The Guardian September 4, 2002


US conducts "sub-critical" nuclear test

The United States is scheduled to conduct its third "subcritical" 
nuclear test this year on Thursday US time (Friday Australian time). The US 
uses "subcritical" testing as a way round the nuclear test ban moratorium, 
and is considering conducting full-scale nuclear tests. At the same time it 
threatens Iraq with war over the development of weapons of mass destruction 
(WMD).

The US has by far the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

Under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the US is obliged to get rid of 
its nuclear arsenal, yet this test is designed to maintain and fine tune 
that arsenal.

According to Australian peace and anti-nuclear groups: "It is 
breathtakingly inconsistent for the US to ignore its own obligations to 
eliminate its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, while 
attacking Iraq for doing the same."

"Weapons of mass destruction need to be eliminated. If the US has any 
interest whatsoever in discharging its own treaty obligations, it should 
start by eliminating these subcritical nuclear tests  tests whose aim is 
to maintain and optimise a nuclear arsenal", the peace groups said in a 
joint statement.

"The US is even considering doing more explosive tests to develop 'bunker 
busting' mini-nukes whose target is Iraq."

"The Australian Government must send a clear message to the Bush 
administration that it needs to make real progress toward eliminating its 
own massive nuclear arsenal whose use would end much of human and other 
life planet-wide, before it attacks Iraq over its pathetic arsenal."

FOE-Australia, Australian Peace Committee (SA), CICD,
Anti-Bases Campaign, Ozpeace, PND.

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