For immediate release: 20 June 2006

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today condemned hints by the US Department of Defence that the US may use its missile defence system to shoot down a predicted North Korean missile test, and urged renewed diplomatic initiatives. According to US satellite photos, North Korea has been preparing a test of a long-range missile capable of hitting the US, and has gone as far as fuelling the rocket for the upcoming launch. But the US itself test-fired a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile last Wednesday, 14 June, which travelled nearly 4800 miles from Vandenberg Air Force Base to the Kwajelin Missile Range in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “It would be a serious, provocative mistake for the US to heighten tensions with North Korea by attempting to use its missile defence system to shoot down a North Korean missile test. Such an act will likely increase the efforts of other countries to develop weapons capable of getting past the system and will contribute to an escalating arms race. This is the latest example of US double standards on weapons development. If the US really wants to stop other countries from developing dangerous weapons, it must first stop testing and developing such weapons itself. Renewed talks and diplomatic initiatives should be undertaken instead.”

Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.