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tv   The Nuclear Requiem  PBS  April 6, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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cohen: to me, there is a unique puzzle about nuclear weapons. these are weapons that militarily are-- and the important word is "almost"-- unthinkable in terms of use. and yet in a world that allows them to exist morally and politically-- and we're living in that kind of world that morally and politically allow them to exist-- we haven't been wise enough to remove them from the face of the world. they still make a difference. [clock chimes] the threat of nuclear armageddon is still with us, and it's more complex today. the united states and russia are still nuclear rivals. india and pakistan are growing their arsenals
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and continue to be in conflict along their common border. the north korean situation is worsening. it's not getting better. so we've got problems all around. man, over radio: 3, 2, 1, now. robert oppenheimer: we knew the world would not be the same. man: we saw this cloud of boiling dust and debris below us with its tremendous mushroom on top. beneath that was hidden the ruins of the city of hiroshima. kermit beahan: when the clouds opened up over the target of nagasaki, i let the bomb go. different man: if the announcement made by president truman that the soviet union now has the atomic bomb is true, then the impasse that now exists
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regarding the international control of atomic energy must be brokered for the sake of mankind and for the peace of the world. newsreel narrator: just-released film show the recent a-bomb tests in which britain joined america and russia as the third world power to possess atomic weapons. man: this first blast is on a level with bombs exploded over hiroshima and nagasaki in world war ii. now france presses forward to force her way into the exclusive nuclear club. john f. kennedy: this government has maintained the closest surveillance of the soviet military build-up on the island of cuba. the purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the western hemisphere. man: at 1500 hours on october 16, 1964, the event which shocked the whole world
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finally takes place. man: the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons is now ready to be signed. duarte: after the nonproliferation treaty went into effect, india did a test in 1974. they never signed it, so they felt it was their right to do so. gorbachev: [speaking russian] reagan: for the first time in history, the language of arms control was replaced by arms reduction. in this case, the complete elimination of an entire class of u.s. and soviet nuclear missiles. burroughs: israel almost certainly is a nuclear power. pakistan demonstrates a capacity to detonate a weapon in 1998. we've obviously seen the north korea case.
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woman: [speaking korean] perry: the danger of a nuclear catastrophe today is very high, and i think it's of paramount importance for people to understand the danger. the bulletin of the atomic scientists for years has provided the world with an excellent measure of how close we are to nuclear catastrophe. make no mistake, this has been a difficult year. most troubling has been two concerns that are adding to an already challenging global landscape. the first... the first has been the cavalier and reckless language used across the globe, especially in the united states during the presidential election and after, around nuclear weapons and nuclear threats. the board takes the unprecedented step, the first time in its history, of moving the clock hand 30 seconds closer to midnight.
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today we move the clock a half minute closer to midnight. it is now two and a half minutes to midnight. [playing piano] kremski: [speaking french] narrator: accompanied by the music composed and performed by alain kremski, the nuclear requiem explores the continuing struggle of dealing with the most lethal weapon ever created. man: on behalf of the general assembly,
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i have the honor to welcome to the united nations his excellency barack obama, president of the united states of america, and to invite him to address the assembly. kimball: the united states and russia have for decades had the vast majority of the world's nuclear weapons. it has been their strategic rivalry that has created the nuclear threat as the world has generally known it, and it is up to them to lead the way... i have the honor to welcome to the united nations his excellency vladimir putin, president of russian federation and to invite him to address the assembly. kimball: ...in resolving their underlying conflicts through arms control strategies that reduce the nuclear threat, that achieve stability by increasing transparency through inspections and controls on their nuclear arsenals. 70 years after the founding of the united nations, it is worth reflecting on what together
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the members of this body have helped to achieve. out of the ashes of the second world war, having witnessed the unthinkable power of the atomic age, the united states has worked with many nations in this assembly to prevent a third world war. the most challenging activity for me was negotiating the new start treaty with the russian federation. this was a negotiation that took place in 2009 and 2010. we were under enormous pressure because the first start treaty was going out of force. kimball: it was designed to replace the 1991 start one agreement. gorbachev: [speaking russian]
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the agreement itself is exceedingly complex, but the central idea at the heart of this treaty can be put simply: stabilizing reductions in our strategic nuclear forces reduce the risk of war. but these promises to reduce arms levels cannot automatically guarantee success. just as important are the treaty's monitoring mechanisms so we know that the commitments made are being translated into real security. we wanted to make sure we continued to have the opportunity to monitor and verify at firsthand
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with onsite inspection the russians' strategic nuclear forces. same thing for them. you know, they need that kind of predictability about what's going on in our strategic nuclear arsenal, too. kimball: it very modestly reduced the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads and delivery systems each side had. the new president, donald trump, and president putin will have to decide about whether to extend the treaty for another 5 years beyond its 2021 expiration date, whether to negotiate new reductions in the two sides' strategic arsenals, or whether to let it go and to have an unconstrained situation involving the two world's largest nuclear superpowers. why can't we do that? because we need to make concessions. and the framework has actually changed. [speaking russian]
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kimball: in addition, russia had already been concerned about nuclear weaponry, missile developments on their periphery. and then you have russia's meddling in ukraine. gottemoeller: all those issues that have brought our bilateral relationship to a new low,
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we have the predictability of knowing what's going on 24/7 in their strategic nuclear arsenal. sokov: during the cold war, policy was more driven by international security, international relations. fear motivated us to think about the other side. the way i would describe it is the united states and russia never became allies after the collapse of the soviet union. the underlying tensions over security in europe, russia's role in the world, russia's concerns about its security have never really been addressed at the deeper level, and we've seen with the second putin regime these issues coming back with a vengeance.
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today we are in a situation-- next slide, please-- when only one nuclear weapon state keeps its nuclear weapons outside its national territory. and people take it already just as fact of life. stea: is this permitted, that the u.s. have weapons in belgium, germany, italy, netherlands, and turkey? this is permitted? in the current world, we have quite a number of zones free of nuclear weapons where this would not be possible, but in the northern hemisphere, we have the whole areas where this is still at least hypothetical if possible, but in practice, we see it in those countries of europe. there are other major issues which surround us which provide challenges for our security:
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new types of non-nuclear weapons, global-strike weapons, outer space, cyber weapons. should we ignore all of this? no, we can't ignore all of this. can we ignore missile defense? no, we cannot ignore missile defense. i spent several years actually talking, well, about the fact that russia is developing a very modern, advanced, conventional strike capability. and until last year, no one actually, well, even wanted to hear that. the whole political climate in europe between russia and the west has deteriorated because of the ukraine crisis. moscow finally decided that, "well, that's not a system for us. we don't like that system." they had reasons. i do not say that what they did was right. i think we have to be very honest and acknowledge
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the problems raised by the use of force in relation to ukraine, to recognize how some of the statements and some of the actions by, in particular in the case where we're talking about nuclear weapons by moscow, have very negatively played into the hands of nuclear hawks in the west. kimball: the u.s. and russia need to take leadership. they need to continue to pursue the common-sense steps necessary to reduce nuclear dangers. orlov: those who expect for a quick change for the better, i would say no way. but step by step, there will be chances for progress if both sides hear each other better. it's in our interest to have a good relationship with them so that we can work in cooperation to ensure that nuclear materials and weapons are secure and so we can work together to reduce and eliminate strategic nuclear forces.
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the nuclear infrastructure in both the united states and russia, they have a momentum that is hard to stop. it is difficult for leaders to change the practices that have evolved over the years, so until and unless a president, a u.s. president, russian president, fundamentally changes the policies concerning the role of nuclear weapons and the number that's necessary, we're going to be stuck with these patterns, these policies, and these problems. trump: i have been briefed, and i can tell you one thing about a briefing that we're allowed to say because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it: nuclear holocaust would be like no other. they're a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we. if we have a good relationship with russia, believe me, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. kimball: the presidents of russia
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and the united states have the authority to launch in under 10 minutes about 800-900 nuclear warheads each. no one has to give the presidents their authority. they hold everyone's future in their hands. it's an awesome, awesome responsibility. the work towards diminishing the nuclear arsenals, towards commitment not to use nuclear weapons must be done. it must be done every day. and people are talking about more powerful nuclear weapons, more the nuclear weapons, less powerful nuclear weapons, more mobile nuclear weapons as if, you know, as if it's just a regular weapon without that major weight and responsibility attached to that discourse, and i always wonder, "what's wrong with them?" these are nuclear weapons. you forgot about hiroshima? you forgot what it can do? one bomb? gottemoeller: i think it's really important to try to get people to pay attention
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to the mass destruction aspects of nuclear weapons to the history, to look back at what happened in hiroshima and nagasaki. suzuki: every part of the city reminds me of the bomb. it's just the city itself has a memory of the bomb. and also the people i meet, 90% of the people either... [speaks japanese] friends or whatever... so it's constant reminding that i'm working in the city of the bomb victim, working with the people of hiroshima, too, actually. it is still present. [speaking japanese]
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newsreel narrator: the hiroshima hospital of the japan red cross, 1,500 meters from the epicenter, was the best hospital in the city. it was completely demolished, save for the 3-storied reinforced-concrete building. all the installation and equipment were destroyed. among the hospital staff and nurses under training, 36 were killed and nearly 300 injured, leaving only 36 physicians and 120 students in any condition to handle the patients. though short-handed, they did amazing work
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amidst the confusion which followed the bombing in taking care of the 400 cases within the hospital itself and the thousands who rushed here from the outside. hida: [speaking japanese] suzuki: and every day watch the news, and actually maybe once a week at least there's a program on nuclear victims, and that kind of daily, you know, events makes me feel that this is not the past, and that is very powerful message to me actually.
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it's very important for me to continue to work with those people. [speaking japanese] [music playing, singing in japanese]
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[speaking japanese]
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[applause] narrator: the hibakusha have been messengers for peace since the two bombings in 1945 when over 240,000 people died. every year on the anniversary dates, on august 6 in hiroshima and august 9 in nagasaki there are commemorative ceremonies. in hiroshima, lanterns symbolizing those who lost their lives are floated on the river near the epicenter of the bomb blast. there continue to be many arguments over the decision by the united states to drop the two atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki. however, the loss of life remains a hard reality. suzuki: the simple thing is just don't give up. if you keep silent, voices will be lost.
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obama: the scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well. that is why we come to this place. we stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. we force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. we listen to a silent cry. we remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war
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and the wars that came before... and the wars that would follow. mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. but we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again. someday the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. but the memory of the morning of august 6, 1945, must never fade. that memory allows us to fight complacency.
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it fuels our moral imagination. it allows us to change. so right from the beginning the international committee of the red cross and the red cross and red crescent movement said, "use of nuclear weapons is contrary to rules protecting civilians from the effects of warfare." we knew that in 1945 because we had an observer in hiroshima who reported to us immediately, "it's unbelievable what i am witnessing. "it cannot be envisaged how use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of international humanitarian law." do nuclear weapons serve a role in the modern world? most will say they don't. they make us more insecure.
