NO MORE NUKES?
June 4, 1998
Representatives from the five declared nuclear powers met in Geneva to discuss the recent testing in India and Pakistan. They urged India and Pakistan to sign a treaty banning further nuclear tests. After this background report, Margaret Warner leads a discussion.
A RealAudio version of this segment is available.
June 4, 1998
Margaret Warner leads a discussion on the nuclear situation in South Asia.
Information on nuclear tests from the Embassy of India
JIM LEHRER: Expanding the nuclear club and to Margaret Warner.
MARGARET WARNER: The foreign ministers of the world's five original nuclear powers met in Geneva today to try to stop a new nuclear arms race from developing in South Asia. Yesterday, before leaving Washington, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke about what the United States hoped the Geneva meeting would achieve.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, Secretary of State: We must do all we can as outside powers to prevent the currently very bad situation from growing worse. Our message to India and Pakistan must be that there should be no further nuclear testing, no deployment, or testing of missiles, no more inflammatory rhetoric, and no more provocative military activity.
MARGARET WARNER: For decades, there were just five countries who admitted to having nuclear weapons-the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France. But last month India and Pakistan abruptly joined the club by exploding several underground nuclear tests each. Most experts believe that Israel also has a nuclear capability, though it hasn't declared it publicly.
Four other countries-Iran, Iraq, Libya, and North Korea-are believed to be close to, or possibly to have already achieved, nuclear weapons status. In recent years, however, 10 other countries have agreed to give up their nuclear weapons or programs to develop them. The existing nuclear powers have worked hard to keep the nuclear club from expanding. They spearheaded two major international treaties aimed at freezing the world's nuclear weapons capability in place.
The 1970 nuclear nonproliferation treaty bars countries from acquiring nuclear weapons or helping others to do so. One hundred and eighty-five countries have signed it-but not India or Pakistan. The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty commits countries not to test nuclear weapons. One hundred and forty-nine nations have signed it-but not India or Pakistan.
In Geneva today, the foreign ministers of the five nuclear powers said they would not recognize India and Pakistan as nuclear states. They urged the two countries to take a series of measures to stop any arms race from developing.