link to Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock moved 5 minutes closer to midnite due to the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests 


Guernica entered the world's vocabulary because of Picasso's tumultuous portrait and because this was history's first air bombardment of an undefended town, aimed solely at terrorizing civilians.

                                             Hiroshima 1945


September 17, 1998
  Demining work in Angola - one of the countries worst affected by mines
  Burkina Faso has become the 40th state to ratify the anti-landmines treaty, enabling the agreement to come into effect in six months' time.
  The treaty was signed in December last year by 120 nations.
  However, UN officials said the pact - known as the Ottawa convention - needed to be ratified by 40 nations and their parliaments before it could come into force.
  In a statement, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said: "Today, the world has taken a step toward becoming a safer and more humane place."
  He added that the treaty "will have far-reaching implications for both mine-affected and mine-producing countries."
  The head of the UN's childrens' agency, Unicef, described the step as an historic moment.
  Under the convention, countries must stop the use and production of landmines, destroy the stockpiles they already have over the next four years and clear mined areas within 10 years.
  Refusal to sign
  However, the United States has so far refused to ratify it, as have Russia and China, the world's biggest producers of landmines.
  They have argued that mines are a legitimate defensive weapon, although they have promised not to export them.
  The Red Cross estimates that there are 120 million mines across the world, and that they kill or maim someone every 20 minutes.
  Most are deployed in developing countries, where they prevent large tracts of land being used for agriculture and other purposes.
  A significant proportion of the victims of mines are children.

 September 1, 1998
  WASHINGTON -- North Korea's test of a medium-range missile capable of reaching targets in Japan and beyond represents a technological breakthrough that has raised new fears of the spread of ballistic missiles, administration officials and arms control experts said on Monday.
  With North Korea's record of exporting missiles and related technology to countries like Iran, Pakistan and Syria, the officials and experts said, they worry that more advanced, longer-range missiles are now within the reach of less developed countries.

 September 4, 1998

        Japan has said it could respond with a military strike if it came under attack from North Korea.
  Speculation is growing that Pyongyang is about to launch another missile, after it test-fired a rocket across Japanese territory on Monday.
  The director general of the Japanese Defence Agency, Fukushiro Nukaga, said said the peace constitution might allow a military strike against North Korea, if necessary, "rather than just sitting and waiting for death".
  But he added: "the greatest political responsibility will be to solve the matter peacefully."
  The Japanese constitution says its people "renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes".
  Additional measures considered
  Japan has placed its forces on increased alert after North Korea fired a new medium-range missile over its territory on Monday.
  Tokyo has also suspended food aid and all flights to North Korea, and postponed a deal to build nuclear reactors.
  The Japanese Foreign Minister, Masahiko Komura, said his government is considering "additional measures" against North Korea.
          The Japanese navy searched for remains of the missile

 September 4, 1998
  More land mines are taken being out than planted says the report
  The report, by the US State Department, concedes that the problem is still huge. It said there are up to 70 million mines planted in 60 countries.
  But the report said this was far fewer than previous estimates which put the figure at more than 100 million.
  Assistant Secretary of State, Rick Inderfurth, told reporters he believes the problem can be solved by 2010, consistent with the time frame set by President Bill Clinton.
  But the report said mine-clearance work in Afghanistan, Angola and Cambodia had significantly reduced casualty figures.
  More taken out than planted
  Land mines are not being planted in the ground as rapidly as once thought and "by most expert assessments, more land mines in fact are being taken out of the ground than are being planted," the report said.
  The US State Department also found that "the mobilisation of international attention and resources for humanitarian de-mining is accelerating solutions and proving that concerted international intervention does dramatically reduce the carnage of land mines to civilians."
  Mr Inderfurth said the US has trained over 1,600 people in Africa, Latin America and Bosnia on mine awareness and related skills and has spent $263m in removing mines since 1993.
  Unconventional methods also have been brought to bear in the struggle. Comic books, for example, are used to educate people about land mine risks.
  Dogs are useful not only in detecting land mines but also in verifying that formerly mine-laden areas have been fully cleared
  The US Defence Department is even researching ways to replicate the way a dog's nose detects mines, Pentagon officials said.
  Nobel-winning campaign
  The report updates one produced by the State Department in 1994 when the campaign to rid the world of antipersonnel land mines, which take a huge toll on civilians, was just building steam.
  Since then, the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines - aided by high-profile support from the late Princess Diana and others - has won a Nobel peace prize for its success in rallying public opinion and helping gain passage of an international treaty banning land mines.
  The US has made the issue a priority but refused to join more than 120 countries in a treaty to ban land mines.
  The administration contends that mines along the demilitarised zone in Korea deter North Korea from attacking South Korea and help protect the 37,000 US soldiers deployed in the region.


 October 31, 1998
  Iraq under spotlight at Security Council
  Iraq: No more co-operation with UN monitors or inspectors
  The UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting in New York to discuss Iraq's announcement breaking off all co-operation with United Nations arms inspectors.
  BBC UN correspondent Rob Watson says it is unlikely the Security Council will do more than condemn Baghdad's move.
  White House officials are also considering their response.
  The Iraqis have been refusing to allow inspectors do to any work in the country since early August, but correspondents say the latest move is an escalation in the continuing dispute over inspections.
  The new move follows a decision on Friday by the UN Security Council to review Baghdad's compliance with UN resolutions - but without any guarantee that this would lead to a lifting of sanctions against Iraq.
  The statement said Iraq has "broken off all cooperation with Unscom and its chief and stopped all its activities in Iraq, including the 'monitoring operations' as from today (Saturday)".
  The decision "does not concern the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which can continue its activities ... on condition that they are totally independent from those of Unscom."
  The action intensifies the reduction of Iraqi cooperation with the United Nations.
  BBC Correspondent Richard Downes says the Iraqi statement contains a forceful request for the sacking of the Unscom chief, Richard Butler. Mr Butler is currently in the United States.
  On 5 August Iraq suspended inspections by both the Special Commission and the IAEA teams that were searching for new sites that might contain illegal weapons. But monitoring activities by the two bodies were allowed to continue.
  The countdown to crisis has stopped, then started again
  The Gulf War ended at 0500 GMT on February 28,1991. The US-led coalition began a ceasefire and Baghdad ordered its troops to stop fighting. But since then, Iraq has remained at loggerheads with the United Nations and the Americans in particular.
  There have been arguments over the work of the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq (UNSCOM) weapons inspectors, oil, the no-fly zones, and the rights of Shi'ite and Kurdish people living in the region. But the latest crisis stems from Iraq's exasperation with sanctions imposed after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
  The UN put forward a series of proposals designed to ensure that Iraq is fulfilling its commitments to destroy weapons of mass destruction in June this year. Their elimination is a pre-condition for the lifting of UN sanctions which have crippled the economy by banning the country's economic mainstay - the free sale of oil.
  October 29, 1997 - Iraq bars American weapons inspectors from the country after the UN Security Council passes a resolution threatening to stop Iraqi officials travelling abroad. Iraq expels Americans
  October 31, 1997 - Iraq reiterates that it is ready, if necessary, to face US military action over its decision to expel the weapons inspectors. Russia and France believe a solution can be found to the crisis. Russia rejects use of force Iraq urged to backdown
  November 3, 1997 - Iraq warns it will shoot down U2 spy planes flying over its territory in support of UN weapons inspectors. Iraq threatens US planes
  November 20, 1997 - Russian Foreign Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, brokers a compromise in the crisis between Iraq and the UN. The US, Russia, France, Britain, China meet through the night to work out the deal which allows the inspectors to return to Baghdad. However, UNSCOM inspectors return only to find they are barred from presidential sites. Iraq settlement seen as "brilliant victory" for Russian diplomacy
  January 2, 1998 - A grenade attack is launched against the headquarters of UNSCOM in Baghdad. The Iraqi regime condemns the attack saying it was the act of saboteurs hostile to Iraq.
  January 13, 1998 - Iraq blocks an inspection by an American dominated team. It accuses the leader of the team, Scott Ritter, of spying for the US. Iraq bans weapons inspectors
  January 23, 1998 - Richard Butler, UNSCOM chairman, addresses the UN security Council and presents a bleak report. Iraq will provide no new information on its weapons programme. UN discusses continuing crisis over Iraq
  January 28, 1998 - President Clinton delivers his State of the Union address, and says the US is prepared to carry out a military attack against Iraq. Clinton address applauded
  February 9, 1998 - The Arab League puts forward proposals to end the crisis. It says the inspection teams should be chosen by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Arab bid to solve Iraqi crisis
  February 11, 1998 - The Iraqi government supports a Russian proposal which would give UNSCOM access to eight presidential sites to carry out one-off inspections. The idea is rejected by both the US and Britain. Iraqi concessions 'unacceptable'
  February 13, 1998 - The United States insists it will not walk away from stopping Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction, and Russian objections would not prevent use of force. Russia says diplomatic effort should not end before Kofi Annan visits Baghdad. Russia warns US against military action
  February 17, 1998 - Kofi Annan wins Security Council approval for a peace mission to Baghdad but the US reserves the right to disagree with the results. President Clinton says a solution must ensure unfettered access for weapons inspections. Clinton 'prepared to act'
