger, February 7, 2009.

McElroy, Damien, "Syria 'Rebuilding' Chemical Weapons Capability," The Telegraph, February 18, 2009.

Reuters, "Study Raises Hope of Anthrax Vaccine Pill," February 16, 2009.

Schneidmiller, Chris, "Iraq Joins Chemical Weapons Convention," Global Security Newswire, January 14, 2009.

VI. Conventional Arms

Associated Press, "HRW Calls on Mideast States to Ban Cluster Weapons," January 26, 2009.

Boessenkool, Antonie and Raghuvanshi, Vivek, "India Balks at C-130, P-8 Restrictions," Defense News, February 8, 2009.

Byrne, Rory, "Unexploded Bombs Still Taking Toll in Laos," Voice of America, February 2, 2009.

Chang, Andrei, "China Expanding African Arms Sales," United Press International Asia, January 26, 2009.

CNN, "Thousands of Guns U.S. Sent to Afghanistan are Missing," February 12, 2009.

Cohen, Ariel, "Can the U.S. F-35 Fighter Destroy Russia's S-300 systems?" United Press International, January 20, 2009.

FARS News Agency, "Iran Starts Manufacture of Stealth Aircraft," January 26, 2009.

Fifield, Anna, "Gaza injuries put focus on phosphorus," Financial Times, January 22, 2009.

Fletcher, Martin, "Israel 'admits' using white phosphorus munitions," The London Times Online, January 21, 2009.

MacDonald, Fraser, "Primitive missiles that are miles away from rocket science," The Herald, January 23, 2009.

Miks, Jason, "F-22 Export Ban, Collective Security Test U.S.-Japan Defense Ties," World Politics Review, January 30, 2009.

Jung Sung-Ki, "Seoul to Deploy Bunker-Busting Bomb by 2012," The Korea Times, January 18, 2009.

Muhumed, Malkhadir M., "Somali Pirates: We're Freeing Ukraine Arms Ship," Associated Press, February 5, 2009.

Nessman, Ravi, "UN: 52 Civilians Killed in a Dar in Sri Lanka War," Associated Press, February 4, 2009.

RIA Novosti, "Russia May Build More Krivak Class Frigates for India," February 4, 2009.

Schaerlaeckens, Leander, "France Transfers More Anti-Tank Missile Technology to India," United Press International, February 9, 2009.

U.S. Department of State, "U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program in Afghanistan," January 23, 2009.

VII. U.S. Policy

Boot, Max, "No Room for Israel Under America's Umbrella," Financial Times, January 27, 2009.

Cirincione, Joe, "Cut the Nuclear Pork from the Stimulus Bill," The Huffington Post, February 9, 2009.

Dunlop, Sean and du Preez, Jean, "The United States and the CTBT: Renewed Hope or Politics as Usual," The Nuclear Threat Initiative Issue Brief, February 2009.

Global Security Newswire, "Administration Considers Placing U.S. Nuclear Complex Under Pentagon Control," February 5, 2009.

Grossman, Elaine M., "Nuclear Arms Experts Tee Up Spending Debate for Obama," Global Security Newswire, January 13, 2009.

John R. Bolton, and John Yoo, "Restore the Senate's Treaty Power," The New York Times, January 5, 2009, p. A21.

Kessler, Glenn, "Veteran Mideast Envoy Ross Named to Advise Clinton on Iran Strategy," The Washington Post, February 24, 2009, p. A04.

Pincus, Walter, "Clinton's Goals Detailed," The Washington Post, January 19, 2009.

Rifkind, Malcolm, "Obama and the Ayatollah," International Herald Tribune, February 1, 2009.

Waterman, Shaun, "Letting Defense Control Nuclear Labs Opposed," The Washington Times, February 6, 2009.

Wood, David, "Pentagon Drifting from Nuclear Deterrence, Report Says," Los Angeles Times, January 9, 2009.

VIII. Space

Broad, William J., "Satellites Collide in Space," International Herald Tribune, February 12, 2009.

Brown, Peter J., "China's Military Awaits New Satellites," Asia Times, January 22, 2009.

McLean, Demian, "Obama Moves to Counter China With Pentagon-NASA Link," Bloomberg, January 2, 2009.

Moltz, James Clay, "Space Jam," The New York Times, February 18, 2009.

New Scientist, "Spy Satellites Turn Their Gaze Onto Each Other," January 24, 2009.

Red Orbit, "Obama Administration Seeks 'Space Weapons' Ban," January 26, 2009.

Shalal-Esa, Andrea, "U.S. Still Probing Security Satellite Failure," Reuters, January 6, 2009.

IX. Other

Agence France-Presse, "Japan, South Africa Diplomats in Running for IAEA Top Job," January 2, 2009.

Argüello, Irma, "Brazil and Argentina's Nuclear Cooperation," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, January 8, 2009.

Associated Press, "US to Ink Nuclear Cooperation Deal with Gulf Ally," January 15, 2009.

Baker, Luke, "Israel Engaged in Covert War Inside Iran," Reuters, February 17, 2009.

Bodell, Nenne, Chronology of Armaments, Disarmament and International Security 2008, Stockholm International Peace research Institute Fact Sheet, January 2009.

Gerecht, Reuel Marc, "The CIA vs. the Mullahs," The Washington Post, January 27, 2009, p. A17.

Hastings, Max, "Mutually Assured Destruction is a thing of the past," The Guardian, January 23, 2009.

Levite, Ariel E., Heading for the Fourth Nuclear Age, French Institute for International Relations Security Studies Center, January 2009.

Omestad, Thomas, "Nuclear Weapons for All? The Risks of a New Scramble for the Bomb," US News and World Report, January 15, 2009.

Squassoni, Sharon, Nuclear Energy: Rebirth or Resuscitation?, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Analysis, February 2009.

March 2009 Print Advertisers

Letter to the Editor: Arms Sales- A Challenge for Obama

Joseph P. Smaldone

Jeff Abramson's article "U.S. Atop Expanding Global Arms Market" in the December 2008 issue of Arms Control Today highlighted recent trends but did not point out a major challenge for the Obama administration: the urgent need to change U.S. conventional arms transfer (CAT) policy.

As noted in the article and the Congressional Research Service report it summarized, in 2007 the world arms market was about $60 billion, of which the United States accounted for $25 billion, more than 40 percent of the total. During 2000-2007, the annual value of U.S. arms supply agreements averaged $17 billion, and the United States captured 38 percent of the global market. Developing countries made two-thirds of worldwide arms buys during the first eight years of this century, $42 billion in 2007 alone. Since 2000, developing countries have accounted for 50-70 percent of total U.S. arms export agreements annually, whereas for Russia, developing countries are virtually its only arms market. The United States and Russia together control more than 60 percent of the developing world market. In truth, U.S. arms sales far exceed these levels because they exclude many billions of direct commercial sales licensed by the State Department, which is chronically unable to generate meaningful, reliable data.

These patterns are significant not only in terms of trade and economics. Their political, security, development, and humanitarian implications are of greater import. Since World War II, there have been fundamental shifts in the nature and locus of wars. International wars are rare, but the incidence of civil wars in the developing world has become rife. Depending on how they are defined and measured, some 20-40 internal conflicts are raging in any given year.

The nexus between arms and developing world conflicts is obvious. To be sure, people, not guns, start and fight wars, but weapons are essential ingredients in the recipe for wars. The availability of arms is a critical factor affecting decisions and behavior in situations where tensions, instability, and war risks are high. In these dangerous conditions, arms supplies raise the probability of war, prolong conflicts, and contribute to economic devastation and human suffering.

If guns matter, so do weapons export policies. Whereas President Jimmy Carter tried to restrain arms transfers, President Ronald Reagan promoted them. Reagan's CAT policy remained intact under President George H. W. Bush. Bill Clinton won the presidency largely on domestic economic issues. His CAT policy was not issued until February 1995, two full years after he took office. It was a mixed bag and largely formalized policies and practices that had been evolving. Decision-making criteria were more a recipe for dispute than useful guidance for bureaucrats. Arms control and human rights considerations were downplayed, and for the first time, the "impact on U.S. industry and the defense industrial base" as well as "foreign availability of comparable systems" were taken into account.

The George W. Bush administration overturned many of its predecessor's policies, notably regarding arms control and nonproliferation, but amazingly made a conscious decision to embrace Clinton's CAT policy untouched! Apparently, when it came to arms exports, there was little or no daylight between Democrats and Republicans. Reagonomics, Clintonomics, and Bushomics all meant the same thing: sell more arms, beat the competition, and oppose anything that might stand in the way.

Sadly, President Barack Obama may be succumbing to this same old routine. CAT issues were utterly absent in the recent presidential campaign. The one legislative initiative Obama trumpeted most was joining Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to co-sponsor a measure expanding efforts started by the Clinton administration: paying to collect and destroy excess arms held by other countries, but making no effort to address the supply side of the market. Ever since Clinton opted out of the Mine Ban Convention, U.S. programs to remove and destroy excess stockpiles or weapons left behind in conflict zones have served as a thinly veiled substitute for meaningful action to address world arms flows, especially the huge portion supplied by the United States.

If Obama wants to do something more than conduct business as usual by continuing the CAT policy of his predecessors, here are some starters.

Internationally:

  • Engage seriously with the European Union (EU) to develop and promote a global code of conduct on arms transfers, incorporating the stronger normative criteria of the EU Code and the wider regulatory scope of U.S. policies and practices.
  • Work bilaterally with Russia to explore mutual or reciprocal restraints in supplying weapons to developing world hotspots and to find areas of possible cooperation on multilateral and global CAT issues.
  • Reverse U.S. obstructionism and engage seriously in the effort to negotiate the arms trade treaty, a process that has been endorsed by the United Nations.
  • Put diplomatic muscle and resources into strengthening enforcement of mandatory UN arms embargoes.

Domestically:

  • Inaugurate a long-overdue review of U.S. CAT policy, with a view toward adopting the more restrictive and prescriptive criteria employed by the EU.
  • Revamp the interagency CAT decision-making system by including the U.S. Agency for International Development fully in the process, from policymaking to review of export decisions.
  • Within the State Department, subject arms transfer decisions to an undiluted arms control-nonproliferation review by a bureau separate from Political-Military Affairs, which administers defense export programs.
  • Press the Senate to ratify the 1997 Organization of American States (OAS) Firearms Convention and the 1999 OAS Conventional Arms Transparency Convention, each of which is the fruit of U.S. leadership in promoting regional security cooperation in this hemisphere.

Joseph P. Smaldone, formerly director of conventional arms nonproliferation policy at the State Department, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

 

Correction

On page 33 of Arms Control Today's January/February 2009 issue, the news article "WMD Commission Issues Findings," contains a paragraph that begins with "BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs contain pathogens..." That entire paragraph should be replaced with the following: "High-containment (BSL-3) and maximum-containment (BSL-4) labs are designed for the safe handling of pathogens with the highest levels of lethality and contagiousness. All BSL-4 labs are currently required to register with the U.S. government, but only those BSL-3 labs that work with pathogens or toxins designated as select agents, or that conduct recombinant DNA research with federal funding, are required to do so. An unknown number of BSL-3 labs, ranging from tens to hundreds, do not fall into either category."

Disarmament Efforts Get New Impetus

Cole Harvey

In a major disarmament step, Russia and the United States appear poised to negotiate a significant new agreement on strategic arms reduction as the clock ticks toward the December 2009 expiration of the 1991 START. At the same time, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a report detailing proposed steps for an eventual ban on all nuclear weapons.

Speaking at the 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy Feb. 7, Vice President Joe Biden reiterated the Obama administration's commitment to a new strategic arms agreement with Russia. The two countries should "renew the verification procedures in the START...and then go beyond existing treaties to negotiate deeper cuts in our arsenals," he said.

The Russian response to Biden's address and to other overtures from the Obama administration on the issue has been largely positive. After meeting with Biden in Munich Feb. 8, Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov said that the new administration's stance "inspires optimism." Ivanov agreed with Biden that Russia and the United States should extend the START verification procedures and agree to reduce their nuclear arsenals.

Working out the details of a new arms agreement between Russia and the United States promises to be a thorny process. Ivanov, in his address to the Munich conference, argued that any new agreement should limit delivery vehicles as well as warheads and should ban the deployment of strategic weapons beyond national borders. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in her Jan. 13 confirmation hearing that the Obama administration "will seek deep, verifiable reductions in all U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons-whether deployed or nondeployed, strategic or nonstrategic."

U.S.-Russian relations have been strained by the Bush administration's plan to install elements of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, presenting an obstacle to any new arms deal. In his Munich speech, Ivanov claimed that the European sites of the U.S. missile defense program are part of a system "aimed at deterring Russia's nuclear missile potential." U.S. officials have maintained that the system is intended to counter a potential nuclear attack from Iran.

Obama administration officials have not explicitly backed away from deploying missile defenses in Europe but have indicated that the previous administration's policies are up for review. In his Munich address, Biden declared that the United States will continue to develop missile defense capabilities "provided the technology is proven to work and cost effective."

