News

DATE=9/1/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-237966 TITLE=CHINA / KOREAN MISSILE (L-ONLY) BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON DATELINE=BEIJING CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: CHINA IS CALLING FOR NEGOTIATIONS TO END TENSIONS CAUSED BY NORTH KOREA'S LAUNCH OF A BALLISTIC MISSILE OVER JAPAN AND INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN MONDAY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ROGER WILKISON REPORTS A CHINESE SPOKESMAN SAYS HIS COUNTRY -- ONE OF NORTH KOREA'S FEW ALLIES -- WAS NOT INFORMED OF THE TEST BEFOREHAND. TEXT: FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ZHU BANGZAO -- SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER -- SAYS BEIJING HOPES WHAT HE CALLS "THE PARTIES CONCERNED" WILL ENTER INTO CONSULTATIONS TO PREVENT THE MISSILE LAUNCH FROM WORSENING TENSIONS IN NORTHEAST ASIA. /// FIRST INTERPRETER ACT /// THE CHINESE SIDE HOPES THE PARTIES CONCERNED COULD SOLVE THIS PROBLEM PROMPTLY, THROUGH CONSULTATIONS, SO AS TO SAFEGUARD PEACE AND STABILITY ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA. /// END ACT /// BUT MR. ZHU DID NOT SAY WHO THE PARTIES CONCERNED ARE AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY INCLUDE CHINA. HIS REMARK WAS CHINA'S FIRST REACTION TO MONDAY'S MISSILE TEST, WHICH WAS SHARPLY CRITICIZED BY JAPAN AND ALSO DREW EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN FROM THE UNITED STATES, SOUTH KOREA AND RUSSIA. CHINESE NEWS MEDIA HAVE NOT FEATURED ANY REPORTS ON THE LAUNCH, ALTHOUGH THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF CHINA'S OFFICIAL XINHUA NEWS AGENCY DID CARRY NEWS OF THE TEST AND THE CONCERNS IT SPARKED AMONG OTHER NATIONS. ASKED FOR CHINA'S REACTION BY REPORTERS AT A NEWS BRIEFING, MR. ZHU SAID BEIJING HAD TAKEN NOTICE OF THE REPORT. /// SECOND INTERPRETER ACT /// AT PRESENT, THERE ARE SOME CHANNELS FOR CONSULTATION BETWEEN VARIOUS PARTIES ON THE KOREAN MISSILE ISSUE. /// END ACT /// BUT THE CHINESE SPOKESMAN DID NOT SPECIFY WHAT THOSE CHANNELS ARE, NOR DID HE SAY WHETHER BEIJING WILL TRY TO EXERCISE WHATEVER INFLUENCE IT MAY HAVE OVER PYONGYANG TO DEFUSE TENSIONS STEMMING FROM THE TEST. CHINA CONTINUES TO REGARD NORTH KOREA AS AN ALLY, BUT IT HAS MOVED CLOSER IN RECENT YEARS TO SOUTH KOREA, NOW A MAJOR TRADING PARTNER AND SOURCE OF INVESTMENT FOR BEIJING. (SIGNED) NEB/RW/GC/FC/WTW 01-Sep-98 5:41 AM EDT (0941 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .