Report: World's Nuclear Arsenal 'Pretty Much' Accounted For

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Vol 35 Issue 19

Painful Boil Still Too Unformed To Lance

BILLINGS, MT—A throbbing boil on the neck of Art Krenchicki is not quite ready for lancing, the 47-year-old Billings man reported Monday. "Just a couple more days, and it'll be all set," said Krenchicki, studying the inflamed, pus-filled swelling. "You can't lance them too soon, or they take even longer to heal."

Area Woman Has Already Figured Out Who Killed The Vicar

GREENSBORO, NC—Only three chapters into the Barbara Nelson Scott mystery thriller All Saints' Day, reader Mary Toback has already deduced the killer of Father Blaine, the Vicar of St. Mary's of Glasgow, it was reported Tuesday. "The angle of the stabs was consistent with a left-handed assailant," Toback told reporters. "And if you note the description of Bishop Argyll's desk on page 22, his quills are kept to the left of the writing tablet as he faces the desk." Toback did not need to remind reporters that Argyll stands to benefit more than anyone from the appointment of MacGregor as the new Vicar.

Local Man Puts Rehab Behind Him

SAN FRANCISCO—After a harrowing three-year battle with drug-addiction recovery, area resident Scott Fedorisko finally put rehab behind him Monday. "It's been a long and hellish road, but I'm happy to say that, once again, I'm off the life and high on drugs," said Fedorisko, tapping a heroin-filled syringe. "At last, I have put my dark days of recovery behind me and can now look forward to many years of substance-dependent bliss."

Dean Cain Fanpage Last Updated 8/14/96

MONROE, MI—The Monroe-based "I Love Dean Cain" website, dedicated to providing up-to-the-minute information on actor Dean Cain, was last updated in August 1996, sources reported Monday. "Keep this page bookmarked and come back soon for the very latest Dean Cain news!" the page urged visitors. "Coming next week: A very special preview of the Lois & Clark season premiere!!!!" Due to the lack of updating, it is not known whether Cain's favorite film is still The Princess Bride. The current status of his three dogs—Jay, Bosco and Mocha—is also undetermined.

Milosevic Dreams He's Slaughtering Ethnic Albanians In His Underwear

BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA—In an incident he described as "really freaky," Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic dreamed he was ordering the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kosovars while clad only in his underwear Tuesday. "Everything in the dream was totally normal, except, for some reason, I wasn't wearing any clothes," Milosevic said. "At one point, I was trying to think of a way to excuse myself to go home and get dressed, but I had to stay and order the mass execution of 2,400 villagers in the border town of Podujevo." Last Friday, Milosevic dreamed he was taking an exam with U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke on a mound of bodies near the Macedonian border.

Booked Solid

I'm such an expert at procrastination, I finally got around to making my 1999 New Year's Resolution last week! But once you hear it, you'll forgive me, because this resolution is a real doozy!

Gore Excited After Seeing Self On TV

WASHINGTON, DC—Hours after seeing himself at the funeral of King Gustaf III of Denmark on ABC World News Tonight, an excited Al Gore called friends and family Monday to ask if they saw the televised report. "Did you see me on the news?" the vice-president asked friend Jonathan Gantner. "Peter Jennings was talking about the funeral, and then they showed Albright, and, for like five seconds, you could see me standing behind her. It was so awesome." Gore is reportedly asking around to see if anyone taped the program.

Too Many Plutocrats

I am tired of complicated things happening in my life. It means I am obliged to explain them in the next week's Message, and that I must not forget them as any decent man in the final stages of advanced senility would.

Star Wars Mania

The top-grossing movie series in history, the Star Wars saga continues this week with the long-awaited release of Episode I--The Phantom Menace. What are the reasons for the films' enormous, enduring appeal?
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Report: World's Nuclear Arsenal 'Pretty Much' Accounted For

UNITED NATIONS—The world's roughly 34,000 nuclear weapons are "pretty much" accounted for, according to a report released Monday by the U.N.

Pakistani citizens parade one of the nation's 15 or 16 known nuclear missiles through the streets of Islamabad.

"The U.N. is confident that virtually all of the world's nuclear arsenal has been inventoried and catalogued," said Paavo Östersund, chair of the United Nations Nuclear Weapons Investigative Committee. "For those of you who fear that there are weapons of mass destruction in the hands of rogue states or terrorists, let me assure you that this is, to the best of our knowledge, not the case."

The report details the whereabouts and operational status of "the vast majority" of warheads on Earth, including North Korea's 300 NoDong-2 nuclear-capable medium-range missiles, Turkmenistan's 73 Scud B/C short-range missiles and the two to five 75-pound plutonium-core satchel nukes believed to be in the possession of radical Muslim fundamentalist Osama bin-Laden.

The report also outlines the status of most of China's several dozen or so ICBMs and India's three or four nuclear-capable missiles, and details on the dismantling of the roughly 21,000 nuclear warheads currently controlled by Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Belarus and "a bunch of other former Soviet-bloc nations."

In addition to completing a "pretty thorough" global nuclear-arms census, the U.N. also determined the location of a great deal of the world's weapons-grade fissionable materials.

Bangladeshi Nuclear Commission director Manoj Shahpura poses with his country's nuclear warhead.

"We worked closely with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the former Soviet Union's Strategic Rocket Forces with the firm objective of really getting a handle on this whole nuclear materials deal," said Robert L. Chang, a U.N. nuclear-devices inspector. "And we accounted for piles and piles of it. You'd really be surprised how little's actually missing."

According to Chang, the total volume of missing weapons, radioactive materials and sensitive strategic items is "actually barely even anything." The amount of material still unaccounted for, Chang said, is so small, it would fit in 10 or 12 dozen suitcases.

"You'd be surprised how low the possibility is of a portable nuclear device finding its way from a Third World splinter faction into the hands of a terrorist flying from Athens to New York City," Chang said. "The chances are a thousand to one."

"Besides," Chang continued, "nuclear devices are astronomically expensive on the black market. If a terrorist group were to purchase one, odds are low that they would use it in all but the most extreme cases."

The Pentagon is optimistic about the report.

"When talking about something like worldwide nuclear stability, it's critical to maintain a sense of perspective," Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said. "After all, what's more important? The tens of thousands of multi-megaton-capacity weapons that are accounted for, or the comparatively tiny couple of hundred that aren't?"

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