Enlighten us to the reasons for bomb testing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 1995, 12:00am

SO, Jacques Chirac, perhaps you would be good enough to tell the world what you learned from your nuclear test.

Do you now feel that your nuclear deterrent is somehow more credible than it was a couple of days ago? Are your potential foes quaking a little more in their boots? Perhaps your detonation of a 20-kiloton device showed that one bomb can now kill more than the 100,000-plus who perished after a similar sized bomb was exploded over Hiroshima.

Or maybe you are now able to assure potential aggressors that they will be a little more dead than those victims of the nuclear blasts who died 50 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Is there some reason why you do not think that the death toll from the very first bombs, which must be pretty crude by today's standards, is enough of a 'credible deterrent'? Perhaps 200,000 dead would be more credible? Or maybe half a million? Alternatively, perhaps you confirmed that the nuclear test was indeed perfectly safe and you will now conduct the remaining seven tests in your own country rather than in someone else's.

Whatever your reasoning, please would you be good enough to enlighten the people who actually live in and near to your Pacific testing laboratory, because we have absolutely no idea what on earth is the point of this madness. TIM GALLAGHER Causeway Bay