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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May, 1967

    South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Items of Interest in the Field of Atomic Energy'

    Summary of the communication between South African and American policymakers regarding the renewal of the Atomic Energy Cooperation Agreement. The renewal of the previous agreement was contingent on South Africa reforming its safeguards policy and modeling them after the Canadian and US policies.

  • May, 1967

    South Africa Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Items of Interest in the Field of Atomic Energy, Renewal of the Untied States/South Africa Atomic Energy Cooperation Agreement (July 1957 to July 1967)'

    Report on the status of negotiations with Washington over the extension of South Africa's Bilateral with the United States.

  • May, 1967

    Report, South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 'Items of Interest in the Field of Atomic Energy: Developments During March-April-May 1967'

    South African report summarizing communication between South African and US officials on the renewal of their atomic energy cooperation agreement, as well as cooperation with Argentina and France, discussion of the sale of uranium to Israel, and South Africa's redesignation to the IAEA board of governors.

  • May 18, 1967

    Report, South African Foreign Affairs Archives, 'The Nuclear Proliferation Problem'

    Report on the progress of South African discussions with Washington to extend the United States-South Africa Atomic Energy Bilateral

  • August 25, 1970

    United States Department of State, Memorandum from Martin Jacobs to Mr. Nelson on South African Nuclear Scientist’s Visit US Nuclear Testing Facilities

    Martin Jacobs reports that Dr. J. V. Retief, Senior Scientist of the National Nuclear Research Center of the South African Atomic Energy Board requested permission to visit an Army Corps research facility, the Cratering Group Research Labratory at Livermore, California. Jacobs was concerned that "there might be political repercussions if it appeared the US was assisting South Africa to produce nuclear explosives as a prelude to weapons development."

  • November 19, 1971

    South African Nuclear Fuel Agreement

    U.S. State Department memorandum weighing the arguments for and against renewing the agreement to sell uranium enrichment services to South Africa. The political fallout from engaging with the South African apartheid regime coupled with the fact that they had not signed the NPT were closely considered.

  • June 23, 1976

    Conversation between Prime Minister of South Africa Balthazar Vorster and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

    Meeting of a US delegation headed by Henry Kissinger with South African officials including Prime Minister Vorster on the topic of the situation in Rhodesia, Smith's rule there, the military situation in that country, and the potential involvement of Cuba or China in the conflict.

  • September 29, 1976

    Discussion between SWAPO with Dr Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State, in New York

    Dr. Kissinger expresses his proposal for a conference on Namibia to be attended by SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), Turnhalle members, and South Africa. The Conference concerned the ongoing struggle for independence by Namibian guerrillas from South African rule. Kissinger pledged US support to SWAPO as the leading force in Namibia, but Namibian delegates responded that they would not attend the conference unless South Africa met all preconditions including the withdrawal of troops from Namibian territory.

  • November 23, 1976

    United States Information Service, 'United States Statement on UN Vote on South Africa'

    US statement to the UN General Assembly delivered by delegate Father Hupp. The statement explains the why the US voted no on a series of resolutions regarding South Africa. These included resolutions on an arms embargo, sporting boycott and other resolutions concerning Apartheid. It also voted no on a resolution condemning Israel for arms sales to South Africa.

  • February 11, 1977

    Letter, South African Ambassador to the United States, 'The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa'

    The South African Ambassador to the United States writes about the reorganization of Congressional committees in Washington. The Ambassador is concerned with the new Subcommittee on Africa that is to travel to South Africa soon. It contains a number of vocal opponents to the Pretoria regime and three black members, most prominently Charles Diggs.

  • April 01, 1977

    Memorandum of Meeting of South African Prime Minister Vorster, Pik Botha and Brand Fourie on Rhodesia

    Botha describes that neither South Africa nor Rhodesia can count on much support from the United States.

  • June 02, 1977

    Letter, South African Ambassador to the United States, 'US Policy on Foreign Military Sales'

    The South African Ambassador to the United States analyzes the new arms control policies under the Carter Administration.

  • August 18, 1977

    Letter, US Ambassador Bowlder to South African Foreign Minister Botha

    Message from U.S. Ambassador Bowdler to the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Botha in which President Carter’s warning that the detonation of a South African nuclear device would have “most serious consequences” for U.S.-South African relations was conveyed.

  • August 19, 1977

    Letter, US Secretary of State Vance to South African Foreign Minister Botha

    US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance explains the evidence which lead the US to suspect that South Africa was developing nuclear weapons and developing a testing site in the Kalahari Desert.

  • August 23, 1977

    Telegram from South African Embassy in the US on President Carter’s Press Conference on the Kalahari Nuclear Test Site

    The South African Embassy in the US reports to the South African Foreign Ministry on President Carter’s press conference on the kalahari nuclear test site and related US media coverage. Carter called on the South African government to place their nuclear programs under international safeguards and monitoring and cease attempts to develop and explosive device.

  • August 24, 1977

    Telegram from South African Mission in New York to Department of Foreign Affairs on the New York Times Editorial 'Rumors, Not Bombs in South Africa'

    Summary of New York Times editorial regarding Carter's press conference on South Africa's alleged development of nuclear weapons.

  • August 30, 1977

    Telegram, Statement by South African Finance Minister O.P.F. Horwood on South Africa's Nuclear Intentions

    In a statement Horwood said that South Africa's nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, but that if it choose to, the country would make the decision to develop weapons "according to its own needs and it alone would make the decision."

  • August 31, 1977

    Cable from South African Embassy in the US to the South African Secretary for Foreign Affairs on South Africa and the Bomb

    Telegram from the South African embassy in Washington to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in Pretoria in response to a Washington Post article which alleged that South African had developed an untested nuclear weapon and became "the seventh nuclear power even though it will not be recognized as such." The conclusion drawn is that the article will lead to a watershed moment in South Africa’s international relations.

  • September, 1977

    Draft Letter to B. Cardledge on Conversation with US Deputy Undersecretary of State Joseph Nye on South African Nuclear Intentions

    Nye stated that at present the United States preferred to "concentrate on pressing South Africa to adhere to the NPT rather than continuing to enquire about the nature of the Kalahari facility." The State Department assessment was that while South Africa was capable of building a bomb at short notice, they did not actually plan to test one at this time.

  • September 08, 1977

    Letter from J.S. Wall to Bryan Cartledge, 'South African Nuclear Intentions'

    J.S. Wall of the UK Foreign and Commonweath Office reports on a conversation with David Aaron of the US National Security Council on concerns about South Africa's possible nuclear testing facility in the Kalahari desert.