News

DATE=09/03/98 TYPE=U-S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP NUMBER=6-10895 TITLE= NORTH KOREA'S MISSILE TEST GETS ATTENTION BYLINE=ANDREW N. GUTHRIE TELEPHONE=619-3335 DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS CONTENT= INTRO: CLEARLY, ONE OF THE WEEK'S MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES WAS THE UNEXPECTED TEST OF THE LATEST NORTH KOREAN MEDIUM-RANGE MISSILE, THE DAEPODONG ONE, WHICH HAS A RANGE OF ABOUT 19-HUNDRED-AND-30-KILOMETERS. THAT'S FAR ENOUGH TO HIT ALL OF SOUTH KOREA, ALMOST ALL OF INHABITED JAPAN, AND EVEN THE CAPITAL OF TAIWAN, TAIPEI, WITH A NUCLEAR WARHEAD OR POISON GAS. IF THE NORTH KOREAN GOAL WAS TO GET THE WORLD'S ATTENTION, IN THE MIDST OF THE MONICA LEWINSKY SCANDAL IN THEW UNITED STATES, AND THE MELTDOWN OF THE RUSSIAN ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SYSTEMS ABROAD, THAT GOAL WAS ACHIEVED. VERY FEW DAILIES OF ANY SIZE AROUND THE WORLD, FAILED TO COMMENT ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TEST, AND WE ARE JOINED AT THE MICROPHONE NOW BY _______________ WHO HAS A SAMPLING, IN TODAY'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP. TEXT: THE MISSILE TEST FOLLOWED RECENT REPORTS THAT NORTH KOREA HAS RESUMED CONSTRUCTION OF AN UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR WEAPONS FACILITY NEAR THE YONGBYON NUCLEAR PLANT, AND THE WORD THAT ONE OF ITS SUBMARINES INFILTRATED SOUTH KOREAN WATER BEFORE RUNNING INTO TROUBLE. THAT PROMPTED THE EDITORIAL BOARD AT SEOUL'S PRO-BUSINESS "JOONG ANG-ILBO" TO COMMENT THAT "RAPPROCHEMENT IT NOT LIKELY TO COME EASILY ON THE [KOREAN] PENINSULA. THE NORTH SEEMS MORE INTERESTED IN AN OFFENSIVE DIPLOMACY THAN IN ENHANCING PEACE AND COEXISTENCE WITH THE SOUTH BY WAY OF A DIALOGUE." SOME NEWSPAPERS SAW THIS AS A KIND OF ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN FOR NORTH KOREAN MISSILE SALES, WHILE OTHERS FIGURED IT WAS A SORT OF SHOW OF FORCE OR CELEBRATION MARKING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF NORTH KOREA ON SEPTEMBER 9TH. IT IS WIDELY EXPECTED THAT THE SON OF THE FOUNDER KIM IL SUNG , KIM JONG-IL WILL BE NAMED "PARAMOUNT LEADER" OF THE SECRETIVE STALINIST STATE DURING THE ANNIVERSARY CEREMONIES. WITH THAT AS BACKGROUND, WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING OF PRESS COMMENT IN PYONGYANG, WITH THE OFFICIAL NORTH KOREAN NEWS AGENCY KCNA WHICH SAID IN PART: VOICE: THEY [THE JAPANESE] DESCRIBE THE TEST AS SOMETHING 'REGRETTABLE' AND 'DANGEROUS,' AND CLAIM THAT THE TEST MADE IT DIFFICULT TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH [NORTH KOREA] ... JAPAN'S BEHAVIOR IS RIDICULOUS INDEED, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT JAPAN IS ZEALOUSLY DEVELOPING LONG-DISTANCE VEHICLES AND OTHER UP-TO-DATE WEAPONS AND PAVING THE WAY FOR OVERSEAS AGGRESSION ..... MANY COUNTRIES AROUND JAPAN POSSESS OR HAVE DEPLOYED MISSILES. JAPANESE POLITICIANS, HOWEVER, HURL MUD ONLY AT [NORTH KOREA] ... TEXT: IN THE SOUTH, THE SEOUL PAPERS WERE FULL OF REACTION AS ONE WOULD EXPECT. "JOONG-ANG-ILBO" RAN THIS OP-ED PIECE BY YONSEI UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR LEE CHONG-MIN: VOICE: OBVIOUSLY, THE [MISSILE] TEST ... HAS THE POTENTIAL TO FUNDAMENTALLY MODIFY WHATEVER POWER BALANCE THERE IS CURRENTLY ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA ... THE SUCCESS OF THE TEST NOW DICTATES THAT THE NORTH IS IN FULL POSSESSION OF THE CAPABILITY TO REACH BEYOND THE PENINSULA. ... A RAPPROCHEMENT IS NOT LIKELY TO COME EASILY ON THIS PENINSULA, AS THE NORTH SEEMS MUCH MORE INTERESTED IN AN OFFENSIVE DIPLOMACY THAN IN ENHANCING PEACE AND CO-EXISTENCE WITH THE SOUTH BY WAY OF DIALOGUE. TEXT: THE NATION'S LARGEST DAILY, "CHOSUN ILBOD" COMMENTED: VOICE: ... THE TAEPO DONG MISSILE TEST CARRIES A ... GRAVE IMPLICATION ... A REALISTIC RECONSIDERATION OF OUR POLICY AND DIPLOMATIC SKILLS TO BUILD EFFECTIVE COOPERATION AMONG OUR ALLIES ARE WHAT WE NEED MOST. TEXT: LASTLY, IN SOUTH KOREA, ANOTHER MAJOR SEOUL DAILY, "HANKOOK ILBO" THE