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DATE=4/25/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=KOREA SUMMIT QUESTIONS (L-ONLY)
NUMBER=2-261679
BYLINE=HYUN-SUNG KHANG
DATELINE=SEOUL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  Doubts are being raised in South Korea about 
whether the reclusive leader of North Korea plans to 
negotiate directly with the South Korean president at 
their planned summit meeting in June.  As Hyun Sung 
Khang reports from Seoul, the South Korean government 
says anything other than direct negotiations would be 
unacceptable.
TEXT:  The controversy centers on the wording of the 
original announcement of the leaders' summit, which 
was made simultaneously in Seoul and Pyongyang earlier 
this month.  The statement said there would a historic 
meeting between the South Korean president, Kim Dae 
Jung, and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il.  The 
announcement continued: "and subsequently, the 
highest-level talks will take place."
Analysts, writing in the South Korean media, suggest 
the wording is ambiguous and may mean the leaders' 
meeting and the negotiations are separate.  There are 
concerns that the North Korean leader plans to greet 
the South Korean president and then leave the 
negotiations to the country's ceremonial head of 
state.
The analysts say this would be in keeping with the 
style of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il.  Little is 
known about him and he rarely makes public 
appearances.  Kim Jong-Il inherited leadership of the 
country after the death of his father, the founder of 
North Korea, Kim Il-Sung.
Seoul, which has been trumpeting the meeting as a 
breakthrough in diplomatic relations between the two 
Koreas, has tried to dampen the concerns.  But a 
government spokesman, Chung Jun-Hui, acknowledged 
there is room for different interpretations of the 
statement.  He added that if the two meetings were 
separate, that would be unacceptable to the South 
Korea government.
South Korean President Kim Dae Jung has invested much 
of his personal prestige in his much-touted "Sunshine 
Policy" of engagement with Pyongyang.  A refusal by 
the North Korean leader to negotiate directly with 
President Kim would be viewed in the South as a direct 
snub.   (SIGNED)
NEB/HSK/FC/JP
25-Apr-2000 05:51 AM EDT (25-Apr-2000 0951 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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