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DATE=10/22/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-240579 TITLE=NORTH KOREA / PEACE TALKS (L ONLY) BYLINE=JOHN LARKIN DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: TALKS DESIGNED TO SECURE A PERMANENT PEACE TREATY ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA WERE OVERSHADOWED THURSDAY BY NORTH KOREAN ANGER AT PLANNED U-S MILITARY EXERCISES WITH SOUTH KOREA. JOHN LARKIN REPORTS FROM SEOUL THE JOINT EXERCISES BEGIN THE DAY AFTER THE CURRENT ROUND OF GENEVA TALKS END. TEXT: THOUGH DELEGATES FROM BOTH KOREAS, THE U-S AND CHINA MADE LITTLE COMMENT ON THE EXERCISES, THE NORTH'S OFFICIAL KOREAN CENTRAL NEWSAGENCY -- K-C-N-A -- TERMED THEIR TIMING "SERIOUSLY PROVOKING." THE K-C-N-A SAID THE MANEUVERS SHOWED THE U-S AND SOUTH KOREA HAD NO INTEREST IN SECURING A PEACE TREATY BETWEEN THE RIVAL NEIGHBORS. THE TWO KOREAS ARE STILL TECHNICALLY AT WAR AS THE KOREAN WAR ENDED IN 1953 WITH THE SIGNING OF AN ARMISTICE WHICH HAS PROVEN SHAKY AT BEST OVER THE ENSUING DECADES. THE U-S AND SOUTH KOREA HAVE HELD MILITARY EXERCISES SINCE 1961. OFFICIALS FROM BOTH COUNTRIES DESCRIBED THE MANEUVERS AS DEFENSIVE IN NATURE. U-S OFFICIALS SAID THE EXERCISES WOULD POSE NO THREAT TO NORTH KOREA AS THEY WOULD BE CONDUCTED WELL SOUTH OF ITS HEAVILY FORTIFIED BORDER WITH SOUTH KOREA. SOUTH KOREA'S SEMI-OFFICIAL YONHAP NEWSAGENCY REPORTED THURSDAY THE GENEVA TALKS, WHICH BEGAN ON WEDNESDAY, WERE BOGGED DOWN IN DISPUTES OVER PROCEDURAL MATTERS. THE FOUR-PARTY TALKS INCLUDE THE U-S AND CHINA AS WELL AS THE TWO KOREAS. OFFICIALS SAID THURSDAY NORTH KOREA WAS STICKING TO ITS USUAL DEMAND THAT THE U-S WITHDRAW ITS 37,000 TROOPS FROM SOUTH KOREA. THE U-S HAS ALWAYS REJECTED THIS STIPULATION. THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS OF THE GENEVA TALKS, HELD LAST DECEMBER AND MARCH, STALLED ON PROCEDURAL DIFFERENCES. (SIGNED) NEB/JL/KL 22-Oct-98 9:36 AM EDT (1336 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .