1ITLE:(Following FS Material Not for Publication) (04/10/92)
TEXT:*PXF582  04/10/92 *

(Following FS Material Not for Publication)
(Text: New York Times article) (680)
On April 10, The New York Times News Service published the following article
on page A3 by David E. Sanger under the headline, "NORTH KOREA ASSEMBLY

(begin text)
TOKYO -- After six years of delay, the North Korean Parliament ratified an
agreement Thursday to allow international inspectors into nuclear
installations, starting the clock on a 90-day deadline to open up the
plants where the Communist government is believed to be developing atomic

Parliament's action, reported Thursday by North Korea's official news
agency, came with an assurance from Choe Hak-gun, the minister of Atomic
Energy Industry, that his country will now "accept nuclear inspection
without delay."

Nonetheless, the agency said Parliament had attached a condition to
approval, saying inspections would be permitted only if no other country
threatened North Korea with nuclear attack.

It was not clear whether that condition would be invoked to try to slow an
initial survey of the country's nuclear apparatus.

A senior official of the International Atomic Energy Agency, however, said
Thursday that he believed that there would still be several roadblocks to
overcome before inspectors are allowed to visit Yongbyon, the nuclear
complex near Pyongyang, the capital.

"We are still awaiting a complete list from North Korea of its facilities so
that we can make the inspections," said the official, who said he was still
fearful that North Korea might try to hide key nuclear installations.

"If the list does not appear complete, then we can turn to the United
Nations Security Council for help."

The official said the Atomic Energy Agency "fully expects" to have the list
by the end of May, in time for its next full meeting, which is scheduled
for June. Hans Blix, the agency's chief, is expected to travel to North
Korea in the next few months.

North Korea signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty six years ago, but
never approved an inspection plan for its nuclear installations. It long
maintained that it would not allow inspection until the United States
removed all its nuclear weapons from bases in South Korea.

At the end of last year, Seoul announced that the American forces South
Korea had done that and said its soil was nuclear-free.

In recent months international pressure on North Korea has grown rapidly.
Japan has refused to consider a restoration of diplomatic relations, much
less deep economic ties, until North Korea dismantles its nuclear

Satellite evidence gathered by the United States and shared widely with its
allies suggests that North Korea is near completion of a large nuclear
fuel-reprocessing plant. When complete, the plant could produce
weapons-grade plutonium, which in turn could then be fabricated into
nuclear weapons.

1he size and configuration of the heavily guarded plants at Yongbyon suggest
that most of the elements that President Kim Il-sung would need to assemble
a bomb are in place.

But little is known about North Korea's technical talents, and there is a
raging debate in Washington -- pitting the State Department, the Defense
Department and the intelligence agencies against one another -- over how
much time is left before the first weapon is within reach.

Recently Robert M. Gates, the director of central intelligence, told
Congress that North Korea could produce a weapon in a number of months, but
the more commonly accepted estimate is one to three years.

North Korea has denied that it is trying to build weapons, arguing that the
scare over a North Korean bomb is being fabricated by the Bush

In its dispatch Thursday, Pyongyang's news service quoted Choe as
reiterating that denial and saying North Korea simply planned to step up
development of nuclear power plants.

The Atomic Energy Agency's inspection would be separate from a series of
inspections between North and South Korea that the two countries agreed to
in principle in December. But talks on setting up those inspections have
only sputtered along.

(end text)
(Preceding FS Material Not for Publication)