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UN advisory board recommends measures to reduce risk of nuclear war

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At its 36th and 37th sessions held this year in New York and Geneva, the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters agreed that a wide-ranging global dialogue on cooperative security was necessary to address the problem, and that preliminary political and technical measures were needed to prepare for the convening of such a conference.The Board also recommended de-alerting nuclear weapons, reviewing nuclear doctrines, further reducing tactical nuclear weapons as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process, enhancing security at a global and a regional level by promoting increased transparency of all nuclear weapons programmes, and creating a climate for implementing nuclear disarmament measures. Programmes of education and training on the dangers of nuclear weapons were also seen as important in fostering an informed world public opinion that would be able to exercise a positive influence on the political will to eliminate nuclear weapons.Other measures, which received varying degrees of support from the Board, included preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, banning the use of nuclear weapons, changing military doctrines to “no first use” of nuclear weapons, withdrawing all nuclear weapons deployed abroad back to their owner’s territory, and eliminating all but a very small stock of reserve warheads. Measures such as keeping nuclear submarines deployed in a mode that would make the firing of nuclear ballistic missiles from close range on depressed trajectories more difficult, shaping communication practices so as to make immediate strikes difficult or impossible, and removing essential parts from launchers or nuclear warheads (such as batteries, fuel, connection cables and computers) also received some support from the Advisory Board. read more

UN official urges Security Council to delink political humanitarian concerns in response

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“Amidst the escalation of the security situation in the region, the UN and partners play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the DPRK,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča told the Council today. Stressing that the DPRK must stop any actions that are a violation of Security Council resolutions and allow space for the resumption of sincere dialogue, he added: “All parties must work to reopen communications channels, particularly military to military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.”In his briefing, Mr. Jenča also called on the 15-member Council to support the life-saving humanitarian work carried out by relief organizations in the country. On the launch itself, the Assistant Secretary-General said that, according to the DPRK, the Hwasong-14 ballistic missile covered a distance of 933 kilometres during its 39-minute flight and reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres before impacting into the sea. “According to these parameters the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 kilometres if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to widely used definitions,” he said. He also told Council members that the DPRK had not sent any pre-launch notifications to international organizations responsible for airspace and maritime safety. Mr. Jenča also recalled Secretary-General António Guterres’ strong condemnation of the launch yesterday and his message underlining the importance of unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge. The UN, Mr. Jenča reaffirmed, will remain in close contact with all concerned parties and remains ready to assist in any way possible. read more