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Kennedy: Soviet Harassment in Berlin "Intensifying Danger"

Mar. 14, 1962 - President Kennedy said today that the Soviet Union was putting additional obstacles in the way of a Berlin agreement by its harassing tactics in the air corridors between West Germany and West Berlin. The President said that both sides should make every effort — particularly during the disarmament conference at Geneva — to avoid incidents that are likely “to lead to actions and counter-actions which can only intensify the danger.” The President said that Secretary of State Dean Rusk and the Earl of Home, the British Foreign Secretary, have made “vigorous representations” in talks in the last three days with Andrei A. Gromyko, the Soviet Foreign Minister. Five days ago, Soviet planes began dropping small bits of aluminum foil, called chaff, in the corridors to interfere with Western radar. In the last two days, the Russians have flown military transports in one corridor at heights and times designated for Allied commercial flights. Mr. Gromyko was reported to have said that he knew nothing of such harassments.

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