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Iran has Further Increased its Total Stockpile of Uranium, UN Nuclear Watchdog Report Says

IN THIS ISSUE: Iran has Further Increased its Total Stockpile of Uranium, UN Nuclear Watchdog Report Says, Putin Says Nearly all of Russia's Nuclear Forces have Been Modernised, US and South Korea fly Warplanes in Interception Drills after North Korea’s Missile Tests, Germans Debate the Once-Unthinkable: Do We Need Nuclear Weapons?, How Could Nuclear Weapons be Used in Space?

Published on February 27, 2024

Iran has Further Increased its Total Stockpile of Uranium, UN Nuclear Watchdog Report Says

STEPHANIE LIECHTENSTEIN | Associated Press

Iran has further increased its total stockpile of uranium, according to a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by The Associated Press on Monday, and it continues to bar the agency’s most seasoned inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program…The International Atomic Energy Agency also said in a second confidential report, distributed to member states, that Tehran made no progress in explaining the presence of manmade uranium particles found at two locations.It also said that according to its assessment, Iran has an estimated 121.5 kilograms (267.8 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 60% purity, which represents a decrease of 6.8 kilograms (14.9 pounds) since the last report in November 2023.

Putin Says Nearly all of Russia's Nuclear Forces have Been Modernised

Reuters

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that 95% of Russia's strategic nuclear forces had been modernised and that the Air Force had just taken delivery of four new supersonic nuclear-capable bombers. Putin made the comments in a recorded speech to mark Russia's annual Defender of the Fatherland Day, which celebrates the armed forces, a day after he flew on a modernised Tu-160M nuclear-capable strategic bomber.

US and South Korea fly Warplanes in Interception Drills after North Korea’s Missile Tests

HYUNG-JIN KIM | Associated Press

South Korea and the United States flew advanced stealth fighters in a joint missile-interception drill Friday over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s air force said, an apparent response to a spate of weapons tests this year by rival North Korea. North Korea has conducted six rounds of missile tests so far this year, most of them reportedly involving cruise missiles that typically fly at a low altitude to overcome opponents’ missile defenses. Analysts say that in the event of a conflict, North Korea aims to use cruise missiles to strike U.S. aircraft carriers as well as U.S. military bases in Japan.

Germans Debate the Once-Unthinkable: Do We Need Nuclear Weapons?

Bertrand Benoit and Bojan Pancevski | The Wall Street Journal

In recent weeks, German officials have called on France and the U.K.—Europe’s two nuclear powers—to work with Berlin to develop a fallback plan for nuclear deterrence for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, should the U.S. no longer be willing to fulfill that role.Some politicians and academics are going even further, asking whether Germany could someday need its own atomic arsenal.

How Could Nuclear Weapons be Used in Space?

Michael Peel, Clive Cookson and John Paul Rathbone | Financial Times

Satellites are a significant advantage that the US holds over Russia in conducting conventional warfare, said James Acton, nuclear policy programme co-director at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace…The strategic attraction of a nuclear weapon is that it has the potential to destroy many satellites at once. Even the existence of such a device might have a deterrent effect, whether it was ever used or not.“The US military uses space in a very effective way,” Acton said. “And Russia believes that attacking satellites is a way to level the playing field in that conflict.”