News

DATE=09/02/98 TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP NUMBER=6-10892 TITLE=THE NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST BYLINE=ANDREW N. GUTHRIE TELEPHONE=619-3335 DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS CONTENT= INTRO: NORTH KOREA TEST FIRED A NEW LONGER-RANGE MISSILE ACROSS THE SEA OF JAPAN AND OVER THE JAPANESE MAINLAND. THE TEST FIRING HAS FURTHER HEIGHTENED TENSIONS BETWEEN THE SECRETIVE REGIME IN PYONGYANG AND BOTH JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES. THE U-S PRESS HAS BEEN QUICK TO COMMENT AND JOINING US NOW AT THE MICROPHONE IS ______________ WITH A SELECTION IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP. TEXT: THE REACTION IN THE U-S PRESS HAS BEEN MIXED, WITH SOME PAPERS SUGGESTING WASHINGTON RETHINK THE CURRENT POLICY OF HELPING NORTH KOREA DO AWAY WITH ITS OLD NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, WHICH COULD BE USED TO PRODUCE WEAPONS-GRADE PLUTONIUM. OTHERS SUGGEST THE TEST WAS MERE MUSCLE FLEXING AND THAT ANY CHANGE IN POLICY TOWARD THE SECRETIVE REGIME, BESET BY FAMINE AND PRESUMED DOMESTIC INSTABILITY, WOULD BE A MISTAKE. WE BEGIN IN FLORIDA, WHERE "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" SAYS THE U-S SHOULD "STAY THE COURSE" WITH NORTH KOREA, AND FAULTS BOTH THE U-S AND JAPAN FOR FAILING TO LIVE UP THAT TERMS OF THE ALTERNATIVE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AGREEMENT, BY FAILING TO SUPPLY PROMISED HEATING OIL TO THE NORTH ON TIME. VOICE: THE UNITED STATES HAD EVERY RIGHT TO CONDEMN NORTH KOREA'S PROVOCATIVE TEST .... BUT DOES THE TEST WARRANT CHANGING THE U-S COMMITMENT TO HELP NORTH KOREA MEET ITS ENERGY NEEDS? /// OPT /// SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL, REPUBLICAN OF KENTUCKY, HAS PROPOSED THAT THE UNITED STATES ATTACH CONDITIONS TO ITS AID. SIMILARLY, JAPAN HAS DECIDED TO HOLD BACK MONEY INTENDED TO HELP NORTH KOREA ALLEVIATE ITS ENERGY PROBLEMS. SUCH TACTICS SERVE NO GOOD PURPOSE. THEY SEND A CONFUSING SIGNAL TO THE NORTH KOREANS, WHO ALREADY DEEPLY DISTRUST THE UNITED STATES AND ITS ALLIES. /// END OPT /// ... IF NORTH KOREA WISHES TO IMPROVE ITS OVERALL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES, PROVOCATIVE MISSILE TESTS MUST STOP. BUT THE UNITED STATES SHOULDN'T ALLOW THAT TO DISRUPT PROGRESS WITH THE NUCLEAR AGREEMENT. THE UNITED STATES STILL HAS EVERY REASON TO CONTINUE WORKING WITHY NORTH KOREA. TEXT: "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" DISAGREES, URGING THE WHITE HOUSE TO BEGIN IMMEDIATELY TO REASSESS ITS POLICY TOWARD NORTH KOREA. VOICE: IF EVER THERE WAS A TIME FOR WASHINGTON TO REAPPRAISE ITS POLICY TOWARD NORTH KOREA, IT IS NOW. ... THAT PROVOCATIVE ACT CONSTITUTES A MAJOR SETBACK IN DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO DRAW HOSTILE NORTH KOREA INTO THE WORLD COMMUNITY. TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" SAYS THE KOREAN MISSILE TEST SHOWS THAT THE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED U-S POLICY THAT SUCH MISSILES DO NOT POSE A THREAT TO THIS COUNTRY IS WRONG. VOICE: THE TEST MEANS THAT FIRST OKINAWA, WHICH HOLDS U-S MILITARY RESERVES THAT MAY BE NEEDED IN A FIGHT BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA, THEN HAWAII, ALASKA AND EVEN THE U-S MAINLAND MAY FIND THEMSELVES IN NORTH KOREAN CROSSHAIRS IN THE NEAR FUTURE. AND WHAT DOES THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION PLAN TO DO ABOUT THE TEST LAUNCH? WELL, SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT SAYS SHE MAY HAVE TO GIVE THE NORTH KOREANS A GOOD TALKING-TO [SCOLDING] THE NEXT TIME SHE GETS TOGETHER WITH THEM. /// OPT ///... THE MISSILE LAUNCH IS THE LATEST IN A STRING OF FOREIGN POLICY EMBARRASSMENTS FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION. IN 1995, THE C-I-A PROUDLY ANNOUNCED THAT THIS COUNTRY HAD NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT WITH RESPECT TO ROGUE NATIONS AND MISSILES - - AT LEAST NOT FOR ANOTHER 15 YEARS. AND LAST WEEK THIS NEWSPAPER .... REPORTED THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF WERE STANDING BY [AGREEING WITH] THAT ASSESSMENT. ... THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION HERE IS TO GET BUSY WORKING ON A NATIONWIDE ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE SYSTEM THAT WOULD INCLUDE EVERYTHING FROM SHIP TO SPACE-BASED MISSILE INTERCEPTORS. ... IN THESE DAYS OF SUICIDAL ATTACKERS, HOLDING AMERICANS HOSTAGE TO ATTACK IS EVEN LESS DEFENSIBLE THAN BEFORE. /// END OPT /// TEXT: "THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE" PARTIALLY DISAGREES, SAYING THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH THIS LATEST DANGER IS TO REINFORCE, RATHER THAN INVALIDATE, THE WORLD'S EXISTING ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY. VOICE: WHILE TALKING ARMS CONTROL WITH THE WEST, NORTH KOREA FIRES OFF A BASEMENT-BUILT [RELATIVELY LOW COST] MISSILE. PAKISTAN AND INDIA ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH SHORT RANGE ROCKETS, NOW THAT EACH COUNTRY HAS CONDUCTED NUCLEAR TESTS. IRAN HAS JOINED THE SMALL-MISSILE CLUB BY TESTING ITS OWN MODEL. THIS WEAPONS MADNESS HAS PROVOKED TROUBLE FOR A LANDMARK IN ARMS CONTROL, THE ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY OF 1972. IT FORBID MAJOR COUNTRIES, PRINCIPALLY THE U-S AND THE THEN-SOVIET UNION, FROM BUILDING AND DEPLOYING A SYSTEM DESIGNED TO SHOOT DOWN INCOMING OFFENSIVE MISSILES. THOUGH THE TREATY ALWAYS HAD ITS CRITICS, THE CHORUS IS NOW LOUDER. ..... HOWEVER, TEARING UP THE TREATY WOULD BE A MISTAKE. /// OPT /// THE SMALL MISSILES GENERALLY HAVE AN OUTER RANGE OF ABOUT 19-HUNDRED 30 KILOMETERS, PUTTING THEM WELL SHORT OF AMERICAN SHORES. THE REAL DANGER EXISTS FOR ALLIES SUCH AS ISRAEL OR JAPAN, ALONG WITH U-S TROOPS OVERSEAS. ... THE ANSWER TO SMALL MISSILE FEARS IS A RANGE OF CONTROLS. MILITARY INTELLIGENCE NEEDS TO BE MORE WATCHFUL IN ALERTING THE WORLD TO COMING TROUBLE. INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS MUST CHOKE OFF MISSILE SALES. RESEARCH SHOULD CONTINUE ON ANTI-MISSILE PROGRAMS. THESE GOALS ARE CHALLENGING ENOUGH, BUT PEELING BACK A MAJOR TREATY WOULD DO NOTHING TO ACHIEVE A VIGILANT PEACE. /// END OPT /// TEXT: EXPRESSING A SENTIMENT FOUND IN SEVERAL OTHER EDITORIALS, IS THIS THOUGHT FROM THE NATION'S NUMBER ONE BUSINESS DAILY, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL," WHICH SUGGESTS THE MISSILE TEST WAS ESSENTIALLY A SALES TOOL FOR NORTH KOREA'S MISSILE INDUSTRY. VOICE: AMONG OTHER THINGS, LOBBING A [MISSILE] INTO THE PACIFIC WAS PROBABLY AN ADVERTISEMENT BY THE WORLD'S LEADING MISSILE SUPPLIER TO SOME OF THE WORLD'S SCARIEST CUSTOMERS, INCLUDING IRAQ, SYRIA AND PAKISTAN. IT ALSO MAY HAVE BEEN A KIND OF GIANT BIRTHDAY CANDLE AHEAD OF NEXT WEEK'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF NORTH KOREA'S FOUNDING, AND THE POSSIBLE ACCESSION OF DICTATOR KIM JONG IL TO THE PRESIDENCY. MOST CERTAINLY, NORTH KOREA WAS TELLING THE U-S, SOUTH KOREA AND OTHER PARTNERS IN THE ILL-STARRED NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AND OIL GIVEAWAY CONSORTIUM ... THAT IF THOSE GIFTS AREN'T FORTHCOMING SOON, THERE'S ALWAYS ANOTHER MISSILE IN PYONGYANG'S PIPELINE. ..... BUT WHAT SHOULD UPSET TOKYO MOST IS HOW BILL CLINTON HAS ENSURED THAT THE U-S - - AND BY EXTENSION JAPAN AND AMERICA'S OTHER ALLIES - - HAS NO HOPE OF AN EFFECTIVE THEATER MISSILE DEFENSE ANYTIME SOON. LOOKING AROUND AT THE WORLD TODAY, IN