Nov 24, 2019

Pope condemns nuclear weapons as "immoral" in Hiroshima, Nagasaki

Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis traveled to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, on Sunday to ask world powers to renounce their nuclear weapons, calling the possession and use of atomic bombs wasteful and “immoral," AP reports.

The big picture: Standing with survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings, Francis also criticized countries for dismantling Cold War-era nuclear arms control agreements. His visit was the first day of his three-day Japanese campaign for a global ban on atomic weapons.

What he's saying: "The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral. ... As is the possession of atomic weapons. ... We will be judged for this," the pope said at a prayer ceremony at Hiroshima’s peace memorial, according to AP.

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U.S. Army to fund rare-earth minerals facilities after China threat

A rare-earth mineral storage facility in China in 2010. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Army is planning to finance mines and processing plants to establish a domestic supply of rare-earth minerals, which are used in weapons and electronics, according to a government document reviewed by Reuters.

Why it matters: The investment comes in response to a threat from China, which processes most of the world's rare earths, to stop exporting them to the U.S. amid the ongoing trade war.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

U.S., South Korea cancel joint military exercise condemned by North Korea

Mark Esper. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Sunday that the U.S. and South Korea have canceled an annual joint military exercise as an "act of goodwill" in order to “keep the door open” for talks to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons, according to the Associated Press.

The big picture: The U.S. and its regional allies have been trying to coax North Korea back to negotiations to eliminate its nuclear weapons and missiles since talks stalled earlier this year.

Go deeperArrowNov 17, 2019

North Korea conducts satellite test for second time in less than a week

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un supervised the test firing of a new multiple rocket launcher on July 31. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea said on Saturday that it carried out another satellite launch test near the Chinese border, and that the unspecified test "would help bolster the country's nuclear deterrent," the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The reported test was conducted Friday evening — making it the second North Korean satellite launch in less than a week, state news agency KCNA said, per Reuters

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019