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DATE=7/6/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251476 TITLE=KOREA / MISSILE RANGE (L-ONLY) BYLINE=JOHN LARKIN DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: NEWS MEDIA IN SEOUL SAY SOUTH KOREA HAS PROPOSED THAT IT BE ALLOWED TO DEVELOP MISSILES WITH A LONGER RANGE OF UP TO 500 KILOMETERS AS A DETERRENT AGAINST INVASION BY COMMUNIST NORTH KOREA. JOHN LARKIN REPORTS FROM SEOUL. TEXT: SOUTH KOREA HAS BEEN PUSHING FOR SOME TIME TO ALTER A 20-YEAR ARRANGEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES WHICH RESTRICTS IT TO PRODUCING MISSILES WITH A MAXIMUM RANGE OF 180 KILOMETERS. NEWSPAPERS IN SEOUL REPORT PRESIDENT KIM REQUESTED THE 500 KILOMETER RANGE DURING A MEETING WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON IN WASHINGTON FRIDAY. THE TWO ALLIES HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN DISCUSSING AN EXTENSION OF THE ALLOWABLE RANGE TO 300 KILOMETERS ONLY. THE REPORTS SAY PRESIDENT CLINTON LISTENED ATTENTIVELY TO PRESIDENT KIM'S PROPOSAL. BUT ANALYSTS WERE DOUBTFUL WASHINGTON WILL AGREE, AS IT FEARS THE STEP COULD IGNITE A REGIONAL ARMS RACE. A SPOKESMAN FOR THE U-S EMBASSY IN SEOUL WOULD NOT COMMENT ON THE MEDIA ACCOUNTS, BUT SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIALS SAID THE PROPOSAL WAS ON THE TABLE FOR DISCUSSION WITH WASHINGTON. PRESIDENT KIM'S REQUEST COMES AMID FEARS PYONGYANG IS ABOUT TO TEST A LONG-RANGE MISSILE. LAST AUGUST IT SENT SHOCKWAVES THROUGH THE REGION WHEN IT TEST-FIRED A MEDIUM-RANGE TAEPODONG MISSILE OVER JAPANESE TERRITORY. SECURITY ANALYSTS SAY SOUTH KOREA'S PUSH FOR GREATER MISSILE RANGE IS MEANT TO SEND AN UNCOMPROMISING MESSAGE TO NORTH KOREA --AFTER TALKS BETWEEN THE TWO KOREAS IN BEIJING LAST WEEK FAILED TO EASE OLD AND NEW TENSIONS ON THE PENINSULA. THEY SAY SEOUL WANTS TO SHOW PYONGYANG THAT IT IS NOT THE ONLY REGIONAL MILITARY POWER CAPABLE OF USING MISSILES AS A BARGAINING CHIP. THE TWO KOREAS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO RESOLVE MOST DIFFERENCES SINCE THE END OF THE KOREAN WAR IN 1953. (SIGNED) NEB/JL/GC/JO/PLM 06-Jul-99 6:02 AM EDT (1002 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .