Vice President Gore toured Chornobyl, Ukraine, July 23, the
site of the world’s worst nuclear power disaster. He emphasized how nuclear proliferation
threatens not only the people of the nations involved in the spread of nuclear weapons,
but of all nations.
The Vice President pointed, in particular, to the recent round of
nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan. He urged both nations to sign the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, and for the United States Congress to
Excerpts from Vice President Gore’s remarks at the Chornobyl Museum follow.
“The world recently learned that a series of nuclear tests were conducted by India.
Pakistan responded with tests of its own. The United States joined most countries of
the world including Ukraine -- in condemning the tests. The Indian and Pakistani tests
jeopardize international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. And the
back-to-back tests might well provoke another round of military competition between
India and Pakistan perhaps eventually triggering another war, this one with nuclear
“If the nuclear test conducted by Pakistan on May 28 had not been a test
underground, but an attack overhead on India, every country in the region would
have come within the circle of the suffering. We are all connected.
“If the nuclear test conducted by India on May 11, had not been a test
underground, but an attack overhead on Pakistan the prevailing winds that
sweep over the subcontinent would have pulled that radioactive plume back
into India. The forces of nature prove what our wisest teachers have long
known about the force of spirit: we reap what we sow.”
The Vice President urged nations not to threaten one another with nuclear
war, but instead to safeguard their future.
“We appeal to the wisdom of the Indian and Pakistani peoples and their leaders to
do what they rightly urged us to do during our dangerous, nuclear arms race with the
Soviet Union: come to the table. Sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Accept
meaningful constraints on the deployment of ballistic missiles. Help work toward a
treaty to cut off production of fissile material, and adopt |