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DATE=9/10/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-238438 TITLE=U-S / NORTH KOREA (L) BYLINE=DAVID SWAN DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS DEMANDING ANSWERS ABOUT A SUSPECTED NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANT IN NORTH KOREA, AND STILL TRYING TO DETERMINE IF THE NATION HAS LAUNCHED A SATELLITE. HOWEVER, U-S OFFICIALS ARE ALSO WEIGHING THE PROSPECT OF SENDING THE COUNTRY MORE FOOD AID. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS. TEXT: THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THERE IS SOME PROGRESS TOWARD COOLING TENSIONS, WHICH WERE DRAMATICALLY HEIGHTENED WHEN NORTH KOREA FIRED A MISSILE OVER JAPAN. THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT HAS NOW AGREED TO HOLD TALKS ON MISSILES AND NUCLEAR ISSUES, AS WELL AS A SESSION OF FOUR-PARTY TALKS ON A PERMANENT PEACE TREATY WITH SOUTH KOREA. BUT U-S OFFICIALS SAY WORDS ALONE WILL NOT EASE CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS A SECRET NUCLEAR BOMB PROGRAM IN THE NORTH. AT A SENATE HEARING (THURSDAY), AMBASSADOR CHARLES KARTMAN SAID THE UNITED STATES WANTS TO SEE A SUSPECTED UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANT. // KARTMAN ACT // SINCE THERE IS NO TRUST INVOLVED HERE, NORTH KOREA CAN'T SIMPLY ASSURE US THAT IT'S INNOCENT. SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT WILL BE REQUIRED. NOW WE HAVE DISCUSSED ALREADY AND HAVE MADE IT VERY CLEAR TO THEM THAT WHAT WE HAVE IN MIND IS ACCESS TO THAT SITE. // END ACT // UNDER AN AGREEMENT REACHED FOUR YEARS AGO, NORTH KOREA WAS SUPPOSED TO FREEZE ANY NUCLEAR ARMS EFFORT IN RETURN FOR FUEL OIL AND TWO MODERN REACTORS. THE ADMINISTRATION DEFENDS THIS ACCORD, SAYING IT HAS STOPPED PYONGYANG FROM ACQUIRING A NUCLEAR ARSENAL. MANY IN CONGRESS ARE HIGHLY SKEPTICAL OF NORTH KOREA'S INTENTIONS AND U-S POLICY. THE SENATE VOTED LAST WEEK TO CUT OFF MONEY FOR THE AGREEMENT UNLESS NORTH KOREA MEETS CONDITIONS. REPUBLICAN SENATOR CRAIG THOMAS CHARGES THE NORTH KOREANS ARE THUMBING THEIR NOSES AT THE UNITED STATES. // THOMAS ACT // DESPITE INTERNATIONAL NORMS AND CONVENTIONS, THE D-P-R-K (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF NORTH KOREA) CONTINUES TO SELL NUCLEAR AND CONVENTIONAL MISSILE TECHNOLOGY TO ROGUE NATIONS SUCH AS IRAQ AND LIBYA. // END ACT // THE PURPOSE OF THE RECENT MISSILE FLIGHT OVER JAPAN IS STILL IN DOUBT. SOUTH KOREA'S FOREIGN MINISTER (HONG-SOON YOUNG) SAYS IT WAS PROBABLY A SATELLITE LAUNCH GONE WRONG, AS NORTH KOREA CLAIMS. U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY CAN NOT CONFIRM THIS SCENARIO. WHILE TRYING TO RESOLVE THESE MATTERS, THE UNITED STATES IS ALSO CONSIDERING WHETHER TO SEND MORE RELIEF TO NORTH KOREA, WHICH HAS LONG BEEN PLAGUED BY SEVERE FOOD SHORTAGES. OFFICIALS SAY UP TO 300-THOUSAND TONS OF FOOD COULD BE DELIVERED. THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE. (SIGNED) NEB/DS/PT 10-Sep-98 5:01 PM EDT (2101 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .