Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Nukes Could Spread If North Korea Not Stopped Says Rumsfeld

Japanese FM Backs National Debate Over Joining Nuclear Club
Tokyo, Japan (RIA Novosti) Oct 19 - A nationwide debate should be held in Japan on whether the country should possess nuclear weapons, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Wednesday. Japan, the only country to have been subjected to nuclear strikes, has strongly advocated non-proliferation and arms control since WWII, and is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

However, the recent nuclear test carried out by nearby North Korea has provoked a debate among Japan's leadership over the country's nuclear status. Taro Aso said Tokyo will not necessarily give up its long-standing principles: not to possess, produce or buy atomic weapons, but should nevertheless put the issue up for discussion, as Japan remains the only world power never to have considered owning nuclear weapons.

On Saturday the UN Security Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea following its test nuclear explosion. Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov earlier said that including the five official and four non-official nuclear club members, a total of 25 countries could potentially develop nuclear weapons.

Aso's statements echoed Shoichiro Nakagawa, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who said Sunday that Japan's constitution does not completely exclude a nuclear option. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said later on Sunday that Japan would stick to its self-imposed nuclear-free principles.

Japan is a party to the six-nation talks involving also North Korea, South Korea, Russia, China and the United States aimed at persuading Pyongyang to give up its controversial nuclear program. The talks were launched in 2003, when the North withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but stalled last November over Pyongyang's demands that the U.S. lift sanctions imposed on it for its alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities. Photo courtesy of AFP.

Source: RIA Novosti
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 18, 2006
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned that more countries are likely to go nuclear unless the international community acts cohesively to stop them, as the US confirms that China has sent an envoy to Pyongyang. "There is at least a reasonable likelihood that some other countries will decide that they need to have nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld said in a speech to a military audience at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

"And ... in a relatively short period you could have two, four, six other countries decide that," he said.

The effect would be "exactly the opposite of what the international community wants to have happen," Rumsfeld said. "A lower nuclear threshold, more countries with nuclear weapons, a greater likelihood that one of the countries or more might transfer those weapons to a non-state entity."

Rumsfeld's comments came 10 days after North Korea detonated its first nuclear explosion and amid fears that a second test may be in the offing.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was traveling in east Asia to try to shore up support for enforcement of UN sanctions against North Korea following Pyongyang's first nuclear bomb test October 8.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey confirmed that a senior Chinese official was visiting North Korea amid fear Pyongyang may conduct another nuclear test.

Questioned during a news briefing about the reported presence of Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan in North Korea, Casey said: "I do understand that he is, as you say, either in the process of going, or perhaps there already. I'd certainly leave it up to the Chinese government to report back on his meetings."

The senior Chinese diplomat, who held talks with Bush in Washington last week, is believed to be in the communist state, Jiji Press and Kyodo News reported, quoting unnamed sources in Beijing.

"My understanding is that his trip would be part of Chinese efforts to convince the North Koreans to comply with (UN) Resolution 1718, as well as the other relevant Security Council measures that are out there," Casey added.

US and Chinese officials have both warned North Korea against exploding another atom bomb. US media, citing unnamed US officials, has reported suspicious movement at a test site.

A US official who spoke privately added: "The Chinese have told us he was going. ... I am pretty sure that he is scheduled to have meetings in the North on Thursday."

Earlier, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said: "We have no information on that currently."

China is North Korea's top political ally and trading partner and is believed to have the most leverage over the reclusive communist state.

UN Resolution 1718, unanimously approved Saturday by the Security Council, calls on North Korea to return to negotiations about its nuclear program and imposes sanctions on the impoverished state.

Although China supported the resolution, which slapped tough sanctions on North Korea, it has shown mixed feelings about a key measure for countries to search North Korean cargo ships.

earlier related report
Fight to prevent nuclear arms race just starting: German FM
Berlin (AFP) Oct 18 - North Korea's atomic weapons test signals the start of a new battle to prevent nuclear proliferation, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday.

North Korea and Iran's nuclear programme -- which Tehran insists is purely for peaceful purposes -- are the two biggest threats to world peace, Steinmeier said in an interview with Stern magazine.

"Both of these provocations could awaken the desire in neighbouring countries to acquire nuclear weapons. We must prevent that, so for that reason we are not at the end of the conflict, but at the start," he said.

Steinmeier ruled out using military force to disarm North Korea.

"I don't know anyone who favours that option," he said.

Steinmeier said he was optimistic that North Korea could be coaxed back to the six-party talks aimed at persuading it to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for economic and diplomatic incentives.

Iran, he said, would also eventually see the reason in entering talks "which promise the country a way out of its isolation".

North Korea's atomic bomb test this month prompted calls in Japan for it to drop its long-held opposition to developing its own nuclear weapons.

While newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ruled out acquiring atomic weapons, members of his ruling party have called for the option to be discussed.

Visiting Tokyo on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for the swift and effective implementation of UN sanctions against North Korea and reassured Washington's allies that it would defend them against attack.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Welcome To Planet Doctor Strangelove
Washington (UPI) Oct 18, 2006
Neither Stalin nor Mao nor Hitler came close to George Orwell's blueprint for a hierarchical world tyranny. The gold medalist in Orwell's "1984" Hades-on-earth sweepstakes, beyond Stalin's wildest excesses, is diminutive Kim Jong-il whose Mao suits, elevator shoes and Elvis-style bouffant hair only enhance his wicked gnome-like figure.

  • US Will Use Full Range Of Military Might In Defense Of Japan Against North Korea
  • Landmark Foreign Policy Opinion Poll Criticized
  • Russia Asks US To Clarify Its Missile Defense Plans In Europe
  • Russia Bending To China Over Expectations On North Korea

  • Welcome To Planet Doctor Strangelove
  • Nukes Could Spread If North Korea Not Stopped Says Rumsfeld
  • North Korea Tells World Not To Follow US, Labels Sanctions "Declaration Of War"
  • US Warns North Korea Against Second Nuclear Test

  • Breakthrough Could Lead To New Warhead Technologies
  • Command Destruct/Self Destruct Capability Tested In Surface-Launched AMRAAM
  • Raytheon Awarded US Army Contract For Wireless Precision Assault Missiles
  • Ukraine Seeks Missile Alliance With Israel

  • Aerojet Wins SLIRBM Engine Development Contract
  • Israel Probes Naval Missile Defense Failure
  • Raytheon Sensor Offers Air Force Early Missile Warning Alternative
  • Northrop Grumman Bids For Army Integrated Air And Missile Defense Battle Command System

  • China Marks 50th Anniversary Of Aerospace Industry
  • German-Chinese Aviation Opens New Horizons For Cooperation
  • GAO Report On Progress Of Implementing Aerospace Recommendations
  • US Air-Transportation System Must Become More Agile

  • Northrop Grumman Enters Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Competition
  • Video Imagery Delivered To Military Forces In Urban Combat
  • AAI Corp Receives Unmanned Systems Contracts
  • US Air Force To Study A Pilotless U-2

  • The Widening War In Iraq
  • Updated Iraq Survey Affirms Earlier Mortality Estimates
  • Assessing The New Iraqi Army In Late 2006
  • US Commander In Iraq Says No More Troops Needed Now

  • Engineers Shed Light On Crash Of Last Of Flying Aircraft Carriers
  • Northrop Grumman To Provide US Air Force With B-1 Radar Components
  • LM Demonstrates Penetrator Performance During Final RATTLRS Sled Tests
  • Boeing Completes Successful FAB-T Preliminary Design Review

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement