World News Brief, Friday April 9

US and Russia to cut nuclear arsenals by a third (+ analysis); Thai government in media crackdown; Government toppled in Kyrgyzstan; China finally agrees to talks on Iran sanctions; and more

Top of the Agenda: US and Russia Sign Nuclear Arms Pact

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a pact (NYT) to reduce their nuclear arsenals, a sign of improving relations between the two countries. The agreement, which must be ratified by lawmakers in both countries, would require each country to deploy a maximum of 1,550 strategic warheads, compared to the 2,200 allowed under the treaty signed by former President George W. Bush in 2002. Each country would be limited to 800 land-, air-, and sea-based launchers, compared to 1,600 allowed under the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The leaders did not reach agreement on US plans to build an anti-missile shield in Europe.

The White House wants (WashPost) a legislative vote by the end of the year, despite recent partisan rancor and a history of stalling on previous arms control agreements.


An Independent editorial says the new arms treaty is a sign of progress for Russia, but violence in Kyrgyzstan and Soviet-trained leadership in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan indicate turmoil is still brewing further south.

A Korea Times editorial says the United States needs to take a more active role in denuclearizing North Korea.

On the Daily Beast, CFR's Michael Levi says that while President Obama's plan to reduce nuclear weapons is generally a step in the right direction, a complete reduction of nuclear dangers will depend on efforts largely beyond the new strategy's scope.


Check out expert analysis and background resources from CFR on nuclear nonproliferation, security, and treaties.


PACIFIC RIM: Geithner Meets China's Qishan on Yuan

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan Thursday to discuss (SydneyMorningHerald) a revaluation of the yuan.

Thailand: Thailand's government cracked down (FT) on media outlets a day after a state of emergency was declared to mitigate mass protests wracking central Bangkok.

Read CFR's Asia Unbound blog, featuring timely analysis from CFR's Asia experts.



China Agrees to UN Iran Talk
Kyrgyz Opposition Temporarily Rules


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on