- NEW YORK (AFP) - A Taiwan-born U.S. scientist suspected of passing U.S.
nuclear secrets to China traveled to Hong Kong and Beijing in 1988 where
he may have divulged information on Washington's most modern warhead,
Time magazine reported.
- Time said in editions due for release
Monday that Wen Ho Lee, who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory,
traveled to a 1988 seminar in Hong Kong and may during that trip have
briefed Chinese officials on the miniaturization design of the W-88 warhead.
- Lee also visited Beijing the same year,
Time said, citing U.S. government sources.
- U.S. intelligence officials were chagrined
to discover in 1995 that Chinese nuclear blasts carried out from 1990
to 1995 involved a miniature warhead that was a near replica of the W-88,
- But the weekly said Lee was not singled
out as a suspect until 1996 when his travel records and movements were
more closely examined.
- And the magazine said he was not dismissed
until after failing a second lie detector test this year. He passed a
polygraph test in 1998, according to Time.
- Time said the W-88 technology gave Beijing
a "shortcut" to the most modern technology and could allow for
Chinese missiles that are "lighter, more mobile, easier to hide and
able to hit multiple, long-range targets."