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Khrushchev Bends on Nuclear Inspections

Jan. 20, 1963 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (pictured with President Kennedy in 1961) has agreed to permit two or three on-site inspections a year in an effort to reach agreement on a treaty banning nuclear tests. Khrushchev’s concession to American opinion was disclosed today in the simultaneous release in Moscow and Washington of letters between him and President Kennedy. A high American official said after release of the letters that he regarded the Soviet offer, while inadequate, as truly a hopeful move. He also said that while no definite agreements were reached between Soviet and U.S. negotiators in New York last week, the Soviet responses indicated a serious desire to negotiate. Khrushchev made his original proposal to permit a limited number of inspections in a letter to President Kennedy Dec. 19. He said the “time has come now to put an end once and for all to nuclear tests.” In replying Dec. 28 to the Khrushchev letter, Mr. Kennedy said he was “encouraged” by the Soviet proposal. But he said 8 or 10 inspections were required. The President nevertheless urged a prompt resumption of Soviet-American talks on a test ban treaty. These talks began last week in New York.


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