Nuclear weapons and Kim Jong Il’s death

By Roger Bagley in Parliament in Britain:

Activists urge Hague to drop hypocrisy

Monday 19 December 2011

Peace campaigners urged the government to abandon its double standards over nuclear weapons in Britain and North Korea today.

Foreign Secretary William Hague declared that the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il could lead to a “turning point” in the quest for a nuclear weapons ban across the Korean peninsula.

Mr Hague said that Britain would encourage the country’s new leadership to “engage with the international community” and take part in resumption of six-party talks on de-nuclearisation of the peninsula.

Left MP Jeremy Corbyn said he would welcome the resumption of six-party talks and a nuclear-free Korea.

But he denounced the British government for its hugely expensive plans for Trident nuclear missile and submarine replacement.

“There is utmost hypocrisy in a nuclear-armed state proposing to spend over £70 billion on a new nuclear weapons system for which there is no justification on moral or financial grounds,” he said.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “I share the Foreign Secretary’s sentiments about de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

“I would urge him to pledge the same approach to the de-nuclearisation of Britain as part of progression toward a nuclear-free world.”

Mr Corbyn protested in the Commons that £5 billion would be spent on Trident replacement even before the final “main gate” decision on the project’s future is taken in 2016.

Defence Minister Peter Luff insisted that total secrecy must surround the Trident alternatives review, set up to please the Lib Dems.

The review would go to the Prime Minister and Deputy PM “towards the end of next year,” said Mr Luff.

He added: “There are therefore no plans to publish either the report or the information that it draws upon.”

Britain: Newly released documents show that Margaret Thatcher pressed ahead with Trident despite opposition from two-thirds of her cabinet: here.

3 thoughts on “Nuclear weapons and Kim Jong Il’s death

  1. Pingback: North Korea after Kim Jong-Il’s death | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Ministers hunt for new Trident nuclear base

    Monday 30 January 2012

    by John MIllington

    Government ministers are toying with the idea of moving Trident to National Trust sites or foreign country locations if Scotland goes independent, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has found.

    The Nowhere to Go report commissioned by CND claimed over the weekend that the MoD was looking at alternative sites for Trident such as the 2012 Olympic sailing venues at Weymouth and Portland, National Trust land and other densely populated areas.

    Scotland’s forthcoming independence vote has left British ministers in a muddle over what to do about the Trident nuclear subs currently based in Scotland.

    CND leader Kate Hudson said: “Trident is at a dead end, strategically and economically. Now we can add geographically to the list too, as MoD sources have confirmed CND’s analysis: there simply isn’t anywhere else for Trident to go.”

    The MoD drew up a list of possible locations 50 years ago for the then nuclear weapons programme Polaris.

    Ministers are believed to be reconsidering those sites for Trident, despite serious doubts over their suitability.

    One of the locations, Falmouth, sits on National Trust land. The nuclear warhead depot would neighbour two villages which would have to be abandoned, according to the report.

    In 1963 the MoD concluded that the costs of acquiring the site for Polaris were so high that the project wasn’t feasible.

    And CND argued that a Trident depot would be much larger and even less viable, and would cost jobs in the area.

    Scottish CND chairman Arthur West said: “Over the years nuclear weapons have been imposed on Scotland but now we have an opportunity to make a difference and to put an end to weapons of mass destruction in Britain.”


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