By Jonathan Marcus Published 1 May 2018 Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Related Topics Iran nuclear deal So what has changed, if anything, in the wake of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's theatrical presentation of Israel's claimed seizure of a trove of documents from Iran's secret nuclear archive? The purpose and timing of Mr Netanyahu's presentation was clear: to discredit the Iran nuclear deal, and to influence one man - Donald Trump. The US president must decide by mid-May whether to walk away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or to stick with it, at least for the time being. So what did Mr Netanyahu actually tell us? It was in large part a reminder that Iran, despite all its denials, did have elements of a nuclear weapons programme and that it retains the scientific know-how to … [Read more...] about Iran nuclear: What’s changed after Netanyahu’s presentation?
What countries have nuclear weapons
North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has visited a site said to be manufacturing "a major weapon" amid a record-breaking series of launches this month. The official Korean Central News Agency published a report Thursday (Friday local time) that purported to show the ruler as he "inspected a munitions factory producing a major weapon system" at an undisclosed location alongside an entourage, some of whose faces were censored in the accompanying images. Among those identified with him were ruling Korean Workers' Party Central Committee Organizational Affairs Secretary Jo Yong Won and Central Committee Vice Department Directors Kim Jong Sik and Kim Yo Jong—who is also Kim Jong Un's sister—along with top officials in the sector of the Academy of Defence Science. Kim Jong Un was cited as saying that "the factory holds a very important position and duty in modernizing the country's armed forces and realizing the national defense development strategy" and having "indicated the … [Read more...] about Kim Jong Un visits site building “a major weapon” amid North Korea launches
After spending two years in a strict lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea may finally be opening up – slowly. The reason could reflect a growing sense of recognition by the leadership that the nation badly needs to win outside economic relief. The North's tentative reopening is seen in the apparent resumption of North Korean freight train traffic into neighbouring China. But it comes even as Pyongyang has staged several weapons tests, the latest being two suspected ballistic missiles on Thursday, and issued a veiled threat about resuming tests of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles targeting the American homeland. The apparently divided message – opening the border, slightly, on one hand, while also militarily pressuring Washington over a prolonged freeze in nuclear negotiations – likely signals a realisation that the pandemic has worsened an economy already damaged by decades of mismanagement and crippling US-led sanctions over North Korean nuclear weapons … [Read more...] about North Korea slowly reopening border, after harsh two-year pandemic lockdown
Robert G. Patman is a Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair and a specialist in International Relations at the University of Otago. OPINION: Vladimir Putin’s demonstrated willingness to use force against Ukraine seems to convince many observers, especially in Moscow, that Russia is back as a great power, but invading a neighbour is unlikely to solve the political problems confronting his authoritarian regime and will probably make them much worse. The latest phase in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has generated the worst crisis in relations between Moscow and the West in the post-Cold War era. The conflict flared in March 2014 after Putin’s Russia annexed Crimea – the first time borders in Europe had been changed by force since 1945 – and then actively supported armed separatists in the east of Ukraine. It is estimated by the UN that more than 14,000 people have been killed in this conflict. The US and the EU responded by applying sanctions to parts of … [Read more...] about What Putin really fears about Ukraine
The outbreak of a major war in Ukraine and an ensuing mobilization by the United States, its allies and Russia would have global repercussions, putting the world's top two nuclear powers on high alert and raising the risk of direct confrontation between them. While the current crisis appears localized in Eastern Europe, Russia is the world's largest country. It maintains bases across a wide span of regions including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Arctic and the Pacific. Beyond its borders, Russia also has Mediterranean military installations in Syria and on the steppes of Central Asia, but its homeland positions alone span enough territory to severely raise the stakes if troops were ordered to prepare for potential combat. "I think we can expect Russia to go on heightened alert, not necessarily in Syria but across their domestic commands, i.e. Northern Fleet, Pacific Fleet, etc. especially the Western and Southern Military Districts," a U.S. intelligence official told … [Read more...] about Ukraine war will put U.S., Russia forces at high risk of clashes around world
Seaside resorts are always curious places during the winter, but Lubmin, on Germany's northern coast, is odder than most. For one thing, it really does feel empty. The streets are dotted with houses, but there is nobody around. For another, there is a decommissioned East German nuclear power plant not far from the harbour. And thirdly, Lubmin is home to just about the most controversial building project in the world. For here, in a turning off the main road, you can find the place where Nord Stream 2 pops up from the earth - a mass of long, wide pipes that emerge from the ground and then get funnelled off in various directions. Advertisement Explainer: How the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been controversial from the start Not heard of it? You will. More on Germany COVID-19: Antisemitism 'on the rise' as anti-vaxxers blamed for helping to fuel hatred Russia-Ukraine tensions: How the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been … [Read more...] about Ukraine tensions: Nord Stream 2 pipeline connecting Russia with Germany is a symbol of how political decisions can become toxic