Magazine article Arms Control Today

Navy Report Sheds Light on Mass Destruction Weapons

Magazine article Arms Control Today

Navy Report Sheds Light on Mass Destruction Weapons

Article excerpt

Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) Rear Admiral Edward D. Sheafer, Jr. released the 1994 DNI posture statement in June, providing new information on the status of weapons of mass destruction around the world. Perhaps the most significant assessment in the unclassified report is that "Iraq continues in its attempts to acquire...precursor chemicals for its chemical weapons program." Iraq is prohibited by the UN Security Council Gulf War cease-fire resolution from possessing or developing chemical weapons. At present, the United States is resisting increasing pressure in the Security Council to lift economic sanctions against Iraq.

The DNI's report says North Korea's 1,000-kilometer range NoDong-1 missile, currently under development, might be equipped with a nuclear warhead by the year 2000 and is also expected to carry chemical or conventional warheads. The report also says North Korea's new, longer-range Taepo Dong missile "is still in the initial research phase and is not expected to become operational until the early 2000s."

As for Pyongyang's reported links with Iran, the report says, "Iranian acquisition of the NoDong system from North Korea is possible in the future," suggesting that despite reports to the contrary, none of these missiles has so far been delivered to Iran.

The DNI report also provides new information on the Russian and Chinese nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) programs. It reports that Russia currently has 48 SSBNs and estimates that it will maintain 24 of them under START II. …

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