News

 

DATE=12/9/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-223905

TITLE=KOREA TALKS / FIRST DAY (L)

BYLINE=MAX RUSTON

DATELINE=GENEVA

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:   A FIRST DAY OF KOREA PEACE TALKS TOOK PLACE TODAY 

(TUESDAY) IN GENEVA, MARKING THE RESUMPTION OF A PEACE PROCESS 

STARTED MORE THAN FOUR DECADES AGO.  AS V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON 

REPORTS FROM GENEVA, THE TALKS ARE ALREADY BEING DESCRIBED AS A 

SUCCESS, DESPITE THE APPARENT ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC AGREEMENTS.



TEXT:  THE FIRST DAY OF TALKS LASTED MORE THAN SEVEN HOURS.  THE 

MEETING BEGAN WITH NEGOTIATORS FROM THE FOUR PARTIES -- NORTH 

KOREA, SOUTH KOREA, THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA -- READING 

OPENING STATEMENTS, PRESENTING THEIR LONG-RANGE GOALS FOR THE 

TALKS. 



NORTH KOREA SAID IT HOPES TO ESTABLISH A SEPARATE PEACE TREATY 

WITH THE UNITED STATES AND CONVINCE WASHINGTON TO REMOVE ITS 

37-THOUSAND TROOPS FROM SOUTH KOREA.  AND IN A RARE 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SOUTH KOREA, NORTH KOREA SAID IT HOPES TO 

IMPROVE THE SITUATION ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA THROUGH TALKS WITH 

SEOUL. 



SOUTH KOREA CALLED FOR AN EASING OF TENSION ON THE HIGHLY 

MILITARIZED PENINSULA AND SAID IT HOPES THE TALKS WILL ACHIEVE 

THEIR PRIMARY GOAL -- THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PEACE TREATY TO 

REPLACE THE 1953 ARMISTICE THAT ENDED FIGHTING IN THE KOREAN WAR.



CHINA SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF NORTH KOREA'S MAIN OBJECTIVE IN CALLING

FOR BETTER TIES BETWEEN NORTH KOREA AND THE UNITED STATES.  IT 

ALSO CALLED FOR A NEW POST-COLD-WAR PHASE IN DEALING WITH THE 

KOREAN SITUATION. 



U-S OFFICIALS DID NOT MAKE ANY PUBLIC COMMENT ABOUT THE FIRST DAY

OF TALKS OR RELEASE THE AMERICAN OPENING STATEMENT.  THE TALKS 

ARE SCHEDULED TO CONCLUDE ON WEDNESDAY. 



AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE FIRST DAY OF TALKS, SOUTH KOREAN 

OFFICIALS WERE THE ONLY PARTICIPANTS TO COMMENT PUBLICLY, SAYING 

DISCUSSIONS WERE CONSTRUCTIVE AND TOOK PLACE IN A GOOD 

ATMOSPHERE. 



EARLIER, DIPLOMATS SAID THEY CONSIDERED THE TALKS A SIGNIFICANT 

SUCCESS BECAUSE THEY STARTED ON TIME WITH ALL FOUR PARTIES IN 

ATTENDANCE.  IT HAS TAKEN CLOSE TO A YEAR OF PRELIMINARY 

DISCUSSIONS TO ARRANGE THE TALKS.  NORTH KOREA, IN PARTICULAR, 

WAS AN UNRELIABLE PARTICIPANT IN PREPARATORY TALKS, SOMETIMES 

FAILING TO SHOW UP OR SHOW ANY FLEXIBILITY IN DEALING WITH 

DIFFICULT ISSUES. 



NORTH KOREA'S PRIMARY CONDITION FOR HOLDING THE TALKS WAS THAT 

THEY INCLUDE DISCUSSIONS ON THE REMOVAL OF U-S TROOPS FROM SOUTH 

KOREA.  THAT IS A TOPIC U-S OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT TO 

DISCUSS,  BUT APPARENTLY HAVE AGREED TO ALLOW ON THE AGENDA FOR 

THE FORMAL FOUR-PARTY TALKS THAT STARTED THIS WEEK.



U-S OFFICIALS SAY THE FOUR-PARTY TALKS COULD CONTINUE FOR YEARS. 

THEY SAY THIS FIRST  ROUND OF TALKS WAS DESIGNED AS AN 

INTRODUCTORY SESSION WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATIONS FOR SPECIFIC 

RESULTS.  (SIGNED)



NEB/MPR/RRM







09-Dec-97 3:29 PM EST (2029 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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