Obama calls for global effort to end nukes

April 5, 2009 at 8:29 AM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, April 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama, in the Czech Republic Sunday, said an international treaty could end the production of materials used to create nuclear weapons.

Speaking to a crowd of at least 20,000 in Prague's Castle Square, Obama called for an international effort to move the world closer to nuclear disarmament, saying North Korea's rocket launch Sunday brought an urgency to his agenda.

"North Korea must know that the path to security and respect will never come through threats and illegal weapons," Obama said. "And all nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime."

Obama called for an international "nuclear fuel bank," stocked in part by scrapped nuclear warheads that could be accessed by nations seeking to develop and sustain peaceful nuclear-energy programs. With such a bank, countries would not have to develop their own nuclear-enrichment programs, he said.

Of U.S. plans to deploy elements of an anti-missile system in the Czech Republic, Obama vowed to pursue the missile shield as long as Iran continued to develop a nuclear program.

"In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up," Obama said.

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