U.S. Accidentally Shipped Nuclear Fuses to Taiwan
The error — undetected by the United States until last week, despite repeated inquiries by Taiwan — raises questions about how carefully the Pentagon safeguards its weapons systems. It also exposes the United States to criticism from China, a staunch opponent of a militarized Taiwan.
Pentagon officials said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has launched a full investigation. The devices — which, when attached to a missile, help launch the detonating process — have been returned to the United States, and President Bush has been briefed.