REACTION INCLUDED THIS: VOICE: WHILE NORTH KOREA'S LATEST MISSILE TEST MAY SIMPLY BE AN ISSUE OF ITS INTERNAL POLITICAL AND MILITARY CONFLICT, ITS RIPPLE EFFECT WON'T BE TRIVIAL, GIVEN ALL THE EFFORT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS PUT INTO HOLDING THE NORTH'S MISSILE PROGRAM IN CHECK ... TEXT: THE JAPANESE REACTION WAS QUITE STRONG AS WELL, IN PART BECAUSE THE MISSILE FLEW OVER THE MAIN ISLAND OF HONSHU, BEFORE FALLING INTO THE PACIFIC. IN TOKYO, THE LARGEST DAILY PAPER IN THE WORLD, "YOMIURI" EDITORIALIZED: VOICE: JAPAN REMAINS IN UTTER SHOCK FOLLOWING NORTH KOREA'S TEST-FIRING ... THE GOVERNMENT HAD REPORTEDLY RECEIVED INFORMATION THAT THE NORTH'S MISSILE LAUNCH WOULD BE IMMINENT. HOWEVER, NORTH KOREA FIRED THE MISSILE IN TOTAL DEFIANCE OF THE JAPANESE REQUEST .... THAT IT NOT CONDUCT SUCH A TEST. TEXT: ACROSS TOKYO, "ASAHI" COMMENTED: VOICE: ONE ANALYSIS SURMISES THAT THE NORTH KOREANS LAUNCHED THE MISSILE TO 'INFLUENCE' THE JUST-RESUMED SENIOR-LEVEL U-S-NORTH KOREA TALKS IN NEW YORK. THERE IS ALSO SPECULATION THAT THE NORTH TRIED TO SECURE A FURTHER COMPROMISE FROM THE UNITED STATES AT A TIME WHEN AMERICAN OIL SHIPMENTS TO PYONGYANG HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED ... TEXT: AND LASTLY, IN JAPAN, "NIHON KEIZAI" EDITORALIZED IN PART:A VOICE: WHATEVER THE REASON, WE CANNOT BUT CALL THE NORTH KOREAN MOTIVE EXTREMELY REGRETTABLE ... TEXT: JUMPING TO NORTH AMERICA, TORONTO'S "GLOBE AND MAIL" ONE OF CANADA'S MOST INFLUENTIAL DAILIES, NOTED: VOICE: THE NORTH KOREAN MISSILE THAT FLEW OVER JAPAN ON MONDAY SPLASHED DOWN SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC, BUT IT MIGHT AS WELL HAVE CRASH-LANDED ON THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S KOREAN POLICY.... WHAT DOES NORTH KOREA WANT? IT HAS VIRTUALLY NO STAKE IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OR INTERNATIONAL TRADE; IT IS AN ALMOST COMPLETELY ISOLATED COUNTRY WHOSE ONLY SIGNIFICANT EXPORT IS WEAPONS ...BUT IT IS CUNNING AND CALCULATING. THIS MISSILE TEST IS SIMPLY ANOTHER THREAT .... TEXT: TURNING TO THE MIDDLE EAST, "AL AHRAM" IN CAIRO, ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ARABIC LANGUAGE DAILIES IN THE WORLD, AND EGYPT'S LARGEST, SUGGESTED THURSDAY [9/3]: VOICE: THE MISSILE LAUNCHED BY NORTH KOREA RAISED BROAD INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS. IT IS AN INDICATION OF NORTH KOREA'S RISING CAPABILITY IN MISSILE PRODUCTION AND EXPANDING DETERRENCE ABILITY. BUT THERE IS EXAGGERATION IN THE REACTIONS [TO IT] BECAUSE THE FAR EAST AND THE WHOLE WORLD ARE FULL OF MISSILES. TEXT: AND IN EUROPE, "THE TIMES" IN LONDON IS UPSET BY WHAT IT PERCEIVES AS U-S WEAKNESS IN THE FACE OF NORTH KOREA'S GROWING BELLIGERENCE. VOICE: [NORTH KOREA'S MISSILE LAUNCH] IS A PROFOUNDLY DESTABILIZING DEVELOPMENT ... HUMORING PYONGYANG STILL SEEMS TO BE AMERICAN POLICY. [U-S SECRETARY OF STATE] MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAS MERELY EXPRESSED 'CONCERN' ... THE HARDER PYONGYANG PROBES THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, THE SOFTER IT FINDS IT. ... CONTAINMENT CAN MAKE SENSE ONLY IF IT CONTAINS. TEXT: AND IN LATIN AMERICA, THERE WAS ALSO A GOOD DEAL OF CONCERN. IN SANTIAGO, CHILE'S MAJOR DAILY "EL MERCURIO" HAD THIS REACTION THURSDAY [9/23]. VOICE: PYONGYANG'S DECISION TO LAUNCH A MISSILE OVER JAPANESE TERRITORY OPENS A NEW AND MORE DANGEROUS STAGE IN THE PROLIFERATION OF THESE WEAPONS. IT ALSO SHOWS ONCE AGAIN HOW UNTRUSTWORTHY IS THIS GOVERNMENT, WHOSE REPRESENTATIVES WERE NEGOTIATING WITH THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT. ... THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT ALLOW THIS AGGRESSION TO CHANGE ITS DEMANDS TOWARD THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT. TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF GLOBAL OPINION REGARDING THE TEST FIRING EARLIER THIS WEEK OF A MEDIUM RANGE NORTH KOREAN MISSILE. (SIGNED) NEB/ANG/PT 03-Sep-98 7:26 PM EDT (2326 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .