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North Korea slams US Republican Party's stance on missile shields; Party ignoring peace process

The Straits Times, 4 August 2000

SEOUL -- North Korea yesterday issued a stinging attack on the US Republican Party's policy on North Korea and its pledge to push ahead with the development of missile defence shields.

A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper accused the party of ignoring the current peace process on the Korean peninsula.

And the paper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, said the pledge in the Republican Party platform to push ahead with the missile shields showed that the United States wanted to dominate the rest of the world.

"US conservative hardliners, obsessed by their wild ambition to become the "world's only superpower', consider the situation on the Korean peninsula developing in favour of detente as an obstacle in the way of achieving their strategic goal," said the text, carried by the official KCNA news agency.

The paper said that goal was to set up missile defence shields "at any cost" so that the US could "get the unchallenged military strategic upper hand."

It said the US was using the threat of North Korea missiles as an excuse to maintain a large military presence in Asia.

The Republican Party platform cited the missile threat from North Korea as one reason why it would push ahead with developing a proposed National Missile Defence (NMD) system if its candidate George W. Bush wins this year's election.

It goes on to paint North Korea as an international outcast and warns the US would take any necessary measures if it was threatened by weapons of mass destruction.

"The Republic of Korea is a valued democratic ally of the United States. North Korea, on the other hand, lies outside of the international system," said the platform. --AFP