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ROK-US missile, troop deals near

Posted January. 08, 2001 14:16,   


It was revealed on Sunday that the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between South Korea and the United States agreed upon late last year and the South Korea-U.S. missile talks, would be formally concluded prior to U.S. President Bill Clinton¡¯s leaving the White House.

"The director of the North American Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Song Min-Soon, who has been in the U.S. since Jan.6, will meet with the Robert Einhorn, U.S. assistant undersecretary of state, and conclude the missile talks for increased range," a source in the government said. "The two nations will make formal declarations about the middle of the month.

"Although many of the practical matters were settled in October last year, the conclusion of the negotiation was lacking. Neither country was opposed to concluding the talks prior to Bill Clinton¡¯s departure."

With the conclusion of the missile agreement, Korea will be able to develop, produce and deploy missiles with payloads of up to 500 kilograms, conduct research and development of missiles with 500-kilometer range, and conduct research of non-military use of rocket systems for space exploration regardless of payload and range.

As such, the Korea-U.S. ground-to-ground missile agreement, which allowed Korea to retain missiles with a range of up to 180 km, will be abolished.