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“North Korea Allegedly Sells WMD”

Posted February. 06, 2002 09:21,   


After U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned against North Korea`s increasing export of missiles on the 4th, officials of the Korean government successively commented on the possibility of North Korea`s exporting weapons of mass destruction (WMD), increasing worries about WMD in North Korea.

Hence, this issue, along with the future North-U.S. relationship, is likely to be the main issue at the Korea-U.S. summit conference on the 20th.

In an interview with MBC Radio on the 5th on the waves of U.S.`s attacks against North Korea, Yang Sung-Chul, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States said, "I think such specific comments were made in light of the fact that Iran, Iraq and North Korea were caught in U.S. intelligence network and found to have manufactured, exported, and installed WMD, and particularly the fact that North Korea continued selling weapons."

An official of the government said, "Minister Powell`s comment means that he has specific evidences that North Korea is exporting advanced missiles before and after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

Anticipating that the U.S. will request cooperation against North Korea`s WMD at the Korea-U.S. summit conference, the government plans to decide its stance on WMD of North Korea through the standing committee of the National Security Council (NSC) sooner or later.

Related with this, senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs Yim Sung-Joon said, "As far as I know, U.S. has no other strategies but dialogue. At the South Korea-U.S. summit conference, President Bush is likely to express his stance better than when he declared the resumption of dialogue with North Korea last June."

But considerable troubles are anticipated in the preparation as some differences in stances between South Korea and the U.S. will emerge on the main issues like trade issues and WMD of North Korea including missiles and nuclear weapons.

Official Pyongyang Broadcasting announced that North Korea criticized the recent comments of U.S. President Bush through the Rodong Paper on the 5th, saying, "The verbal attack that the U.S. likes to make is not the sole privilege of the U.S.."

The government and ruling New Millennium Democratic Party will have a government-party meeting on the 6th, and discuss the measure for North-U.S. relationship and the Korea-U.S. summit conference.

Jong-Hoon Lee taylor55@donga.com