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ARAB-US RELATIONS - Oct. 11 - Iraq Team Has Found No Illegal Weapons.

After briefing members of Congress on his three-month investigation, David Kay, the man leading the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, says: "We have not found at this point actual weapons. We have found substantial evidence of an intent of senior level Iraqi officials, including Saddam, to continue production at some future point in time of weapons of mass destruction". Saddam Hussein's regime held high-level talks about gaining long-range missile technology from North Korea as recently as October 2000, Mr Kay's interim report states. The Iraq Survey Group(ISG), the US-led team looking for Iraq's WMD, says that Iraq and North Korea discussed missile technology, probably related to North Korea's long-range No Dong missile. The missile has a range of 1, 300km, which would have provided Baghdad with strike power beyond the 150km limit set by the UN. But the new disclosure of Hussein's intent came as part of a broader interim report in which investigators says they needed more time - six to nine months - to complete their study of the weapons programmes. "[It] is far too early to reach any definitive conclusions and, in some areas, we may never reach that goal, " the report says. UK foreign secretary, Jack Straw, says the ISG "has produced further conclusive and incontrovertible evidence" that Hussein's regime was flouting UN resolutions demanding it disarm. The White House has refused to confirm a NYT report that it has requested more than $600m ([pounds sterling]360m) to try to find WMD in Iraq as part of the $87bn budget submitted to Congress for Iraq and Afghanistan. The 200-page report, of which only 13 pages have been declassified, neither confirms nor rejects claims that Iraq could have used weapons within 45 minutes.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Oct 18, 2003
Previous Article:ARABS-RUSSIAN RELATIONS - Oct. 13 - Iran's Nuclear Reactor Start-Up Delayed.
Next Article:ARAB-US RELATIONS - Oct. 15 - US Vetoes Plea At UN To Block Israeli Fence.

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