News

DATE=1/27/97
TITLE=NORTH KOREA: FROM NUCLEAR TO SECURITY TALKS (UPDATE)
BYLINE=STEPHANIE MANN
TELEPHONE=619-1286
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
EDITOR=NANCY SMART

CONTENT= (INSERTS & VOICED VERSION IN AUDIO SERVICES)

/// EDITORS: THE DATE OF THE MEETING HAS BEEN CHANGED. THIS SCRIPT UPDATES THE VERSION ISSUED ON 1/23. PLEASE NOTE CHANGES IN INTRO AND AT TOP OF PAGE 3. IF YOU NEED THE ENGLISH VERSION RE-VOICED, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. ///

INTRO: NORTH KOREA HAS AGREED TO HEAR U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN PROPOSALS FOR FOUR-PARTY TALKS, WHOSE ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO BRING REAL PEACE TO THE KOREAN PENINSULA. THE JOINT U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN BRIEFING FOR OFFICIALS FROM THE NORTH IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR FEBRUARY 5TH IN NEW YORK.

AS STEPHANIE MANN REPORTS, MOST OBSERVERS DO NOT EXPECT A SIGNIFICANT OUTCOME FROM THE MEETING, AND SOME BELIEVE THE EVENT MAY BE JUST ANOTHER PLOY BY NORTH KOREA TO GET U-S CONCESSIONS.

TEXT: LAST YEAR, PRESIDENT CLINTON AND SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM YOUNG SAM MADE A JOINT PROPOSAL THAT NORTH KOREA PARTICIPATE IN FOUR-PARTY TALKS, ALONG WITH CHINA, TO DISCUSS WAYS TO BRING A LASTING PEACE TO THE KOREAN PENINSULA.

TAPE: CUT ONE SNYDER :04

"AFTER THE KOREAN WAR AN ARMISTICE WAS SIGNED, BUT THERE WAS NEVER A PEACE TREATY THAT WAS SIGNED."

TEXT: SCOTT SNYDER IS A KOREA SPECIALIST AT THE WASHINGTON-BASED U-S INSTITUTE OF PEACE.

TAPE: CUT TWO SNYDER :23

"AN ARMISTICE SIMPLY REPRESENTS AN AGREEMENT FOR THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES. AND OF COURSE THE MANAGEMENT OF THAT CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES HAS BEEN HANDLED THROUGH THE MILITARY ARMISTICE COMMISSION AT PANMUNJOM FOR OVER 40 YEARS. THE PURPOSE OF THESE FOUR-PARTY TALKS WOULD BE TO TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS AND MAKE THE NECESSARY AGREEMENTS TO BRING A LASTING PEACE TO THE PENINSULA."

TEXT: THE FOUR-PARTY TALKS COULD DEAL WITH A RANGE OF SENSITIVE ISSUES, SUCH AS CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS DISARMAMENT AND TROOP REDUCTION. THE BORDER BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA IS ONE OF THE MOST HEAVILY FORTIFIED BOUNDARIES IN THE WORLD AND IS CONSIDERED A DANGEROUS POTENTIAL FLASHPOINT.

PREVIOUSLY, NORTH KOREA HAD ALWAYS INSISTED THAT ANY PEACE TALKS BE CONDUCTED ONLY BETWEEN PYONGYANG AND WASHINGTON -- LEAVING SOUTH KOREA OUT OF THE PROCESS. HOWEVER, SEOUL AND WASHINGTON HAVE ALWAYS SAID NORTH KOREA SHOULD TALK DIRECTLY WITH THE SOUTH ABOUT A PEACEFUL RECONCILIATION ON THE PENINSULA. [OPT] AGAIN SCOTT SNYDER:

TAPE: CUT THREE SNYDER :13

"THE IMPORTANT THING, I THINK AT THIS POINT, IS THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME THEY HAVE AGREED TO COME TO THE TABLE AND LISTEN TO MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSAL AND IN FACT THAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO THAT WITH SOUTH KOREA AS WELL AS WITH THE UNITED STATES." [END OPT]

TEXT: MR. SNYDER AND OTHER OBSERVERS ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT THE UPCOMING MEETING IS MERELY AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA TO SPELL OUT THEIR PROPOSAL. HOWEVER, SCOTT SNYDER SAYS THE NORTH KOREAN AGREEMENT TO LISTEN -- EVEN IF IT DOESN'T INDICATE WHETHER IT WILL PROCEED WITH FOUR-PARTY TALKS -- MOVES THE PROCESS FORWARD. THE LAST ROUND OF NEGOTIATIONS IN GENEVA DEALT ONLY WITH NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM.

TAPE: CUT FOUR SNYDER :35

"I THINK THAT THIS MOVES US -- THE JOINT BRIEFING AND THE POSSIBILITY THAT NORTH KOREA MIGHT COME BACK FOR FOUR PARTY TALKS -- MOVES US CLOSER THAN WE HAVE BEEN BEFORE TO A METHOD BY WHICH THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE DEALT WITH ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA COULD BE DEALT WITH. IN PAST DIALOGUES, INCLUDING THE U-S-NORTH KOREA TALKS IN GENEVA, I DON'T THINK WE WERE EVEN CLOSE TO DEALING WITH THE FUNDAMENTAL SECURITY ISSUES ON THE PENINSULA. HAVING SAID THAT, I THINK THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY DIFFICULT PROCESS, AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LONG TIME TO ACHIEVE."

TEXT: [OPT] THE GENEVA NEGOTIATIONS THAT MR. SNYDER MENTIONED RESULTED IN THE 1994 AGREED FRAMEWORK. UNDER THAT AGREEMENT -- DESIGNED TO HALT NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM -- THE NORTH IS TO DISMANTLE ITS GRAPHITE NUCLEAR REACTORS AND EVENTUALLY ELIMINATE ALL ITS SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL. IN ADDITION, AN INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF THE UNITED STATES, SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN IS TO HELP NORTH KOREA BUILD NEW LIGHT WATER REACTORS.