FACT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MILLIONS SURVIVE ONLY BECAUSE NO CRAZED DICTATOR OR TERRORIST GANG HAS GOT AROUND TO TARGETING THEM. /// O P T /// TEXT: THE MISSILE TEST DRAWS THIS COMMENT FROM "THE WASHINGTON POST." VOICE: NORTH KOREA IS OUTDOING ITSELF. IN BARELY A WEEK'S TIME IT HAS BEEN CAUGHT BUILDING A SECRET UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR FACILITY, AND NOW IT HAS CONDUCTED A TEST OF A NEW LONGER-DISTANCE MISSILE. THE NORTH KOREANS EVEN HAD THE EFFRONTERY ... TO FIRE THE SECOND STAGE ... ACROSS SOVEREIGN JAPANESE SOIL - - AN UNMISTAKABLE ATTEMPT TO INTIMIDATE A NERVOUS NEIGHBOR AND, INDIRECTLY, ITS PATRONS. THE STALINIST REGIME'S PURPOSE SEEMS CLEAR. AS IT ACKNOWLEDGES, IT HAS LITTLE ELSE OF VALUE TO EXPORT EXCEPT THE WEAPONS IT HAS ACCUMULATED TO SUSTAIN ITS SELF-ISOLATING HEDGEHOG [EDITOR: "DEFENSIVE" A HEDGEHOG IS A VERY SMALL, EUROPEAN ANIMAL SOMEWHAT LIKE A PORCUPINE, WITH SHARP SPIKES OVER MOST OF ITS BODY WHICH ROLLS UP IN A BALL TO THWART ADVERSARIES] POSE. TEXT: UNDER A HEADLINE READING 'NATIONAL INSECURITY,' "THE BOSTON GLOBE" INCORPORATES THE NORTH KOREAN LAUNCH INTO SEVERAL OTHER RECENT WORRISOME EVENTS. VOICE: IF THERE WERE A NATIONAL SECURITY INDEX THAT COULD BE QUANTIFIED LIKE THE DOW JONES, IT WOULD SHOW A STEEP DECLINE OVER THE SUMMER. SADDAM HUSSEIN'S VIOLATION OF U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS AND HIS TRASHING OF THE ARMS INSPECTION AGREEMENT HE NEGOTIATED ... WITH U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN CONSTITUTE THE MOST FLAGRANT SECURITY THREAT. ... CREATING A FEARFUL SYMMETRY OF INSECURITY, NORTH KOREA'S STALINIST REGIME ... FIRED A TWO-STAGE BALLISTIC MISSILE OVER JAPAN - - A WEAPON THAT HAS THE RANGE TO STRIKE U-S MILITARY BASES IN JAPAN. THIS NEW NORTH KOREAN MISSILE SIGNIFIES TO SOME ARMS CONTROL SPECIALISTS THAT PYONGYANG REMAINS DETERMINED TO DEVELOP A NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY DESPITE A DEAL WITH WASHINGTON ... THE NORTH'S MISSILE LAUNCH ALSO SERVES AS A FLAMBOYANT FORM OF SALESMANSHIP AIMED AT POTENTIAL BUYERS FROM TEHRAN TO TRIPOLI. THE IRAQI AND NORTH KOREAN THREATS, COMING AT A TIME WHEN THE SAFETY OF RUSSIA'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND FISSILE MATERIALS IS MORE DUBIOUS THAN EVER, UNDERLINE THE NEED FOR AN UNDISTRACTED U-S PRESIDENT WHO HAS THE CREDIBILITY TO RALLY RELUCTANT ALLIES AND THE U-S PUBLIC BEHIND HIS POLICIES. TEXT: ON LONG ISLAND, "NEWSDAY" SAYS "NORTH KOREA IS PLAYING A VERY DANGEROUS GAME." VOICE: MONDAY'S TESTING OF A MEDIUM-RANGE MISSILE IS TROUBLESOME AND RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER NORTH KOREA INTENDS TO ADHERE TO THE AGREEMENT TO LIMIT ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM. AND THE MISSILE LAUNCH CAME JUST A FEW DAYS AFTER NORTH KOREA WAS REPORTED TO HAVE A SECRET UNDERGROUND SITE THAT COULD BE PART OF A NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. .... THE NORTH KOREANS MUST DESIST FROM THESE EFFORTS OR THERE WILL BE NO CHOICE BUT TO END THE NUCLEAR AGREEMENT... UNDER WHICH THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA WILL PROVIDE THE NORTH WITH NUCLEAR REACTORS THAT DO NOT PRODUCE WEAPONS-GRADE MATERIAL IN EXCHANGE FOR A HALT TO DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS. LAUNCHING MISSILES OVER JAPAN WITH THE CLEARLY IMPLIED THREAT OF MISSILES TO SOUTH KOREA IS A VERY DANGEROUS GAME TO BE PLAYING. IF IT'S A GAME. /// END OPT /// TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT CONCERNING THIS WEEK'S LAUNCH OF A NEW, NORTH KOREAN LONGER-DISTANCE MISSILE, OVER THE SEA OF JAPAN, AND THE JAPANESE MAIN ISLAND OF HONSHU. NEB/ANG/GE 02-Sep-98 1:50 PM EDT (1750 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .