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DATE=10/20/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-240444 TITLE=KOREA / U-S (L-ONLY) BYLINE=JOHN LARKIN DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE TOP AMERICAN OFFICIAL IN SOUTH KOREA SAYS A NUCLEAR ACCORD WITH NORTH KOREA IS ON TRACK DESPITE MOVES IN THE U-S CONGRESS TO BLOCK FUNDING. JOHN LARKIN REPORTS FROM SEOUL THAT AMBASSADOR STEPHEN BOSWORTH ALSO EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR SOUTH KOREA'S EFFORTS TO PULL ITSELF OUT OF ITS DEEP RECESSION. TEXT : U-S AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH SAYS THE NUCLEAR DEAL IS TOO IMPORTANT TO FAIL, DESPITE FUNDING PROBLEMS FOR THE KOREAN PENINSULA ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION, KNOWN AS KEDO, WHICH IS OVERSEEING THE PACT. THE DEAL , SIGNED IN 1994, IN WHICH PYONGYANG PROMISED TO SCRAP ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM IN EXCHANGE FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE. BUT, THE U-S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LATE LAST MONTH VOTED TO BLOCK 35 MILLION DOLLARS IN PAYMENT. SOME MEMBERS EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT NORTH KOREA'S LAUNCH OF A MULTISTAGE ROCKET OVER JAPAN. THE RELUCTANCE TO APPROVE FUNDING PROMPTED THREATS BY NORTH KOREA TO RESUME PRODUCTION OF WEAPONS-GRADE PLUTONIUM, USED TO MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. BUT THE FUNDS WERE RESTORED IN A BUDGET DEAL REACHED BETWEEN CONGRESS AND THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ON MONDAY AND AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH SAYS THE DEAL WILL NOW GO FORWARD. //BOSWORTH ACT 1// IT IS ESSENTIAL THEREFORE THAT THE UNITED STATES, KOREA, JAPAN AND OUR OTHER KEDO PARTNERS CONTINUE TO MEET OUR COMMITMENT TO SUPPLY NORTH KOREA THE HEAVY FUEL OIL AND LIGHT WATER REACTORS WHICH ARE THE QUID PRO QUO OF THE NUCLEAR FREEZE. I AM CONFIDENT THESE COMMITMENTS WILL BE MET. //END BOSWORTH ACT 1// SPEAKING TO JOURNALISTS TUESDAY, MR. BOSWORTH ALSO REAFFIRMED THE U-S COMMITMENT DEFEND THE SOUTH FROM THREATS POSED BY NORTH KOREA. BUT HE NOTED SOUTH KOREA FACES A NEW THREAT IN THE FORM OF A DEEPENING ECONOMIC RECESSION. HE APPLAUDED PAINFUL FINANCIAL REFORMS BEING IMPLEMENTED BY THE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT TO SPEED RECOVERY. U-S COMPANIES, HE SAID, HAVE TOLD HIM THEY ARE ENCOURAGED BY WHAT HE TERMED THE BOLD STEPS BEING TAKEN BY THE REFORMIST ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT KIM DAE-JUNG. NEVERTHELESS, THERE ARE POLICY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA. HE POINTED OUT THE NEED TO RESOLVE AN ONGOING DISPUTE OVER ACCESS TO SOUTH KOREA'S TIGHTLY SHUTTERED AUTO MARKET. //BOSWORTH ACT 2// THERE ARE NOW TALKS GOING ON IN WASHINGTON ON THE AUTO TRADE BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES, PARTICULARLY DESIGNED TO ADDRESS OUR CONCERN OVER A LACK OF ACCESS TO KOREA'S MARKET FOR FOREIGN MANUFACTURED AUTOMOBILES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN OUR MARKET, SOME 30 PER CENT OF ALL CARS SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES ARE FOREIGN-MADE. IN KOREA LESS THAN ONE PER CENT OF AUTOS SOLD HERE ARE FOREIGN-MADE. THAT SEEMS TO US TO BE AN ASSYMETRICAL RELATIONSHIP. //END BOSWORTH ACT 2// BUT HE ADDED THAT REFORMS ARE SLOWLY UNSHACKLING THE ECONOMY. HE EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE SOUTH KOREA WILL NOT HAVE TO USE EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS IN RESCUE LOANS DESIGNED AS A FALLBACK SHOULD THE ECONOMY FALTER AGAIN. NEB/JL/FC 20-Oct-98 4:34 AM EDT (0834 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .