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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

COHEN/KOREA

Voice of America 4/5/97

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST
DATELINE=HONOLULU
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO: U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN IS 
ENROUTE TO ASIA FOR TALKS WITH SENIOR OFFICIALS IN 
TOKYO AND SEOUL ON THE WORSENING SITUATION IN 
NORTH KOREA. THE DEFENSE CHIEF IS BEING BRIEFED ON
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS BY U-S MILITARY COMMANDERS 
IN HAWAII. VOA'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM HONOLULU.
TEXT: MR. COHEN SAYS NORTH KOREA'S STALINIST 
GOVERNMENT HAS SHOWN A CAPACITY FOR HANGING ON 
DESPITE DIFFICULTIES, AND COULD STILL BE IN POWER 
ANOTHER FIVE TO TEN YEARS OR EVEN LONGER.
IN A TALK WITH REPORTERS, MR. COHEN SEEMED TO 
DISMISS FORECASTS OF THE IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF THE 
PYONGYANG REGIME. BUT SAID THE UNITED STATES AND
ITS REGIONAL ALLIES ARE CLOSELY MONITORING 
DEVELOPMENTS THERE, WITH THE SHARED GOAL OF A 
PEACEFUL REUNIFICATION OF THE PENINSULA.
THE DEFENSE SECRETARY, ON HIS FIRST VISIT TO THE 
REGION SINCE TAKING OFFICE TWO MONTHS AGO, IS DUE 
IN SEOUL WEDNESDAY AFTER CONSULTATIONS IN TOKYO.
HE SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS TRYING TO DISSUADE 
SOUTH KOREA FROM ACQUIRING AN ADVANCED ANTI-AIRCRAFT
MISSILE -- THE S-A-12 -- FROM RUSSIA.
RUSSIA IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE OFFERING THE WEAPONS --
SIMILAR TO U-S PATRIOT MISSILES -- TO HELP PAY OFF A 
HUGE TRADE DEBT TO SOUTH KOREA.
BUT MR. COHEN SAYS THE RUSSIAN MISSILES ARE 
INCOMPATIBLE WITH OTHER SYSTEMS USED BY U-S AND 
SOUTH KOREAN FORCES, AND HE SAYS THE PROPOSED DEAL 
COULD SERIOUSLY UNDERMINE POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR
SOUTH KOREA IN WASHINGTON. (SIGNED)
NEB/DAG/SD
05-Apr-97 10:29 PM EST (0329 UTC)
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