  February 20, 1998 - Annan arrives in Baghdad, saying he has a "sacred duty" to try to defuse the crisis. In Jordan, a bystander is killed in clashes between police and a crowd of worshippers demonstrating in support of Iraq. Annan arrives on 'sacred' peace mission
  February 22, 1998 - The UN secretary general holds a three-hour meeting with Saddam Hussein, and the UN later announces a deal on weapons inspections. The US says it will await Kofi Annan's formal report to the Security Council. US keeps veto option open
  February 23, 1998 - Kofi Annan formally announces the agreement in joint news conference with Tariq Aziz. Iraq says it was diplomacy, not sabre-rattling, that helped conclude the agreement. Annan signs deal with Iraq
  February 26, 1998 - American Republicans claim that President Clinton has handed Washington's policy on Iraq over to the United Nations. US:Can Clinton sell Iraqi deal?
  February 27, 1998 - Richard Butler endorses the agreement, while Kofi Annan tells UN staff not to be disheartened by criticism of the deal. UN weapons inspector supports Annan's Iraq deal
  March 3, 1998 - The United States and Britain say that the UN Security Council has reached agreement on a resolution warning Iraq of "severest consequences" if it fails to honour the agreement.
  March 26, 1998 - UN weapons experts accompanied by diplomats begin a two-week series of inspections of Iraqi presidential sites.
  April 3, 1998 - Inspectors complete their initial search of the eight presidential sites with a visit to President Saddam Hussein's main palace in Baghdad. Initial searches end
  April 9, 1998 - A UN report claims Iraq is continuing to hold back information about its germ warfare programme. Iraq still holding back on weapons
  April 17, 1998 - UN inspectors say they have made no progress in verifying whether Iraq has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.
  April 18, 1998 - The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf describes UN inspectors report as "baseless and boring" and calls for a time limit to be set on inspections. Iraq calls for time limit
  April 28, 1998 - UN decides that it is too early to lift sanctions against Iraq, renewing the embargo for another six months. But the US acknowledges progress in the access to presidential and sensitive sites. Iraq sanctions stay
  May 1, 1998 - In an open letter to the Security Council, Iraq warns of grave consequences if UN sanctions against it are not lifted.
  May 20, 1998 - Weapons inspectors resume their search for Iraqi chemical warheads.
  May 26, 1998 - Richard Butler says he intends to draw up a list of outstanding issues that must be addressed by Baghdad to see sanctions lifted by October. On the same day the US announces it is to cut its forces in the Gulf. Official sets out sanctions 'road map' US cuts Gulf forces
  June 11, 1998 - After presenting proposed disarmament measures to the Security Council, UN weapons inspectors arrive in Baghdad for talks aimed at ending international sanctions.
  June 15, 1998 - The UN and Iraq strike a two-month deal which would verify disarmament and pave the way towards the lifting of sanctions. UN secures disarmament deal Iraq welcomes UN deal
  June 19, 1998 - The Security Council approves a resolution allowing Iraq to spend $300m on importing spare parts to improve its oil facilities. UN approves Iraqi oil spend Iraq warms to oil offer
  June 24, 1998 - Richard Butler confirms reports that traces of the nerve gas VX has been found in Iraqi missile fragments. Iraq had always insisted it had not weaponised VX. UN confirms nerve gas reports Iraq rejects nerve gas claims
  June 30, 1998 - An American fighter plane opens fire on an Iraqi missile site. The US Defence Department says the action was taken after four British Tornado military jets were illuminated by Iraqi radar. US plane targets Iraqi missile site Iraq condemns 'US aggression'
  July 30, 1998 - Iraq warns that it will take unspecified action unless the UN embargo is lifted. A statement issued after a meeting of Iraqi leaders said the visit by Richard Butler the following week would be crucial.
  August 4, 1998 - Richard Butler leaves Baghdad after talks collapse on proposals designed to ensure Iraq is fulfilling its committments to destroy weapons of mass destruction. Tariq Aziz said it was pointless becoming involved in an unending process to prove what the Iraqis had already shown. Iraq arms talks collapse
  September 29, 1998 - UN arms inspector Scott Ritter tells the BBC why he left the international team investigating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Inspector condemns UN
  October 27, 1998 - Richard Butler, says tests carried out by international scientists confirm that Iraq filled missile warheads with the deadly nerve agent VX before the 1991 Gulf War. UN says Iraq made deadly weapons
  October 28, 1998 - The Iraqi army embarks on a training exercise to enable hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens to defend themselves. Iraqi army starts mass training
  October 31, 1988 - The Iraqi leadership says it has ceased all co-operation with investigations and monitoring by the UN Special Commission. Iraq stops Unscom
  November 10, 1988 The United States warns that Iraq will be able to rebuild its weapons programme in a matter of months unless the international community takes action over its obstruction of UN weapons inspections. Iraq could rearm 'in months'
  November 11, 1988 The United Nations withdraws all non-essential personnel from Iraq, amid speculation that the United States is preparing a military attack. UN withdraws staff from Iraq

 August 27, 1998

  Scott Ritter said the UN was making a mockery of its disarmament work
  A leading United Nations weapons inspector has resigned, accusing the Security Council, the United States and the UN secretary general of surrendering to the Iraqi leadership.
  In his letter of resignation, Scott Ritter said the Security Council's reaction to Iraq's decision earlier this month to suspend co-operation with the inspection team made a mockery of its disarmament work.
  In the letter, which is described as "explosive", Mr Ritter accused the secretary general of allowing his office to become a "sounding board" for Iraqi grievances.
  Mr Ritter, an American, also accused the Iraqi Government of lying to the world about the scope and nature of its weapons systems.
  Observers say his feelings are likely to be shared by other weapons inspectors.
  Accused of spying
  Mr Ritter has been regularly been accused by the Iraqis of spying for the United States.
  In terms of the ceasefire which ended the Gulf War in 1991, the UN established a Special Commission (UNSCOM) to monitor the dismantling of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
  In exchange for the lifting of sanctions, Iraq was required to provide the UN with details of such weapons, to agree to their dismantling, and to undertake not to develop any more weapons in the future.
  The present impasse over the weapons inspections dates to early in August, when UN Chief Weapons Inspector Richard Butler refused to comply with an Iraqi demand that he declare the country to be free of weapons of mass destruction, before the UN inspectors had completed their programme.
  Two weeks ago, the US State Department was reported to have put pressure on Mr Butler not to make surprise weapons inspections in Iraq, in order to ease the tensions between Washington and Baghdad.
  However, both US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Mr Butler denied these reports.

Wednesday, August 5, 1998

   The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has suspended cooperation with United Nations weapons inspectors.
  Saddam Hussein decided after a meeting with senior officials to "completely suspend cooperation with the UN Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency," according to a government statement.
  However, the president said he would exempt UN monitoring activities in Iraq from his decision on the condition that UN "personnel carry out the monitoring strictly respecting Iraq's sovereignty, security and its people's dignity." 
  The Iraqi parliament earlier voted unanimously to freeze co-operation with the UN inspectors in protest at chief weapons inspector Richard Butler's refusal to declare Iraq free of all weapons of mass destruction. 

UNSCOM  UN inspection of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction

  The United Nations' chief weapons inspector, Richard Butler, has reached agreement with the authorities in Baghdad on a two-month programme to complete outstanding work on verifying Iraqi disarmament.

