FILE ID:95041203.ECO




(Proliferation threats identified)  (550)

By Bruce Odessey

USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- Countries seeking to acquire or produce weapons of mass

destruction are using all kinds of tactics to evade multilateral

export-control regimes, U.S. intelligence experts say.

In an open April 12 workshop at a U.S. Department of Commerce

export-control conference, members of the intelligence community's

Non-Proliferation Center described for members of the business

community the spread of front companies and false end-users.

They said more sophisticated evasion tactics have arisen in response

to the advance of export-control regimes: the Australia Group for

chemical and biological weapons, the Missile Technology Control Regime

(MTCR) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Edward Milenky named India, Pakistan and Israel as countries already

having nuclear weapons and Iran and Iraq as having serious programs to

develop them. He identified as other countries with nuclear programs

to be concerned about Libya, Algeria, North Korea and Brazil (where he

said the military continues to have safeguard problems). Indonesia

warrants attention because of its potential capability, he said.

Libya uses cover companies in Malta to buy controlled goods from all

over the world, Milenky said by way of example.

If a U.S. company gets a request for dozens of sophisticated machine

tools from an unfamiliar company in Malta, a country with little

industrial capacity, he said, the company should raise questions about

the ultimate destination of the export.

Libya was used as an example also by Bernadette Camille, who described

that country's use of a pharmaceutical plant as a cover for chemical

weapons production. Iraq's choice of cover was a pesticides plant, she


More than 20 countries have chemical weapons programs or biological

weapons programs or both, Camille said, identifying as countries of

special concern Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. She named as countries

having a strong potential for developing such weapons Pakistan, North

Korea, South Korea and possibly Taiwan.

Chemical and biological weapons are the weapons of choice for

developing countries that lack the infrastructure or resources for

making nuclear weapons, she said.

"It's simple and it's cheap," Camille said.

The small, nondescript facilities for making chemical and biological

weapons are difficult to detect, she said, adding that Libya is making

detection even more difficult by building an underground facility.

Andrew Makridis identified the countries of concern over missile

proliferation as North Korea, India, Iran, Syria and Libya. Iran and

Syria have been supplied by North Korea, he said.

North Korea and India have the more advanced programs, working to

develop missiles with a range of 600-1,000 kilometers, he said.

The Non-Proliferation Center representatives presented a long list of

goods having potential application to weapons of mass destruction,

most of them also having legitimate non-military uses.

Some of them are sophisticated machine tools, electronic equipment and

composite materials while others are simple chemicals, such as that

used to make the ink in ballpoint pens flow.

The members of the intelligence community indicated that

export-control regimes were useful even if they ultimately fail to

prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"While we may not be able to end a program entirely," Camille said,

"at least we can slow it down."