Nuclear Ban Treaty is Adopted
On the radar: Nuclear Ban Treaty is adopted, what next?; Ploughshares Fund supports Ban Treaty adoption; 122 nations united against nuclear weapons; Pressure is on for nuclear weapons states; Trump and Xi talk cooperation on North Korea; U.S. and South Korea flex muscles in response to North Korean ICBM test; Ploughshares’ Philip Yun keeps North Korea in perspective; “No thanks!” to new nukes
Nuclear weapons now illegal - “For the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war, a global treaty has been negotiated that proponents say would, if successful, lead to the destruction of all nuclear weapons and forever prohibit their use,” writes Rick Gladstone for The New York Times. “Cheers and applause erupted among the delegates after the vote was tallied: 122 in favor and one against — the Netherlands, the only NATO member that participated in the conference. Singapore abstained.”
--“‘This treaty is a strong categorical prohibition of nuclear weapons and is really rooted in humanitarian law,’ said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ‘It provides a path for nuclear-armed states to join. We don’t expect them to sign the treaty right now, but it’s a good starting point for changing perceptions.’” For the full article, click here.
See also - "This is a stunning rebuke to the nuclear-armed states," said Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund. "The majority of nations in the world — who do not have nuclear weapons but would suffer immensely from their use — have now condemned the very possession of the most destructive weapons ever invented." Read Ploughshares Fund’s statement on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons here.
122 nations vote to ban nuclear weapons - “The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed at the United Nations by a vote of 122 to 1, was the culmination of a decade-long effort by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons — and a resounding rebuke to the world's nuclear weapons states, which were glaringly absent and immediately dismissed the effort,” writes Jacqueline Klimas for POLITICO. “‘These states are sending a message. They are expressing their profound frustration that the U.S., Russia, China and other nuclear-armed states have not fulfilled previous political and legal commitments,’ said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.”
--“‘The treaty is a clear indication that the majority of the world’s countries no longer accept nuclear weapons and do not consider them legitimate,’ remarked the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said, ‘We hope that today marks the beginning of the end of the nuclear age. It is beyond question that nuclear weapons violate the laws of war and pose a clear danger to global security.’” Full article here.
See also - “The nuclear ban treaty: A missed US opportunity that can be redeemed in September” by Lawrence J. Korb for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists here.
Ploughshares Fund in the News - Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione went on MSNBC’s AM Joy Show with Malcolm Nance and Jonathan Capehart and explained that there is no military option in North Korea. If the United States were to conduct any military strike on North Korea, it could lead to a catastrophic war. The video of his interview can be found here.
On the path to total disarmament - A statement on the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was released by the Arms Control Association the day of adoption, saying, “For the first time since the invention of the Bomb, nuclear weapons development, production, possession, use, threat of use, and ‘stationing’ of another country’s nuclear weapons on a states party's national territory are all expressly prohibited in a global treaty. The treaty also requires states to provide assistance to those affected by nuclear weapons use and testing.”
--“While the treaty itself will not immediately eliminate any nuclear weapons, the treaty can, over time, further delegitimize nuclear weapons and strengthen the legal and political norm against their use. Steps aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic nuclear weapons use are necessary and should be welcomed.” For the full article, click here.
See also - “A controversial ban and the long game to delegitimize nuclear weapons” by Sharon Squassoni for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists here.
Trump, Xi meet at G20 - “China’s president Xi Jinping and US president Donald Trump vowed to step up security co-operation between their two countries to tackle the North Korean nuclear crisis, and Mr Xi has ordered China’s navy to take part in US-led military exercises in the Pacific Rim next year,” writes Clifford Coonan for The Irish Times. “While ordering the navy to take part in the ‘Rimpac’ manoeuvres and proposing military co-operation with the US, Mr Xi restated the North Korean nuclear standoff could be resolved only through dialogue.” For the full article, click here.
See also - “A Summit Without Fireworks Over North Korea” by Leon Sigal for 38 North here.
U.S., South Korea conduct air exercise - “Two U.S. B-1B bombers and American and South Korean fighter jets on Friday conducted an exercise that included practicing attack capabilities at a training range, in a show of force to North Korea days after that regime tested an intercontinental ballistic missile,” write Stella Kim, Courtney Kube and Phil Helsel for NBC News. “Two U.S. officials said the show of force was intended to ‘send a clear message’ to North Korea, ruled by the dictator Kim Jong Un.” Full article here.
Keeping North Korea in perspective - “Why are we so afraid of North Korea?” asks Ploughshares Executive Director Philip Yun in the Los Angeles Times. “We must put the situation into proper perspective. What has been lost amid the incessant punditry, news coverage and irresponsible headlines suggesting that North Korea can already hit California, is that deterrence on the Korean peninsula is alive and well. The balance of power, moreover, strongly favors the U.S. – not North Korea.”
--“The U.S. must therefore maintain its policy of the strongest deterrence. At the same time, however, assuming the U.S. actually wants to solve this problem rather than simply contain it, we must offer more material ‘carrots’ to the North – meaningful security assurances, a semblance of political legitimacy and access to the international economic system… U.S. action cannot be driven by outdated policies, stereotypes and presidential tweets when overreaction in a high-stakes standoff could lead to catastrophic miscalculation. Above all, the U.S. must lead, and do so with confidence, not fear.” Full article here.
New U.S. nukes are a terrible idea - “Calls for new nuclear weapons are misguided and unnecessary,” writes Daryl Kimball for Arms Control Today. “By pursuing new types of nuclear warheads or delivery systems or modifying existing systems to create new capabilities, the United States would invite a further escalation of tensions and the acceleration of an increasingly unstable, global technological arms race.”
--“By pursuing new types of nuclear warheads or delivery systems or modifying existing systems to create new capabilities, the United States would invite a further escalation of tensions and the acceleration of an increasingly unstable, global technological arms race… The diplomatic and security costs of developing and possibly testing new types of nuclear warheads far outweigh any marginal benefits of such arms.” For the full article, click here.
See also - “Congress risks Reagan’s legacy on nuclear arms” by Alexandra Bell for The News & Observer here.
--“Outlining The U.S. Defenses Against A Missile Attack” by A Martinez with Kingston Reif for NPR here.
--“The right way to play the China card on North Korea” by Jake Sullivan and Victor Cha for The Washington Post here.
--“After the Prohibition Treaty” by Michael Krepon for Arms Control Wonk here.
--“North Korea’s Hwasong-14 Missile Launch Site Identified: The Panghyon Aircraft Factory” by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Frank Pabian for 38 North here.
--“Why Is Russia Denying That North Korea Launched an ICBM?” by Ankit Panda for The Diplomat here.
--“North Korean ICBM ‘likely’ to be able to strike San Diego with two years, analysis says” by Jesse Johnson for The Japan Times here.
--“Here are all the missile tests conducted by North Korea since 1984” by Daniel Brown and Mike Nudelman for Business Insider here.
--“Moon wants talks with Pyongyang but there’s no channel” by Jeong Yong-Soo and Kim Pog-Nee for Korea JoongAng Daily here.
--“Telephone Town Hall on U.S./Korean Peninsula Foreign Relations.” Hosted by Georgia WAND. Featuring Dr. Kathryn Weathersby, Paul Carroll, James Chan Woo and moderated by Lindsay Harper. Wednesday, July 12, 2017. 7:00p.m.-8:00p.m. Details can be found here.
--“Challenges in U.S. Iran Policy” Hosted by the Middle East Institute. Featuring a keynote speech by Senator Chris Coons followed by a discussion on the issues facing the Middle East. Wednesday, July 12, 2017. 12:30p.m.-5:30p.m. The Middle East Institute, 1319 18th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Details and registration here.
--”Breaking Barriers: Women in Nuclear Security.” Hosted by CRDF Global. Thursday, July 13, 2017. 8:00a.m.-10:30a.m. CRDF Global, 1776 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22209. Details and registration here.
--Regime Change in Iran: From the 1953 Coup to the Trump Policy Review. Hosted by the Atlantic Council. Moderated by Barbara Slavin; featuring Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Malcolm Byrne and Bruce Riedel. Thursday, July 13, 2017. 12:00p.m. Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. Details here.