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Japan has told the United States it is ready to provide its robot technology for use in dismantling nuclear and uranium enrichment facilities in North Korea as Washington and Pyongyang pursue further denuclearization talks, government sources said Friday. As Japan turns to the remotely controlled robots it has developed to decommission reactors crippled by the triple core meltdown in 2011 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, it believes the same technology can be used in North Korea, according to the sources. The offer is part of Japan's efforts to make its own contribution to the denuclearization talks amid concern that Tokyo could be left out of the loop as the United States and North Korea step up diplomacy. Tokyo has already told Washington it would shoulder part of the costs of any International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of North Korean facilities and dispatch its own nuclear experts to help. The scrapping of nuclear facilities, such as the Yongbyon complex, which has a graphite-moderated reactor, will come into focus in forthcoming working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
On the heels of United States President Donald Trump's historic de-nuclearization summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, non-proliferation is once again a timely topic. Since the dawn of the nuclear age, keeping tabs on who has military-grade nuclear capabilities and materials has been a vital – and difficult – task. Thankfully, it's also one that may be getting easier, thanks to leaps forward in fields like data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Last month, Thomson Reuters Labs was invited to present at a workshop called "Applications of Innovative Tools and Technologies for Nonproliferation and Disarmament" held in Krems, Austria, for diplomats representing their countries at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organizations. The diplomatic workshop was preceded by a day-long session for technical participants at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.