US 'Confident' Pakistani Nukes Safe

Washington, Nov 10 (IANS): Rebutting a US media report that Pakistan's atomic arsenal was vulnerable to theft, the United States has expressed confidence in Islamabad's ability to keep its nuclear weapons safe.

"We have confidence that the government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal and is accordingly giving very high priority to securing its nuclear weapons and materials effectively," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Wednesday.

"We continue to believe - we continue to have confidence in the Government of Pakistan that they both understand the varied threats to the nuclear arsenal, and that they're taking appropriate steps to safeguard them," he
said in response to a question.

Two US publications, The Atlantic and the National Journal, citing unnamed sources, last week said Pakistan had transported nuclear weapons in low-security vans on congested roads to hide them from US spy agencies.

Asked if the US had spoken to Pakistan about these reports, Toner said: "We're always talking to the Pakistanis, and one of the things we talk to them about is ways to improve safety around their nuclear arsenal. But again, we're confident that there are safety measures in place."


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