1996 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security

S. HRG. 104-510









Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Intelligence


25-223 CC WASHINGTON : 1996

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-052904-2


10 May1996

The Honorable Arlen Specter
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Enclosed are the unclassified responses to those questions for the record from the 22 February 1996 hearing on the current and projected national security threats to the United States. For six-of the questions it was not possible to provide an unclassified answer, therefore the classified responses to these questions are being forwarded to you under a separate cover. (U)

If there are any questions, please have your staff contact Herb Briick of my staff at (703) 482-7047. (U)


John H. Moseman
Director of Congressional Affairs Enclosure


Technology Transfer From the Former Soviet Union

QUESTION 2: What general trends has the Intelligence Community noticed in the transfer of scientists, technology, and conventional and unconventional military items to other nations?

ANSWER: Many countries of the former Soviet Union -- particularly Russia, Ukraine, Kazakstan, and Belarus -- have facilities storing or producing conventional and unconventional military items. Although there is little evidence that they are directly supporting weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in countries that are seeking such weapons, FSU governments are promoting exports that could contribute to WMD programs. In addition, most FSU countries face dismal economic conditions that are pressuring their governments to authorize sensitive exports.

There is no direct evidence that FSU scientists and engineers have provided direct assistance to nuclear weapons programs in countries seeking nuclear weapons, but at least some of the FSU scientists and engineers -- at home and abroad -- probably are contributing to such weapons'programs. Buffeted by upheaval in the FSU defense industrial complex, they are vulnerable to pariah countries, recruitment efforts, and their ability to pass sensitive information has been facilitated by the FSU's integration into the world community and by scientists, access to international computer networks.


Technology Transfer From the Former Soviet Union

QUESTION 2: What trends has the Intelligence Community detected that Soviet nuclear materials, BW, CW, or ballistic missile-related materials or technology have found their way to the international black market?

ANSWER: FSU countries are making uneven progress in developing export control systems intended to prevent the transfer of sensitive items to the black market.

In addition, US bilateral efforts with Russia, Belarus, Kazakstan, and Ukraine to improve nuclear material protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A) procedures are addressing the vulnerability of weapons-usable fissile material to theft and diversion.

Efforts to prevent illicit exports continue to face serious shortcomings:


Technology Transfer from the Former Soviet Union

Various FSU organizations established since the dissolution of the Soviet Union that have established ties to academia, research institutes, production plants, and possibly organized crime, reportedly are offering a wide variety of chemical or biological products for sale abroad -- including some with potential CW or BW applications.


Technology Transfer from the Former Soviet Union

QUESTION 2: What are the implications of these trends for US national security?

ANSWER: Countries of proliferation concern -- including China and Iran -- could exploit the weapons expertise and technology of the former Soviet Union to boost their own weapons programs or to improve the weapons-related technologies they are developing for export.


Assistance to the Chinese

QUESTION 4: -To what extent, if any, are former Soviet Union nationals assisting the Chinese in the following areas (and please state whether any such assistance is government-to-government rather than the actions of individuals):

ANSWER: We do not have specific examples at the unclassified level of nationals of the former Soviet Union assisting the Chinese in ballistic missile program. However, Russia appears to be moving toward closer relations with China. President Yel'tsin has announced that he will visit China this April, and Moscow appears to have expanded its sale of weapons and military technologies to Beijing.

ANSWER: According to German and Japanese press reporting in 1992, the Chinese had targeted for recruiting Soviet nuclear experts and had established offices in Russia and Ukraine. The Japanese reporting indicated that some scientists and engineers had been recruited and had assisted in upgrading Chinese facilities. These articles likely are referring to nuclear reactor and nuclear materials experts, not nuclear weapons researchers.

There is press reporting from correspondents in Moscow and Hong Kong during late 1995 to early 1996 that mentions an agreement between the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom) and the China National Nuclear Corporation for establishing high-tech facilities in Shenzhen. The facilities mentioned are controlled thermonuclear fusion and radioisotopes for medical and agricultural applications. The Moscow-based reporting notes that the Russians are constructing a centrifuge for enriching uranium in China. It is unlikely that nuclear weapons researchers are involved in these programs.

According to Chinese press reporting, a Sino-Russian symposium on nuclear research for peaceful purposes was held in Chengdu during April 1993 and a Sino-Russian symposium on peaceful nuclear explosions was held at a China Academy of Engineering Physics Institute in Beijing during late 1995. The first symposium probably involved nuclear weapon researchers but primarily dealt with civilian nuclear applications. The latter conference undoubtedly involved mainly nuclear weapon researchers from both countries and dealt with such "civilian, applications of nuclear explosives as changing the course of rivers and creating electrical power.


Assistance to the Chinese

According to Russian press in April 1996, the deputy minister of Minatom stated that individuals whose work is in defense-related nuclear technologies cannot travel abroad unless given permission by Minatom. Therefore, it can be assumed that any Russian assistance given to the Chinese nuclear weapons program has been approved at the ministerial level.

ASNWER: Some press reports indicate that Russian experts have provided technology and are assisting China in developing what is probably a land-attack cruise missile and possibly some antiship cruise missiles. China does not field a land-attack cruise missile, and we expect, given the level of cooperation on other fronts, that China probably would turn to Russia for such assistance, especially since Russia has fielded many land-attack and antiship cruise missiles. It is unclear from these reports however, whether the assistance is sanctioned by the Russian government.

China has purchased four Kilo-class submarines from Russia and two enhanced 636-type submarines, which are equipped with more automatic controls and advanced quieting technologies. The Chinese acquisition of Kilo submarines is part of an interstate agreement of military-technical cooperation between Russia and China.

Russia probably has been providing significant technical cooperation to Beijing for its developmental F-10 fighter, an F-16 class aircraft that would initially incorporate Russian engines. In addition, Russia has offered China radars for the F-8-II and FC-1 aircraft programs. It is unclear at this time if co-production agreements will be made it the radars are chosen. Russia may also provide support to the Chinese for JL-10 radar development, intended for the F-10 fighter.


Chinese Proliferation

QUESTION 6: a) Could you elaborate on tba nature and extent of China's ballistic missile and wealpons of mass destruction related assistance to Iran and Pakistan? Do you believe that this assistance could raise compliance concerns with China's commitment to the NPT and the MTCR? How likely is it that China will adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)?

ANSWER: The Department of State is in a better position to assess China's commitment to the CWC.

ANSWER: Over the past four years China has continued to engage in cooperative technology relationships that contribute to weapons of mass destruction programs in Pakistan and Iran. China signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in January 1993. Beijing's commitment to the CWC, as well as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), have led to a moderate decline in its sensitive technology exports to other countries. In many cases, however, China is now selling dual-use technology, hardware, and expertise, which are not always explicitly controlled under these multilateral control regimes.

Strategic and financial interests are critical to Beijing's calculus.


Monitoring the North Korean Framework Agreement

QUESTION 8: In 1994, North Korea signed the nuclear framework agreement and promised to forgo further development of nuclear weaponn in return for assistance from the US and others.

ANSWER: North Korea continues to work with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) officials as well as US officials and technical experts to implement key elements of the US-North Korean Agreed Framework. P'yongyang is adhering to the "freeze" on its nuclear facilities; the North agreed to not refuel its five MWe reactor, cease construction on two larger reactors, and halt operations at its reprocessing plant and fuel fabrication facility. IAEA inspectors are monitoring the five MWe reactor, reprocessing plant, and related facilities covered by the freeze. US technicians are in the process of installing monitoring equipment at power plants in Sonbong, Chongjin, and P'yongyang to monitor the disposition of heavy fuel oil supplied under the terms of the Agreed Framework.

Worsening economic conditions in North Korea make compliance more likely to the extent that the leadership concludes foreign relationships are essential to the regime's survival and that the payoff from those relationships meets expectations.

The IAEA is indispensable in monitoring North Korean compliance with the.Agreed Framework. IAEA inspectors played a crucial role by recording early North Korean moves to implement the Agreed Framework. We have a high level of confidence in our ability to detect prohibited activities at Yongbyon given a combination of IAEA inspections maintained at present levels, phased-in full-scope safeguards, and collection by National Technical Means.


North Korea's Nuclear Weapon Program

QUESTION 9: What is the Intelligence Community's assessment of the member and yield of nuclear weapons that North Korea may currently possess?

ANSWER: In 1989, North Korea unloaded an unknown amount of spent fuel from its five megawatt reactor for reprocessing to obtain plutonium. Most US intelligence agencies assess that the amount recovered was more than that declared to the IAEA and that it most likely was enough for one or, possibly, two nuclear weapons.

At the time the Agreed Framework was concluded in October 1994, North Korea had spent fuel from the five megawatt reactor stored in water. This fuel contains enough plutonium for an additional three to five weapons. Under the Agreed Framework, this fuel is currently undergoing preparations for hermetic sealing prior to its eventual removal from North Korea.


India and Pakistan Nuclear Programs

QUESTION 10: Press reports have indicated that India has made preparations to test a nuclear weapon. What is the likelihood that India will test a nuclear weapon this year? If it did so, what is the likelihood that Pakistan would respond with a nuclear test of its own? would these nuclear tests lead to war between the two nations?

ANSWER: The response to this question is classified and is found in a separate enclosure.


Iran's Nuclear Weapon Capability

QUESTION 12: What is the current status of Iran's nuclear weapon program? Want kind of assistance is Russia providing to Iran's nuclear weapon program? What is the likelihood that Israel will conduct a mlilitary attack against Iran if Iran successfully develops a nuclear weapon? What in the status of Iran's BW and CW programs?

ANSWER: Nuclear Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons, contrary to its-obligations under the NPT.

We assess that Iran is attempting to develop a uranium enrichment capability, but we do not think Tehran will be able to produce enough material for a weapon until sometime in the next century, unless it receives significant foreign assistance.

Iran also continues to explore plutonium production, but we assess that Iran will not be able to produce sufficient plutonium to create a weapon until well into the next century, unless it receives significant foreign assistance.

Israel, at least for now, does not appear likely to mount a military attack against Iran if Tehran develops a nuclear capability.


Iran's Nuclear Weapon Capability

Biological. Iran has had a biological-warfare program since the early 1980s. Currently, the program is mostly in the research and development stages, but we believe Iran holds some stocks of BW agents and weapons. For BW dissemination, Iran could use many of the same delivery systems -- such as artillery and aerial bombs -- that it has in its CW inventory. We are concerned that in the future Iran may develop a biological warhead for its ballistic missiles, but we would not expect this to occur before the end of the century.

Tehran most likely has investigated both toxins and live organisms as BW agents. Iran has the technical infrastructure to support a significant BW program and needs little foreign assistance. It conducts top-notch legitimate biomedical research at various institutes, which we suspect provide support to the BW program. Because of the dual-use nature of biomedical technology, Iran's ability to produce a number of both human and veterinary vaccines also gives it the capability for large-scale BW agent production.

Chemical. Iran's CW program is already among the largest in the Third World, yet it has continued to expand and become more diversified, even since Tehran's signing of the CWC in January 1993. Iran's stockpile is comprised of several thousand tons of CW agents, including sulfur mustard, phosgene, and cyanide agents, and Tehran is capable of producing an additional 1,000 tons of these agents each year. In addition, Iran is developing a production capability for the more toxic nerve agents and is pushing to reduce its dependence on imported raw materials. Iran has various dissemination means for these agents, including artillery, mortars, rockets, aerial bombs, and, possibly, even Scud warheads.


The Future of the Iranian Regime

QUESTION 13: What is the likelihood that the current Iranian regime will still be in power three years from now?

ANSWER: We continue to assess that the current Iranian regime has a three-in-four chance of remaining in power three years from now. We cannot identify any immediate threat to the clerics' grip on power that they cannot manage. In addition, the regime enjoys the following advantages:

The government is facing long-term challenges from public dissatisfaction over Iran's deteriorating economy and from a growing intellectual debate that questions the propriety of clerical rule. We are skeptical that these problems will so undermine the regime that it falls within three years, however.

QUESTION 13: Are sanctions likely to influence Iran's behavior over the next three years? Why or Why not?

ANSWER: The US policy of containing Iran through economic pressure and other means has made it more difficult for Tehran to pursue a number of its objectionable policies, but it has not persuaded Tehran to abandon these policies, including support for terrorism, promotion of militant Islam, efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, interest in becoming the preeminent power in the Persian Gulf, or abuse of human rights.


The Future of the Iranian Regime


Threat of Terrorists Biological, Chemical, or Radiological Weapons

QUESTION 30: The sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway last year highlighted the danger of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological, or radiological weapons.

