In Helsinki, officials from the United States and the Soviet Union have been meeting for talks on ways of controlling the production of hunter-killer space vehicles capable of destroying or capturing satellites in orbit.
GV exterior United States Embassy in Helsinki (3 shots)
SCU Oleg Hlestov leader of Soviet delegation being greeted by Paul Warnke Chief of United States Arms control and disarmament Agency outside embassy and entering
SCU Warnke and hlestov talking outside embassy and entering
SV Rest of delegates entering embassy
Both countries have already agreed to refrain from attacking satellites being used to monitor in compliance with undertakings made in Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. But most of the hundreds of military satellites now in orbit are used to maintain communications and information systems, and are not covered by previous agreements. Mr. Warnke said he might not be able to stay for the duration of the talks, but added that this should not hinder their progress. Two main types of vehicle are reported under development in the United States; a small rocket-guided cylinder that homes on its target satellite through heat waves, and a radar-controlled killer thought to resemble the successfully developed Soviet vehicle.
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Background: In Helsinki, officials from the United States and the Soviet Union have been meeting for talks on ways of controlling the production of hunter-killer space vehicles capable of destroying or capturing satellites in orbit. The meeting which began on Thursday (June 8) was proposed by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Cyrus Vance, in April when he expressed concern that an arms race in space might be imminent.
SYNOPSIS: The first round of talks was held at the United States Embassy in the capital, Helsinki. Heading the Soviet delegation was Ambassador Oleg Hlestov while the American side was led by Mr. Paul Warnke, chief of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, which observers said indicates the importance Washington attaches to the talks.
Mr. Warnke said other countries could be brought into the discussions if they proved successful. Both sides stress the talks are exploratory at present. The two superpowers have been working for years on methods of destroying enemy satellites in a future war. American experts say the Soviet Union has developed a search-and-destroy vehicle which has successfully knocked out a target satellite in tests. The Soviets are believed to be ahead of the Americans in this branch of weaponry, but both sides have pledged not to put mass destruction weapons, like nuclear bombs, into space. A Swedish peace organisation has estimated the two countries have each spent about 30 billion dollars on military technology in space. An American embassy spokesman said the talks, expected to last a week, would probably not produce a final communique, although statements could be released from Moscow and Washington.