TITLE=U-S - KOREA (L)
INTRO: President Clinton is welcoming plans by the
leaders of North and South Korea to hold a first-ever
summit later this year. Correspondent Deborah Tate
reports from the White House.
Text: White House spokesman Joe Lockhart read a
statement by President Clinton praising South Korean
President Kim Dae Jung and North Korean leader Kim
Jong-Il for scheduling the face-to-face talks, to take
place in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, in June.
/// FIRST LOCKHART ACTUALITY ///
Direct dialogue between the two Koreas is
something we have long advocated and is
fundamental to solving the problems of the
/// END ACT ///
Although the U-S administration has long been pressing
for such a meeting, Mr. Clinton's statement attributed
much of the credit for arranging the talks to the
South Korean leader's so-called Sunshine policy, which
has provided food assistance to the famine-plagued
Communist North and encouraged Washington and Seoul to
engage with Pyongyang.
/// SECOND LOCKHART ACTUALITY ///
This announcement is testimony to the wisdom and
long-term vision of President Kim Dae Jung's
engagement policy. I congratulate both
leaders on their decision to meet.
/// END ACT ///
At the State Department, Secretary Madeleine Albright
also welcomed word of the summit in a phone call to
her South Korean counterpart (Lee Joung-Binn).
The United States has been advocating a direct meeting
between the South and North Korean leaders since 1994,
when former President Jimmy Carter helped broker a
planned summit meeting that was scrapped because of
the death then-North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, father
of Kim Jong-Il.
Last year, in a report on U-S policy toward North
Korea, former Defense Secretary William Perry again
underscored the importance of direct talks between the
leaders in the effort to end one of the Cold War's
Meanwhile, the United States - which has some 37-
thousand troops on the Korean peninsula - has been
stepping up its diplomacy with North Korea in recent
months in an effort to get Pyongyang to abandon its
missile program in exchange for possible economic aid.
The administration is seeking to invite a high-level
North Korean delegation to Washington for the first
time, and officials say they hope a deal on the
possible visit will be reached in the coming weeks.
10-Apr-2000 17:28 PM EDT (10-Apr-2000 2128 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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