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North Korea Ballistic Program is Still Major Threat

Date Posted: 2000-03-05

Being close to the Asian intelligence community, I want to bring to your attention the real danger in underestimating the North Korean threat, as the Federation of American Scientists have done on their website. Basing their findings on the meager evidence drawn from satellite photos taken by the Space Imaging company, they mistakenly identify the North Korean installations as being primitive in nature. The North Koreans are well aware that they are under the eye of entire world's surveillance satellites. As such, they only leave visible either those installations that meet the conditions of the moratorium concluded with the United States last year, or those that allow gross underestimation of their real capacity. With the active support of China, who has never ceased to supply them with sensitive material from Hong Kong, the North Koreans are currently following their ballistic missile program under great secrecy. These activities are now sure to pick up momentum due to some surprising and unexpected financial support which the North Koreans have recently been taking advantage of. In fact, according to some extremely well informed sources, the United Arab Emirates have just concluded a strategic agreement with the highest North Korean authorities, which will be the foundation for significant cooperation between the two in the ballistic missiles area. This agreement will see North Korea financially supported and regularly delivered with POL. In exchange, the North Korean authorities have committed themselves to ceasing their cooperation with Iran over the Shahab-3 missile, which has constituted a real threat to the UAE and the Arabian peninsular. The North Koreans already master the family of Short-Range Ballistic Missiles with the Nodong missile, and taking into account the relative success of Taepo Dong-2, have also demonstrated their upcoming mastery of the Medium Range Ballistic Missile family. With these new means they will now be able to pursue the R&D necessary to fine-tune an Intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM) which has a range of over 3700 miles. Moreover, the North Koreans who were beginning to master staging technologies are in close cahoots with the China Academy of Launch Technology which for a great number of years has been helping them by pushing the sale of highly sensitive material such as gyroscopes and accelerometers etc. Once again, these new funds will give them the means to access specialist services from ex-URSS countries (such as Russia and the Ukraine etc), which have the knowledge necessary for perfecting the ICBM and most importantly the firing console software which the North Koreans haven't yet mastered. Last summer's threat to launch a Taepo Dong-2 was undoubtedly nothing but a bluff in order to gain economic compensation from the US in exchange for stopping further developments. Thanks to these threats, the North Koreans have succeeded in both diverting attention from their activities and, as this agreement clearly shows, in actively pursuing their program. The relationship between the Gulf Arabs and the Pyongyang authorities originated with the Pakistanis (and perhaps the Iraqis also) during the development of the Ghauri missile which was conducted with the full support of the North Koreans. Why do the American authorities continue to insist that these ballistics programs have been frozen? And why, at a time when threats to the security of both the Asian and US regions have never been more prolific or menacing, do they refuse to listen to the many warnings from the Japanese and South Korean authorities?

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