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Next biennial security summit destined for the Netherlands

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SEOUL, Korea - World leaders pledged to secure all vulnerable nuclear material by 2014 and to boost security to keep the ingredients for atomic weapons out of the hands of terrorists. U.S. President Barack Obama, his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from more than 40 nations set out the goals in a communiqué at the conclusion of a two-day nuclear security summit in Seoul. Countries will accelerate swapping out high-enriched uranium, the key ingredient in nuclear bombs, for low-enriched uranium at research facilities vulnerable to sabotage or attack, according to the non-binding document. The leaders promised to share more information on smuggling and atomic stockpiles. They first pledged to clean up loose material in 2010. The six-page communiqué, drafted over the course of a year by nuclear envoys from participating countries, focuses on steps that countries can take to secure nuclear material. Early drafts of the document showed that some nations wanted to recognize international legal agreements, like the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, as essential to the fight against terrorism. That language was scotched in the week before the summit convened. The third biennial top, to be held in 2014, will take place in the Netherlands. The Dutch delegation was satisfied with the emerging consensus on the need to raise security levels for atomic materials.