News

 

DATE=12/9/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-223914

TITLE=KOREA TALKS / NEW PHASE (L)

BYLINE=MAX RUSTON

DATELINE=GENEVA

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



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

(TUESDAY) IN GENEVA.  DIPLOMATS SAY THE TALKS MARK THE BEGINNING 

OF A NEW  POST-COLD-WAR PHASE IN DEALING WITH  THE TENSE MILITARY

SITUATION ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  IN THIS REPORT FROM GENEVA, 

V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON EXAMINES THE CHANGING SITUATION ON THE KOREAN 

PENINSULA.



TEXT:  WESTERN DIPLOMATS SAY THE GENEVA TALKS MARK THE BEGINNING 

OF A SHIFT ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA, FROM MILITARY CONFRONTATION 

TOWARDS DIALOG.  FOR NORTH KOREA, THIS  COULD MEAN INCREASED AID 

TO ALLEVIATE ITS  FOOD SHORTAGE AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.  THE 

UNITED STATES HOPES TO ACHIEVE A REDUCTION IN MILITARY TENSION ON

THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  AND SOUTH KOREA AND CHINA BOTH SEE THE 

TALKS AS A POSSIBLE MEANS FOR AVOIDING MASSIVE REFUGEE AND 

ECONOMIC PROBLEMS THAT COULD OCCUR  IF THE NORTH KOREAN REGIME 

COLLAPSES.



THE THEME OF A NEW PHASE WAS BROUGHT UP JUST BEFORE THE GENEVA 

TALKS BEGAN, IN REMARKS MADE BY SWITZERLAND'S STATE SECRETARY FOR

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, JAKOB KELLENBERGER.



                      /// KELLENBERGER ///



         THESE TALKS ARE THE RESULT OF NINE MONTHS OF 

         CONSULTATIONS AND PREPARATORY MEETINGS IN THE UNITED 

         STATES AND HAVE INSPIRED HIGH HOPES IN THE WHOLE 

         INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.  IN LIGHT OF THE DISCUSSIONS 

         YOU INITIATED IN NEW YORK ON FIVE MARCH 1997, I FEEL 

         THAT THESE EXPECTATIONS ARE UNDERSTANDABLE.  NUMEROUS 

         OBSERVERS HERALDED THIS EVENT AS THE POSSIBLE DAWNING OF

         A NEW PROCESS.



                         /// END ACT ///



CHINESE NEGOTIATORS SAY THE GENEVA TALKS OFFER AN OPPORTUNITY TO 

LIFT WHAT THEY DESCRIBE AS THE DARK SHADOW OF THE COLD WAR 

HANGING OVER THE KOREAN PENINSULA.



KOREA EXPERTS SAY THE KEY TO LIFTING THIS COLD WAR SHADOW IS THE 

DETERMINATION OF COMMON OBJECTIVES AMONG THE PARTIES INVOLVED IN 

THE CONFLICT.  THIS SAME STRATEGY-- FOCUSSING ON SHARED INTERESTS

WHILE PUTTING ASIDE DIFFERENCES - WAS USED BY  CHINA AND THE 

UNITED STATES TO BUILD BILATERAL TIES IN THE 1970'S.



IN THE GENEVA TALKS, THE MAIN OBJECTIVE SHARED BY THE FOUR 

NEGOTIATING  PARTIES IS THE DESIRE TO PREVENT NORTH KOREA FROM 

ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL COLLAPSE.



A DECADE AGO, THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA MAY HAVE WELCOMED

SUCH A DEVELOPMENT.  BUT TODAY, WESTERN SECURITY INTERESTS ARE 

SEEN AS BEING BETTER SERVED BY HELPING NORTH KOREA GRADUALLY 

RECOVER WHILE EXPANDING ITS TIES WITH NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.  

THIS STRATEGY IS PARTICULARLY APPEALING TO SOUTH KOREA, 

CONSIDERING ITS FINANCIAL TROUBLES, AS IT DOES NOT HAVE THE 

ECONOMIC MEANS TO SUCCESSFULLY ABSORB THE NORTH AT THIS TIME.



CHINA IS HOPING TO IMPROVE REGIONAL STABILITY BY HELPING NORTH 

KOREA ESTABLISH SOME FORM OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY.  FOR CHINA, A 

COLLAPSE OF THE NORTH WOULD MOVE U-S TROOPS IN SOUTH KOREA  

CLOSER TO ITS BORDER AND POSSIBLY LEAD TO AN INFLUX OF REFUGEES 

FROM NORTH KOREA.



EXPERTS SAY NORTH KOREA'S MAIN SHORT  TERM GOAL IN PARTICIPATING 

IN THE TALKS IS TO GET MORE FOOD AND ECONOMIC AID, PRIMARILY FROM

THE UNITED STATES.  BUT U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIALS REMAIN 

CONCERNED THAT ONCE NORTH KOREA REGAINS SOME OF ITS ECONOMIC 

STRENGTH, IT COULD RESUME A CONFRONTATIONAL  MILITARY POLICY WITH

THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF OVERTHROWING THE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT.  

(SIGNED)







NEB/MPR/TMD/PT 











09-Dec-97 5:17 PM EST (2217 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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