Seventy-five years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki put beyond argument that nuclear weapons are the most indiscriminately inhumane ever devised, the distressing reality is that the risk of nuclear catastrophe is as great as it has ever been, and the goal — shared by all members of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN) — of achieving their elimination from the face of the Earth is as far from achievement as it has ever been.

Existing nuclear arms control agreements are dead or dying. There is no prospect whatever of any nuclear-armed state joining the Nuclear Ban Treaty. There has been no progress on moderating the salience of nuclear weapons in strategic doctrines. There have been no advances on “no first use,” “negative security assurances,” “de-alerting” or serious stockpile reduction — all long-standing goals of the APLN. Hopes of progress on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula have stalled, and all six nuclear-armed states in the Asia-Pacific region are increasing their nuclear profile.

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