The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

How easily one Trump tantrum could set off a nuclear war with North Korea:

Here’s how one crazed Trump tweet could set off a nuclear war with North Korea: Arms control expert  HTTPS://WWW.RAWSTORY.COM/2017/12/HERES-HOW-ONE-CRAZED-TRUMP-TWEET-COULD-SET-OFF-A-NUCLEAR-WAR-WITH-NORTH-KOREA-ARMS-CONTROL-EXPERT/   BRAD REED 11 DEC 2017 

Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert and a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, has written a terrifying war game scenario for the Washington Post in which he shows how one particularly ill-timed and ill-tempered tweet from President Donald Trump could set off a chain of events that would end in a nuclear war with North Korea.

In Lewis’ scenario, the trouble begins when North Korea shoots down a commercial South Korean aircraft that had strayed into North Korean airspace that it mistook for an American bomber.

In response to this, South Korea orders a limited missile strike against North Korea’s air defense battery to send a message aimed at deterring further attacks from Pyongyang.

Things quickly go haywire, however, Trump sends out an all-caps tweet in the wake of Seoul’s retaliatory strike that reads, “LITTLE ROCKET MAN WON’T BE AROUND MUCH LONGER!”

This leads the North to believe that Trump is planning an imminent invasion — and at that point, Pyongyang unloads its full nuclear arsenal at targets in Seoul, Tokyo, San Diego, Manhattan and, yes, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

It would be years before the U.S. government could provide an accounting of the toll,” writes Lewis in his conclusion. “The Pentagon would make almost no effort to tally the enormous numbers of civilians killed in North Korea by the massive conventional air campaign. But in the end, officials concluded, nearly 2 million Americans, South Koreans and Japanese had died in the completely avoidable nuclear war of 2019.”

Read the entire piece at this link.


December 12, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – a very real issue for the Marshall Islands

Nobel award for ICAN resonates in nuclear-tested Marshall Islands  Majuro, By Ronron Calunsod, KYODO NEWS –  The awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is resonating in the Marshall Islands, boosting hopes there will no longer be a repeat of its exposure to radiation as happened when the United States conducted almost 70 nuclear tests here from 1946 up to 1958.

“I am very glad for ICAN, that they received the recognition. I think a nuclear ban treaty is a realistic long-term goal,” President Hilda Heine told Kyodo News in the Pacific island-nation’s capital Majuro, in an interview ahead of last Sunday’s award ceremony that took place in Oslo, Norway, some 12,400 kilometers away.

“It gives countries like the Marshall Islands hope that perhaps, in the future, we would be able to eliminate nuclear (weapons) in the world,” she said.

ICAN, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations from around 100 countries that was founded in 2007 in Australia, was recognized by the Nobel Committee for its efforts that led to the adoption at the United Nations earlier this year of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty, however, still runs short of the required ratification by 50 countries for entry into force, nor does it have the backing of major powers and nuclear weapon states.

Citing data from the Federation of American Scientists, ICAN said close to 15,000 nuclear weapons are possessed by the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

“It’s disappointing that those nuclear-armed countries are not supportive of the treaty,” lamented Heine whose country, located near the equator in the Micronesia region of the Pacific Ocean, was chosen by the United States as a nuclear test site after World War II, at which time it was under U.S. administrative control.

Among the 67 tests carried out here, the most powerful and most destructive was the Castle Bravo Test on March 1, 1954 on Bikini Atoll, which exposed some islands and their residents, as well as the crew of a Japanese fishing boat, to nuclear radiation.

“Nuclear should be a concern for every country. We had our experience with the nuclear testing, and we know what it can cause, and the effects on the lives of people and property,” Foreign Minister John Silk said in a separate interview.

Silk said that in the current situation where nuclear powers remain outside the treaty, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN goes “a long way towards promoting public opinion” that may eventually force them “to voluntarily reduce their nuclear weapons, and even come to the table to sign up on the agreement at some point in time.”

“That’s a very hopeful thinking, but I think that’s what everybody wants to see at the end — a world without nuclear weapons,” he said.

Having been exposed to radioactive fallout on her home island of Rongelap, northwest of Majuro, 69-year-old Nerje Joseph could not agree more.

“They took us away (from there) and destroyed our place, our home,” Joseph said of the Americans, in an interview with Kyodo News at a home provided for her close to the western tip of Majuro Atoll.

