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UGA RUSK CENTER RESEARCHER VOTES TO MOVE DOOMSDAY CLOCK CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT; FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO BE MADE THURSDAY

Abstract

Thursday, June 11, 1998

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, (706) 542-5141 (0); dorindad@uga.cc.uga.edu

UGA RUSK CENTER RESEARCHER VOTES TO MOVE DOOMSDAY CLOCK CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT; FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO BE MADE THURSDAY

ATHENS, Ga. - The hands of the Doomsday Clock, the global symbol of nuclear peril, are poised to make "one of the most substantial moves in history in terms of movement toward midnight, symbolizing an increasing threat to the globe," said Dorinda Dallmeyer, research director of the University of Georgia's Dean Rusk Center for International and Comparative Law and a vice chair of the board of directors of the Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science, which oversees the setting of the clock and publishes The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The board, comprised of 19 renowned physical scientists and others engaged in nuclear policy matters, voted this weekend to move the clock for the 16th time since its inception in 1947. .Dallmeyer has been a member of the elite group since 1992 and is the only current board member south of Washington, D.C. The new setting will be announced publicly during a press conference Thursday morning in Chicago at 10:30 a.m. CST.

"Even before the decision by India and Pakistan to test nuclear weapons, the board was considering a discussion about the setting of the clock because of the failure of the United States and Russia to move forward with the promises they had made regarding nuclear disarmament," said Dallmeyer. "Although the arms race between the United States and Russia is clearly over, they still have over 30,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenals and there are still about 7,000 of those which are on hair-trigger notice."

Dallmeyer says the clock is intended "to sound an alarm" and promote diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis between India and Pakistan as well as promote worldwide arms reduction.

"We've long suspected both Pakistan and India would have the capability of constructing nuclear weapons," she said, "but to go from an undeclared to a declared state of affairs really puts the non-proliferation treaty in jeopardy. You wonder who else will decide that they should move from the nuclear-capable to the declared column."

Dallmeyer joined the Rusk Center as research director in 1984 and specializes in international security affairs, with an emphasis on negotiation and dispute resolution. She has edited books on the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars"), conflict resolution, and the future of NATO. She has written numerous articles on arms control and lectured on the subject around the world. Dallmeyer is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Society of International Law and the American Bar Association. She may be reached by telephone: (706) 542-5141 (O) or (706) 795-2457 (H) or by e-mail: dorindad@uga.cc.uga.edu.

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