THE NATIONS: No Middle Way

The party lasted until 2 a.m., and the walls of Oslo's 13th Century Akershus Fortress reverberated with laughter and deep-throated Scandinavian singing. The guests —97 ministers, generals, diplomats and politicians of Sweden, Denmark and Norway—toasted each other and their countries. Gay as any was the host, Norway's Foreign Minister Halvard Lange. Yet in his pocket crackled a crisp piece of paper, a note from Soviet Russia. The Soviet ambassador had delivered it just as Lange was leaving for the state dinner.

Next morning the guests learned what Lange had known all during the party—that Russia had peremptorily questioned Norway about...

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