III. Controlling Missiles and Space Weapons


In the aftermath of the Cold War, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the missile delivery systems for these weapons is one of the most serious threats to U.S. security interests. ACDA is a key participant in the development and implementation of U.S. missile nonproliferation policy, in particular through the 29-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The United States is an active participant in the MTCR and ACDA participates in all activities related to formulating U.S. MTCR policy and in administering the MTCR Guidelines and Annex. During 1997, ACDA supported missile nonproliferation efforts and worked to prevent the acquisition of offensive ballistic missile programs by other countries, particularly in South Asia and the Korean Peninsula.

In 1997, ACDA worked to strengthen and expand the scope of the MTCR, which is intended to prevent the proliferation of missiles, space launch vehicles, and other remotely piloted (unmanned) aerial vehicles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. ACDA participated in discussions on outreach programs for key transshipment countries and the preparation of an international MTCR handbook to detail the items controlled by the MTCR Equipment and Technology Annex. ACDA participated in negotiations involving the international use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and helped craft technical safeguards agreements governing control of technology involved in launching U.S. satellites abroad. ACDA also supported the vigorous implementation of U.S. sanctions legislation against entities in North Korea, among others.

Ukraine and the United States are continuing to work together, building on the progress made in 1996, to enable Ukraine to meet the U.S. criteria for membership in the MTCR.

In South Asia, the United States continues to work directly, and multilaterally through the MTCR, to reduce the tensions between India and Pakistan, which have been heightened by the progress of their ballistic missile programs.

China has pledged not to export ground-to-ground MTCR-class missiles, agreed that missiles are judged to be MTCR-class based on their inherent capability, and agreed to hold in-depth discussions with the United States on the MTCR. However, the United States continues to have concerns about China's implementation of its March 1992 commitment to observe the "guidelines and parameters" of the MTCR. ACDA continues to participate in discussions to resolve this issue. ACDA remains concerned about missile-related exports by Chinese firms to Iran and Pakistan. Consistent with U.S. nonproliferation policy, ACDA has strongly supported efforts by the administration to encourage China to adopt responsible nonproliferation policies.

North Korea has been an active supplier of SCUD missiles to countries in regions of tension and continues its development of several MTCR Category I WMD-capable missiles. The United States is working with North Korea to make clear the relevance of restraint in missile exports to the development of our bilateral relations. The United States has imposed sanctions on North Korean entities in 1997 for missile-related activities.

The Republic of Korea and the United States are working closely together to facilitate the ROK's ability to meet the conditions for U.S. MTCR membership support.

Iran-Russia. During 1997 Iran's ballistic missile program made considerable progress, raising tensions in the region and prompting the U.S. and other concerned countries to intensify their non-proliferation and political efforts to retard it. Particular concern was raised by the apparent involvement of Russian entities in various aspects of Iran's missile program. In a series of high-level meetings, Russia has reaffirmed its policy of opposing missile proliferation and its MTCR commitments, and has been cooperating with the U.S. in efforts to terminate aspects of its support for Iran's missile program. ACDA has fully supported these efforts.

During 1997, ACDA also advised U.S. government agencies and industry on policies relating to new space launch programs and worked to ensure U.S. export control policies were implemented consistently across the spectrum of space and missile technology licensing. ACDA supported worldwide missile nonproliferation efforts and focused intensely on reduction and eventual elimination of offensive ballistic missile programs covered by the MTCR and worked to prevent the acquisition of such weapons from other countries, particularly in South Asia and the Korean Peninsula. ACDA also supported vigorous implementation of sanctions legislation including sanctions determinations against entities in North Korea and other countries.

ACDA continued to be an active member of several interagency committees concerned with missile-related issues. At the policy level, these include various committees chaired by the National Security Council, such as the Interagency Working Group on Nonproliferation and Export Controls. ACDA participated in the Missile Trade Analysis Group, which reviewed intelligence related to international transfers of missile-related items, and in the Missile Technology Export Control group, which reviews export license applications subject to missile proliferation controls.


Since the signing of the START I Treaty, some of the START Parties have initiated programs for using ballistic missiles for non-military space purposes, and other Parties are planning such programs. The START Treaty permits ballistic missiles to be used as space launch vehicles. However, such use must conform to START's accountability and verification provisions as well as to the MTCR Guidelines. On the one hand, every former Soviet missile actually used as a space launch vehicle is a missile that will never be used as a weapon, and stability will be accordingly increased. On the other hand, we must ensure that such programs are not used to circumvent either limits on strategic missiles or missile proliferation controls.

In the fall of 1995, the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine confirmed, and recorded in a joint statement in the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission, that all space launch vehicles that incorporate the first stage of an ICBM or SLBM are accountable as ICBMs and SLBMs of that type under the START I Treaty.

The policy of the United States regarding the use of U.S. ballistic missiles that will be made excess under the START I and START II Treaties is to retain these missiles for U.S. Government use or to eliminate them. Of course, such use will be consistent with U.S. international obligations, including the START I Treaty and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Although the United States has encouraged other governments with excess ballistic missiles to adopt a similar policy, some successor states to the former Soviet Union are marketing commercial space launch services using excess ballistic missiles. While the United States considers, on a case-by-case basis, requests of U.S. commercial companies to avail themselves of these services, the United States will grant export licenses for such uses only if they comply with the START Treaty and our missile nonproliferation policy, including MTCR Guidelines.

The MTCR Guidelines permit its members to support the space programs of other countries or international cooperation in such programs "... as long as such programs could not contribute to delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction." As a matter of policy, the United States does not encourage new space launch programs, and U.S. exports to foreign space programs are reviewed to ensure that they will not contribute to a missile program of proliferation concern. The U.S. Government will support cooperative space programs with Russia and Ukraine, so long as there is no contribution to a missile program of concern under the MTCR.