News



DATE=6/3/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-40585
TITLE=U-S / KOREA
BYLINE=STEPHANIE MANN
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM DAE JUNG HAS CALLED ON THE 
UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES TO END THEIR ECONOMIC SANCTIONS
AGAINST NORTH KOREA.  AS CORRESPONDENT STEPHANIE MANN REPORTS, 
MR. KIM MADE THE PROPOSAL IN ADVANCE OF A TRIP TO WASHINGTON THAT
WILL INCLUDE A WHITE HOUSE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON AND A 
SPEECH TO THE U-S CONGRESS.  

TEXT:  PRESIDENT KIM'S PROPOSAL TO LIFT OR EASE SANCTIONS ON THE 
NORTH CAUGHT MANY IN WASHINGTON BY SURPRISE.  IN THE ABSENCE OF A
FORMAL PEACE TREATY TO END THE KOREAN WAR, TENSIONS BETWEEN THE 
NORTH AND SOUTH HAVE CONTINUED SINCE THE 1950'S.  POLICYMAKERS 
AND ANALYSTS ALIKE SEE THE KOREAN PENINSULA AS A POTENTIAL 
DANGEROUS FLASHPOINT -- ON A PAR WITH SOUTH ASIA AND THE MIDDLE 
EAST. 

THE UNITED STATES HAS MAINTAINED A LARGE MILITARY FORCE IN SOUTH 
KOREA TO PROTECT THAT U-S ALLY FROM AGGRESSION BY THE NORTH.  A 
U-S LAW, CALLED THE "TRADING WITH THE ENEMIES ACT," PROHIBITS 
AMERICAN COMPANIES FROM DOING BUSINESS WITH NORTH KOREA.  

HOWEVER, THE NEW SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT KIM DAE 
JUNG WANTS TO CHANGE HIS COUNTRY'S APPROACH TO THE NORTH.  SINCE 
HE TOOK OFFICE IN FEBRUARY, MR. KIM HAS ADVOCATED WHAT HE CALLS A
"SUNSHINE POLICY."

ROBERT MANNING, DIRECTOR OF ASIAN STUDIES AT THE COUNCIL ON 
FOREIGN RELATIONS, SAYS PRESIDENT KIM'S POLICY ENCOURAGES MORE 
CONTACT WITH THE NORTH TO HELP THEM CHANGE THEMSELVES AND IMPROVE
THEIR ECONOMY.  

                  //  OPT  MANNING ACT ONE // 

         SO HE'S EMBARKED ON A STRATEGY THAT'S LOOSENED UP 
         PERSONAL TIES, CULTURAL TIES, BUSINESS TIES TO THE NORTH
         IN WHAT HE CALLS SEPARATING ECONOMICS FROM POLITICS.  
         AND IN A WAY, IT'S KIND OF ESTABLISHING GOOD FAITH THAT 
         WE'RE SERIOUS WITH THE NORTH AND TO SHOW THAT HE'S 
         DIFFERENT FROM HIS PREDECESSOR. 

                       // END OPT  ACT // 

MR. MANNING AND OTHERS FROM THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
RECENTLY MET IN SEOUL WITH PRESIDENT KIM, WHO EXPLAINED HIS CALL 
FOR THE UNITED STATES TO EASE ITS SANCTIONS AGAINST THE NORTH. 

                     // MANNING ACT TWO // 

         WHEN I WAS WITH A COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
         DELEGATION LAST MONTH IN KOREA, ONE THING KIM DAE JUNG 
         TOLD US WAS HE'D LIKE TO SEE JOINT VENTURES WITH U-S AND
         SOUTH KOREA FIRMS IN NORTH KOREA.  THE (U-S) PRESIDENT 
         HAS THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE EXEMPTIONS ON A CASE BY CASE 
         BASIS; THAT'S ONE THING HE CAN DO.

                         // END ACT // 

MR. MANNING SAYS PRESIDENT CLINTON COULD ISSUE AN EXECUTIVE ORDER
THAT WOULD ALLOW SMALL SCALE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES IN NORTH KOREA. 
THESE COULD INVOLVE U-S COMPANIES THAT WANT TO INVEST IN 
OPERATIONS PRODUCING SHOES OR TEXTILES -- ACTIVITIES WHICH MR. 
MANNING SAYS ARE LABOR INTENSIVE BUT DON'T REQUIRE MUCH LONG TERM
CAPITAL.  OTHER ANALYSTS SUGGEST PRIVATE U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN 
COMPANIES MAY WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN NORTH KOREA'S AGRICULTURAL 
SECTOR -- SOMETHING THAT COULD HELP ALLEVIATE THAT COUNTRY'S 
SEVERE FOOD PRODUCTION PROBLEMS. 

MR. MANNING SAYS, OF COURSE, THE UNITED STATES WOULD AVOID ANY 
ACTIVITIES THAT MIGHT ENHANCE THE NORTH'S MILITARY CAPABILITY, 
SUCH AS BUILDING STEEL MILLS.  AND HE ADDS PRESIDENT KIM DOES NOT
WANT TO ELIMINATE THE SECURITY ELEMENT OF U-S POLICY TOWARD NORTH
KOREA.

                    // MANNING ACT THREE // 

         PART OF THE APPROACH BEGINS WITH DETERRENCE, THAT A 
         CREDIBLE DETERRENCE, IN TERMS OF U-S FORCES IN KOREA AND
         THE COMBINED ABILITIES OF THE U-S AND R-O-K (SOUTH 
         KOREAN) FORCES TO PRECLUDE A MILITARY OPTION FOR NORTH 
         KOREA.  THAT'S THE BEGINNING OF THE POLICY.  THAT'S THE 
         STARTING POINT.  AND WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS 
         SOMETHING GOING BEYOND DETERRENCE, TO TRY TO CREATE A 
         DYNAMIC LEADING TO A PROCESS OF NORTH-SOUTH 
         RECONCILIATION.  

                         // END ACT // 

ANOTHER LONG-TIME OBSERVER OF KOREAN DEVELOPMENTS, LEON SIGAL, 
AGREES, SAYING ENGAGEMENT WITH THE NORTH ON A VARIETY OF LEVELS 
IS NECESSARY IF LASTING PEACE ON THE PENINSULA IS TO BE ACHIEVED.

                        // SIGAL ACT // 

         TO CREATE THE KIND OF POLITICAL CLIMATE THAT WOULD MAKE 
         THAT POSSIBLE, WE NEED TO HAVE MUCH FULLER ENGAGEMENT 
         WITH NORTH KOREA.  WHEN I SAY WE, I MEAN BOTH SOUTH 
         KOREA AND THE UNITED STATES.  AND THE SOUTH KOREAN 
         GOVERNMENT UNDER KIM DAE JUNG HAS BEEN MOVING TO ENGAGE 
         THE NORTH MUCH MORE FULLY.  THE UNITED STATES, HOWEVER, 
         HAS STILL GOT AN EMBARGO ON THE NORTH, AND IT HAS DONE 
         VERY LITTLE TO RELAX THAT EMBARGO.  WE'VE ALSO GOT STILL
         TOO LIMITED POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RELATIONS WITH THE 
         NORTH.  THAT IS CRITICIAL, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT LIKELY TO
         GET THE KINDS OF MILITARY ARRANGEMENTS THAT NEED TO BE 
         NEGOTIATIED UNLESS WE HAVE A FULLER POLITICAL AND 
         ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NORTH.

                         // END ACT // 

TO THOSE WHO ARE SKEPTICAL OF EXPANDING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND 
POLITICAL CONTACTS WITH NORTH KOREA, MR. SIGAL SAYS THEY NEED TO 
UNDERSTAND THAT NORTH KOREA HAS ALREADY BEEN COOPERATING WITH THE
UNITED STATES.  HE POINTS TO THE 1994 AGREEMENT THAT ENDED NORTH 
KOREA'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM IN EXCHANGE FOR INTERNATIONAL 
HELP IN BUILDING LESS CONTROVERSIAL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS. 

MR. SIGAL, WHOSE LATEST BOOK IS TITLED "DISARMING STRANGERS, 
NUCLEAR DIPLOMACY WITH NORTH KOREA," SAYS MANY MEMBERS OF 
CONGRESS NEED TO LEARN WHAT HE SAYS PRESIDENT KIM ALREADY 
UNDERSTANDS.  HE SAYS THAT IS THAT U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN SECURITY 
IS THREATENED IF THE STATE OF MILITARY CONFRONTATION ON THE 
PENINSULA IS MAINTAINED.  AND MR. SIGAL SAYS NORTH KOREA APPEARS 
WILLING TO COOPERATE, AND IT IS NOW THE TIME TO PUT THAT TO THE 
TEST.  

                         // REST OPT // 

                      //  SIGAL ACT TWO // 

         WE HAVE 37-THOUSAND TROOPS, AMERICAN TROOPS, AND THEIR 
         DEPENDENTS IN HARM'S WAY, IN KOREA.  IF WE CAN GET 
         BETTER ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE NORTH, WHICH WILL REQUIRE 
         MUTUAL AND RECIPROCAL ACTIONS ON OUR PART, TO REDUCE THE
         RISK OF WAR ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA, THAT WOULD BE VERY 
         MUCH IN OUR SECURITY INTEREST.  THAT IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF
         YOU'RE ENGAGED IN A VERY THOROUGH-GOING SET OF POLITICAL
         AND ECONOMIC ENGAGEMENT WITH THE NORTH AND WORKING OUT 
         VERY DETAILED, VERIFIABLE MILITARY ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE
         NORTH. 

                        // END   ACT // 

ROBERT MANNING SAYS PRESIDENT KIM IS PLANNING TO SPEND A LOT OF 
HIS TIME IN WASHINGTON MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, 
PRECISELY TO TRY TO CONVINCE THOSE WHO MAY BE SKEPTICAL OF HIS 
FRIENDLIER APPROACH TO NORTH KOREA.  (SIGNED)

NEB/SMN/KL 

03-Jun-98 2:50 PM EDT (1850 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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