EDITORIAL: Seoul Security Summit exposes nuclear bias
As the nuclear powers met in South Korea Monday for a two-day security summit, North Korea announced it planned to launch a long range rocket next month for peaceful satellite purposes.
The statement from the official Korean Central News Agency might have overshadowed the summit. President Barak Obama immediately claimed that it was a cover for nuclear missile development and a provocation which risked deepening its isolation if the launch proceeds.
An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday that Obama’s claims that the launch is a provocation stems from “his wrong conception”.
On the other side, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains defiant, saying recently that Iran’s nuclear work will go on soon after United Nations (UN) inspectors had left Tehran following talks that failed to lift their suspicions of atomic weapons research.
At a meeting with nuclear scientists, the forceful restatement of Iran’s long-held position came after a delegation from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency left empty-handed following two days of talks focusing on suspected military aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme.
The delegation’s leader, UN chief nuclear inspector Herman Nackaerts, said on arrival in Vienna that, although it had “approached this trip in a constructive spirit,” no agreement with the Iranians on elucidating worrisome activities was forthcoming.
While addressing the second summit, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a strong pitch for membership of four exclusive nuclear clubs.
“India has never been a source of proliferation of sensitive technologies and we are determined to further strengthen our export control systems to keep them on par with the highest international standards,” The Indian Express quoted Singh as saying.
The report also stated that the prime minister also released the National Progress Report on steps taken by India to secure its nuclear installations saying that comprehensive reviews of safety measures had been undertaken at their facilities.
Singh said India was determined that its expanded nuclear power programme would follow the highest standards of nuclear safety and security. The untold truth is that it is a counter to the Pakistan threat.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani emphasized “national responsibility” for strengthening nuclear security as he renewed demand for access to civilian nuclear energy and made a strong pitch for Pakistan’s membership of, in particular, the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Gilani made a strident call for Pakistan to be given access to nuclear technology for peaceful uses on a non-discriminatory basis and to maintain balance with India and to promote regional stability.
As expected, the United States said it would wait for a request from Pakistan on its needs for nuclear energy before deciding if it can accept its demand.
Not so with Iran and North Korea!