News In Brief

Japanese paper says Soviets issued brief war alert Aug. 15

A leading Japanese newspaper said Monday that the Soviet Far Eastern Army issued a coded signal on Aug. 15 saying it was going into a state of war with the United States but withdrew it 30 minutes later.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said the signal, intercepted in Tokyo, was issued from the Soviet Pacific port of Vladivostok to a special troop unit in nearby Ussrysk , and said US forces in Japan and Japanese authorities then went into a state of high alert.

The reported signal followed a joke by President Reagan on Aug. 13, in which Mr. Reagan said during a voice test for a radio broadcast that he had signed legislation outlawing Russia and added: ''We begin bombing in five minutes.''

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