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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:53 03/09/2007
News Review #158: September 4, 2003

Annan Urges U.S. to Ratify Nuke Treaty

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

"Annan Urges U.S. to Ratify Nuke Treaty"
(Danica Kirka, Associated Press) The Kansas City Star


This is a fine piece of report, while explaining the status of a global endeavor in demolishing nuclear armaments, it also indicates the irony of the present situation without excessive sarcasm.

The article in essence reports Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the UN, has urged the US to reconsider its position against ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Nuclear weapon is inhumane in nature. Although it may be said that any weapon is inhumane, just as there are different levels of cruelty in types of punishments, there are levels of atrocity in weapons, and nuclear is arguably the worst. Along with other cruel weapons, namely biological and chemical, nuclear bombs are currently dubbed as devices of mass destruction, which some claim was named in such an ambiguous manner with the intention to obscure the evil nature of these weapons.

The appeal by Mr Annan to the US came in a way at a right moment, when after North Korea had had admitted its development of nuclear weapons, a six-party meeting by Japan, US, ROK, China, Russia, and North Korea was held in Beijing to discuss it, though the outcome of which was murky at best.

While development of nuclear bombs by North Korea should be stopped, though preferably through peaceful means, some people point to a credibility issue of those preaching at North Korea the immorality to develop nuclear bombs, especially the US,.

There are many people here and out there who cannot see why, while the US (and China for that matter) who already own nuclear weapons have the right to put pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear development, when North Korea is claiming that it is doing so to preserve the right and power to defend its own land, which happens to be precisely the same logic used by the US (and China) in justifying their reluctance to ratify CTBT.

North Korea must also be aware of precedents. When India, then Pakistan, developed and tested their own nuclear bombs back in 1970's and again in late 1990's, the world indeed denounced them each time, but in only a few months, or in certain respects a couple of years at most, they were re-admitted to the world as if nothing had happened.

It was President Clinton who pushed hard to draw up CTBT. But when the regime was taken over by Mr Bush, abrupt changes took place, especially in foreign policy including the attitude toward CTBT. Many in various parts of the world who cooperated with the former president of the US in formulating the treaty were acutely disappointed to see the US, as a nation, to alter its course so drastically overnight.

Indeed, some critics point to this instability of policies that has at times discredited US as a trustworthy ally, much less a leader, in the international society.

The article carries an additional virtue of introducing Japan's, and Japanese people's, strong sentiment expressed through the words of the Foreign Minister Kawaguchi in a straightforward manner, without the cynicism many Western reporters have acquired as a habit when writing about Japan. Ms Kawaguchi's statement was simple. "Since Japan is the only country in the world to have suffered the tragedy of atomic bombing, we Japanese people have a particularly strong desire for a ban on nuclear testing."

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications