Posts Tagged ‘NPT’

Lessons from the North Korea crisis: Nuclear weapons cause war even when not used

By Gunnar Westberg
Board member of TFF

August 20, 2017

The author has been twice to North Korea and maintains contacts with physicians in the North Korean branch of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in that country.

”If your country continues to develop nuclear weapons, you will be attacked, maybe with nuclear weapons”. This what we have told our colleagues from North Korea, at visits to Pyongyang or at international meetings. “Oh no,” they said. “Look at Saddam Hussein and Mohamad Ghadafi. They gave up their plans for nuclear weapons, and they were attacked”.

“Nuclear weapons development is not the only reason for the USA to attack. Oil is the other”, we said.

It turns out we were right. North Korea – DPRK – continued on the path to nuclear weapons and the President of the USA threatens to attack. The crisis is, for the moment fading, but is likely to increase when DPRK makes its next move. It should be emphasized that a misunderstanding on either side may provide the spark causing a devastating war.

Nuclear weapons cause wars. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 374: Close calls: We were closer to nuclear destruction than we knew (1)

By Gunnar Westberg

The proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used – accidentally or by decision – defies credibility”.

This unanimous statement was published by the Canberra Commission in 1996. Among the commission members were internationally known former ministers of defense and of foreign affairs and generals.

The nuclear-weapon states do not intend to abolish their nuclear weapons. They promised to do so when they signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1970.

Furthermore, the International Court in The Hague concluded in its advisory opinion more than 20 years ago that these states were obliged to negotiate and bring to a conclusion such negotiations on complete nuclear disarmament.

The nuclear-weapon states disregard this obligation. On the contrary, they invest enormous sums in the modernization of these weapons of global destruction.
It is difficult today to raise a strong opinion in the nuclear-weapon states for nuclear disarmament. One reason is that the public sees the risk of a nuclear war between these states as so unlikely that it can be disregarded.

It is then important to remind ourselves that we were for decades, during the Cold War, threatened by extinction by nuclear war. We were not aware at that time how close we were.

In this article I will summarize some of the best-known critical situations. Recently published evidence shows that the danger was considerably greater than we knew at the time.

The risk today of a nuclear omnicide – killing all or almost all humans – is probably smaller than during the Cold War, but the risk is even today real and it may be rising. That is the reason I wish us to remind ourselves again: as long as nuclear weapons exist we are in danger of extermination.

Nuclear weapons must be abolished before they abolish us.

Stanislav Petrov: The man who saved the world

1983 was probably the most dangerous year for mankind ever in history. We were twice close to a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the USA. But we did not know that.

The situation between the USA and the Soviet Union was very dangerous. In his notorious speech in March 1983, President Reagan spoke of the “Axis of Evil” states in a way that seriously upset the Soviet leaders. The speech ended the period of mutual cooperation, which had prevailed since the Cuba Missile Crisis.

In the Soviet Union many political and military leaders were convinced that the USA would launch a nuclear attack. Read the rest of this entry »

Marshallöarna utmanar kärnvapenstaterna

Av Gunnar Westberg

Marshallöarnas utrikesminister Tony de Brum berättade vid den pågående förberedelsekommitténs möte (Prep Com) i FNs-högkvarter i New York, den 28 april till 9 maj 2014 om avtalet mot kärnvapen, NPT, i New York, om sina upplevelser av kärnvapenprov:

Jag har varit vittne till kärnvapenexplosioner och mina minnen från Lipiep-atollen i norra Marshallöarna är starka. Jag bodde där som pojke under de 12 åren som kärnvapenproven pågick. Jag minns det bländande vita ljuset från Bravo-sprängningen på Bikini-atollen år 1954, tusen gånger starkare än den över Hiroshima.

Marshallöarna utsattes för 67 kärnvapenprov mellan 1946 och 1958, motsvarande 1,6 Hiroshima-sprängningar varje dag I tolv år. Följderna finns kvar hos oss som en börda som ingen nation, ingen befolkning, skulle behöva bära.

Marshallöarna förvaltades vid tiden för kärnvapensprängningarna av USA under FN-mandat. Nu är landet självständigt med namnet Republiken Marshallöarna, som omfattar ett stort antal öar med en befolkning av totalt endast 60 000 personer. Landet ar ett avtal med USA som bl a innebär att USA står för försvar och vissa sociala tjänster.

Marshallöarna tar nu strid för att inget land i världen skall utsättas för kärnvapen, inte testsprängningar men framför allt inte kärnvapenkrig. Read the rest of this entry »


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