Soviets 'give' on SALT qualms

Soviet officials have confirmed that a proposed arms-control treaty for outer space reflects a willingness to consider stated Reagan administration concern over "verification" of Earth-bound arms accords.

At the same time, Monitor correspondent Ned Temko reports, Moscow broadcast more hints Aug. 13 of a possibly toughened stand on another issue: President Reagan's decision to go ahead with production of the neutron weapon. A string of commentaries carried by the official news agency, Tass, implied the Soviets were considering production of their own neutron warheads in reply.

Despite the mushrooming media campaign against the US decision on the neutron weapon -- one commentary pronounced the US government dangerously insane -- officials continued privately to stress the need for fresh arms talks with the Americans. "This," one senior official said, "can include serious talks on verification" of superpower arms-control accords.

US arms negotiator Eugene V. Rostow has been suggesting publicly that Soviet willingness to cooperate on this issue could be a key to prospects for further negotiations.

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