Increase in Activity Reported at North Korean Nuclear Test Site
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times – October 24, 2013
The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies has reported that commercial satellite imagery shows activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site. The images seem to indicate that new tunnels entrances are being dug at the facility. Initial analysis of the images does not seem to suggest at test is imminent; however, such activity could be in preparation for a test at a later time.
US Concerns over Turkey missile proposal
Al Jazeera America – October 24, 2013
Turkey has reportedly entered into talks with a Chinese firm over a proposal to build a missile-defense system. The U.S. has raised concerns over the plan because it may impact U.S. plans for a missile and air defense system in Eastern Europe and also because the Chinese firm is currently under U.S. sanctions. This development continues the trend of increasingly independent actions taken by Turkey under Prime Minister Erdogan.
Soviets conducted nuclear blasts at oilfield to be tapped with China
Vladimir Soldatkin – October 25, 2013
Russia confirmed Friday that the Srednebotuobinskoye oilfield was the site of at least seven nuclear detonations in the 1970s and 1980s. The field, located in Eastern Siberia is scheduled to be tapped by Russia and China. Concerns have been raised by environmental groups that the oil in the area may be contaminated by radiation; however, the Russian government and the state oil firm Rosneft rejected these claims, stating that the location was safe.
Cost Concerns Could Prompt New Look at Warhead Modernization Plan
Douglas P. Guarino, Global Security Newswire – October 25, 2013
Budgetary constraints may force the Obama administration to scrap plans to modernize certain nuclear warheads. A plan proposed by the Department of Energy earlier this year is now receiving serious examination by the administration in a effort to reduce costs. The plan proposes the creation of a new type of interoperable warhead which can be mounted on both land and sea based missiles. The plan would reportedly result in a reduction in the total number of warheads needed to operate the land and sea-based legs of the nuclear triad but at a higher fiscal cost.
Norway Says It Can’t Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons
Scott Neuman, NPR – October 25, 2013
The Norwegian government has announced that Norway will not be able to destroy portions of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has commented that the country would not be able to meet the required deadlines due to a lack of capacities and regulatory requirements. The foreign minister said that the country lacks a port which could receive the chemical weapons and does not have the infrastructure in place to treat waste by-products created by the destruction process.
Denmark Offers to Help Dismantle Syrian Chemical Arsenal
Global Security Newswire – October 24, 2013
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told reporters that Denmark has reportedly offered to assist in the destruction of some of Syria’s chemical weapons. The Secretary General said that the Danish government was “ready to provide their full support, whatever it may be.” It is not yet clear how much of a role Denmark would have in destroying portions of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
Top Iranian Official to Meet with UN Nuke Chief
George Jahn, Associated Press – October 24, 2013
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi, is planning to meet one on one with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency hours before the Monday talks between IAEA and Iranian negotiators. This news came as a surprise when it was announced on Thursday that the deputy foreign minister would be heading to Vienna. It is unclear why the meeting is going to be held right before the scheduled talks; however, it has been noted that Araghchi played a key role in last week’s P5+1 talks.
Lawmaker Says Iran Has Halted Enrichment
Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times – October 23, 2013
The deputy head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s parliament, Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, has remarked that Iran has allegedly stopped enriching uranium up to twenty percent. This news comes after the committee visited several nuclear facilities and was briefed by negotiator Abbas Araghchi. Naqavi Hosseini claims that Iran now has all of the twenty percent enriched uranium that it needs to operate its test reactor in Tehran, which is supposed to be used to create medical isotopes. The report has not been confirmed by any other officials in the Iranian government, however.