Amid the ballistic missile and nuclear threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un these days, Joseph, who survived thyroid cancer and had two miscarriages caused by radiation exposure, said in jest, “If I were a man, and I had a weapon, I’d shoot him in the forehead!”

On achieving a nuclear-free world, the mother of 10 children and grandmother of a dozen said, “I don’t really know when it’s going to happen, but I have faith that it will happen soon…I don’t want this kind of devastation to continue.”

Fellow fallout victim Lemeyo Abon, 77, also from Rongelap, said more than the compensation she receives from the United States, “what’s important is a place to call home, a place to live freely.”

“The identity of being a Marshallese is gone when you’re moved to another place,” Abon said. “In a way, it took away our identity, and that’s what bothers me most.”

Heine said the Marshall Islands, which created this year a National Nuclear Commission to develop a strategy and plan of action for pursuing justice, will continue to assert to the U.S. government the concerns of the Marshallese people, and also work with the United Nations.

“We think that the settlement is not enough. We think that the U.S. government still owes the Marshallese compensation for their lost land — the fact that people are not back to their land, they are still nomads in their own country, and also the fact that we have high rate of cancer,” Heine said.

“I think they need to compensate the people and the government for these impacts on the people and the country.”

According to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro, the United States has “expressed regret about the Bravo accident when 253 Marshallese were exposed to high doses of radiation.”

It has extended more than $604 million in compensation to affected communities, while a $6.3 million worth of services is annually provided under the Department of Energy Special Medical Care Program and the Environmental Monitoring Program.

Radiation victim Abon, who worries about the future of her seven children and more than 10 grandchildren, remains pessimistic about the prospects for a nuclear-free world “as long as there are selfish people in the world — those that know they have the power, they are smart, and they want to strive to be No. 1.”

But the leader of the tiny nation of around 40,000 people spread across 29 low-lying coral atolls and five islands, with another 20,000 in the United States, sees a glimmer of hope with ICAN’s influential efforts.

“The advocacy and the work that ICAN is doing should continue because I think in the long run, people may change their opinions. If they push the countries to change their opinions, perhaps, there is a future, there is a hope that nuclear-armed countries can actually agree to stop,” Heine said.

December 12, 2017 Posted by | OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

My people are still suffering from Australia’s secret nuclear testing Sue Coleman-Haseldine, 

My name is Sue Coleman-Haseldine. I was born into poverty on the margins of Australian society on the Aboriginal mission of Koonibba in 1951. At this time my people were not allowed to vote and we had very few means to be understood, let alone be heard.

I was born into one of the oldest living cultures known on Earth and into a place that I love – a dusty, arid paradise on the edge of a rugged coastline. Our land and waters are central to our outlook and religion and provide the basis for my people’s health and happiness.

And I was born just before the desert lands to our north were bombed by the deadliest weapons on Earth in an extensive, secretive and devastating manner by the Australian and British governments.

In the 1950s, areas known as Emu Fields and Maralinga were used to test nine full-scale atomic bombs and for 600 other nuclear tests, leaving the land highly radioactive. We weren’t on ground zero, but the dust didn’t stay in one place. The winds brought the poison to us and many others.

Aboriginal people, indeed many people at that time, knew nothing about the effects of radiation. We didn’t know the invisible killer was falling amongst us. Six decades on, my small town of Ceduna is being called the Cancer Capital of Australia. There are so many deaths in our region of various cancers. My grand-daughter and I have had our thyroids removed, and there are many others in our area with thyroid problems. Fertility issues appear common.

 But there has been no long-term assessment of the health impacts in the region and even those involved in the botched clean-ups of the test sites have no recourse because they cannot prove their illness is linked with exposure to nuclear weapons testing.

The impact of the Maralinga and Emu Fields testing has had far-reaching consequences that are still being felt today. Ask a young person from my area, “What do you think you will die from?” The answer is, “Cancer, everyone else is”.

I have lived my life learning about the bomb tests and also learning that the voice of my people and others won’t always be understood or heard. But I learnt from old people now gone that speaking up is important and by joining with others from many different places and backgrounds that our voices can be amplified.

Through these steps I found the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), or perhaps ICAN found me.

ICAN – as an organisation, as a collective of passionate, educated people working for a clear goal – has been so important to me. To know that my story and my voice helps bring recognition to the past and can shape the future of nuclear prohibition has strengthened my resolve.

Being involved in ICAN has been a double-edged sword. On one hand and for the first time in my life, I no longer feel alone or isolated. I have met others from many parts of the globe who have similar stories and experiences and who are passionate advocates for a nuclear-free future.

But the flip side of this is my understanding of just how widespread and just how devastating the nuclear weapons legacy is across the globe. To learn that so many weapons still exist sends fear to my heart. ICAN is a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize – in a short time we have gathered support for a treaty to finally outlaw nuclear weapons and help eliminate the nuclear threat.

The vision was reached in part with so many nations adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in July 2017. And we should celebrate this win and the opportunity to work together to stop the suffering and assist countries to make amends to nuclear weapons victims by acknowledging the permanent damage done to land, health and culture.

Unfortunately, the Australian government, along with other first world nations, didn’t even participate in the treaty negotiations, and they haven’t signed the treaty yet, but over time we feel confident they will.

A lot has changed since I was born. Aboriginal people now have the right to vote in Australia, but still we battle for understanding about our culture and the Australian nuclear weapons legacy. My home is still remote and most of my people still poor. But we are also no longer alone. We have the means and the will to participate – to share and to learn and to bring about lasting change.

ICAN’s work is not done, our work is not done. We will continue to work together. A world without nuclear weapons is a world we need and are creating. I stand here in hope and gratitude for the opportunity to participate. I stand here with pride and I stand here for our future and the generations to come.

Sue Coleman-Haseldine is a Kokatha woman who lives in Ceduna, South Australia. This is an extract of her speech in Oslo marking the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN.​

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Camaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons urges nuclear powers to join the U.N. ban treaty.

‘Prevent the end of us’: Nuclear powers urged to ban the bomb, Reuters with Carolyn Webb,  Gwladys Fouche, 11 Dec 17, 

Oslo: The leader of the group that won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has urged nuclear nations to adopt a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent “the end of us”.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the prize by a Nobel committee that cited the spread of nuclear weapons and the growing risk of an atomic war.

ICAN, which began in Melbourne, is a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups that campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations in July.

The treaty is not signed by – and would not apply to – any of the states that already have nuclear arms.

Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s executive director, urged them to sign the agreement. “It provides a choice. A choice between the two endings: the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us,” she said in her speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on Sunday. “The United States, choose freedom over fear. Russia, choose disarmament over destruction. Britain, choose the rule of law over oppression,” she added, before urging France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel to do the same.

Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear weapons, although it neither confirms nor denies it.

“A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities,” she added.

“A calculated military escalation could lead to the indiscriminate mass murder of civilians.”

Fihn delivered the Nobel lecture together with Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and now an ICAN campaigner.   Thurlow recalled on stage on Sunday some of her memories of the attack on August 6, 1945.  She was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building about 1.8 kilometres from Ground Zero, she said. Most of her classmates were burnt alive.  “Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by. Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen,” she said. “Parts of their bodies were missing. Flesh and skin hung from their bones. Some with their eyeballs hanging in their hands. Some with their bellies burst open, their intestines hanging out. The foul stench of burnt human flesh filled the air.”

The US, Britain and France sent second-rank diplomats to the Nobel ceremony, which Fihn earlier said was “some kind of protest”.

Hours before the prize was presented in Oslo, co-founder Dimity Hawkins said it was “gratifying to win a Nobel Peace Prize but we’ve still got to get ourselves to zero nukes”.

“The biggest prize will be to have all nations – including Australia – sign up to the nuclear weapons ban treaty which we helped bring about at the UN this year.”


December 11, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“We have a choice, the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us” – ICAN

Nobel Peace Prize winner Ican warns nuclear war ‘a tantrum away’, BBC news, 10 Dec 17, The world faces a “nuclear crisis” from a “bruised ego”, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) has warned in an apparent reference to US-North Korea tensions.

Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday, Ican’s executive director Beatrice Fihn said “the deaths of millions may be one tiny tantrum away”.

“We have a choice, the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us,” she added.

Tensions over North Korea’s weapons programme have risen in recent months.

The open hostility between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership under Kim Jong-un has at times descended into personal attacks this year.

‘Irresponsible leaders’

Speaking at the ceremony in Oslo, Ms Fihn said “a moment of panic” could lead to the “destruction of cities and the deaths of millions of civilians” from nuclear weapons.

