Monthly Archives: June 2006

Just Saying

I think it’s reasonable to believe that countrires’ adherence to a treaty at least suggests that they agree with its basic tenets.

By that measure, here is the number of countries, apart from India, who believe that New Delhi should be able to do whatever it wants with its nuclear program:


How do we know? Well, only three countries are not NPT member-states. And we know Pakistan is decidedly “not a fan”: of India’s nuclear arsenal. I don’t recall seeing any commentary from Israel on the matter, but you get the point.

Of course, we could well be adding the US and A to that number if the administration gets its way…

HIRC Markup, US-India Nuclear Deal

Possible demise of the NPT being “broadcast”: now…

Just remember that the NPT doesn’t include the phrase “unless the US says so.”


I forgot to mention that comments containing the phrases “nuclear apartheid” or “[reference to arms controllers] ayatollahs” will not be approved. If you have to ask why, I doubt you’d understand the answer.

*Late Update*

Today’s “Reuters story”: about the SFRC hearing. Ick.

Snakes on the Six Party Talks

While the usual suspects fantasize in their collective right-wing whack-shack about a North Korean ballistic missile test, a working GMD, etc., it would be useful to take a look at what North Korea’s MFA said 1 June.

The fact that North Korea invited Chris Hill for a visit was widely reported at the time. But I don’t remember anyone noting that the statement also said that Pyongyang has made a “strategic decision” to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Here’s the relevant part of the “statement”:

Of late officials of the U.S. administration never open their mouths without crying out for the “resumption of the six-party talks.” They bluster that Pyongyang needs to make a strategic decision and Washington is seeking a new approach toward the DPRK in a bid to build up public opinion.

This, however, is bringing into bolder relief the U.S. true intention to torpedo the six-party talks, not pleased with their process.


We will not need even a single nuclear weapon once we get convinced that the U.S. does not antagonize us and confidence is built between the DPRK and the U.S. and, accordingly, we are no longer exposed to the U.S. threat. This is what we have already clarified more than once.

The DPRK has already made a strategic decision to abandon its nuclear program and this was reflected in the above-said joint statement.

We are fully ready to discuss the issues of bilateral relations, peaceful coexistence, the conclusion of a peace agreement, the provision of light water reactors and other points mentioned in the statement along with the issue of abandoning the nuclear program on the principle of “simultaneous action”.

What remains to be done is for the U.S. to create conditions and climate whereby the DPRK may return to the talks and fulfill its commitment, free from any pressure.

I can’t say that I’ve done the lexis search, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time that North Korea has actually used the phrase “strategic decision.” Anyway, the whole thing is pretty interesting – go “read it”:

Here’s “your reward”: for educating yourself.


From the comments section… a reader points out that North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gae Gwan “used the phase”: last summer.

I actually reported his comment in “this piece”: on the 6PT. Guess the memory’s not what it used to be….wish I had an excuse other than old age.

I still think the latest comment is important, given the timing and source – a written FM statement is, I think, considered more authoritative.

Well-spotted, though.

State Dept Management Tutorial

Knight-Ridder “reported yesterday”: on “this article”: by Dean Rust.

Read the whole thing, but I think this excerpt give some idea of his conclusion:

Yet, the botched implementation has already led many experienced career officers to leave the newly constituted ISN bureau, with others closely on their heels. This resource of knowledge, experience, and advice was consciously built up over the past 30 years in the State Department and the former Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), which was merged into the State Department in 1999 to strengthen its ability to address weapons proliferation. The dissipation of this resource will hamper the State Department’s role at home and abroad for years to come.

Frankly, one could argue that this reduction in the State Department’s role is precisely the outcome some were seeking. It is no secret that some in the administration have little faith in treaties and institutional approaches to arms control and nonproliferation. What better way to strip the State Department of its capabilities in these areas, including its experienced officers, than under the guise of reorganization?

Wade and Miles “asked”: Joseph whether “the reorganization was politically motivated and will weaken U.S. efforts to address global weapons dangers.”

Joseph: The reorganization was not politically motivated. The call for the merger of the arms control and nonproliferation bureaus surfaced for the first time in a review by the [State Department Inspector General (IG)]. The objective of the merger was, and remains, to restructure these two bureaus so that they and the very talented people that reside in them can make the greatest contribution to dealing with today’s national security threats. I would start from the basic question: how can the State Department and, specifically, how can the bureaus [under the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security] make the greatest contribution to our national security? At the top of the list of the threats we face is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, whether it is Iran, North Korea, other rogue states, or terrorists. We have restructured these two bureaus. We have created new offices in these bureaus to deal with the new threats that we face today to ensure, with regard to our traditional tools of nonproliferation, that we are making the greatest contribution. Whether that is in terms of strengthening the treaty regimes, or improving our export control assistance to other countries, or in the context of new missions promoting the effectiveness of the Proliferation Security Initiative, or implementing Security Council Resolution 1540, or expanding programs that will help to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

ACT: You mentioned the IG report. Why were the responsibilities of the Verification and Compliance Bureau increased while the IG report recommended that the bureau should have its functions and role narrowed?

Joseph: We looked at the issue across the bureaus and it seemed to me and to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the best approach was to create a new bureau that focused on proliferation threats. This is the International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau. The traditional arms control implementation functions we believed fit more appropriately with the verification bureau. It was those offices that were transferred into that bureau.

That interview has a bunch of other interesting items. Take a look.

Putin on Iran

You will all thank me for this.

Putin was asked the following question during a “2 June press event”: “will Russia participate in economic sanctions against Iran if Iran does not agree with the existing offer? And will Russia participate in negotiations concerning Iran?”

He replied:


There is a proverb that says if a grandmother had certain reproductive organs, she would have been a grandfather. Politics does not accept subjunctive mood.

[Read the rest of the answer]

Have a good evening.

Geek Check

One tell-tale sign is if you saw “this”: and were like “Sweet, the new OECD/IAEA Red Book is out.”

Which isn’t to say that _I_ said that….I will simply note that I do not yet have a copy.

According to “this press release:”:

Global uranium resources are more than adequate to meet projected requirements, according to the latest edition of a world reference guide on uranium resources published just recently.

Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand — also called the “Red Book” — estimates the total identified amount of conventional uranium stock, which can be mined for less than USD 130 per kg, to be about 4.7 million tonnes. Based on the 2004 nuclear electricity generation rate of demand the amount is sufficient for 85 years, the study states. Fast reactor technology would lengthen this period to over 2500 years.

However, world uranium resources in total are considered to be much higher. Based on geological evidence and knowledge of uranium in phosphates the study considers more than 35 million tonnes is available for exploitation.

The spot price of uranium has also increased fivefold since 2001, fuelling major new initiatives and investment in exploration. Worldwide exploration expenditures in 2004 totalled over US$ 130 million, an increase of almost 40% compared to 2002, and close to US$ 200 million in 2005. This can be expected to lead to further additions to the uranium resource base. A significant number of new mining projects have also been announced that could substantially boost the world’s uranium production capacity.

In the longer term, continuing advances in nuclear technology will allow a substantially better utilisation of the uranium resources. Reactor designs are being developed and tested that are capable of extracting more than 30 times the energy from the uranium than today’s reactors.

IAEA DDG Yuri Sokolov had more to say “here.”:

One should also ask “Brian Stiglitz”: for his opinion…

_Jeffrey adds_: You can just download the read-only version and disable the security features. Not that I would do such a thing.