More than 50 heads of state will gather in Seoul, South Korea for the Nuclear Security Summit which will take place on March 26-27. Meanwhile, North Korea continues with its sabre-rattling over a planned missile launch.
President Barack Obama will attend the meeting, the second such summit to discuss world-wide nuclear safety. The first took place in Washington in 2010. The official agenda will include nuclear terrorism and the best way to deal with the world's nuclear material. Nuclear safety, especially following the meltdown of the Fukushima power station in Japan following the Tsunami will also be discussed.
CNN reports that South Korea's Foreign Minister, Kim Sung-Hwan said:
"As seen in the Fukushima nuclear accident, public fear of radiation exposure causes significant and lasting social and cultural concern. A similar impact could be seen if terrorists attack a nuclear facility."
The US Government has produced a fact sheet outlining what the 'Basics of Nuclear Security' are, which include items such as removing nuclear material completely from a site, upgrading security measures and implementing non-proliferation policies amongst others.
The official nuclear summit website states the basic objectives as :
"The possibility of nuclear terrorism became a real threat after 9/11, which increased the importance of strengthening nuclear security to prevent nuclear materials from being misused by terrorist groups. There is a need to recognize the importance of nuclear security at the summit level and seek cooperation, as the threat of nuclear terrorism cannot be addressed by a single nation."
What will be more interesting are the items not on the agenda but most certainly likely to be discussed behind closed doors, that of the nuclear situation in Iran and, most importantly from South Korea's point of view, the threat from North Korea who have announced a missile launch which will take place in early April. The government in Pyongyang has said that the launch will be to mark the one hundredth birthday of the late Kim Il-sung.
North Korea has said that any criticism of the missile launch and the country's nuclear programme will be seen as a 'declaration of war'. Japan is already reacting by setting up its defence systems near the island of Okinawa against a possible attack, according to the BBC.
The Nuclear Security Summit will be meeting at a time when its objectives are more crucial to the world than ever before.