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Pakistan categorically refuses to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty

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Washington: Pakistan said it will not sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) because it considers it discriminatory.

“It is a discriminatory treaty. Pakistan has the right to defend itself, so Pakistan will not sign the NPT. Why should we?” said Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry on being asked whether Islamabad would sign the NPT if Washington asks it to do so, reported Dawn on Wednesday.

Already, 190 states have signed the treaty, which came into force in 1970. But South Asia’s both nuclear states, India and Pakistan, have stayed out of it.

Apparently, Pakistan’s categorical refusal to sign the treaty goes against the US desire to promote NPT’s compliance. But US officials have avoided criticizing in public Pakistan’s position on this and other issues.

Although the leader of the US team, Under Secretary of State Rose Eilene Gottemoeller, has issued no public statements on the issues being discussed with Pakistan, her earlier statements do underline Washington’s careful approach on the issues that concern Islamabad.

When a team of the US Arms Control Association asked Gottemoeller how could the US encourage India and Pakistan to contribute to global nuclear disarmament process, she underlined the measures Pakistan had taken to protect its nuclear facilities.

“They have agreed to establish their regional training centre on nuclear security matters as an asset for the International Atomic Energy Agency in the regional context, to provide training courses for regional partners,” she said.

“They can and they will play a role of that kind, and I think that’s very good, that’s very commendable.”

Responding to a question on fissile material production in South Asia, Gottemoeller stressed the need for both India and Pakistan to take further steps to protect their fissile material holdings, as well as controlling and accounting for them.

Chaudhry, when asked to underline the steps Pakistan had taken to protect its nuclear assets, said, “We have established a multi-layer system and a strong command and control system.”

Chaudhry rejected the suggestion that Pakistan should focus on other sources, such as hydel. He said the safest approach was having a mixed bag of energy options, from hydel to nuclear.

He explained that by 2030, Pakistan planned to generate 162,000 MW of electricity and nuclear would only be a small fraction of this total, 8,800 MW.

-IANS

 

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North Korea Halts Nuclear And Missile Tests

Pyongyang also says it plans to close nuclear test site as summit between North and South to be held on Friday.

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Kim Jong Un
FILE IMAGE- Kim Jong Un (IANS)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced the immediate suspension of nuclear and missile tests, media reports said on Saturday.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Efe quoted Kim as saying.

North Korea will also “shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests,” the report added.

Having established a nuclear deterrent, North Korea can now turn to overhauling its economy, Kim said.

North Korean leader.
FILE – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). VOA

Pyongyang’s move comes ahead of Kim’s April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries.

The last in-person talks between the leaders of North and South Korea took place 11 years ago.

What will be the first-ever encounter between the leaders of North Korea and the US is expected to happen in late May or early June.

Also Read: Meaning of Denuclearization For North Korea

US President Donald Trump, who accepted Kim’s proposal for a meeting after months that saw the two men trade insults and threats, hailed the announcement from Pyongyang.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” Trump wrote on Twitter.  IANS

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