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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

INTRO:  President Clinton - facing a critical decision 
soon on a U-S anti-ballistic missile program - says 
this month's North-South Korean summit was a positive 
development.  But he say it has not eliminated U-S 
concern about Pyongyang's long-range missile program. 
VOA's David Gollust reports from the White House.  
TEXT: The North Korean missile program, which included 
the firing of a multi-stage test rocket over Japan two 
years ago, is the most frequently-cited rationale for 
the controversial U-S anti-missile system.  The 
program is being developed by the Pentagon and faces a 
Presidential go-ahead decision within weeks.
North Korea suspended flight tests late last year and 
has taken steps to end its international isolation 
since then, including the historic summit with South 
Korea two weeks ago. 
At his news conference Wednesday, President Clinton 
said he is encouraged by the developments but said the 
North Korean program continues and has to remain a 
factor in his anti-missile deliberations:
            ///Clinton actuality///
      They still have a missile program. And so it's 
      still something the United States has to be 
      mindful of and to prepare to deal with and to, 
      you know, to keep up with. And of course I hope 
      it will go away as a problem. I hope it for the 
      people of North Korea too. Goodness, all these 
      countries that have a lot of people in great 
      need that are spending vast sums of money on 
      defense: it's one of the great tragedies of the 
      world today. So would I like it to go away? Of 
      course I would. Do I think it's gone away 
      because of this (summit) meeting? I don't.
            ///end act///
As Mr. Clinton spoke, the State Department was 
announcing a new round of U-S-North Korean missile 
talks - their first in more than a year.  The talks 
are to take place next month in Malaysian capital, 
Kuala Lumpur.
At the news conference, the President insisted he had 
not made a decision on the anti-missile program.  
There have been press accounts the administration will 
proceed with at least groundwork for deployment -- 
regardless of the outcome of a crucial test of the 
system expected within a few weeks.
Russia has vigorously opposed the U-S program.  
Officials in Moscow call it a violation of the 1972 
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.  President Vladimir 
Putin reiterated that in strong terms at his Moscow 
meeting with President Clinton earlier this month.
However Mr. Clinton told reporters the Russian side 
did acknowledge that third-country missile threats are 
emerging that are not covered by bilateral arms 
accords.  He said those threats will require the major 
powers to, as he put it, "make adjustments."
The president said he intends to weigh the many 
factors involved in the anti-missile equation and have 
a decision to announce to the American people sometime 
"in the next several weeks." (Signed)
28-Jun-2000 18:13 PM EDT (28-Jun-2000 2213 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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