DATE=6/11/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=KOREA SUMMIT (L) NUMBER=2-263363 BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The long-awaited summit between the leaders of North and South Korea has been delayed by one day at North Korea's request. But VOA correspondent Roger Wilkison reports from Seoul that South Korean officials say the summit is not in jeopardy and will go ahead. TEXT: A spokesman for South Korean president Kim Dae- jung says the North Koreans asked for the one-day postponement for what they called "unavoidable technical reasons". But spokesman Park Joon-young quotes Mr. Kim as saying the two Koreas have waited 55 years for this first-ever meeting between their leaders, so one more day does not matter. South Korean Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu is quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency as saying that North Korea wants to make what he called "more thorough" preparations for the summit. He says it wants to make sure there will be no problems with President Kim's visit to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. Mr. Kim was scheduled to fly to Pyongyang on Monday and hold meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to South Korea by car. Now, the summit will take place from Tuesday to Thursday. The summit is viewed as an important step toward gradual reconciliation between North and South Korea after decades of conflict. The three-year Korean War in the 1950s ended in an armistice, not a permanent peace treaty, and the border between the two Koreas is often described as the Cold War's last frontier. At the summit, South Korea is expected to offer economic aid to the impoverished North as a way of persuading the North Koreans to make concessions on issues such as the reunion of families separated by the war. This is an emotional issue in South Korea. Several million people from North Korea fled to the South before and during the war. They are now old and anxious to see long-lost relatives before they die. The summit's agenda is broadly worded. It calls for joint efforts to promote peace and national unification. But it will allow each side to raise any issue, even one as contentious as the US military presence in South Korea, which North Korea opposes. On the other hand, South Korea might bring up North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, which are seen as sources of instability in east Asia. (signed) NEB/RW/PLM 11-Jun-2000 00:14 AM EDT (11-Jun-2000 0414 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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