Iran and Six Nations Agree to Continue Nuclear Talks
Steven Erlanger, The New York Times – Feb 27, 2013
Two days of talks between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program ended on Wednesday with specific agreement for further meetings in March and April over a proposal that would sharply constrain Iran’s stockpile of the most dangerous enriched uranium in return for a modest lifting of some sanctions.
New nuclear concern over Iran as satellite images expose plant
The Canberra Times – Feb 28, 2013
Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has published satellite images that it says prove Iran is developing a second path to a nuclear weapons capability by operating a plant that could produce plutonium. The images – commissioned by the Telegraph and taken as recently as February 9 – show steam rising at the heavily-guarded Arak heavy water production plant, about 240 kilometres south-west of the capital Tehran. International inspectors have been barred from the plant since August 2011.
North Korea blames U.S. for tension on peninsula
Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters – Feb 27, 2013
North Korea accused the United States on Wednesday of contributing to an “unpredictable” situation on the divided Korean peninsula and abusing its power in the U.N. Security Council to impose its “hostile policy” against Pyongyang.
Park voices concern over stalled gov’t reorganization plan amid N.K. nuclear tensions
Yonhap News Agency – Feb 27, 2013
President Park Geun-hye said Wednesday she is very much concerned that her main national security aide is unable to take office at a time of high tensions with North Korea due to the parliamentary impasse over her government reorganization proposal.Park made the remark in her first meeting with senior secretaries, referring to the absence of former Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo, who has been named to head the presidential national security office.
Hagel Approved for Defense in Sharply Split Senate Vote
Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times – Feb 26, 2013
The Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary on Tuesday after he survived a bruising struggle with Republicans. Fifty-two Democrats, two independents and four Republicans backed Mr. Hagel, and 41 Republicans opposed him.
Putin calls for upgrade of Russian army
Nataliya Vasilyeva, Bloomberg Businessweek – Feb 27, 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the country’s top brass on Wednesday to drastically upgrade the armed forces in the next few years as part of response to attempts by the United States and NATO to “tip the strategic balance” in the world.
Lavrov, Kerry: constructive talks in Berlin
Olga Denisova, Voice of Russia – Feb 27, 2013
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he had “a feeling that President Barack Obama’s second administration, in the foreign policy field led by John Kerry, would try to play a more constructive role” in solving international issues. He made this statement after meeting with US State Secretary John Kerry.
In dealing with Iran, war is not an option
Jack Straw, The Canberra Times – Feb 28, 2013
Resolving the stand-off over the country’s nuclear weapon’s program requires statesmanship of the highest order.