America

Obama Hails Nuclear Accord, Says 'Pursuit Of Peace' Requires More Patience

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, shake hands with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, right, i

After the signing, Obama and Medvedev joined hands. (Petr David Josek/AP) hide caption

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U.S. President Barack Obama, left, shake hands with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, right,

After the signing, Obama and Medvedev joined hands. (Petr David Josek/AP)

Saying that "the pursuit of peace and calm and cooperation among nations is the work of both leaders and peoples in the 21st century" and that "we must be as persistent and passionate in our pursuit of progress as any who would stand in our way," President Barack Obama just joined Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in signing a new arms control deal that cuts both their nations' nuclear arsenals by about one-third.

The two leaders are in Prague for the ceremony.

On Morning Edition today, NPR's Scott Horsley looked at what is and is not in the new agreement. As he reports, "the deal also underscores the improvement in U.S. Russian relations, which had been at a low point when President Obama took office":

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And, also on Morning Edition, host Steve Inskeep spoke with Matthew Bunn, associate professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, about what the treaty is expected to accomplish and the loopholes that he believes remain. Of particular concern: so-called tactical nuclear weapons. Still, he says, the agreement does accomplish several things, most notably the reduction in "insanely large stockpiles of nuclear weapons":

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