DATE=10/4/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CLINTON-TEST BAN (L-UPDATE) NUMBER=2-254650 BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: President Clinton is warning it would be a "grave mistake" if the U-S Senate fails to ratify the global nuclear test ban treaty in a vote expected October 12th. V-O-A's David Gollust reports from the White House. TEXT: Mr. Clinton convened his national security advisers for a strategy session on what they admit will be an uphill battle to get the third-thirds Senate majority needed for ratification. After blocking action on the treaty for two years, Republican leaders in the Senate agreed to hold a vote next week in a maneuver officials here say will preclude adequate hearings and debate. With reporters present for the start of the meeting, the President acknowledged that pro-treaty forces are short of votes and promised to do everything he can to change the equation by next week. He warned that rejection of the treaty will cost the United States its leadership role in disarmament efforts, and encourage additional countries to try to acquire nuclear weapons: /// CLINTON ACTUALITY /// For decades the United States has led the world against proliferation. And if the United States Senate votes this treaty down, it would be a signal that the United States now wants to lead the world away from the cause of non- proliferation. We would be giving a green light to all these other people. /// END ACT /// Republicans argue the test ban would eliminate the United States' ability to assure the reliability of its nuclear deterrent or to modernize forces to counter future threats. Senator John Warner also told reporters it would be difficult or impossible to detect cheating by treaty signatories: /// WARNER ACT /// There's only so much we can verify. And that's not the fault of the Administration. But the scientific community has put together the best monitoring program that it knows, and still it's difficult to determine - in deep underground situations - what another nation is doing. /// END ACT /// White House officials said they had no information to back up weekend news reports that Russia, despite its renunciation of testing, may have secretly conducted low-yield nuclear detonations. But they said if the accounts were true, the treaty would make such activity easier to detect because of its provisions for worldwide monitoring stations and on-site inspections. The United States has not tested a nuclear device since 1992. Mr. Clinton says the reliability of U-S weapons is not in doubt, however, because of a four- and-a-half billion dollar-a-year program employing super-computer simulations to test critical weapons systems. (Signed) NEB/DAG/TVM/gm 04-Oct-1999 17:32 PM EDT (04-Oct-1999 2132 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .