Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  352358

Title:  Remarks of Rep Lee Hamilton, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during a July 11 talk show interview regarding the death of North Korean leader Kim Il-Song. Congressional Report. (940711)

Date:  19940711


07/11/94 CONGRESSIONAL REPORT, JULY 11 (Hamilton/NKorea transition) (590) Rep. Lee Hamilton (Democrat of Indiana) is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Following are excerpts from his interview on July 11 talk show: (begin excerpts from Legi-Slate) KIM JONG-IL IN NORTH KOREA HAMILTON: The power seems to be moving in his direction. The transition thus far at least seems to be running fairly smoothly. So, it looks as if he will become the leader. They are referring to him by the title, "His Excellency." That's the title they applied to his father. And so, it looks as if he's beginning to consolidate power. But we'll know more, later today, after their meetings.

He's had almost no contact with foreign leaders. He didn't see, for example, former President Carter when he was there. I think, only rarely has he traveled out of the country. So, we have not much to measure this man by. We have had some unsettling reports about him, but we're operating on very skimpy evidence here.

There have been indications that he's liked the fast life, that he has been very, very close to the more militant factions in North Korea. But I don't think we should jump to any conclusions at this point.

U.S. INTELLIGENCE ABOUT NKOREA VERY POOR HAMILTON: It's very poor. This is the most isolated country in the world. We've had almost no contact with its leadership.

ENCOURAGING THAT THEY'RE WILLING TO PROCEED HAMILTON: I think that's encouraging that they're indicating a willingness to proceed. It's important to keep in mind here, I think, that our fundamental interests have not changed. We still want to see the nuclear weapons program contained and rolled back. Those interests of ours are exactly the same as they were, and we have to push ahead. So long as we're able to verify what they are doing in their nuclear program, I don't think a delay is going to hurt us.

NORTH KOREA-SOUTH KOREA TALKS HAMILTON: Those were scheduled, I think, for the 25th of this month. We'll just have to wait and see what develops there. From our standpoint, it's important that both sets of talks go forward -- the North-South talks, as well as our talks with North Korea, and I think we expect them to at this point.

We should strengthen our deterrent capabilities in South Korea, but we ought not to do it in a provocative way. I think what's required at the moment is a very steady hand -- and that means that we take our seat at the table and tell them we're ready to negotiate whenever they've gone through the period of mourning, that we continue to strengthen the military deterrents, but not do it in a very blatant, provocative way, and we must have -- leave no doubt in their mind what our bottom line is with regard to the negotiations.

G-7 SUMMIT HAMILTON: I think it was a good meeting. What impresses me most of all about these meetings now is they have become quite routine -- and that's very good. There was no great dramatic development there. The economies of the major countries are moving in the right direction.

I think, in many ways, the most immediate impact may very well be with respect to Bosnia. We are approaching a very critical point on Bosnia, and the next few days are going to determine, I think, whether you move towards peace or war there. And the key now is whether the Bosnian Serbs will accept this proposal.

(end excerpts) NNNN

File Identification:  07/11/94, EPF103
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Document Type:  EXC; INT
Thematic Codes:  1EA
Target Areas:  EA
PDQ Text Link:  352358
USIA Notes:  *94071103.EPF

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