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Nuclear Ship Visits Non-Issue

MEDIA RELEASE

Nuclear Ship Visits Non-Issue

Neither nuclear weapons nor nuclear propulsion are relevant issues where visits to New Zealand by United States warships are concerned, say Democrats for Social Credit Environment Spokesman, Richard Prosser.

Mr Prosser, also the party’s Defence Spokesman, says there is no reason why US Navy ships which are able to call here, should not be doing so on a regular basis, as the British and French navies do.

“Only about eighty of the 300 vessels in the US Navy are nuclear powered, and they are all either submarines or aircraft carriers,” said Mr Prosser. “The nuclear powered carriers, eleven of the thirteen in the US fleet, are too big to fit into our ports, and the ballistic missile subs don’t make port visits because doing so would reveal their movements,” he said. “And as for the rest, the two dozen of the attack submarines based in the Pacific, only one is based anywhere near our neighbourhood, at Guam, and the Americans won’t ask for permission for it to visit, because it will be nuclear-armed as well.”

Mr Prosser said that the nuclear weapons question was also irrelevant. “Neither-confirm-nor-deny is ancient history. There are no nuclear weapons on the US surface fleet. The United States publicly stated this in 1991,” he said.

“Every US ship that can visit here is both conventionally-powered and conventionally armed,” said Mr Prosser. “Maybe we should be asking ourselves whether the real reason for opposition to ship visits is anti-Americanism, rather than a concern for the environment,” he said.

ENDS

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