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Korean missile capability raised

Posted October. 18, 2000 12:42,   


Settling the issue of Korea missile range capability, which had been ongoing since November 1995, South Korea and the United States virtually reached an agreement Oct. 16.

Through the talks, the head of the North American Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Song Min-Soon and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Robert Einhorn agreed to extend the 180-kilometer limit for South Korea's missiles to 300 kilometers and allow development research, production and deployment of such missiles.

The payload limitation for warheads also was increased to 500 kilograms. The two countries also agreed to allow Korea to develop missiles with ranges of 300-500 kilometers for strictly research purposes.

A foreign correspondent in Washington, D.C., relayed that the two nations respected the spirit of the Missile Technology Control Regime and agreed to a fundamental development of missile development to meet South Korea's security needs.

It also has been revealed that the agreement contained the number of test launches that South Korea could conduct for the missile development process. During the ongoing talks, South Korea had requested a minimum of 10 test firings, while the United States sought about five.

However, certain issues remain unresolved such as having Korea report on its own the test-fire schedule as well as certain technical issues including having the agreement down on paper. As such, the two nations have revealed their intention to continue the talks to hammer out the details.