News Release

As Senate Holds Hearing on Nuclear Arms Today, North Korea and Iran Are Casting Big Shadows

A Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today on the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons budget features testimony from Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

While the U.S. government has termed North Korea and Iran “outposts of tyranny” and made demands regarding their nuclear programs, the New York Times last week reported that U.S. scientists “have begun designing a new generation of nuclear arms.”

DAVID CULP
Lobbyist for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Culp has worked on nuclear weapons issues for 15 years. He said this morning: “The main focus of the hearing today is the administration’s support for funding of new nuclear weapons which was defeated last year in Congress.”
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MARYLIA KELLEY
Kelley is executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) located in Livermore, California, where nuclear arms developers at the Department of Energy’s Livermore Lab are redesigning weapons into high-yield, nuclear bunker-busters. She said today: “The fiscal year 2006 budget request for nuclear weapons activities is $6.6 billion … the Department of Energy’s Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator budget is slated to rise to $16 million for final development tasks in 2007, with additional monies again put into the Air Force budget for ‘drop tests’ in Nevada and/or Alaska. The DOE budget request also includes funds for new and modified weapons in a budget line titled ‘Reliable Replacement Warhead.’ Budget watchers believe that some of the new nuclear weapons funds that had been cut last year by Congress are now shifting over into this budget line. Furthermore, the DOE weapons labs are spending billions to re-design every nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal under the so-called Stockpile Stewardship’s ‘Life Extension Program.'”
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JAY TRUMAN
Director of the Downwinders organization, Truman said today: “As a resident of the American West growing up in Southwest Utah, and having as my first memory in life sitting on my father’s knee watching this government demonstrate its nuclear weapons prowess by exploding another atom bomb above ground at the Nevada Test Site, I fail to see any difference between the recent actions of North Korea and those of the United States. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ is not a policy this nation can ever hope will prevent or even delay nuclear proliferation. So who really is to blame, who is the perpetrator? But I also have seen some positive activities recently too, such as last week’s unanimous vote by the Utah State Legislature passing and sending to this government the strongest official state government resolution ever issued denouncing any resumption of U.S. nuclear testing, which this nation will have to eventually do if its push for the bunker-buster and new ‘more reliable’ nuclear weapons comes to pass.”
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JACQUELINE CABASSO
Executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, which focuses on nuclear policy, Cabasso said today: “It is difficult if not impossible for an outsider to assess North Korea’s nuclear capabilities or fully understand its motivations and intentions with respect to its nuclear weapons program. But it’s not difficult to see how North Korea might feel increasingly threatened by the United States. Pyongyang’s latest pronouncement comes after the U.S. has labeled North Korea part of the ‘axis of evil,’ identified North Korea as a potential nuclear target in its most recent Nuclear Posture Review, invaded and occupied Iraq, purportedly to eliminate ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ made repeated military threats against both Iran and North Korea, and blatantly disregarded its own disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Human Security, Development and Disarmament,” an address by Cabasso delivered during the Towards a World Without Violence Dialogue at the Barcelona Forum 2004, is available online.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167