In what is being called the largest diplomatic gathering in history, the nuclear security summit held in Seoul this past Monday and Tuesday, with leaders of nearly 60 nations and international organizations in attendance, has led to the release of a sweeping agreement known as the “Seoul Communique.”
Initially the gathering was hampered by North Korea’s announcement of a planned rocket launch to put a satellite into orbit. It has been speculated that this launch is a cover for testing nuclear missile technology and has further drawn attention to North Korea and its nuclear ambitions. According to the Korea Times, the North Korean announcement was widely discussed at the Summit, though the official communiqué released on Tuesday did not contain any references to the North. The summit therefore followed through on its goal to focus dialogue on nuclear safety and the prevention of nuclear terrorism.
The “Seoul Communique” documents a core agreement to continue and encourage nations to take all possible steps and cooperate in decreasing their holdings of nuclear material by the end of 2013. The Chosun Ilbo, another daily newspaper, reports that Shin Chang-hoon of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies states that the Summit possesses no legally-binding force to ensure the reduction of nuclear materials but rather, must rely solely on the voluntary pledges of the participating nations to abide by the communiqué. By the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit however, participating countries will have explaining to do if there hasn’t been a change in their Nuclear stockpiles.
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The Korea Times
The Cho Sun