US is the Main Hurdle in Curbing Nukes
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States is sending the wrong signal to signatories of the global pact against nuclear weapons by backing out of previous arms control pledges, arms experts and diplomats said on Wednesday.
The 188 parties to the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty are near the end of a monthlong conference that participants said would almost certainly fail to agree on any steps to improve the pact aimed at halting the spread of nuclear arms.
"The chances are very slim," said Abdul Minty, head of South Africa's delegation, "There is a big divide ... The U.S. is developing new nuclear weapons and we want to know against whom."
Minty complimented U.S. officials for eventually permitting agenda items they would have preferred to ignore. But he said America's refusal to reaffirm its "unequivocal commitment" to disarmament was problematic for many treaty signatories.
Washington has been exploring the idea of developing smaller atomic weapons -- "mini nukes" or "bunker busters.".......