News

 

DATE=12/5/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-223709

TITLE=KOREA TALKS Q&A / OBJECTIVES (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=MAX RUSTON

DATELINE=NEW YORK

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  NEGOTIATORS FROM NORTH KOREA, SOUTH KOREA, THE UNITED 

STATES AND CHINA WILL HOLD TALKS IN GENEVA STARTING TUESDAY AIMED

AT ESTABLISHING A FORMAL PEACE TREATY FOR THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  

THE TALKS ARE CONSIDERED THE MOST IMPORTANT SINCE AN ARMISTICE 

WAS AGREED TO IN THE MID-1950'S, ENDING FIGHTING IN THE KOREAN 

WAR.  V-O-A CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON SPOKE ABOUT THE KOREAN 

SITUATION WITH PROFESSOR MICHAEL YOUNG, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER 

FOR KOREAN LEGAL STUDIES AT NEW YORK'S COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL.  HE 

ASKED MR YOUNG ABOUT NORTH KOREA'S OBJECTIVES IN PARTICIPATING IN

THE GENEVA TALKS.



                        /// BEGIN ACT ///



         YOUNG:  I THINK THEIR MEDIUM-TERM OBJECTIVE -- THE 

         LONG-TERM OBJECTIVE IS HARDER TO SAY -- BUT THE 

         MEDIUM-TERM OBJECTIVE IS THEY WOULD LIKE TO DEVELOP 

         CLOSER RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.  AND THEY WOULD

         LIKE TO DO THAT INDEPENDENT OF SOUTH KOREA IF POSSIBLE. 

         SO, TWO OF THE MAIN THINGS THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE ON THE

         AGENDA ... ONE IS THE WITHDRAWAL OF U-S TROOPS FROM 

         SOUTH KOREA, ABOUT WHICH THE U-S AND SOUTH KOREA DO NOT 

         WANT TO TALK; AND SECONDLY, NORTH KOREA WOULD LIKE TO 

         SIGN A PEACE TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES ALONE, HAVING

         THE UNITED STATES RECOGNIZE SOME INDEPENDENT 

         RELATIONSHIP WITH NORTH KOREA, WITHOUT CONSULTING SOUTH 

         KOREA, AND THAT IS A BIG PART OF THEIR AGENDA.  NOW I 

         THINK BOTH THOSE THINGS ARE DEEPLY ANTITHETICAL TO THE 

         U-S AGENDA AND TO THE SOUTH KOREAN AGENDA, SO WHETHER 

         THEY WILL BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT IS HARD TO SAY -- 

         BUT I THINK AT LEAST PART OF WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO 

         IS TO DEVELOP AN INDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE 

         UNITED STATES.



         RUSTON:  HOW ABOUT SHORT-TERM OBJECTIVES, CONSIDERING 

         THE SEVERE ECONOMIC AND FOOD PROBLEMS THEY HAVE NOW.  

         HOW DOES IT FIT INTO THAT?



         YOUNG:  I THINK THE TIMING OF THE TALKS IS NOT ENTIRELY 

         COINCIDENTAL.  THE BREAKTHROUGH CAME LITERALLY A WEEK OR

         TWO AFTER THE MAIN U-N INSPECTION DELEGATION HAD GONE 

         OVER THERE TO TRY AND DETERMINE THE REAL FOOD NEEDS AND 

         THE U-S WAS A BIG PART OF THAT.  THE U-S DELEGATION CAME

         BACK AND REPORTED TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, AND 

         MY SUSPICION IS THAT ALTHOUGH EVERYONE SAYS RATHER 

         EMPHATICALLY THAT AID AND TALKS ARE NOT LINKED, MY GUESS

         IS THAT IN THIS LAST SET OF TALKS, THE U-S WAS ABLE TO 

         GIVE SOME ASSURANCES, HAVING DONE INSPECTIONS, THAT 

         THERE WOULD BE AID FORTHCOMING, AND MY GUESS IS THAT AID

         IS QUITE IMPORTANT TO THE NORTH.



         RUSTON:  WE HEAR A LOT ABOUT NORTH KOREA BEING ON THE 

         BRINK OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE.  HOW MUCH OF THAT SHOULD WE 

         BELIEVE?



         YOUNG:  I THINK A LITTLE LESS THAN WE ARE HEARING, 

         FRANKLY SPEAKING.  I THINK CERTAINLY THERE IS EVIDENCE 

         OF WIDESPREAD ECONOMIC DISTRESS, BUT THERE HAS BEEN A 

         SPIRAL DOWNWARD FOR A VERY LONG PERIOD OF TIME.  

         RELATING THAT TO THE POLITICAL STABILITY OF THE COUNTRY 

         IS HARD TO SAY.  IT IS DIFFERENT THAN EASTERN EUROPE IN 

         AN IMPORTANT WAY.  IT IS SOMEWHAT MORE INDIGENOUS 

         REVOLUTION, AND A MORE INDIGENOUSLY BASED REGIME THAN I 

         THINK MANY OF THE EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WERE, AND 

         SO THE PEOPLE DO SEEM TO HAVE A GREATER SENSE OF 

         REVOLUTIONARY FERVOR AND SO FORTH.  I DO NOT SEE AN 

         IMMEDIATE COLLAPSE IN THE SENSE THAT NOBODY IN THE 

         COUNTRY IS TAKING ANY STEPS THAT WOULD UNDERMINE THEIR 

         POLITICAL POWER.  ON THE OTHER HAND, WHEN IT HAPPENS, IT

         WILL HAPPEN RATHER SPECTACULARLY AND RATHER QUICKLY, IS 

         MY GUESS.  I DO NOT THINK THEY ARE GOING TO GIVE UP 

         POWER VOLUNTARILY AND I DO NOT THINK THEY ARE TAKING ANY

         STEPS TO LOOSEN POWER OR OTHERWISE DEMOCRATIZE OR DO ANY

         OF THOSE THINGS THAT MIGHT UNDERMINE THEIR POWER BASE, 

         BUT AT SOME POINT SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN AND IT WILL 

         SIMPLY BE TOO LARGE FOR THE SYSTEM TO HANDLE.



                         /// END ACT ///



OUTRO:  THAT WAS COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR MICHAEL YOUNG 

SPEAKING TO CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON.  MR. YOUNG WAS DISCUSSING 

THE SITUATION ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA AS NORTH KOREA, SOUTH 

KOREA, THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA PREPARE FOR PEACE TALKS IN 

GENEVA.  (END)



NEB/NY/MPR/LSF/RRM



05-Dec-97 9:36 AM EST (1436 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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