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Nuclear Free Independent Pacific

2013/02/19
By
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“A Nuclear Free Independent Pacific”

March 1st is Nuclear Free Independent Pacific (NFIP) Day and groups in the region will hold commemorative events, observing the anniversary of “Castle Bravo,” the first test of a thermo-nuclear hydrogen bomb near the Bikini Atolls in Micronesia in 1954.

Between 1945 and 1992 the U.S. conducted (by official count) 1054 nuclear tests, and two nuclear attacks, while  France conducted 189 nuclear tests. Fallout as a result of these tests have had tragic consequences on the Marshallese and Micronesians that the US continues to downplay, as well as  in French Polynesia.

As early as 1983, NFIP issued a Peoples’ Charter opposing the nuclear ambitions of industrialized countries.

With Obama’s “Pacific Pivot”, the U.S. is transferring 60% of its military resources to the Pacific with the cooperation of NATO. Since the 2011 announcement of the Pacific Pivot, we have seen base buildup on Jeju Island (South Korea), Okinawa, Australia, Guam, and Hawai’i, as well as the revival of old bases including Subic Bay (Philippines), Cam Ranh Bay (Vietnam), with discussion of a joint partnership with the Royal Thai Navy Air Field at U-Tapao (Thailand).

North Korea

On February 12, 2013, North Korea successfully conducted its third underground nuclear test. The U.S. Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific has issued a statement in response to the third DPRK nuclear test.

While this in itself deserves condemnation by the international community, all nuclear and chemical weapons, nuclear reactors, nuclear powered vessels, and nuclear wastes in the Pacific endangers the lives of the inhabitants and the environment and deserve critical condemnation.

Last month, when North Korea announced the nuclear test, the UN Security Council passed a resolution (SC/2087) fortifying sanctions against North Korea. Sanctions have never worked and have only harmed the North Korean people. The UN Security Council only met for two minutes to agree on this punitive resolution!

It is important to be reminded that only the United States has used nuclear weapons on a civilian population and has prepared and threatened to attack North Korea with nuclear weapons at least nine times. Additionally, in the past year, the United States has extended the range of South Korea’s ballistic-missile technology to target all of North Korea.

Demand a moratorium on the miiltarization of the Pacific, including provocative war games, and an end to all nuclear testing, including the resumption of nuclear energy in Japan.  Nuclear accidents are not a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when” as evidenced by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi reactor collapse, resulting in the ongoing radiation poisoning of our region.

Puhipau and Joan Landers produced a one-hour video recorded in 1983 during a ten-day gathering in Vanuatu, a newly independent island nation in the south Pacific that had recently declared itself a nuclear-free zone, when the People’s Charter was written. Video available via their Na Maka O Ka Aina website: http://www.hawaiianvoice.com/products-page/miscellaneous/a-nuclear-free-and-independent-pacific/