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Obama and Medvedev’s bold plan (hatched during the G-20 summit) to fight nuclear proliferation is already under threat.

North Korea has launched a rocket into the Pacific Ocean. Now, the hawks are circling, threatening President Obama’s sane approach to non-proliferation before it’s even off the ground. Witness Newt Gingrich on Fox today, reiterating his lunatic assertion that the US should have prevented the launch by any means necessary.

So it’s all the more crucial and welcome to see former Republican US Senator Chuck Hagel offering a powerful voice of reason on behalf of Global Zero–an international, non-partisan initiative dedicated to achieving a binding, verifiable agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Hagel said, “The launch of the North Korean missile–in addition to demanding the aggressive pursuit of the six-party talks–should be viewed as an urgent call for the leaders of all the nuclear countries to support Presidents Obama’s and Medvedev’s bold and historic effort to achieve the only real and lasting solution to proliferation and nuclear terrorism: the elimination of all nuclear weapons–global zero. Presidents Obama and Medvedev know that whatever stabilizing effect nuclear weapons may have had during the cold war, any residual benefits of these arsenals are outweighed today by the risks of proliferation and terrorism–and that a commitment now by nuclear powers to begin serious negotiations for global zero would strengthen the case against North Korea and any non-nuclear nation which strives to acquire nuclear weapons. Today, we urge the leaders of all nuclear weapons countries to commit to participating in a multi-lateral dialogue on an accord to eliminate all nuclear weapons–global zero.”

Now is not the time to listen to those who would lead us backwards. But it is a great moment to lend your voice to Global Zero.