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U.S. Proposes Permanent Monitoring of Missile Sites : Factories Would Be Inspected

March 12, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The United States today presented to the Soviet Union a tough permanent monitoring plan to guard against violations of a proposed treaty to eliminate medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe.

Among key provisions is the stationing of Russians at American missile factories and U.S. inspectors at Soviet plants.

The Soviets have already accepted the principle of on-site inspections, but it was not clear how they would respond to the detailed U.S. plan.

"I wouldn't want to make a prediction," said Charles E. Redman, State Department spokesman, as he released details of the proposal that was presented at the negotiating table in Geneva.

268 U.S. Missiles

The treaty, which Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said on Feb. 28 should be worked out "without delay," would require the scrapping over five years of 268 American missiles now deployed in West Germany, Britain, Belgium and Italy, and 243 Soviet missiles aimed at Western Europe.

Monitoring and inspection would be conducted in three phases under the U.S. proposal.

First, inspectors from the two sides would go to the missile sites to confirm the number of weapons that are deployed.

Second, inspectors would be present to make sure that the required number of missiles were eliminated.

Third, permanent U.S. monitors would be stationed in Asia, where the Soviets could keep 100 warheads, with the Soviets having a matching right to check on the storage of 100 U.S. warheads, possibly in Alaska.

Reciprocal Surveillance

The U.S. proposal also calls for reciprocal surveillance of the factories in which American and Soviet medium-range missiles are built and stored.

If questions arise about compliance, inspections of other U.S. and Soviet nuclear facilities could be carried out with "short notice."

Also, the U.S. proposal would require the Soviets to agree to a ban on the concealment of information on missile tests.

In three reports to Congress, President Reagan has accused the Soviets of encrypting missile flight data.

In outlining the U.S. proposal, Redman said the three basic U.S. objectives were "to ensure confidence" in the treaty, to deter violations and to permit quick detection if there are any.

'Effective Verification'

"The United States looks forward to working out with the Soviet Union in Geneva an effective verification regime," the spokesman said.

Usually, the two sides do not make public the kind of details of their negotiating positions that were announced at the State Department.

Redman said the Soviets "obviously know what the contents are," and he made the details public also because there was "a great deal of interest in this question."

Other U.S. officials said a number of issues remained unresolved. These include whether the missiles eliminated from Europe would be destroyed, or only dismantled, and where the 100 allowable Soviet SS-20 warheads would be stored.

The United States held a one-day discussion of verification problems Monday at the State Department with Belgium, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and West Germany. Kenneth L. Adelman, U.S. arms control director, said later that "they are all aboard."

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