News

DATE=9/9/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-238339 TITLE=KOREA TALKS (L) BYLINE=JOHN LARKIN DATELINE=SEOUL, KOREA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: OFFICIALS FROM SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, AND THE UNITED STATES WILL MEET NEXT WEEK TO DISCUSS A RANGE OF ISSUES RELATED TO COMMUNIST NORTH KOREA. FROM SEOUL, JOHN LARKIN REPORTS THE NORTH'S RECENT LAUNCH OF A MISSILE WILL BE NEAR THE TOP OF THE AGENDA. TEXT: NORTH KOREA SAYS THE AUGUST 31ST MISSILE LAUNCH PUT ITS FIRST SATELLITE INTO SPACE, BUT SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, AND THE UNITED STATES SAY THE LAUNCH WAS A WEAPONS TEST. THE THREE ALLIES WILL MEET IN WASHINGTON ON SEPTEMBER 14TH TO DISCUSS SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF THE LAUNCH. THEY ARE ALSO PREPARING TO REFER THE LAUNCH OVER JAPANESE TERRITORY TO THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL. SOUTH KOREA'S FOREIGN MINISTER HONG SOON-YONG LEFT (WEDNESDAY) FOR WASHINGTON DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT. THE SEPTEMBER 14TH MEETING COMES AMID FEARS PYONGYANG IS PLANNING A SECOND MISSILE LAUNCH. THE POSSIBILITY HAS SENT SHOCKWAVES THROUGH SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN WHICH ARE BOTH EXTREMELY VULNERABLE TO NORTH-KOREAN MISSILES. BUT THE UNITED STATES IS THREATENED AS WELL. THIS WEEK, SOUTH KOREA'S UNIFICATION MINISTER, KANG IN-TOK, POINTED OUT THE TEST FIRING OF THE MISSILE MEANS U-S SUPPORT BASES IN THE PACIFIC ARE WITHIN THE NORTH'S REACH. WASHINGTON, TOKYO, AND SEOUL HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO VERIFY PYONGYANG'S CLAIM THE ROCKET SENT NORTH KOREA'S FIRST SATELLITE INTO SPACE. THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN HOLDING TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA IN NEW YORK SINCE AUGUST 21ST, AND TUESDAY REPORTED PROGRESS IN DISCUSSIONS TOUCHING ON THE MISSILE LAUNCH. THE DISCUSSIONS ACHIEVED AGREEMENT TO RESUME FULL-PARTY PEACE TALKS -- WHICH WERE STALLED IN MARCH AFTER NORTH KOREA DEMANDED THE UNITED STATES WITHDRAW ITS TROOPS FROM SOUTH KOREA. NEWS REPORTS IN SEOUL SAY THE TWO SIDES HAD AGREED ON WAYS TO REDUCE THE THREAT POSTED BY PYONGYANG'S MISSILE TECHNOLOGY, AND TO REMOVE NORTH KOREA FROM THE LIST OF COUNTRY'S SPONSORING TERRORISM. (SIGNED) NEB/JL/TMD-T/RAE 09-Sep-98 11:31 AM EDT (1531 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .