"Though we have acheived progress, our work is not over. That is why I support the mission of the Arms Control Association. It is, quite simply, the most effective and important organization working in the field today." 

– Larry Weiler
Former U.S.-Russian arms control negotiator
August 7, 2018
Kelsey Davenport

Pakistan to Focus on Short-Range Missiles

Kelsey Davenport

Pakistan is likely to remain focused on developing and improving short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles to deter India’s conventional military superiority despite the second successful test of India’s long-range, nuclear-capable Agni-5 missile, experts said in recent interviews.

Although India and Pakistan are nuclear rivals, New Delhi’s forays into longer-range missile systems do not seem to be spurring reciprocal developments in Islamabad.

In a Sept. 20 e-mail to Arms Control Today, Naeem Salik, a retired Pakistani brigadier general, wrote that Pakistan is “not unduly concerned” with India’s development of longer-range missiles, such as the Agni-5, because it would not be cost effective to fire them at reduced ranges to target Pakistan. Because Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are “aimed only at India,” Salik said, Pakistan does not require longer-range systems because Islamabad can reach “any target” in India with its current inventory of missiles.

Salik added that Pakistan’s “self[-]imposed restraint” on its missile ranges also is a “conscious decision” not to develop missiles that would allow Islamabad to target Israel. This prevents “unnecessary hostility” from Israel and “pro-Israel lobbies in the United States,” he said.

India’s Sept. 15 test of the Agni-5, its longest-range missile, “met all the mission objectives,” Ravi Kumar Gupta, spokesman for India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said in a statement released following the test. The Agni-5 is a three-stage, solid-fueled ballistic missile that can carry a 1,500-kilogram payload 5,000 kilometers, according to reports. It was first tested in April 2012. (See ACT, May 2012.)

In a Sept. 19 e-mail, Toby Dalton, a former senior policy adviser to the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security at the U.S. Energy Department, offered an analysis similar to Salik’s on some key points. Pakistan is not responding “solely or even primarily” to India’s nuclear developments but rather to New Delhi’s “conventional military plans and growing [conventional] capabilities,” he wrote.

Dalton, now the deputy director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that India’s nuclear developments are “primarily driven” by China’s growing nuclear arsenal and Beijing’s presumably growing conventional forces.

The reported 5,000-kilometer range of the Agni-5 puts it just below the 5,500-kilometer threshold for classification as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), but it is capable of reaching most of China, including Beijing, and the Middle East.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Sept. 15 that China “noted relevant reports” of the Agni-5 test and that “both sides should make concerted efforts to enhance” political trust and stability in the region.

Pakistan’s Focus

As India pursues longer-range systems, Salik said that Islamabad is focused mainly on development of two types of missiles: cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles.

The emphasis Islamabad is placing on cruise missile development is important, Salik said, because of India’s “ongoing efforts to indigenously develop or acquire ballistic missile defense systems.” Ballistic missile defense systems are not designed to target cruise missiles.

For the past several years, Pakistan has been testing several types of cruise missiles, including the Babur, which has a range of 700 kilometers with a 300-kilogram payload. The Babur can also be launched from naval surface platforms. Islamabad also is testing an air-launched cruise missile, the Raad, which has a range of 350 kilometers. Salik noted that the Raad will give Pakistan a “stand-off capability,” which allows pilots to launch a weapon at a distance from the target, thus allowing them to avoid defensive fire.

Pakistan also has been focusing more attention on its short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, including the Nasr. Islamabad began testing the Nasr, which has a range of 60 kilometers, in April 2011. It is “ostensibly for use as a battlefield nuclear weapons delivery system” to deter India from launching its Cold Start strategy, Salik said.

Cold Start is India’s conventional military doctrine aimed specifically at responses to Pakistani incursions into India. It involves quick, limited strikes into Pakistani territory.

India’s conventional military capabilities exceed those of Pakistan.

Dalton said that Pakistan is focusing on shorter-range systems to deter Indian conventional operations to address “substrategic” deterrence gaps. Pakistan’s current focus on short-range systems does not preclude the development of longer-range systems in the future, but at this point, “the objective of such a development is not clear,” Dalton said.

Future Agni Development

In a Sept. 15 press release, the DRDO called the successful Agni-5 test a “major milestone” and announced that the missile will now be tested from a canister, which is how the missile will eventually be deployed.

DRDO Director-General Avinash Chander said that the Agni-5 “canister-launch” should take place early next year. In Sept. 15 remarks, Chander said that, after three or four more tests, the Agni-5 will be stored and deployed in canisters to “drastically” reduce the reaction time for launching the missile, a priority for India. (See ACT, September 2013.)

Recent statements indicate that New Delhi plans to focus on increasing the range of its ballistic missiles in the future. India is in the initial stages of developing an ICBM with a range of at least 6,000 kilometers, the Agni-6, DRDO officials have said on several occasions.

In his Sept. 15 comments, Chander said that increasing the range of future ballistic missiles is the “least problematic” area for India. New Delhi could develop a missile with a 10,000-kilometer range in two and a half years, he said. India does not currently “see the need” for that range, he said.

The DRDO is working on technology for multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), which will allow future Agni missiles to carry several warheads. Although the Agni-5 is being tested with a single warhead, the Agni-6 could be equipped to carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, a DRDO scientist told the New Indian Express on Sept. 18.

Dalton said that on “technical drivers” of Indian missile development, including areas such as MIRVs, the DRDO is “often out front of the rest of the government in claims about its technology developments that may not in fact be settled policy.”

Pakistan is likely to remain focused on improving its short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, despite India’s advances in long-range ballistic missiles, experts say.

Iran, U.S. Push Nuclear Diplomacy

Kelsey Davenport

Following a high-level series of diplomatic exchanges and meetings between U.S. and Iranian leaders in late September, both sides say there is a strong basis for a diplomatic resolution to the long-running impasse over Iran’s nuclear program.

In the highest level of contact between the two governments since 1979, President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone about Iran’s nuclear program Sept. 27, Obama told reporters at a White House news conference later that day.

“While there will surely be important obstacles” and success is not guaranteed, “I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution” to the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, Obama said.

“[T]he test will be meaningful, transparent, and verifiable actions” by Iran that would “bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions,” he said.

Obama’s conversation with Rouhani followed a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations on Sept. 26 that Kerry described as “constructive.” Zarif’s presentation to six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on the nuclear negotiations had a tone that was different from the one Iran had taken in previous meetings with the group, known as the P5+1, and was “very different in the vision” of possibilities for the future, Kerry said afterwards.

Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have been intermittent and largely unproductive for more than a decade. The P5+1 met three times with Iran in 2012 and once each in February and April 2013, but failed to reach an agreement.

The two sides will resume talks in Geneva on Oct. 15-16, a senior State Department official said during a press briefing following the Sept. 26 meeting.

Kerry said that he hoped the negotiations lead to “concrete results that will answer the outstanding questions” about Iran’s nuclear program. Zarif, speaking later that evening at an event organized by the Asia Society in New York, said that he was “optimistic” about negotiations and now the parties need to “match our words with actions.”

In a statement following the Sept. 26 meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the head negotiator for the P5+1, said that the group had put forward a proposal that would remain on the table. (See ACT, May 2013.) Iran can “respond directly” to that proposal or put forward its own at the October meeting, she said.

One-Year Timetable

Zarif said he and Kerry “agreed to jump-start the process” and move to agree “first, on the parameters of the end game.” Iran and the P5+1 will think about the order of steps that need to be implemented to “address the immediate concerns of [the] two sides” and move toward finalizing a deal within a year, Zarif said.

The senior State Department official said that Iran was “urged” to “add some substance” to the ideas presented during the meeting and share some details before talks resume Oct. 15.

The Sept. 26 meeting marked the first set of talks the P5+1 had with Iran under Rouhani, who took office Aug. 3 and is widely seen as more moderate than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Obama said in a Sept. 24 speech at the UN that he made it clear in letters to Rouhani and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Washington prefers to resolve its concerns over Iran’s nuclear program “peacefully” but remains determined to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama said the United States “respects the right of the Iranian people to access nuclear energy.”

Since his election, Rouhani made several speeches indicating that Tehran was more serious about making a deal. In his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 24, he said that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and nuclear weapons have “no place in Iran’s security and defense doctrine.”

He said it was “imperative” that Iran “remove any and all reasonable concerns” about its nuclear program.

Colin Kahl, a former Defense Department official in the Obama administration, told Arms Control Today in a Sept. 26 e-mail that Rouhani “signaled his willingness to reach some accommodation” and claims to have “sufficient leeway” from Khamenei to reach an agreement on the nuclear issue.

Sanctions Relief Sought

Rouhani told the United Nations that any deal must respect Iran’s right to enrich uranium and provide relief from the “unjust sanctions.”

Iran is subject to UN Security Council sanctions for failing to suspend its sensitive nuclear activities and provide answers to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding activities that could be applicable to developing nuclear weapons. The European Union and the United States and other countries have imposed their own sanctions on Iran over its nuclear activities.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed further sanctions against Iran in July that would result in a de facto oil embargo within a year if signed into law. The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee is considering sanctions legislation of its own. That bill had not been publicly released at press time.

Kahl, now with the Center for a New American Security, said that if Iran is motivated to negotiate seriously and work toward a deal, “maintaining the current level of pressure is sufficient for now.”

“Piling on additional sanctions now, prior to testing Rouhani’s will to strike a deal” and his ability to sell it in Iran, could be “highly counterproductive,” Kahl said. New sanctions would “provide ammunition to Iranian hardliners,” allowing them to argue that “Tehran’s new, more conciliatory approach has made circumstances worse, not better,” he said.

Passing new sanctions if Iran “refuses to engage seriously and move toward meaningful concessions” could be a useful tool for diplomacy, Kahl said.

‘Very Constructive’ IAEA Talks

Iran resumed negotiations Sept. 27 with the IAEA over an approach for the agency’s investigations into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities. (See ACT, July/August 2013.) The IAEA negotiations have had little visible progress over the past two years.

Herman Nackaerts, deputy director-general of the IAEA, and Reza Najafi, Iran’s new ambassador to the IAEA, struck a positive tone in comments to reporters.

Speaking before the meeting, Najafi said that the parties would “exchange views” on how to “continue cooperation to resolve these issues.”

Nackaerts said after the meeting that the sides agreed to meet again on Oct. 28.

Following a high-level series of diplomatic exchanges and meetings between U.S. and Iranian leaders in late September, both sides say there is a strong basis for a diplomatic resolution...

IAEA Members Reject Israel Resolution

Kelsey Davenport

A resolution critical of Israel’s nuclear program, revived after a two-year hiatus, failed to pass the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month.

The nonbinding resolution, sponsored by a group of 18 Arab states, would have called on Israel to join the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapon state and put all of its nuclear sites under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. The measure, referred to as “Israeli Nuclear Capabilities” on the IAEA agenda, failed by a vote of 43-51 on Sept. 20, the last day of the conference.

Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, an Egyptian official and head of the Arab League’s mission to the IAEA, told Reuters on Sept. 20 that the world needs to know about Israel’s nuclear capabilities and that its nuclear arsenal is “not playing a constructive role.”

Israel does not publicly admit to possessing nuclear weapons, but is widely believed to have an arsenal of approximately 80 warheads. Israel has not joined the NPT, but is a member of the IAEA, and its nuclear research activities are subject to IAEA monitoring and verification.

In a Sept. 18 statement at the conference, Shaul Chorev, head of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, said that introducing the resolution “inflicts a serious blow to any attempt to embark on a regional security dialogue.” He called on states to “condemn the Arab initiative” and “decisively defeat this motion.”

The United States voted against the resolution. In a statement delivered after the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Joseph Macmanus said that the United States regretted that the resolution had been brought to a vote or even discussed at the IAEA.

