- The Washington Times - Friday, March 9, 2001

North Korea is preparing to export missile components from a port on its west coast, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
The missile shipment was photographed by a U.S. spy satellite within the past several days as it awaited loading at a port near the port of Nampo, on North Korea's west coast.
The exact types of missile components were not disclosed, but the goods are believed to be for foreign production of North Korea's homemade Scud B or Scud C missiles. The Scud B has a range of about 186 miles, and the Scud C can hit targets up to 310 miles away. North Korea also has exported medium-range Nodong missiles, which have a range of 620 miles.
One official said the shipment appeared to include chemical-weapons related warheads. However, a second official said the components included fuel tanks and related propulsion gear.
The missile shipment has been stranded at the port for more than a week because severe cold weather has frozen the area, the officials said.
The destination for the shipment is unknown, the officials said, and no plans were under way to block the missiles' sale through diplomacy or possibly a covert action operation.
Intelligence officials said North Korea is a major missile supplier to several nations, including Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Libya.
A CIA report to Congress last month said North Korea is a key supplier of missiles and related equipment. The North Koreans exported "significant ballistic missile related equipment and missile components, materials and technical expertise to countries in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa," the report said.
Missile sales are a major source of hard currency for the Pyongyang government and the money is then used for continued missile development, the CIA report said.
North Korea's missile exports were discussed during meetings at the White House on Wednesday between President Bush and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.
South Korean presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said there was agreement between the two presidents that Pyongyang's missile exports are a continuing problem. "We're concerned about it too," Mr. Park said.
Mr. Bush said after his meetings that he is concerned about "the fact that the North Koreans are shipping weapons around the world."
The intelligence officials said Mr. Bush was briefed on the missiles at Nampo during one of his recent daily intelligence briefings. The president said he wanted to go cautiously in reaching any agreements with North Korea on curbing its weapons of mass destruction programs.
Mr. Kim said yesterday that he agrees with Mr. Bush about the problem of missile proliferation from North Korea.
"In fact, while I was in Pyongyang in June last year, I conveyed our position in writing to the North Korean side regarding our position on the nuclear issue, on the missile issues," Mr. Kim said after a speech sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and Council on Foreign Relations.
In a letter to North Korea, Mr. Kim said he stated any "lasting peace" on the Korean Peninsula would require solving the missile export problem.
The South Korean president said he explained to Mr. Bush that there should be "comprehensive reciprocity" involving a give-and-take with North Korea.
The United States should demand that Pyongyang strictly adhere to the 1994 agreement ending the north's nuclear program, a "complete resolution" of the missile development and export problem, and a guarantee that it will not engage in aggression, Mr. Kim said.
If North Korea agrees, then the United States and South Korea should guarantee its security, provide economic assistance and help North Korea secure loans from international lending institutions, Mr. Kim said.
"There must be verification measures every step of the way so as to make sure that North Korea is living up to its promise," Mr. Kim said. "And I explained this to President Bush and his staff, hoping that they will take this into consideration as they make their North Korea policy review and as they come up with their North Korea policy."
The Bush administration is reviewing U.S. policy toward North Korea, and the debate currently centers on whether to continue to take the conciliatory approach of the Clinton administration or adopt a harder line toward North Korea.
Al Santoli, a national security aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, said the reports of the pending missile shipment are signs of "continued proliferation actions by North Korea at a time when President Kim Dae-jung is attempting to press upon the new administration that we should trust the sunshine policy" of closer ties to Pyongyang.
"This is why we should proceed with caution," Mr. Santoli said. "There is no indication that the North Koreans intend to downsize their military or meaningfully halt their proliferation actions."

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