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UN Nuclear Ban Treaty One Ratification Shy Of Taking Effect

Jamaica and Nauru are the latest countries to complete the ratification procedures, the United Nations said. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in 2017, will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries and regions. Although the pact will not be able to legally require nuclear power states to get rid of their arsenals, the launch of the world’s first treaty banning nuclear weapons is likely to gain global momentum toward reducing stockpiles. According to an official with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), another country is expected to ratify the treaty in the near future.

Putin-Trump Talk About Ending Nuclear Weapons

A senior Russian diplomat responded positively to President Donald Trump's remarks regarding his desire to seek total denuclearization, saying Moscow was ready to begin working toward that end. Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity via telephone Thursday night, Trump welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to assist in the U.S.-North Korea peace process. The president said, “We want to get rid of the nuclear weapons,” not just in North Korea, but “we all have to get—Russia has to get rid of them and China has to get rid of them” in comments subsequently supported by Moscow, which had accused Washington of loosening restrictions on its nuclear posture.

In North Korea, Verifying Requires Reconciling

During the Bush years, as it had done previously, Pyongyang showed some willingness to accept verification when it saw Washington moving away from enmity but balked when it did not. In September 2005, a US commitment to reconciliation with the DPRK would open the way to verification—only to be stalled by US failure to follow through. Any attempt to secure access to its nuclear facilities, not to mention its nuclear materials and weapons, will require a sustained US effort to end enmity with North Korea. The message from Pyongyang seems clear: no verification without reconciliation.
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