Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=7/19/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=PUTIN / NORTH KOREA - L
NUMBER=2-264564
BYLINE=HYUN SUNG KHANG
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO: Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in 
the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, following a state 
visit to Beijing. Russia, China and North Korea are 
united in their criticism of the proposed US National 
Missile Defense system.  As Hyun-Sung Khang reports 
from Seoul, security issues are high on Mr. Putin's 
agenda during his stay in Pyongyang.
TEXT: The Russian leader was met at the airport by the 
North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, and a full honor 
guard.  This is the first ever visit to North Korea by 
a Russian head of state.  
The two leaders are expected to discuss the issue, 
which dominated Mr. Putin's Beijing visit: namely the 
proposed US National Missile Defense system, or NMD.
Just hours before Mr. Putin's arrival, North Korea's 
state-controlled media denounced the US missile shield 
plan and said it was an attempt by the United States 
to have unchallenged military supremacy in the Pacific 
region.
Washington argues it needs a shield to protect itself 
from what it calls rogue states -- including North 
Korea. 
Analysts suggest President Putin intends to try to 
broker an agreement to reduce the threat from 
Pyongyang's missile program. Professor Lee Chung Hoo, 
of Seoul's Yonsei University, says this would 
strengthen the Russian argument against 
NMD, when he meets other heads of state at the G-8 
summit of major industrialized nations later this week 
in Japan.
            /// LEE ACT ///
Putin will try to get some sort of understanding or 
agreement with Kim Jong IL on his weapons of mass 
destruction, missiles. And if he is able to 
deliver and say at G-8, "I have talked to Kim Jong Il 
and he has said he is not going to develop missiles 
beyond a certain range,"  then I think this will 
significantly undermine the US argument that its NMD 
is being built as a preemptive measure against rogue 
states such as  North Korea.
            /// END ACT ///
Moscow and Pyongyang had been long-time allies, but 
relations between them cooled following the end of the 
Cold War.  The Russian president now seems intent on 
bolstering the relationship and reasserting Russian 
influence in the region. (signed)
NEB/HK/HSK/JO
19-Jul-2000 04:43 AM EDT (19-Jul-2000 0843 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
.





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list