The risk of such weapons being used, she added, was “greater today than during the Cold War”.

Ican, a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), has worked for a treaty to ban the weapons.

Prior to presenting the prize on Sunday, Nobel committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen offered a similar warning, saying that “irresponsible leaders can come to power in any nuclear state”.

Ms Reiss-Andersen commended Ican which, she said, had succeeded in highlighting the dangers of nuclear weapons as well as trying to eradicate them.

Ms Reiss-Andersen also acknowledged the contributions of Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and now an Ican campaigner.

Ms Thurlow, who was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building at the time, said that most of her classmates, who were in the same room, were burned alive.

“Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by,” she said on Sunday. “Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen.”……..

Ican, formed in 2007 and inspired by a similar campaign to ban the use of landmines, has made it its mission to highlight the humanitarian risk of nuclear weapons.

A coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Geneva-based group helped pave the way for the introduction of a UN treaty banning the weapons, which was signed this year.

While 122 countries backed the treaty in July, the talks were notably boycotted by the world’s nine known nuclear powers and the only Nato member to discuss it, the Netherlands, voted against.

Only three countries, the Holy See, Guyana and Thailand, have so far ratified the treaty, which requires 50 ratifications to come into force.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America’s trillions of dollars militaristic economy

The US Military Is the Biggest “Big Government” Entitlement Program on the Planet , December 10, 2017, By JP Sottile, Truthout |The US economy is caught in a trap. That trap is the Department of Defense: an increasingly sticky wicket that relies on an annual, trillion-dollar redistribution of government-collected wealth. In fact, it’s the biggest “big government” program on the planet, easily beating out China’s People’s Liberation Army in both size and cost. It is not only the “nation’s largest employer,” with 2.867 million people currently on the payroll, but it also provides government benefits to 2 million retirees and their family members. And it actively picks private sector winners by targeting billions of dollars to an elite group of profit-seeking contractors.

The top five overall recipients collectively pulled in $109.5 billion in FY2016, and their cohorts consistently dominate the government’s list of top 100 contractors. They reap this yearly largesse through a Rube-Goldberg-like system of influence peddlers, revolving doors and wasteful taxpayer-funded boondoggles. Finally, it is all justified by a deadly feedback loop of perpetual warfare that is predicated on a predictable supply of blowback.

But this belligerent cash machine doesn’t just produce haphazard interventions and shady partnerships with a motley assortment of strongmen, proxies and frenemies. It also has Uncle Sam caught in a strange cycle of taxpayer-funded dependence that may ultimately be the most expensive — and least productive — jobs program in human history………

Too Big to Fail?

The US stands alone as a globe-spanning empire with 787 overseas bases, “lily pad” deployments and host country facilities in 88 nations and territories, according to the most recent accounting by scholar David Vine. At home, a Google Maps search reveals another 603 bases, depots, arsenals and assorted military facilities peppered around the 50 states. The US dominates the land, sea and skies, and is moving to dominate space…….

taxpayers’ only end product is a larger military with more bases and more weapons. However, without a serious shift toward non-defense government priorities, cutting the defense budget would mean, in the immediate term, many Americans losing their jobs. In the absence of non-military jobs programs and other forms of robust social spending, these workers depend on military tax dollars to fund their livelihoods, their health care and their kids’ educations. Tax dollars sustain the military-driven local and regional economies within which they live and work. Not coincidentally, this misallocated investment in a “war and weapons-based economy” is, as Major Gen. (Ret.) Dennis Laich and Col. (Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson write, also reflected in the inherent “unfairness” that feeds off the “all-volunteer force.”……….

So, what are the options now that the US finds itself stuck in this paradigmatic trap? There are three possible alternatives.

One is to simply slash the budget. The downside is that it will dislocate millions of people who rely directly and indirectly on defense spending. The upside is that it will force an immediate retreat from both empire and military Keynesianism. This also could stoke some economic growth if the half to three-quarters of a trillion in annual savings was “returned” to taxpayers in the form of a rebate check. Basically, Americans would finally get the “peace dividend” almost 30 years after the Cold War ended.

