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DATE=4/3/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-260885 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A U-S anti-nuclear group says a proposed multi-billion dollar U-S anti-missile defense system is likely to trigger a new nuclear arms race. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the coalition of 17 groups says the new system could increase the danger of nuclear war. TEXT: The Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers says a decision to deploy the proposed limited national missile defense would increase, rather than reduce, nuclear dangers. President Clinton is to decide within the next few months whether to go ahead with the missile defense system. Advocates say it is needed to ward off threats by so-called rogue states. Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers Executive Director, Daryl Kimball, says a slim threat from states such as North Korea, Iran, and Iraq exists. /// KIMBALL ACT /// This limited missile defense program is not going to be able to successfully deal with that threat because the technology is simply not going to work. It can be overcome by these states even with their more limited technological capabilities. And, the United States has got to think of - and U-S allies have got to think of - other strategies to deal with this threat, diplomatic, military strategies. /// END ACT /// Mr. Kimball says the United States has to be careful not to worsen existing and real nuclear dangers while dealing with these potential emerging threats. He warns the proposed U-S system would violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which forbids nationwide missile defense. U-S officials are trying to get Russia to agree to modify the treaty to allow limited national defenses. Mr. Kimball says even if Russia and the U-S were to make such a deal, China is likely to react negatively. /// 2ND KIMBALL ACT /// China believes that this system, which is designed to stop ... long-range nuclear-armed missiles, is designed to deal with them (China). They have no more than a couple of dozen long- range missiles. So their reaction is likely to be an acceleration of their nuclear modernization program, which could have a ripple effect in all sorts of other areas. /// END ACT /// Mr. Kimball says one possible response, is that if China increases its nuclear arsenal, Russia might be tempted to build-up its medium-range missiles. The Russian program is intended to counter a threat from China. Mr. Kimball says U-S deployment of a national missile defense could severely damage international security by ending reductions in Russian nuclear weapons. The United States is estimated to have about 72-hundred strategic nuclear weapons, Russia a force of 59- hundred. Mr. Kimball also notes that U-S and Russian nuclear forces remain on high alert, which he says increases the possibility of accidental nuclear war. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/GE/RAE 03-Apr-2000 10:33 AM EDT (03-Apr-2000 1433 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .