Europe's response to downed jet
Brussels — The US-Soviet talks on limiting nuclear weapons in Europe should resume on schedule today despite the downing of the South Korean passenger jet by the Soviet Union last week, delegates from the NATO alliance agree.
But a US State Department official told reporters after a meeting in Brussels that nearly every NATO delegation had expressed outrage at what he called ''this atrocious behavior'' by the Soviets, reports Monitor contributor Gary Yerkey. The official said that at least one NATO delegation at the meeting had said the Korean airliner incident ''underlines the need to create a basis for more civilized behavior, and that arms control is an important aspect in that process.''
Repercussions from the incident have been felt elsewhere in Europe. France postponed a visit by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, informed sources said. Mr. Gromyko was due to arrive in Paris for a working visit Monday afternoon at the invitation of the French government. The sources said the Mitterrand administration did not want to be the first Western government to receive Gromyko after the jet was downed.
Also, a delegation from the three main Dutch political parties postponed a visit to Moscow Monday for talks on nuclear weapons. The group said it was shocked by the airliner incident, adding that it considered Soviet explanations inadequate.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union Monday accused Washington of fanning hysteria over the loss of the jetliner to provide a credible excuse for going ahead with deployment of new missiles in Western Europe. A statement by the official news agency Tass described the incident as a deliberate provocation to disrupt disarmament talks.