(Source: Office of Sen. John McCain)
(Editor’s Note: This speech was given on the floor of the U.S. Senate June 3, 2009)
Mr. President, today we celebrate the unveiling in the Capitol of a statue of Ronald Reagan, one of our country’s great presidents and a personal hero to me throughout my political life. While there are many aspects of President Reagan’s legacy we might reflect on today, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss just one of them: his dream of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Speaking before the Japanese Diet on November 11, 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, “The only value in possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they can’t be used ever. I know I speak for people everywhere when I say our dream is to see the day when nuclear weapons will be banished from the face of the Earth.” That is my dream, too, and it is one shared by many of our most distinguished national security practitioners. In 2007, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, along with former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Senator Sam Nunn, authored an article titled “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons,” in which they laid out their vision of the globe free of the most dangerous weapons ever known.
North Korea fired two additional short-range missiles Monday in an apparent move to threaten U.S. spy planes monitoring a site where the regime is believed to have conducted its second nuclear test, a South Korean official said.
“The launches took place at around 5:03 p.m.,” the official said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. North Korea had earlier launched a surface-to-air missile around noon, hours after it said it detonated a nuclear device in an underground bunker.
- Scale of N. Korean Test Unclear – New York Times
- N. Korea conducts ‘successful’ nuclear test – Washington Post
- World leaders condemn North Korea, Urge Action – Reuters
- In Quotes: World Leaders React – BBC
- China “resolutely opposes” N. Korean test – Xinhua
“The Korean Central News Agency released the following report on Monday in connection with one more successful underground nuclear test in the DPRK.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians.
“The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control and the results of the test helped satisfactorily settle the scientific and technological problems arising in further increasing the power of nuclear weapons and steadily developing nuclear technology.
“The successful nuclear test is greatly inspiring the army and people of the DPRK all out in the 150-day campaign, intensifying the drive for effecting a new revolutionary surge to open the gate to a thriving nation.
“The test will contribute to defending the sovereignty of the country and the nation and socialism and ensuring peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and the region around it with the might of (the military first policy) Songun.”
“Today, North Korea said that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law. It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch.
These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations.
North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security.
By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community.
North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community. We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead.”
Panetta Visit Hopeful Sign Obama’s Administration Won’t Turn Blind Eye to Israel Further Destabilizing Middle East
America’s spy chief was sent on a secret mission to Israel to warn its leaders not to launch a surprise attack on Iran without notifying the US Administration.
As Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, prepares to visit Washington, it emerged yesterday that Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, went to Israel two weeks ago. He sought assurances from Mr Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister, that their hawkish new Government would not attack Iran without alerting Washington.
If Israel is going to continue to nurse at the teat of U.S. aid, it would be nice if a U.S. presidential administration would demand some accountability from them. The Iranian question won’t be solved by a half-baked scheme to destroy Iranian nuclear sites. I don’t believe the world can even imagine what the blowback would be from such a move and for how long it would damage any efforts at diplomacy in the entire Middle East.
As long as Israel continues to enforce an apartheid-like control over the Palestinian territories and trample the human rights of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians alike, we’ve got plenty of “optics” issues with her Arab neighbors.
Obama needs to be given half a chance to talk some sense into the idiots running Iran.
Could a storyline leaked to the New York Times’ front page on Monday signal an end to America’s codependence on an untrustworthy Pakistan?
Despite the erratic behavior of the Pervez Musharraf government for most of George W. Bush’s presidency, of the Big Worry — Pakistan’s nukes — we were always told, no problem. I can remember Pentagon and Bush Administration officials speaking cryptically of fail-safe mechanisms which would keep the weapons or nuclear material from ever falling into the wrong hands.