News / USA

Obama Warns About Potential of Nuclear Terrorism

Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama has opened the 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington with a warning about the potential of nuclear terrorism.  The president says al-Qaida and other terrorist groups are trying to acquire nuclear material, and must be stopped.  

President Obama says the summit is an unprecedented gathering to address an unprecedented threat.

"Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a cruel irony of history: The risk of a nuclear confrontation between nations has gone down, but the risk of nuclear attack has gone up," Mr. Obama said.

In his address to the first full day of the summit, Mr. Obama said terror networks such as al-Qaida are actively seeking material for nuclear weapons.  He said if they get it, they will use it.  

"Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world, causing extraordinary loss of life and striking a major blow to global peace and stability," Mr. Obama said.

The conference follows two days of meetings between Mr. Obama and other heads of state on efforts to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.

Mr. Obama met Monday with Chinese President Hu Jintao, who agreed to work with the United States on sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities.  China has been reluctant to place more U.N. sanctions on Tehran.

Also Monday, a spokesman for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich announced Ukraine will get rid of its highly enriched uranium by 2012.

President Obama said he hopes for further progress.

"Last night, in closed session, I believe we made further progress pursuing a shared understanding of the grave threat to our people," Mr. Obama said.  "And today, we have the opportunity to take the next steps."

Mr. Obama was  to meet one-on-one with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.   

The president announced South Korea will host another summit of this kind two years from now.  South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak invited this year's participants to return.

"I will do [my] best to make this summit a success.  So I hope to see all of you in Korea," Mr. Lee said.

This year's meeting is expected to end with a joint declaration to guide work in preventing terror groups and criminal gangs from getting access to nuclear material.  Mr. Obama says that is a first step toward his long-term goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

Related report by Carolyn Presutti

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid