WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama reiterated his call Tuesday for the United States to play a leading role in the fight against nuclear proliferation.
It is critical to "reduce and ultimately eliminate" the risk posed by nuclear weapons at a time when organizations like al Qaeda are seeking fissile material and countries like Iran are trying to acquire a nuclear capability, Obama said.
The president pledged to take "verifiable steps" on the issue, which he said had a long tradition of "bipartisan support" at key junctures in U.S. history.
Obama made his remarks at the end of an Oval Office meeting on U.S. non-proliferation policy with former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia.
Schultz, who served under President Reagan, told Obama that the issue is "really non-partisan."
Obama urged nations to get rid of nuclear weapons at a speech in Prague at the beginning of April. He called such arms "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War" and said the U.S. is committed to reducing nuclear stocks within the next four years.
Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have announced that their countries will begin negotiations aimed at reducing their respective nuclear arsenals.
"One of the things I have always believed strongly is that both the United States and Russia and other nuclear powers will be in a much stronger position to strengthen what has become a somewhat fragile thread-bare nonproliferation treaty if we are leading by example and if we can take serious steps to reduce the nuclear arsenal," Obama said during an April 1 news conference.
Obama is slated to travel to Moscow in July.
Someone needs to tell the him that it's pronounced "Nookular." Sheesh, can't he get anything right? Have a nice day!
Coddling terrorists. Playing footsie with Ahmadinejad. Hugging Castro & Chavez. Spending us into oblivion.
Obama now wants to reduce our defenses?
He is a greater danger to America's safety than Osama Bin Laden!!
A reduction in the U.S. and the Russian arsenal is where it needs to begin. If both countries began to decrease it's arsenal, they'll have a stronger case to make to those countries seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.
New!!! When did America ever live in this Century? They are still trying to correct their own past. So they think by Electing a Black-man. America can move on. No! Sorry America. You just went back a hundred years. Better luck in your next idiocy...
Yes, I agree. Let's reduce "newkilla" threat once and for all.
Just how many times must we be able to blow up the world. We have enough weapons on just our side to wipe out a galaxy and the Russians do also. Nuclear weapopns would certainly work against non-state actors. Who do you want to wipe out-Iraq?, Iran?, Pakistan? Afganistan? Remember that the fall out has to go somewhere and winds blow west to east so who is to the eastof Pakistan, and Afganistan? That right, Hawaii and then the US. Aren't three-headed frogs enough? We poisoned the water so I guess it is time to re-dirty the air (and this time permanently).
@Obama Victim May 19th, 2009 4:59 pm ET
Riiiiggghhhtt...... we should continue the policies that got us where we are..... because THIS TIME they're going to work!
I'm waiting to hear what you, the obvious "smart guy" would do.... Nothing? Ramp up the military with items we don't need and make us less prepared to fight the wars of THIS century?
You are as dumb as most of your Republican brethren.
Le'ts see if OBUMMER does anything against IRAN. If he can talk them out of NUKES, I'll be very happy; however, I have my doubts, and I expect OBUMMER (The Con Artist) to be all talk and no action.
@ Obama Victim:
Coddling terrorists. Playing footsie with Ahmadinejad. Hugging Castro & Chavez. Spending us into oblivion
Where do you GET these ideas??/ The President is acting in his capacity as a DIPLOMAT! (I know you must have forgotten what one looks like, as we haven't had one in...oh, 8 years!)
I'm proud of our leader who doesn't think that every negative situation MUST end in WAR!!!
Have a nice day!
Is this what the Biggest Celebrity in the World was discussing with James Bond? The sheep eat up anything this guy does.
I suppose the King Obama wants the US to do away with our nukes saying it will make us safer. Dumb and only the far left wingnuts believe him.
Someone tell this idiot in the White House that the US reducing its nuclear arsenal does not reduce the nuclear threat.
Unbelievable the ignorance of this guy!!!
No, no, no, no, no! Don't eliminate our nuclear missile arsenal. If you think that by laying down our arms our enemies will do the same you are an absolute fool. Our strong military is what keeps our enemies at bay. The only way to ensure peace is by being ready to go to war.
I think that the nuclear threat should not be underestimates, and it's good to see Obama taking the lead on this issue. I also think he should take leadership in addressing other global issues like severe poverty. The Borgen Project has good info on the estimated cost of ending global poverty:
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.
Morons, he's talking about reducing, not eliminating our nukes. Do we really need the capability to destroy all life on earth 10 times over? We can put the money saved towards weapons we are much more likely to use in 21st century wars. Yeah, an ICBM is really effective against a militant insurgency. Have a nice day!
God, you people are IDIOTS.
The biggest nuclear threats are Pakistan and Iran. We should buy Pakistan's arsenal (secretly) and we should help isreal bomb Irans arsenal (secretly) and that will eliminate half of the nuclear threat!
Yes, and Obama will achieve this monumental feat by asking Iran "pretty pretty please, with a cherry on top."
My fellow liberals,
When you debate someone who is conservative, try not be funny or witty. Don't crack any jokes at any time, because you will lose them. Simply dismantle their argument and show them the error and why you feel the way you feel.
Sarcasm and witt confuse conservatives. That's why they think liberals hate America
How many times do we have to be able to destroy the world?Phoenix86, Mississippi Mike an the rest of you moronic Republican trash should take a long walk off a short pier and increase the IQ of our nation.
to stop Iran and N. Korea as they continue to develop their nuclear weapons programs....
Iran and N. Korea now know that Obama is weak and given to speeches rather than action-so why should they fear him? It's obvious they ignore him--
To Bobby in Md.
"Diplomacy is the art of saying ...nice doggy...while looking for a rock."
Can you tell me exactly WHERE it has worked?
Ask Neville Chamberlain.
is being ignored by N. Korea and Iran-–why?--because they know he's a woos and will take no steps to stop them-we're in deep doo-doo.
And for Kelby in Houston...
"If not a liberal in your twenties, you have no heart. If still a liberal in your forties you lost your mind."
Witty enough for you?
We started this nuclear nonsense. We must take the lead in eliminating the threat. Not even Obama can snap his fingers and make it go away. It will take a sustained effort for many more years to achieve anything close to a true end to nuclear proliferation.