Iran Points to Atomic-Treaty Pledges Ahead of IAEA Meeting
Jonathan Tirone & Yeganeh Salehi, Bloomberg News – Jan 15, 2013
Iran said it won’t shirk its nuclear-treaty obligations ahead of a meeting with United Nations atomic inspectors traveling to Tehran in search of a deal to dispel concerns over alleged atomic-bomb research.
Iran: Khamenei’s Ban of Nuclear Weapons Binding
Ali Akbar Dareini, TIME – Jan 15, 2013
A religious decree issued by Iran’s supreme leader banning nuclear weapons is binding for the Iranian government, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, suggesting that the edict should end the debate over whether Tehran is pursuing atomic arms. Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the West must understand the significance of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s edict for Iran: “There is nothing higher than the exalted supreme leader’s fatwa to define the framework for our activities in the nuclear field.”
2-UN nuclear watchdog eyes Iran deal, Parchin visit
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – Jan 15, 2013
The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday it hoped to gain access to the Parchin military site during a visit to Iran this week aimed at unblocking an investigation into suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic state. The International Atomic Energy Agency will seek to finalise a framework deal with Iran in Wednesday’s talks in Tehran that would enable it to relaunch its inquiry, IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts said.
North Korea targets Canberra foothold
David Wroe, The Sydney Morning Herald – Jan 15, 2013
North Korea wants to set up a new embassy in Canberra, possibly signalling the hermit state’s intention under its young leader Kim Jong-un to inch towards greater engagement with the world.
U.N. Official Urges Scrutiny of North Korea
Nick Cumming-Bruce, The New York Times – Jan 14, 2013
The chief human rights official at the United Nations, Navi Pillay, called on Monday for an international inquiry into human rights offenses committed by the North Korean government over many decades.
Park to get along with N. Korea
Kim Young-jin, The Korea Times – Jan 15 2013
A year since taking power, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for rapprochement between the North and South, echoing Park’s stance that the sides need to build trust. However, analysts remain split as to whether this is tactical or if the regime is considering ways to play catch up with its economy.
NK interacting more with outside
Kim Young-jin, The Korea Times – Jan 15, 2013
The North Korean regime is drawing attention early in the year with a series of foreign visits, apparently picking up the pace of such activities from recent years. Analyst say the visits, including the most recent by Associated Press vice-president, John Daniszewski, who arrived Monday, may be a sign of the Kim Jong-un’s growing confidence over a year into its rule.
Global Insights: Russia Revitalizes Its Submarine Deterrent
Richard Weitz, World Politics Review – Jan 15, 2013
Russia’s next-generation nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN), equipped with the new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), officially entered service with the Russian navy’s Northern Fleet on Jan. 10.
Japan Cabinet OKs $147 billion extra budget plan that includes border defense upgrade
The Washington Post – Jan 15, 2013
Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a 13.1 trillion yen ($147 billion) supplementary budget plan through March that includes military spending for border defense. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the plan, endorsed as part of the government’s economic stimulus package, includes 210 billion yen ($2.4 billion) for a military equipment upgrade to strengthen border defense.
Pakistan aims to develop smaller, lighter nuclear warheads: report
Hindustan Times – Jan 15, 2013
Expanding its nuclear arsenal at a rapid pace, Pakistan is now aiming to develop smaller and lighter atomic warheads more suitable for use on missiles, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist has said.