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Breaking News

No Comment from State Department on Any Possible U.S. Rescue of Trapped Russian Nuclear Sub

Aired August 14, 2000 - 1:48 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you live to the State Department. During the regular briefing, the State Department has just been asked if the U.S. plans to help with that nuclear submarine that Russia has to figure out how to rescue.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

PHILIP REEKER, DEP. STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: ... particular conversations we have had at this point, or request for assistance, you might want to try the Pentagon since this is a continuous evolving situation, involving that Russian submarine. We are still trying to get all the facts, and I would think the Pentagon will be the first place to do that. We'll watch that throughout the afternoon, and can certainly let you know if there are any developments, where we might be involved.

QUESTION: Do you have anything on the fact that it is comes out that Kim Jong Il was only kidding when he said...

ALLEN: No news from the State Department on what, if any, role the U.S. could possibly play in helping Russia figure out what to do with that submarine that is at the bottom of the Barents Sea. The State Department spokesman -- deputy spokesman, Phil Reeker saying: Check with the Pentagon. We have a correspondent there. So we will be in touch to see if there are any developments on if the U.S. is advising Russia.

Here's the story, if you are just joining us, a nuclear submarine has been involved in some sort of collision. Russia is not being clear on what kind of collision. It is believed serious, perhaps catastrophic, according to people who have been talking with the Russians, who we have talked with here at CNN. One hundred and seven people are aboard that submarine. It is in 350 of water.

Russia is saying, the head of the Russian navy is saying that there is serious collision damage and the chance of rescue isn't looking good. There are vessels, the U.S. has one that could help in a rescue, but apparently no decision has been made. And that is all the information we have right now. It is a story that we will continue to keep a close eye on.

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