In ihis iisur
Somci defense minister on SS-23
Chinese leadership infighiing
Party hardliners' attack on Gorbachev
Hungarian leaders in Moscow
N. Korean denial of nuclear arms rcpon
Palestinian dissident's shift
NORTH KOREA: Denial of Nuclear Arms Production
North Korea last week issued its first, albeit muted, public denial that it isuclear weapons capability. Pyongyang's decision to respond at Ihis lime may reflect concern that recent charges, if left unchallenged, might undercut its self-styled imagehampion of world nuclear disarmament. The denial, containedow-level KCNA dispatchugust, was pegged9 Jury Wuhingon rVsi report tin the recent detectionew facility-located al Yongbytm-which ihe paper said may be capable of extractingey ingredient in ihe production of nuclear weapons. KCNA character! red the report as an "utterly groundless lie" and as -shameless false propaganda to mislead the worldt reiterated the North's pledge, first madeis months after it signed theteration treaty, not to "produce, test, stockpile, or introduce" nuclear weapons or to "permit" tbe basing or passage of such arms within its territory. While there have been sporadic South Korean reports in the past few years that the North is gearing up to develop nuclear arms, these reports, unlike the more detailed account offered recently by Ihe (ended io be vague and were ignored by Pyongyang.
Since early last month, when South Korean media meticulously spelled out the estimated capacities of the facilities al Yongbyim. Pyongyang has attempted lo deflect aiiention from its own nuclear program by almost daily calling attention to Ihe alleged basing of nuclear weapons in Ihe South. As pressure mounts on Pyongyang to sign the safeguards agreemenr ihai would open the way for iniernational inspection of iis nuclearmove it has thus farNorth will probably continue its shrill protestuclear presence in the Soulh in Ihe hope thai Ntirth Korea's own potential nuclear capabilities will create pressure in the Soulh for the denuckariialion of the entire peninsula.Original document.