CNN AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN
Confirmation of North Korea's Missile Capabilities Add to Concerns
Aired February 13, 2003 - 09:04 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Confirmation about North Korea's missile capabilities add to concerns that the threat the country poses.
John King standing by at the White House with more.
Good morning, John.
JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Paula.
And the North Koreans nuclear standoff now referred to the United Nations Security Council, which already of course is dealing with the difficult issue of Iraq. One of the problems facing the Bush administration, which says it wants to resolve this diplomatically is that there have been disagreements among key allies. Washington not on the same page with South Korea and Japan, even less on the same page with China and Russia as to how to deal with North Korea's decision to move ahead with its nuclear program. The White House hoping now that it's referred to the Security Council that will force the consensus.
What the administration wants? The week ahead, first, a statement from the Security Council condemning North Korea and calling on the North Korean regime to disavow any program and allow international inspectors back in to make sure that program is dismantled. The White House wants to put on hold for now any discussions of sanctions, economic sanctions, political sanctions or anything else.
North Korea has said any sanctions would be an act of war. The Bush administration does not want to escalate the already pretty high tensions as it is. So the Bush White House hoping that the Security Council now will force a consensus on this issue, and convince North Korea it is in a dispute with the entire world, not in a dispute with just the United States.
The North Korean debate, of course, taking a back burner right now to Iraq, but U.S. officials say it should receive consideration in the Security Council within the next week or -- Paula.
ZAHN: John, I know this news is 2 1/2 minutes old, the Iraqi parliament convenes tomorrow around 8:00, which is a couple hours in advance of our hearings with the weapons inspectors at the U.N. Do you have any idea what impact that parliament meeting might have?
KING: No, and we'll certainly ask here at the White House. What you have heard from the Bush administration, though, is that they expect to see a number of steps taken by Iraq, including, as we have seen, permission for U-2 flights, some cooperation with inspectors in terms of letting scientists be interviewed.
But the Bush administration says has looked for a whole series of what it calls cheat and retreat deception from Iraq, as the United Nations faces the key decision point, as to whether to move to military confrontation. We'll try to get a sense here at the White House if they have any idea of what this meeting is about.
ZAHN: Thanks so much, John King.
John reporting from the White House for us today.
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