Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=1/20/1999
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=SOUTH KOREA / CHINA MILITARY (L-ONLY)
NUMBER=2-258237
BYLINE=HYUN SUNG KHANG
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO: China and South Korea have warned against 
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction 
on the Korean peninsula, saying it would set off 
an arms race.  The rare joint stand came during a 
landmark trip to South Korea by the Chinese 
Defense Minister.  As Hyun-Sung Khang reports 
from the South Korean capital Seoul, the 
statement is seen as being directed at reclusive 
North Korea.
TEXT:  Following a meeting between the Defense 
Ministers of the two countries, China's Defense 
Chief, Chi Haotian, urged the two Koreas not to 
develop weapons of mass destruction.  He said 
stability on the divided peninsula is vital to 
regional peace.  He added Beijing would provide 
full support for non-proliferation of nuclear 
weapons on the peninsula. His South Korean 
counterpart, General Cho Sung-tae, endorsed the 
remarks.
Mr. Chi's comments are part of Beijing's official 
policy, but South Korean officials see them as 
being directed at Pyongyang rather than Seoul.  
Although North Korea has frozen its suspected 
nuclear weapons program, under a 1994 accord with 
the United States, concerns remain over its 
missile, chemical and biological warfare 
capabilities.  South Korea's Defense white paper, 
released last year, said North Korea had boosted 
its stockpile of chemical weapons fivefold, to 
5000 tons.
General Chi is on a five-day trip to South Korea, 
the first of its kind by a Chinese defense chief.  
He met South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who 
praised China's role in reducing the threat of 
war between the two Koreas.
China has been a staunch ally of the North, 
providing aid and trade to the reclusive 
government.  During the 1950-to-1953 Korean War, 
Chinese soldiers fought alongside North Koreans.  
But since China and South Korea established 
diplomatic ties in 1992, relations between the 
two countries have improved. China is South 
Korea's third-largest trading partner. The visit 
by the Chinese Defense Chief is just the latest 
demonstration of the warmer relations between 
them. (SIGNED)
NEB/GC/FC 
20-Jan-2000 04:48 AM EDT (20-Jan-2000 0948 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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