Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=1/21/1999
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=NORTH KOREA / WORLD BANK (L-ONLY)
NUMBER=2-258278
BYLINE=HYUN-SUNG KHANG
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  South Korea says it will support any move 
by North Korea to join world economic 
organizations.  Hyun-Sung Khang reports from 
Seoul, a report by the South's Unification 
Ministry also says the reclusive government in 
the North intends to improve relations with the 
outside world in the coming year.
TEXT:  Past attempts by North Korea to join 
international economic groups, such as the World 
Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the 
Asian Development Bank, have always been stymied 
by its reluctance to open its economy to outside 
scrutiny.
A report by the South Korean Unification Ministry 
says Pyongyang may now try and accommodate any 
preconditions, in an attempt to gain access to 
development funds.  It adds that Seoul would 
support any such efforts by the North to seek 
membership in international economic 
organizations.
The North's economy has contracted continuously 
over the last decade, and in recent years it has 
not officially published its economic figures.  
The South Korean report says the country's 
economy appears to have turned around in 1999, 
growing a little for the first time in nine 
years.
The report also suggests that in an attempt to 
strengthen its economic situation, Pyongyang is 
expected to try and improve relations with 
Washington and Tokyo.
The United States and North Korea are due to 
reopen talks this weekend in Germany on reducing 
tensions between the two nations.
Last year, Washington partly eased trade and 
other economic sanctions against the North in 
return for a suspension of its missile program.  
Japan has also agreed to resume normalization 
talks with North Korea early this year.  The 
United States and Japan are the largest potential 
sources of development funds for the North.
This public support by Seoul is in line with the 
South Korean president's so-called "Sunshine 
policy" of engagement with Pyongyang:  an attempt 
to draw out the reclusive North with greater 
economic and political contacts.  And it comes 
less than a day after the South Korea President 
said he would formally propose a summit with the 
rival North, if his government party wins the 
forthcoming parliamentary elections.   (Signed)
NEB/HSK/FC/WTW
21-Jan-2000 05:35 AM EDT (21-Jan-2000 1035 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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