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Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul

The nuclear security summit began in Seoul with a working dinner hosted by President Lee Myung-bak immediately following the welcome ceremony for the 50 world leaders (including Italian premier Mario Monti) and top officials of 4 international organisations.

In addition to an update on what has happened since the actions to prevent nuclear terrorism and ensure the security of “atomic material” decided in Washington in 2010, the summit agenda included acceleration on the front of new pledges to reduce the nuclear terrorism threat and illegal trafficking

The summit’s final document expected tomorrow will mention “major principles regarding nuclear security and 11 key objectives, as well as specific efforts by which to reach them”, South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan reported.

Speaking from Seoul, Monti underscored how Fukushima was proof that “the global consequences of a nuclear accident know no borders”. That is why, “it is necessary to see to it that national sovereignty does not constitute an obstacle to the adoption of more stringent common rules and international standards, exchanges of information, transparency and obligatory international review mechanisms, and recognition of the IAEA’s central role”.

The nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea were also discussed in bilateral meetings. In particular, on the Korean front, after a face-to-face meeting between Barack Obama and Hu Jintao, China and the United States agreed on the need for close coordination in the response to any “potential provocation” in the in the form of a satellite launch announced by Pyongyang.