TEXT: (Weapons programs in Middle East, Asia pose concerns) (1210)
By John M. Deutch
Director of Central Intelligence

(The following article is based on excerpts of Director Deutch's
speech to the National Defense University on October 27.)

There are at least 20 countries that are trying to develop weapons of
mass destruction and ballistic missile delivery systems.

Let's start with the most difficult one, which is North Korea. It has
agreed to freeze its plutonium production, and under the terms of this
framework agreement that North Korea and the United States signed a
year ago, it has also agreed to eventually dismantle its plutonium
recovery plant and its other facilities. But North Korea maintains an
active chemical weapons program, and despite the signing of the
Biological and Technical Weapons Convention, it has an active
biological weapons program which is at the early stages of research
and development.

Most notably, North Korea has invested heavily in developing ballistic
missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction. Over the last
15 years it has focused on extending the reach of these ballistic
missiles and developing an export market for them.

In the early '80s, North Korea reverse-engineered the Soviet SCUD-B
with a range of 300 kilometers, allowing them to reach targets inside
of South Korea. By the late '80s it had developed the SCUD-C with a
range of 500 kilometers. In 1993, it flight-tested the Nodong 1, with
a range of 1,000 kilometers which is now in development, and the
Nodong 1 could be deployed before the end of next year.

For the future, North Korea is developing the Taipei Dong missile
system which could reach several thousand kilometers, as far as

These missiles at the present time are not very accurate. They have
unitary warheads, and certainly this limits their effectiveness.
However, to generate hard currency, to help support its military
buildup, North Korea sells these SCUD missiles in the Middle East and countries to whom they sell, the capability
to deliver indigenously produced or otherwise acquired weapons of mass

...Imagine a world where North Korea was producing a dozen nuclear
weapons a year, keeping half for its own inventory, selling half;
producing 50 Taipei Dong missiles a year -- keeping half and exporting
half. That's probably the worst case scenario one can imagine, but
it's worth keeping in mind because that's the worst case kind of
threat that we face and that we have to guard against in our
non-proliferation effort.

Let me turn to Iran. Iran is one of those happy customers for North
Korean SCUD-Bs and Cs and also would like to purchase Nodong missiles
from North Korea. If you take a compass with a thousand kilometer
radius from anywhere in Iran you can see the number of places which
would get extremely nervous in the Middle East, including Israel.
Furthermore, with foreign assistance -that's a big if, but it again
focuses our attention on the policy dimensions of this problem. With
foreign assistance, Iran could produce a nuclear weapon by the end of
this decade. I don't predict that, I just point that out that if with
foreign assistance they got accessibility to strategic nuclear
materials, that would be a possibility.

Iran, as we know, from the Iran-Iraq War in the early '80s, is also
spending large sums of money on its chemical weapons program.

What about Iraq? Iraq remains a concern. Desert Storm dealt a
devastating blow to Iraq's extensive program in weapons of mass
destruction, especially nuclear weapons, but it did not put these
programs beyond reach of the Iraqis. Moreover, it also illustrated how
fragile our understanding is of...technical programs that go on in
closed societies.

Up to the present, the sanctions have kept Iraq from restarting its
program, from purchasing needed equipment and materials, and the
inspections have certainly slowed if not stopped its research and
development program. But...they have enough components held in hiding
to resume chemical/biological production, to resume work on nuclear
and long range missile production. Iraq has a strong will to restart
these programs and to deceive U.N. inspectors.

We have seen the recent defection of Hussein Kamel. In that process,
Hussein Kamel, the son-in-law and cousin of Saddam Hussein, revealed
yet an additional large cache of documents which have been handed over
to the U.N. command, and revealed more about the programs which were
going on in Iraq. Iraq remains an example of what can be done in
secret by...closed societies that seek...with hostile intent to
develop weapons of mass destruction programs. Aside from being an
example of what can be done surreptitiously, it also has the potential
of beginning again.

Libya has a nascent nuclear and biological program, but it is its
chemicals program which is of most concern. The Libyans are in the
business of producing and stockpiling chemical weapons. Rabta, its
famous chemical facility, may now be inactive, but it's capable of
restarting production, and we are aware of concerns about other
chemical production facilities elsewhere in Libya.

We believe Libya stockpiled at least 100 tons of chemical weapons,
including mustard and nerve agents. As for delivery systems, sure
enough, the Libyans are happy customers of SCUD-Bs and SCUD-Cs. This
is a very serious threat to the Maghreb, the northern region of

What are we doing about countering these threats?

We, the United States, deal with this proliferation...across a broad
front. We want to understand and discover the plans of these
countries. We want to understand what makes their intentions and
motivations to be proliferators.

We also have serious programs to prevent acquisition of key technology
and facilities and equipment. We have to...cap or roll back existing
programs. For those countries who possess weapons of mass destruction
-- whether we're talking about Pakistan or India or Israel, we have to
deter the use of these weapons and make it clear that under no
circumstances are such weapons acceptable for use by any member of

Finally, we have to assure that...American military forces know how to
deal with this threat in case it is directed against them, and that we
have the emergency response capability to deal with unforeseen and
very unpleasant events should they happen.

That is a very broad set of objectives of programs that we have to
have in place and it has practical significance. For example, we want
to make sure that North Korea doesn't develop better guidance and
control technology that would make its missiles more accurate. We want
to make sure that Iraq does not obtain from European or other sources
the equipment and the materials necessary to restart its program. We
want to make sure that Iran does not obtain access to sources of
strategic nuclear material. And we want to make sure that Libya does
not obtain longer range missiles or equipment and technology to help
start its programs.

It's a big job....I think the problem of proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction and the means of their delivery is the key security
challenge for this nation and for...our closest allies in the world
for the foreseeable future.