DATE=6/12/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=KOREA SUMMIT (L-ONITER) NUMBER=2-263388 BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-il Tuesday at the beginning of an historic three-day summit in Pyongyang. V-O-A correspondent Roger Wilkison reports the South Korean leader has made reconciliation with the isolated North a priority of his administration, and he is expected to make a plea for peace between the two longtime enemies when he arrives in Pyongyang. TEXT: It will be the first-ever summit between the top leaders of the two Koreas. And even though the meeting was postponed by one day at North Korea's request, South Korean President Kim shrugged off the delay by saying the two sides have waited 55 years, so one more day does not matter. Kim Dae-jung is seeking to woo the North out of its isolation, hoping to engage it by promising aid and investment for its decrepit economy. His visit comes as Kim Jong-il is showing signs of opening up North Korea -- albeit slightly-- to the outside world. Pyongyang has recently established diplomatic relations with Italy, re-established ties with Australia and is negotiating with the United States and Japan. Kim Jong-il, who recently made a trip to China, will host Russian President Vladimir Putin in Pyongyang next month. Kim Dae-jung is hoping North Korea will agree to reunions of families separated by the Korean War, which ended in 1953. He would also like Kim Jong-il to visit South Korea and make gestures aimed at reducing tension on the peninsula. But sensitive issues may come up at the summit. One of them is North Korea's long-standing demand for the withdrawal of U-S troops in South Korea. Another is U-S, Japanese and South Korean concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Lee Jung-min, a professor of international relations at Seoul's Yonsei University, says there is no hope for agreement on any of these touchy issues. /// 1st LEE ACT /// So you're left with, for example, economic cooperation, separated families, and perhaps some type of minimum contact -- people to people contact -- between North and South Korea. Other than those three issues, I do not foresee any breakthrough of the sort some people are saying that we will see at the summit. /// END ACT /// The South Korean government has begun to play down its previous expectations for the summit, saying it is only the beginning of a long road toward reconciliation. But, at the same time, officials in Seoul say the mere fact that the two leaders will be photographed shaking hands and smiling will be a significant step toward peace on the peninsula. Some South Koreans question the sincerity of Pyongyang's calls for reconciliation, saying all the North Koreans want is the economic benefits they would get from Kim Dae-jung's proposal to help the North rebuild its dilapidated infrastructure. Yonsei University's Professor Lee says South Korea must get something in return for its aid. /// 2ND LEE ACT /// I would say go into the summit with a very open mind but with very limited expectations. And we also have to realize that, although the government has said we have patience and we can wait until the North Koreans come full circle, there has to be some reciprocity. You cannot have a relationship that is almost solely unilateral. You cannot give and give and give and receive nothing in kind. /// END ACT /// But South Korean officials say Kim Dae-jung believes North Korea needs help now more than at any time in the past. Its people are hungry after five years of famine, and its factories are paralyzed. The officials say the South Korean leader is confident that sooner, rather than later, he will be able to persuade the North to make its own efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. (Signed) NEB/HK/RW/JO/WTW 12-Jun-2000 07:34 AM EDT (12-Jun-2000 1134 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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