August 29th is the United Nations’ International Day Against Nuclear Tests. It also is the 25th anniversary of closing the Soviet nuclear test site in Kurchatov, Kazakhstan.
As Kazakhstan prepares to host a major commemoration conference in Astana on August 29th, the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) tested its first submarine-launched, nuclear-capable missile.
The DPRK is one of nine countries possessing nuclear weapons. Among them, France, Russia, the UK and the USA have first-use policies enabling deployment even if not provoked. Russia and the USA maintain thousands of nuclear weapons on operational readiness to be used within minutes, under launch-on-warning policies.
With tensions rising between the nuclear-armed states, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set its ‘Doomsday Clock’ this year at 3 Minutes to Midnight – the closest to nuclear catastrophe that the world has been since 1983.
The Astana conference, entitled Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World, is expected to call for new actions, such as the UN Security Council prohibiting all nuclear tests, and the UN General Assembly commencing multilateral negotiations on a legal agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons globally.
Media accreditation for the Astana conference is still possible. Contact [email protected]
Resources for Media:
Conference website: www.astanaconf2016.org
Conference blog: www.astanaconf2016.org/en/blog/
Powerful introduction video (1 minute): www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMjbMHIzyLw
Media clips: International press coverage of the conference www.astanaconf2016.org/en/media-clips/