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DATE=1/20/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-244437 TITLE=MISSILE DEFENSES - L ONLY BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: TOP U-S MILITARY LEADERS SAY AMERICA FACES AN IMMEDIATE AND GROWING THREAT FROM NEW BALLISTIC MISSILES IN THE HANDS OF "ROGUE" NATIONS. PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THEY WILL PUT BILLIONS MORE DOLLARS INTO RESEARCH AND DEPLOYMENT OF VARIOUS DEFENSES AGAINST BALLISTIC MISSILES. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS. TEXT: U-S OFFICIALS SAY WHEN NORTH KOREA LAUNCHED A THREE STAGE ROCKET LAST AUGUST, IT ROARED ACROSS JAPAN AND FAR INTO THE PACIFIC. THEY SAY IT WAS A VIVID AND UNPLEASANT EXAMPLE OF HOW SKILLED PYONGYANG HAS GROWN IN MAKING LONGRANGE WEAPONS. DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN SAYS IT SPARKED SOME NEW THINKING IN WASHINGTON. /// COHEN ACT /// THE TAEPO DONG ONE TEST WAS ANOTHER STRONG INDICATOR THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL FACE A ROGUE NATION MISSILE THREAT AGAINST OUR HOMELAND AGANIST WHICH WE WILL HAVE TO DEFEND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. /// END ACT /// KOREA'S TEST CAME AS OTHER NATIONS, IRAN, PAKISTAN AND INDIA ARE ALSO WORKING TO DEVELOP MISSILES THAT CAN GO FURTHER AND HIT MORE ACCURATELY. SECRETARY COHEN SAYS THE UNITED STATES WILL TRY TO MEET THE THREAT BY BOOSTING RESEARCH ON A LIMITED NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM, AND POSSIBLY DEPLOYING THE WEAPON. HE SAYS OFFICIALS WILL REVIEW THE PROGRAM IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND TO SEE IF IT IS READY TO MOVE FROM RESEARCH PROJECT TO A USEABLE SYSTEM. THE HEAD OF THE BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE ORGANIZATION, AIR FORCE GENERAL LESTER LYLES, SAYS THE TASK OF SHOOTING DOWN MISSILE WARHEADS IN FLIGHT IS INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE AND STAGGERINGLY COMPLEX. /// LYLES ACT /// IT IS ROCKET SCIENCE, BUT WE KNOW HOW TO DO THAT, AND WE KNOW HOW TO DO THAT VERY WELL. WITHIN THIS COUNTRY AND WITHIN OUR INDUSTRIES. /// END ACT /// HE SAYS THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WILL ASK CONGRESS FOR ANOTHER SIX POINT SIX BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAM. MR. COHEN SAYS THIS IS THE FIRST BUDGET THAT INCLUDES MONEY FOR DEPLOYMENT AS WELL AS RESEARCH OFFICIALS SAY SUCH MISSILE DEFENSES MAY CONFLICT WITH THE ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION IN 1972. MR.COHEN SAYS OFFICIALS WILL TRY TO RENEGOTIATE THE DEAL WITH MOSCOW, BUT COULD WITHDRAW FROM THE PACT COMPLETELY IF NECESSARY. MR. COHEN SAYS THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA EACH HAVE THOUSANDS OF WARHEADS,BUT HAVE NOT USED THEM BECAUSE EACH FEARS RETALIATION FROM THE OTHER. THE DEFENSE SECRETARY SAYS THAT THE U-S LIMITED NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE WOULD STOP A FEW MISSILES LAUNCHED BY NORTH KOREA, BUT WOULD BE QUICKLY OVERWHELMED BY A MASSIVE RUSSIAN ATTACK. HE ARGUES THIS LEAVES RUSSIA WITH AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT TO U-S ATTACK, AND SHOULD NOT CHANGE THE STRATEGIC BALLANCE BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW. MR. COHEN SAYS THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGES POSED BY THE LIMITED NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE ARE LIKELY TO DELAY DEPLOYMENT UNTIL 20-05. EARLIER PLANS CALLED FOR FIELDING THE SYSTEM TWO YEARS EARLIER. MR. COHEN IS ALSO PROPOSING ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR SHORTER RANGE, OR "THEATER" MISSILE DEFENSES THAT WOULD BE USED TO PROTECT U-S TROOPS IN THE PERSIAN GULF,SOUTH KOREA OR DEPLOYED ELSEWHERE. HE SAYS THE U-S ARMY'S TROUBLED "THEATER" MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAM WILL GET A COUPLE OF MORE FLIGHT TESTS BEFORE OFFICIALS CHOOSE BETWEEN IT AND A COMPETING NAVY SYSTEM. THE ARMY'S PROGRAM HAS COST ABOUT FOUR BILLION DOLLARS AND MISSED FIVE OUT OF FIVE TARGETS SO FAR. THE NAVY'S SYSTEM HAS NOT YET BEEN TESTED. MR. COHEN ALSO SAYS A JOINT MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAM WITH GERMANY AND ITALY CALLED MEADS (PRONO: ME-ADS) WILL BE MADE SMALLER THAN CALLED FOR IN PREVIOUS PLANS. (SIGNED). NEB/PT 20-Jan-99 5:18 PM EST (2218 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .