NEWS AND VIEWS
Summaries of and links to online news reports and commentaries.
* Air force commander: Iran tested component for long-range missile
* Foreign Monsters, False Alarms
* Ukraine Decides Not to Provide Reactor Parts to Iran
* North Korea threatens to give up contacts with U.S.
* U.S. May Boost N. Korean Food Aid
* N. Korean grain output possibly used up by this month
* Romancing chemical warfare
* Top U.S. envoy urges Senate to ratify chemical pact
Air force commander: Iran tested component for long-range missile
"JERUSALEM (AP) — Two weeks ago, Iran carried out
ground tests as part of its development of a missile with a
range of 950 miles, the air force commander, Eitan Ben
Eliyahu, said in remarks carried by the Haaretz daily....
The component tested apparently was an engine, former
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens told Israel army radio....
Haaretz said another project, the development of a missile with
a shorter range — 780 miles — was carried out with Russian help,
but that it was not clear whether Russian advisers were in Iran."
Foreign Monsters, False Alarms
By WALTER A. McDOUGALL The New York Times April 15, 1997
"PHILADELPHIA -- "America does not go abroad in search of
monsters to destroy," said John Quincy Adams in 1821, and
Americans have tended to obey that dictum. ... So why are so
many people now eager to brand China an arch-enemy? Do they
see the People's Republic as the reincarnation of Nazi Germany
or Stalinist Russia? Are they hoping to advance their careers, score
points against President Clinton, unite fractious Republicans, boost
military spending, promote protectionism?... the fact remains
that the United States and China need each other, not least to
defuse Asian time bombs like North Korea."
Ukraine Decides Not to Provide Reactor Parts to Iran
By MICHAEL R. GORDON The New York Times April 15, 1997
"MOSCOW -- Responding to American and Israeli appeals,
Ukraine has decided against providing turbines for the nuclear
reactor that Russia is selling to Iran.... The cash-starved Russian
nuclear establishment insists the reactor will be open to inspection
and used for peaceful purposes. The sale is also part of Moscow's
diplomatic campaign to nurture closer ties with Tehran.... A
Ukrainian company, Turboatom, was planning to sell several turbines
for the power reactor, working as a subcontractor to the Russian
Ministry of Atomic Energy."
North Korea threatens to give up contacts with U.S.
"North Korea Monday accused the United States of attempting to contain
it militarily and threatened to stop dealing with Washington over a
1994 landmark nuclear agreement. Among other talks, North Korea and
the United States are involved in talks on long-range missiles. The
first round held in April 1996 focused on U.S. concerns about
Pyongyang's development of long-range missiles, and their sale to
states such as Iran and Syria. The missile talks are expected to
resume in New York later this month."
U.S. May Boost N. Korean Food Aid
Michael Dobbs - The Washington Post - 15 April 1997
"The United States is likely to increase the amount of food aid
aimed at alleviating famine in North Korea as part of a delicate
diplomatic dance with the isolated nation that could lead to the
beginning of four-party talks toward a formal peace settlement on
the Korean Peninsula.... "I am sure that the administration will
respond in some way, but I am not sure that it will be enough,"
said Rep. Tony P. Hall (D-Ohio), who recently returned from
a visit to North Korea. "Up until now, our government has been
very political on this issue. I think we have been holding back,
watching what South Korea will do and what Japan will do.""
N. Korean grain output possibly used up by this month
"North Korea's grain output last year was well below half its annual
needs and the impoverished state must have almost completely depleted
it by this month, South Korea's state research group said Monday. The
Korea Rural Economic Institute estimated North Korea's grain output at
between 2.45 million and 2.82 million tons. North Korea's annual food
needs are put at 4.39 million and 4.49 million tons. International aid
groups have said famine is weeks away. North Korea has told aid groups
that a total of 134 children have died of malnutrition."
Romancing chemical warfare
Richard Grenier - The Washington Times -- April 15, 1997.
"We're now engaged in a vast, romantic endeavor, the
banishment forever of chemical weapons from the face of the
earth. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), on which
congressional hearings were conducted only last week, has
come to the fore in removing this curse. Of course we already
have the Geneva Convention of 1925 banning chemical warfare
-- as well as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which bans war itself.
So with chemical warfare and war itself already banned, one
might wonder just how far this new ban gets us."
Top U.S. envoy urges Senate to ratify chemical pact
The chief American negotiator for the Chemical Weapons Convention
called on the U.S. Senate Monday to ratify the stalled treaty by April
29, so Washington does not find itself in the same club as "rogue
states" which reject it. Stephen Ledogar, speaking to several
reporters on his last day before retiring as U.S. ambassador to the
Conference on Disarmament, said the landmark pact's verification was
adequate to detect any "militarily significant cheating." The Chemical
Weapons Convention has been held up by Congress.