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
Soon after the Obama administration took office, Vice President Joe Biden set the tone of the new administration's approach toward Moscow when he called for the United States and Russia to press the "reset button" in their bilateral relationship. This theme was reiterated in the March 9, 2009, meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Providing guidance to their bureaucracies, Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, at their meeting on the margins of the April G-20 financial summit in London, "decided to begin bilateral intergovernmental negotiations to work out a new, comprehensive, legally binding agreement on reducing and limiting strategic offensive arms to replace" START. (Continue)
In his stirring April 5 speech in Prague, President Barack Obama outlined his vision for strengthening global efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and moving forward on practical, immediate steps "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Appropriately, his short list of such steps includes re-establishing U.S. leadership on the achievement of a global, verifiable ban on nuclear weapons testing. Obama pledged to "immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty [CTBT]."
Indeed, the CTBT remains an essential part of a commonsense strategy to reduce nuclear dangers. By banning the bang, the CTBT constrains the ability of nuclear-armed states to perfect new and more sophisticated warheads. For instance, without additional testing, China cannot perfect the technology to arm its missiles with multiple warheads. (Continue)
Statement by Representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to the Preparatory Meeting for the 2010 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Moderator - ACA Executive Director Daryl Kimball Speakers- Sidney Drell, Ambassador James Goodby, and Ambassador Tibor Tóth
"One of those issues that I will focus on today is fundamental to the security of our nations, and to the peace and security of the world - the future of nuclear weapons in the 21st century."
In a stirring speech delivered in Prague today, President Barack Obama delivered a major address in which he outlined his vision for strengthening the global effort to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, moving forward on long-overdue disarmament measures, preventing nuclear terrorism, and he stated "clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." (Continue)