US President challenges North Korea and Iran ahead of a nuclear security summit in Seoul.
25-Mar-2012 (2 comments)

US President Barack Obama says he is pushing for "a world without nuclear weapons", making direct appeals to North Korea and Iran.

He also pledged to work with Russia and China, speaking ahead of a summit in Seoul aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism.

He emphasised the US's unique position to seek change but said "serious sustained global effort" was needed.

The meeting is being attended by representatives from some 50 countries.

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Darius Kadivar

Jonathan Marcus' take

by Darius Kadivar on

Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there have been fears about nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists and extremists.

In the United States, such concerns took on added significance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Washington and its key allies - like the UK - are convinced that al-Qaeda is seeking to obtain material for a nuclear or radiological bomb.

In April 2010, President Barack Obama convened a summit in Washington that set the ambitious goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide within four years. Some progress has been made - for example Chile returned highly enriched uranium to the US; Kazakhstan has moved spent fuel to a secure depot; and Ukraine has transferred fissile material to a Russian storage site.

But progress has been patchy, in part because the initial goal set in 2010 was vague without a detailed timeline or work plan. Now two years on, this Seoul summit will try to create new momentum.

Darius Kadivar

Bebeeneem Cheh Ashy Barayeh Ma Meekhad Bepazeh ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Bet he will warm up relations with the IRI ...