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Will the North would give up missiles?

Posted August. 07, 2000 14:42,   


"It is difficult for us to believe it easily, but we cannot but continue to pay attention,`` a government official said. The official was commenting on "rumors about North Korea`s conditional giving up its missile development plan`` which has made an international controversy since the summit meeting between Kim Jong-Il, chairman of the North Korean National Defense Commission and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang on July 19.

He meant that the government could not rule out a possibility that there might be a certain change in North Korea`s missile program, although it could not believe the rumors as they are.

The Washington Post of the United States on August 3 added fuel to the speculation that has become calm more or less by reporting that North Korea, in a recent secret letter, notified Russia of its position that it would give up the ICBM plan in case Russia would launch two or three satellites every year for North Korea.

Experts raised questions about if the launch of two or three satellites has can match with the abolition of ICBM plan in value, why North Korea has Russia intervene in the missile issue over which it is negotiating with the United States, and whether North Korea really wants a solution of the missile issue in such a way as the "Korea Peninsula Energy Development Organization.``

They said that it is hard to understand that North Korea would scrap the missile plan so easily in that it is now demanding $1 billion every year over the coming three years in compensation just for the suspension of exports in its negotiation with the United States.

Therefore, the rumors are suspected of stemming from a scheme of Russia which opposes the U.S. NMD (nuclear missile defense) to stir up an international opinion.