Wanted: a country to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons
Debora Mackenzie, New Scientist – October 30, 2013
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been given the mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. The destruction of these weapons will require equipment that is capable of destroying the chemicals within the weapons in a safe and secure manner. In many cases, these weapons will need to be exported to countries that currently possess such plants.
Chemical weapons inspectors in Syria miss deadline
Associated Press – 29 October, 2013
The OPCW has missed an early deadline in its mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. The organization reported yesterday that it was only able to verify 21 of Syria’s 23 declared chemical weapons sites due to security risks at the remaining two sites. U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon stated that the U.N. expects the overall destruction to be completed on time “with the possible exception” of the two remaining sites.
Iran’s Nuclear Black Box
Eli Lake, The Daily Beast – October 30, 2013
Current and former US intelligence officers have claimed that it is becoming ever more difficult to track developments in Iran’s nuclear complex. Iran has improved its cyber warfare defense capabilities and overall security at its nuclear facilities. The fact that Iran stopped sharing vital information about its nuclear complex with the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005 has only made the task of tracking these developments harder.
North Korea: Work Seen at Missile Site
Rick Gladestone, New York Times – October 30, 2013
New satellite imagery posted in a report by the U.S.-Korea Institute at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies shows that North Korea is upgrading its main launch facility, the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. The upgrade suggests that the site will handle larger and more mobile missiles in the future.
China and North Korea: New Thinking, Old Policies
Richard Weitz, The Diplomat – October 30, 2013
China’s strategy towards resolving its North Korea problem remains largely unchanged; however its rhetoric and tactics have become sharper. China views North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a threat to its regional interests in Asia, however it refuses to use harsh measures to pressure Pyongyang for fear of destabilizing the regime.
N. Korea says nuclear deterrent no bargaining chip
Yonhap News Agency, Globalpost – October 29, 2013
North Korea has claimed that its nuclear weapons program is not a bargaining chip for gaining leverage in negotiations with its adversaries. It is instead a tool that allows the country to defend itself from outside aggression.
Budget battles threaten U.S. nuclear modernization
Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal – 30 October, 2013
Leaders of America’s nuclear weapons complex told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces yesterday that the B61 life extension program is critical to US national security. The program is facing budgetary pressure from the ongoing spending cuts of sequestration.
Is the nonproliferation agenda stuck in the Cold War?
Francesca Giovannini and Amy J. Nelson, The Washington Post – October 29, 2013
Today, we see an imbalance in the nuclear governance agenda that generally favors the nonproliferation goals of nuclear weapon states . This imbalance is not the result of collaboration between nongovernmental organizations and these states. It is instead rooted in complex bureaucratic, domestic and regional factors that hinder current decision-making processes.