Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Nuclear negotiator Trump

Letter submitted to The Times newspaper:

Your  first leader (“Rogue State”, The Times, 5 September; www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/rogue-state-9jphc8h7j) is right to point out the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  declared North Korea in the 1990s to be in violation of its Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty (NPT) obligations.

The United States (and UK, Russia, China and France) are all very much more in violation of the obligation under NPT article 6 each country has to “negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith at an early date.” This commitment was entered into in 1968, so the ‘early date’ is surely well passed.

On 30 November 1950, five months after the Korean War broke out, US President Harry S. Truman presided over a chilling press conference in the Indian Treaty Room in the Executive Office Building at the White House, in which he  nakedly threatened to use nuclear weapons against the advancing Chinese troops in North Korea.

Truman told the press corps “We will take whatever steps are necessary to meet the military situation, just as we always have.” Asked to clarify whether that would  “include the atomic bomb?” he responded bluntly “That includes every weapon that we have. ..There has always been active consideration of its use.”

A White House statement later that day added "Consideration of the use of any weapon is always implicit in the very possession of that weapon.” (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=13673)

This caused a furor in Washington, and in many capital cities worldwide.

On 15 November 1984, the then 37 year old  property dealer Donald Trump  gave an interview  to the Washington  Post, (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1984/11/15/donald-trump-holding-all-the-cards-the-tower-the-team-the-money-the-future/8be79254-7793-4812-a153-f2b88e81fa54/?utm_term=.8163f7b18298)  in which, out of the blue - amidst talking about being a successful business man, the deal-maker Trump told his interviewer he  wanted to talk about the threat of nuclear war, and  how the United States should negotiate over nuclear weapons. He proposed himself as the negotiator.

He said hitherto he had never acted on his nuclear concerns. "Some people have an ability to negotiate. It's an art you're basically born with. You either have it or you don't."

In a subsequent  published interview three years later with the now defunct magazine, Manhattan Inc (Trump’s Nuclear Experience: In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem; www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_spectator/2016/03/trump_s_nuclear_experience_advice_for_reagan_in_1987.html)

Mr Trump surprisingly revealed he had read Deadly Gambits, the sagacious history of the START nuclear reduction talks penned by nuclear negotiator, Strobe Talbott, a former Time magazine senior reporter, now President of the prestigious Brookings Institution think tank in Washington DC.


Now as US President Trump, he has the ideal opportunity to demonstrate his  skills over the growing Korean nuclear crisis

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