U.S. Against China Sanctions

A U.S. intelligence finding that China provided Pakistan with complete M-11 short-range ballistic missiles is insufficient for Washington to conclude that new strict sanctions should be invoked, the State Department said yesterday.

While "such a judgment must be taken into account," it is not necessarily sufficient basis for imposing sanctions under U.S. law, deputy spokesman James Foley said.

"In the M-11 case, we have not reached a conclusion that the requirements for a category one finding of sanctionability have been met," he told a news briefing.

Foley was reacting to a new U.S. intelligence report that states publicly for the first time that Pakistan received M-11 short-range ballistic missiles from China.

Global Y2K Warnings

In what may be the best road map yet for identifying global problems caused by the Year 2000 technology glitch, the State Department said it is preparing country-by-country warnings for Americans living or traveling in 194 nations.

There is no reason now to issue any specific warning, but Kevin Herbert, director of overseas citizens services at the department, said Americans could face "potential difficulties" in obtaining medical services, clean water and other facilities as a result of malfunctioning computers.

GOP Cool to Internet Taxes

House Republican leaders warned an Internet tax commission that the GOP-led Congress is in no mood to expand taxes on electronic commerce, including sales taxes on purchases across state borders.

"This idea is not a popular one in Congress or among the American people," wrote three dozen GOP lawmakers in a letter to the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, which is to recommend by April future tax policy on Internet business.

Easing of Sanctions Urged

The White House sent Congress an 18-page classified report by former defense secretary William J. Perry on relations with North Korea, which has pledged to refrain from testing a new long-range missile.

The report recommends that the United States ease economic sanctions and normalize relations with North Korea if it refrains from developing, testing, deploying and exporting long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, said a U.S. official. The idea is to give both sides a greater stake in stable relations when future problems arise, the official said.

"We believe the North wants to survive and wants its regime to survive," the official said, "and we hope that they believe normalizing relations with us will be helpful."

Perry suggests keeping U.S. troops in South Korea as deterrence against a North Korean attack. While critics say Perry's plan would reward North Korea for its threatening actions, a Clinton administration official said it proposes a "step by step reciprocal process."