News




DATE=5/28/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232955
TITLE=U-S / PAKISTAN NUKE MONITORING  (L-UPDATE)
BYLINE=JIM RANDLE
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  U-S INTELLIGENCE AND MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE 
TRYING TO INDEPENDENTLY DETERMINE HOW MANY NUCLEAR DEVICES 
PAKISTAN SET OFF -- AND HOW POWERFUL THOSE WEAPONS ARE. V-O-A'S 
JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON.

TEXT:  DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS PAKISTAN'S 
UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TEST WAS DETECTED "IMMEDIATELY" BY A 
GLOBE-SPANNING NETWORK OF SEISMIC SENSORS.  UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR 
EXPLOSIONS SHAKE THE GROUND IN WAYS THAT RESEMBLE EARTHQUAKES, 
AND THEIR SEISMIC SIGNALS CAN BE MONITORED BY INSTRUMENTS 
DESIGNED TO STUDY EARTHQUAKES. 

WITHIN HOURS OF THE TESTS, DOZENS OF SEISMIC STATIONS REPORTED 
DATA BY SATELLITE TO A CENTRAL MONITORING FACILITY NEAR 
WASHINGTON.  SCIENTISTS CONCLUDED THE TESTS SHOOK THE EARTH ABOUT
AS MUCH AS AN EARTHQUAKE MEASURING FOUR-POINT-NINE ON THE RICHTER
SCALE. 

EXPERTS SAY A NUCLEAR TEST THAT REGISTERS FOUR-POINT-ONE ON THE 
RICHTER SCALE MAKES A BLAST ROUGHLY EQUIVALENT TO ONE- THOUSAND 
TONS OF HIGH EXPLOSIVE.  NUCLEAR EXPERTS MEASURE EXPLOSIONS IN 
TERMS OF THOUSANDS OF TONS -- OR KILOTONS -- OF EXPLOSIVE.

MR BACON SAYS THE EXPLOSIONS BY PAKISTAN AND INDIA ARE A 
DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT NO SURPRISE.

                        /// BACON ACT ///

         BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN WORKING ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS FOR 
         SOME TIME.  WHAT THEY'VE DONE IS MADE THE RELATIVELY 
         SMALL TECHNICAL STEP FROM DEVELOPING WEAPONS TO TESTING 
         THEM.  IT'S A VERY LARGE POLITICAL STEP, BUT IT'S A 
         SMALL TECHNICAL STEP.  

                        /// END ACT /// 

A U-S INTELLIGENCE SOURCE SAYS SCIENTISTS HAVE NOT YET BEEN ABLE 
TO VERIFY PAKISTAN'S STATEMENT THAT IT SET OFF FIVE DEVICES.  THE
OFFICIAL SAYS IF THE WEAPONS YIELDED LESS THAN ONE KILOTON, OR IF
THEY WERE ALL SET OFF NEARLY SIMULTANEOUSLY, THEN IT IS DIFFICULT
TO ANALYZE THE RESULTING SEISMIC DATA.

                          // REST OPT //

MEANTIME, MR.BACON SAYS WASHINGTON WANTS PAKISTAN AND INDIA TO 
PAUSE AND REFLECT ON WHAT HE CALLS THE MISTAKE OF TESTING NEW 
BOMBS.

                       /// BACON ACT  ///

         OUR HOPE NOW IS THAT BOTH SIDES WILL BE ABLE TO BACK 
         DOWN AND SEE THE THREAT OF AN ESCALATING ARMS RACE ON 
         THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT AND DO THEIR BEST TO AVOID THAT.

                        /// END ACT  ///

MR. BACON SAYS THE NUCLEAR TESTS ARE JUST ONE ASPECT OF THE  
GROWING TENSION BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN.  HE SAYS BOTH NATIONS
HAVE BALLISTIC MISSILES THAT CAN CARRY WARHEADS A FEW HUNDRED 
KILOMETERS.  HE SAYS BOTH ARE WORKING TO INCREASE THAT  RANGE TO 
ONE- TO TWO-THOUSAND KILOMETERS, A DEVELOPMENT HE CALLS 
"WORRISOME." (SIGNED). 

NEB/JR/TMD/RRM

28-May-98 5:01 PM EDT (2101 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.