Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 00:44 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 00:44 | SYDNEY

NPT Review Conference linkage


Fiona Cunningham

28 May 2010 13:24

  • Following the US lead, the new UK Government has now made public its (intended) arsenal size – 225 warheads altogether, with 160 operational and 65 non-operational – and is planning to conduct its own review of declaratory policy later this year.
  • The set timeframes for disarmament consultations among Nuclear Weapon States have been dropped from the draft final document to be approved by the NPT members at the close of the conference. No prizes for guessing who was behind this!
  • The draft document does, however, set some concrete dates for steps towards a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, proposing a 2012 conference for Middle Eastern countries to begin talks on such a treaty. While only expressing concern at non-compliance by NPT members (read Iran), the document calls for state-parties who have left the treaty to re-join it (read North Korea) and for non-parties to join as non-nuclear weapon states (read Israel, India and Pakistan) offering no room for practical solutions on these persistent proliferation headaches.
  • South Africa has hit the nuclear headlines in the past few days, but for all the wrong reasons, namely alleged nuclear shopping from Israel's arsenal, as reported in the Guardian. The report should be taken with a grain of salt, according to Avner Cohen, an authority on Israel's bomb.
  • Further to my earlier link on the Sino-Japanese diplomatic incident in which Foreign Minister Okada sent his Chinese Counterpart Yang Jiechi over the edge by suggesting that China limit its arsenal size, ACW's Jeffrey Lewis has found a few more reports of the incident. John Pomfret's Washington Post account reports on Yang's alleged utterances in Chinese to Okada, about Japanese WWII atrocities in China.

The Nuclear Reactions column is supported by the Nuclear Security Project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, as part of a wider partnership between the NSP and the Lowy Institute.