Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Concerning the Continued Testing of Nuclear Weapons by the Soviet Union.

November 07, 1958

THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION has announced that the Soviet Union is continuing the testing of nuclear weapons. This continued testing by the Soviet Union has occurred despite the fact that negotiations for the suspension of testing of nuclear weapons have since October 31 been under way at Geneva.

On August 22, 1958, I announced that, "in order to facilitate the detailed negotiations, the United States is prepared, unless testing is resumed by the Soviet Union, to withhold further testing on its part of atomic and hydrogen weapons for a period of one year from the beginning of the negotiations."

In conformity with this declaration the United States suspended on October 31, 1958, its testing of nuclear weapons, although the series then under way had not been completed. The United Kingdom also has suspended testing. The Soviet Union, which had been testing intensively at its Arctic proving ground from the latter part of September to the end of October, has, however, continued to test at another location.

The Soviet Union is continuing its nuclear testing in the face of a resolution voted by the United Nations General Assembly urging the parties in the Geneva negotiations not to undertake further testing of nuclear weapons while these negotiations are in progress.

This action by the Soviet Union relieves the United States from any obligation under its offer to suspend nuclear weapons tests. However, we shall continue suspension of such tests for the time being, and we understand that the United Kingdom will do likewise. We hope that the Soviet Union will also do so.

If there is not shortly a corresponding renunciation by the Soviet Union, the United States will be obliged to reconsider its position.

The United States will, of course, persevere in the negotiations at Geneva to reach sound agreement for controlled suspension of nuclear testing.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Concerning the Continued Testing of Nuclear Weapons by the Soviet Union. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234318

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