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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=7/20/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=PUTIN / NORTH KOREA - L
NUMBER=2-264604
BYLINE=HYUN SUNG KHANG
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO: Russian President Vladimir Putin is on his way 
to Okinawa (has arrived in Okinawa) for a major 
international summit, following his unprecedented trip 
to North Korea.  In Pyongyang Thursday, Mr. Putin 
announced that North Korea agreed to halt its missile 
program in return for access to space technology. 
Hyun-Sung Khang reports from Seoul.
TEXT: Wrapping up his two day visit to Pyongyang - the 
first ever by a Kremlin leader - Mr. Putin made a 
surprise announcement. He said North Korea is prepared 
to exclusively use the missile technology of other 
countries, if it is offered rocket boosters for space 
research.
President Putin called on other countries, including 
South Korea, China, Japan and the United States to 
help fund the project.  He says North Korea also gave 
him an assurance that its missile program was entirely 
peaceful.
North Korea's missile program has put the communist 
country at odds with much of the international 
community.  In fact, it is one of main reasons the 
United States says it needs a proposed satellite and 
radar-controlled missile defense shield. The so-called 
National Missile Defense, or NMD, is strongly opposed 
by Russia and China, which say it would upset the 
strategic balance in the region and spark a new arms 
race.
Washington has responded with skepticism to Mr. 
Putin's announcement.  A State Department spokesman 
says the United States needed to see clear evidence 
that North Korea is serious about ceasing missile 
production.
The issue is certain to be discussed when Mr. Putin 
meets with the leaders of industrialized nations at 
their annual summit in Japan Friday. 
NEB/HK/HSK/JO 
20-Jul-2000 05:24 AM EDT (20-Jul-2000 0924 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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