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In a speech given at Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, Poland, on May 31, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush declared:

The greatest threat to peace is the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. And we must work together to stop proliferation .... When weapons of mass destruction or their components are in transit, we must have the means and authority to seize them. So today I announce a new effort to fight proliferation called the Proliferation Security Initiative. The United States and a number of our close allies, including Poland, have begun working on new agreements to search planes and ships carrying suspect cargo and to seize illegal weapons or missile technologies. Over time, we will extend this partnership as broadly as possible to keep the world's most destructive weapons away from our shores and out of the hands of our common enemies.

The speech was given approximately five months after the U.S. Navy had participated in an incident involving a North Korean merchant ship, which was to serve as the catalyst for this significant change in U.S. policy related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

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