SPEECH BY FORMER PRESIDENT FW DE KLERK TO THE NUCLEAR EXITS CONFERENCE #Helsinki

There are many people in the world today who are under the mistaken impression that the threat of nuclear war by the large nuclear powers is over – it is not. All of the nuclear powers, with the exception of South Africa, still hold on to their nuclear stockpiles and their nuclear armed vessels still patrol the oceans of the world with the power to destroy all life on Earth many times over. Please read this speech by former President F.W. de Klerk. You will find it extremely disturbing and, at the same time, interesting.

SPEECH BY FORMER PRESIDENT FW DE KLERK
TO THE NUCLEAR EXITS CONFERENCE
HELSINKI
18 OCTOBER 2013

THE IMPORTANCE OF REJECTING THE GOLLUM’S RING OF NUCLEAR POWER

It is a great honour for me to address this important conference on countries that haveforegone the nuclear option.I hope that South Africa’s experience with regard to nuclear disarmament may be of some relevance to your discussions here.

It is important for us to continue to focus the world’s attention on the threat of nuclear weapons. We must also ask the question why some countries have decided to forego the nuclear option; why some countries still wish to acquire nuclear weapons; and why existing nuclear weapons states are so reluctant to get rid of their nuclear weapons.

It would be a mistake to think that the end of the cold war also ended the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

  • At this very moment, gliding noiselessly beneath the surface of distant oceans there are nuclear submarines armed with destructive power that would make the cataclysm of Hiroshima seem relatively insignificant. A single Trident submarine reportedly has the capacity to launch up to 192 independently targeted warheads in the 450 kiloton range at as many cities within a range of 6 000 kms. Each warhead has a destructive power twenty-five times as great as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The United States has 14 Ohio class submarines armed with trident missiles. The Russians, British, French and Chinese similar – but fewer, such nuclear-armed vessels.
  • At this very moment some nuclear threshold states continue with their efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. These countries – and others that have already acquired declared or undeclared nuclear weapons – have introduced new levels of volatility into global nuclear equations.
  • The even more disturbing reality is that at this very moment there are terrorist movements that are doing everything in their power to obtain nuclear weapons – and would not hesitate to use them if they had the opportunity.

The question is why some countries decide to acquire these weapons in the first place – and having acquired them, are so reluctant to get rid of them.

Read full text of speech HERE.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: