Cold War
President John F. Kennedy on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

“I speak to you tonight in a spirit of hope”. On July 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation regarding the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty. Explaining the treaty, he says: “Negotiations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and underwater. For the first time an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under international control”. While expressing optimism, President Kennedy also notes the treaty’s shortcomings: “The treaty is a limited treaty which permits continued underground testing, and prohibits only those tests that we ourselves can police”. A nation could also withdraw from the treaty in times of war, or if events had “jeopardized its extreme interest”.

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Submitted by: Ilana Faber
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