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Promises, Promises: Recent Developments in Nuclear Nonproliferation Talks

This week's In the News focuses on developments over the weekend in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty negotiations at the United Nations. On Monday, the five nuclear powers that signed the previous version of the treaty released a statement pledging themselves to an "unequivocal commitment to the ultimate goals of a complete elimination of nuclear weapons." The language was stronger than previous statements by the five concerning proliferation, but stopped short of offering any sort of timetable for such an elimination. Meanwhile, the United States delivered to Russia a draft of proposed changes to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty -- the one the US Senate failed to ratify last year -- that would allow for the deployment of a limited National Missile Defense System in the US. The system would be designed to protect against North Korean missiles but, according to the Defense Department, would not be capable of thwarting a Russian attack. Thus far, Russia has not made an official response, but these proposed changes to the ABM treaty are likely to complicate efforts to get the Russian Dumas to ratify the START II treaty -- already approved by the US Senate -- this summer. These complications, along with the fact that the nuclear powers of Israel, India, and Pakistan have not agreed to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, suggest that the goal of a worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons is not yet in sight.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Date of Scout Publication
May 2nd, 2000
Date Of Record Creation
April 3rd, 2003 at 12:35pm
Date Of Record Release
April 3rd, 2003 at 12:35pm
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