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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 1. 6th March 1974

Arms Limit a Fraud!

Arms Limit a Fraud!

The decision of the Soviet Union to test missiles for its nuclear weapons in the South Pacific is condemned by the South Pacific Action Network (SPAN). "For too long the Pacific has been used as the nuclear playground of the major powers," Robert Reid, Secretary of SPAN said.

Since the USA began testing nuclear weapons on Bikini Atoll in 1946, Britain, France and the USSR have used the Pacific for testing different parts of their nuclear weaponry, liven now France tests its weapons on Mururoa, USA stockpiles weapons in Hawaii and Micronesia and the USSR tests its missiles in the Pacific.

"The testing by the USSR of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles one day before the SALT talks resumed shows what a farce these talks are and also all the treaties on nuclear weapons that the USA and the USSR have concocted," said Robert Reid.

In the ten years since the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, the USSR has conducted more than 100 nuclear tests which average almost as many as before the treaty was signed, and the USSR has tested scores of rockets and missiles by launching them into the Pacific. Likewise the USA has also spared no efforts in the arms race. In the last ten years it has spent $70,000—$80,000 million on developing new nuclear weapons and has conducted two to three hundred nuclear tests.

"The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) have not only been failures but have been frauds. They have been developed by the USA and the USSR not to promote nuclear disarmament but to keep nuclear weapons in the hands of a few so that they can use them as blackmail against the rest of the world."

SPAN believes in the complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons. As a step towards this and for the protection of the Pacific against superpower rivalries, SPAN has urged the NZ Government to move for the establishment of a Peace Zone in the Pacific.

"A Peace Zone would mean the end of all foreign military activity and the prohibition of all nuclear weapons in the Pacific," Mr Reid concluded.