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, in a Feb. 13 interview with Interfax in Moscow, held out the possibility of a revised missile defense policy in exchange for Russian cooperation on Iran's nuclear program. Burns stated that the Obama administration could reevaluate the need for missile defense systems in Europe if "through strong diplomacy with Russia and our other partners, we can reduce or eliminate [the Iranian] threat." Burns also declared that the administration is open to the possibility of "new missile defense configurations" that incorporate Russian assets as well as those of NATO allies.

In a joint press conference with the Czech foreign minister on Feb. 10, Clinton reiterated that the United States reserves the right to develop a missile defense capability in Europe if the threat from Iran continues to mount. "If the Iranians continue on this path," she said, "one of the options of free countries...is to defend ourselves."

Separately, the British Foreign Office released a report Feb. 4 detailing proposed steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, noting that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Obama have each pledged to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons, wrote that the time has come to move from "a decade of deadlock to a decade of decisions."

The British report lays out six "attainable" steps toward abolishing nuclear weapons. These steps are designed to curb proliferation, decrease stockpiles, and build confidence.

The international community must agree to more stringent measures to prevent proliferation, according to the report, while working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help states develop peaceful nuclear technology.

Next, the report urges Russia and the United States to make substantial reductions in their total nuclear stockpiles, not simply in deployed weapons. IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei echoed this call in a Feb. 16 editorial in the International Herald Tribune, suggesting that Russia and the United States could reduce their stockpiles to as few as 500 warheads each.

Fourth, the British Foreign Office calls for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which the Obama administration supports. In her Jan. 13 testimony, Clinton said that she and President Barack Obama are "strongly committed to Senate approval of the CTBT and to launching a diplomatic effort to bring on board other states whose ratifications are required for the treaty to enter into force." The CTBT has been ratified by 148 countries, but the United States and eight other specific states must still ratify the treaty before it can take effect.

In order to lay the groundwork for an eventual ban on nuclear weapons, the report also calls for the negotiation and implementation of a treaty banning the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

Lastly, the report urges those states possessing nuclear weapons to begin a strategic dialogue to explore the political and security issues that would arise during the transition from low numbers of nuclear weapons to zero nuclear weapons. The British government has proposed a 2009 conference of the five nuclear-weapon states recognized in the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to discuss these issues.

As Russia and the United States seem prepared to negotiate substantial reductions in their nuclear arsenals and with the Obama administration supportive of the CTBT, there is an emerging consensus on many of the points listed in the British plan. As Ivanov noted in Munich, however, "[T]he devil is in the details."

In a major disarmament step, Russia and the United States appear poised to negotiate a significant new agreement on strategic arms reduction as the clock ticks toward the December 2009 expiration of the 1991 START. At the same time, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a report detailing proposed steps for an eventual ban on all nuclear weapons. (Continue)

Ukraine Set to Join Enrichment Facility

Miles A. Pomper

Efforts to impose multilateral control over the nuclear fuel cycle gained strength in February as Ukraine was set to become the fourth country to join a multinational uranium-enrichment facility located in Angarsk in Russia. Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, have yet to resolve differences on a safeguards agreement intended to govern a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank to be located at the site in Siberia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Feb. 9 approved a Ukrainian bid to join the International Uranium Enrichment Center (IUEC) by ordering an exchange of notes between the two governments and Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, along with Russia, established the facility in 2007, and Armenia decided soon thereafter to join as well.

In order to address concerns regarding the spread of technology, the IUEC will be structured in such a way that no enrichment technology or classified knowledge will be accessible to the foreign participants.

The Russian government has been negotiating with the IAEA to establish a 120-metric-ton LEU fuel bank at Angarsk. Yet, Russian officials and other knowledgeable observers say a final agreement between Moscow and the IAEA on the Angarsk fuel bank has been held up because of a dispute between the Russian government and the IAEA over which countries should be eligible to receive fuel. (See ACT, January/February 2009.)

Moscow, bound by Nuclear Suppliers Group rules, wants to limit access to those states that have signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). The IAEA's founding statute, however, requires that all of its member states, including non-NPT members such as Pakistan and Israel, be eligible for the fuel.

Abdul Qadeer Khan Freed From House Arrest

Peter Crail

In February, Pakistan lifted most restrictions on former Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan, who had organized an extensive black market network contributing nuclear weapons-related technology to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and perhaps other countries. The Islamabad High Court Feb. 6 declared Khan a "free citizen," although still subject to some undisclosed security measures, after finding that charges against Khan for nuclear smuggling could not be proved.

Khan has been under house arrest since 2004 when he confessed to the charges and was pardoned by then-President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Since Musharraf was removed from power in 2008, Khan has recanted his confession and now maintains that it "was not of [his] own free will." (See ACT, July/August 2008.)

Khan is considered a hero by many in Pakistan due to his instrumental role in that country's nuclear weapons program. He first used his nuclear smuggling network in the 1970s and 1980s to acquire the uranium-enrichment technology used to produce material for Pakistan's nuclear arms.

The United States has called the lifting of restrictions "regrettable." Department of State spokesperson Gordon Duguid said that Washington believes that Khan "remains a serious proliferation risk." On Jan. 12, the United States placed financial restrictions on Khan, as well as 12 individuals and three companies associated with his network. The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals or entities have under U.S. jurisdiction and prevent U.S. persons and entities from doing business with them.

Islamabad has continued to rebuff efforts by the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to question Khan about his smuggling activities. Pakistani officials have also insisted that Khan's nuclear trafficking network has been dismantled and that he no longer poses a serious proliferation risk. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters Feb. 7, "We have successfully broken the network that [Khan] had set up, and today he has no say and has no access to any of the sensitive areas of Pakistan."

Members of Congress have expressed concern that not enough has been done to address the potential that Khan's network may still be operating. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, welcomed the Jan. 12 announcement of U.S. sanctions but expressed concern that they were "belated" and may not prevent the network from continuing to operate. He asserted in a Jan. 12 statement that "the sanctions do not put an end to the matter; equipment and technology from this network may still be circulating, and new suppliers could well spring up to take Khan's place." Berman suggested in a Feb. 6 statement that Congress would take into account Pakistan's refusal to provide access to Khan as it reviews U.S. policy and assistance toward Islamabad.

In this regard, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation, and trade, introduced a resolution Feb. 12 proposing that Pakistan's pursuit of its nonproliferation commitments "should be a guiding element in determining [U.S.] policy toward that country, including with respect to [U.S.] bilateral assistance."

Khan Middleman Admits CIA Collusion

Meanwhile, a key figure in Khan's network has recently admitted that he cooperated with U.S. intelligence agencies to undermine and halt the network's nuclear smuggling activities. Swiss national Urs Tinner said in a documentary called "The Spy From the Rhine Valley," which aired on Swiss television Jan. 22, that he helped the CIA halt assistance the Khan network was providing for Libya's nuclear weapons program.

Germany arrested Tinner in 2004 and extradited him to Switzerland on suspicion of smuggling nuclear technology in violation of Swiss export control laws. Tinner worked with the Khan network to manufacture centrifuges used to enrich uranium. The network sold these centrifuges and components to Libya, as well as countries such as Iran and North Korea, to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

Tinner's father, Fredrich, and brother, Marco, were also arrested on similar charges. As of January, all three had been released on bail. The Tinners were not included among the individuals sanctioned by the United States in January.

The same day the documentary aired, the Swiss parliament issued a report that supported Tinner's claim of cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies as well as suspicions that the Swiss federal government destroyed evidence related to the Tinner case under pressure from Washington. (See ACT, July/August 2008.)

The files in question consisted of information related to the Tinners' operations in the Khan network and included blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapons design. According to the report, after consulting and sharing the information with U.S. intelligence agencies and the IAEA, the Swiss federal government decided to destroy all of the documentation it acquired from the Tinners. Swiss prosecutors and the Tinners' defense lawyers objected to this destruction due to the impact on the criminal case.

Moreover, the report also found that, under U.S. pressure, Swiss authorities granted immunity to the Tinners from a Swiss criminal law prohibiting its nationals from assisting the intelligence services of another country.

The parliamentary report concluded that the Swiss federal government should have accepted a U.S. offer to take control of the files and separate the sensitive nuclear weapons blueprints from the other information rather than destroy them.

In February, Pakistan lifted most restrictions on former Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan, who had organized an extensive black market network contributing nuclear weapons-related technology to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and perhaps other countries. The Islamabad High Court Feb. 6 declared Khan a "free citizen," although still subject to some undisclosed security measures, after finding that charges against Khan for nuclear smuggling could not be proved. (Continue)

Chinese Report Discusses Nuclear Planning

Peter Crail

On Jan. 20, China issued its biennial defense white paper, which explained for the first time how its nuclear force would respond to different situations in line with its policy of "no first use of nuclear weapons." The paper, entitled "China's National Defense in 2008," is the sixth Beijing has issued since 1998.

China's primary strategic nuclear force is maintained by its Second Artillery Corps, which Beijing states "takes as its fundamental mission the protection of China from any nuclear attack." Although the paper's description of the role of the Second Artillery Corps focused on its nuclear forces, the corps also has a conventional precision-strike missile capability.

China outlined in broad terms three phases of readiness for the nuclear forces of its Second Artillery Corps. In peacetime, the paper asserts that China's nuclear missiles "are not aimed at any country." Other nuclear-armed states, including the United States, have made similar assurances regarding not targeting their nuclear arms.

If threatened by a nuclear attack, Beijing states that its nuclear missiles "go into a state of alert and get ready for a nuclear counterattack" to deter the use of nuclear weapons. Lastly, in the event of a nuclear attack against China, the paper indicates that the Second Artillery Corps will launch a nuclear counterattack "either independently or together with the nuclear forces of other services."

China's navy has maintained a small sea-based nuclear missile capability since 1983. It has been developing a new nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine and is believed to be working on a more advanced submarine-launched nuclear missile. China has an estimated stockpile of 100-200 nuclear weapons.

Although China has consistently claimed that it would only use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack, the United States has questioned the credibility of that assurance. A 2008 annual Pentagon report on China's military power stated that "doctrinal materials suggest additional missions for China's nuclear forces include deterring conventional attacks against [Chinese] nuclear assets or conventional attacks with [weapons of mass destruction]-like effects." The report notes, however, that Chinese officials have offered public and private assurances that its no-first-use pledge would not change and that the policy has support in China's military.

In addition to describing China's nuclear force planning, the paper appears to provide a limited explanation of the country's strategic nuclear modernization efforts. It states that the Second Artillery Corps "strives to raise the informationization (sic) level of its weaponry and equipment, ensure their safety and reliability," and enhance a variety of missile capabilities. In particular, it states that the development of the Second Artillery Corps' nuclear and missile forces has allowed it to deploy solid-fueled and liquid-fueled missiles of varying ranges and with "different types of warheads."

China does not indicate the nature of the types of warheads it has developed. It is unclear if such an explanation helps to assuage concerns expressed by the United States and its allies regarding China's lack of transparency in its military modernization efforts, including its nuclear forces and delivery systems. The 2008 Pentagon report asserted that Chinese leaders have not yet explained the rationale and objectives behind its strategic modernization, increasing the risk of "misunderstanding and miscalculation."

On Jan. 20, China issued its biennial defense white paper, which explained for the first time how its nuclear force would respond to different situations in line with its policy of "no first use of nuclear weapons." The paper, entitled "China's National Defense in 2008," is the sixth Beijing has issued since 1998.

China's primary strategic nuclear force is maintained by its Second Artillery Corps, which Beijing states "takes as its fundamental mission the protection of China from any nuclear attack." Although the paper's description of the role of the Second Artillery Corps focused on its nuclear forces, the corps also has a conventional precision-strike missile capability. (Continue)

North Korea Seen Preparing for Missile Launch

Peter Crail

Amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang appears to be making preparations to test its long-range ballistic missile, the Taepo Dong-2. North Korea reportedly began moving components of the missile, which may be capable of reaching parts of the United States, to its eastern missile launch site at Musudan-ri in early February. The Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed U.S. counterproliferation official Feb. 3 stating, "The North Koreans appear to be moving missile-related equipment around, but it's too early to say whether or not they will proceed with an actual test."

Pyongyang's official media appears to have confirmed the prospect of a long-range missile test with claims that North Korea has the right to carry out further work in "space development." In that context, the state-run Korean Central News Agency stated Feb. 24 that "the preparations for launching [an] experimental communications satellite...are now making brisk headway." North Korea similarly characterized its 1998 launch of its shorter range Taepo Dong-1 missile as a satellite launch vehicle.

Estimates regarding the range of the Taepo Dong-2 vary widely. The two-stage version has an estimated range of 4,000-8,000 kilometers, making it potentially capable of reaching parts of Alaska, Hawaii, and the western coast of the United States. Yet, North Korea's only test of the Taepo Dong-2, carried out in July 2006, failed 40 seconds after launch. Noting North Korea's technical challenges with the long-range missile, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated during a Feb. 10 press briefing that "the range of the Taepo Dong-2 remains to be seen," adding "so far, it's very short."

Pyongyang's continued missile development violates two UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 2006 requiring that North Korea halt its development and testing of ballistic missiles. (See ACT, September 2006.) The council adopted Resolution 1695 in July of that year in response to North Korea's Taepo Dong-2 test, and it issued Resolution 1718 the following October after North Korea's nuclear test. South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told reporters Feb. 18 that any North Korean launch "will inevitably be followed by sanctions."

Washington indicated that it may consider intercepting the missile if it approached the United States. When asked during a Pentagon press briefing whether the United States would make preparations to shoot down the missile if it came toward U.S. territory, Gates said he intended to make sure other senior U.S. officials "understand what our capabilities are, and that that's an option out there should...we deem it necessary."

During the weeks leading up to the 2006 Taepo Dong-2 test, the United States placed its ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) missile interceptor base in Fort Greely, Alaska, on alert status. (See ACT, July/August 2008.)

It is unclear, however, if this particular missile defense system is currently able to intercept a North Korean missile. A December 2008 annual report by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate assessed that "while GMD has demonstrated a capability against a simple foreign threat, GMD flight testing to date will not support a high level of confidence in its limited capabilities."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who traveled to the region in mid-February, told reporters Feb. 17 that a North Korean missile launch "would be very unhelpful" in moving the U.S. relationship with North Korea forward. She stated that the United States was committed to normalizing relations with Pyongyang if it "verifiably and completely eliminates its nuclear program."

 

Corrected online March 20, 2009. The article previously incorrectly stated that the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1696 in response to North Korea's 2006 missile test. The correct resolution is 1695.

Amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang appears to be making preparations to test its long-range ballistic missile, the Taepo Dong-2. North Korea reportedly began moving components of the missile, which may be capable of reaching parts of the United States, to its eastern missile launch site at Musudan-ri in early February. The Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed U.S. counterproliferation official Feb. 3 stating, "The North Koreans appear to be moving missile-related equipment around, but it's too early to say whether or not they will proceed with an actual test." (Continue)

Bosworth Named Special Representative for NK

Peter Crail

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Asia during her first overseas trip facing concerns about continued progress in negotiations on North Korea's denuclearization and questions regarding the status of North Korea's leadership. In order to help address these challenges, Clinton Feb. 20 named Ambassador Stephen Bosworth to serve as the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy. During a press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, Clinton said that Bosworth "will be our senior official handling North Korea issues, reporting to me as well as to President [Barack] Obama."

Bosworth served as the first executive director for the Korean Peninsula Economic Development Organization (KEDO), the body previously responsible for implementing economic assistance to Pyongyang under a 1994 U.S.-North Korean denuclearization agreement. He was also ambassador to South Korea from 1997 to 2000. More recently, he has been dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a position he will continue to hold while serving as special representative.

Explaining the distinction between the roles to be played by Bosworth and U.S. Special Envoy to the Six-Party Talks Sung Kim, Department of State spokesperson Robert Wood said Feb. 20 that Kim "will handle the day-to-day contact and discussions with our six-party colleagues" while Bosworth "will be the special representative coordinating the overall U.S. government effort." The six-party talks, initiated in 2003 to denuclearize North Korea, involve China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.

Clinton frequently stressed during her visit to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China the U.S. commitment to the six-party talks and indicated that Washington is prepared to normalize relations with Pyongyang once it "verifiably and completely eliminates its nuclear program."

Meanwhile, she also raised the additional challenge posed by suspected changes in the state's leadership following North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's apparent stroke in August 2008. During a Feb. 20 press conference en route to Seoul, she stated that the U.S. goal "is to try to come up with a strategy that is effective in influencing the behavior of the North Koreans at a time when the whole leadership situation is somewhat unclear."

North Korea Declares Plutonium "Weaponized"

Another factor potentially complicating efforts to denuclearize North Korea is its recent assertion that its entire stockpile of separated plutonium has been used to build nuclear weapons. In Feb. 12 congressional testimony, scholar Selig Harrison stated that North Korean officials told him during his Jan. 13-17 visit to Pyongyang that the country's declared stock of plutonium has "already been weaponized" and could not be inspected.

