News

DATE=10/1/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-239534 TITLE=U-S / NORTH KOREA TALKS (L - ONLY) BYLINE=MAX RUSTON DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE UNITED STATES AND NORTH KOREA BEGAN A NEW ROUND OF TALKS TODAY (THURSDAY) ON MISSILE PROLIFERATION. THE TALKS, EXPECTED TO LAST TWO DAYS, ARE TAKING PLACE IN NEW YORK, AS WE HEAR FROM CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON. TEXT: THE UNITED STATES HOPES TO CONVINCE NORTH KOREA TO CURB ITS PRODUCTION AND SALES OF MISSILES, AMID CONCERN THAT THEY ARE CONTRIBUTING TO INSTABILITY IN SEVERAL AREAS OF THE WORLD. WASHINGTON IS PARTICULARLY EAGER FOR NORTH KOREA TO STOP TRANSFERING ITS MISSILES TO COUNTRIES SUCH AS IRAN, SYRIA AND PAKISTAN. THE TALKS OPENED WITHOUT PUBLIC COMMENT FROM NEGOTIATORS. THE PRECISE CONTENT IS EXPECTED TO BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, AT THE REQUEST OF NORTH KOREA. IT IS THE THIRD ROUND OF MISSILE TALKS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. PREVIOUS TALKS TOOK PLACE IN 1996 AND 1997. THE TALKS THIS YEAR ARE CONSIDERED PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT, AS THEY FOLLOW NORTH KOREA'S FIRING OF A MULTI-STAGE MISSILE OVER JAPAN ON AUGUST 31ST. NORTH KOREA CLAIMS THE MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED A SATELLITE, AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS A MILITARY INCIDENT. MISSILE SALES ARE BELIEVED TO PLAY A KEY ROLE IN PROPPING UP NORTH KOREA'S FALTERING ECONOMY, WHICH HAS BEEN HIT HARD BY YEARS OF DROUGHT AND POOR PLANNING. NORTH KOREA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN SEPARATE NEGOTIATIONS ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT ISSUES. IN SEPTEMBER, THE TWO COUNTRIES HELD TALKS ON NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES. LATER THIS MONTH THEY WILL JOIN SOUTH KOREA AND CHINA IN FOUR-PARTY PEACE TALKS IN GENEVA, AIMED AT REPLACING THE ARMISTICE THAT ENDED FIGHTING IN THE 1950-TO-1953 KOREAN WAR. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF 01-Oct-98 11:42 AM EDT (1542 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .