March 27, 2017

The growing threat of nuclear terrorism

The growing threat of nuclear terrorism

America and Russia must cooperate to thwart rogue state attacks, argues Moshe Kantor.

The greatest challenge to global security is the nuclear threat from rogue states, led by North Korea and Iran. There will be no progress in ensuring global nuclear stability without cooperation between the United States and Russia. This should be a major priority for Presidents Trump and Putin. Much has been made of states trying to secure their borders against terrorist threats. While it is essential that borders are secured, terrorism is tackled and hatred confronted, we cannot ignore the greatest contemporary threat of all, nuclear attacks. It feels remote and unlikely, but is a very clear and present danger.

It is essential for the international community to remain alert to the constantly growing threat of nuclear terrorism, in whatever form it may take, ranging from the detonation of a ‘dirty’ bomb by a terror group or the destruction a nuclear facility to a full-fledged nuclear attack.

Pyongyang’s response to last week’s annual U.S., Japanese and South Korean defence exercises demonstrates clearly where these threats lie. While Mr. Trump has many campaign pledges to fulfil, what is clear is that none is more important to geopolitical stability than identifying and neutralizing the nuclear threat, and to do that there needs to be much more collaboration between the U.S. and Russia. This is a major theme that will be discussed this week in Washington, D.C. when the International Luxembourg Forum For Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, of which I am president, convenes.

The military manoeuvres by North Korea coincided with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first visit to the north Asia region. The welcome indications are that a significant part of that visit was to explore multilateral actions against North Korea — including China, which has so far been reticent to explicitly condemn their economic and military ally.

The accelerated pace of North Korea’s testing over the last few years is a cause for concern. Last year there were 24 missile tests and two nuclear tests, and this year there have already been five missile tests. At the 2017 Munich Security Conference Byung-se Yun, foreign minister of the Republic of Korea, delivered a speech saying, “North Korea is nearing the final stage of nuclear weaponization posing a direct threat to the world, including continental U.S.”

While the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted unanimously to further strengthen sanctions against North Korea at the end of 2016, these have not acted as a deterrent. North Korea is taking liberties with the international community and UNSC has not been tough enough.

It is reassuring that the Trump administration has already identified these sanctions as ineffectual. Ahead of diplomatic visits, a State Department spokesman acknowledged that sanctions are only as strong as their implementation, and that without full utilization of these the international community is unable to “apply the pressure that we feel needs to be brought to bear on North Korea.”

We face a deadlock in attempts for nuclear disarmament; North Korea is increasing its nuclear capability and this is a shameful demonstration of the impotence of the great powers and the U.N. Security Council.

Despite the sabre rattling of North Korea, it is impossible to look at the global threat without also considering it in the wider context of the Iran deal. UNCS Resolution 2231 lifted all punitive measures imposed on Iran, following years of gruelling negotiations by Russia, the United States, U.K., France, China and Germany. Mr. Trump, however, has regularly expressed his misgivings about the deal, saying that it is not in “America’s or the world’s interests.”

It is argued that in international relations, the longest-lasting deals are usually those that make all parties equally unhappy, although the deal, is a catastrophic mistake of historic proportions. Its impact could have far-reaching consequences on the relationships with Russia and the West, as well as between Iran and global players.

The strict enforcement of the provisions of the deal must be high on the international community’s agenda. We must ensure that Iran is monitored closely and any breaches are dealt with swiftly and harshly — such as the recent stock of heavy water exceeding the limits stipulated in the agreement.

The leaders of Russia, the United States, Britain, China and other important powers around the world, must make countering nuclear terrorism the highest priority, and can only do so by upholding international security with cooperation. This must extend to reviving all previously adopted initiatives and resolutions on nuclear terrorism without delay.

Only with state sanctioned collaboration between intelligence agencies and special operations services, especially Russian and American, will we be able to secure nuclear activity and actively neutralize the risk of nuclear terrorist attacks.

Presidents Trump and Putin have tough jobs, but without cooperation and decisive action on the nuclear threat global security is left in a desperately vulnerable state.

Moshe Kantor is president of the International Luxembourg Forum for Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.

5.00 avg. rating (93% score) - 1 vote
Moshe Kantor
Moshe Kantor

Moshe Kantor is President of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe; European Jewish Congress; European Council on Tolerance & Reconciliation.

  • blingmun

    They should re-brand to the “Independence Party”, standing for independence of thought (versus political correctness), independent individuals (versus benefit parasites) and national independence.

  • ethanedwards2002

    I wonder if the author was one of those many many pundits who (pre June 23rd 2016) said that us voters weren’t that bothered about the EU. That we would never vote for a party based on their EU stance. That all we wanted was a bit of tinkering with the edges but that we didn’t really want radical change and would never vote for a collection of what was it ? “Closet Racists Gadflies and Fruitcakes” if memory serves me.
    Yeah right all 17.8million of us.
    Well I wonder how your portion of humble pie tasted Mr Walter because it sounds to me that your setting yourself up nicely for another helping. Lets hope so.

  • Liberanos

    It laid the golden egg. And died.

  • keith

    I thought, with Mr Walters background in business and politics, this article would be the usual Tory snipping, and gleeful mirth at UKIPs mounting problems, but it was a carefully thought through piece, with an honest assessment of UKIPs impact on, not just the conservative party, but the wider political discourse in this country and how that will affect radical thinking on the right, well worth the read

  • The Raven King

    The BBC isn’t as influential or as persuasive as you imply. Most voters look elsewhere for a cross-current of opinion. Despite their huge subside from Brussels, they were unable to encourage a majority to Remain. The BBC has had little influence on the last two General Elections including the most recent Conservative victory. The huge tidal wave that will engulf & eventually split the Labour Party after Theresa May’s predicted wipe-out on June 8th will again prove – in spite of their best efforts to assist Corbyn – that the BBC is in terminal decline. The last nationalised industry is a creaking anachronism & is little trusted both here & abroad.

  • ethanedwards2002

    The BBC presenting a biased slanted corporate BBC view on the Tory party? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you….oh well maybe not that shocked.
    Coming up next the BBC lists 967 reasons why everyone is voting Liebour…..

  • Lord Effingham

    With a healthy majority after the election there are a number of stables that will need cleaning out. The BBC is definitely one of them.

  • No

  • MrVeryAngry

    Voting for the fascist left then.

  • I’ll be voting Labour.

  • Speedy

    This artice is so true, it’s depressing.

    As Peter Hitchens once said. the only hope left is to emigrate to New Zealand.

  • James Wood

    oh yes he is. Canada’s Blair, every step of the way. And just as ruinous. See below.

  • James Wood

    Yes – 100%. We live in Western Canada and the official line falls over its own feet every day to a) ignore the true basis of modern Canada’s heritage and b) trumpet “diversity” at every turn. And it is exactly as you say – to hell with true diversity. Sod the poor, those who believe in something other than pseudo-left corporatism, those who think differently: what matters is having a different sexual orientation, skin colour or language. Fortunately almost all Canadians ignore the official line and carry on with their lives. In our community 24% of the population hold a UK passport and around another 5-10% are eligible – a further 3-4% hold French passports or ditto. There are strong representations from China, Korea, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark. And yet the views of just four people are venerated – guess which ones? Meanwhile, those without money and education are roundly and completely ignored in favour of those you describe above. All of this has been supported by traditionally strong economic growth from the resource and construction sectors. Quite what happens if Canada continues to fail to innovate or invest, and the resources gravy train goes elsewhere, well… I think you might see the disappearance of a few diversity coordinators.

  • Stuart Fairney

    Think about what you said. First you assumed a nuclear attack as a given. Then you suggest knowledge of a secret enrichment program which apparently has enough Uranium to give away to terrorists but not enough to carry out a state nuclear test (think Iran wouldn’t test if they could?), then you claim that the Uranium couldn’t be traced back to Iran. They would have a death wish if they gave away uranium like this, but if they did, it would only be to a Shia friendly group and I suggest working out that the only Shia nuclear power, was the one that supplied the Shia terror groups would not be that taxing.

