Nuclear arms control to be theme of Clinton's first U.N. address today

September 27, 1993|By Mark Matthews | Mark Matthews,Staff Writer

UNITED NATIONS -- President Clinton plans today to offer greater access to U.S. technology for nations that abide by international missile proliferation controls, senior officials said last night.

Mr. Clinton plans to make efforts to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction a key theme of his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Citing this spread as one of the main threats to the post-Cold War world, Mr. Clinton will focus on three proposals the officials said:

* Easing U.S. curbs on technology exports for nations that agree to abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime. This would allow developing countries in particular new access to rocket technology that is currently denied them.

* Seeking a ban on new production of nuclear-weapon fuels, plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

* Renewing his call for a comprehensive ban on the testing of nuclear weapons.

The administration's efforts to push its nonproliferation agenda have hit a roadblock with China, which is believed to have exported missile technology to India and to be planning a new nuclear test.

But although China will be targeted by implication in Mr. Clinton's speech today, it won't be singled out by name.

In a speech of broad foreign-policy themes, Mr. Clinton will demand reforms of U.N. peacekeeping and deal generally with U.S. support for peacekeeping operations.

He plans to deal only briefly, however, with the U.S. commitment to join in enforcing peace in Bosnia if the warring parties agree to a peace settlement.

Facing opposition in Congress, senior officials in recent days have spelled out particular conditions for U.S. participation in Bosnia peacekeeping under NATO command, including the need for an existing strategy and a request by warring parties for the United States to participate.

But Mr. Clinton's national security adviser, Anthony Lake, insisted yesterday that these conditions are not intended to preclude U.S. participation.

"This is an effort to think through seriously how one would implement an agreement if one were reached and if the parties, particularly [Bosnian President Alija] Izetbegovic, were to ask us to do so," Mr. Lake said.

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