Danger and delay on dirty bombs
Kenneth N. Luongo, Reuters – December 16, 2013
Existing international regulations aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the transport and storage of highly radioactive materials is insufficient. This became very clear two weeks ago when a truck carrying the highly radioactive element cobalt-60 was stolen in Mexico near the US border. This insufficiency should concern us. Highly radioactive materials like cobalt-60 could very easily be used by terrorist organizations to create a dirty bomb.
South Korean Official: The North is Preparing for Another Nuclear Test
David Stout, TIME – December 17, 2013
Cho Won-jin, a member of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee, has claimed that North Korea may be preparing a fourth nuclear test and a further missile launch in the imminent future. Mr. Won-jin further claimed that the tests could be an attempt by Pyongyang to draw attention away from the high-profile execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s Uncle last week.
Reports about Russian missile deployment near NATO countries raise concerns
Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press – December 16, 2013
Yesterday, Lithuania and Poland expressed their concerns about recent reports that Russia had deployed a number of high-precision Iskander short-range missiles to its westernmost exclave Kaliningrad. The missiles are, according to some news sources in Russia, capable of being armed with a nuclear warhead and could pose a real threat to neighboring NATO member countries.
Chemical Weapons Watchdog Meets To OK Syria Plan
The Associated Press – December 17, 2013
Officials from the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), are meeting to finalize a plan detailing how the organization will destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile by mid-2014.
Russians Channel Sy Hersh to attack U.S. Chemical Weapons Claim
Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy – December 15, 2013
Yesterday, Russian United Nations (UN) envoy Vitaly Churkin accused the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power of intentionally misleading the public about Syria’s chemical weapons. Russia has long maintained that the Syrian opposition, not the Assad government, carried out the chemical weapons attacks four months ago. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Churkin said “the chemical attack on August 21 was carried out by the opposition.”
EU to ease sanctions as soon as Iran curbs nuclear work
Justyna Pawlak, Reuters – December 17, 2013
The 28 member state governments of the European Union (EU) pledged to relieve Iran of some sanctions as soon as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has upheld its commitments as outlined in last month’s P5+1 agreement.
Power or Persuasion: More Sanctions or Bombs for Iran?
James Kitfield, Defense One – December 16, 2013
Further sanctions and the threat of military action against Iran have been presented as “either/or” options in recent debates on how the US would best coerce Iran to curb its nuclear program. This articulation ignores the fact that both options coexist on a “continuum of coercion” that complement each other to achieve desired US policy goals.
Kerry, Zarif spoke last week after fresh Iran-related sanctions
Reuters – December 17, 2013
An anonymous US official has said that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif discussed the importance of carrying out the November 24 P5+1 first-step nuclear deal after the US had announced that it would blacklist 19 companies, people and vessels from dealing with Iran under existing US sanctions legislation.