Mongolia was relieved to hear the news.
In an official statement the Mongolian Prime Minister, Norovyn Altankhuyag, said, "This is an auspicious day. Today, Mongolians can temporarily stop digging bomb shelters and get back to useful, life-sustaining work. We are grateful to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for recognizing and agreeing to respect Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status."
In separate remarks the Prime Minister said that he is very concerned about the Unites States' increasing military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and what this could mean for the security of Asian nations. He stated that his concern stems from the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, as well as Russia, and the continued deployment of nuclear weapons by all three nations. "Being squeezed between China and Russia, we may need to re-start digging those bomb shelters one day soon."
|Representatives at the UN Security Council vote [not to nuke Mongolia] in New York |
(Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).
The Mongolian Prime Minister was overheard in a conversation with the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations saying "Only idiots would spend all that money on nuclear weapons." When asked about whom the Prime Minister was speaking, an aide confirmed that he was referring to the United States. The aide added that "the U.S. has spent hundreds or perhaps thousands of times our nation's GNP, not to mention our defense budget, building up its nuclear weapons infrastructure and refurbishing its nuclear weapons in recent years. That's alot of Yaks."
According to the latest Military Balance, Mongolia has a defense budget of $38 million and an active-duty military comprising 8,900 army, 800 air force, and 800 construction troops. As the CIA notes, “There is no navy... and a snowball's chance in hell of even thinking about developing nuclear weapons."
On Tuesday, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are scheduled to meet againg, this time to reaffirm their promise not to attack Lichtenstein with nuclear weapons.
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