IAEA chief ElBaradei welcomes Russian-US nuclear commitments

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is "greatly encouraged" by Russian-US commitments to reduce nuclear arsenals and strengthen nonproliferation, a statement said Thursday. US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, committed their nations Wednesday to achieving a nuclear-free world and ordered negotiators to work on a treaty to reduce nuclear weapons. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei believes the two presidents' commitment to pursue the verifiable reduction of their strategic offensive arsenals demonstrates leadership and "moves us beyond the Cold War mentality," according to the statement. The Vienna-based nuclear watchdog said ElBaradei shares the leaders' views on the urgent need for verifiable de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula.