News



DATE=6/23/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-234365
TITLE=NORTH / SOUTH KOREA TALKS (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=JOHN LARKIN
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:  

INTRO:  LANDMARK PEACE TALKS BETWEEN GENERALS OF THE U-S-LED 
UNITED NATIONS COMMAND AND NORTH KOREA RESUMED TUESDAY, SEVEN 
YEARS AFTER THEY WERE BROKEN OFF BY THE COMMUNIST NORTH. JOHN 
LARKIN REPORTS FROM SEOUL THAT THE MEETING IMMEDIATELY FOCUSED ON
THE INCURSION OF A NORTH KOREAN SUBMARINE INTO SOUTH KOREAN 
WATERS.

TEXT:  THE TALKS, AT THE BORDER VILLAGE OF PANMUNJOM BETWEEN THE 
TWO KOREAS WERE SCHEDULED AS INTRODUCTORY.  BUT WITH THE 
INCURSION OF A NORTH KOREAN SUBMARINE INTO SOUTH KOREAN WATERS, 
THE U-S-LED UNITED NATIONS COMMAND USED THE SESSION TO LAUNCH A  
PROTEST . 

THE NORTH GAVE  NO  OFFICIAL RESPONSE, ALTHOUGH ITS OFFICIAL NEWS
AGENCY SAID TUESDAY THAT A SMALL SUBMARINE HAD BEEN LOST ON A 
TRAINING EXERCISE NEAR THE BORDER WITH SOUTH KOREA.

THE INCURSION OF THE YUGO-CLASS SUB INTO WATERS OFF SOUTH KOREA'S
NORTHEAST COAST TOOK A DRAMATIC TURN TUESDAY, AS THE SUB SANK 
WHILE BEING TOWED TO A SOUTHERN PORT.

ITS CREW OF UP TO SIX MEN ARE FEARED DEAD ON THE OCEAN FLOOR, 
ALTHOUGH SOUTH KOREAN MILITARY OFFICIALS ARE NOT RULING OUT THE 
POSSIBILITY THAT THE MEN ESCAPED, COMMITTED SUICIDE, OR ARE STILL
ALIVE INSIDE THE HULL.

THE VESSEL, WHICH BECAME ENTANGLED IN FISHING NETS ON MONDAY,  
SANK ONLY ONE-POINT-THREE-KILOMETERS FROM THE SOUTHERN NAVAL PORT
OF DONGHAE, WHERE IT WAS TO BE DOCKED AND OPENED.

// OPT //  A SPOKESMAN FOR SOUTH KOREA'S JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF 
SAYS EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE TO REFLOAT THE SUB, WHICH WAS 
CAPTURED 18 KILOMETERS OFF THE PORT TOWN OF SOKCHO -- JUST SOUTH 
OF THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE WHICH HAS DIVIDED THE TWO KOREAS SINCE 
1945.  // END OPT //

DURING THE TOW, SOUTH KOREAN SOLDIERS POUNDED ON THE SUBMARINE 
WITH HAMMERS, BUT THEY RECEIVED  NO  RESPONSE FROM INSIDE THE 
CRAFT.  NEWS REPORTS SAY SONAR CHECKS REVEALED  NO  SIGNS OF 
LIFE.

// OPT //  THE SUB WAS SPOTTED BY A FISHING BOAT WHOSE NET HAD 
TANGLED AROUND THE VESSEL'S PERISCOPE.  THE FISHERMEN SAID THEY 
SAW TWO MEN ATOP THE SUB TRYING TO UNTANGLE THE NET.  // END OPT 
//

THE INCURSION CAME JUST HOURS BEFORE THE RECONVENED MILITARY 
ARMISTICE COMMISSION TALKS, WHICH NORTH KOREA BROKE OFF SEVEN 
YEARS AGO AFTER A DISAGREEMENT OVER APPOINTMENT OF A SOUTH KOREAN
GENERAL TO HEAD THE DELEGATION. THE COMMISSION OVERSEES THE 
UNEASY TRUCE AT THE  DEMILITARIZED ZONE.

IRONICALLY, THE TALKS ARE DESIGNED AS A MECHANISM TO PREVENT SUCH
MILITARY MISHAPS FROM TAKING PLACE. THE U-N COMMAND ISSUED A 
STATEMENT ON  TUESDAY SAYING THE CAPTURE OF THE SUBMARINE 
UNDERSCORED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TALKS.   (SIGNED)

NEB/JL/FC/WTW

23-Jun-98 7:25 AM EDT (1125 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.