North Korea carried out another nuclear test this week, reaping widespread condemnation. Iran continues to build up its stockpile of enriched uranium, despite fierce objections from the international community. Meanwhile, the pace of disarmament in the US and Russia is slowing. Is the idea of a world without nuclear weapons completely utopian?
The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's latest nucler test. Even Pyongyang's most important backer China expressed its firm opposition. But North Korea remains apparently unfazed. Fears are growing of a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia .
Iran says its nuclear program is purely peaceful and rejects Western allegations that it is developing the capability to build an atomic bomb. However, Tehran refuses to allow inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, access to all the sites and information that they require.
How much danger do North Korea and Iran really present? And do nuclear-armed countries like the US and France even have the moral right to attempt to stop other countries from acquiring nuclear weapons? How serious are the US's own disarmament plans? Will we ever achieve a world free of nuclear weapons?
Tell us what you think: Nuclear Power Poker - Straight to Nowhere
Günter Knabe – studied political science before beginning extensive field trips across Asia in 1962. In 1979, he joined Deutsche Welle, first as a reporter, later moving up to head of department for Afghanistan, then the whole of Asia. He last worked as the broadcaster's diplomatic correspondent for Asia and the Islamic world in Berlin.
Michael Levitin – A California native, Michael Levitin began his work as a journalist in Bolivia where he was an editor of the Bolivian Times. After completing Columbia Journalism School in 2002, he founded a literary magazine in Prague, wrote for the AP wire service in Puerto Rico and freelanced from Barcelona. Now based in the German capital, he is a cultural, political and travel correspondent for magazines and newspapers including Newsweek and Los Angeles Times.
Shayan Arkian – studied Political Philosophy and Shiite Theology at the Institute for Islamic Sciences IHIW in Hamburg and the Qum International University in Iran. He is the head of the German Institute For Iranian Political and Economic Research and editor-in-chief of Irananders - a website covering Iranian issues.