- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2003

JAPAN

Launching delayedof 2 spy satellites

TOKYO — The scheduled launch next Monday of a second pair of spy satellites aimed at improving Japan’s photo-surveillance capabilities over North Korea has been delayed again owing to technical troubles, Kyodo news service reported yesterday.

A new date for liftoff of the H-2A rocket carrying the two observation packages — one with optical imaging and the other with radar-imaging capabilities — has not been set, as some work remains to be done on the solid-rocket booster, government officials said.



The new satellites, following two Japan put into orbit in March, are to pass over North Korea in the afternoons, which Japan hopes will allow it to conduct detailed analysis of North Korean facilities by adding to the variety of pictures taken at different times of day under different sunlight conditions.

SOUTH KOREA

U.S. military showsPAC-3 antimissiles

SUWON AIR BASE — The U.S. military displayed its newest missile-defense system yesterday about 50 miles south of the border with North Korea, amid growing concerns over the communist state’s missile development.

The interceptor missiles, called the Patriot Advanced Capability-3, are the first to be fielded permanently outside the United States. A PAC-3 launcher can accommodate up to 16 missiles that intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and enemy aircraft. The U.S. military used the PAC-3 during the war with Iraq.

If war broke out on the Korean Peninsula, military experts say North Korea could shower Seoul, the South Korean capital, with thousands of artillery shells and missiles in the first few hours. There are four PAC-2 and four PAC-3 batteries in South Korea. A PAC-2 launcher can carry only four missiles.

Weekly notes …

The U.N. General Assembly’s latest rejection of Taiwan’s bid for membership in the United Nations is “unreasonable and unacceptable,” the island’s foreign minister said yesterday. “China’s move to bar Taiwan from taking part in the international community is counter to the reality and has hurt the feelings of Taiwan’s 23 million people,” said Foreign Minister Eugene Chien. His remarks came after the General Assembly, under strong pressure from Beijing, turned down Taiwan’s perennial request Wednesday. … The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is throwing its weight behind Indonesia’s plan to have its envoy visit detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Philippine Foreign Minister Blas Ople said yesterday. He said other ASEAN members will “take a harsher view” of the situation in Burma, also a member, if Indonesia’s initiative is rejected. Mrs. Suu Kyi is being held incommunicado in Rangoon since a May 30 clash between her supporters and pro-regime demonstrators.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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