News



DATE=4/29/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-230419
TITLE=NORTH KOREA/ OLIVE BRANCH (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=KATE WILTROUT
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO: IN A RARE PEACE OVERTURE, NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG-IL 
IS CALLING FOR IMPROVED TIES WITH SOUTH KOREA.  KATE WILTROUT 
REPORTS FROM SEOUL THAT THE NORTH KOREAN LEADER SAYS HE WANTS TO 
ESTABLISH A WIDE-RANGING DIALOGUE TO PROMOTE COMMON INTERESTS 
WITH THE SOUTH.

TEXT:  IN A STATEMENT REPORTED BY NORTH KOREAN MEDIA ON 
WEDNESDAY, LEADER KIM JONG-IL SAID RELATIONS BETWEEN NORTH AND 
SOUTH KOREA MUST BE IMPROVED IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE UNITY OF THE
NATION.

ALL KOREANS, WHETHER IN THE NORTH, SOUTH OR ABROAD, HE SAID, MUST
VISIT ONE ANOTHER, HOLD CONTACTS, PROMOTE DIALOGUE AND STRENGTHEN
SOLIDARITY.

IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT THE RECLUSIVE NORTH KOREAN LEADER HAS 
STATED HIS COUNTRY'S POLICY TOWARD SOUTH KOREA SINCE BECOMING 
GENERAL-SECRETARY OF THE COUNTRY'S WORKER'S PARTY LAST OCTOBER. 
SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIALS SAY THE TIMING OF THE STATEMENT IS 
SIGNIFICANT, COMING AFTER NEWLY ELECTED SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT 
KIM DAE-JUNG EXPRESSED WILLINGNESS TO IMPROVE TIES WITH 
PYONGYANG.

THE STATEMENT CAME IN A LETTER ADDRESSED TO PARTICIPANTS IN A 
NORTH KOREAN-ORGANIZED SYMPOSIUM ON UNIFICATION.  THE LETTER IS  
THOUSANDS OF WORDS LONG AND DOES  NOT  CONTAIN ANY SIGNIFICANT 
NEW PROPOSALS FOR PEACE BETWEEN THE KOREAS. 

THE TWO NATIONS HAVE TECHNICALLY BEEN AT WAR SINCE THE KOREAN 
CONFLICT ENDED IN A CEASE-FIRE IN 1953.  MR. KIM ALSO REPEATED 
NORTH KOREA'S LONG-STANDING DEMANDS THAT SOUTH KOREA'S CAPITALIST
GOVERNMENT ABOLISH ITS NATIONAL SECURITY LAWS AND DISBAND ITS 
INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.

THE PEACE OVERTURE COMES TWO WEEKS AFTER THE FIRST HIGH-LEVEL 
CONTACT BETWEEN THE TWO KOREAS SINCE 1994.  VICE-MINISTERIAL 
TALKS PROPOSED BY THE NORTH BROKE DOWN IN BEIJING ON APRIL 14TH, 
HOWEVER, WHEN THE NORTH REFUSED TO ACCEPT SOUTH KOREAN DEMANDS 
FOR FAMILY REUNIONS IN RETURN FOR FERTILIZER AID.  

SINCE TAKING OFFICE IN FEBRUARY, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM 
DAE-JUNG HAS BEEN FOLLOWING A SO-CALLED "SUNSHINE POLICY" TOWARD 
NORTH KOREA. HE INSISTS THAT THE SOUTH HAS NO INTENTION OF 
ABSORBING THE NORTH AND HAS CALLED FOR MORE DIALOGUE WITH 
PYONGYANG. (SIGNED)

NEB/KW/GC/FC/RRM

29-Apr-98 5:09 AM EDT (0909 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.