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North Korea On A Nuclear Rampage, Says IAEA Chief | GZERO World

North Korea on a nuclear rampage, says IAEA chief

North Korea was definitely the original gangster of nuclear proliferation. But now it freaks us out more about the size of its atomic arsenal than the fact it has nukes.

The North Koreans are not backing down, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Grossi recently visited South Korea, where he discussed the North's plans to acquire more nuclear weapons. He says that although North Korea kicked out IAEA inspectors in 2009, he has a pretty good idea of what Pyongyang is up to.

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Rogue States Gone Nuclear & the Watchdog Working to Avert Disaster | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Rogue states gone nuclear and the watchdog working to avert disaster

What keeps the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog up at night? It's not only Vladimir Putin threatening to use a tactical nuke in Ukraine.

Weeks ago, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi witnessed first-hand how close we came to another Chernobyl disaster thanks to fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. And then there's Iran, on the cusp of getting the bomb, and North Korea, a rogue state amassing an entire arsenal of nukes.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer asks Grossi about the world's nuclear threats and what the IAEA is doing about them. Grossi views himself as a mediator — if leaders are willing to listen to him.

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Podcast: Nobody wins in nuclear Armageddon: Rafael Grossi's plan to keep us safe in time of war


Listen: What keeps the world’s top nuclear watchdog up at night? It's not only Vladimir Putin threatening to use a tactical nuke in Ukraine. On the GZERO World podcast, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, joins Ian Bremmer to discuss the most imminent nuclear threats. He discusses his recent trip to an embattled Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the path forward for Iran after a scuttled deal, and how to keep North Korea in check, a rogue state amassing an entire arsenal of nukes.


Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform, to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Japanese plaintiffs hold placards reading "A step towards Marriage Equality" outside the court after hearing the ruling on same-sex marriage in Tokyo.

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

What We're Watching: US-Japan send mixed LGBTQ signals, China + Russia rattle South Korea, Congress hits diversity milestone, baguettes get UNESCO nod

US & Japan make same-sex marriage waves

As the US steps forward (a bit) in protecting LGBTQ rights, Japan digs in its heels on the same issue — with a silver lining. On Tuesday night, a filibuster-proof majority of American senators passed a bill to enshrine the right to same-sex marriage in federal law. It repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed US states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, although states will not be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Just hours later, a Tokyo court upheld Japan's ban on gay marriages by ruling against four couples who sued for discrimination. But there's a caveat: the same court admitted that the ban is a violation of human rights. What do these two developments mean on opposite sides of the world? In the US, passing the bill — which still needs a House vote, likely next week — was a rare show of bipartisanship in a culture-war issue like same-sex marriage, which many fear is the Supreme Court's next target after ending the federal right to an abortion. In Japan, the ruling might put pressure on Japanese lawmakers to finally give in and legalize same-sex marriages in the only G-7 country where it's still verboten. That would be a big shift for conservative Asia, where same-sex marriages are only legal in progressive Taiwan.

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Ethiopian government representative Redwan Hussien and Tigray delegate Getachew Reda attend signing of the AU-led negotiations to resolve the conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Ethiopian peace deal, Russia’s grain U-turn, Kim Jong Un’s wrath, China’s production woes

Peace at last in Ethiopia?

The government of Ethiopia and rebels from the Tigray region agreed on Wednesday to “permanently” end their civil war. The conflict, which began in late 2020 as Tigrayan forces sought more autonomy from the central government, spiraled into a brutal war that displaced millions, drew in forces from neighboring Eritrea, brought parts of the country to the brink of famine, and led to possible war crimes on both sides. The precise terms of the peace agreement, reached during African Union-brokered peace talks in South Africa, aren’t yet clear, but former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who oversaw the negotiations, said the sides had pledged to put down their weapons, restore “law and order” and open full access to humanitarian aid. One big wildcard? Eritrea, which was not involved in the talks but has its own security interests and territorial claims along its border with Tigray.

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Firefighters at the site of a Russian missile attack in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

State Emergency Service of Ukraine via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: G7 stands up to Putin, Israel and Lebanon reach maritime deal, South Korea touts missile shield

The war grinds on

Following another day of sound and fury as Russia fired more missiles into Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, G7 leaders announced “undeterred and steadfast” military and financial support for Ukraine’s defense and warned Vladimir Putin’s government that any Russian use of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be met with “severe consequences.” Ukrainian air defenses shot down some of Russia’s missiles on Tuesday, but Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told G7 leaders that more and better systems were an urgent priority. On Wednesday, Putin is expected to meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a security conference in Kazakhstan, and the Kremlin spokesman told reporters the two leaders might discuss the possibility of peace talks. So, in a week of dramatic images from Ukraine, what has really changed? Ukraine has proven it still has partisans inside Crimea that can inflict real damage on important Russian infrastructure. Putin has demonstrated that he’s willing to satisfy the demands of Russian nationalists to punish Ukrainian civilians, though he says the next steps will continue to be incremental. Russia’s dwindling stockpile of precision-guided missiles, which Western export controls will make hard to replace, dwindled further. And despite pleas for peace from foreign governments, neither Russia nor Ukraine has signaled any credible basis for compromise.

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OPEC+ Cutting Oil Production | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Elon Musk buying Twitter would be good news for Putin

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In 60 Seconds.

Why is OPEC+ cutting oil production? Why is the US unhappy about it?

Well, unhappy about it because it's 2 million barrels a day off the markets, and that means higher oil prices. Why is OPEC+ cutting production? Higher oil prices. They used to say they liked 80, but now that it's been 90, 100 to 120 for a while. They like 90, 100, 120. So, they're pushing it up. I don't think it has anything to do with politics. I don't think it has anything to do with the midterm elections in the US. I think it has a lot to do with the Saudis and the Emirates and the Russians. Yes, part of OPEC+, they've got similar interests on this and they're still talking as a consequence, going to make life a little bit more difficult for the average consumer at the pump. That's what we're talking about. Big question is, do the Iranians still move ahead with an Iranian deal? I would say no, but by the way, they're the one country that you'd expect that would've recognized the annexation of the Ukrainian regions and the North Koreans did. The Iranians did not. Let's watch what happens over the next few days. It's an interesting one.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kyiv.

REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

What We're Watching: Ukraine won't negotiate, AMLO busted spying, North Korean missile diplomacy

Ukraine on offense

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree on Tuesday asserting that all the lands that Russia’s Vladimir Putin claimed to annex last week — and Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014 — remain part of Ukraine. Zelensky and his generals appear to believe that Ukraine is winning the war with Russia, and they have battlefield advances to back up their case. The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based military think tank, has reported that Ukraine has made “substantial gains” on both the eastern and southern fronts over the past few days and that the units they’re defeating are “some of Russia’s most elite forces.” No wonder Zelensky and many others would swat away suggestions from billionaire eccentric Elon Musk that Ukraine might trade land for peace. Russia has acknowledged recent losses, and blame continues to land on the country’s military brass. It’s not clear how far Ukraine can extend its current gains, but the recapture of Crimea, in particular, will be even more difficult than the more immediate tasks ahead for Ukrainian forces. But for now, Ukraine has pushed the Russian military, and the Kremlin, onto its heels.

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