Santa Barbara, CA – Tomorrow, August 19, 2015, the United States plans to launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to a target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
The test comes just two weeks after the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – just two weeks after the world honored the 200,000-plus victims who died as a result of those bombs.
It also comes in the midst of the Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuits. David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and a consultant to the Marshall Islands in the cases, stated, “ While the U.S. continues to develop and test launch its nuclear-capable missiles, the Marshall Islands is seeking a judgment against the U.S. and the other nuclear-armed nations for failure to fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations under international law.”
Regularly testing its nuclear warhead delivery vehicles – in this case, the Minuteman III ICBM – is an example of U.S. failure to comply with its obligation under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms rate at an early date.” This planned test on August 19 continues the provocative behavior by the U.S. that led the RMI to file its lawsuits in the first place.
The lawsuit was dismissed on February 3, 2015 by the U.S. Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. The RMI filed its Appeal Brief on July 13, 2015 and now awaits a response from the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information on the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, visit nuclearzero.org.
Marshall Islanders suffered catastrophic and irreparable damages to their people and homeland when the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests on their territory between 1946 and 1958. These tests had the equivalent power of exploding 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years. The devastating impact of these nuclear detonations to the health and well-being of the Marshall Islanders and to their land continues to this day.
Krieger also stated, “How can it be fine for the U.S. to test-fire these missiles time and again, while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests? It is a clear example of U.S. double standards. Such double standards encourage nuclear proliferation and nuclear arms races and make the world a more dangerous place.”
With each missile test, the U.S. sends a clear and expensive message that it continues to be reliant on nuclear weapons. Each test costs tens of millions of dollars and contributes to the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years.
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If you would like to interview David Krieger, please call the Foundation at (805) 965-3443.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation — The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. Founded in 1982, the Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.