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Can Seoul summit tackle biggest threat to US security – nuclear terrorism?

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At the world’s first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010, leaders began building an international consensus not only about the priority of this threat, but also about actions their governments can take to prevent it. Specifically, they agreed to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide by the end of 2014.

We are two years along in a race to ensure the world’s most dangerous materials do not fall into the deadliest hands.

The leaders who gather have the power to prevent nuclear terrorism by doing just one thing: denying terrorists the means to achieve their deadliest ambitions by locking up all nuclear weapons and materials as securely as gold in Fort Knox or treasures in the Kremlin Armory. No nuclear materials available to terrorists means no nuclear terrorism.

While United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 calls upon member states to adopt “effective, appropriate” security standards, the Seoul summit will provide operational examples of those generalities.

Specifically, some states will declare at the summit that they will become “fissile-material free” countries. This serves as an assurance that they cannot be the source of a terrorist nuclear bomb because there are no weapons-usable nuclear materials on their territory. Going one step further, the leader of Ukraine is scheduled to stand up at the summit and announce that his country has already become a member of this group.

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