Task in Seoul

27 March 2012 08:37 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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It's utopian to think of a disarmed world. But there is no dearth of people and states that have campaigned for it, especially since the Hiroshima-Nagasaki disaster, wherein the atomic weapon was used for the first time.
Talks of reducing nuclear stockpiles and disarming the nations have been more on paper than being a reality on ground. The standing equation is something like this: Russia, the United States, France, Britain and China retaining hundreds of warheads in the name of détente, and developing countries like India, Pakistan, Israel and their like in an insane eye-ball confrontation. To further compound the security paradigm are states on the verge of going nuclear and that too with a clandestine objective of their own. Iran and North Korea stand out in this rank and file of nations.
So when US President Barack Obama talks of a world without nuclear weapons in Seoul, on the eve of a security summit, someone somewhere has to draw a line to make the beginning. The point is that Washington and Moscow who had been at the vanguard of a movement to do away with nuclear weapons for more than two decades now haven't been able to make a mark. The half-hearted treaties in the form of START-I and START-II are a case in point. What has, in fact, boiled down is that efforts for disarmament have become hostage to real-politicks and an alliance of convenience has come into being. If not so, then what is the logic behind retaining even a single arsenal, which could destroy the world many times over?
The leaders in Seoul have to walk an extra mile and come out with a roadmap for engaging not only Pyongyang and Tehran, but also ensuring that the objective of non-proliferation and disarmament is attained. The post 9/11 order has made it more of a mandatory task, as non-state actors are on the loose to grab dirty bombs and fissile material to serve their ulterior objectives. Let Seoul's declaration be more practical and less of an academic discourse.
Khaleej Times
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