Obama Pitches Nuke Drawdown, Slams Korean Launch

Pledges 'concrete steps' from US; says new treaty in the works
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 5, 2009 10:31 AM CDT
A woman takes a portrait of herself with President Barack Obama as he greets the crowd at Hradcany Square in Prague, Sunday, April 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – President Obama laid out his vision for a worldwide nuclear drawdown before a vast audience in Prague today, the New York Times reports, taking the opportunity to lambaste North Korea's rocket test yesterday and urge the UN Security Council to punish Pyongyang. “This provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the Security Council but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons,” Obama said. “Violations must be punished." 

“The US will take concrete steps,” Obama said, shrinking its own stockpiles within the next 4 years. But if other nations don’t follow suit, the US will keep a secure nuclear cache “to deter our adversaries and reassure our allies." The US president advocated ensuring new weapons don’t get made, drawing up a new treaty with Russia by year’s end, and “strengthening” the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, CNN notes.