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  Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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World leaders at the G8 summit that ended in Germany on Friday called for a sustained moratorium on nuclear weapons tests
World leaders at the G8 summit that ended in Germany on Friday called for a sustained moratorium on nuclear weapons tests. The United States, Russia, Britain, Italy, France, Canada and Japan issued a joint statement on nonproliferation, urging "all states concerned to observe a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions." The statement reaffirms "the inalienable right of all parties to the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as enshrined in Article IV in conformity with all their Treaty obligations." The leaders welcomed the continued discussion by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on means of strengthening controls on transfers of enrichment and reprocessing equipment, facilities and technology. The G8 leaders urged Iran to comply with the UN demands on halting uranium enrichment activities. Iran has been a source of contention between world powers, with the United States and Europe pushing for UN Security Council sanctions against over Iran's nuclear program, which have met with continual resistance from Russia and China. However, Moscow's support for the position of other G8 members on the Iran issue signals a hardening of its stance. Iran said Sunday it would push ahead with its nuclear program despite new possible sanctions. At a press conference at the close of the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Tehran to consider an international offer of economic incentives aimed at encouraging the country to suspend uranium enrichment. The summit statement said: "We deplore the fact that Iran has so far failed to meet its obligations under UNSC Resolutions 1696, 1737 and 1747 and will support adopting further measures, should Iran refuse to comply with its obligations." G8 leaders urged Iran to take the steps required by the international community, and made mandatory by these resolutions, to suspend all its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and allow negotiations to begin. On the North Korean nuclear problem, the G8 reiterated its support for the Six-Party Talks and swift implementation of previous accords, condemning the country's nuclear test last year as "a clear threat to international peace and security." "We urge the DPRK to comply with the UNSC Resolutions 1695 and 1718, strictly to refrain from any further nuclear test or missile launch, and to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs as well as all other existing WMD and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. We urge the DPRK to return to full compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards," they said. On the second day of the summit, South Korean media reported Thursday that North had fired two short-range anti-ship missiles into the Yellow Sea, in what appears to be the second time the Communist state has launched a short-range missile into its coastal waters in the space of a fortnight.
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