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May 30, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
The 65-nation Conference on Disarmament broke a dozen years of deadlock and opened the way to negotiate a new nuclear arms control treaty. Diplomats welcomed the adoption of a "program of work" as a breakthrough for the conference, which has been stalemated since it wrote the nuclear test ban treaty in 1996. The program refers to nuclear disarmament in general, but it indicates a top candidate for a new treaty is one to ban production of fissile materials such as highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
April 22, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
The Senate voted 73-23 to confirm career diplomat Christopher Hill as the next U.S. ambassador to Iraq despite fierce opposition from conservatives who complained about his record. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) had stalled the approval process for three weeks. Brownback accused Hill, the Bush administration's chief negotiator with North Korea, of ignoring North Korean human rights abuses and agreeing to a flawed disarmament pact with the regime. A small group of other Republicans also opposed Hill on those grounds, and because of his lack of experience in the Middle East and concern that he might have overstepped his authority in negotiating with the North Koreans.
December 24, 2008 | Sam Quinones
Rudy Oliver wanted to get rid of a 12-gauge shotgun that he'd once used to hunt rabbit and quail. "It's been standing in my garage for 14 years," he said. Carol Jacobs' husband, Peter, was giving her an early Christmas present by finally getting rid of a 22-caliber pistol. "I've been pushing him to get rid of it for years," she said. And one man, who asked not to be identified, turned in a handgun he'd owned for 40 years.
September 20, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
North Korea upped the ante in the standoff over its nuclear program, confirming that it is restoring its key Yongbyon reactor and saying it no longer cares to be removed from the U.S. terrorism blacklist. A disarmament-for-aid pact offered removal from the list and energy aid if North Korea dismantled its nuclear program. The government announced that it was undoing the disarmament process begun in November 2007 as part of a nuclear deal hashed out during talks with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. Analysts said North Korea commonly uses such tactics to negotiate more generous terms.
June 4, 2008 | Joseph Cirincione, Joseph Cirincione is the president of Ploughshares Fund and the author of "Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons."
Speaking to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on March 26, Sen. John McCain surprised many listeners when he said that "the United States should lead a global effort at nuclear disarmament." It has been a long time since a Republican candidate for president said anything close to this, let alone seemed to think it would help him win election.
December 11, 2007
Symbolism matters in diplomacy, and that's why recent developments in North Korea policy are worth applauding -- softly. President Bush's decision to set aside his loathing and send a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il represents a triumph of practicality over ideology.
July 20, 2007 | From Reuters
Talks to end North Korea's nuclear arms program veered away Thursday from setting a deadline for the next phase of disarmament but settled on a set of tasks the United States said could be carried out this year. The International Atomic Energy Agency said this week that North Korea had closed five main nuclear facilities, completing the first stage of a disarmament deal reached in February.
June 28, 2007 | From the Associated Press
U.N. inspectors headed to North Korea's key nuclear reactor today for the first time since 2002 to discuss plans to shut the plutonium-producing facility under an international accord. Olli Heinonen, deputy director general of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, said his team would tour the Yongbyon facility, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, the capital, and discuss arrangements for verification of the reactor shutdown and monitoring.
June 7, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
The Energy Department will announce today that it has accelerated its program to dismantle surplus nuclear weapons by more than 50% and has already met its goal for the fiscal year, about four months early. Since the Cold War ended, the U.S. has been sharply reducing its stockpile. But reductions in the active weapons held by the Defense Department have left hundreds or even thousands -- the exact numbers are classified -- of surplus obsolete weapons in storage.
March 26, 2007 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
South Koreans watched with irritation as the North Korean delegation stormed out of nuclear talks last week. They listened patiently Sunday as the government in Pyongyang denounced annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises as a "war of aggression." But none of the North's characteristic volatility seems about to throw South Korea off stride from a renewed push for reconciliation with its neighbor.
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