  • Speedy

    The west is going to virtue-signal itself into another dark age

  • I doubt he’s given it 1/100th of the thought you have. He’s an empty vessel, virtue-signalling his way through life.

  • Ravenscar

    Call me pragmatic and resigned but…………….

    Alas, the Westminster talking shop has only had the status of a sidelined town council since Jan 1973.

    “We” [?] – well Ted did, gave away the keys to the country!

    Thus, the homogeneity of the make up of UK political landscape so closely mirrors those nations satraps; France, Italy Sweden, Netherlands, Spain et al. Plus, like the German model where the meejah refer to Merkel’s CDU are so described as ‘right wing’ but indistinguishable from the mulch of CSU and SDP and what with the make weight parties in Germany totally blitzed, sundered, riven with ‘fifth columnists/agitators’ – such is modern politics as it is done in Germany the puppet masters to the Brussels Soviet.

    The manipulators and liars, Mandelson, Clarke, Clegg/farron, Kinnochio and various others in the lavs all tell us that Britain still retains a measure of ‘sovereignty’ but that “pooling Sovereignty” is beneficial to all – ‘all’ on this they are so non specific.

    In 1973, we outsourced responsibility for; our borders, energy policy, immigration policy, jurisdiction, and most whatever else you can care to mention, and latterly the armed forces come increasingly under the aegis of anyone but Britain.

    It’s a long time since we were a real nation, so much so that we’ve forgotten how to, liblavCON know this and play the game with finesse, it’s almost as if, the 2016 referendum nevr happened and just wait for the stitch-up coming in 2019 approx 2 years after the Vichy tories invoke ART 50, we’ll be offered generous terms as associate members with special status and probably involving adopting the €zero, and a time table to joining the inner core in about 2025..

    Come on, can you deny it, did you ever actually think that mother Sheresa would take us OUT – more fool you.

  • Andrew Briggs

    Good stuff and well put. But unlikely to be understood by simple minded shallow thinking left leaners who generally can’t see past the ends of their noses or grasp that all actions have consequences.

  • Calvin Graham

    Unfortunately, given the vast manpower needed to rewrite decades of legislation, they’ll have to keep the status quo and spend 5+ years rewriting new/simplified versions of current EU law to supersede the old regulations. Banking/Insurance and the like will be at the front of the queue, never mind Nicola Sturgeon, so it’ll likely be a very long time yet that people are banging on about changing the law on straight bananas and whether you can buy sausages by the pound. Still, good news if you’re a columnist for the Sun/Mirror I suppose…

    My Article 50 cartoon if that’s too depressing

  • Nockian

    Israel doesn’t like Iran very much. Understandable, but let’s not have the scare tactic offensive of continental terrorism being employed to nudge the US/Russia into war of blood and treasure. Iran is an existential threat to Israel, it’s always been a country the US/Russia hoped to tame as a reliable ally, but it’s remained an independent nation capable of waging conflict on its neighbours and its growing stronger.

  • obbo12

    Putin will not cooperate becasue it was Vladimir Putin that sold the Iranians the heavy water reactor at the heart of Iran’s weapons programme.

  • obbo12

    That will of scant consolation to the 1 million or so dead. In addition admitted secret enrichment program was not monitored by the IAEA so any weapons grade material produced isotopic analysis is not on record. Therefore it is not easily traceable back to Iran

  • Frank

    Moshe, this reads like something written by a 16 year old.

  • Stuart Fairney

    Moshe, why are you so concerned about Iran? They know that any terrorist group which procured a nuke from their non-existent program would be easily traceable back to Tehran. We all know what Israel or the US would do next. They send idiot kids on suicide missions, the leaders are at all keen to be martyrs. As so often, the answer maybe in the question.

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