Wednesday, September 15, 1971 - 2:37pm - 3:15pm
Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger
Executive Office Building

National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger entered at 2:38 P.M.

[89:30 on 277A]

President Nixon: Amchitka, we're going ahead with, aren't we?

Henry Kissinger: Yes. We're moving in, Mr. President, but the end of October is getting too hairy to do it early in October as you know from the last [unclear].

President Nixon: Too close to the Russians?

Kissinger: It's too close to the Russians and the Chinese announcement, and the Chinese trip. We're doing it after the demarche, after we have all these announcements.

President Nixon: They aren't going to object to it?

Kissinger: No. They won't object to it, but if the Russians screw up a nuclear test two days before it--”

President Nixon: Yeah, that's right.

Kissinger: --”a summit, it will just look like a very threatening act.

President Nixon: That's right. And you could inform the fellow beforehand. This is [unclear].

Kissinger: The Russians don't care [unclear].

President Nixon: It'll [unclear] the Chinese, though. The Chinese, though, I'd tell them [unclear] Russians did a test [unclear].

Kissinger: No, it's no problem, actually. The problem isn't--”it's simply, if the Russians blew out a test, say, the day before or the day after, even two days before or after the announcement, everyone here would say, --œLook at these threatening sons of bitches. Who wants the summit?-- If we do it a week before or week after [unclear].

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.