News


DATE=6/9/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-233567
TITLE=NORTH KOREA / U-N (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=JENNIFER VEALE
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO:  THE UNITED STATES-LED UNITED NATIONS COMMAND AND  NORTH 
KOREA HAVE AGREED TO REVIVE LONG-STALLED MILITARY TALKS.  
JENNIFER VEALE REPORTS FROM SEOUL, THE DEAL IS VIEWED AS A 
FURTHER SIGN OF REDUCED TENSIONS ON THE PENINSULA.

TEXT:  AFTER A SEVEN-YEAR BREAK, THE U-N COMMAND IN SEOUL SAYS IT
HAS REACHED AGREEMENT WITH NORTH KOREA TO RESUME THE TALKS, WHICH
ARE DESIGNED TO KEEP THE PEACE ON THE TENSE BORDER BETWEEN NORTH 
AND SOUTH KOREA.

THE GENERAL OFFICER-LEVEL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES BROKE 
DOWN IN 1991, WHEN NORTH KOREA WALKED AWAY FROM TALKS.  THE NORTH
OBJECTED TO THE APPOINTMENT OF A SOUTH KOREAN GENERAL AS THE U-N 
COMMAND'S CHIEF REPRESENTATIVE ON THE MILITARY ARMISTICE 
COMMISSION.

SINCE THEN, NEITHER SIDE HAS HAD ANY FORMAL MECHANISM TO DISCUSS 
ARMISTICE-RELATED ISSUES OR OTHER INCIDENTS WHICH HAVE ERUPTED ON
THE PENINSULA.  ONE SUCH INCIDENT -- THE SHOOTING DOWN OF A U-S 
HELICOPTER IN NORTH KOREAN AIRSPACE IN 1994, SPURRED THE TWO 
SIDES TO RETHINK THE FREEZE.

/// OPT /// JIM COLES, SPOKESMAN FOR THE UNITED NATIONS COMMAND 
IN SEOUL, SAYS THE TWO SIDES HAVE BEEN WORKING TOWARD RESUMPTION 
OF THE DIALOGUE FOR SOME TIME:

                        /// COLES ACT ///

 THIS AGREEMENT THAT WAS SIGNED YESTERDAY (MONDAY) BETWEEN THE 
UNITED NATIONS COMMAND AND THE NORTH KOREAN PEOPLE'S ARMY, IN 
WHICH THEY AGREED TO HOLD TALKS AT THE GENERAL OFFICER LEVEL 
AGAIN, IS SIGNIFICANT, AND THE PURPOSE OF THESE GENERAL OFFICER 
TALKS IS TO REDUCE TENSIONS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA. 

                /// END ACT ///   /// END OPT ///

THE AGREEMENT WILL ENABLE GENERALS FROM OPPOSING SIDES TO MEET AT
PANMUNJOM, THE TRUCE VILLAGE IN THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE WHICH 
SEPARATES THE TWO KOREAS.  THE TWO SIDES ARE STILL TECHNICALLY AT
WAR, BECAUSE WHILE AN ARMISTICE WAS SIGNED IN 1953, THERE HAS 
NEVER BEEN A FORMAL PEACE TREATY.

WHILE A MEETING DATE IS YET TO BE ANNOUNCED, THE NEW AGREEMENT IS
THE RESULT OF ANOTHER CONCILIATORY GESTURE FROM THE SOUTH -- 
CONSISTENT WITH WHAT SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM DAE-JUNG CALLS 
HIS "SUNSHINE POLICY" TOWARD THE NORTH.

SINCE HIS INAUGURATION IN FEBRUARY, PRESIDENT KIM HAS PURSUED A 
POLICY OF RECONCILIATION WITH THE NORTH -- RELAXING CONTROLS ON 
BUSINESS DEALS AND PUSHING THE UNITED STATES TO EASE ECONOMIC 
SANCTIONS.

ANALYSTS SAY THE REKINDLED TALKS MAY BE SEEN BY THE NORTH AS A 
WAY TO ADVANCE ITS EFFORTS TO FORMALIZE A PEACE AGREEMENT WITH 
THE UNITED STATES.   (SIGNED)

NEB/JV/FC/WTW

09-Jun-98 4:53 AM EDT (0853 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.