Representatives from more than fifty nations are gathering in Washington Thursday as U.S. President Barack Obama hosts the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit (WaPo). As world leaders discuss ways to stop nuclear proliferation and strengthen security for existing nuclear materials, a few issues are expected to dominate discussions (WSJ), including North Korea’s recent provocations and rising concerns over terrorists’ abilities to acquire nuclear devices. Meanwhile, Russia declined to join the summit over what the Kremlin said was a "lack of cooperation" on nuclear issues (TASS). The summit is scheduled to last through Friday.
"Ingredients for so-called dirty bombs, which use conventional explosives to spew radioactive material, are still scattered around the globe at thousands of hospitals and other sites that use the highly radioactive substances for industrial imaging and medical treatments. Less than half of the countries that attended the last nuclear summit in 2014 pledged to secure such materials, and they in turn represent less than 15 percent of the 168 nations belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency," write David E. Sanger and William J. Broad for the New York Times.
"While many a U.S. presidential candidate has postulated that the greatest threat to national security comes from loose nukes falling into the hands of terrorists, the mechanisms for preventing this (safeguards) do not make for catchy stump speeches. Candidates do not tend to address the issue on the campaign trail. To be sure, U.S. citizens won't be voting for a candidate based on this issue and, consequently, we have no idea how a potential future U.S. president would carry Obama's mandate forward—or whether they would at all. Nevertheless, with nuclear safeguards becoming an increasingly vital tool for national security, the issue calls for serious know-how for effective policy decisionmaking," writes CFR's Amy J. Nelson for the National Interest.
"I said in Prague that achieving the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons will not happen quickly, perhaps not in my lifetime. But we have begun. As the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them. Still, no one nation can realize this vision alone. It must be the work of the world," writes President Obama for the Washington Post.
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