News

DATE=9/22/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-239050 TITLE=U-S/NORTH KOREA BYLINE=JENNIFER VEALE DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE UNITED STATES ANNOUNCED MONDAY THAT IT WOULD DELIVER ADDITIONAL FOOD AID TO FAMINE STRICKEN NORTH KOREA. . JENNIFER VEALE REPORTS THAT THE GESTURE BY WASHINGTON COMES AMID INCREASING CONCERN ABOUT THE NORTH'S MILITARY ACTIVITIES. TEXT: RESPONDING TO A PLEA FROM THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAM FOR MORE ASSISTANCE FOR NORTH KOREA, THE U.S AGREED MONDAY TO DELIVER AN ADDITIONAL THREE-HUNDRED-THOUSAND TONS OF FOOD TO THE COMMUNIST STATE BY THE END OF THE YEAR. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAID THE EXTRA AID WOULD TARGET THOSE MOST VULNERABLE TO THE ONGOING FOOD SHORTAGE, BROUGHT ON BY THREE YEARS OF SEVERE FLOODING AND DROUGHT. THERE HAVE BEEN CONCERNS THAT THE PYONGYANG GOVERNMENT HAS RE-DIRECTED SOME FOOD AID TO ITS MASSIVE ARMED FORCES. THE NEW DELIVERY PLEDGE COMES ON TOP OF AN EARLIER COMMITMENT OF TWO-HUNDRED-THOUSAND TONS OF FOOD ASSISTANCE, THE LAST OF WHICH WILL BE DELIVERED THIS MONTH. IT ALSO COINCIDES WITH RENEWED CONCERN OVER NORTH KOREA'S MISSILE CAPACITY AFTER IT TEST LAUNCHED A THREE STAGE ROCKET ON AUGUST 31. ON SUNDAY, THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN, AGREED TO JOINTLY RESEARCH A MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM TO PROTECT JAPAN FROM MISSILE ATTACK. PART OF THE NORTH KOREAN ROCKET FLEW OVER JAPANESE TERRITORY. JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES CRITICIZED NORTH KOREA AFTER THE LAUNCH, WHICH THEY DESCRIBED AS A TEST FIRING OF A TAEPO-DONG MISSILE. BUT U-S SCIENTISTS LATER SUPPORTED NORTH KOREA'S INSISTENCE THAT THE ROCKET HAD CARRIED A SATELLITE, NOT A MISSILE. THE LAUNCH HAS NEVERTHELESS SENT WAVES OF CONCERN THROUGH WASHINGTON AS THE ROCKET INCLUDED A THIRD STAGE MISSILE CAPABLE OF CARRYING HEAVIER PAYLOADS. (SIGNED) NEB/JV/PLM 22-Sep-98 7:26 AM EDT (1126 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .