United States and Japan call for ban of nuclear weapons in outer space | Space

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  • The U.S. and Japan have sponsored a U.N. Security Council resolution urging nations to refrain from deploying or developing nuclear weapons in space.
  • U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield voiced the unprecedented danger of placing nuclear weapons in Earth’s orbit.
  • This resolution comes in response to concerns over Russia’s reported anti-satellite weapon capability.

The United States and Japan are sponsoring a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on all nations not to deploy or develop nuclear weapons in space, the U.S. ambassador announced Monday.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a U.N. Security Council meeting that “any placement of nuclear weapons into orbit around the Earth would be unprecedented, dangerous, and unacceptable.”

The announcement that the U.S. and Japan had circulated a resolution follows White House confirmation last month that Russia has obtained a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, although such a weapon is not operational yet.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin declared later that Moscow has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons in space, claiming that the country has only developed space capabilities similar to those of the U.S.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on maintenance of international peace and security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation on March 18, 2024, at the U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

The Outer Space Treaty ratified by about 114 countries including the United States and Russia prohibits the deployment of “nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction” in orbit or the stationing of “weapons in outer space in any other manner.”

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who chaired the council meeting, said that even during “the confrontational environment” of the Cold War, the rivals agreed to ensure that outer space remained…

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