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North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Can Reach the U.S.

Posted February. 17, 2005 22:47,   


CIA Director Porter Goss stated on February 16 that the U.S. believes that North Korea’s Daepodong-2 can load nuclear warheads and deliver itself to U.S. soil.

Attending the Senate’s Intelligence Committee hearing on that day, Goss said the above, adding, “Including the long-range missile Daepodong-2 system, Pyongyang may resume missile experiments at any time.”

He testified, “We believe that North Korea possesses chemical and biological weapons programs and that it is ready to use them.”

Director Goss’s testimony is the first evaluation made by a U.S. government authority after North Korea declared that it possesses nuclear weapons.

He, however, did not clarify specifically whether North Korea can launch nuclear warhead-laden missiles with its technology or what region in the U.S. that North Korean missiles could reach.”

Director Goss pointed out, “North Korea is continuously trying to sell of ballistic missile technology, and since traditional clients like Libya stopped trading, it is looking for a new customer.”

“[We] believe that Pyongyang is continuing to pursue uranium enrichment capability, supported by an illegal nuclear weapons trading network that the Pakistan scientist Abdul Kadeer Khan operated,” he added.

In addition, he testified, “Continuing the development, production, deployment, and sales of longer-ranging and more sophisticated ballistic missiles, North Korea is augmenting the operation capabilities of its Scud and Rodong missiles.”

Concerning North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, Goss made clear, “In 2002, we estimated that [North Korea] produced enough plutonium for at least one, maybe two, nuclear weapons, but its nuclear capability has ameliorated compared to then.”

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com