News

Voice of America 5/9/97

N. KOREA / NUCLEAR

BYLINE=DAVID PAULSON
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE HEAD OF SOUTH KOREAN
INTELLIGENCE AGENCY HAS TOLD A NATIONAL 
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE THAT HE IS CONVINCED 
NORTH KOREA HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS.  DAVID 
PAULSON REPORTS FROM SEOUL THE STATEMENT 
IS LIKELY TO HEIGHTEN ANXIETY ABOUT HOW 
TO RESPOND TO NORTH KOREA'S DEMANDS FOR 
EMERGENCY AID.

TEXT:  THE ASSESSMENT BY INTELLIGENCE 
CHIEF KWON YONG-HAE LENDS CREDENCE TO 
SIMILAR STATEMENTS BY HWANG CHANG YOP, 
THE ADVISER TO NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM 
JONG IL.  MR. HWANG, WHO DEFECTED IN 
FEBRUARY, HAS REPORTEDLY TOLD SOUTH 
KOREAN INTERROGATORS THAT NORTH KOREA 
HAS HAD FIVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN ITS ARSENAL 
SINCE 1994.  

MR. HWANG IS ALSO QUOTED IN A SOUTH 
KOREAN NEWSPAPER, THE CHOSUN ILBO, 
AS SAYING THE NORTH KOREAN LEADERSHIP 
HAS GIVEN UP ON A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION 
OF ITS CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS AND IS 
DETERMINED TO GO TO WAR.  MR. HWANG 
REPORTEDLY SAYS NORTH KOREA WOULD 
USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST SEOUL 
AND IF THE UNITED STATES INTERVENED, 
WOULD LAUNCH A NUCLEAR ATTACK 
AGAINST JAPAN.  

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL 
ASSEMBLY'S INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE IS
EXPECTED TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT 
IN A FEW DAYS THAT THE GOVERNMENT 
BELIEVES NORTH KOREA HAS NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS.  SUCH A FINDING WOULD TEND 
TO SUPPORT A STRATEGY THAT AVOIDS 
PROVOKING THE STALINIST STATE TO 
AGGRESSION.  THOUGH THE GOVERNMENT 
OFFICIALLY ENDORSES THIS SO-CALLED
 "SOFT-LANDING" APPROACH, LATELY
 SOUTH KOREA HAS TAKEN A HARDER 
LINE IN DEMANDING COOPERATIVE 
GESTURES FROM NORTH KOREA IN 
RETURN FOR DESPERATELY 
NEEDED FAMINE RELIEF. 

SOME SOURCES CLOSE TO THE NATIONAL 
ASSEMBLY SAY THE INTELLIGENCE CHIEF 
MAY HAVE MADE THE ALARMING STATEMENT 
IN ORDER TO DISTRACT PUBLIC ATTENTION 
FROM A DOMESTIC CONTROVERSY.  
PROSECUTORS ARE SOON EXPECTED TO 
SUMMON THE SON OF PRESIDENT KIM 
YONG-SAM TO QUESTION HIM ABOUT 
ALLEGATIONS HE RECEIVED ILLEGAL 
KICKBACKS.  RULING PARTY LAWMAKERS 
ARE ALSO CALLING FOR A NATIONAL 
ASSEMBLY INVESTIGATION INTO PRESIDENT 
KIM'S CAMPAIGN FINANCING.

AS TO NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR POTENTIAL, 
A WESTERN DIPLOMAT FAMILIAR WITH 
MILITARY AFFAIRS SAYS THERE IS A
HUGE TECHNOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE 
BETWEEN HAVING NUCLEAR BOMBS AND 
BEING ABLE TO WAGE NUCLEAR WAR.  
HE SAYS THAT ANY BOMBS THE NORTH
MAY HAVE WOULD BE ENTIRELY UNTESTED, 
AND THAT ACCURATE DELIVERY AND 
DETONATION OF A NUCLEAR WEAPON IS 
VERY LIKELY BEYOND NORTH KOREA'S 
CAPACITY.  
(SIGNED) 

NEB/DP/FC/CF

09-May-97 7:13 AM EDT (1113 UTC)
NNNN