(Effort focuses on areas where danger is acute)  (440)
By Edmund F. Scherr
USIA Diplomatic Correspondent
Washington -- President Bush July 13 announced a series of steps to
increase U.S. efforts to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction and
outlined proposals to strengthen international actions to thwart
proliferation of such weapons and the missiles that deliver them.

The president's initiative included a U.S. decision not to produce plutonium
and highly-enriched uranium for nuclear explosive purposes.

A White House document on the presidential initiative said that the United
States "will focus special efforts on those areas where the dangers of
proliferation remain acute, notably the Middle East, the Gulf, South Asia
and the Korean peninsula."

During a background briefing on the president's proposals, a senior
administration official cited the "considerable achievements" in
nonproliferation efforts during the past three years, including increased
international controls over the export of items that could be used in the
development of nuclear and chemical weapons and missiles.  The United
States has been a leader in making nonproliferation a global issue, he
said, noting that nonproliferation is now a major item on the foreign
policy agenda of many other nations.

Bush's new proposals, he said, seek to increase international cooperation in
stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction.  The discovery of the
weapons programs in Iraq after the Persian Gulf war, he noted, accelerated
international efforts in the nonproliferation area.

1ommenting on one aspect of the president's initiative, the official noted
that while the United States, as a "practice," has not produced plutonium
since 1988, the decision announced July 13 reflects "a strong American
commitment" in this area.  This is also true in the case of highly-enriched
uranium, which the United States has not produced for many years, he added.

The official also pointed out that the United States wants to see the
international community develop "real enforcement" measures to enforce
nonproliferation regimes -- including the use of U.N. Security Council
embargoes and new forms of international inspections.

The following principles are included in Bush's nonproliferation initiative:
-- The United States will build on existing global norms against
proliferation and, where possible, strengthen and broaden them;

-- The United States will focus special efforts on those areas where the
dangers of proliferation remain acute;

-- U.S. nonproliferation policy will seek the broadest possible multilateral
support, while continuing to show leadership on critical issues, and

-- The United States will address the proliferation issue through the entire
range of political, diplomatic, economic, intelligence, regional security,
export controls and other tools available.