President Donald Trump reportedly asked a foreign policy expert three times why the US can't use nuclear weapons during his presidential campaign. While world leaders may have been right to criticise Trump's line of questioning amid global promises to reduce nuclear stockpiles, why are world nuclear powers expanding and updating their arsenals instead? In this week's Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan exposes the hypocrisy of the global nuclear elite. Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.
VIENNA – Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has expressed hope that Japan will join negotiations later this month on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. "Japan, as the world's sole atomic-bombed nation, has a moral voice and can give an invaluable opinion on the issue of nuclear disarmament," Kurz said in a written interview ahead of the first round of negotiations that begin March 27 in New York. "We would very much welcome the chance to hear Japan's views during the negotiations," said Kurz, whose country is among those leading the negotiations and urging Japan and NATO members to take part. Japan, which relies on U.S. nuclear deterrence for protection, has not said whether it will join the talks. Kurz, Austria's foreign minister since December 2013, stressed the need for a treaty given the stalemate in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts for the past 20 years.
US President Barack Obama urged world leaders on Friday to step up efforts to prevent "madmen" from groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from obtaining nuclear weapons. Speaking at a nuclear security summit in Washington, DC, Obama said there was a persistent and evolving threat of nuclear attacks despite progress in reducing such risks. "We cannot be complacent," Obama said, adding that no group had succeeded in getting their hands on nuclear weapons. He pointed out, however, that al-Qaeda had long sought them and ISIL (also known as ISIS) had already used chemical weapons, including mustard gas, in Syria and Iraq. "There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they would certainly use it to kill as many innocent people as possible," Obama added.
A security guard, who worked at a Belgium nuclear power plant, was murdered and his security badge was stolen, local media reported Saturday. The incident happened just days after suicide bomb attacks at the Brussels airport and on a metro killed at least 31 people and injured hundreds. On Thursday, French language Derniere Heure newspaper reported that the suicide bombers, who blew themselves up on Tuesday, were originally targeting a nuclear site, but a series of arrests of suspect militants forced them to speed up their plans. With the country on high alert, the report raised suspicions of the possibility that militants are seeking to get hold of nuclear material or planning to attack a nuclear site. The security officer was murdered Thursday evening as he walked his dog in the Belgian city of Charleroi.