World News Brief, Tuesday April 13

Obama promises $5 billion for nukes as summit begins (+ analysis); Thai PM considers early elections; International troops kill more civilians in Afghanistan; China posts first trade deficit in six years; Sudan's first open elections in 24 years

Top of the Agenda: Nuclear Summit Begins in Washington

US President Barack Obama hosts a two-day nuclear summit (WSJ) in Washington beginning Monday, where he will stress the security threat posed by terrorist organizations obtaining nuclear weapons. Obama met with the heads of Kazakhstan, India, and Pakistan ahead of the summit, despite international disagreements with those countries over human rights and their nuclear arsenals. He will also meet with South African President Jacob Zuma, who has disagreed with US officials on AIDS policy. The summit is the largest gathering of world leaders devoted strictly to the issue of nuclear terrorism and security.

Obama meanwhile stressed that the United States' nuclear arsenal remains strong (WashPost), indicating the country would spend $5 billion this year to modernize its existing nuclear weapons.

His agenda did not focus on the growing arms race (NYT) between India and Pakistan to produce new nuclear weapons.


A New York Times editorial says the summit "needs to produce concrete deadlines, working groups, and future meetings to measure progress."

A Korea Times editorial says North Korea should not be recognized as a nuclear power, which "would be tantamount to playing into the north's hands and accepting its nuclear card."

CFR's Charles Kupchan says signing the new START treaty with Russia has given the Obama administration momentum and political credibility to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime.


This CFR interactive guide explores the past, present, and future of nuclear power.

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


PACIFIC RIM: Thai Prime Minister Weighs Options

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is considering calling elections in October (WSJ) against demands by red-shirt protesters to hold elections by September.

China: China posted its first trade deficit (TIME) in nearly six years amid mounting tension with the United States over its currency value.

This CFR Backgrounder examines the China-US economic imbalance.

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



NATO Troops Kill Afghan Civilians
Sudan Begins Elections Amid Controversy


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