NK Missile Warhead Found in Alaska’
By Ryu Jin
The warhead of a long-range missile test-fired by North Korea was found in the U.S. state of Alaska, a report to the National Assembly revealed yesterday.
“According to a U.S. document, the last piece of a missile warhead fired by North Korea was found in Alaska,’’ former Japanese foreign minister Taro Nakayama was quoted as saying in the report. “Washington, as well as Tokyo, has so far underrated Pyongyang’s missile capabilities.’’
The report was the culmination of monthlong activities of the Assembly’s overseas delegation to five countries over the North Korean nuclear crisis. The Assembly dispatched groups of lawmakers to the United States, Japan, China, Russia and European Union last month to collect information and opinions on the international issue.
The team sent to Japan, headed by Rep. Kim Hak-won of the United Liberal Democrats, reported, “Nakayama said Washington has come to put more emphasis on trilateral cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the United States since it recognized that the three countries are within the range of North Korean missiles.’’
According to the group dispatched to the U.S., American politicians had a wide range of opinions over the resolution of the nuclear issue, from “a peaceful resolution’’ to “military response.’’
Doves, such as Rep. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and co-chairman of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, called for a peaceful settlement of the current confrontation, by offering food, energy and other humanitarian aid to the poverty-stricken country, while urging the North to give up its nuclear ambitions.
Rep. Markey also said the North should return to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the U.S. should make a nonaggression pact with the communist North.
Hardliners, however, warned that the North’s possession of nuclear weapons will instigate a nuclear race in the region, provoking Japan to also acquire nuclear weapons. Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, an Illinois Republican, said the U.S. might have to bomb the Yongbyon nuclear complex should the North try to export its nuclear material to other countries.
Over the controversy concerning the withdrawal of U.S. forces stationed here, most American legislators that the parliamentary delegation met said U.S. troops should stay on the peninsula as long as the Korean people want, the report said.