DoD News Briefing

Thursday, June 18, 1998 - 2:30 p.m. (EDT)
Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)


A: North Korea.

Q: First, can you just comment on the Pentagon's view of North Korea's statements earlier this week, acknowledging that they are proliferating missile technology and plan to continue to do so? Is this an event that will cause the Pentagon to take some additional steps in countering proliferation?

A: Well, first of all, we've known for some time that North Korea is a proliferant. It is a country that, while it can't seem to feed its own people, is interested in building and selling missiles around the world, and we've been aware of that.

We've been so aware of it that we have started talks with North Korea to try to end proliferation of missile technology. Those talks have not been particularly successful, but we have been engaged with them, in trying to convince them that this isn't a good thing to do.

We think that this type of proliferation is destabilizing and it increases pressure for arms races around the world, and we've been working hard to slow down arms races, not speed them up. Yes?

Q: What is the U.S. military assessment of the medium-range missile, the North Korean missile, the NoDong, versus the Pakistani (inaudible) medium-range missile?

A: I don't think I'm prepared to give you a blow-by-blow account, a comparison, at this time.

Q: Do they amount to the same thing?

A: I don't think it's appropriate for me to get into that.