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6 Apr 1995 : Column WA31

Written Answers

Thursday, 6th April 1995

Non-Proliferation Treaty: Rights of Non-Weapon Signatories

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether their statement that "we are concerned that the Iranians might seek to use nuclear expertise acquired through the construction and operation of the Russian-supplied reactor for military purposes" (H.L. Deb., 22 March, col. WA 76) is to be read as meaning that they no longer accept as inalienable the rights of non-weapon signatories authorised in Article 4 of the NPT even when all the requirements and commitments included in Articles 1, 2 and 3 are being observed.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 8 March at col. WA 24.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation: Israel and Iran

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the financial assistance which Israel has received from United States citizens in its development of nuclear weapons, and the lack of discouragement from the United States government of these developments, have been in accordance with the United States' commitments under Article 1 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and if so what are the grounds for that opinion.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We are confident that the United States Government is fully committed to all of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the reports of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme, to which they refer but which the International Atomic Energy Agency does not confirm, are more soundly based than the reports which they admit to having received of Israel's existing nuclear weapons capacity, which Israeli officials no longer deny, and to which the United States does not object.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We take all such reports seriously.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Enhancements

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in the enhancements on which they are reported now to be working of the Security Assurances associated with the Non-Proliferation

6 Apr 1995 : Column WA32

    Treaty, they will include formal undertakings on the part of the nuclear weapon states signatories.


    (1) not to engage in nuclear-capable or other threatening exercises in the vicinity of non-nuclear signatories; and


    (2) to prevent the making of unlawful threats in relation to a country's nuclear power plant.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: No. We do not think it would be appropriate to include such undertakings.

NATO Combined Joint Task Force

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether individual members of the NATO Council will have a veto on operations by a "Combined Joint Task Force".

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: All decisions taken by the North Atlantic Council are by consensus.

Turkish Invasion of Northern Iraq: NATO Policy

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is NATO's agreed position that the Turkish invasion of Iraq should be "neither condoned nor condemned", as suggested by the United States Vice-President Gore.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: NATO has taken no formal position on the Turkish invasion of northern Iraq. We are watching the situation in the region with concern. We and our EU partners continue to press at the highest level for the Turks to withdraw their troops at the earliest opportunity.

Pakistan: Nuclear Power Station Built by China

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any objection to China building a 200-megawatt nuclear power station in Pakistan.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: China is a nuclear-weapon state party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Each nuclear-weapon state party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon state to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.

We understand that the 300MW nuclear power station which China is building at Chasma in Pakistan will be subject to IAEA safeguards.

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US/North Korea Framework Agreement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the framework agreement between the United States and North Korea included as an essential part the acceptance by North Korea of "South Korean type light water reactors" to be constructed by South Korea and whether they consider that the Government of North Korea has no right to select the light water reactors of its choice, under pain of United Nations Security Council sanctions.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We understand that these issues are being addressed in discussions between the US and the North Koreans. Their resolution is a matter for the parties concerned, including the Republic of Korea.

South Korea: Unified UN Command

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What in their view is the status of the United Nations forces and weaponry and other equipment currently present in South Korea and if there is still any de jure link between those forces, and the United Nations Command which was established to repulse the North Korean forces invading South Korea some 45 years ago.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Unified United Nations Command, which was established in 1950, remains legally in existence. Its prime purpose is to oversee the 1953 Armistice Agreement on behalf of the United Nations. It was to this Command that 16 members of the United Nations, including the UK, sent forces in 1950 to repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea. The Command has no forces of its own; should it require them, it would in the first instance draw on those of the US-Republic of Korea Combined Forces Command, which was established in 1978.

Korean Peninsula: Peace Settlement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have a droit de regard over the proposals being advanced by the USA toward North Korea concerning a peace settlement, on the assumption that a peace settlement in the Korean Peninsula would presumably be between the United Nations and the North Korean authorities rather than between representatives of North Korea and South Korea.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and as one of the countries which contributed to UN forces in Korea during and after the Korean war, the United Kingdom has a continuing interest in the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula. The Republic of Korea should be involved in any negotiations towards achieving a peaceful settlement in the Korean Peninsula.

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Chinese Family Planning Programme: UK Policy

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report, or place in the Library of the House, statements made by the British Government opposing coercion in the implementation of the Chinese family planning programmes.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We have made it clear on many occasions that we do not support any population activities in which there is an element of coercion of individuals to practice family planning or to accept any particular type of fertility regulation procedure. I refer my noble friend to my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary's observations on a number of petitions presented before the other place about the UK's support for the United Nations Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation activities in China. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will seek to obtain from the Government of the People's Republic of China the number of "officials" in China who were punished during the last year for which figures are available for (a) using coercion in the population policy; (b) failing to meet their targets or quotas.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We do not know whether such figures are available. However, we will seek to obtain—through international organisations, and the British Embassy in Peking—such information as the Chinese Government is prepared to provide.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will encourage the Government of the People's Republic of China to repeal Directive No. 7 of 1983 (the technical policy on birth control); and

    Whether they will ask the Government of the People's Republic of China why none of the provincial family planning regulations adopted since 1979 warns against coercion or specifies penalties for officials guilty of coercion.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We use all channels available to us in our attempts to influence Chinese population policies so that they promote children by choice, not chance, and encourage the Chinese authorities to reflect this approach in their directives and regulations.


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