The second option is the post-WWII demobilization model. That influx of manpower was met with the GI Billtax breaks for new homeowners and investments in infrastructure. This is a truly Keynesian solution. Infrastructure jobs and educational subsidies would provide relief to Americans currently reliant on military Keynesianism for their livelihoods. The original GI Bill “returned $7 to the American economy for every $1 invested in the GI Bill,” notes Jared Lyon of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. And a study by Costs of War Project determined allocating resources to “clean energy and health care spending create 50 percent more jobs than the equivalent amount of spending on the military,” and “education spending creates more than twice as many jobs” as defense spending.

Frankly, either of these two solutions is far better than the third option, which is to continue to misallocate hundreds of billions in precious capital away from the productive economy while wreaking havoc at home and abroad. And that’s the ultimate no-win situation for a militarized economy that has manufactured its share of bloody, no-win situations since the end of World War II.


December 11, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Investing in nuclear weapons – some Swedish banks do this

Swedish banks allow investment in nuclear weapons: report Several Swedish banks allow investment in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons, according to an analysis.

The Fair Finance Guide organisation said that of the nine banks it reviewed, only three have zero-tolerance policies in relation to economic dealings involving nuclear weapons.

One bank highlighted by the organisation, Nordea, was placed in a ‘grey zone’. The bank has publicly expressed zero tolerance towards nuclear weapons in asset management and foundations, but does not have any lending policies with regard to nuclear weapons, according to Fair Finance Guide.

Nordea has business agreements with Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, which also manages the country’s nuclear weapons programme, according to a report by Svenska Dagbladet.

The Swedish bank has had a “strategic partnership” with Rosatom for several years, according to the newspaper.

Nordea maintains that it only finances the company’s nuclear energy activities.

“Nevertheless, this is enough to demonstrate support for the nuclear weapons arm of Rosatom, given that profits from the energy business are used to support its weapons industry,” Fair Finance Guide project leader Jakob König said in a press statement.

The organisation states on its website that it aims to improve the corporate social responsibility of banks.

Nordea sustainability manager Sasja Beslik rejected criticism of the bank. “The conclusion is incorrect. We do not finance – either directly or indirectly – any nuclear weapons production anywhere in the world,” Beslik said.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Sweden, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aftershocks 14 weeks after North Korea’s biggest nuclear test

Aftershocks detected 14 weeks after North Korea nuclear test ‘moves Earth’s crust’

‘It takes a while for the crust movement to fully subside’, says USGS  Jon Sharman 10 Dec 17 Geologists have detected two tectonic tremors that they say are probably aftershocks from North Korean nuclear tests conducted over three months ago.

The artificial explosion created near a known nuclear testing site in North Korea had “moved the Earth’s crust” and subsequent seismic activity showed the region’s underlying geology settling back down, experts said.

The aftershocks, of magnitude 2.9 and 2.4, were detected at 6.13am and 6.40am GMT on Saturday respectively, said the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Lassina Zerbo, executive secreta

ry of the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, said analysts had confirmed that the activity was “tectonic” in origin.

A USGS official said the tremors had occurred near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where North Korea conducted its sixth and largest underground nuclear test on 3 September.

“They’re probably relaxation events from the sixth nuclear test,” the official said. “When you have a large nuclear test, it moves the earth’s crust around the area, and it takes a while for it to fully subside. We’ve had a few of them since the sixth nuclear test.”

Pyongyang claimed the September test was of a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb, and experts have estimated it was 10 times more powerful than the US atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

A series of quakes since then has prompted experts and observers to suspect the test might have damaged the mountainous location of its site in the northwest tip of North Korea, where all of the country’s nuclear tests have been conducted.

South Korea’s spy agency told the country’s lawmakers in October that North Korea might be readying two more tunnels at the site.

North Korea hinted its next nuclear test could be above ground after US President Donald Trump warned in September that the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened America.

Another possible obstacle to North Korea’s use of Punggye-ri for tests is the nearby active volcano of Mount Paektu, which North Koreans consider a sacred site. Its last eruption was in 1903, and experts have debated whether nuclear testing could trigger another.

North Korea’s official media reported on Saturday that national leader Kim Jong-un had scaled Mount Paektu with senior military officials to “emphasise his military vision” after completion of the country’s nuclear force.

But pictures released by the official KCNA news agency showed him wearing smart black leather shoes and carrying no specialised equipment.

Mr Kim declared the nuclear force complete after the test of North Korea’s largest ever intercontinental ballistic missile last month, which experts said puts all of America within range.

