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US Says Some Countries Dragging Feet On Nuclear Threat

US Ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte.
by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Nov 8, 2006
Terrorists could exploit some countries' lack of "a sense of urgency" in controlling the nuclear weapons threat by unleashing a devastating attack, warned a senior US diplomat in Vienna on Wednesday. "Frankly, not all countries may have the same sense of urgency" to control the spread of nuclear weapons technology, said Gregory Schulte, US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the United Nations in Vienna.

Schulte however refused to name the countries which he thought were reacting too slowly.

Schulte spoke to reporters after a diplomatic seminar organised by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and aimed at putting into place UN Resolution 1540 from 2004 which addresses the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the terrorist threat.

Warning against a false sense of security he said "there is a tendency to think that terrorists equipped with weapons of mass destruction might only detonate them in one or two cities". The diplomat played a slide show simulating the potential destruction that a 10 kilotonne nuclear bomb would cause to Vienna's historic city centre, "vaporising" all people and buildings within a kilometer (0.6 miles). A single such attack would affect the entire world on an economic level, he added, noting the global ramifications of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Traffickers are going to look for weaknesses," he warned.

"We need to work with all the countries to help secure their technologies and borders," he added. Schulte also recognised that "implementing all the provisions of Resolution 1540 is a complicated process" sometimes requiring legal reforms and said the United States was prepared to assist with legal transitions.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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India Halts Pakistan Border Goose-Stepping Ahead Of Talks
Wagah (AFP) India, Nov 8, 2006
Indian troops guarding the country's only land transit point to Pakistan have halted an aggressive military ceremony ahead of a resumption of talks next week, officials said Wednesday. When troops from the nuclear-armed rivals shut the Wagah border post every sunset, they usually do so with an elaborate ceremony involving a furious goose-step and the slamming of gates.

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