Defectors Cause Peace Fears

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: It sounds like the stuff of a James Bond movie: a double defection and plenty of international intrigue. Two North Korean brothers, both diplomats, have arrived here after defecting in Egypt and France. Chang Sung Gil, the North Korean ambassador to Egypt and his brother, Chang Sung Ho, the trade representative to Paris, claimed asylum in the United States embassies in those countries last Friday, it was confirmed today. Now we will find out if they're going to blow the lid off their country's ballistic missile program something they could easily do. Gil is well versed in his country's international missile sales, and Egypt is one of the North's biggest customers.

Despite the defections, North Korea has signaled that peace talks will go ahead in New York Wednesday. Perhaps more important is the indirect impact on the Middle East peace process: Israel may not want to talk peace with Syria another of the North's best customers if new information on the extent of missile sales and their capabilities comes out.