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they don't help in any security whatsoever. why are they still wedded to these weapons? and that is the big question. narrator: in january of 1946, representatives from around the world gathered for the first session of the newly formed united nations general assembly. it was just 6 months after the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. the representatives, after deliberations, adopted their first-ever resolution, which included a call for the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction. duarte: it's been 70 years. a number of partial measures have been agreed to, important treaties. the npt, the test ban treaties, the nuclear-weapon-free zones. a number of agreements have been reached and have been respected so far. even in the npt in article vi, there is a commitment. it's a weak commitment, it's a nuanced commitment,
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but it is a commitment that this is serious, it must be respected. markram: this treaty is the only legally binding instrument that we have that commits nuclear-weapon states to the elimination of the nuclear weapons. and review conferences are there to implement that actual binding agreement. narrator: every 5 years, all the nations of the world who are signatories to the nonproliferation treaty meet in new york with the goal in mind to achieve what was first stated in 1946: for all nations to disarm as well as to stop any proliferation of nuclear weapons. markram: there are 191 countries that have joined the npt, so it is by far the most universal out of all the treaties. cabactulan: despite, or you can say against it, it is the only multilateral treaty document that is agreed to by... for instance, the p5, the nuclear weapon states. the 5 states who developed nuclear weapons first
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happen to be the 5 permanent members of the security council, and in both contexts, they refer to themselves as the p5. so there's an association here between nuclear weapons and power. markram: where mostly poor countries that are not members of the treaty and actually do possess nuclear weapons: india, pakistan, israel, and the democratic people's republic of korea. review conferences are a barometer on the health of a treaty, and we've seen in 2015 where that barometer lies. please, i need your help. keep going on, moving, and looking for the future because this is a treaty which is indefinite, as you know, and it has a long life, then we do need really to go also to the future. markram: i think every review conference has its own dynamic, and especially when things don't work out at the end of the day, there's a lack of vision on how to take the disarming component forward. feroukhi: there continue to exist
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a number of contending visions for the future. this persisting divergence of expectations means that it would be impossible for any single consensual document to possibly meet the highest aspirations of all parties. markram: my fear is that we're now beginning to run on a number of tracks. that's the question of bringing us all together on a single track at the end of the day. the exchanges of views that we have witnessed during this review cycle demonstrate that there is a wide divide that presents itself in many fundamental aspects of what nuclear disarmament should mean. the psychology of a 4-weeks' npt conference is really interesting, and i think...emotions are there for everybody. markram: the immediate future for this does not look all that bright, and i think this is one of the realizations of non-nuclear weapon states
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that if there is a commitment, the commitment actually has to have clear deadlines and clear benchmarks, something which we were not able to address in the 2015 conference, and those chickens have come home to roost now. what we lack and what i find really troubling is any political grouping that seems to be able to kind of bridge this tremendous divide, particularly in the nuclear disarmament sphere, and so if countries are not prepared to talk with one another, i think it's going to be nearly impossible to find meaningful common ground. the needs for a breathing space is urgent. global tensions are rising, sabers have been rattled, and dangerous words spoken about the use of nuclear weapons. the world looks to you to provide rationality and diplomatic solutions, to promote security through peaceful action. i'm committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. there are so much vested interests,
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economic and strategic, in the status quo that to change the status quo, it's so complicated. [speaking french] well, in the end, i think the ultimate danger is... false confidence in security. [speaking french] the problem of false security is that... the idea that once you possess these weapons, they are so hideous in their effects
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that no country would ever think of attacking you. but there are so many situations that life itself can put you in that opens up the possibilities of use. we are actually faced with 21st-century security challenges, and they include migrations of people, they include climate change, they include asymmetric conflicts, and our traditional kind of 19th- and 20th-century militaries and weapons cannot bring us security when faced with a whole set of threats and challenges. the american public, even the russian public, much of the world public
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has felt the threat of nuclear war has faded away. there was a line that president obama delivered in his april 2009 prague address. obama: in a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. it's just as enormous and difficult, i think, as it was during the cold war years. this is a different kind of threat. korhonen: we have here in helsinki in the plenary an initiative to combat nuclear terrorism. it was established in 2006, and certainly the wake-up call of 9/11 had something to do with this. berdennikov: everyone has some interest in preventing the bad guys
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getting hold of nuclear materials. the threat of terrorism has grown dramatically in today's world. the terrorists of different kinds aim to gain visibility on the international arena. a global partnership initiated by presidents of our two countries, i mean the united states and russia. the u.s. attaches the greatest importance to the global initiative. and over the years we've exchanged now with more than 80 nations valuable information on how to deter and detect and, god forbid if necessary, respond to an act of nuclear terrorism. korhonen: we have first-class international nuclear experts. what we are trying to do right now is to get law enforcement, counterterrorism, security intelligence these experts to work together with the nuclear experts. we have here nuclear-weapon states
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and nonnuclear-weapon states. there is certainly a tension by definition. it's not a secret. we have countries who come from very turbulent regions, countries sitting beside each other that in their own region do not agree on everything, but still, they are able to come here to helsinki and discuss these joint and common challenges. you may consider there is a way to control the nuclear weapons if it is developed by the country. but terrorist group is quite different. they are aiming at the publics. korhonen: the risk that might be more imminent is the use of radiological materials, sources, a relatively low level of radiation that is not explosive itself, but when it's used with conventional explosives, then we might face what we call a dirty bomb.
