News

Nuclear Summit Produces Few Significant Outcomes

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (L) speaks to President Barack Obama during the Nuclear Security Summit at the Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul, March 27, 2012.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (L) speaks to President Barack Obama during the Nuclear Security Summit at the Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul, March 27, 2012.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday sat with the leaders of China, India, Russia and top officials from nearly 50 other countries to try to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

The conference, overshadowed by concerns about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile activities, shied away from expanding its mandate to call for concrete steps toward ridding the world of atomic weapons.

But host South Korea defended the summit, saying it did “yield practical outcomes to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.”  Analysts, however, describe the actual results modest and note that nothing binding was adopted.

Italy pledged to rid itself of all fissile material. The United States joined Belgium, France and the Netherlands in a deal to begin producing, four years from now, medical isotopes without the use of highly enriched uranium.

Several countries agreed to switch to low enriched uranium, which cannot be weaponized, to fuel research reactors.

But beyond that, there are few outcomes contributing to the summit's goal of securing vulnerable nuclear materials around the world.

The communique issued at the end of the summit does not mention North Korea nor Iran -- two countries are at the forefront of current concerns when it comes to suspected development of nuclear weapons.

With a North Korean launch of a ballistic missile likely just weeks away, President Obama and his counterparts discussed on the summit sidelines how to respond if Pyongyang goes ahead with what it contends will be a peaceful space launch.

While North Korea was not on the agenda, the summit's participants did effectively speak with one voice regarding Pyongyang, South Korea's Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said.

Yu, who coordinates Seoul's policy towards North Korea, said the leaders attending the summit clearly articulated requests for Pyongyang to drop its plan for the mid-April launch.

The summit's host, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, said it is inappropriate for the North to pursue such projects while its own people have so little. The launch, he said, will only further isolate Pyongyang from the international community.

North Korea's foreign ministry, in a statement Tuesday, defended its planned launch, contending it should not be seen as a violation of sanctions forbidding it from the use of ballistic missile technology.

Pyongyang's statement said it “will never give up the satellite launch,” and that what it called "a peaceful activity" is a legitimate right of a sovereign state and essential for North Korea's economic development.

The impoverished and isolated country has twice before failed to place a satellite into orbit.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mervin
March 28, 2012 11:07 PM
The whole summit was just a lip service,no country will practise what they preach,e.g they preach to others about human rights yet in their countries and other countries they violate human beings to hell.

by: TW
March 27, 2012 5:25 PM
Typical yankee attitude like yours Godwin will be the destruction of human kind. So far up your pedestal and moral high horse, but yet in secret the yanks are no better than Iran or Nth. Korea as long as they support the real axis of evil which is Israel.

by: Godwin
March 27, 2012 7:56 AM
Truly the summit achieved nothing, instead it widened the scope and opened the door for other terror-prone countries like Nigeria to put forward a proposal to join the nuclear proliferation campaign. Shy to point out the threat Iran & N. Korea pose to world peace, shy to ask for reduction of existing warheads, shy to talk of a world free from nuclear threat, what is the objective of the Seoul nuclear summit? Proposing lower enrichment while Iran can go higher is passing supremacy to terrorism.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs