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Talks could lead to cut in UK's nuclear stockpile, says Gordon Brown watch

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    Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worl...arms-race.html

    Article for those who will whinge about the Daily Mail: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...e-summit-obama

    Britain is ready to cut its nuclear capability if rogue states are prepared to cooperate, Gordon Brown signalled last night.

    The Prime Minister and other G8 leaders agreed to U.S. President Barack Obama's proposal for a major summit next spring designed to pave the way to a revised global nuclear treaty.

    The G8 leaders issued a statement saying that they were 'deeply concerned' by Iran's nuclear programme and condemning North Korea's recent nuclear test and missile launches.

    Mr Brown said the new treaty would see such countries suspected of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of civil nuclear power programmes being offered help with legitimate projects.

    In return, they would be forced to demonstrate that they are not seeking to develop warheads.

    The Prime Minister insisted the burden of proof was not a matter of treating them as 'guilty until proven innocent'.

    And he warned that nuclear proliferation and the danger of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists such as Al Qaeda was 'one of the big issues of the world'.

    Britain has already cut its operationally available nuclear arsenal by 20 per cent to around 160 warheads.

    The U.S., France and Russia have also made some significant-reductions. This week President-Obama and Russian president-Dmitry Medvedev signed a preliminary agreement to reduce the world's two biggest nuclear stockpiles by as much as a third.

    Mr Obama's proposal brings to an end eight years of U.S. resistance to new arms treaties.

    Last night Mr Brown revealed that he will set out within the next few days specific recommendations for the global agreement, which could be reached in 2010.

    The first steps will be taken at a nuclear security conference in Washington in the spring, although officials said diplomats would not put 'weapons on the table' at that stage.

    Scaling back the deterrent would help tackle Britain's ballooning national debt.

    The Prime Minister insisted that there was no question of the UK offering to totally abandon its 160-warhead Trident programme.

    Speaking at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, Mr Brown said: 'Iran is attempting to build a nuclear weapon.

    'North Korea is attempting to build a nuclear weapon. We have got to show we can deal with this by collective action.

    'What we need is collective action by the nuclear weapons powers to say that we are prepared to reduce our nuclear weapons, but we need assurances also that other countries will not proliferate them.'

    He added: 'When the nonproliferation treaty was signed there were five nuclear weapons states.

    'Now there are nine and the possibility that Iran, North Korea and others may seek to acquire nuclear weapons and we will have a big rise in nuclear weapons states in this decade.

    'That is a problem for the whole of the world that has got to be addressed.'
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