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DATE=9/1/98 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT NUMBER=5-41278 TITLE=NORTH KOREA MISSILE ANALYSIS CQ BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE EFFECTS OF NORTH KOREA'S TEST OF A BALLISTIC MISSILE OVER JAPAN CONTINUE TO REVERBERATE -- WITH WEAPONS EXPERTS WARNING THE MOVE COULD POSE A NEW SECURITY RISK TO ASIA AND THE WORLD. CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE EXPLAINS. TEXT: "EXTREMELY DANGEROUS" IS HOW A JAPANESE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN DESCRIBED THE TEST OF THE TWO-STAGE MISSILE, KNOWN AS THE TAEPODONG-ONE, A PORTION OF WHICH FLEW OVER JAPAN BEFORE PLUNGING INTO THE SEA OFF THE COUNTRY'S EAST COAST. THE MISSILE HAS A LONGER RANGE THAN PREVIOUS DEVICES TESTED BY THE NORTH, AND COULD BE CAPABLE OF HITTING TARGETS AS FAR AWAY AS RUSSIA AND THE PHILIPPINES. PAUL BEAVER IS AN EAST ASIAN SPECIALIST AT LONDON'S "JANE'S DEFENSE" WEEKLY. // BEAVER ACT // IF THIS MISSILE IS ACTUALLY READY NOW -- AND THE NORTH KOREANS HAVE A HISTORY OF LAUNCHING THEIR WEAPONS WHEN THEY ARE ABOUT 60 PERCENT CAPABLE -- WITHIN TWO OR THREE YEARS IT WILL BE OPERATIONAL AND THAT DOES CAUSE A PROBLEM BECAUSE IT CAN REACH FAR BEYOND JAPAN AND FAR INTO CHINA. IT PROBABLY COULD REACH TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND OF COURSE IT PUTS ALL THE AMERICAN BASES IN JAPAN FOR EXAMPLE, WITHIN RANGE. // END ACT // U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY WERE AWARE THAT THE NORTH WAS PREPARING TO TEST THE MISSILE, WHICH THEY SAY HAS A RANGE OF ABOUT TWO-THOUSAND KILOMETERS. BUT WITH NO AMERICAN PRESENCE IN PYONGYANG, HARD INTELLIGENCE ABOUT THE NORTH'S MILITARY INTENTIONS IS DIFFICULT TO COME BY. ANALYSTS SAY INFORMATION ABOUT THE SECRETIVE COMMUNIST COUNTRY IS OFTEN BASED ON LESS RELIABLE INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY DEFECTORS. RAISING THE STAKES IN THE MATTER IS NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR POTENTIAL. GARY MILHOLLIN, DIRECTOR OF THE RESEARCH GROUP CALLED THE WISCONSIN PROJECT ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL, BELIEVES THE NORTH ALREADY HAS ENOUGH PLUTONIUM TO MAKE A FEW NUCLEAR BOMBS AND HAS NO INTENTION OF ADHERING TO A 1994 AGREEMENT INTENDED TO HALT ITS NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT. // MILHOLLIN ACT // ONE THING THAT IS CLEAR IS THAT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE NORTH KOREANS HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH US TO FREEZE THEIR NUCLEAR PROGRAM, THEY HAVE NOT STOPPED THEIR DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS. WE DISCOVERED NOT TOO LONG AGO THAT NORTH KOREA SEEMS TO BE BUILDING A GIANT NUCLEAR FACILITY UNDERGROUND INSIDE OF A MOUNTAIN. AND NOW THIS NEW MISSILE THAT WILL CARRY NUCLEAR WARHEADS SHOWS THAT THE NORTH KOREANS ARE STILL BUSY DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE SEEM TO THINK WE HAVE FROZEN THEIR PROGRAM. // END ACT // EXPERTS ALSO AGREE THAT BY CONDUCTING THE TEST, NORTH KOREA MAY BE TRYING TO SHOWCASE ADVANCES IN MISSILE TECHNOLOGY TO ATTRACT NEW BUYERS, INCLUDING GOVERNMENTS WITH HOSTILE INTENTIONS. AGAIN, PAUL BEAVER: // SECOND BEAVER ACT // THE REAL CONCERN THAT I HAVE IS THAT NORTH KOREA IS GOING TO SELL SOME OF THESE WEAPONS TO UNDESIRABLE COUNTRIES TO GET FOREIGN EXCHANGE TO FEED THE PEOPLE. // END ACT // U-S OFFICIALS HAVE SAID LITTLE ABOUT THE TEST BEYOND THEIR INTENTION TO RAISE THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT WEAPONS PROLIFERATION DURING ON-GOING TALKS WITH THE NORTH IN NEW YORK. IT'S THERE, ACCORDING TO MR. BEAVER, THAT NORTH KOREA MAY HAVE INTENDED THE MISSILE TEST TO HAVE ITS BIGGEST IMPACT. // THIRD BEAVER ACT // IF THEY'RE TESTING MISSILES AT THE TIME OF BILATERAL TALKS, IT'S ALL PART OF THE NEGOTIATING PLOY. // END ACT // STILL, AS ONE U-S OFFICIAL PUT IT, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN HARD TO UNDERSTAND THE STRATEGY OF THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT IN MATTERS LIKE THESE. (SIGNED) NEB/NJS/PLM 01-Sep-98 5:18 PM EDT (2118 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .