Fresh round of Iran nuclear talks in Istanbul May 15
AFP, France24 – May 2, 2013
The EU’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton will meet chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul on May 15 in a fresh effort to defuse international concern over Tehran’s disputed nuclear drive. Ashton’s office said “the talks are a follow-up to the last round of negotiations held in Almaty” on April 5 and 6 that failed to produce an accord.
North Korea could start nuclear reactor soon: Study
The Hindu Businessline – May 2, 2013
North Korea could be ready within weeks to start operating a light-water reactor that has triggered growing concern amid the regime’s vows to build more nuclear weapons, researchers said. The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said yesterday that satellite pictures taken in March and April appeared to show that North Korea was doing final work inside the reactor and cleaning up after completing construction.
China has no plan to send envoy to N. Korea, Wu tells S. Korea
Global Post – May 2, 2013
China’s point man on North Korea told South Korea on Thursday that Beijing has no plan to send a special envoy to Pyongyang as part of efforts to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap News Agency reported. Wu Dawei, China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, conveyed such thinking in a meeting in Beijing with Lim Sung Nam, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, Yonhap said in a dispatch from the Chinese capital, quoting a diplomatic source.
Japan’s Nuclear Plan Unsettles U.S.
Jay Solomon and Miho Inada, The Wall Street Journal – May 1, 2013
Japan is preparing to start up a massive nuclear-fuel reprocessing plant over the objections of the Obama administration, which fears the move may stoke a broader race for nuclear technologies and even weapons in North Asia and the Middle East. The Rokkasho reprocessing facility, based in Japan’s northern Aomori prefecture, is capable of producing nine tons of weapons-usable plutonium annually, said Japanese officials and nuclear-industry experts, enough to build as many as 2,000 bombs, although Japanese officials say their program is civilian.
S.Korea to Buy State-of-the-Art Interceptor Missiles from U.S.
Chosun Illbo – May 2, 2013
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are following a Navy recommendation to buy American-made SM-3 interceptor missiles for Aegis ships. The SM-3 missile is capable of intercepting an incoming enemy ballistic missile at an altitude of 150 km, much higher than the ground-based PAC-3 missiles now in use.
Canada Evaluates Participating in US Missile Shield
David Pugliese, Defense News – May 2, 2013
Canada’s potential participation in the US military’s continental missile defense system is once again under consideration, sparking a debate in Canada on whether it makes sense to take part in the ground-based interceptor shield.