US Targets 'Legacy of Cold War' Obama's Focus on Nuclear Weapons

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Churcher

PRESIDENT of the United States Barack Obama yesterday launched an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War".

He said the US has a moral responsibility to lead as the only nation ever to have used one.

In a speech driven with new urgency by North Korea's rocket launch just hours earlier, Mr Obama said the US would "immediately and aggressively" seek ratification of a comprehensive ban on testing nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown later said he believed a "new global bargain" over nuclear weapons was possible.

The British leader said: "We can make huge advances quickly in the reduction of nuclear weapons as a means also of encouraging those countries that are considering proliferating nuclear weapons and making the world less safe that they should desist from doing so. North Korea is one, Iran is another." Mr Obama said the US would host a summit within the next year on reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons, and called for a global effort to secure nuclear material. Addressing a crowd of more than 20,000 in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, he said "if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable". …