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Seoul to Host 2012 Nuclear Security Summit

Posted April. 14, 2010 07:59,   


Seoul will host the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012.

At the first summit that ended yesterday in Washington, 47 heads of state and government leaders and three international organization representatives unanimously chose South Korea as the next host of the event.

South Korea will also host the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism conference next year.

World leaders also adopted a joint statement and action plans at the summit. The statement said nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to global security and that responsible acts on a national level and effective international cooperation are needed to strengthen nuclear security and reduce threats from nuclear terrorism.

Ukraine also pledged to destroy its entire stockpile of 163 kilograms of highly enriched uranium. Highly enriched uranium is a core material for nuclear weapons development.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich announced this decision in a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the summit, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Gibbs said Ukraine will transfer weapons-grade uranium to a safe place this year. The Central Asian country will reportedly send the uranium to the U.S. or Russia.

Washington will provide technical assistance for the transfer and Kiev will use low-enriched uranium to operate its nuclear power plants.

Ukraine inherited about 5,000 nuclear weapons in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed but voluntarily declared to renounce all nuclear weapons in 1994.

According to data compiled by the U.S. State Department, about 1.58 million kilograms of highly enriched uranium and 220,000 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium exist in the world, enough to produce about two million nuclear weapons. The world is known to have 23,360 nuclear weapons, and North Korea is reportedly running its own highly enriched uranium program.

yongari@donga.com triplets@donga.com