News

 

DATE=  10/1/97

TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT

NUMBER=5-37681

TITLE=KOREA TALKS STALEMATE

BYLINE=STEPHANIE MANN

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  WHEN PRELIMINARY TALKS AMONG NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA, THE 

UNITED STATES AND CHINA ENDED LAST MONTH WITHOUT SETTING AN 

AGENDA FOR FORMAL PEACE NEGOTIATIONS, THE NEWS MEDIA DESCRIBED 

THE EFFORT AS A FAILURE.  BUT AS V-O-A'S STEPHANIE MANN REPORTS, 

AMERICAN ANALYSTS SAY THE APPARENT COLLAPSE OF THE PRELIMINARY 

ROUND WAS TO BE EXPECTED AND MAY HAVE BEEN A POSITIVE STEP FOR 

ALL CONCERNED.



TEXT:  THE GOAL OF THE SO-CALLED FOUR-PARTY TALKS IS TO ARRANGE 

PEACE NEGOTIATIONS TO BRING A FORMAL END TO THE KOREAN WAR, WHICH

WAS FOUGHT IN THE EARLY 1950'S.  CURRENTLY, THE CEASEFIRE IS 

MAINTAINED BY A 1953 ARMISTICE.  THE TALKS LAST MONTH IN NEW YORK

BROUGHT TOGETHER NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA, CHINA AND THE UNITED 

STATES.  BUT THE FOUR PARTIES COULD  NOT  AGREE ON AN AGENDA FOR 

A PEACE CONFERENCE THAT WAS HOPED TO BE HELD IN GENEVA LATER THIS

YEAR. 



U-S OFFICIALS SAY THE NEW YORK TALKS STALLED OVER NORTH KOREA'S 

DEMAND THAT MORE FOOD AID AND A WITHDRAWAL OF U-S TROOPS FROM THE

SOUTH BE INCLUDED IN DISCUSSIONS. 



ROBERT MANNING, WITH THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, SAYS NORTH

KOREA LIKELY KNEW THAT ITS POSITION WOULD  NOT  YIELD PROGRESS. 



                       // MANNING ACT // 



         THE POSITION THEY CAME TO NEW YORK WITH SEEMED TO ME TO 

         BE PRETTY MUCH OF A STALLING TACTIC.  IF YOU WANT 

         NOTHING TO HAPPEN, THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD WAY OF MAKING 

         SURE THAT NOTHING HAPPENS.



                         // END ACT // 



MR. MANNING AND OTHER ANALYSTS WONDER IF NORTH KOREA MAY WANT TO 

WAIT UNTIL AFTER LEADER KIM JONG IL OFFICIALLY ASSUMES THE TOP 

TITLES AND FULL POWER BEFORE ALLOWING REAL PROGRESS IN THE PEACE 

TALKS.  MR. KIM IS EXPECTED TO BE NAMED GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE 

RULING COMMUNIST PARTY AROUND OCTOBER 10TH. 



MOREOVER, SAYS ANALYST LEON SIGAL, IF THE NORTH HAD  NOT  ADOPTED

A STALLING POSITION IN NEW YORK, U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN DELEGATES 

WOULD HAVE HAD A PROBLEM.  MR. SIGAL SAYS THE UNITED STATES AND 

SOUTH KOREA ARE  NOT  READY TO COMMIT TO A POSITION UNTIL AFTER A

NEW GOVERNMENT IS INSTALLED IN SEOUL.  SOUTH KOREA IS TO HOLD A 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN DECEMBER, AND THE NEW PRESIDENT IS TO 

TAKE OFFICE IN FEBRUARY.  



MR. SIGAL, WHO HAS JUST WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT DIPLOMACY WITH NORTH

KOREA, IS CONFIDENT PEACE TALKS WILL TAKE PLACE.  BUT, HE SAYS 

NOW IS  NOT  THE RIGHT TIME. 



                         // SIGAL ACT //



         YOU NEVER WORK OUT A NEW POSITION IF YOU KNOW THERE'S 

         GOING TO BE A NEW GOVERNMENT.  YOU JUST DON'T DO THAT.  

         THAT'S A DIFFERENT THING FROM REAL TALKS.  THE FACT OF 

         HAVING FORMAL TALKS, THAT JUST HAS TO BE STAGE-MANAGED 

         IN SUCH A WAY WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE A HIATUS, BECAUSE IF 

         YOU HAVE A LONG HIATUS, EVERYBODY HERE WILL BE WRITING, 

         'TALKS GOING NOWHERE,' FOR FOUR MONTHS.  THAT'S ALL 

         THAT'S GOING ON HERE.  WE HAVE TO STEP BACK AND 

         UNDERSTAND, THE POLITICAL PROCESS IS WHAT MATTERS.



                         // END ACT // 



MR. SIGAL SAYS AFTER KIM JONG IL IS INSTALLED IN THE NORTH AND 

AFTER A NEW PRESIDENT IS INAUGURATED IN THE SOUTH, THE PEACE 

PROCESS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA WILL MOVE FORWARD. 



SOUTH KOREA'S CURRENT PRESIDENT, KIM YOUNG SAM, IS  NOT  ELIGIBLE

FOR RE-ELECTION.  GIVEN THE FIELD OF CANDIDATES -- FIVE SO FAR --

LEON SIGAL AND ROBERT MANNING AGREE THERE IS LIKELY TO BE A 

CHANGE IN THE SOUTH'S APPROACH TO THE NORTH.  MR. SIGAL EXPECTS 

ANY NEW GOVERNMENT IN SEOUL TO BE SLIGHTLY MORE COOPERATIVE WITH 

PYONGYANG THAN THE GOVERNMENT OF KIM YOUNG SAM.  



PRESIDENT KIM DID  NOT  SEND CONDOLENCES WHEN NORTH KOREAN LEADER

KIM IL SUNG DIED IN 1994 -- WHICH WAS SEEN IN PYONGYANG AS A 

GREAT AFFRONT.  THEREFORE, ANALYSTS SAY NORTH KOREA, FOR ITS 

PART, IS LIKELY TO BE MORE COOPERATIVE WITH A NEW PRESIDENT IN 

SEOUL.  (SIGNED)



NEB/SMN /MMK



01-Oct-97 1:49 PM EDT (1749 UTC)

NNNN



Source: Voice of America

.