World leaders look at ways to boost nuclear security during talks in Washington

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By Euronews
World leaders look at ways to boost nuclear security during talks in Washington

At a nuclear security summit in the US, North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were high on the agenda.

US President Barack Obama joined with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea to warn Pyongyang against further provocations. Meeting on the sidelines of the summit the trio called for North Korea to give up further nuclear and missile tests or face more sanctions. Just hours after the warning, North Korea appeared to have fired a missile into the sea off its east coast. A South Korean military official said they were trying to determine the exact nature of the projectile.

Obama also met with Turkish President Erdogan where they discussed the shared effort to ‘degrade and destroy Islamic State’. The American leader also extended his condolences for ‘those killed and injured in today’s terrorist attack in Diyarbakir.

Leaders from more than 50 countries were in Washington to discuss how to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. Rose Gottemoeller, US Under Secretary for Arms Control told reporters:

“In many countries, possession of nuclear material for sale is not a crime. So another area that we have put a lot of emphasis on, is improving our ability not only to locate smuggled material and find the nuclear smugglers, but also to bring them to justice.”

It comes after the terror attacks in Brussels and investigations into the networks behind them which have increased fears that the ISIL group could target nuclear plants, steal materials and develop dirty bombs.

“The Obama administration claims that it is harder than ever before for terrorists to acquire nuclear materials. Yet, the summit includes a special conference on groups like ISIL who have targeted urban areas around the globe – a clear sign that a nuclear threat by terrorists is still looming,” – euronews correspondent Stefan Grobe.