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Sanctions stay unless Iran renounces nuclear arms

Sanctions on Iran will remain in place as long as France is not convinced that Tehran has "definitively renounced" its military nuclear ambitions, President Francois Hollande said on Monday. "I confirm here that we will maintain the sanctions as long as we are not certain that Iran has definitively renounced its military (nuclear) programme," he said. "France will not let Iran arm itself with nuclear weapons." ha-agr-hmw/srm

(Yonhap Interview) Territorial spats pose big security challenge to Asia: U.N. official

By Kim Eun-jung SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- Growing territorial disputes between Asian neighbors driven by financial gains have emerged as a major security challenge in the Asia-Pacific region, which has shown a rise in military expenditures in recent years, a senior United Nations official said Tuesday. Angela Kane, the U.N. high representative for disarmament affairs, expressed concern over the recent territorial spats involving Northeast Asian nations as she visited South Korea to attend the multilateral security forum, called the Seoul Defense Dialogue.

US to spend billions 'modernizing' nuclear arsenal

The United States plans to spend billions to upgrade a decades-old atomic bomb designed to stop a Soviet invasion of Europe, as part of a controversial project to modernize its nuclear arsenal. Some lawmakers and experts dismiss the effort as a colossal waste of money that could derail arms control talks with Russia. But top commanders and government officials argue the B61 nuclear gravity bomb needs to be maintained so other weapons can be scrapped and to ensure America retains a "credible" force.

Atom bomb nearly exploded over North Carolina in 1961: UK paper

LONDON (Reuters) - A U.S. atom bomb nearly exploded in 1961 over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima, according to a declassified document published in a British newspaper on Friday. The Guardian newspaper said the document, obtained by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gave the first conclusive evidence that the United States came close to a disaster in January 1961.

Japanese students give 195,000 anti-nuke signatures to U.N.

A group of 20 high school students from Japan selected by a civic organization in Nagasaki City handed over Tuesday a petition with around 195,000 signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons to the secretariat of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. The number of signatures collected worldwide this year was the largest presented by the organization, exceeding the previous high in 2012 by some 40,000 and lifting the cumulative sum of collected signatures to over 1 million, the delegation said.

High school students signatures for nuke abolition reaches 1 mil.

A students' group in Nagasaki Prefecture said Sunday it has collected more than 1 million signatures from senior high school students calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons since it started gathering them in 2001. At a meeting in Nagasaki the same day of about 50 former and current members of the group, the executive committee said the total number of signatures has reached 1.04 million.

URGENT ¥¥¥ N.Korea nuclear strike only if survival threatened: US

North Korea would likely only use nuclear weapons if it perceived a threat to its survival, but the United States remains uncertain how it would define such a threat, the US national intelligence chief said Tuesday. "Although we assess with low confidence that the North would only attempt to use nuclear weapons against US forces or allies to preserve the Kim (Jong-Un) regime, we do not know what would constitute, from the North's perspective, crossing that threshold," James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said in an annual report to Congress on global security threats.

URGENT ¥¥¥ UN Council to discuss N. Korea nuclear sanctions Tuesday

The UN Security Council will meet Tuesday to discuss new sanctions the United States and its allies want to impose on North Korea for its nuclear test last month, diplomats said. The meeting was called by the Security Council presidency amid signs that the United States and China are close to an accord on new action against the isolated North over its February 12 atomic weapon blast, diplomats added. tw/adm

Reuters World News Highlights 1800 GMT Feb 21

TOP STORIES ----------- PRETORIA - South African police investigating Oscar Pistorius for murder pulled their lead detective off the "Blade Runner" athlete's case on Thursday after it emerged he himself faces attempted murder charges for shooting at a minibus. - - - -
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