The United States had no immediate reaction to a lawsuit filed by a nation where it staged nuclear tests early in the Cold War, Reuters reports.
The Marshall Islands on Thursday announced legal actions against Washington and eight other governments it charged with “flagrant violation of international law,” and demanded action by the countries to comply with international disarmament commitments.
The plaintiff country pursued legal steps specifically against Washington at the Federal District Court in San Francisco, and against all nine known and presumed nuclear-capable nations at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Marshall Islands provided no advance warning to the governments it is suing, the Associated Press reported. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not respond on Thursday to a question on the legal steps, according to Reuters.
The 46-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty requires signatories in possession of atomic arsenals — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — to pursue “good faith” talks on nuclear disarmament.
In its case against the United States, the island republic called on Washington to act within 12 months of a possible favorable ruling “to comply with its obligations … including by calling for and convening negotiations for nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.”
The complainant said Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea also are “bound by [the treaty’s] nuclear disarmament provisions under customary law,” even though they are not part of the nonproliferation regime.
The case prompted a skeptical initial reaction from Israel, which has neither confirmed nor denied possessing nuclear weapons.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson said he had not reviewed details about the island nation’s legal actions, but suggested that its case against countries outside the Nonproliferation Treaty “doesn’t have any legal legs.”
What We're Following See More »
Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
"President Trump informed Mexican President Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon that he will not pull the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) despite reports earlier in the day that he had considered doing so. ... The three leaders agreed to proceed quickly with renegotiation plans as the initial review process comes to a close."
"A new bill to revive a permanent nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nev., fails to address the concerns of Nevada lawmakers, suggesting the latest attempt may not resolve a 20-year impasse over the issue." The state's congressional delegation "shared their opposition to the nuclear waste policy amendment during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing focused on the legislation," and promised that Gov. Brian Sandoval would oppose it at every turn. "The new bill aims to finally use some $31 billion that has accumulated in the Nuclear Waste Fund, set aside in 1982 to collect specifically for a permanent repository."
Despite bussing nearly every senator to the White House grounds on Wednesday for a briefing on North Korea, the administration didn't have much to tell them. Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley said he didn't learn anything he couldn't read in the newspaper, while Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth called it a "dog and pony show."