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Public Statements

Letter to Secretary Clinton and General Clapper

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, called on Secretary Clinton today to question Chinese leaders on the unveiling of a new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea:

"Secretary Clinton is in China this week along with Treasury Secretary Geithner. I expect that the very top of their agenda will be the apparent material support for North Korea's road mobile ballistic missile program provided by state-owned Chinese firms, and their subsidiaries, which I recently described in a letter to Secretary Clinton and DNI Clapper.

"Such support means that China is enabling North Korea to deploy road mobile ballistic missiles, which could be tipped with nuclear warheads and aimed at the United States. Such cooperation therefore poses a direct threat to the security of the American people and the Administration must demand an immediate halt to such activity, and a guarantee that China will end its support for the dictatorial regime in Pyongyang," said Turner.

NOTE:

On April 19th, Turner questioned Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on the unveiling of a new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea. In response to questioning by Turner Panetta replied: "I'm sure there's been some help coming from China…clearly there has been some assistance along those lines."

Turner had previously written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Director of National Intelligence on this issue. "Of deep concern…are allegations that the missile…is based on Chinese technology, in violation of international obligations and a threat to the national security interest of the United States," wrote Turner.

In March of this year, the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command testified before the House Armed Services Committee that, "there is development within North Korea of a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system that we've observed." Before he left the Pentagon, Secretary Gates issued a similar warning in 2011.

Echoing these concerns, Mr. Richard Fisher, a leading specialist in Chinese military technology, wrote to Turner in a letter noting that "the 16-wheel transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) for this new missile is very likely based on a Chinese design. There is even the possibility that it is manufactured in China for North Korea's use."

"The prospect of Chinese support for this program, which "would require approval from the highest levels of China's government and from the People's Liberation Army', means that China is enabling North Korea to deploy ICBMs that could be tipped with nuclear warheads aimed at the United States. Such cooperation therefore poses a direct threat to the security of the American people," added Turner.

The letter to Secretary Clinton and Director Clapper follows below:

April 17, 2012

The Honorable Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520

General James R. Clapper

Director of National Intelligence

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Washington, DC 20511

Dear Secretary Clinton and General Clapper,

As you have likely seen, the press is reporting that North Korea unveiled a new mobile missile at a military parade in Pyongyang in honor of the founder of that dictatorship, Kim Il Sung. Whether this missile is the new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) the Administration has been warning about is, as yet, unclear based on these public reports. Of deeper concern, however, are allegations that the missile, unveiled at the recent military parade in Pyongyang, is based on Chinese technology, in violation of international obligations and a threat to the national security interest of the United States.

In March of this year, the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command testified before the House Armed Services Committee that, "there is development within North Korea of a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system that we've observed." Secretary Gates issued a similar warning in 2011 before he left the Pentagon. As if the threat of a North Korean road-mobile ICBM wasn't bad enough, the photographs of this new missile from the military parade in Pyongyang suggest cooperation and support from the People's Republic of China.

Mr. Richard Fisher, a leading specialist in Chinese military technology, wrote to me in the attached letter noting that "the 16-wheel transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) for this new missile is very likely based on a Chinese design. There is even the possibility that it is manufactured in China for North Korea's use." The prospect of Chinese support for this program, which "would require approval from the highest levels of China's government and from the People's Liberation Army", means that China is enabling North Korea to deploy ICBMs that could be tipped with nuclear warheads aimed at the United States. Such cooperation therefore poses a direct threat to the security of the American people.

Based on the gravity of this threat, I ask for your prompt response to the following questions:

1) Is there any evidence that China or Chinese entities have supplied TELs for a North Korean Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile or ICBM? If so, how many? And, when did the Administration learn of the possibility that such TELs would be transferred to North Korea?

2) What, if anything, has the Obama Administration done to ensure China halts such cooperation and demands the return of these TELs?

3) Is there any other evidence of Chinese entity support for North Korea's ballistic missile program, whether technology transfer or otherwise?

4) Would such cooperation be in violation of any United Nations Security Council Resolutions or any U.S. sanctions laws, including the Iran, North Korea, Syria Nonproliferation Act? If so, when will the United States invoke such sanctions as are available against China and Chinese entities for this apparent support for the North Korean ballistic missile program?

I am sure you agree that the United States cannot permit a state such as the People's Republic of China to support -- either intentionally or by a convenient lack of attention -- the ambitions of a state like North Korea to threaten the security of the American people. Indeed, the possibility of such cooperation undermines the Administration's entire policy of investing China with the responsibility of getting tough on North Korea.

Sincerely,

MICHAEL R. TURNER

Chairman

Strategic Forces Subcommittee


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