14 February 2004
President Reiterates Need to Curb the Proliferation of WMD
Radio address to the nation February 14
In his weekly address to the nation February 14, President Bush said the greatest threat to humanity is the "possibility of secret and sudden attack with weapons of mass destruction" and he discussed several domestic and international initiatives to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
In an effort to stop terrorist networks, President Bush called for increasing cooperation between international law enforcement agencies and strengthening international laws and controls that fight proliferation.
As part of these measures, the President urged the United Nations to pass a U.S.-proposed Security Council resolution requiring all states to "criminalize proliferation, enact strict export controls and secure all sensitive materials within their borders."
Bush also discussed providing broader powers for the International Atomic Energy Agency, called on the world's leading nuclear exporters to close a loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and praised the Proliferation Security Initiative, which is designed to interdict lethal materials transported by land, sea or air.
Bush also focused on the prevention of "black-market operatives" from selling their equipment and expertise to terrorists and praised the work of U.S. and British agents who uncovered the nuclear black market network run by A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program.
Domestically, President Bush said the United States is "developing and deploying" missile defenses against ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction, working on "improving and adapting intelligence capabilities for new and emerging threats," and using "every means of diplomacy to confront the regimes that develop deadly weapons."
"Terrorists and terrorist states are in a race for weapons of mass murder, a race they must lose. We will never lose focus or resolve," said President Bush.
Following is the transcript of President Bush's radio address:
THE WHITE HOUSE
RADIO ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE NATION
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. On September the 11th, 2001, America and the world saw the great harm that terrorists could inflict upon our country, armed with box cutters, mace and 19 airline tickets.
Those attacks also raised the prospect of even worse dangers, of terrorists armed with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. The possibility of secret and sudden attack with weapons of mass destruction is the greatest threat before humanity today.
America is confronting this danger with open eyes and unbending purpose. America faces the possibility of catastrophic attack from ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction, so we are developing and deploying missile defenses to guard our people. The best intelligence is necessary to win the war on terror and to stop proliferation. So we are improving and adapting our intelligence capabilities for new and emerging threats. We are using every means of diplomacy to confront the regimes that develop deadly weapons. We are cooperating with more than a dozen nations under the Proliferation Security Initiative, to interdict lethal materials transported by land, sea or air. And we have shown our willingness to use force when force is required. No one can now doubt the determination of America to oppose and to end these threats to our security.
We are aggressively pursuing another dangerous source of proliferation: black-market operatives who sell equipment and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction. The world recently learned of the network led by A.Q. Khan, the former head of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Khan and his associates sold nuclear technology and know-how to rogue regimes around the world, such as Iran and North Korea. Thanks to the tireless work of intelligence officers from the United States and the United Kingdom and other nations, the Khan network is being dismantled.
This week, I proposed a series of new, ambitious steps to build on our recent success against proliferation. We must expand the international cooperation of law enforcement organizations to act against proliferation networks, to shut down their labs, to seize their materials, to freeze their assets and to bring their members to justice.
We must strengthen laws and international controls that fight proliferation. Last fall at the United Nations I proposed a new Security Council resolution requiring all states to criminalize proliferation, enact strict export controls and secure all sensitive materials within their borders. I urge the Council to pass these measures quickly.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, one of the most important tools for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, is undermined by a loophole that allows countries to seek nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear power programs. I propose that the world's leading nuclear exporters close that loophole. The Nuclear Suppliers Group should refuse to sell enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technologies to any state that does not already possess full scale, functioning enrichment and reprocessing plants.
For international rules and laws to be effective, they must be enforced. We must ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency is fully capable of exposing and reporting banned nuclear activity. Every nation should sign what is called the Additional Protocol, which would allow the IAEA to make broader inspections of nuclear sites. We should also establish a special IAEA committee to focus on safeguards and verification. And no nation under investigation for proliferation violations should be able to serve on this committee or on the governing board of the IAEA. Governments breaking the rules should not be trusted with enforcing the rules.
Terrorists and terrorist states are in a race for weapons of mass murder, a race they must lose. They are resourceful -- we must be more resourceful. They are determined -- we must be more determined. We will never lose focus or resolve. We will be unrelenting in the defense of free nations, and rise to the hard demands of our dangerous time.
Thank you for listening.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)