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When on 14 of last month, the United States tested a Minuteman-III ICBM at
Vandenberg Airforce Base, apart from a hardy team of perennial
demonstrators and the worthy souls at the Nuclear Age Peace
Foundation, nobody raised an eyebrow. Even our press-release had not
a single bite.(appended.)

But a DPRK launch of what is supposedly a satellite is, it seems, a
potentially 'world-ending' event that should be regarded by the rest
of the world as 'provocative', and dangerous in the extreme.

Bluntly, the worlds reaction to the proposed DPRK space launch is ridiculous
and counterproductive.

The DPRK has around 10-12 dodgy and dubious nuclear warheads that may or
may not work at all, and that may or may not be able to be fitted
onto missiles. (though Pakistan uses DPRK origin missiles to launch
its nuclear warheads.)

The DPRK missile may or may not fly for more than ten seconds or so. The
DPRK's last two or three launch attempts have been complete failures.

Indeed, one wonders why the DPRK has decided to try to launch anything at
all, so hopeless is its actual record of putting anything at all let
alone anything as heavy as a nuclear warhead, into space.

If they truly wanted to thumb their noses at the world whilst being as
irresponsible as possible, at least risk of appearing ridiculous even
to regime 'insiders', they might have been better to do another
nuclear test, as at least the likely failure of that test can be more
effectively concealed!  

As it is, the regime now runs the risk of being made to look foolish
once more in front of the world. One wonders how often it can do this
without internal consequences.

However, it is the hypocrisy and double-standards of the rest of us over these
launches that is absolutely breathtaking.

The US and Russia maintain nuclear capabilities that can literally end
civilisation and 95% of complex land – based life forms in less
than an hour. Both the US and Russia have come within a minute or
less of doing so by pure computer or human error.  

The Minuteman-III tested on 14 November was not a space launch vehicle.
It was unambiguously a nuclear-tipped ICBM. It had no other possible
function.  It is part of the over 1000 nuclear warheads that the US
keeps on high alert. And of course it worked perfectly as did all the
previous launches from Vandenberg, and as also did Russian TopolM and
SS-18 and 19 launches.

Yet only a tiny band of protestors opposed it. Apart from a bland
'routine' announcement it went unnoticed.

The DPRK's rocket is supposedly a space launch vehicle. It is most likely
to blow up seconds after takeoff as the previous ones have done.

Yet we have the US State department and Australian Foreign Minister Bob
Carr, and otherwise intelligent man, hyperventilating over it,
thereby ensuring positively that the DPRK persists in its folly.

The Russian and US nuclear arsenals really can end the world.

The DPRK launch is best ignored completely.

John Hallam
People for Nuclear Disarmament NSW
499 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW Australia 2010
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On Wednesday 14November, US Pacific time, the United States will carry out
at Vandenberg Airforce Base, what is described as a 'routine' test of a
Minuteman-III nuclear missile.

A number of local antinuclear groups including the Santa-Barbara-Based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will protest the test.

According to John Hallam of People for Nuclear Disarmament in Sydney Australia, who coordinated a
lobbying effort that has resulted in a series of UN resolutions on accidental nuclear war,

“The hypocrisy involved in these repeated, thrice- yearly, nuclear
weapons tests when measured against the mayhem unleashed by a failed
DPRK satellite launch, is utterly mind-boggling.

If it were the  DPRK doing this launch, the matter would have been taken already to the
security council for condemnation. No matter that it might be described
as – and really truly be – a satellite launch. No matter that it will
most likely fly for a half second before disintegrating.  

We  know the Minuteman-III, just like Russia's TopolM and SS18 and 19, work
perfectly well and have only one purpose. The silo-based Minuteman-III
missile that is being tested is a potentially destabilizing weapon,
whose vulnerability and consequent requirement for prompt launch during a
crisis make an accidental apocalypse all too likely. It should be
scrapped, not tested.

President Obama should be opening his renewed  presidential term with further efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons,
not with the testing of a nuclear weapons system that has only one use –
as a nuclear weapons system, and that serves to make an accidental end
to civilization and much else all too likely.  

President Obama's instincts during his first term were quite correct: Nuclear weapons
present, as high level inquiry after high level inquiry has pointed out,
an existential threat to all humans. Getting rid of them is not merely a
'nice' idea, but is a survival priority that trumps all other possible  priorities.

It is time that the United States provided the leadership the world has a right to expect on this urgent human survival issue.

John Hallam
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Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 22:26