News In Brief

Shultz terms space-weapons talks 'difficult'

Secretary of State George Shultz said Saturday US-Soviet talks on space weapons would be difficult but the Reagan administration would not have agreed to talk if it did not think some things were negotiable.

''We continue to believe there are difficult verification problems connected with agreements in that area,'' Shultz told reporters traveling with him on a 10 -day trip to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Western diplomats in Moscow said they were pessimistic about the prospects for Soviet-US talks on banning space weapons after Friday's statement by the Soviet news agency Tass.

In the statement, the Soviet Union again offered to start talks in Vienna in September, as long as the talks were limited only to that subject.

The statement accused the Reagan administration of trying to evade serious negotiations and demanded a halt to US testing of antisatellite systems. The diplomats said Saturday this was a concession President Reagan would find difficult in an election year.

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