News




DATE=5/26/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232834
TITLE=PAKISTAN NUCLEAR ( L-CQ)
BYLINE=JIM RANDLE
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  U-S OFFICIALS SAY PAKISTAN IS VERY NEARLY READY TO 
CONDUCT A NUCLEAR WEAPONS TEST.  V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM 
THE U-S DEFENSE DEPARTMENT.

TEXT:  A U-S INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL WHO REFUSED TO BE NAMED SAYS 
"PAKISTAN IS IN THE FINAL STAGES OF COMPLETING PREPARATIONS FOR A
NUCLEAR TEST."  

ANOTHER SOURCE -- THIS ONE WITH ACCESS TO INTELLIGENCE 
INFORMATION AT THE PENTAGON -- SAYS THIS DEVELOPMENT DOES  NOT  
MEAN THAT A TEST IS IMMINENT, JUST THAT ONE IS POSSIBLE.  U-S 
INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES HAVE BEEN MONITORING PAKISTAN VERY CLOSELY 
SINCE INDIA SET OFF A SERIES OF UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTS THIS 
MONTH.

PAKISTANI OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THEY WERE PREPARING FOR NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS TESTS, AND PENTAGON OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THEY "ARE AWARE 
THAT PAKISTAN HAS THE CAPABILITY TO DO SO."

INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE FOUGHT THREE WARS IN RECENT DECADES, AND 
ARE BOTH SAID TO BE WORKING ON BALLISTIC MISSILES.  THESE 
LONG-STANDING TENSIONS HAVE BEEN SHARPENED BY THE RECENT TESTS.  
A HIGH LEVEL U-S DELEGATION RECENTLY TRAVELED TO PAKISTAN,  
TRYING TO PERSUADE ISLAMABAD TO FORGO NUCLEAR TESTING.  

U-S OFFICIALS HAVE SAID IN PUBLIC THAT PAKISTAN WOULD HURT -- NOT
HELP --  ITS SECURITY WITH SUCH TESTS.  WASHINGTON ARGUES IT IS 
HARD TO KNOW WHERE SUCH A PROCESS MIGHT END. (SIGNED)

NEB/JR/TMD/JO

26-May-98 6:26 PM EDT (2226 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.