A diplomat who attended the conference told Arms Control Today on Sept. 26 that about 30 European countries also voted against the resolution, as did Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

China, Russia, and South Africa were among the countries that voted with the Arab League. More than 60 IAEA members abstained or were absent during the vote.

A similar resolution passed the IAEA conference for the first time in 2009, after being voted down for several years. An attempt the next year failed. The Arab states refrained from putting the measure on the agenda in 2011 and 2012, saying they hoped that Israel would be more likely to attend a regional meeting on establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East if it did not feel singled out for condemnation in the region.

As part of an accord that was crucial to reaching consensus on the final document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the treaty parties agreed to hold a meeting on establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East by the end of 2012. The meeting was set for Helsinki last December, but the conveners, which included Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, announced that the conference would be postponed because some states from the region had not yet agreed to attend and because there were disagreements over the agenda for the meeting. (See ACT, December 2012.)

At the time of postponement, Israel was the only country not to have publicly committed to attending a meeting.

A June 12 memorandum and letter submitted by Oman’s ambassador to the IAEA, Badr bin Mohamed Al Hinai, on behalf of 18 Arab states and the Palestinian territories asked that the resolution be placed on the agenda of the IAEA conference. According to the memorandum, the “recent course of events” failed to meet the expectations of the Arab states, motivating them to pursue passage of the resolution.

In his Sept. 20 statement, Macmanus said that the United States would continue to work toward “constructive dialogue” on establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East and called on “all concerned states” to “engage directly and on the basis of consensus and mutual respect” to establish the zone.

At the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, member states voted down a resolution critical of Israel’s nuclear program.


Israel Back on Agenda of IAEA Conference

Kelsey Davenport

Eighteen Arab countries have requested space on the agenda for discussion of a resolution on Israel’s nuclear capabilities at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in September.

An item on Israel’s nuclear capabilities has been on the annual conference’s agenda since 1987, but 2009 was the only year in which the member states approved a resolution on the topic.

In 2011 and 2012, the Arab states refrained from submitting a resolution on Israel’s nuclear program, a move they said they made to encourage Israeli participation in the process of creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East.

A June 12 memorandum submitted by Oman’s ambassador to the IAEA, Badr bin Mohamed Al Hinai, said that Israel “continues to defy the international community” by refusing to join the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). This refusal threatens peace and exposes the region to “nuclear risks,” the memorandum said. Al Hinai submitted the memorandum and an accompanying letter on behalf of the Arab Group, which is made up of 18 Arab states and the Palestinian territories.

Ehud Azoulay, Israel’s ambassador to the IAEA, told Reuters on July 9 that the Arab states “are taking a counterproductive route by raising this issue…and trying to bash Israel.”

Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, despite the government’s insistence that it will not be the first country to introduce such weapons into the region.

According to the memorandum, the “recent course of events” failed to meet the expectations of the Arab states, motivating them to put the resolution on Israel’s nuclear program back on the agenda for the IAEA conference.

A meeting was scheduled to be held in December 2012 on creating the WMD-free zone in the region, but was postponed.(See ACT, December 2012.)

Eighteen Arab countries have requested space on the agenda for discussion of a resolution on Israel’s nuclear capabilities at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in September.

U.S. Says Nuclear Security Work Remains

Kelsey Davenport

The United States decided to host a nuclear security summit in 2016, which would be the fourth such meeting, because the “existing nuclear security architecture” needs to be strengthened and deepened before the summit process ends, a White House official said last month.

Although a July 1-5 ministerial-level conference on the topic hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) played an important role in strengthening and institutionalizing nuclear security, progress in this area has not reached an appropriate point for the summit process to end, the official said in an Aug. 21 interview.

President Barack Obama launched the process with an April 2010 summit in Washington that focused attention on securing vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide in four years.

Some countries have said they would prefer the IAEA to take over the work of the nuclear security summits, but the official said the United States does not intend for any single organization or entity to assume the summits’ work. The official said, however, that the “mortar” between various layers of international organizations and informal processes needs to be strengthened before the summit process concludes.

The 2010 Washington summit came after President Barack Obama laid out his goal of leading a global effort to lock down and consolidate nuclear materials in an April 2009 speech in Prague. (See ACT, May 2010.) A second summit was held in March 2012 in Seoul, and the Netherlands will host more than 50 participating states and several international organizations next March 24-25 in The Hague. (See ACT, April 2012.)

In a June 19 speech in Berlin, Obama announced his intent to host a 2016 summit. Many experts had speculated that 2014 might be the end of the summit process because it would mark the conclusion of the four-year effort. (See ACT, November 2011.)

With an Office of Nuclear Security and a Nuclear Security Fund, the IAEA already plays a significant role in efforts to secure nuclear material, but that role is not defined in the agency’s statute. In his July 5 closing statement at the Vienna meeting, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said the meeting recognized the “central role of the IAEA in supporting States’ efforts to strengthen nuclear security.”

In an Aug. 26 e-mail to Arms Control Today, Piet de Klerk, who is leading the Dutch preparations for the 2014 summit, made a similar point and added that the Vienna conference was important because it emphasized the prominence that nuclear security has attained “within the spectrum of IAEA activities.”

The meeting produced a declaration that the 125 participating countries adopted by consensus on the opening day of the conference. The declaration reaffirmed the role of the IAEA in “strengthening the nuclear security framework” and “coordination of international activities” in the field, but also said nuclear security is fundamentally the responsibility of individual states.

The declaration, although outlining proposed actions for states to take to strengthen nuclear security, did not contain any binding language. In a press conference on the first day of the IAEA meeting, Amano said that the declaration should not be characterized as weak. It marked the first time that language on nuclear security was adopted by consensus by such a large number of participating states, he said.

Amano declined to say what he hoped the next nuclear security conference would achieve. The White House official suggested that one way to strengthen the IAEA conferences and maintain the momentum for improving nuclear security would be to establish the meetings as a forum for announcing recent concrete accomplishments in that area and making commitments for further action.

As an example, the official cited the announcement during the IAEA conference by Canada, Russia, the United States, and Vietnam that they had completed a cooperative project to remove all remaining highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Vietnam. The HEU, which came from a research reactor, was sent back to Russia for disposition.

The idea of using a prominent event to spur progress in nuclear security in this way was part of the concept behind the nuclear security summit process. At the Washington and Seoul summits, countries announced pledges of specific actions, or “house gifts,” to the meeting.

The declaration from the Vienna meeting suggested that the IAEA consider organizing a conference on nuclear security every three years.

Mixed Reviews

In a July 5 interview at the end of the IAEA meeting, a second Dutch official said that the declaration could have been “more ambitious” in what it asked of member states. He also said the meeting exposed a need to “better coordinate” multilateral initiatives related to nuclear security to “avoid duplication” of activities. The 2014 summit in The Hague will seek to increase such coordination, he said.

The White House official agreed that the meeting confirmed the role of the IAEA in nuclear security, adding that the declaration was “forward looking” and increased the visibility of nuclear security.

The White House official and de Klerk said that the emphasis on completing ratification of an amended convention that sets protection standards for the storage and transport of nuclear materials was a positive result of the meeting. At the 2012 summit, participating states set a goal of bringing the treaty into force by 2014, which will require more than 30 additional ratifications.

Several participants at the Vienna meeting raised concerns about the IAEA’s ability to increase its nuclear security activities, given uncertainties about funding for those efforts. The budget for the Office of Nuclear Security comes primarily from extrabudgetary contributions, which often are attached to particular projects. IAEA member states provide such funds on top of their assessed contribution to the agency.

In a May 2013 report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office raised the concern that nuclear security work might be underfunded at the IAEA. The report recommended that the U.S. secretary of state work with the agency and member countries to “evaluate the nuclear security program’s long-term resource needs” and determine whether extrabudgetary funding can provide a reliable basis for planning future efforts.

Even if the IAEA has limited resources for its nuclear security work, it should be the primary driver for strengthening nuclear security, a Slovenian official said in a July 3 interview. All IAEA member states should have a voice in developing a nuclear security regime, the official said.

The IAEA has 159 members.

Slovenia attended the IAEA meeting, but does not participate in the nuclear security summit process.

The Slovenian official said that if the nuclear security summit participants are serious about framing nuclear security as a “global problem,” they should open the summit process to all interested states to “craft a global solution.”

The Dutch official acknowledged the concern that the participant list was limited, but he said this was necessary to achieve more-concrete results and that outreach to nonparticipating countries will remain an important part of the summit process.

U.S. Priorities

In addition to strengthening the nuclear security architecture and ensuring that participating states make further pledges of specific actions, a main U.S. goal for the 2014 summit is to develop the concept of “assurances,” voluntary steps that states can take to demonstrate that they are maintaining high standards of nuclear security without disclosing sensitive information, the White House official said.

Assurances balance the “immutability of sovereignty with the interdependence of global norms,” the official said. One way to provide such assurances is to take advantage of the IAEA International Physical Protection Advisory Services (IPPAS), the official said.

At the request of member states, the agency can conduct an IPPAS mission at a designated facility. After visiting the site, IAEA experts provide the state with recommendations on how it can enhance its physical protection.

If all countries allowed peer reviews of their nuclear facilities, that would “make a big difference,” Amano said in a June 28 op-ed for Project Syndicate. The United States strongly supports IPPAS reviews, the White House official said.

De Klerk praised the IAEA meeting’s emphasis on the use of IPPAS missions and the participants’ encouragement of the IAEA “to foster the sharing of experiences and lessons” from these missions. Discussing these issues in the IAEA will contribute to taking further steps in nuclear security at the 2014 summit, he said.

Although not optimistic about the possibility of a future requirement that all countries undergo peer reviews, the White House official said that the United States will soon receive an IPPAS mission, which Washington views as a valuable tool for “continuous improvement” in nuclear security. IPPAS missions originally were viewed as reviews to assist states with problems in their security arrangements, but the United States is working to “de-stigmatize” these missions and demonstrate their value as a tool for “mature programs” as well, the official said.

Some countries have called for legally binding international requirements for nuclear security, but a German official cautioned against placing too much emphasis on binding requirements in the short term. In a July 4 interview, he said moving toward a treaty on nuclear security, or required peer reviews, may act as a “disincentive” for states to strengthen norms in the short term because they may choose to wait for “what is coming next.”

A Russian official said in a July 3 interview that binding reviews would “undermine the consensus” achieved at the meeting that nuclear security is a state responsibility.

Toward the 2014 Summit

In the August 26 e-mail, de Klerk said that the 2014 summit will be the “right moment for looking at results” from the previous two summits in their “core business” of reducing the quantities of vulnerable material or providing better protection for it.

He said that closer cooperation between governments and the nuclear industry will be another priority in 2014, adding that these groups “share the same goal but have different responsibilities.” Industry involvement in “evaluating regulations and providing input for new regulations” has been seen to contribute to the effectiveness of the nuclear security regime, de Klerk said.

A third focal point for the 2014 summit is increased sharing of “training, knowledge, and expertise” to be “better prepared against nuclear terrorism,” de Klerk said.

Kelsey Davenport's reporting from Vienna was supported by a grant from the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America.

The United States decided to host a nuclear security summit in 2016, which would be the fourth such meeting, because the “existing nuclear security architecture” needs...

N. Korea Continues to Evade Sanctions

Kelsey Davenport

Panama stopped a ship carrying Soviet-made Cuban weapons to North Korea on July 15, charging a violation of UN Security Council sanctions that prohibit transfers of arms to Pyongyang.

The intercepted shipment provides further evidence that North Korea continues to evade sanctions imposed by UN Security Council resolutions and that Pyongyang “likely uses these networks to continue developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” a former UN official told Arms Control Today in an Aug. 23 e-mail. North Korea’s continued development of these programs is prohibited by Security Council resolutions.

The former official said the Panama incident supports the conclusion reached in a June 11 report by a UN panel of experts, which highlighted the “uneven implementation” of the sanctions resolution. The panel was first authorized in 2009 to study the implementation of a series of sanctions approved by the UN Security Council starting in 2006.

Together, Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094 prohibit arms sales and transfers of nuclear and ballistic missile technology to North Korea, ban the sale of luxury items to Pyongyang, and give states broad authority to inspect North Korean cargo suspected of violating these measures if it passes through their territories.

Panama used this authority to stop the ship on the suspicion that it was trafficking drugs, which is prohibited by the resolutions. But when inspecting the ship, Panamanian authorities found 240 tons of armaments, including two MiG fighter jets and nine anti-aircraft missiles.

The United States supported Panama’s decision to inspect the ship, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said at a July 16 briefing. Although Ventrell said there is a process for determining if a specific case is a violation of UN sanctions, he said that “any shipment of arms or related materiel” would violate Security Council resolutions. UN experts began an investigation of the ship Aug. 13 and are to produce a report on whether the shipment is a violation of the sanctions resolution.

According to a July 16 statement by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the “obsolete defensive weaponry” was being shipped to North Korea for repair.

In a July 17 statement, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the weapons were to be sent back to Cuba after “overhauling them according to a legitimate contract.” He called on Panama to release the ship, crew, and weapons.

Security Council Resolution 1874, approved in 2009, extends the 2006 prohibition on arms sales to and from North Korea to include the repair and maintenance of systems, unless a notification is sent prior to the shipment. Cuba apparently did not send any such notification.

The former official said that although the repair story is plausible and that the obsolete armaments would be unlikely to add strategic value to North Korea’s weapons systems, the incident raises “broader concerns” about what is slipping past export controls into Pyongyang.

Looking toward the future, he said that “efforts should focus on implementation of existing sanctions, rather than the imposition of new measures.” He noted that the June report found that only about half of the UN member states have submitted reports on their implementation efforts. More complete reporting will give a better picture of where implementation gaps still exist, he said.

The UN panel concluded in its report that sanctions have not halted North Korea’s development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs but that they have likely “delayed the timetable” and “choked off significant funding” for these activities.

North Korea has not recently displayed any new ballistic missiles, which is consistent with the conclusion in the report that sanctions are affecting the program. Michael Elleman, who served as a missile expert for the UN team that conducted weapons inspections in Iraq after the Persian Gulf War, said in an Aug. 19 e-mail to Arms Control Today that longer-range missiles paraded during North Korea’s Victory Day celebrations in July marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War “appear to be display mock-ups.”

North Korea displayed these same missiles, which experts have concluded are fake, during previous parades, such as the April 2012 parade that first featured the KN-08, also known as the Hwasong-13. (See ACT, March 2013.)

Elleman, who is now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that these mock-ups are of “better quality” than previous fakes but that the “inconsistent features” on the missiles “suggest convincingly” that they are not flight ready.

Neither system has been flight-tested, and it is not clear if either is currently under development, he said, noting that there have been rumors of engine tests for the Hwasong-13 but no details as to the size or power of the engine.

Despite the sanctions, North Korea appears to be expanding its nuclear facilities. An Aug. 7 report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) says that North Korea has expanded the building that houses its centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Using satellite imagery, the report concludes that Pyongyang began expanding the roof of the building housing its centrifuges at the Yongbyon site in March 2013 and that the area now covered is twice the size of the original structure. According to the ISIS report, this could allow North Korea to double the number of centrifuges contained in the building, which Pyongyang said was 2,000 in 2010.

It is unknown if or to what level North Korea is enriching uranium or if other uranium-enrichment facilities exist within the country. North Korea is known to have a stockpile of weapons-usable plutonium. It tested nuclear devices in 2006, 2009, and 2013.

Panama stopped a ship carrying Soviet-made Cuban weapons to North Korea on July 15, charging a violation of UN Security Council sanctions that prohibit transfers of arms to Pyongyang.

Rouhani Wants ‘Serious’ Nuclear Talks

Kelsey Davenport

Iran and six world powers need to pursue “more serious and explicit negotiations” on Tehran’s nuclear program, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at an Aug. 6 press conference.

Speaking three days after his inauguration, Rouhani said Iran will not “put aside” its uranium-enrichment capabilities but that a “win-win” scenario that will “allay mutual concerns” still is possible.

In an Aug. 4 statement, the White House said that Rouhani’s inauguration is an opportunity for Iran to “act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns” about the country’s nuclear program.

Iran maintains that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, but many countries are concerned that Iran could use its nuclear capabilities to pursue nuclear weapons. The six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia the United Kingdom, and the United States) have been negotiating intermittently with Iran over its controversial nuclear program since 2006. The six countries, known as the P5+1, met with Iran twice in 2013, but did not make any progress on a deal. (See ACT, May 2013.)

Catherine Ashton, who heads the negotiating team for the P5+1, spoke Aug. 17 with Iran’s new foreign minister, Mohammad Zarif, about resuming the negotiations, according to a statement later that day from Ashton’s office. During the call, Ashton “confirmed the need for substantial talks that will lead to concrete results swiftly,” the statement said.

Some analysts have said that Rouhani’s victory in Iran’s June 13 presidential election offers a new opening for negotiations. Just days after his win at the polls, Rouhani said he would make Iran’s nuclear program “more transparent.” (See ACT, July/August 2013.)

In an Aug. 23 e-mail, a former U.S. official told Arms Control Today that, unlike his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani is “willing and able” to make a deal if the United States and its partners show that they are “ready to negotiate in good faith” and put “meaningful sanctions relief” on the table.

Rouhani “has the ear” of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which makes him “more likely to get a deal though Tehran” than Ahmadinejad, the former official said.

Rouhani already has made changes in key personnel involved in Iran’s nuclear program, but has not named a negotiator to take over for Saeed Jalili, whose appointment ended with Rouhani’s inauguration. Rouhani reportedly is considering moving the responsibility for nuclear negotiations to the Foreign Ministry. This would give him more authority over the negotiations than the president has had in the past, when the lead negotiator has been the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran. The supreme leader must confirm decisions of the council.

The Aug. 17 press release from Ashton’s office said she told Zarif the P5+1 is “ready to work” with Iran’s new negotiators as soon as they are appointed.

New IAEA Envoy

One of Rouhani’s new appointments is Reza Najafi, who will take over from Ali Asghar Soltanieh as Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Soltanieh was scheduled to leave the post Sept. 1.

Najafi, who has worked on disarmament issues in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, was considered for the position in 2010, but Ahmadinejad decided to extend Soltanieh’s posting at the agency instead.

Iran and the IAEA are negotiating an approach for the agency’s investigations into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities. The two sides have met 10 times since January 2012 in an attempt to reach agreement on the scope and sequence of the investigations. Yukiya Amano, director-general of the IAEA, told the organization’s Board of Governors at its quarterly meeting in June that talks with Iran are “going around in circles.” The IAEA said that it would resume talks with Iran in Vienna on Sept. 27.

The IAEA’s quarterly report on Iran, dated Aug. 28, found that Iran’s nuclear program is progressing. Since the previous report, dated May 22, Iran has installed further centrifuges at its Natanz facility, and its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent increased slightly to 185 kilograms.

A principal P5+1 concern is halting Iran’s production of 20 percent-enriched uranium and limiting the size of its stockpile of that material. (See ACT, May 2013.)

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is more easily converted to weapons grade than reactor-grade uranium, which is enriched to less than 5 percent. Experts say that approximately 250 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent, when further enriched to weapons grade, is enough for one bomb.

Space Launch Site

Meanwhile, satellite imagery published last month by IHS Jane’s Military and Security Assessments revealed that Iran is currently building a launch site that could be used for larger ballistic missiles.

Michael Elleman, who served as a missile expert for the UN team that conducted weapons inspections in Iraq after the Persian Gulf War, said in an Aug. 19 e-mail to Arms Control Today that although it is “too early to know with confidence” how the Sharud site will be used, the distance between the structures and launch pad are “consistent with a facility designed to handle large solid-propellant motors.”

Iran has tested a solid-fueled ballistic missile, the Sajjil-2, only once in the past three years, and developments on that system appear to be stalled, he said. Solid-fueled missiles are less vulnerable to pre-emptive strikes than liquid-fueled systems because the former do not need to be fueled before launch, which can take several hours.

Elleman, who is now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that “most probably” the site will be used for satellite launches.

Iran already has a satellite launch facility, but a second site is prudent given that “catastrophic launch vehicle failures” are common when developing new systems, he said. Brazil, China, the Soviet Union, and the United States all have experienced rocket explosions that destroyed launch pads, he said.

Elleman said there is a possibility that the facility has been designed to “facilitate long-range missile tests,” noting that the launch tower is taller than any ballistic missile Iran has tested to date. There are three possible designs Iran could use for a longer-range missile based on its existing systems, but there is no evidence that any of these routes is being pursued, he said.

Iran and six world powers need to pursue “more serious and explicit negotiations” on Tehran’s nuclear program, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at an Aug. 6 press conference.

‘More Active’ Talks Needed, Rouhani Says

Kelsey Davenport

Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, said he hopes for “more active negotiations” with six world powers over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program after he takes office on Aug. 3.

In a June 17 press briefing, Rouhani said that the nuclear issue can “only be resolved through negotiations” and that the parties can find “mutual trust” to reach a solution. Rouhani was elected June 14.

In a June 24 interview, a former Iranian official said Rouhani will be better placed than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to make a deal on limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions. Iran’s economy is under considerable pressure from sanctions primarily imposed by the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States for failing to comply with UN Security Council resolutions requiring Iran to suspend sensitive nuclear activities. The former official said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei still will have the final say but that Khamenei is more likely to trust Rouhani than Ahmadinejad and give him latitude to negotiate.

In a June 15 press release acknowledging Rouhani’s victory, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the United States is ready to “engage the Iranian government directly” to reach a diplomatic agreement that will “fully address” international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

Rouhani served as Iran’s nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005 and is widely considered supportive of the clerical regime, even though he was cast as the most moderate of the six contenders on the presidential ballot.

Iran is negotiating with six countries—China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—over the nuclear program, which it claims is entirely peaceful. The six powers, or P5+1, are concerned that Iran is progressing toward a capability that would allow the country to develop nuclear weapons rapidly if it chose to do so.

Iran and the P5+1 held two rounds of talks in February and April, but have been unable to reach an agreement. No further talks have been scheduled, although officials from several P5+1 countries expressed support for resuming talks in August after Rouhani takes office.

According to U.S. and Iranian sources familiar with the negotiations, Iran wants the P5+1 to recognize its right to pursue uranium enrichment and to provide sanctions relief. A principal P5+1 concern is halting Iran’s production of 20 percent-enriched uranium and limiting the size of its stockpile of that material. (See ACT, May 2013.)

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is more easily converted to weapons grade than reactor-grade uranium, which is enriched to less than 5 percent.

Rouhani will not give up uranium enrichment, but as long as the United States “does not expect too much” and is willing to put meaningful sanctions relief on the table, a deal could be made that limits enrichment to reactor grade and increases transparency, the former official said. Such a deal would allow Rouhani and Khamenei to “claim a victory” in the negotiations while meeting the most pressing concerns of the West, said the former official, who now lives in the United States.

At his June 17 press conference, Rouhani pledged greater openness. Although he maintained that Iran’s nuclear plans are “fully transparent,” he said that Tehran is “ready to show more transparency” to make clear to the world that its nuclear program is in line with international standards.

Iran-IAEA Talks Stalled

Two weeks before Rouhani’s press conference, Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the organization’s Board of Governors at its quarterly meeting that talks with Iran are “going around in circles.”

Iran and the IAEA are negotiating an approach for the agency’s investigations into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities. The two sides have met 10 times since January 2012 in an attempt to reach agreement on the scope and sequence of the investigations.

The IAEA first laid out its suspicions about Iranian nuclear efforts allegedly relating to weapons development in a November 2011 report to its board. (See ACT, December 2011.)

In the U.S. statement to the board at the June meeting, Joseph Macmanus, U.S. permanent representative to the IAEA, said Amano’s assessment that talks between the agency and Iran are not making progress was convincing. If there is no progress before the next board meeting, which is in September, the United States will work with other board members “to consider further action” against Iran, he said.

Macmanus did not specify what actions the United States would pursue, but the board could request that the UN Security Council take further action to censure Iran or impose additional sanctions.

The United States has made similar statements in the past. At the board meeting last November, the United States said it would urge action at the next meeting, in March, if no progress was reported on the Iran-IAEA negotiations. Despite Amano’s statement to the board during the March meeting that Iran and the IAEA had not made any progress, no action was taken. (See ACT, April 2013.)

IAEA Report

The IAEA’s most recent report to the board, dated May 22, found that Iran is continuing to move forward with its nuclear program, while failing to provide information on the possible military dimensions.

According to that report, Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent was 182 kilograms. Experts estimate that approximately 250 kilograms of uranium enriched to this level, when further enriched to weapons grade, is enough for one bomb.

Iran has an additional 113 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent that has been converted into powder, which Tehran claims it will use for fuel to produce medical isotopes. The powder can be converted back into gas form for further enrichment, but experts say it is unclear how much material would be lost in the process.

Iran is continuing to install advanced centrifuges at its Natanz enrichment plant, although they are not yet producing enriched uranium. Iran had installed casings for nearly 700 machines, the May 22 report said.

According to a June 3 UN panel report on the implementation of Security Council sanctions on Iran, there is little public information on Tehran’s ability to indigenously produce components, including centrifuges, for its nuclear activities.

The panel, established in 2010 by Security Council Resolution 1929 to monitor compliance with UN sanctions and provide recommendations on implementation, noted that several states reported attempts by Iran in recent months to buy goods prohibited by UN sanctions because of their potential use in sensitive nuclear activities. These items included ring magnets and high-quality aluminum alloys, which can be used for centrifuges. The panel found that Iran continues “to seek items for prohibited activities from abroad” through “increasingly complex” methods of procurement.

The UN Security Council first voted to impose sanctions on Iran in December 2006 with Resolution 1737, after Tehran failed to comply with an earlier resolution to halt certain nuclear activities. Subsequent resolutions in 2007, 2008, and 2010 expanded these sanctions, primarily targeting Tehran’s ability to procure items that could be used in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, said he hopes to negotiate a settlement to end the international controversy over Tehran’s nuclear program.

U.S. Seeking Unity for N. Korea Talks

Kelsey Davenport

The U.S. special representative for North Korea policy outlined Washington’s current strategy for dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program, saying last month that the United States will place a high priority on efforts to coordinate with partner countries in the region so they speak with “one voice” before negotiating with Pyongyang on denuclearization.

Glyn Davies, speaking at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on June 14, said Washington has not tried a “concerted multilateral effort” that will send “common signals” to Pyongyang from China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States, the countries that had negotiated with North Korea in the so-called six-party talks. Those talks began in 2003 and continued intermittently until April 2009 when Pyongyang withdrew without having completed the dismantlement of its nuclear program. North Korea had committed to the dismantlement in 2005 in return for steps including economic cooperation, a U.S. guarantee not to invade or attack North Korea, energy assistance, and possible future assistance on a peaceful nuclear energy program.

Davies said the current U.S. approach for multilateral talks differs from the six-party process, which he described as a looser “umbrella” for negotiations with less coordination among the countries negotiating with Pyongyang.

Under the new approach, when multilateral negotiations with North Korea begin, Pyongyang will not be able to “exploit” any differences of opinion between the countries involved, Davies said.

Davies met with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Washington June 18-19. During a June 19 press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the parties had agreed to continue “very close coordination on North Korea” and that U.S. consultations with China and Russia would “deepen.”

In a June 21 interview, Joel Wit, a former U.S. negotiator with North Korea, said that the United States is pursuing this strategy because Washington thinks it has China “in its corner.”

Wit cautioned against this assumption, saying that although there have been changes in China’s policy toward North Korea, it is “too early to judge the significance” of these changes.

Generally, Beijing is seen as more supportive of North Korea than other countries in the region are, providing much-needed economic assistance, despite Pyongyang’s failure to comply with UN sanctions calling for it to dismantle its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. At their June 7 meeting in California, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to “deepen” their countries’ cooperation on North Korea and continue to apply pressure on Pyongyang to denuclearize, U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon said in a June 8 press briefing.

Wit described the current situation as a “struggle for China’s heart and mind.” The United States is trying to encourage China to increase pressure on North Korea, he said, while Pyongyang is attempting to maintain Chinese support, as evidenced by the May 22 visit of a high-level North Korean official to Beijing and a June 16 North Korean request for talks with the United States.

Pyongyang’s Proposal

In a June 15 statement from the National Defense Commission, which controls the armed forces, a North Korean official said that bilateral talks with the United States would “ease tensions” on the Korean peninsula and “establish regional peace and security.” The statement reaffirmed that Pyongyang is committed to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but warned that North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons until “the nuclear threat from the outside is completely terminated.”

Davies said that although there are no plans “at the moment” for the United States to talk with North Korea bilaterally or multilaterally, Washington is not opposed to future diplomatic engagement. But there must be a “sufficient basis to make progress,” Davies said.

Referring to North Korea’s June 15 offer of talks, Psaki said in a June 17 press briefing that the United States has seen “no evidence” that North Korea will participate in negotiations that “produce credible denuclearization actions.” The United States will meet with North Korea as part of the six-party process only when Pyongyang takes “credible steps” toward denuclearization, she said.

Wit said if the United States sets preconditions for talks, North Korea will respond with its own preconditions, “and that is going to lead nowhere.”

In 2012 the United States did attempt to make a deal directly with North Korea that was not based on denuclearization. Known as the Leap Day agreement because it was concluded on Feb. 29, North Korea agreed to refrain from nuclear and missile testing in exchange for aid from the United States. (See ACT, April 2012.) The deal broke down in April 2012 after Pyongyang attempted to launch a satellite. The failure of the agreement led the United States to set tougher conditions for negotiations to begin, Davies said.

