News


DATE=3/25/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-39355
TITLE=THE NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR DEAL CQ
BYLINE= ED WARNER
DATELINE= WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 


INTRO:   AS TENSIONS BUILT OVER NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS 
PROGRAM IN 1994, A DEAL WAS STRUCK: NORTH KOREA WOULD FREEZE ITS 
PROGRAM AND AGREE TO ITS EVENTUAL DISMANTLEMENT IN RETURN FOR TWO
NUCLEAR REACTORS, FOR PEACEFUL USE, FROM AN INTERNATIONAL 
CONSORTIUM THAT INCLUDES THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA.  THE 
RESULT OF THAT BARGAIN FOR THE TWO KOREAS AND FOR NUCLEAR 
PROLIFERATION IN GENERAL WAS DEBATED (TODAY/TUESDAY) AT A MEETING
AT THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, A PRIVATE RESEARCH 
ORGANIZATION IN WASHINGTON.   V-O-A'S ED WARNER REPORTS. 


TEXT:   WHY SHOULD THE WORST VIOLATOR OF THE NUCLEAR 
NONPROLIFERATION TREATY GET THE BEST DEAL? THAT WAS THE QUESTION 
ASKED BY VICTOR GALINSKY OF THE NONPROLIFERATION POLICY EDUCATION
CENTER, A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION WORKING AGIANST THE SPREAD OF 
STRATEGIC WEAPONS.

MR. GALINSKY REFERRED TO THE 1994 NUCLEAR AGREEMENT THAT EASED 
THE CRISIS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  HE NOTED NORTH KOREA DOES 
NOT HAVE TO DISMANTLE ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANTS UNTIL THE SECOND
CONSORTIUM REACTOR IS READY FOR OPERATION.  BECAUSE OF DELAYS, 
THAT COULD BE SEVERAL YEARS AWAY.  

THAT IS JUST WHAT THE NORTH KOREANS ARE COUNTING ON, SAID HENRY 
SOKOLSKI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NONPROLIFERATION POLICY 
EDUCATION CENTER. HE CITED SOME OF THEIR OWN STATEMENTS: 

                               // SOKOLSKI ACT //

         THIS DEAL WILL BE GOOD BECAUSE IT CANNOT BE IMPLEMENTED 
         ON TIME, AND THAT DELAY WILL ALLOW NORTH KOREA TO 
         LEVERAGE THE BEHAVIOUR OF AMERICA TO REACH A SEPARATE 
         PEACE AGREEMENT. THAT WILL BE TREMENDOUSLY VALUABLE IN 
         MAKING ILLEGITIMATE SOUTH KOREA AS A GOVERNMENT, AND 
         THAT IS WHAT THEY SEE AS THE KEY VALUE OF THE DEAL.

                                  // END ACT // 

MR. SOKOLSKI ADDED THAT ONE BENEFIT OF THE ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS 
IS THE LACK OF MONEY TO PAY FOR THE NUCLEAR REACTORS.  IN HIS 
OPINION, THEY SHOULD BE REPLACED BY MORE USEFUL NON-NUCLEAR  
ELECTRIC PLANTS. 

BUT MORE THAN NUCLEAR ISSUES ARE INVOLVED, SAID CHOI YOUNG-JIN, 
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA ENERGY DEVELOPMENT 
ORGANIZATION, OR KEDO, WHICH IS OVERSEEING THE CONSTRUCTION OF 
THE REACTORS. ITS MEMBERS ARE THE TWO KOREAS, THE UNITED STATES, 
JAPAN AND THE EUROPEAN UNION. 

MR. CHOI SAID KEDO HAS EXPANDED ITS MISSION TO CONSIDER OTHER 
PROBLEMS IN NORTH KOREA, WHOSE ECONOMY IS CRUMBLING:

                                  // CHOI ACT //

         DEALING WITH NORTH KOREA HAS PROVEN MUCH EASIER THAN 
         EXPECTED.  NORTH KOREA HAS COME OUT WITH A SURPRISING 
         BUSINESSLIKE, PRACTICAL ATTITUDE. IF THERE IS ONE 
         PERENNIAL PROBLEM WITH NORTH KOREA, IT IS WHAT I WOULD 
         CALL THEIR SIEGE MENTALITY. IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE BECAUSE
         NORTH KOREA IS COMPLETELY BESIEGED. BUT IT CONSTITUTES A
         STUMBLING BLOCK OVER AND OVER IN THE KEDO PROCESS. 

                                    // END ACT //

SO MR. CHOI SAID PROGRESS HAS BEEN SLOW. HE THINKS NORTH KOREA IS
PARADOXICALLY BOTH A MENACING POWER AND A DYING COUNTRY WITH 
GREAT AMBIVALENCE TOWARD ITS SOUTHERN NEIGHBOR.  IT DESPERATELY 
NEEDS SOUTH KOREAN INVESTMENT AND IS GETTING IT. AT THE SAME 
TIME, THE NORTH MORTALLY FEARS SOUTH KOREAN INFLUENCE IN ITS 
RIGID ISOLATION FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD.

MR. CHOI SAID PRESSURE ON NORTH KOREA WILL MAKE IT TURN  INWARD 
ALL THE MORE.  WHAT IS NEEDED IS ENGAGEMENT, NOT CONFRONTATION, 
AS NORTH KOREA COMES TO TERMS WITH ITS FUNDAMENTAL DILEMMA: TO 
DEAL OR NOT TO DEAL WITH THE SOUTH.  (SIGNED)  


NEB/PT



25-Mar-98 12:23 PM EST (1723 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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