• US, Britain, France reject nuke ban treaty

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    UNITED NATIONS, United States: The United States, Britain and France on Friday (Saturday in Manila) rejected a newly adopted global treaty banning nuclear weapons, saying it “clearly disregards the realities” of international security such as the threat from North Korea.

    In a joint statement, the three nuclear powers recalled that they had boycotted negotiations on the treaty and have no intention of joining it.

    The treaty outlawing nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations on Friday despite the boycott by the nuclear powers and their allies.

    “This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment,” said the statement from the three ambassadors.

    The Western powers said the treaty fails to address the security concerns of the nuclear states who maintain that their atomic stockpiles serve as a deterrent against a nuclear attack.

    The treaty will create “even more divisions at a time when the world needs to remain united in the face of growing threats, including those from the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s) ongoing proliferation efforts,” they said.

    “This treaty offers no solution to the grave threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program, nor does it address other security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary,” they added.

    None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons—the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel—took part in the negotiations or the vote.

    The United States, France and Britain said they remain committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which seeks to prevent the spread of atomic weapons but also puts the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.

    The treaty providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons will be open for signatures as of September 20 and will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.

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