New Deadline For Destruction Of Deadly Weapons Is 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon has extended its time-line to destroy the nation's aging chemical weapons arsenal until 2023, despite concerns by Congress and watchdog groups. There is fear that the stockpiles raise the risk of an accident or theft by terrorists.

Part of the stockpile is at the Bluegrass Army Ammunition Depot
near Richmond in Madison County. The new schedule is outlined in Pentagon documents obtained by U-S-A TODAY and show the military won't eliminate its stock of deadly nerve gases and skin-blistering agents until eleven years after the 2012 deadline set by the international Chemical Weapons Convention.

The U-S government had already asked for a five-year extension from an earlier 2007 deadline. An eleven a-m (eastern time) news conference is to be held today at the depot near Richmond.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)