South Africa’s government is keeping a tight grip on roughly a quarter ton of nuclear explosives created by the apartheid regime there.
President Obama twice directly asked the South African President to relinquish weapons-grade uranium, but he did not agree.
U.S. officials say South Africa has no clear rationale for holding its nuclear explosive materials, because it no longer needs them to make medical isotopes.
U.S. officials and experts say South Africa’s nuclear explosives are among the most vulnerable in the world to theft by terrorists.
South Africa is annoyed that Washington is so fixated on eliminating its nuclear stockpile, given its tiny share of such materials held by all nations. This claim of discrimination is similar to that made by another emerging nuclear power: Iran.