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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 14, 1999


Nonproliferation: The Clinton Administration Record

President Clinton has led the effort to reduce the threat to Americans from weapons of mass destruction. Over the past six years, the Administration has made unprecedented progress in curbing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles that deliver them, in reducing the dangerous legacy of Cold War weapons' stockpiles and in promoting responsible conventional arms transfer policies.

Nuclear Weapons

Preventing Nuclear Proliferation in the Former Soviet Union: The U.S. worked with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to remove all nuclear weapons from their soil and to secure their agreement to forswear such weapons forever.

Ending Nuclear Testing: The U.S. led the international effort to conclude the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and was the first world leader to sign this historic agreement banning all nuclear explosions.

Freezing North Korea's Nuclear Program: Under the 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework, North Korea's plutonium production has been frozen under international monitoring and its production facilities are to be dismantled.

Extending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: U.S. diplomacy played a critical role in 1995 in securing the unconditional and indefinite extension by consensus of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- the cornerstone of our efforts to control nuclear proliferation. Under U.S. leadership, 29 new countries, including Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, have joined the NPT.

Controlling Nuclear Materials: The U.S. has promoted broader international participation in both the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the two informal groups which control equipment and materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons. Since 1993, Argentina, Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, the Slovak Republic, South Africa and Spain have joined the Zangger Committee. During the same period, the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has expanded to include Argentina, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Slovak Republic and Ukraine.

Strengthening Security of Nuclear Materials: The U.S. is engaged in unprecedented programs at 100 sites in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and other countries to strengthen the security and accounting of nuclear materials and protect them from theft or diversion.

Safeguarding Weapon-Grade Uranium: The U.S. purchased 500 metric tons of weapon-grade, highly-enriched uranium from Russia for dilution to safer, low-enriched uranium to be used in commercial power reactors. In Operation Sapphire, the U.S. airlifted nearly 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium from Kazakhstan for safe disposition in the United States.

Securing Weapon-Free Zones: The U.S. signed the relevant Protocols to both the South Pacific and African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaties in the spring of 1996.

Engaging China: Through U.S. efforts, China joined the Zangger Committee of nuclear suppliers, pledged to cease all assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and cut off nuclear cooperation with Iran.

Chemical and Biological Weapons

Banning Chemical Weapons: The U.S. was an original party to the Chemical Weapons Convention when it entered into force in 1997 and has led international efforts to secure universal adherence to and compliance with this ban on poison gas. Today, 126 countries are members of the CWC.

Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention: The U.S. has been at the forefront of international efforts to conclude a legally-binding protocol to strengthen compliance with the 1972 treaty outlawing biological weapons.

Eliminating Former CBW Facilities: Under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the U.S. is dismantling former Soviet chemical weapons production facilities in Russia and Uzbekistan and a former Soviet biological weapons production facility in Kazakhstan.

Controlling Chemical and Biological Weapon-Related Material: The U.S. successfully promoted the membership of Argentina, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and South Korea in the Australia Group, which controls chemical and biological weapon-related material.

Assisting Chemical Weapons Destruction in Russia: Under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the U.S. is designing and constructing Russia's first chemical weapons destruction facility.

Conventional Weapons and Missiles

Controlling Munitions and Dual-Use Technologies: The U.S. led international efforts to create the 33 member Wassenar Agreement, which seeks to promote the responsible transfers of arms and related technology and to increase transparency of such exports. Through U.S. leadership in Wassenaar, we have been able to stop the flow of arms and sensitive technologies to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya and other countries.

Promoting Strong National Export Controls: The U.S. has provided legal and technical advice and support to countries in the former Soviet Union on the development and maintenance of effective dual-use and munitions export controls.

Stemming Missile Proliferation: The U.S. has strengthened the guidelines and expanded the membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), adding Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Iceland, Turkey, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Russia and Ukraine to its rolls. We have also secured China's commitment not to transfer ground-to-ground MTCR-class missiles and to abide by the original MTCR guidelines.

Regional Security

Containing Iran and Iraq: The U.S. has pressed Russian and other potential suppliers not to assist Iranian and Iraqi efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

Redirecting FSU Weapon Scientists: The U.S. has employed over 30,000 former Soviet weapons scientists on over 1,000 peaceful research projects under the multinational Science Centers and other nonproliferation assistance programs.

Promoting Stability in South Asia: The U.S. is pressing both India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to forego destabilizing nuclear and missile activities.

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