South Korea said Pyongyang still needed to prove it has mastered critical missile technology, such as re-entry, terminal stage guidance and warhead activation, however.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | environment, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea: Moon calls for ‘overwhelming’ military capability against North Korea

Moon calls for ‘overwhelming’ military capability against North Korea, Korea Herald, By Yeo Jun-suk : Dec 8, 2017 -President Moon Jae-in urged the military to secure “overwhelming” capability to fend off North Korea’s growing military threat on Friday as South Korea’s Defense Ministry warned against another strategic provocations following its latest missile launch. 

The president also called for an “early and swift” transfer of wartime operational control from the United States to South Korea, suggesting the military should secure capability to lead combined operations in the event of contingency on the Korean Peninsula.

“Based on a robust South Korea-US alliance, we have to work swiftly to meet the conditions for wartime operational control,” said the president during a lunch meeting with some 150 military commanders at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

“Given that North Korea’s missile and nuclear threat has been accelerating at a faster pace than before, the military’s role is more important than ever. You are our last line of defense against North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile threats,” he added. ……

December 11, 2017 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russioa denies USA allegations : says it is fully committed to nuclear missile pact

Russia says it is fully committed to nuclear missile pact, Reuters Staff,   MOSCOW (Reuters) 9 Dec 17 – Russia said on Saturday it was fully committed to a Cold War-era pact with the United States banning intermediate-range cruise missiles, a day after Washington accused Moscow of violating the treaty.

   The U.S. State Department said on Friday Washington was reviewing military options, including new intermediate-range cruise missile systems, in response to what it said was Russia’s ongoing violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The warning was the first response by President Donald Trump’s administration to U.S. charges first leveled in 2014 that Russia had deployed a ground-launched cruise missile that breaches the pact’s ban on testing and fielding missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kms (310-3,417 miles).

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said those allegations were “absolutely unfounded”……

Echoing previous Russian statements, Ryabkov said Moscow was fully committed to the treaty, had always rigorously complied with it, and was prepared to continue doing so.

“However, if the other side stops following it, we will be forced, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has already said, to respond in kind,” he added.

The U.S. allegation has further strained relations between Moscow and Washington, and the State Department on Friday hinted at possible economic sanctions over the issue……

December 11, 2017 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

There is no way to be prepared for nuclear war – International Red Cross and Red Crescent

Francesco Rocca: No one can prepare for nuclear war Aljazeera, 10 Dec 17The incoming president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has expressed hope that dialogue will prevail in escalating tensions between North Korea and the West, saying that nothing could prepare the world for nuclear war.

“There is no training, no preparation that could cope with a disaster where we could assist if this weapon would be used,” Francesco Rocca told Al Jazeera.

“This is something I don’t even want to think about … I hope love for humanity will prevail.”

Rocca was elected as the new head of the IFRC by his peers from 178 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at the humanitarian aid organisation’s general assembly in Antalya, Turkey, on November 6.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Rocca vowed to denounce actors who target humanitarian professionals and facilities, and called the international community’s response to the migrant crisis a “failure”. Here is the full interview……..

December 11, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The long work of achieving the abolition of nuclear weapons

A long road to abolishment of nuclear weapons,   JONATHAN DOWN / Times Colonist , DECEMBER 7, 2017 With the Doomsday Clock now set at 2.5 minutes to midnight, the key role of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in building the historic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is more remarkable than ever.

On July 7, 122 United Nations member countries adopted the treaty, and 50 nations have signed it since Sept. 20. It is anticipated that by the end of 2018, the treaty will become international law.

Recognizing that the risk of nuclear war is even higher today than during the Cold War, the Nobel Committee is honouring ICAN’s work with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded in Oslo on Sunday. Canadian peace campaigner and Hiroshima bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow, together with ICAN’s executive director Beatrice Fihn, will accept the prize.

However, although a Canadian activist will receive the Nobel in Oslo, Canada has turned its back on the treaty and refused to sign. Pressure from the United States is considered the main reason for this decision, which directly contradicts Canada’s international reputation as a supporter of nuclear disarmament. It also flouts the treaty’s vision of a world where nuclear weapons are stigmatized, prohibited and eventually eliminated.

 The idea of ICAN came from a 2007 meeting of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The humanitarian consequences of the use of any nuclear weapon had been the central focus of physician concern for many years. However, after years of government inaction on the part of both nuclear and non-nuclear nations, a decision was made to launch an international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, and ICAN was born.

