- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 6, 2000

China is continuing to supply materials for North Korea's long-range missile program despite promises that it would tighten exports of such technology.

The latest shipment, arranged by China, just two weeks ago, The Washington Times has learned.

A Pentagon intelligence report sent to Clinton administration policy-makers in late December stated that the Pentagon's National Security Agency (NSA) uncovered a deal for the transfer.

The report identified a Hong Kong company that was used to send Chinese-made missile-related goods to North Korea, said Pentagon officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"This is a deal for a direct shipment of Chinese missile technology," said an official who has seen the report.

The missile dealing is more evidence that China is going back on promises made to the U.S. officials that it will take steps to tighten exports of missile technology covered by the 29-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Officials declined to provide other details about the transfer, citing concerns about sensitive intelligence involved in the report.

Numerous reports of Chinese weapons technology transfers to North Korea and other states, including Iran, in recent months contradict promises made to the United States by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to impose stricter export controls on weapons-related goods.

The latest reports follow other recent intelligence reports on transfers of missile know-how and components. They have included:

* In October, U.S. intelligence agencies reported that China had supplied fiber-optic gyroscopes to North Korea several months earlier.

* A March 8, 1999, NSA report said China sold specialty steel for North Korean missiles.

* Chinese and North Korean scientific institutes also have cooperated in sharing space technology that U.S. intelligence agencies believe is being used to hide missile technology sharing.

* A Defense Intelligence Agency report from June stated that China supplied accelerometers, gyroscopes and special high-tech machinery to North Korean missile manufacturers.

* A report from November 1998 that China provided specialty steel used in missile frames to North Korea. The transfer prompted a diplomatic note of protest from the State Department that month.

* A special House committee that investigated North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and missile programs examined suspected cooperation between China and North Korea on developing small nuclear warheads for use on missiles.

A House national security aide said the links between China and North Korea on weapons technology are close and it is likely the Chinese have allowed the North Koreans to have warhead data. China is known to have supplied nuclear warhead design information to Pakistan years ago.

* An Oct. 19 Pentagon intelligence report stated that North Korea is continuing to develop its long-range Taepo Dong missile that was first tested in August 1998. Spy agencies believe the single test is enough for the North Koreans to use the missile in a crisis.

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said in July she was worried about the Chinese missile transfers to North Korea.

The secretary said in response to a report on the issue that appeared in The Washington Times that "we are concerned by reports that DPNK [North Korea] may be seeking from China materials such as specialty steel for its missile program."

The administration takes the reports "seriously" and investigates the issue, she said, noting that "we have raised our concerns with China, and we will continue to do so."

Mrs. Albright sidestepped questions about whether China's missile-related transfers to North Korea violate U.S. anti-proliferation laws. She insisted that the administration "will fully and faithfully implement the requirements of U.S. law."

U.S. law requires the government to impose economic and other sanctions on foreign governments and businesses that violate anti-proliferation statutes.

North Korean and Pakistani firms were sanctioned last year for missile activities. Sanctions were imposed briefly on China in the early 1990s for missile sales to Pakistan. The sanctions were lifted after some months, however.

Yu Shuning, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy, denied that China has sold missile components to North Korea.

"We have always abided by our commitments so far as the MTCR is concerned," he said.

Mr. Yu said since China agreed several years ago not to violate the missile export agreement in exchange for the United States lifting sanctions imposed over the M-11 missile technology sales to Pakistan.

"Since that time, the U.S. government has stated that China has abided by our commitment," Mr. Yu said.

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