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U.S. Department of State

Daily Press Briefing

INDEX
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1999
Briefer: JAMES P. RUBIN

PAKISTAN
18Radioactive Debris from Pakistan's Nuclear Test


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
DPB #9
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1999, 12:45 P.M.
(ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)


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QUESTION: New subject, South Asia. You've just clarified that you won't comment on intelligence matters. But the CIA just found out that Pakistan used plutonium in the May explosions. What is exactly the significance - it should be good news that they have the uranium program frozen and they are using plutonium. So is that just an export-control matter now?

MR. RUBIN: Let me make clear, there is no good news in Pakistan's nuclear program. With respect to the question about radioactive debris, these are all intelligence questions that I can't comment on. With respect to various reports about disputes among the labs, you will have to talk to the Department of Energy. With respect to the question of the danger posed by this debris, we have no indication that the test posed a significant health hazard. With respect to the question of whether a release would violate the limited Test Ban Treaty, let me point out that treaty prohibits causing radioactive debris from a test to be present outside the territorial limits of the state conducting the test, and that Pakistan has acceded to that treaty in 1988.

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