The head of the UN nuclear agency said yesterday he is aware that nuclear experiments South Korea conducted several years ago were small, but said his agency needs to make sure they will not be repeated. \nMohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is in South Korea to speak at an international conference on science and world affairs. His visit follows Seoul's recent admissions that it conducted a plutonium-based nuclear experiment more than 20 years ago and a uranium-enrichment experiment in 2000. \nThe Vienna-based IAEA has expressed concern that Seoul failed to report the unauthorized experiments. \n"Any undeclared activity is a matter of serious concern for me," ElBaradei told reporters upon arrival. "However, as far as I know now, these have been small experiments. We just wanted to make sure these were experiments and that there were nothing more than these experiments ... (and that) these experiments will not be repeated again without being declared to the organization." \nSouth Korea says the experiments were purely research, but has acknowledged it should have informed the IAEA. \nElBaradei said he believed a report on Seoul's nuclear activities would be ready for submission to the IAEA's board of governors by next month. \nAsked about the possibility of the issue being reported to the UN Security Council, he said such a decision would be "far down the road." \n"This is something for the board of governors members to decide," he said. "You cannot speculate on the issue before we have a comprehensive report on these experiments." \nDuring his four-day visit, ElBaradei is expected to meet South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, and Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan. \nThe IAEA has already sent inspectors here twice, and South Korean officials expect several more visits from the agency. \nPlutonium and enriched uranium are two key ingredients of nuclear weapons. The controversy over South Korea's experiments has disrupted efforts to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs. \nA fourth round of six-country talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programs failed to take place last month.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of