North Korea, IS dominate opening day of Nuclear Security Summit

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NSS 1

WASHINGTON: After a series of terror attacks globally in the last few days, the ongoing Nuclear Security Summit in Washington focused on the Islamic State (IS) and the threat it possesses. The escalating geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula was also a major area of focus at the summit. The two-day summit is being held in Washington from March 31-April 1. The summit is being attended by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Nuclear terrorism is a matter of grave concern following deadly attacks by the IS in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The recent terror attacks in Brussels clearly show that all European countries remain potentially vulnerable in the wake of the extremist terrorist activities carried out by IS and Al Qaeda in recent years.

There are growing fears about what IS could do with a nuclear weapon or a “dirty bomb”that combines radioactive dispersion with conventional explosives. This issue has been on top of the agenda at the Nuclear Security Summit.

When the first nuclear summit was held in Washington in 2010, the IS was not perceived as such a major threat the way it is today. The growth of its international network has made security establishments worldwide extremely worried and alarmed. The Belgian police had earlier seized video surveillance of a top nuclear official in Belgium from the home of a suspected IS conspirator who was alleged to have had links to the killers in the November Paris attack.

US President Barack Obama in a column for the Washington Post had spoken about the importance of combating the IS, and asked the international community to prevent terror networks from gaining access to nuclear material. “Given the continued threat posed by organizations such as the terrorist group we call ISIL, or ISIS, we’ll also join allies and partners in reviewing our counterterrorism efforts, to prevent the world’s most dangerous networks from obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapons,” Mr Obama said.

North Korea’s recent nuclear tests and continued provocations forced leaders of the US, South Korea and Japan to hold urgent meeting over the issue. Mr Obama had a trilateral meet along with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the summit on March 31.

 


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