Russia voiced concern Tuesday about U.S. missile defense plans and said it needs “solid legal guarantees” that American deployments will not upset the strategic and regional nuclear balance. Read the rest of this entry »
The foreign ministers of South Korea and China expressed worries Wednesday about North Korea’s recently disclosed uranium enrichment program, which could give it a second way to make atomic bombs, a South Korean official said. The foreign ministers agreed to consult closely on how to deal with the North’s uranium program, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because of department policy.
The 75-page report, complied by a seven-member panel reporting to the United Nations Security Council, states that North Korea is involved in “nuclear and ballistic missile-related activities in certain countries, including Iran, Syria and Myanmar” and that special attention should be given by all member countries to inhibit such activities.
The report, which was released this week, had been delayed from publication for six months by China, a friendly nation to North Korea, according to a diplomat familiar with the case. The diplomat spoke in a background briefing and did not want to be identified
“I am requesting Iran take concrete steps, concrete measures toward the full implementation of their obligations,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Amano told reporters after addressing university students in Moscow.
Speaking before the United Nations Wednesday, North Korea’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Kil Yon said Pyongyang is, however, ready to join nuclear nonproliferation efforts in its capacity as a nuclear weapon state.
“As long as the U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers sail around the seas of our country, our nuclear deterrent can never be abandoned but be should be strengthened further,” Pak said. “This is the lesson we have drawn.”
Pak defended Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons, saying it has succeeded in preventing the Korean peninsula from being “turned into a war field scores of times.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that the background to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the US in 2001 was “suspicious”.
A day earlier US and several Western diplomats walked out of the UN summit as Ahmadinejad said many believed “some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack”.
Speaking to journalists in New York on Friday, he challenged the UN to set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the attacks in which almost 3,000 people died.
“I did not pass judgement, but don’t you feel that the time has come to have a fact finding committee,” Ahmadinejad said.
The comments came in an hourlong interview Sunday with The Associated Press on the first day of his visit to the United States to attend the annual General Assembly of the United Nations this week.
He insisted that his government does not want an atomic bomb — something he has said in the past — and that Iran is only seeking peace and a nuclear-weapons-free world. He repeatedly sidestepped questions on when Iran would resume talks on its disputed nuclear program, and he said anti-nuclear sanctions against his government would have no effect.
WASHINGTON — Three months after the United Nations Security Council enacted its harshest sanctions yet against Iran, global nuclear inspectors reported Monday that the country has dug in its heels, refusing to provide inspectors with the information and access they need to determine whether the real purpose of Tehran’s program is to produce weapons.
For several weeks the Obama administration has argued that the sanctions are beginning to bite, cutting off Iran’s access to foreign capital, halting investment in its energy sector and impeding its ability to send its ships in and out of some foreign ports.
While there are strong indications that Iran is beginning to feel pain — largely from additional sanctions imposed by the United States and European and Asian nations over the summer — the report on Monday from the International Atomic Energy Agency indicates that so far they have failed to force Iran to comply with longstanding requests.