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U.S. touts arms reductions

Nov. 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- More than 7,600 strategic nuclear warheads have been deactivated from the U.S. arsenal under national legislation, a U.S. senator said.

During September, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said the United States destroyed one intercontinental ballistic missile, four submarine launched ballasted missiles were eliminated and more than 120 tons of chemical nerve agents were destroyed.

Lugar in 1991 joined Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., in authoring a bipartisan act that established the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. So far, 7,601 strategic nuclear warheads have been deactivated under that program, his office said in a statement.

The U.N. Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, in a report published Thursday, called on the United Nations and other international entities to work more closely on tackling the threat from the potential use of chemical or biological weapons by terrorist groups.

The report adds that a regional approach to technical assistance programs should be taken to handle the potential for accidental or deliberate release of chemical or biological agents.

The report follows a declaration by U.S. President Barack Obama of the continuance of a national emergency regarding weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. State Department notes that the U.S. military has destroyed 89 percent of its original chemical weapons stockpile.

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