Secretary of State James A. Baker III left a dispute over short-range nuclear missiles behind in West Germany and took his NATO tour to Scandinavia Monday hoping a solution would be worked out before his return to Bonn.
Baker met first Monday in Copenhagen with Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen on a stop designed to acquaint the new U.S. secretary of state with Denmark's skittishness over nuclear weapons.Baker then flew to Norway, a staunch U.S. ally that considers itself the cornerstone of NATO's northern defense. In Oslo, Norway's leaders expressed reservations about the need to update the North Atlantic Treaty Organization missiles.
Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland said modernizing the Western alliance's battlefield nuclear arms was one of many issues that required more discussion.
"We believe it should be a wide agenda, including both deterrence and disarmament negotiations," Brundtland told reporters, with Baker standing at her side.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg added later, "Negotiations could lead to a result which does not make modernization necessary."
Stoltenberg, who will visit Washington this month, said Baker did not press for modernizing the nuclear arsenal, but only was "thinking aloud on the policy of the new administration."
The most critical talks of Baker's eight-day tour of the 15 NATO allies are being held in Bonn. West German leaders are trying to delay the modernization of Lance battlefield nuclear missiles, while the Bush administration wants to upgrade them.