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because if it is exploded, you can inhale a fragment of the nuclear material, and it is quite dangerous to your health and also to the environment. korhonen: of course when you speak about nuclear issues and you speak about addressing risks of terrorism, it can't be entirely open to public because also the possible perpetrators are following what we are doing. the best incident is the one which doesn't happen. we should all work for a safer world without grave risks to our citizens. everybody says, "of course they would never use nuclear weapons." and... and it's hard to imagine using nuclear weapons. so while we say that and we talk like that and i think we're sincere when we express that, it's all kind of belied by the fact
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that there are thousands of these things just sitting around for a very contrary purpose. fortunately they have not been used after 1945 in war, although, of course, we shouldn't forget the history of nuclear testing, where nuclear weapons were tested over 2,000 times in over 60 places all over the world. narrator: these images are not part of today's world in part because of the comprehensive test ban treaty, although not yet enforced, waiting for 8 countries to ratify, all nations except north korea no longer conduct nuclear tests. gottemoeller: and that indeed certain countries, if they are allowed to test could build up new and very capable nuclear arsenals, so we have to be really concerned about trying to prevent that new nuclear arms race from occurring.
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2015, 70 years after hiroshima and nagasaki, it's a crossroads year. i mean, we have seen a breakthrough with the iran nuclear deal that i think will block iran's path to the bomb. narrator: after intense negotiations by the united states and european nations working with iran, there was an announcement made in vienna. it is a great honor for us to announce that we have reached an agreement on the iranian nuclear issue. the people who were involved in the negotiation developed a rapport and an understanding of one another and a certain trust in what one another was saying and that they could deliver. e.u. + 3 and the islamic republic of iran welcome this historic joint comprehensive plan of action which will ensure that iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful and mark a fundamental shift in their approach for this issue. kimball: barack obama was very devoted to the diplomatic approach.
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obama: iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb. the region, the united states, and the world will be more secure. kimball: combined with the pressure of sanctions, with cooperation from the europeans and other international partners, and an iranian leader was elected, hassan rouhani, who recognized that both sides were headed for trouble if they did not reach a diplomatic solution. before the deal, iran was steadily increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium, enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs. today more than 98% of that stockpile has been shipped out of iran, meaning iran now doesn't have enough material for even one bomb. so the solution has been obvious for many years, but like with many international problems, you've got to have a number of stars aligning in order to get to...to yes, to get to a win/win solution. secretary kerry, foreign minister zarif,
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federica mogherini, foreign minister lavrov of russia, all these people spent hours and hours and hours together. this was a very complex, intense process. before the deal, the world had relatively little visibility into iran's nuclear program. today international inspectors are on the ground, and iran is being subjected to the most comprehensive, intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program. inspectors will monitor iran's key nuclear facilities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. in all countries that the agency goes, material is measured... material is put under seal. we use agency... double cap metal seals with an i.d. number on it that inside has striations that are unique to each seal. marek: surveillance cameras are installed
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to maintain some knowledge about what is going on in that facility. we try to do our job in a relatively straightforward, scientific-based manner and so... it's easy to understand. kimball: well, it's been two years since the conclusion of the iran nuclear agreement, and it has been a very good success. the iranians are complying with the terms of the agreement, the iaea has verified that iran is in full compliance. iran does not have the capacity to quickly produce material for nuclear weapons. they are blocked from nuclear weapons for a decade or more. but the future of the deal is in, i think, grave doubt because the trump administration has said they want to renegotiate the deal, they want to put tougher sanctions on iran for issues not related to the nuclear program. so there are some grave threats facing the agreement that could tear it apart in the coming months and years if both sides don't stick to the terms of the agreement and comply with their obligations.
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the u.s. has this huge modernization program underway. they're replacing all of the nuclear weapons in the arsenal, right? every delivery system, there's a program to replace it. and we're adding missile defenses, and we're adding conventional strike capabilities. we have this huge change. the chinese have the same thing happening. i don't think either side has thought through very carefully what the modernization means. it's just replacing old stuff with new stuff. it's almost an unconscious arms race where both sides are modernizing, mostly driven by technology but with kind of an eye on the other one. well, i don't want it to become a deliberate arms race. kimball: well, the united states and china have a common problem, and that is north korea. north korea has accelerated the pace of missile testing, and it continues to conduct nuclear test explosions. in the coming years, north korea could have an operational nuclear arsenal that could strike japan, south korea, china, perhaps the united states if it's allowed to conduct tests
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of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles. so for the united states and china and others in the region, north korea is perhaps the most urgent proliferation threat. i think we need to pursue coercive diplomacy and soon to persuade north korea to halt further testing that is going to advance its ability to strike other countries with nuclear weapons. i grew up in that environment where there was a big enthusiasm that we can finally put nuclear weapons to rest. and if you remember history, the reykjavik meeting between reagan and gorbachev where we came very close to having a great breakthrough, maybe putting off the table all offensive nuclear weapons. but the latest developments and as the history progresses
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makes me realize that we are... we don't have that feeling, particularly the younger generation that doesn't remember that part. and i feel it's part of my mission now is to remind those younger generations about the dangers. [explosion] kimball: and this needs to change, and people are looking for ways to change the thinking. today we have a new generation of activists who are pointing out what nuclear weapons can do if they are used. i believe that we don't have to sit here and listen to countries that exercise power through military might. we don't have to listen to them tell us what to do. there's a handful of governments in the world that think that they can dictate to the rest of us how we can operate and what we can do.
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and wanting to challenge that wherever possible, that's what motivates me. it's the sense of injustice, where you have such a huge majority of countries rejecting nuclear weapons, having decided that they don't want to acquire nuclear weapons, having made the legal undertaking never to acquire them. and in exchange for that, the nuclear-armed states said that they would disarm, and they haven't done that. we need to move forward. we need to take ground. my goal for the future is working to prevent war, end war, prevent violence, stand up to those who purport that military might is what will determine how our human society works and operates and to challenge that wherever possible.
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cabasso: i think that nuclear weapons are a manifestation of a system which has gotten to a very critically unbalanced point. on the 70th anniversary date, we welcome the iran deal, and we call on the u.s. government to now lead a process with a timetable to achieve the universal elimination of nuclear weapons. [applause, cheering] the sirens will signal a die-in. those who so choose may lie down and be outlined in chalk in the gate area. just stay in position and risk arrest. it's been a real challenge to understand why nuclear weapons continue to persist in the roles that they continue to play. so i'm laying here trying to imagine what it was like
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on august 6, 1945, in hiroshima, and as i lay here, i've seen a single airplane go across the sky, a hot summer sky, and that's what it looked like 70 years ago. the united states is now spending more in inflation-adjusted dollars on nuclear warhead activities than it did during the highest cold war year, and that's just for the warheads; that does not include the delivery systems, which are a much bigger piece of the pie. it's a very big picture to try to grasp. i think that we are not, in this culture, we are not really encouraged to think critically
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or to ask hard questions or to take the time to try to answer hard questions. all: ♪ oh, deep in my heart ♪ ♪ i do believe ♪ ♪ that we shall overcome ♪ ♪ someday ♪ cabasso: at a time when there seems like there's very little hope, there have to be hubs of people who are keeping a candle lit so that when some opportunity arrives or some tragedy occurs or something unexpected happens, other people know where to go to get information. this is a key problem. it is...it's something that... we have to make up for by, i think, more energetic outreach and education
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about what nuclear weapons do. narrator: here is the middlebury institute for international studies, which houses the center for nonproliferation studies founded by dr. william potter. he and his colleagues work with students to teach them about the consequences of nuclear weapons in today's world and preparing them to be leaders in the future. potter: my own preferred approach to this subject is not to lecture my students but to enable them to engage in role-playing, engaging in simulations of international negotiations dealing with nuclear issues. "we can all agree that our world would be a safer place without nuclear weapons." overall, people are saying a lot of the same things, and i think if you can tune your ear to listen for that, that's really going to pave the way for progress in the future. potter: this is the most important dimension, learning to see through the eyes of others, gaining empathy. so i wanted to be iran because i'm actually a reservist in the u.s. army.
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potter: and what i typically will do with my students is to have my american students playing the roles of egypt and iran. clark: we welcome the nuclear weapon states acknowledgement of the need to accelerate disarmament efforts. it was long nights just even learning, getting my head wrapped around the iranian position, the opposite of, like, everything that i've been working at. potter: it's learning to see how the world looks from another vantage point. and i think if you're not able to do that, it's exceptionally difficult to negotiate successfully to find common ground. coming from pakistan and playing a hardliner like austria, which is--ha! it was a truly amazing experience by playing a country that is so big on disarmament. potter: and so we try to provide our students with the skill sets that enable them to be effective policy makers and analysts. the relation with india that pakistan has, the threat perception, that is-- you can't even imagine it sitting outside.
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we're not an advocacy group. potter: we tend to discuss issues in perhaps too nuanced a fashion. it may be less appealing for individuals who want a silver bullet to answer any particular question. humanity can do much better than we're doing now in the 21st century. have to learn history, from history. i decided a long time ago that it made sense to stop relying on the weapons and to eliminate them. [playing piano] kremski: [speaking french]
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let me tell you that nuclear weapons don't kill people; people do. the weapons create threats to others who have to respond with their own weapon programs, and those response jeopardize us. this is what's missing in the debate, this understanding of the consequences of our decisions today for tomorrow. you know, if we don't put the pieces of the world together, we can't get peace. but if we don't deal with getting rid of nuclear weapons, we don't survive. we continue to this day to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons, and we want to get down to zero. i just hope that maybe when we do almost come to blows, someone will actually think, "oh, yeah, but we've got nuclear weapons. maybe let's cool down a little bit." so that's kind of the challenge out there. [piano continues]
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oppenheimer: we knew the world would not be the same. groves: as head of the manhattan district during the war, i was responsible for the development of the atomic bomb. oppenheimer: i remember the line from the hindu scripture, the "bhagavad gita." vishnu...is trying to persuade the prince that... he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on this multi-armed form and says, "now i am become death, the destroyer of worlds." [piano continues]
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announcer: major funding provided by carnegie corporation of new york... david h. koch... the endeavor foundation...
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rockefeller brothers fund. additional funding provided by... the feature-length version of "the nuclear requiem" is available on dvd for $29.95 plus shipping and handling. to order, please call 1-800-475-2638 or order online, videoproject.com. this offer is made by american public television.
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- [male narrator] coming up on reel south. - coal is life, coal is brotherhood. - [male narrator] in the heart of coal country, a community is divided. - this is the rape of appalachia! (sirens wail) - [news announcer] seven of the miners were killed instantly. - [male narrator] but in the wake of a tragedy two women find common ground. - someone could have prevented it. and that's what made me start talking. we need to stop it. - [male narrator] next in overburden on reel south. - [female narrator] this program is made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by the following. (bluesy guitar rock) ♪

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