[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/25/us.north.korea.react/art.obama.presser.jpg caption="President Obama calls North Korea's nuclear test "a grave threat to the peace and stability of the world.""]
William J. Perry, Brent Scowcroft and Charles D. Ferguson
For The Wall Street Journal
Monday's North Korean nuclear test was a dramatic reminder of the challenges to eliminating nuclear weapons world-wide. President Barack Obama has stated that he intends to pursue this goal while maintaining a reliable nuclear deterrent for the United States and its allies. But achieving nuclear abolition will likely require many years.
Indeed, it is difficult to envision the necessary geopolitical conditions that would permit even approaching that goal. Unless the U.S. and its partners re-energize international efforts to lessen the present dangers of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, they will never have the hope of reaching this long-term objective.
An effective strategy to reduce nuclear dangers must build on five pillars: revitalizing strategic dialogue with nuclear-armed powers, particularly Russia and China; strengthening the international nuclear nonproliferation regime; reaffirming the protection of the U.S. nuclear umbrella to our allies; maintaining the credibility of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and implementing best security practices for nuclear weapons and weapons-usable materials worldwide.
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