 February 20, 1998

  The job of surveillance
  The terms of the ceasefire which ended the Gulf War were made in United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 on April 3 1991.
  It set up a UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) which, together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was to monitor the dismantling of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The work of UNSCOM was approved through Resolution 715.
  Iraq was required to accept unconditionally the removal or rendering harmless of the specified weapons and missiles.
  It also had to submit full details of the locations of such weapons and undertake not to use, develop, construct or acquire such weapons in the future.
  Key UN Security Council resolutions::
  Resolution 687 - the Gulf War ceasefire resolution which formed UNSCOM. It called for the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and authorised inspections to ensure compliance.
  Resolution 715 - approved the plan for on-going inspections.
  Resolution 778 - allowed the confiscation of up to $500 million of oil-related Iraqi assets.
  Resolution 986 - allowed Iraq to sell oil and petroleum products abroad so that it could buy food and medicines for its people.
  Resolution 1051 - approved the mechanism for monitoring relevant Iraqi imports and exports pursuant to Resolution 715.
  Resolution 1115 - demanded Iraq co-operate fully with UNSCOM and postponed a review of sanctions.
  Resolution 1137 - demanded Iraq reverse a decision to expel UNSCOM inspectors.
  Resolution 1154 - endorsed the agreement on UNSCOM weapons inspections reched by Secretary General Kofi Annan.
  Resolution 1175 - approved $300m spending for spare parts for Iraqi oil facilities.


Pakistan: The launch of the Ghauri missile earlier this month 4/6/98, Pakistan successfully tests a medium-range missile capable of reaching

Banning the bomb                                             Build a bomb.

11 May 1998--India conducts three nuclear tests.  The Pioneer says India has arrived at superpower status 'with a bang'
Indian opposition groups have condemned the nuclear tests             Pakistani protesters march against the bomb

May 27, 1998---U.S. Forces a Delay in World Bank Loans to India
                 WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration made good Tuesday on its
             threat to make India pay for conducting five nuclear tests earlier this month,
        forcing what the World Bank called "an indefinite delay" on $865 million in World
        Bank loans that would have paid for an electric power grid and a range of other
        projects throughout the country.

  Indian Prithvi short-range missile

Pakistan successfully tests a medium-range missile capable of reaching
                            The Pakistani army on parade                   Pakistanis burning Indian flag in protest of atomic bomb tests
Source: Jane's Defence Weekly, Institute of Peace Studies, International
          Institute of Strategic Studies.


Pakistan Conducts Five Nuclear Tests

        Pakistan carried out five nuclear tests on Thursday, Prime
        Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a nationwide broadcast.

        Pakistan answered India's nuclear tests with five detonations of its
        own on Thursday, and said it was capping a long-range missile
        with nuclear warheads, escalating the arms race between the rival

        ``Today, we have settled the score with India,'' said Pakistan
        Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

        In his address, Sharif chastised the international community for
        failing to sanction India, saying that Pakistan was left with no
        choice but to detonate its own nuclear devices.

        ``India is an expansionist power,'' he said. ``The world should have sanctioned
        India fully ... but they didn't.''


 Demonstrators called for Pakistan to retaliate

Indians and Pakistanis celebrate their nuclear weapons


former Soviet Union is littered with nuclear sites causing security and environmental worries.  Constructing warheads led to many accidents.

August 17, 1998
 U.S. intelligence agencies have detected a huge secret underground complex in North Korea that they believe is the centerpiece of an effort to revive the country's frozen nuclear weapons program, according to officials who have been briefed on the intelligence information.
  The finding has alarmed officials at the White House and the Pentagon, who fear that the complex may represent an effort to break out of a 4-year-old agreement in which North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for billions of dollars in Western aid.
  The finding also follows a string of provocations by the North, including missile sales to Pakistan and the incursion of a small North Korean submarine carrying nine commandos off the South Korean coast this year.
  The North has said in recent months that the United States is reneging on its side of the agreement because Congress has failed to authorize tens of millions of dollars in fuel shipments for the North. The shipments are the main American contribution to a $6 billion program, under which South Korea, Japan and other nations are supposed to finance a major electric energy program as a quid pro quo for the North's abandonment of its ambitions to develop nuclear arms.
  A senior administration official said the North had not yet technically violated that accord, called the Agreed Framework, because there is no evidence that Pyongyang has begun pouring cement for a new reactor or a reprocessing plant that would convert nuclear waste into bomb-grade plutonium. The accord explicitly bars that activity.
  But spy satellites have extensively photographed a huge work site 25 miles northeast of Yongbyon, the nuclear center where, until the 1994 accord, the North is believed to have created enough plutonium to build six or more bombs. Thousands of North Korean workers are swarming around the new site, burrowing into the mountainside, American officials said.
  Other intelligence, which the officials would not describe, led the administration in recent weeks to warn important members of Congress and the South Korean government in classified briefings that they believed that the North intended to build a new reactor and reprocessing center under the mountain. Intelligence estimates of how long it would take to complete the project have ranged from two to six years, depending in part on how much outside help is received.

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