US: Libya's uranium, chemical stocks secure

August 25, 2011 21:28


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WASHINGTON - The US State Department said on Thursday that it believes Libya's stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and mustard gas, built up by deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, are secure.

Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States was monitoring sites where the stockpiles are held through its "national technical means" -- a euphemism for spy satellites and other intelligence assets -- and was confident of their security.

Nuland stressed that the main US weapons proliferation concern from Libya are shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles known as MANPADs.

Libya's chemical agents are believed to have decayed over the years, and present more of an environmental hazard than a military one. Nor is Libya believed to have the means to turn its uranium yellowcake into highly-enriched uranium that can fuel a nuclear weapon.

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