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DATE=9/4/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-238169 TITLE=JAPAN / NORTH KOREA MISSLE (L) UPDATE BYLINE=STEVEN HERMAN DATELINE=TOKYO CONTENT= VOICED AT: NORTH KOREAN STATE RADIO IS SAYING FOREIGN COUNTRIES HAVE IT ALL WRONG THAT PYONGYANG DID NOT TEST FIRE A BALLISTIC MISSILE THIS WEEK. STEVE HERMAN REPORTS FROM TOKYO, THAT THE NORTH KOREANS SAY THAT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IS THAT THEY LAUNCHED A SATELLITE INTO SPACE ON MONDAY. TEXT: THE RADIO PYONGYANG BROADCAST MONITORED IN TOKYO IS THE FIRST TO DIRECT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FROM NORTH KOREA THAT IT HAD FIRED A ROCKET, ALTHOUGH IT CLAIMS IT WAS THE LAUNCH OF SATELLITE RATHER THAN TO TEST A NEW MILITARY MISSILE. THE BROADCAST DOES ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE FIRST STAGE OF THE ROCKET FELL INTO THE SEA OF JAPAN AND THE SECOND STAGE DROPPED IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. BUT IT CLAIMS THAT A THIRD STAGE PUT A SATELLITE IN OBIT. JAPAN'S DEFENSE AGENCY SAYS IT WAS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE THAT THE NORTH KOREANS COULD HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED A SATELLITE ON MONDAY. WITH REPORTS THAT NORTH KOREA MAY SOON FIRE A SECOND MISSILE, DEFENSE OFFICIALS HERE, CRITICIZED FOR A SLOW AND MUTED RESPONSE TO THE FIRST LAUNCH, ARE BEING ASKED WHAT THEY WILL DO IF THERE IS INDEED ANOTHER SHOT FROM NORTH KOREA. DEFENSE AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL FUKUSHIRO NUKAGA TOLD REPORTERS JAPAN WILL DO WHAT IT NEEDS TO DEFEND ITSELF AND TO REASSURE THE PUBLIC. FORCES ARE ON ALERT FOR A SECOND LAUNCH IN JAPAN BUT PRESS SPECULATION THAT JAPAN MIGHT BOMB SUSPECTED MISSILE CONSTRUCTION AND LAUNCH SITES IN NORTH KOREA WERE QUICKLY SHOT DOWN BY THE FOREIGN MINISTRY. ITS SPOKESMAN SADAAKI NUMATA TOLD V-O-A THAT ANY SUCH SPECULATION IS PREPOSTEROUS AND JAPAN COULD ONLY ATTACK NORTH KOREA IF THERE'S A STATE OF WAR. MONDAY'S LAUNCH OF A TAEPO DONG ONE MISSILE DEMONSTRATED NORTH KOREA CAN NOW HIT ANY PART OF JAPAN INCLUDING U.S. MILITARY BASES HERE. (SIGNED) NEB/SH/GE 04-Sep-98 10:35 AM EDT (1435 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .