Scientist Traveled To
China With Nuclear Secrets?
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, Time said.
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."