News


DATE=4/14/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-229604
TITLE=KOREAN TALKS (LONG)
BYLINE=STEPHANIE HO
DATELINE=BEIJING
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:  

INTRO:  HIGH LEVEL BEIJING TALKS BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH  KOREA 
BROKE UP FOR THE DAY (TUESDAY) WITH CHANCES FOR AN AGREEMENT 
FADING.  VOA'S STEPHANIE HO REPORTS DISAGREEMENTS PERSIST OVER 
PYONGYANG'S REQUEST FOR FERTILIZER AND SEOUL'S INTEREST IN 
REUNITING FAMILIES SEPARATED BY THE KOREAN WAR.

TEXT:  AFTER FOUR DAYS OF TALKS AT A BEIJING HOTEL, THE GRIM 
EXPRESSIONS ON THE FACES OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM BOTH COUNTRIES 
REVEALED THAT LITTLE PROGRESS HAD BEEN MADE.  ON TUESDAY, THE TWO
DELEGATIONS DECIDED TO TAKE A BREAK TO RE-EVALUATE THEIR 
POSITIONS.

MEMBERS OF THE NORTH KOREAN DELEGATION COULD BE IDENTIFIED BY 
THEIR RED FLAG LAPEL PINS BEARING A PICTURE OF THE LATE NORTH 
KOREAN LEADER KIM-IL SUNG. THIS MEETING REPRESENTS THE HIGHEST 
LEVEL TALKS BETWEEN THE TWO RIVAL COUNTRIES SINCE MR. KIM'S DEATH
IN 1994.

SPEAKING TO REPORTERS, NORTH KOREAN VICE-MINISTER JON KUM-CHOL 
GAVE NO INDICATION WHETHER THE TWO SIDES WERE NEARING AGREEMENT

     // JON KOREAN ACT -- IN FULL, FADE UNDER //

HOWEVER, MR. JON  SAID NORTH AND SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIALS WOULD 
STAY IN BEIJING FOR TWO MORE DAYS,  KEEPING ALIVE THE SLIM 
POSSIBILITY THAT A LAST-MINUTE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT CAN BE 
REACHED.

THE COMMENTS BY THE HEAD OF THE SOUTH KOREAN DELEGATION, 
VICE-MINISTER JEONG SE-HYUN, WERE SHARPER AND MORE CRITICAL 
TUESDAY THAN THEY HAD BEEN IN PREVIOUSLY.  MR. JEONG SAID NORTH 
KOREA IS INSISTING ON  THE DELIVERY OF MORE FERTILIZER THAN SOUTH
KOREA IS READY TO PROVIDE -- ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT 
FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THE DEVALUATION OF THE SOUTH KOREAN WON.

      // JEONG AND TRANSLATOR ACT // 

 (KOREAN)  SO CONSIDERING ALL THESE THINGS, THIS PRODUCTION 
CAPACITY OF FERTILIZER FROM THE KOREAN SIDE NATURALLY SHOULD BE 
REDUCED.  SO, I SUGGEST (TO) NORTH KOREA (THAT) TO EXPECT 
500-THOUSAND TONS OF FERTILIZER IS TOO MUCH. 

         // END ACT //

MR. JEONG AGAIN STRESSED THE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT'S DEMAND FOR
RECIPROCITY -- WHICH HE SAYS TRANSLATES INTO NORTH KOREAN 
GOODWILL AND A TIMETABLE FOR THE REUNIFICATION OF FAMILIES SPLIT 
BY THE KOREAN WAR.

       // JEONG AND TRANSLATOR ACT //

  (KOREAN) THE NORTH KOREAN SIDE JUST DEMANDED THE FERTILIZER BE 
PROVIDED, BUT THEY DID  NOT  HEAR OUR REQUEST.  THEY WANT TO 
RECEIVE THE FERTILIZER FIRST AND THEN MAYBE THEY COULD DISCUSS 
OTHER METHODS (ISSUES) LATER.  I THINK THIS KIND OF REQUEST IS I 
BELIEVE QUITE UNREASONABLE.

          // END ACT //

NORTH KOREA NEEDS FERTILIZER IN TIME FOR THE SPRING PLANTING 
SEASON.  THE COUNTRY IS SUFFERING FROM A FAMINE CAUSED BY NATURAL
DISASTERS  AND POOR AGRICULTURAL POLICIES.  MILLIONS OF PEOPLE 
ARE REPORTED TO BE SUFFERING THERE, AND THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAM 
SAYS THE COUNTRY'S GRAIN STOCKS ARE LOW. (SIGNED)

NEB/HO/FC

14-Apr-98 5:49 AM EDT (0949 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.