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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Nuclear Terrorism Threat to be Highlighted at Seoul Security Summit

The Global Nuclear Security Summit scheduled for March in South Korea is expected to spotlight the danger of terrorists acquiring and using nuclear weapons, Indian officials who attended a preliminary meeting for the upcoming forum said on Tuesday (see GSN, Jan. 13).

"The main objective of the nuclear summit process has been to focus high-level global attention on the threat posed by nuclear terrorism," Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said in New Delhi, where delegates from 49 nations convened this week to work on the agenda for the March 26-27 event, Agence France-Presse reported.

"Security of nuclear materials is fundamentally a national responsibility but there is considerable scope for international cooperation to strengthen nuclear security as well as combating illicit trafficking," the official said (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, Jan. 17).

The preparatory meeting was led by the United States and South Korea. The forum focused principally on reaching agreement on a preliminary document that would be approved by participating nations at the Seoul summit, Asian News International reported.

"The draft communique is a substantive document that seeks to reaffirm the Washington communique and build on the momentum that has been generated since the last summit," Mathai said in reference to the first nuclear security summit in 2010 that saw participating nations agree to work toward securing all atomic material stockpiles within four years.

"Since the draft is still under discussion, it would not be possible to share specific details. However, the discussion[s] on the draft were productive and have reached an advance stage of consideration," Mathai said.

Subjects under consideration for incorporation into the communique include steps to improve oversight of highly enriched uranium, actions to protect the security of radiological sources, measures to encourage more secure transit procedures, the bolstering of international collaboration, and efforts to suppress smuggling of nuclear materials, he said (Asian News International/Yahoo!News, Jan. 17).


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