PRAGUE – Declaring it "matters to all people everywhere,"promised on Sunday to lead the world into a nuclear-free future, giving a hawkish edge to a peacenik pursuit even as upstaged him with the launch of a long-range rocket that theoretically could carry a warhead.
Obama made his pledge before 20,000 flag-waving Czechs outside the gates of picturesque Prague Castle. He chose a nation that peacefully threw off communism and helped topple nuclear power Soviet Unionas the backdrop for presenting an ambitious plan to stop the global spread of dangerous weapons.
"Let us honor our past by reaching for a better future," Obama said.
Shifting on an eight-day European trip from the economic crisis to the war in Afghanistan and now nuclear capabilities, Obama said his goal of "a world without" won't be reached soon, "perhaps not in my lifetime."
But he said the United States, with one of the world's largest arsenals and the only nation to have used an, has a "moral responsibility" to start taking steps now.