UNITED NATIONS: Getting Nowhere

For the past six weeks, the world's five leading atomic powers (the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and Canada) have been meeting privately in London at the U.N.'s request. The hope: that free of the need to take public positions, they might hammer out some agreement on atomic disarmament. With the support of the U.S. and Canada, Britain and France proposed: 1) a ban on the use of nuclear weapons "except in defense against aggression," followed by 2) fool proof international control and inspection, 3) step-by-step disarmament.

The Russians held out stonily for unconditional prohibition of atomic weapons, guaranteed by no...

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