Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=7/14/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=US / SOKOR MISSILES (L-ONLY)
NUMBER=2-264417
BYLINE=JENNIFER O'NEIL
DATELINE=HONG KONG
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  Senior U-S and South Korean officials are 
discussing a possible deal that would allow Seoul to 
build missiles that could strike any where in North 
Korea.  U-S envoy Robert Einhorn is in Seoul just days 
after his talks with North Korean officials deadlocked 
on halting Pyongyang's missile exports.  V-O-A's 
Jennifer O'Neil reports from our Asia New Center in 
Hong Kong.
TEXT:  The U-S assistant secretary of state, Robert 
Einhorn, arrived in Seoul Thursday to discuss a 
possible U-S endorsement of Seoul's desire to develop 
missiles with a longer range.
The sensitive talks -- the latest in a series -- have 
been focusing on boosting South Korea's missile range 
from the current 180 to 300 kilometers.
South Korea says it wants to improve its deterrent 
capabilities, and the United States has endorsed the 
move in principle.  But Washington is worried that it 
could complicate recently improving relations with 
North Korea and spur a regional arms race.
South Korean officials counter they have a legitimate 
right to provide for their own security needs and it 
should not jeopardize the new peace overtures agreed 
to at last month's first-ever inter-Korea summit.
South Korea is currently bound to limit the range of 
its missiles by a 1979 agreement with Washington -- 
Seoul's chief defense ally.
Before arriving in South Korea, Assistant Secretary 
Einhorn failed to make progress on getting communist 
North Korea to curb its missile exports.  Talks broke 
down when the North Koreans demanded the United States 
pay it one billion-dollars annually.   (signed)
NEB/HK/JO/JP
14-Jul-2000 07:20 AM EDT (14-Jul-2000 1120 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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