Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

 
DATE=12/9/97
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-223914
TITLE=KOREA TALKS / NEW PHASE (L)
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=GENEVA
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  A FIRST DAY OF KOREAN PEACE TALKS TOOK PLACE TODAY 
(TUESDAY) IN GENEVA.  DIPLOMATS SAY THE TALKS MARK THE BEGINNING 
OF A NEW  POST-COLD-WAR PHASE IN DEALING WITH  THE TENSE MILITARY
SITUATION ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  IN THIS REPORT FROM GENEVA, 
V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON EXAMINES THE CHANGING SITUATION ON THE KOREAN 
PENINSULA.
TEXT:  WESTERN DIPLOMATS SAY THE GENEVA TALKS MARK THE BEGINNING 
OF A SHIFT ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA, FROM MILITARY CONFRONTATION 
TOWARDS DIALOG.  FOR NORTH KOREA, THIS  COULD MEAN INCREASED AID 
TO ALLEVIATE ITS  FOOD SHORTAGE AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.  THE 
UNITED STATES HOPES TO ACHIEVE A REDUCTION IN MILITARY TENSION ON
THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  AND SOUTH KOREA AND CHINA BOTH SEE THE 
TALKS AS A POSSIBLE MEANS FOR AVOIDING MASSIVE REFUGEE AND 
ECONOMIC PROBLEMS THAT COULD OCCUR  IF THE NORTH KOREAN REGIME 
COLLAPSES.
THE THEME OF A NEW PHASE WAS BROUGHT UP JUST BEFORE THE GENEVA 
TALKS BEGAN, IN REMARKS MADE BY SWITZERLAND'S STATE SECRETARY FOR
FOREIGN AFFAIRS, JAKOB KELLENBERGER.
                      /// KELLENBERGER ///
         THESE TALKS ARE THE RESULT OF NINE MONTHS OF 
         CONSULTATIONS AND PREPARATORY MEETINGS IN THE UNITED 
         STATES AND HAVE INSPIRED HIGH HOPES IN THE WHOLE 
         INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.  IN LIGHT OF THE DISCUSSIONS 
         YOU INITIATED IN NEW YORK ON FIVE MARCH 1997, I FEEL 
         THAT THESE EXPECTATIONS ARE UNDERSTANDABLE.  NUMEROUS 
         OBSERVERS HERALDED THIS EVENT AS THE POSSIBLE DAWNING OF
         A NEW PROCESS.
                         /// END ACT ///
CHINESE NEGOTIATORS SAY THE GENEVA TALKS OFFER AN OPPORTUNITY TO 
LIFT WHAT THEY DESCRIBE AS THE DARK SHADOW OF THE COLD WAR 
HANGING OVER THE KOREAN PENINSULA.
KOREA EXPERTS SAY THE KEY TO LIFTING THIS COLD WAR SHADOW IS THE 
DETERMINATION OF COMMON OBJECTIVES AMONG THE PARTIES INVOLVED IN 
THE CONFLICT.  THIS SAME STRATEGY-- FOCUSSING ON SHARED INTERESTS
WHILE PUTTING ASIDE DIFFERENCES - WAS USED BY  CHINA AND THE 
UNITED STATES TO BUILD BILATERAL TIES IN THE 1970'S.
IN THE GENEVA TALKS, THE MAIN OBJECTIVE SHARED BY THE FOUR 
NEGOTIATING  PARTIES IS THE DESIRE TO PREVENT NORTH KOREA FROM 
ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL COLLAPSE.
A DECADE AGO, THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA MAY HAVE WELCOMED
SUCH A DEVELOPMENT.  BUT TODAY, WESTERN SECURITY INTERESTS ARE 
SEEN AS BEING BETTER SERVED BY HELPING NORTH KOREA GRADUALLY 
RECOVER WHILE EXPANDING ITS TIES WITH NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.  
THIS STRATEGY IS PARTICULARLY APPEALING TO SOUTH KOREA, 
CONSIDERING ITS FINANCIAL TROUBLES, AS IT DOES NOT HAVE THE 
ECONOMIC MEANS TO SUCCESSFULLY ABSORB THE NORTH AT THIS TIME.
CHINA IS HOPING TO IMPROVE REGIONAL STABILITY BY HELPING NORTH 
KOREA ESTABLISH SOME FORM OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY.  FOR CHINA, A 
COLLAPSE OF THE NORTH WOULD MOVE U-S TROOPS IN SOUTH KOREA  
CLOSER TO ITS BORDER AND POSSIBLY LEAD TO AN INFLUX OF REFUGEES 
FROM NORTH KOREA.
EXPERTS SAY NORTH KOREA'S MAIN SHORT  TERM GOAL IN PARTICIPATING 
IN THE TALKS IS TO GET MORE FOOD AND ECONOMIC AID, PRIMARILY FROM
THE UNITED STATES.  BUT U-S AND SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIALS REMAIN 
CONCERNED THAT ONCE NORTH KOREA REGAINS SOME OF ITS ECONOMIC 
STRENGTH, IT COULD RESUME A CONFRONTATIONAL  MILITARY POLICY WITH
THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF OVERTHROWING THE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT.  
(SIGNED)
NEB/MPR/TMD/PT 
09-Dec-97 5:17 PM EST (2217 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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