TITLE=US / SOKOR MISSILES (L-ONLY)
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
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)
14-Jul-2000 07:20 AM EDT (14-Jul-2000 1120 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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