Iran and big powers hint at nuclear talks concessions
Fredrik Dahl and Justyna Pawlak, Reuters – Feb 26, 2013
Iran said it was prepared to make an offer to major powers in talks on its nuclear program in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, after the United States proposed limited sanctions relief in return for a halt to the most controversial work.
Skepticism Abounds as Six World Powers Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran
Steven Erlanger, The New York Times – Feb 26, 2013
Talks between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear program resumed here on Tuesday after a break of eight months, but there was a general atmosphere of gloom about their prospects for success, even if narrowly defined.
Iran, G5+1 Change Decision about Time of 2nd Round of Talks in Almaty
Fars News Agency – Feb 26, 2013
Representatives of Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) changed their decision for continuing the talks in a second round this evening and decided to go on with their negotiations on Wednesday.
In inaugural address, new president Park discusses building trust with North Korea
Park Byong-su, The Hankyoreh – Feb 26, 2013
In her inaugural address on Feb. 25, South Korean president Park Geun-hye said that she would move forward with the trust process for the Korean peninsula on the basis of clear deterrence against North Korea. Park called North Korea’s recent nuclear test “a challenge to the survival and future of the Korean people”.
Pyongyang tests Xi’s populist credentials
Sonny Lee, Asia Times Online – Feb 26, 2013
A long-expected visit to China by North Korean leader Kim Jong-eun will likely be put off indefinitely following Pyongyang’s third nuclear test, say Chinese security expert Sun Zhe. “China’s leadership won’t allow a visit by Kim now. It won’t happen, at least not in the near future,” Sun Zhe, an international relations professor at the elite Tsinghua University in Beijing, told Asia Times Online during an interview.
Kim Jong-un oversees live-fire exercises by artillery units
Yonhap News Agency – Feb 26, 2013
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected artillery units conducting live-fire exercises to check if they could “fight an actual war,” the communist country’s media reported Tuesday. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report monitored in Seoul said Kim ordered the exercises and visited a unit to guide the artillerymen. The news wire service did not give details on when the exercises were conducted or which unit Kim guided, but the drills may have taken place on Monday when South Korean President Park Geun-hye was sworn into office.
Israel says it successfully tests new missile defence
Dan Williams, Reuters – Feb 25, 2013
Israel carried out a successful first test on Monday of its upgraded Arrow interceptor, which is designed to destroy in space the kind of missiles held by Iran and Syria, defence officials said. The U.S.-backed Arrow III will deploy “kamikaze” satellites that track and slam into ballistic missiles above the earth’s atmosphere, high enough to allow for any chemical, biological or nuclear warheads to disintegrate safely.
Exit Found to U.S.-Russian Missile Defense Impasse
The Moscow Times – Feb 26, 2013
The United States and Russia may exchange presidential declarations stating their intention to work together on a European missile defense system and not use the system against each other, unnamed officials from both sides have said, the Kommersant daily reported on Tuesday. Such an agreement could also include so-called “confidence building” measures, including mechanisms for exchanging information, and bilateral research and threat assessment.
Global Insights: South Korea Does Not Need Nuclear Weapons
Richard Weitz, World Politics Review – Feb 26, 2013
One of the issues newly inaugurated South Korean President Park Geun-hye will need to address is the demands from a growing faction of her own party for either the United States to return tactical nuclear weapons to the South or for Seoul to develop its own nuclear arsenal. In light of the apparently successful Feb. 12 North Korean nuclear test, this faction believes that Seoul needs a similar nuclear capability to deter potential North Korean military threats.
Inter-Korean Relations Unlikely to Improve Soon Under South Korea’s Park
Steven Borowiec, World Politics Review – Feb 26, 2013
During her campaign, Park had said that as president she would work to mend ties with Pyongyang, which had deteriorated under the government of now-former President Lee Myung-bak, and develop a mutually beneficial partnership that would pave the way for eventual reunification. But along with complications caused by North Korea’s third nuclear test and a general climate of discord, the composition of Park’s government will make an improvement in relations unlikely.