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DATE=8/23/1999
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=JAPAN - S. KOREA TALKS (L-ONLY)
NUMBER=2-253026
BYLINE=TANYA CLARK
DATELINE=TOKYO
INTERNET=YES
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO: South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hong 
Soon-Young, is in Tokyo as part of a three- pronged 
diplomatic effort to stave off the threat of a second 
ballistic missile test by North Korea. Tanya Clark 
reports from the Japanese capital.
TEXT: Japan and South Korean officials appear to be 
moving toward a more coordinated diplomatic effort to 
counter the threat of North Korea's ballistic missile 
program.
South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 
Hong Soon-Young, is in Tokyo until Tuesday evening to 
discuss the North Korean situation with Japanese 
government officials, including Prime Minister Keizo 
Obuchi.
At the same time South Korea has sent out emissaries 
to China and the United States, in an attempt to reach 
a consensus on how to stop North Korea from firing a 
new, more powerful ballistic missile.
South Korea's defense minister, Cho Sung-Tae, is 
currently meeting with his counterparts in Beijing and 
South Korean Unification Minister, Lim Dong-won, left 
Seoul Monday for meetings with officials in the United 
States.
A Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman says at Monday's 
meeting between Mr. Hong and Japan's Foreign Minister, 
Masahiko Komura, both officials agreed it is hard to 
predict North Korea's future action. But the spokesman 
says they welcomed what they see as signs from North 
Korea that dialogue is possible.
Relations between the Stalinist state and Japan, South 
Korea and the United States have been deeply strained 
since North Korea launched a ballistic missile one 
year ago.  The missile flew across Japan, before 
landing in the sea. The test stunned Japan and stirred 
fears North Korea could launch more.
Signs that North Korea does indeed plan to launch 
another missile, this one more advanced than the last, 
have intensified diplomatic efforts.  The Taepodong 
II, as the latest ballistic missile is named, could 
have the range to reach as far as Alaska and Hawaii.
The South Korean and Japanese officials also discussed 
Japan's support for the Korean Peninsula Energy 
Development Organization --KEDO. KEDO was created to 
provide North Korea with an alternative power sources 
so that it would cut back development of its own 
nuclear energy program.  It was feared Pyongyang was 
using the program to develop nuclear weapons.
After last year's missile test, Japan froze its one 
billion dollar contribution to the four point six 
billion dollar KEDO program.
According to a Japanese spokesman, South Korea's 
Foreign Minster Hong asked Japan to continue a strong 
interest in KEDO. The official says Japan's Foreign 
Minister Komura responded that he would do so.
NEB/TC/GC/FC/PLM
23-Aug-1999 06:47 AM EDT (23-Aug-1999 1047 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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