US urges India, Israel, Pakistan, NKorea on nukes
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) â€” A top US arms control negotiator at the United Nations has urged presumed atomic powers India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
"Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea ... remains a fundamental objective of the United States," said Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller.
She later praised "India's willingness to proceed with a fissile material cutoff treaty, in cooperation with the United States, and willingness also to pursue the comprehensive test ban treaty, as well as other lesser but important measures, such as improving its export controls."
"India is coming closer to the non-proliferation regime and that too is an important goal of US policy," Gottemoeller added.
The envoy was at the United Nations for a preparatory session for an NPT conference scheduled for May 2010 in New York.
The last such conference, which gathers NPT signatory states and seeks to rescue the treaty from charges it has become obsolete, ended in disarray in May 2005 with no agreement from the participating countries.
The conferences have been held every five years since the NPT was ratified in 1970. There are currently 189 signatory countries to the treaty.
Israel, which has never publicly acknowledged having a nuclear program, is not a member. Pakistan and India likewise have failed to sign the treaty, while North Korea had been a member, but pulled out in 2003.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope Monday that the week-long preparatory session would produce agreements on key procedural matters and issue concrete recommendations for the conference next year.