Letter: Too easy on the U.S.
Katy Burns’s recount of the anxiety of growing up with the bomb was spot on (“Malevolent aliens,” Sunday Monitor Viewpoints, April 7). But she was too easy on U.S. responsibility and too willing to accept Cold War thinking concerning nuclear deterrence.
We must not forget that it was the United States that first introduced nuclear weapons to the world (1945) and the only nation ever to use them in war. The United States has a special duty to lead the way out of the nuclear threat and not to exacerbate the dangers of nuclear war. North Korea is an isolated state with a paranoid leadership and armed since 2006 with nuclear weapons.
The fact that the United States secretly kept nukes in South Korea from 1958 to 1991 didn’t help the cause of non-proliferation. Nor did South Korea’s secret (and illegal) nuke program between 1982 and 2004. And the recent U.S.-South Korean military maneuvers, replete with nuclear capable B-2s, were hardly conducive to reduction of tensions. It’s no coincidence that North Korea dropped out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 about the time the United States labeled Iraq and North Korea “the axis of evil” and mounted its war of aggression against Iraq.
Nuclear deterrence presupposes rational players and absence of human and technical error. It can’t work for long. The use of nukes would be illegal as should be their possession. The United States is well suited to lead the world in a verifiable multilateral treaty to phase out nuclear weapons.
RAY PERKINS Jr.