Since the Leap Day agreement fell through, Pyongyang successfully launched a satellite into orbit last December and tested a nuclear device Feb. 13.

Bilateral Talks

Davies said that the United States will not get to a “better place” with North Korea until the relationship between that country and South Korea improves.

North and South Korea were set to hold their first high-level talks in six years in Seoul, but Pyongyang pulled out of the June 12 talks at the last minute.

According to a statement run by the official North Korean news agency June 13, Pyongyang was insulted that Seoul chose its vice unification minister, Kim Nam-sik, rather than Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae to lead the South Korean delegation. Pyongyang’s delegation was to be led by Kang Ji Yong, director for the secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.

In a June 13 press release, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Unification said that the cancellation was “regrettable.” Seoul chose the vice minister to “reach parity” between the chief delegates from the two sides after North Korea said it would not send a ministerial-level official and chose Kang, the spokesman said, declaring that the “attitude of the North” derailed the talks.

In the June 13 statement, North Korea said Seoul’s impolite and “provocative behavior” would prevent dialogue in the near future.

The United States will focus on coordinating with partner countries in the region before negotiating with North Korea over dismantling its nuclear program, the U.S. special representative for North Korea said.

New Report Finds Gaps in Nuclear Materials Security Effort



States Must Fill Gaps in Nuclear Materials Security Effort, Report Finds

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2013           
Media Contacts:
Michelle Cann, Senior Budget and Policy Analyst, PGS (+1 609 668-2930); Kelsey Davenport, Nonproliferation Analyst, ACA (+1 317-460-8806); Sarah Williams, Nuclear Policy Analyst, PGS, (+1 202-332-1412).

(Vienna, Austria) A new report released today by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and Partnership for Global Security (PGS), finds that the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process has catalyzed action to secure nuclear weapons-usable materials, but the largely nationally-focused efforts to date are inadequate, and leading governments must begin building the framework for a cohesive international nuclear security governance system.

While the two previous reports from ACA and PGS assess the national commitments made at the 2010 summit, the 2013 edition of The Nuclear Security Summit: Progress Report provides a comprehensive overview of the progress states have made to improve nuclear security since the NSS process began in April 2010.

"The 2010 Washington summit and the 2012 Seoul summit focused primarily on accelerating incremental efforts at the national level, rather than building consensus for bold new actions," said Michelle Cann, senior budget and policy analyst at PGS and co-author the report.

"Ahead of the 2014 summit in The Netherlands, states must begin outlining a global strategy to address the structural deficiencies of the current nuclear security regime," she added.

"Although all 53 participating countries have taken steps since the 2012 summit to strengthen nuclear security, the current system lacks universal reporting requirements and standards, making it difficult to assess the overall progress of the summit process," said Kelsey Davenport, nonproliferation analyst for ACA and co-author of the report.

"At the 2014 summit, participating countries should agree on a standard reporting framework. This will make it easier to determine what progress has been achieved and where gaps remain," Davenport suggests.

"President Obama's announcement that the United States will host a fourth Nuclear Security Summit in 2016 provides an opportunity for states to agree upon a global framework for nuclear security with greater transparency and higher common standards," she said.

The 68-page report describes actions each of the 53 participating countries have pursued since the Nuclear Security summit process began. Highlights since 2012 include:

  • Australia, Hungary, Japan, and Vietnam announced pledges to return stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) before the 2014 summit.
  • In April 2013, the Czech Republic became the 10th country to eliminate its entire HEU stockpile since the four year effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide was articulated in April 2009.
  • 44 countries hosted nuclear security workshops, conferences, exercises, and centers. Several of these states are building long-term nuclear security training infrastructure by establishing centers of excellence, often in cooperation with the European Union, IAEA, or the United States.
  • 22 countries took steps to prevent the smuggling of illicit radioactive materials by enhancing transport security, expanding border controls, and developing new detection and monitoring technologies.

The report also tracks commitments made by states to minimize their use of HEU by 2013 and to approve the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) by 2014.

  • 18 of 22 NSS participants that possess at least a kilogram of HEU announced plans in Seoul or have taken actions since to minimize HEU usage, repatriate fuel, and convert reactors.
  • Since the summit process began in 2010, 18 NSS participants have ratified the 2005 amendment to the CPPNM, while 17 NSS participants still need to act. When in force, the amendment will extend protection requirements for nuclear materials to the domestic use, storage, and transport of nuclear materials and sets new legal consequences for misuse and sabotage.

"Four years ago, states pledged to improve the security of the most vulnerable nuclear materials around the world. Our report shows that much has been accomplished but it is far too early for states to declare the four-year effort 'complete.' Rather, they must work together to close the gaps in the global nuclear material security system," said Sarah Williams, nuclear policy analyst a PGS and co-author of the report.

"For example, while the 2012 Seoul summit spurred states to take significant steps to reduce their stockpiles of HEU, more must be done in 2014 to encourage minimization of plutonium stockpiles," Williams said.

"In addition, the United States is one of the 17 participating countries that have not ratified the 2005 amendment to the CPPNM. Action by Washington will be critical to meet the goal of this treaty entering into force in 2014," Williams added.

"The Nuclear Security Summit process brought high-level attention to the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. However, the current patchwork of voluntary initiatives and recommendations are not sufficient to sustain progress and guard against nuclear terrorism in the years ahead. We urge all states to work toward building a stronger and more effective international nuclear security governance system," Cann said.

The full report, The Nuclear Security Summit: Progress Report, is available online here.


The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

The Partnership for Global Security mounts a global effort to strengthen global nuclear security governance and promotes practical policies to ensure all nuclear material and facilities are secure.


A new report released today by the Arms Control Association (ACA) and Partnership for Global Security (PGS), finds that the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process has catalyzed action to secure nuclear weapons-usable materials, but the largely nationally-focused efforts to date are inadequate, and leading governments must begin building the framework for a cohesive international nuclear security governance system.


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