News



DATE=6/9/98
TYPE=ANCHOR SCRIPT
NUMBER=2-233596
TITLE=NORTH KOREA / U-S SANCTIONS
BYLINE=STEPHANIE MANN
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:   SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM DAE-JUNG, WHO IS MEETING (HAS
MET) TODAY (TUESDAY) IN WASHINGTON WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, IS 
CALLING FOR A MORE MODERATE APPROACH TOWARD COMMUNIST NORTH 
KOREA.  AS PART OF THAT STRATEGY, PRESIDENT KIM HAS SAID HE WOULD
LIKE THE UNITED STATES TO EASE ITS ECONOMIC EMBARGO AGAINST THE 
NORTH.  

STEPHEN LINTON IS CHAIRMAN OF THE EUGENE BELL FOUNDATION, WHICH 
IS ENGAGED IN HUMANITARIAN WORK IN NORTH KOREA.  THE FOUNDATION 
IS ACTIVE IN DISTRIBUTING FOOD AID, AND PROVIDING HELP IN THE 
AREAS OF AGRICULTURE, MEDICINE, AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. 

MR. LINTON HAS TRAVELLED TO NORTH KOREA MANY TIMES AND JUST 
RETURNED FROM HIS LATEST TRIP THIS WEEK.  HE TOLD V-O-A'S 
STEPHANIE MANN THAT HE THINKS ENDING THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IS A 
GOOD IDEA, AND HE ALSO DISCUSSED THE SEVERITY OF NORTH KOREA'S 
FOOD SHORTAGE.

// TEXT OF INTERVIEW, WHICH IS AVAILABLE IN AUDIO SERVICES //    

LINTON:  THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS THAT THINGS ARE AS BAD OR WORSE 
THAN THEY WERE LAST YEAR.  SOME PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS ARE 
CLAIMING THAT THE SITUATION HAS DETERIORATED SIGNIFICANTLY, WHILE
SOME DIPLOMATS ARE SAYING THAT IT'S GOTTEN BETTER.  BUT I'M  NOT 
SURE THAT ANYONE KNOWS FOR SURE.  EVERYONE AGREES, HOWEVER, THAT 
NORTH KOREA HAS A VERY, VERY SERIOUS FOOD SHORTAGE.  

MANN:  HAVE THEY BEEN MAKING SOME CHANGES IN THE AGRICULTURAL 
SYSTEM TO ADDRESS THIS? 

LINTON:  THEY'VE BEEN MAKING CHANGES INDIRECTLY.  AS FAR AS I 
KNOW, NOTHING HAS BEEN PUT ON PAPER YET.  BUT IT'S CLEAR THAT THE
FARMERS HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER THEIR HARVESTS THAN THEY DID IN 
THE PAST, AND THAT INFORMAL MARKETING SYSTEMS ARE DEVELOPING. 

MANN: THERE'S AN IMPRESSION THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS 
GOING TO BE CALLED UPON TO HELP NORTH KOREA FEED ITS PEOPLE FOR 
MANY YEARS TO COME.  IS THAT YOUR INTERPRETATION TOO?

LINTON: WELL, THAT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY 
DOES.  I PERSONALLY THINK THAT IF THE SANCTIONS WERE LIFTED ON 
NORTH KOREA, THE NORTH KOREANS WOULD PROBABLY MAKE THE 
ADJUSTMENTS THEY NEEDED TO WORK THEIR OWN WAY OUT OF THIS PROBLEM
ALOT SOONER. 

MANN: I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT THAT.  SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT KIM
DAE JUNG IS ASKING THE UNITED STATES TO LIFT OR EASE THE EMBARGO 
THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS ON COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY, COMMERCIAL 
INVOLVEMENT IN NORTH KOREA.  WHAT SPECIFICALLY WOULD BE THINGS 
THAT YOU THINK WOULD BE MOST BENEFICIAL TO NORTH KOREA AT THIS 
TIME?

LINTON: WELL, THE EMBARGO IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIER AGAINST 
CHANGE IN NORTH KOREA.  VERY FEW PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT NORTH 
KOREA'S ECONOMY WOULD IMPROVE DRAMATICALLY OVER THE SHORT TIME 
PERIOD IF THE EMBARGO WAS LIFTED.  BUT IT'S THE LONG TERM IMPACT 
THAT WE'RE MOST INTERESTED IN.  BECAUSE OF THE EMBARGO, NORTH 
KOREANS HAVE CONVINCED THEMSELVES THAT THEIR PROBLEMS ARE  NOT  
STRUCTURAL BUT ARE DIPLOMATIC.  IF THE EMBARGO WERE LIFTED, IN A 
SENSE, IT WOULD TOSS THE ECONOMIC BALL BACK IN THEIR OWN COURT 
AND THEY WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THE WAY THEY DO 
BUSINESS. 

                       // END INTERVIEW //

OUTRO:  THERE MAY BE SOME U-S POLICYMAKERS OR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
WHO ARE RELUCTANT TO END ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA 
FOR FEAR OF LENDING SUPPORT TO WHAT IS SEEN AS A REPRESSIVE 
COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT.  IN RESPONSE TO SUCH SKEPTICISM, MR. LINTON
POINTS TO CHINA AND SAYS COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY HAS INITIATED A 
PROCESS THERE THAT ENCOURAGES REFORM FROM WITHIN.  

STEPHEN LINTON, CHAIRMAN OF THE EUGENE BELL FOUNDATION, SPOKE 
WITH V-O-A'S STEPHANIE MANN. 

NEB/SMN/GE

09-Jun-98 1:59 PM EDT (1759 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.