north korea

Going back to the Six-Party Talks, is there any hope?

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has given rise to much debate on the security challenges that it brings to the international system. Its deployment of ballistic missiles and testing of nuclear devices (2006, 2009, and 2013) have alarmed states around the world, and posed dangers and threats to the region. In fact, recent activity at North Korea’s nuclear facility has given rise to new concerns about the possibility of a fourth nuclear test. 

Gambling with our security?

Our calculations about risk are not always rational. Many people are more afraid of a shark attack or plane crash than they are about driving a car or crossing the street. Statistically, the latter two are far more dangerous (worldwide, shark attacks account for around 4.4 fatalities each year; road accidents: 1.3 million) but, somehow, the familiarity of driving and a sense of control make the risks feel lower.

Op-Ed: David Cameron’s nuclear fantasy land

David Cameron insists we must replace the Trident nuclear weapon system because the future is uncertain. None of us has a crystal ball so we had better keep Trident just in case. He points to the dangerous escalation of tension by the Kim regime in North Korea and Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme as justification. All well and good, until you scratch beneath the surface and realise what a highly contingent argument this is for the economic, political, opportunity, and moral costs at stake (yes, moral, because the practice of ‘nuclear deterrence’ rests inescapably on the threat of use – the threat of indiscriminate and catastrophic nuclear violence).

Britain marks the death of a conviction politician

Margaret Thatcher died Monday, and on Wednesday Parliament is recalled for members to pay their respects. The funeral will be next Wednesday, 17th April, and will be a spectacle watched by millions. Thatcher left a lasting legacy that sent ripples way beyond the shores of Britain, not least in her approach to the Cold War at the time.

Chuck Hagel, North Korea and Russia

This week in the United States, Chuck Hagel’s nomination to the position of Secretary of Defense is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee as early as Thursday, where the former Senator recently underwent a fiery barrage of questioning from fellow Republicans over his positions on Iran and the U.S. nuclear arsenal last week.

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