U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday cited the successes of his administration and the more than 60 nations backing his year-old Proliferation Security Initiative in stemming WMD trafficking, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, June 1).
“We are determined to keep the world’s most dangerous weapons out of the world’s most dangerous hands,” Bush said in a videotaped message to a conference in Krakow, Poland, marking the anniversary of the initiative created to enable the interdiction of ships carrying WMD-related cargo.
Various types of international cooperation under Bush’s program, including intelligence sharing, made possible the interception of a freighter carrying uranium centrifuge components bound for Libya late last year, he said.
Bush added that international cooperation under the effort was crucial in discovering and dismantling the nuclear smuggling network led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told representatives of 62 PSI member states to closely examine shipments to and from North Korea, Iran and Syria, which he described as “serious proliferation threats.”
Bolton added that cooperation among PSI partners could evolve to the point where “we will have shut down the ability of persons, companies or other entities to engage in this deadly trade ... and we will have made it increasingly difficult and costly for rogue nations and terrorists to engage in their deadly work.”
Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, in another video message, said the threats of proliferation go beyond rogue nations.
“The dangers will become even greater if weapons of mass destruction fell into the hands of terrorists,” Kwasniewski said (George Jahn, Associated Press/The News Tribune, June 1).