News

DATE=8/31/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-237917 TITLE=NORTH KOREA-MISSILE (L-O) BYLINE=EUNICE YOON DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: NORTH KOREA FIRED A MISSILE (MONDAY) INTO THE WATERS THAT SEPARATE THE KOREAN PENINSULA FROM JAPAN. AS EUNICE YOON REPORTS FROM SEOUL, THE LAUNCH HAS TRIGGERED CONCERNS IN JAPAN, RUSSIA, SOUTH KOREA, AND THE UNITED STATES. TEXT: THE MISSILE LANDED IN THE SEA, HALFWAY BETWEEN NORTH KOREA AND NORTHWESTERN JAPAN. OFFICIALS SAY THE NORTH KOREAN MISSILE MAY HAVE BEEN A "DAEPODONG", A NEW TYPE OF ROCKET BEING DEVELOPED BY PYONGYANG. THEY SAY NORTH KOREA MAY HAVE BEEN TESTING THE NEW WEAPON. THE RUSSIAN MILITARY HAS DISPATCHED WARSHIPS TO THE AREA, WHICH IS IN RUSSIAN TERRITORY. MOSCOW OFFICIALS REPORTEDLY BELIEVE THE ROCKET VEERED OFF COURSE. RUSSIAN NEWS AGENCIES HAVE QUOTED OFFICIALS WHO CALLED THE MISSILE -- FAULTY -- BUT THE OFFICIALS DID NOT MENTION WHAT THEY BELIEVE COULD HAVE BEEN THE TARGET. SOUTH KOREAN AND AMERICAN OFFICIALS HAVE CONFIRMED THERE WAS A LAUNCH, BUT HAVE DECLINED TO COMMENT FURTHER. JAPANESE OFFICIALS HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER THE LAUNCH AND ARE WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE U-S MILITARY, WHICH HAS CALLED IT A SERIOUS DEVELOPMENT AND PLANS TO EVALUATE THE MATTER CLOSELY. VERY LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT NORTH KOREA'S MISSILE CAPABILITIES. THE COMMUNIST STATE'S LAST KNOWN MISSILE TEST WAS FIVE-YEARS AGO. THAT MISSILE ALSO LANDED IN THE WATERS BETWEEN THE KOREAN PENINSULA AND JAPAN. (SIGNED) NEB/RAE 31-Aug-98 8:53 AM EDT (1253 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .