News

DATE=9/8/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-238278 TITLE=KOREA TALKS BYLINE=JOHN LARKIN DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: NORTH KOREA HAS REPORTEDLY AGREED IN CONTACTS WITH THE UNITED STATES TO RESUME PEACE TALKS NEXT MONTH. JOHN LARKIN REPORTS FROM SEOUL, THE TALKS WILL TRY TO IMPOSE A PERMANENT PEACE TREATY ON THE TROUBLED KOREAN PENINSULA. TEXT: WITH TENSIONS STILL HIGH OVER NORTH KOREA'S ROCKET LAUNCH ON AUGUST 31ST, THE TWO SIDES NEVERTHELESS FOUND COMMON GROUND DURING TALKS IN NEW YORK TO AGREE TO RESTART THE STALLED PEACE PROCESS. BOTH SIDES MADE CONCESSIONS, WITH THE UNITED STATES AGREEING TO DISCUSS, WITHIN THE MONTH, REMOVING NORTH KOREA FROM THE LIST OF COUNTRIES WHICH SPONSOR TERRORISM. NEWS REPORTS IN SEOUL QUOTE GOVERNMENT SOURCES SAYING PYONGYANG HAS AGREED TO DISCUSS A HALT TO ITS MISSILE EXPORT PROGRAM, DURING A SEPARATE ROUND OF TALKS NEXT MONTH. THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN GIVEN EXTRA URGENCY BY FEARS THAT A NORTH KOREAN ROCKET, FIRED OVER JAPANESE TERRITORY LAST MONDAY, WAS A SALES PITCH TO NATIONS CONSIDERING PURCHASING NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TECHNOLOGY. THE NORTH'S INSISTENCE THAT THE ROCKET CARRIED A SATELLITE INTOSPACE HAS SOWN CONFUSION IN WASHINGTON, TOKYO AND SEOUL. SO FAR THE THREE GOVERNMENTS ARE HOLDING TO THEIR ASSERTION THAT PYONGYANG FIRED A (TAEPO-DONG) MISSILE. THE FOUR-PARTY PEACE TALKS ARE AIMED AT SECURING A PEACE TREATY TO MARK THE FORMAL END OF THE KOREAN WAR, WHICH RAGED FROM 1950 TO 1953. CURRENTLY THE PEACE IS KEPT BY A SHAKY ARMISTICE. DELEGATIONS FROM NORTH KOREA, SOUTH KOREA, CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES WOILL TAKE PART IN THE TALKS. THEIR LAST ROUND COLLAPSED AFTER PYONGYANG STUCK TO ITS TRADITIONAL DEMAND THAT THE UNITED STATES WITHDRAW ITS 37-THOUSAND TROOPS FROM SOUTH KOREA. NEWS REPORTS SAY WASHINGTON WON OVER PYONGYANG DURING THEIR RECENT MEETINGS IN NEW YORK BY PROMISING 300-THOUSAND TONS OF FOOD AID. IN RETURN, NORTH KOREA AGREED TO ABIDE BY THE TERMS OF A 1994 ACCORD DESIGNED TO DISMANTLE ITS SUSPECT NUCLEAR PROGRAM. (SIGNED) NEB/JL/WTW 08-Sep-98 5:18 AM EDT (0918 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .