During his trip to Prague in April 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his four-year plan to secure the world's loose nuclear materials from ending up in the hands of terrorists.
A year later, Washington hosted 50 heads of state and leaders of international organizations at the First Nuclear Security Summit, an inaugural event to be followed up biennially until 2014.
With the global stockpile of fissile materials estimated to be enough to make 100-thousand nuclear bombs, the threat of potential nuclear terrorism, especially in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, emerged as an urgent issue in the international arena.
[Interview : Graham Allison, Director
Belfer Center for Science & Intl. Affairs] "I think the good news about the Nuclear Security Summit is that leaders are focusing on a real threat and trying to cope with it before this catastrophe, rather than waiting for the day after."
In the Washington communique, leaders agreed to effectively protect their nuclear materials and facilities and to convert weapons-grade highly enriched uranium into low enriched uranium for power generation.
Some 30 countries went further to pledge a reduction of their nuclear materials, including HEU.
And ahead of next week's Second NSS in Seoul, countries were encouraged to submit a report on their progress to Korea, the host country.
[Interview : Hahn Choong-hee, Spokesperson
2012 Seoul NSS Prepatory Secretariat
] "The reports would tell us whether the political momentum of the Nuclear Security Summit has been useful and effective in bringing out a significant progress over the past two years."
The Netherlands is expected to host the final summit in 2014, and experts say that countries will need to strengthen the nuclear security regime and set up stronger facilities to achieve the summit's main goals.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.