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Dirty Bomb Possibly in the Hand of Iraq

Posted December. 10, 2002 22:43,   


According to the dossier Iraq has recently submitted to the U.N. Security Council, Iraq might have retained a radiological weapon, or "dirty bomb," reported CNN yesterday.

The nine-page preface to the 12,000 page report CNN has obtained recently refers to a terminated "radiation bomb project" -- possibly a so-called radiological weapon, or "dirty bomb." Many experts have worried that the bombs might fall into the wrong hands.

The "contents pages" also include references to procurement of petrochemicals for Iraq`s nuclear weapons program and to "foreign technical assistance" and "relations with companies, representatives and individuals" under its chemical weapons declaration.

In a letter that accompanies the nearly 12,000-page document, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said the dossier`s publication "entails risk" of releasing information that violates nonproliferation standards.

Speaking from the agency`s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said that, on first glance, nuclear arms experts said they believe much of the document is "very similar" to a declaration Iraq released in 1998.

The United States received an unedited copy, and made copies off it and provided full copies to the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Russia, France, China and Great Britain.

Yesterday, the Secretary General of the IAEA held a press conference in Tokyo and said it might take one year to make a conclusion on whether Iraq really retains a nuclear weapon. He also pleaded that every party should be patient in finding out the truth.

The New York Times also reported that the United States would have a hard time securing a definitive proof against Iraq`s declaration of innocence. Iraq, said the newspaper, has an excellent ability to fool around the inspection team. In the meanwhile, 60,000 US troops have been deployed near Iraq and Kuwait. From Dec. 9th (local time), the troops have begun the "Internal Look," a live ammunition training.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com