“North Korea crisis could spark a global chain of nuclear strikes”, warned The Luxembourg Forum President Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor

London / Moscow / Paris – October 9, 2017 – Leading international experts on nuclear non-proliferation and world leaders met today in Paris for the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe (“The Luxembourg Forum”) to express their deep concern on the escalating crisis in nuclear weapons control.

More than 50 eminent authorities met in the context of the Luxembourg Forum’s 10th anniversary conference to hear Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, Hans Blix and other experts to discuss the proliferation of nuclear weapons in context of the North Korea escalation and concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking at the opening of Monday’s two day conference, Dr. Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, President of the Luxembourg Forum, warned that “the North Korea crisis could spark a global chain of nuclear strikes", a reality made more likely given "that the possibility of a deliberate provocation by North Korea cannot be dismissed entirely”. With the added risk posed by key regional partners and fellow new nuclear states Pakistan and India, “even a single nuclear strike could trigger an unpredictable spiral of nuclear reprisals”, added Dr. Kantor.

On Iran, Dr. Kantor stated that “undoing the Iranian nuclear deal, concluded between the ‘six’ and Tehran, would be unforgivable. We have to ensure that Iran fully complies with the obligations it pledged to and now the most important issue is what happens when the deal is concluded,”.

The agenda paid particular focus to prioritising Russian-US relations, in the context of nuclear disarmament and international security concerns, following the news last month that former United States Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Laureate Henry Kissinger joined the International Luxembourg Forum's Supervisory Board.

“Leaders of the leading nuclear states must resume cooperation on securing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear material security, to prevent the threat of catastrophic terrorism. In particular, emphasis should be given to improving the security of radiological materials to counter the growing danger of terrorist acts using a dirty bomb,” added Dr. Kantor.

“We believe that the two nuclear superpowers, Russia and the USA, should be the first to take major steps to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” said Dr. Kantor. “The balance of forces between these two countries, the two nuclear superpowers, has always been an essential precondition for global strategic stability,” he concluded.

During his opening remarks, Tony Blair warned that "the proliferation of nuclear weapons is the most serious threat today to the fate of humankind". Mr Blair further said that "Proliferation begets further proliferation leading to risk of additional terrorist capability".

On Iran, "the deal has been done...it means that for now Iran's nuclear proliferation can be stalled and so the sensible thing is to preserve the current agreement. Most now see that the conventional risk of Iran's activities poses a more immediate concerning than its nuclear threat".

Mr Blair concluded by saying that "multi-lateral diplomacy is out of fashion. It shouldn't be. It is critical and unavoidable to forestall today's risks."

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The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe was established in Luxembourg on the 24-25th of May 2007 by decision of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe. The Forum is one of the most representative non-governmental organizations to bring together leading international experts on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and arms reduction and limitation. The Advisory Council comprises more than 50 of the most authoritative and best-known international experts from 14 different countries. The President of the Forum is Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor who oversees the International Advisory Council and the Supervisory Board.

2017 marks the Forum's 10th anniversary. Since its establishment 10 years ago, the Luxembourg Forum has held 25 conferences, seminars and working meetings in Moscow, Washington, Luxembourg, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Geneva, Warsaw, Stockholm and other cities.

The main tasks of the Forum are:

• To analyze threats of proliferation of nuclear weaponry and to draw up specific proposals and recommendations as to further ways of reducing nuclear weapons, strengthening nuclear and missile non-proliferation regimes, preventing attempts to acquire nuclear weapons and technologies by unstable regimes and terrorist organizations and of resolving regional nuclear crises.

• To facilitate the process of arms limitation and reduction and to counteract growing threats to the non-proliferation regime and the erosion of the fundamental tenets of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which includes stemming the rise of nuclear terrorism and preventing attempts by individual states to gain access to nuclear materials and technologies.

• To strengthen global peace and security through fresh approaches and practical proposals for political leaders on key nuclear non-proliferation and arms-control issues.