ANSWER: The danger that a terrorist organization like the Aum Shinrikyo could again acquire the capability to launch an attack using chemical or biological weapons continues to grow. Terrorist interest in chemical and biological weapons is not surprising, given the relative ease with which some of these weapons can be produced in simple laboratories, the large number of casualties they can cause, and the residual disruption of infrastructure. Although popular fiction and national attention have focused on terrorist use of nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapons are more likely choices for such groups.

The continued willingness of such states as Iran, Libya, and Syria to support terrorism highlights the danger of state sponsorship of a terrorist's chemical or biological weapons program. Although we currently have no evidence of state sponsors providing chemical or biological weapons, or the technologies to produce them, to terrorist groups, recent revelations about Iraq's well-hidden chemical and biological programs highlight the difficult in detecting national programs to develop such weapons and disperse them to terrorist entities.

Despite a number of press articles claiming numerous instances of nuclear trafficking worldwide, we have no evidence that any fissile materials have actually been acquired by any terrorist organizations. We also have no indication of state-sponsored attempts to arm terrorist organizations with the capability to use any type of nuclear materials, fissile or non-fissile, in a terrorist act. Unfortunately, this does not preclude the possibility that'a terrorist or other group could acquire, potentially through illicit trading, enough radioactive material to conduct an operation, especially one designed to traumatize a population.


Threat of Terrorists Biological, Chemical,
or Radiological Weapons

30 b) The Aum Shiarikyo attack proved that deadly chemical weapons could be manufactured easily in small laboratories. What is the likelihood that the US Intelligence Community could detect such an effort by a terrorist organization either in the United States or abroad?

ANSWER: An effective program to combat terrorist use of WMD will require vigorous efforts by police and intelligence agencies, from local police through international law enforcement and intelligence organizations, to detect and intercept possible terrorist acts.

The mission of the US Intelligence Community in the counterproliferation area is to support those who make and execute all four aspects of US nonproliferation policy: preventing acquisition; capping or rolling back existing programs; deterring use of WMD; and ensuring US and allied forces ability to operate against proliferated weapons.

To achieve these ends, the Intelligence Community focuses its efforts on providing accurate, comprehensive, timely, and actionable foreign intelligence. The Community has also searched for new ways and opportunities to add substantial value to counterproliferation policy decisions and activities. This includes maintaining a surge capability to quickly deploy specialists outside the United States to the scene of a terrorist nuclear or radiological threat to provide the US Mission and host government advice and guidance on dealing with the threat. During such an event, the specialists would coordinate fully with appropriate United States Government Agencies, keeping them informed and drawing upon their expertise if follow-up action is required.


Smuggling of Components of Weapons of Mass Destruction

QUESTION 38: Do we have any indications that criminal organizations have or are likely to engage in smuggling weapons grade nuclear material or other components of weapons of mass destruction?

ANSWER: Organized crime is a powerful and pervasive force in Russia today. we have no evidence, however, that large organized crime groups, with established structures and international connections, are involved in the trafficking of radioactive materials. the potential exists, though, and Russian authorities have announced arrests of criminals alleged to be members of organized crime groups, associated with seizures of non-weapons grade nuclear materials.

We estimate that there are some 200 large, sophisticated criminal organizations that conduct extensive criminal operations throughout Russia and around the world. These organizations have established international smuggling networks that transport various types of commodities. Many of these groups have connections to government officials that could provide them access to nuclear weapons or weapons grade materials and enhance their ability to transport them out of the country. In fact, various reports suggest there are vast networks, consisting of organized crime bosses, government officials, military personnel, intelligence and security service officers, as well as legitimate businesses. These networks would have the resources and the know-how to transport nuclear weapons and materials outside the former Soviet Union.


Ballistic MIssile Threat to the US

QUESTION 40: In his prepared statement, General Hughes of the Defense Intelligence Agency states: "The Intelligence Community has concluded that no country, other than the major declared nuclear powers, will develop or otherwise acquire a ballistic missile in the next 15 years that could threaten the contiauous 48 states; only a North Korean missile in development, the Taepo Dong 2, could conceivably have sufficient range to strike portions of Alaska or the far western Hawaiian Islands.

ANSWER: General Hughes' statement reflects the official views of the CIA and all other interested Intelligence Community components. As a minor clarification, a recent National Intelligence Estimate suggests that development of the Taepo Dong 2 missile with a capability to reach Alaska is somewhat more likely than might be inferred from General Hughes' statement.

b) Some individuals have questioned whether intelligence on the long-range missile threat to the United States has been politicized--particularly regarding the status of North Korea's Taelpo Dong 2 long-range missile. In your opinion, has the CIA and the rest of the Intelligence Comminuty been consistent over the last several years regarding its assessment of the long-range ballistic missile threat to the continental United States? Please explain.

ANSWER: The conclusions of the NIE were in no way influenced by political pressure. During production of the NIE, there were no discussions between Community analysts and any consumers on relevant substantive issues. Moreover, the conclusions noted by General Hughes were agreed to by both analysts and senior managers at all interested Community agencies. The timing of the NIE was dictated by consumer pressure to complete production as soon as possible and by time required for analysis, drafting, and coordination throughout the Community.

Recent intelligence assessments of long-range missile threats to the United States are consistent with, but not identical,to, assessments published since the beginning of 1993. Recent projections reflect minor changes from earlier projections. For most of these assessments, especially those for the North Korean Taepo Dong missiles, only the earliest realistic dates for development or deployment have been reported. Consequently, the reported assessments are


Ballistic Missile Threat to the US

for a possible, but unlikely, pace of development. Since 1993, as we expected, some of the requisite activities did not occur. As a result, the earliest realistic dates for deployment have slipped. We think that additional experience in analyzing Third World missile programs has permitted improved assessments. We also note that our recent assessment is consistent with a July 1995 report published by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.


Environmental Intelligence

QUESTION 43: Is the Intelligence Community able to collect unique classified information that is helpful in understanding environmental pollution and ecological change? If so, how effectively can this information be exploited by federal agencies with an environmental mission?

ANSWER: The Intelligence Community does have access to information that is not otherwise available. For example, uniquely long time-series of imagery of forested areas available in classified archives have proved valuable to environmental scientists. They provide knowledge of historical patterns of deforestation and associated ecological change that could not be obtained in other ways. When required, the information contained in such imagery is made available to other federal agencies with an environmental mission in the form of unclassified derived products. This greatly facilitates their ability to exploit it.


Environmental Devastation in Russia

QUESTION 44: Recently, there has been increasing concern regarding the environmental devastation in Russia, particularly pollution caused by the Russian nuclear complex in northern Russia.

ANSWER: While posing no current direct environmental or health threat to the US, environmental degradation in Russia has the potential to directly impact US interests. The most direct impact would be a catastrophic event, such as the Chernobyl nuclear accident or the accidental detonation of a nuclear weapon in Russia. While such an accident would have minimal impact in the continental US, US personnel could be caught in the fallout pattern or become involved in the extensive accident mitigation effort in Russian, and potentially other parts of the world such as East Central Europe. Should Russia resume dumping of nuclear waste and other pollutants into the oceans, tensions with neighboring countries concerned about their fisheries (the Scandinavian countries, Japan, etc.), could increase, and the US might be drawn in.

Nuclear waste issues can also complcate US-Russian relations. A current example of this is the pressure on Clinton to Challenge Yel'tsin at the Moscow summit about both the Bellona report on Russian nuclear waste storage problems in the Arctic, released on the eve of the summit, and the continued detention of Alexander Mitkin.

Our classified imaging satellites can provide insight into a broad range of environmental issues in Russia and elsewhere. Of particular value is the ability to examine archived imagery and compare it with current imagery to gain a unique historical perspective on the changing environmental situation. The Intelligence Community also monitors environmental pollution such as waste dumping and adherence to environmental treaties.

An example of how our national security assets have monitored pollutants in Russia directly and have determined their potential impact on other regions is the Komi oil spill. In the Fall of 1995, 100,000 tons of crude were spilled in the Komi Republic--an amount nearly three times the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster. International concern was raised that the spilled oil might make it into nearby rivers that feed into the Barents Sea, polluting the


Environmental Devastation in Russia

Arctic. The Intelligence Community worked together with the MEDEA scientists -- prominent US environmental scientists who use our most advanced reconnaissance satellites and Navy systems -- to determine the risk to the Arctic. The assessment, which concluded that the spill posed little risk outside the immediate area, demonstrates the ability of national security systems to provide detailed information for characterizing and monitoring a pollutant.

Human intelligence and open source information can also be used to gather Russian data on past and current environmental accidents, dumping incidents, etc.

Other methods that the Intelligence Community can use to monitor the situation in Russia and its environs can be provided in classified form.