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CNN: LIVE FROM... June 22, 2006

Responding to the North Korea Missile Threat


PHILLIPS: Communist North Korea. Nobody on the outside really knows what's going on on the inside, especially when it comes to military capabilities. It's been tense between Pyongyang and the West for more than 50 years, with plenty of missile tests. So why all the fuss now?


PHILLIPS (voice-over): It's one of the most isolated countries in the world, led by one of the least predictable leaders in the world.

JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMB. TO UNITED NATIONS: We don't know exactly what North Korea has in mind. Nobody can read Kim Jong-Il's mind.

PHILLIPS: That's why everyone is so concerned about reports North Korea may be getting ready to test a long-range Taepodong-2 missile. North Korea leaders say they have one, and that that nuke has a firing radius of 9,300 miles.

What does that mean for you and me? It means U.S. cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, even Denver, are within its range. The Pentagon is working on a missile defense program, but so far only five of the ten tests of the interceptor have been successful.

JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: If it's only working half of the time and it's the only thing standing between you and an incoming hydrogen bomb, you'd say it's not working very well at all.

PHILLIPS: North Korea has not test-fired a long-range missile since 1998. The Bush administration warns testing such a missile would be an act of provocation. But so far, it's talking about a diplomatic response, not a military one. BOLTON: The launch of a missile, particularly if it goes after Japanese territory, is clearly a threat to international peace and security. It's something we can't accept.



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