North Korea is believed to have declared about 30 kilograms of separated plutonium produced at its key nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in a nuclear declaration it submitted to the other five parties in June 2008. (See ACT, July/August 2008.) This declaration has not been made public. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told Congress Feb. 12 that, prior to Pyongyang's 2006 nuclear test, the United States assessed that North Korea had enough plutonium for at least six nuclear weapons.

Moreover, Pyongyang refused to say under what conditions it would relinquish such weapons. Harrison said Feb. 12 that the director-general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's American Affairs Bureau, Li Gun, told him that North Korea is "not in a position to say when we will abandon nuclear weapons" and added "that depends on when we believe there is no U.S. nuclear threat."

The latter comment appears to refer to Pyongyang's call for efforts to verify that U.S. nuclear weapons are not maintained in South Korea as part of the denuclearization of the peninsula. North Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Jan. 13 asserting that "free field access should be ensured to verify the introduction and deployment of U.S. nukes in South Korea and details about their withdrawal," including verification procedures "on a regular basis" to prevent their reintroduction.

The United States has declared that it removed its nuclear weapons from South Korea in 1991.

Continued Disablement in Question

Although recent North Korean statements place long-term progress on denuclearization in doubt, ongoing efforts to prevent Pyongyang from producing additional plutonium for weapons may soon reach another key hurdle. North Korea indicated in December 2008 that it would only continue to disable its key nuclear facilities at Yongbyon as long as it received the energy assistance the five parties promised in a 2007 aid-for-denuclearization deal. The United States and Russia have completed delivery of their share of the energy assistance and China has pledged to continue its own deliveries. Whether Japan and South Korea will follow through on their pledges to provide their remaining shares of energy assistance is currently in doubt.

As part of a six-party agreement in 2007, North Korea pledged to temporarily render inoperable the facilities it used to produce plutonium for weapons in exchange for one million tons of heavy fuel oil or its equivalent in energy assistance. (See ACT, March 2007.) The six parties agreed on 11 steps to disable those facilities in November 2007, and as of the beginning of 2009, eight of those 11 steps have been completed. One of the most prolonged steps in that process, however, the removal of spent fuel rods from North Korea's five-megawatt reactor, has been ongoing over the past year. Pyongyang has slowed the pace of removal to 15 rods per day and has threatened to slow this pace to one per day in response to declining assistance.

South Korea has been withholding a shipment of about 3,000 tons of steel plates in response to a lack of progress on denuclearization talks and deteriorating inter-Korean relations. A South Korean diplomat told Arms Control Today in February that, in light of North Korean provocations toward the South Korean government, it is in no hurry to make a determination regarding continuing assistance.

Already in a state of tension, North-South relations declined sharply in the beginning of 2009 as North Korea took increasingly confrontational steps in reaction to the policies of South Korea's year-old government under President Lee Myung-bak. Lee instituted a significant shift in Seoul's policy toward Pyongyang when he entered office in February 2008, conditioning all economic assistance to its aid-dependent neighbor on North Korea's progress on nuclear disarmament. (See ACT, March 2008.)

In response, Pyongyang declared Jan. 30 that it was scrapping all bilateral military and political agreements with Seoul. South Korean Unification Ministry spokesperson Kim Ho-nyeon said the same day that he regretted the announcement and encouraged North Korea to engage in dialogue to defuse tensions.

It remains unlikely Japan will provide any of its share of 200,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to North Korea. Tokyo has insisted since the six-party agreements were concluded in 2007 that it would not deliver any energy assistance to North Korea unless the two countries resolved Japanese concerns regarding Pyongyang's abduction of Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 1980s. Pyongyang has consistently rebuffed efforts to account for the abductees and claims that those that have not been returned to Japan are no longer alive.

Australia and New Zealand have declared a willingness to provide some of the energy assistance for North Korea but on the condition that progress is made in the six-party talks. In a Jan. 7 e-mail to Arms Control Today, an Australian diplomat said that Canberra has made an "in principle offer" of energy assistance to North Korea but that "[a]ny final decision will take into account progress in the six-party talks and be made in close consultation with others." Seoul is believed to have contacted other potential suppliers to make up Japan's share.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Asia during her first overseas trip facing concerns about continued progress in negotiations on North Korea's denuclearization and questions regarding the status of North Korea's leadership. In order to help address these challenges, Clinton Feb. 20 named Ambassador Stephen Bosworth to serve as the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy. During a press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, Clinton said that Bosworth "will be our senior official handling North Korea issues, reporting to me as well as to President [Barack] Obama." (Continue)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - March 2009