In a Wall Street Journal interview, CTBTO Head Lassina Zerbo, praises North Korea for destroying its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, but says that Pyongyang must allow inspectors for it to be credible. “Verification is what brings trust.”

In the interview, Zerbo urged Pyongyang to sign the nuclear test-ban treaty, which he said would help overcome skepticism among scientists and diplomats about its intentions. “Right now we need confidence-building measures— not just between two Koreas, but also with the international community to see that North Korea is serious about the denuclearization process,” he said.

Zerbo added that it’s still not too late for North Korea to allow inspectors to collect some data in order to certify the dismantling of the PUnggye-ri site.

Read full article here.

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Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | August 8, 2018

The Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the Middle East

Mounir Zahran, former head of the Egyptian Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament and 1996 chair of the Working Group on Legal and Institutional matters of the CTBT negotiations, analyses the reasons why Annex 2 countries, particularly in Middle East, still have not signed or ratified the Treaty. He states that if the United States and Israel ratify the CTBT…”the road will be clear for Egypt to ratify it and use the IMS and the International Data Centre (IDC) established by the treaty. It is to be noted that two CTBT seismic stations are planned to be installed in Egypt in Luxor and Qattamiya (Cairo) and that both of these would allow Egypt to benefit from the CTBT monitoring and verification system.” He states that “the CTBT has now established itself as a global norm against nuclear weapons test explosions” an urges all countries to ratify the Treaty.

Read the full article here:http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/25073.aspx

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Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | July 31, 2018

WHY PUTIN DESERVES A WHITE HOUSE MEETING WITH TRUMP | OPINION

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“Over 14,000 nuclear weapons still hang as swords of death over the world, and risk being used by accident, design or madness,” says Jonathan Granoff in an op-ed for Newsweek. Despite skepticism among White House representatives concerning another potential meeting between Trump and Putin, the author urges for further US-Russia cooperation. Both countries have an assigned international obligation to protect humanity from “existential threats” and therefore, further talks should be welcomed since there was no clear resolve after Helsinki.

Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of sustaining and protecting the “global commons” such as “the climate, the oceans, the rainforests”. However, for this to take shape “They must fulfil their commitments to advancing nuclear disarmament under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, such as a negotiating a fissile material cut-off agreement, ending nuclear testing by bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force, and reducing the size of nuclear arsenals. As required by unanimous ruling of the International Court of Justice, they must commence good-faith negotiations for universal legal elimination of nuclear weapons” says Granoff.

Read the full article here.

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