Q: Could you clarify for us, there are reports out of Japan that part of this North Korean missile might have landed near Alaska. Do you have any information about that?
A: I have no information about it. First of all, as I understand it the only way we have to trace the debris of this missile is through radar tapes, and there is considerable disagreement within our own intelligence community as to how to interpret these tapes. We are continuing, our analysts are continuing, to meet to try to reach a consensus position on this and other questions stemming from that August 31st missile launch.
Q: Is there any evidence that there was a warhead that might have gotten...
A: I'm not aware that there is any evidence of a warhead.
Q: But there's no disagreement about what it was.
A: We believe that they tried and failed to launch a satellite. That hasn't changed.
Q: Will you then just explain a little bit further the question of the disagreement over the dispersal of the debris field. Can you quantify the ranges where the disagreement is? Nautical miles versus nautical miles?
A: No, I don't choose to do that. It's a disagreement on interpreting data at this stage. It could well be resolved. But I don't think whether it went X or X plus 1,000 kilometers is really relevant. What's relevant here is what I stressed last Tuesday and what the State Department has stressed as well, is that that three stage missile with a solid fuel third stage was an advance that shows they have greater capability to fire payloads over longer distances. That is worrisome to us. We are engaged in missile talks with the North Koreans, and we hope that we can succeed in those talks, in convincing them not to continue. But North Koreans are not easy to deal with on these issues.