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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


DoD News Briefing

Tuesday, May 26, 1998 - 1:40 p.m. (EDT)
Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)

Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.


Q: A question, if you can solve some confusion in my mind over the shipment of the satellites when they go to China. Does the Department of Defense guard these satellites still, from the time they leave the U.S. until they're blasted off?

A: My understanding is that there is a chain of custody for these satellites to go over there. We have people there on the ground during the setup period and actually until the launch takes place.

Q: When you say we, you mean the Defense Department?

A: The Defense Department does, yes.

Q: Another question on China. There was a report in the London Daily Telegraph over the weekend that Iran had concluded a secret deal with China to get chemicals that could be used for the production of nerve gas. Do you have any comment on that at all?

A: I don't.

Q: Do you have any evidence to suggest that's true?

A: I can't comment on secret intelligence reports.

Q: Did that chain of custody get affected at all when primary responsibility for these things went from the Defense Department over to the Commerce Department?

A: One of the conditions is that there are Defense Department people on the ground watching these, or monitoring what happens there. My belief is that the chain of custody was not changed. What was primarily changed was the licensing authority.


Press: Thank you.

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