Run almost entirely by enthusiastic, highly motivated young people from different parts of the world, ICAN clearly understands that 21st-century threats such as terrorism, cyber-security, failed states and climate change can’t be solved with nuclear weapons. Inflammatory rhetoric threatening “fire and fury” moves the world ever closer to the catastrophe of a nuclear war. Rather than acting as a deterrent, the threat of nuclear weapons encourages nations such as North Korea to accelerate their efforts to acquire their own nuclear arsenal.

ICAN-affiliated organizations are found in more than a hundred countries, including Canada, and the Nobel prize is a tribute to the millions of activists such as Thurlow who have worked to abolish the worst weapons of mass destruction. Victoria-based Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network is affiliated with ICAN through member organizations, and several members participated in the negotiations leading up to the landmark treaty.

Canadians should be extremely proud of ICAN and the huge amount of work that has been done to advance the cause of global peace. We have a long way to go before nuclear weapons are finally abolished — but this year’s Nobel Peace Prize shows that the civil world is on the right track.

Jonathan Down is a pediatrician in Victoria and president-elect of Physicians for Global Survival, the Canadian affiliate of IPPNW. He is a member of the Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA claims that Russia is violating 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

U.S. presses Russia to comply with nuclear missile treaty  WASHINGTON (Reuters) 9 Dec 17, – The United States is reviewing military options, including new intermediate-range cruise missile systems, in response to what it says is Russia’s ongoing violation of a Cold War-era pact banning such missiles, the State Department said on Friday.

Washington is prepared “to cease such research and development activities” if Russia returns to compliance with the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The warning was the Trump administration’s first response to U.S. charges first leveled in 2014 that Russia had deployed a ground-launched cruise missile that breaches the pact’s ban on the testing and fielding of missiles with ranges of between 500-5,500 kms (310-3,417 miles).

U.S. officials have said the Russian cruise missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, and that Moscow has refused to hold indepth discussions about the alleged breach.

Russia has denied that it is violating the accord.

The U.S. allegation has added to strains in relations between Moscow and Washington. U.S. and Russian officials are due to discuss the issue at a meeting in coming weeks of the special commission that oversees the treaty, said a U.S. official, who requested anonymity…….

December 9, 2017 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA group to Norway to attend Nobel peace prize conference

Northampton activists travel to Norway to attend Nobel peace prize conference, lobby for nuclear disarmament agreement, Mass LiveDec 8, By Lucas Ropek

NORTHAMPTON – Northampton area activists traveled to Norway Thursday to attend the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo, hoping to use the trip as an opportunity to promote a nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Jeff Napolitano, the Executive Director of The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, and Sabine Merz, who sits on the Center’s Board of Directors, will stay in Oslo for a week.

The Resistance Center was born out of the Northampton chapter of the American Friends Service Committee that closed earlier this year, and focuses on promoting a progressive agenda locally and globally.

Napolitano and Merz hope to use the conference as an opportunity to participate in a conversation about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, an international agreement supported by 122 United Nations (UN) member states that, if adopted, would be a legally binding means of banning nuclear weapons throughout the world.

The treaty is the result of years of activism on the part of a coalition of countries pushing for disarmament, according to the activists. Much of the work was accomplished by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which is being awarded the Nobel peace prize for its work in establishing the treaty. …….

The U.S. has so far declined to sign the ICAN treaty and the U.S. ambassador has also declined to attend the Oslo conference, said Napolitano.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

10 December  – Nobel Peace Prize awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

The Nobel Laureates take center stage in Stockholm on 10 December, when they receive the Nobel Medal and Diploma from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

ICAN is, of course, hoping the prize will convince more people to back its bomb ban.

But it also wants more public debate about the pace of nuclear disarmament — many nuclear experts agree things have moved too slowly, for too long.

“I would hope [ICAN’s work] generates some momentum within existing processes for disarmament,” Mr Dall said.

“If it doesn’t, then the long-term impact could be that nothing is going to happen and that really is the worst possible long-term impact.”

Regardless, the prize, the controversy and “ambassador boycott” is all invaluable for ICAN itself.

Anything that prompts more global coverage of nuclear weapons and the destruction they can unleash, is much more useful to it than any number of diplomatic niceties in Norway this weekend.

December 8, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment