Nuclear Weapons: Human Error Remains A Constant Threat
When most people voice their concerns about nuclear weapons, they do so in terms of the unpredictable actions of a terrorist group or a rogue dictator. The disclosure recently that the US narrowly avoided a disaster when a B-52 nearly detonated a bomb over North Carolina, however, is a reminder that human error remains a real threat.
“The Cold War experience of the United States and the Soviet Union with nuclear safety suggests a uncomfortable truth: There is a far greater likelihood that North Korea will accidentally drop a nuclear weapon on itself than on South Korea, Japan, or the United States. Managing this problem requires input from all the stakeholders, including China, and may eventually demand a rethinking of the Western position on North Korea’s nuclear program,” Robert Farley writes in The Diplomat.
He adds: “An accidental nuclear release is a low-likelihood event, with the potential for a very high impact. Developing sufficient trust to help the DPRK safely manage its small arsenal is a smart move even for states that abhor the Kim regime.”
On another nuclear front, the BBC reports that Iran is seeking to firm up a deal on its nuclear program within the next six months. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told The Washington Post that a deal is a question of months not years.
“The only way forward is for a timeline to be inserted into the negotiations that’s short–and wrap it up. That is a decision of my government, that short is necessary to settle the nuclear file. The shorter it is the more beneficial it is to everyone. If it’s 3 months that would be Iran’s choice, if it’s 6 months that’s still good,” he said.