Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Soviet-United States Joint Verification Experiment for Nuclear Testing

 

September 14, 1988

 

Today at the Soviet nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk, the United States and the Soviet Union conducted the second and concluding phase of the Joint Verification Experiment (JVE). As in the successful first phase of the JVE last month at the U.S. nuclear test site in Nevada, U.S. and Soviet scientists, technicians, and observers were present to measure the yield of the explosion.

 

We believe these experiments have demonstrated the effectiveness and nonintrusiveness of CORRTEX, our preferred method, and should allow the Soviet Union to accept its routine use.

 

The JVE process is the result of a U.S. initiative embodied in the agreement reached at the Moscow summit which provided for one underground nuclear explosion experiment at the U.S. test site in Nevada and another at the Soviet test site. Following today's phase of the JVE, U.S. and Soviet negotiators return to Geneva to continue the current round of negotiations on nuclear testing. Our objective for these negotiations is to conclude an agreement on effective verification measures for the unratified Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (PNET). Today's JVE at Semipalatinsk moves us further toward achieving agreement on the effective verification protocols which are essential for the two treaties and reflects the success of the administration's practical and measured approach to nuclear testing issues.