News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Kwajalein Missile Tests Endanger Arms Control


20 January 2000


International arms control treaties are under threat, as the United States tests anti-ballistic missiles at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

On 18 January, the US military tested its National Missile Defence system in the central Pacific. A missile fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California released a mock nuclear warhead over the Pacific Ocean. Another missile launched from Kwajalein Atoll attempted - and failed - to shoot the warhead from the sky. A similar test was conducted in October 1999, when a missile fired from Kwajalein hit its target. The tests are part of a US effort to develop a new Star Wars system. A third test will be held in April, before the US government makes a decision in June 2000 on whether to deploy the weapons system.

"The creation of a US National Missile Defence system will breach international arms control treaties, such as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty," states Nic Maclellan of the Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) in Suva, Fiji. "Last November, the United Nations General Assembly voted to protect the ABM Treaty, describing it as 'the cornerstone for maintaining international peace and security'. These missile tests, following the US Senate's refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, are a slap in the face to international disarmament efforts."

"The anti-ballistic missile tests at Kwajalein Atoll are costing hundreds of millions of dollars. At the same time, the Marshall Islands government is calling on the United States to pay extra compensation for the Marshall islanders who were irradiated by US nuclear tests at Bikini and Enewetak atolls in the 1940s and 1950s," Maclellan added.

"France, Britain and the United States used the vast space of the Pacific for nuclear weapons tests between 1946 and 1996. Now the Kwajalein missile tests are drawing the Pacific region into a new arms race. President Clinton will decide in June whether to deploy this new anti-ballistic missile system to protect against missile attacks. But the solution to international insecurity is the abolition of nuclear weapons, not the development of new weapons of mass destruction. The Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement calls for an end to missile tests taking place at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands."

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Three Reasons for Film Fans to Get Netflix

The past two months have finally seen Netflix come into its own, providing the financing for three films that will warm the hearts of cinephiles everywhere - Orson Welles' The Other Side of The Wind, The Coen Brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Rift by Rachael Craw

Rachael Craw's first series, Spark has been extremely well received by the YA community in both Australia and New Zealand (it has a hashtag, #SparkArmy), and The Rift looks like it’s going to be just as popular. More>>

Porn And Teens Report: 'Wake-Up Call' On Sexuality Education

Family Planning: The Office of Film and Literature Classification’s survey of more than 2000 young people about pornography highlights that sexuality education provides an opportunity for a vital counter-narrative to porn that could reach most young New Zealanders... More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland