News


DATE=4/17/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-229814
TITLE=KOREA TALKS (L)
BYLINE=STEPHANIE HO
DATELINE=BEIJING
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  AFTER NEARLY A WEEK OF HIGH-LEVEL TALKS IN BEIJING, 
NEGOTIATORS FROM NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA ARE STILL  NO  CLOSER TO 
AN AGREEMENT THAN WHEN THEY STARTED.  THE TWO ISSUES ARE AID TO 
THE FAMINE-STRICKEN NORTH AND THE REUNION OF FAMILIES THAT WERE 
SEPARATED BY THE KOREAN WAR.  V-O-A'S STEPHANIE HO REPORTS FROM 
THE CHINESE CAPITAL.

TEXT:  DELEGATION HEADS FROM NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA MET FOR ABOUT 
AN HOUR-AND-A-HALF FRIDAY MORNING, BUT  NO  PROGRESS WAS 
REPORTED.

NORTH KOREA IS ASKING SOUTH KOREA TO GIVE IT HUNDREDS OF 
THOUSANDS OF TONS OF FERTILIZER BY JUNE FOR ITS SPRING PLANTING.

THE HEAD OF THE SOUTH KOREAN DELEGATION -- JEONG SE-HYUN -- SAYS 
THE AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER -- WHICH STARTED OFF AT 200-THOUSAND 
TONS -- HAS CHANGED.

                 // JEONG AND TRANSLATOR ACT //

         (KOREAN)  I HEARD NORTH KOREA STRESSED THAT THE NORTH 
         SIDE HAD A GREAT CONCESSION, AND THEY ALSO KIND OF 
         SUGGESTED A DRAMATIC OFFER.  WHAT ACTUALLY I HEARD ABOUT
         THIS DRAMATIC OFFER IS, ORIGINALLY THEY (SOUTH KOREA) 
         PROPOSED TO PROVIDE 500-THOUSAND TONS OF FERTILIZER, BUT
         NORTH KOREA IS READY TO ACCEPT 300-THOUSAND TONS OF 
         FERTILIZER.

                          // END ACT //

IN A DINNER MEETING THURSDAY, NORTH KOREA PROPOSED PUTTING THE 
REUNION ISSUE INTO RED CROSS TALKS ABOUT FOOD AID FROM THE SOUTH 
TO THE NORTH.  HOWEVER, SOUTH KOREA ON FRIDAY INDICATED THAT ITS 
POSITION ON THIS CURRENT ROUND OF TALKS REMAINS UNCHANGED.

MR. JEONG SAYS THE SOUTH IS DEMANDING A CONCRETE TIMETABLE FOR 
REUNITING FAMILY MEMBERS SEPARATED BY THE KOREAN WAR.  HE SAYS 
HIS GOVERNMENT IS FIRM BECAUSE IT HAS LEARNED FROM PAST 
EXPERIENCE WITH NORTH KOREA.  HE ADDS THAT SOUTH KOREA WANTS TO 
SEE MOVEMENT ON THE ISSUE OF FAMILY REUNIONS AT THE SAME TIME AS 
SOUTH KOREAN FERTILIZER IS SHIPPED NORTH.

                 // JEONG AND TRANSLATOR ACT //

         (KOREAN)  WHILE THE DELIVERY IS GOING ON, IT WILL TAKE 
         SOME TIME FOR THE WHOLE DELIVERY.  WE CAN EXPECT THAT IN
         PANMUNJOM, IN THE CENTER OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA, WE 
         COULD ESTABLISH A FAMILY REUNION CENTER -- FROM NORTH, 
         FROM THE SOUTH, AND WE COULD GO THERE, SEPARATE FAMILIES
         COULD HAVE REUNION.

                          // END ACT //

THE NORTH AND SOUTH KOREAN DELEGATIONS ARE HEADED BY 
VICE-MINISTERS -- THE HIGHEST LEVEL MEETING BETWEEN THE TWO RIVAL
COUNTRIES SINCE THE DEATH OF NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM IL-SUNG IN 
1994.

TALKS ARE SET TO CONTINUE ON SATURDAY.  (SIGNED)

NEB/HO/LTD /MMK

17-Apr-98 8:30 AM EDT (1230 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.