UNTIL THE NEW REACTORS ARE BUILT AND GENERATING POWER, THE UNITED STATES IS SUPPLYING PYONGYANG WITH REGULAR SHIPMENTS OF FUEL OIL. [END OPT]

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GENEVA NUCLEAR ACCORD HAS BEEN COMPLICATED BY POLITICS, SUCH AS THE INCURSION INTO SOUTH KOREAN WATERS LAST SEPTEMBER BY A NORTH KOREAN SUBMARINE, AND OTHER FACTORS, INCLUDING SEVERE FLOODING AND BAD HARVESTS IN NORTH KOREA AND THE THREAT OF WIDESPREAD STARVATION.

PYONGYANG ISSUED A STATEMENT OF REGRET OVER THE SUBMARINE INCIDENT,

ALLOWING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NUCLEAR ACCORD TO PROCEED.

ALTHOUGH EXPERTS LIKE SCOTT SNYDER ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC, OTHER KOREAN EXPERTS, LIKE BILL TAYLOR OF THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, SAY THE U-S ADMINISTRATION IS GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. MR. TAYLOR, WHO HAS VISITED NORTH KOREA FOUR TIMES AND THE SOUTH MORE THAN 50 TIMES, SAYS WASHINGTON'S POLICIES HAVE THE EFFECT OF PERPETUATING A BRUTAL COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP.

TAPE: CUT FIVE TAYLOR :49

"ALL THE EVIDENCE I HAVE -- WITH A MONTH IN NORTH KOREA AND HUNDREDS OF HOURS WITH THEIR LEADERSHIP -- IS THAT THEY BELIEVE THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION CAN BE HAD, THAT THEIR BRINKSMANSHIP AND BACKING OFF TO GAIN CONCESSIONS HAS WORKED OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND FOLLOWING THE SUBMARINE INCIDENT, IT WILL WORK YET ONE MORE TIME. HOW? TO GET THE U-S GOVERNMENT TO TAKE THE LEAD INTERNATIONALLY TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO TAKE THEM OUT OF THEIR ALMOST INEVITABLE STARVATION IF NOTHING HAPPENS, TO PROVIDE EVEN LARGER QUANTITIES OF OIL THAN WE'RE COMMITED TO ALREADY UNDER THE CURRENT AGREEMENT, NUCLEAR AGREED FRAMEWORK, AND FOR US TO TAKE THE LEAD WITH OUR JAPANESE AND SOUTH KOREAN ALLIES TO PROVIDE EVEN MORE BENEFITS TO THEM."

TEXT: BILL TAYLOR SAYS THE UNITED STATES SHOULD TAKE A TOUGH LINE AND PLAY POWER POLITICS WITH THE NORTH AND AT THE SAME TIME IMPROVE THE DEFENSE SYSTEM TO PROTECT SEOUL AGAINST A POSSIBLE NORTH KOREAN ATTACK.

TAPE: [OPT] CUT SIX TAYLOR :28

"THE NORTH KOREANS UNDERSTAND ONE THING ONLY, AND THAT'S POWER PURE AND SIMPLE. THEY KNOW THEY CAN DESTROY SEOUL UNDER THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES, BECAUSE THERE'S NO MISSILE DEFENSE OF SEOUL; THERE'S A POOR AIR DEFENSE OF SEOUL; THERE'S A POOR ARTILLERY DEFENSE OF SEOUL. AND THEY KNOW THE SOUTH KOREANS KNOW AND THAT WASHINGTON KNOWS THAT IF THEY ATTACK SOUTH NOW, THEY DESTROY SEOUL IN TWO TO THREE DAYS, EVEN THOUGH THEY WOULD LOSE A WAR IN TWO MONTHS OR LESS OF MID TO HIGH INTENSITY CONFLICT." [END OPT]

TEXT: SCOTT SNYDER, WHO HAS ALSO VISITED NORTH KOREA A NUMBER OF TIMES, SAYS NORTH KOREA'S CONCILIATORY GESTURES -- THE STATEMENT OF REGRET OVER THE SUBMARINE INCIDENT AND ITS AGREEMENT TO ATTEND THE BRIEFING ON THE FOUR-PARTY PROPOSAL -- ARE BASED ON TWO MOTIVATIONS. ONE IS TO GET NEEDED FOOD AID AND THE OTHER IS A DESIRE TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES. MR. SNYDER SAYS HE UNDERSTANDS HOW SOME PEOPLE CAN SAY THAT THE U-S APPROACH PLAYS RIGHT INTO NORTH KOREA'S GAME PLAN.

TAPE: CUT SEVEN SNYDER :14

"EVEN NORTH KOREA'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE JOINT BRIEFING HAS AN ELEMENT OF THAT IN IT, BECAUSE ALONG WITH THE JOINT BRIEFING, AND I THINK THIS IS A REALLY CRITICAL POINT, THE U-S HAS AGREED TO HAVE A HIGH LEVEL BILATERAL MEETING WITH NORTH KOREA, SEPARATE FROM THE JOINT BRIEFING."

TEXT: IS THE UNITED STATES CONCEDING TOO MUCH, BEING TOO GENEROUS TO ONE OF THE WORLD'S LAST COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIPS? MR. SNYDER AND MANY OTHERS SAY THAT IN ORDER TO RESOLVE DISAGREEMENTS, IT'S NECESSARY TO HAVE MEETINGS TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES. (SIGNED)

NEB/SMN/NES

27-Jan-97 12:59 PM EST (1759 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America