DATE=3/21/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT (L-ONLY) TITLE=U-S - PROLIFERATION NUMBER=2-260454 BYLINE=LETA HONG FINCHER DATELINE=WASHINGTON INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The head of the U-S Central Intelligence Agency says the world faces a greater danger today from the proliferation of weapons than it did at the end of the Cold War. As V-O-A's Leta Hong Fincher reports, the U-S Congress is exploring ways to counter the new threats to the country's security. TEXT: The Director of the C-I-A, George Tenet, says that over fifty countries are of concern as suppliers or conduits of weapons of mass destruction. New technology is spreading quickly and more countries are able to acquire and distribute weapons. Mr. Tenet says these factors put the world at a greater risk of surprise attack than ever before. /// TENET ACT /// We face a world where technology develops and spreads at the speed of light and becomes obsolete just as fast, but also a world in which nation states are still important players, but nation states are no longer the only players, particularly in the context of proliferation, where corporations, non-governmental organizations, terrorist groups, organized crime groups and even single individuals can have a very important impact. /// END ACT /// Mr. Tenet spoke at a Senate hearing on proliferation threats to the United States. He said there is increasing missile development in Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and India, as well as a growing threat from biological and chemical weapons. Mr. Tenet also said rogue nations and terrorists are becoming more sophisticated in their ability to hide illicit arms activities, and more self-sufficient in producing material for weapons. The hearings on proliferation are taking place as President Clinton prepares to decide on a controversial national missile defense system. Senator John Kerry responded to Mr. Tenet's testimony by warning that the United States must not rush to develop a defense system that would alter the world's strategic balance. Mr. Kerry said the missile defense system might have an opposite effect, and escalate existing tensions. /// KERRY ACT /// What is defense, if it is sufficiently strong in defense, can actually become offence. And I don't think we've worked that through sufficiently and we need to. /// END ACT /// President Clinton says he may wait until near the end of the year to decide whether or not to deploy the proposed anti-missile system. (Signed) NEB/LHF/gm 21-Mar-2000 19:27 PM EDT (22-Mar-2000 0027 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .