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`Softer US Nuke Policy Not to Apply to N. Korea`

Posted April. 07, 2010 05:22,   


The U.S. will reportedly make an explicit promise not to use nuclear weapons even if attacked by a non-nuclear country that observes the Non-Proliferation Treaty with biological or chemical weapons or cyber warfare.

To be released in the Nuclear Posture Review today, the pledge will not apply, however, to outliers that encourage nuclear proliferation by developing nuclear weapons or transferring nuclear technology to a third country like North Korea and Iran.

U.S. President Barack Obama told The New York Times in an interview at the White House that "the policy is part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions."

The daily said, "Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers such as Russia and China."

Obama said Washington will control military threats to the U.S. through a series of gradual options instead of reducing dependency on nuclear weapons.

“I think it’s safe to say that there was a time when North Korea was said to be simply a nuclear-capable state until it kicked out the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and become a self-professed nuclear state,” he said.

"And so rather than splitting hairs on this, I think that the international community has a strong sense of what it means to pursue civilian nuclear energy for peaceful purposes versus a weaponizing capability."

This year’s Nuclear Posture Review is the third comprehensive report written since the end of the Cold War, following ones released by the Clinton administration in 1994 and the Bush administration in 2002.

The report contains the number and kinds of nuclear carriers including warheads and missiles, the ban on proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology to other countries and terrorists, and the role and purpose of American nuclear weapons.

It is said to contain a phrase reaffirming security pledges such as extended U.S. deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and conventional military threat to South Korea.

Obama told South Korean President Lee Myung-bak over the phone Thursday that the new Nuclear Posture Review will not affect the provision of extended deterrence or security promises for U.S. allies.