News / USA

    Biden Argues for Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Stresses No Unilateral Disarmament

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that the Obama administration remains committed to the nuclear test ban treaty and efforts to stop the spread of atomic weapons.  But, Biden stressed that the United States will not disarm unilaterally.

    Ten months ago, President Barack Obama called for international action to create a world without nuclear weapons.

    Since then, he has come under criticism from political opponents, who call his non-proliferation stand weak and naive.

    Vice President Biden says they are missing the point and that the goals of disarmament and deterrence are intertwined.

    "The spread of nuclear weapons is the greatest threat facing the country and, I would argue, facing humanity," said Vice President Biden. "And that is why we are working both to stop their proliferation and eventually eliminate them.  But until that day comes, we have to do everything in our power to maintain our arsenal."

    Biden says the United States must be prepared to spend more to maintain its nuclear stockpile.  He notes that President Obama's proposed 2011 budget includes higher funding for scientists and laboratories that deal with nuclear readiness.

    "We announced a new budget that reverses the last decade of dangerous decline," said Mr. Biden. "It devotes $7 billion to maintaining our nuclear stockpile and modernizing our nuclear infrastructure."

    The vice president's remarks came in a speech at the National Defense University here in Washington.  Biden told a gathering of arms control experts, members of Congress and military personnel that threats remain and that the United States must be ready to meet them.

    He specifically mentioned Iran's and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

    "We have tightened sanctions on North Korea's proliferation activities through the most restricted U.N. Security Council resolution to date," he said. "And the international community is enforcing those sanctions as we speak.  And now, we are working with our international partners to ensure that Iran also faces real consequences for failing to meet its obligations."

    The speech was another sign that Biden - a champion of arms non-proliferation during his decades in the U.S. Senate - is becoming the Obama administration's chief spokesman for its nuclear policy.

    The vice president is leading a White House campaign to win Senate approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.  Biden says the accord is as important as ever, noting that issues that arose during the negotiation phase have been dealt with.

    "We are confident that all reasonable concerns raised about the treaty back then - concerns about verification and the reliability of our own arsenal - have now been addressed," said Joe Biden.

    Biden spoke at a time when arms control efforts are accelerating.  Negotiations with Russia on a new strategic arms reduction treaty are in their final phase and an international non-proliferation conference is scheduled to be held in Washington in May.  

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora