Summaries of and links to online news reports and commentaries.

Defense Secretary Warns Seoul Not to Buy Russian Arms
By PAUL RICHTER, Los Angeles Times Sunday, April 6, 1997 
"HONOLULU--Defense Secretary William S. Cohen warned
South Korea on Saturday that it could endanger U.S. aircraft--
and cause political fallout in the United States--if it buys sophisticated
Russian surface-to-air missiles rather than a U.S. product. ....
"It would not play well in Congress at all," said Cohen, whose
six-day trip will take him to Japan and South Korea. .....
"Obviously, I'm sure the Russians are offering a very good deal,"
Cohen said. But he said there was "something more involved here"
than cash and that "it would not be a good deal, I think, overall, for
our relationship.""

U.S. defence secretary in Japan for security talks
news:[email protected]
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 3:43:42 PDT  (Reuter / Charles Aldinger)
"``I will raise this issue of TMD,'' Cohen said, adding that  
Japan should be aware that it could face danger from missile 
development in North Korea. ``We would hope that Japan would
share in the development of  these types of technologies, but that's
of course a decision that the Japanese will have to make.'' 
Another U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said Japan  
had financial and other reservations about the need for missile 
defence, but advanced Japanese technology in missile detection 
sensors would be a boon to the programme." 

N.Korea at last seen ready to reply to peace offer
news:[email protected]
Sat, 5 Apr 1997 2:41:08 PST (Reuter / Jean Yoon)
"SEOUL, April 5 (Reuter) - One year after U.S. President Bill  
Clinton and his South Korean counterpart Kim Young-sam proposed 
peace talks with North Korea, Pyongyang has finally agreed to 
give a response... The offer was made in a meeting of officials from the 
two  Koreas and the United States in New York on Friday." 

Blast rocks Israeli missile factory
news:[email protected]
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 13:11:30 PDT
"JERUSALEM (Reuter) - An explosion tore through a warehouse  
Sunday at a factory where Israel makes parts for the U.S.-funded 
Arrow anti-missile missile, injuring at least one person, ... paint and
fuel in the storage area were accidently ignited during welding work. 
.... Security sources estimate the countries have poured $500 
millon into the project since 1991. The projected cost is $1.6 
billion but analysts say it could cost many times that figure." 

Iraq gives U.N. data on chemical weapons- papers
news:[email protected]
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 6:52:15 PDT
BAGHDAD, April 6 (Reuter) - Iraq has given the U.N.'s chief  
arms inspector a detailed report on its chemical weapons,... 
Ekeus said on Saturday in Baghdad after three days of talks  
with Aziz that he had told Iraq he needed to resolve ``seven 
important issues...If we manage to settle them we will come 
close to...ending the chemical file programme.''" 

U.N. Iraqi disarmament official to leave his post
news:[email protected]
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 14:32:12 PST (Reuter / Evelyn Leopold)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuter) - Rolf Ekeus, the executive chairman  
of the U.N. commission in charge of Iraqi disarmament, was 
expected to leave his post by the end of the year to become 
Sweden's ambassador to Washington, diplomatic sources said 
Friday. One possible candidate to replace Ekeus was Emilio Cardenas,  
Argentina's former ambassador to the United Nations .....
His highly regarded deputy, Charles Duelfer, was an unlikely  
successor because he is an American." 

Iraq obstructs U.N. flights, says arms inspector
news:[email protected]
Sat, 5 Apr 1997 6:41:25 PST (Reuter / Leon Barkho)
"BAGHDAD, April 5 (Reuter) - The U.N.'s chief arms inspector  
for Iraq complained on Saturday that Baghdad was obstructing 
flights by U.N. helicopters.... Rolf Ekeus said his experts had 
recently noted a ``serious deterioration in Iraqi performance. 
We have seen a tendency to block, undercut, make our helicopter 
operations dangerous and difficult.''" 

Non-aligned nations hear anti-nuclear plea
news:[email protected]
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 11:02:39 PST (Reuter / Nelson Graves)
"NEW DELHI, India (Reuter) - More than 100 nations in the  
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) began four days of meetings Friday 
with a denunciation of the nuclear powers and a plea for 
permanency and veto power on the U.N. Security Council. 
Indian Foreign Minister Inder Kumar Gujral exhorted the  
113-nation movement to press the five declared nuclear powers -- 
Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- to 
abandon their arsenals." 

Doubts about relevance plague non-aligned meeting
news:[email protected]
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 11:11:11 PDT  (Reuter / Nelson Graves)
NEW DELHI, India (Reuter) - The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM),  
plagued by doubts about its relevance in the post-Cold War 
world, will demand greater clout in the United Nations at a 
two-day conference in the Indian capital this week. With the 
disintegration of the Soviet Union and the cooling  of East-West 
tensions, NAM lost a motivating force. ``It's a wonder it hasn't died,'' 
said one Western diplomat."

U.S. to do nuke tests without explosions in June
news:[email protected]
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 17:31:41 PST
"WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The United States will hold its first  
non-explosive nuclear test in June, with a second one 
expected in the fall, the Energy Department said Friday. ....
The expected announcement inspired a string of protests this  
week by anti-nuclear activists, who blocked routes to the Nevada 
Test Site and barricaded gates to the site." 

Searching for an Enemy and Finding China
By STEVEN ERLANGER The New York Times April 6, 1997
"In the last few months, a number of members of Congress, leading and 
following the opinion magazines and the think-tank symposia, have been 
working to invent a  new enemy, China. ... Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former 
Carter administration national security adviser and no softie on communism,
says something similar: "Our fashion is to have the enemy of the year. China
is big, it's large on the map, it's yellow, so there is an
under-the-surface racist
element, and it fits very nicely an obsessive state of mind. I imagine it will
last a couple of years, because China is big enough to sustain this

U.S. cult survivor says leader worried about FBI
A man who left the Heaven's Gate cult four weeks before 39 members
killed themselves said the group's leader feared the FBI was stalking
them, Newsweek magazine reported Sunday. Rio DiAngelo, 43, provided
the details of the cult's last weeks in an eight-hour interview with
the news weekly. Last week he signed a deal to provide material for a
TV movie and also was scheduled to appear in an interview on ABC in
the coming week to discuss the three years he spent in the group.