'This Week' in History: Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty

Secy of State Shultz Discusses Reagan's Efforts for Nuclear Arms Reduction

ByABC News
April 10, 2010, 1:51 PM

— -- On Thursday, President Obama signed the New START treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev marking the latest step in the effort to reduce the world's nuclear stockpile. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one of the headliners on Sunday's "This Week," describes this mission as "the work of a lifetime, if not longer." The first START Treaty was signed in 1991 but the negotiations began during the Reagan Administration. "This Week with David Brinkley" interviewed Secretary of State George Shultz on May 22nd 1988, just prior to President Reagan's departure to Moscow for his fourth summit with the Russians.

"I feel certain that at the Moscow summit we will both want to agree to keep working on it hard," Shultz declared about the prospects of President Reagan signing a START treaty before leaving office. "But whether it will actually happen or not, I don't know that. The issues are tough."

Five days after Secretary Shultz's appearance on "This Week with David Brinkley," the United States Senate ratified the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty which eliminated ground-launched missiles that travel between 500 and 5,400 kilometers.

"There have been agreements, but they've been agreements under which nuclear weapons were allowed to increase and the president has always objected to that," said Secretary Shultz. "What [President Reagan] wants to do is decrease them."

Three years later President Reagan's successor, President Bush, signed START 1.

Watch David Brinkley and Sam Donaldson question Secretary of State Shultz on May 22, 1988.