Any overt action by either country could easily reignite an already volatile and dangerous situation.
It is in this context that later this month, on May 21, the U.S. plans to launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 4,200 miles away. The test was originally scheduled for early April, at the height of the current U.S.-North Korea nuclear crisis. At that time, U.S. officials postponed the test, stating they did not want to provoke a response from North Korea.
So one must ask, has anything truly changed between North Korea and the U.S. since early April? Is a missile launch really any less provocative now than it was then? The answer is clearly that missile testing remains provocative. The posturing and exchanges that the world has been witnessing are capable of spiraling out of control and resulting in nuclear war today, just as they were a month ago.
David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “The testing of a Minuteman III nuclear missile at this time is a clear example of U.S. double standards. The government believes that it is fine for the U.S. to test-fire these missiles when we choose to do so, while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests. Clearly U.S. leaders would be highly critical if North Korea were to conduct a long-range missile test, now or at any time. We seem to have a blind spot in our thinking about our own tests. Such double standards encourage nuclear proliferation and make the world a more dangerous place.”
One must also consider that each missile test is a clear reminder of the United States’ continued reliance on nuclear weapons in spite of proclamations by the Obama administration of the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world. Nor should one overlook the tens of millions of dollars spent on each missile test at a time when the U.S. economic recovery is still weighing in the balance.
Clearly this upcoming long-range missile test is more than just a test. It is a provocative move in a nuclear war game. A game where there is no winner.
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For further comment, contact Rick Wayman, Director of Programs of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 965-3443. Outside of regular office hours, please contact Rick Wayman at (805) 696-5159.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation — The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. Founded in 1982, the Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit here.