TITLE=US-KOREA SUMMIT (L-UPDATE)
INTRO: President Clinton is praising the
unprecedented meeting between the leaders of North and
South Korea as a hopeful first step toward
reunification of the divided peninsula. Correspondent
Deborah Tate reports from the White House.
Text: Speaking to reporters at a health care event
at the White House, MR. Clinton was quick to welcome
the summit between the two Koreas and the resulting
communique in which both sides agreed to work toward
eventual reunification, the reunion of families, and
economic and cultural exchanges.
// Clinton actuality //
I am very, very pleased. You know, for years,
as long as I have been here, anyway, I have
tried to get the North Koreans to speak to the
South Koreans, without an intermediary -
including the United States. So I am very
pleased by this, and I think the communique is
hopeful. Now they have a lot of work to do, and
it is just the first step, but it is clearly a
step in the right direction, and everyone else
in the world should be encouraged by this. This
is a good thing.
// end act //
Earlier, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart expressed
hope the two sides would find a way to build on the
success of the summit.
The two-day meeting between South Korean President Kim
Dae-Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was the
first summit since the peninsula was divided in 1948.
Although the two Koreas signed an armistice to end
their three-year conflict in 1953, they are still
technically at war. The United States has 37-
thousand troops deployed on the peninsula to bolster
South Korea's security.
On a related matter, spokesman Lockhart said Mr.
Clinton would soon announce details of a plan to ease
sanctions on Pyongyang. The President announced his
intention to relieve some of the sanctions last
September, after North Korea vowed to end is testing
of long-range missiles.
// rest opt //
Meanwhile, there has been some speculation that Mr.
Clinton would stop in South Korea during his scheduled
trip to the region next month to attend a meeting of
the major industrialized nations and Russia in
Okinawa, Japan - especially in the wake of the summit
between the two Koreas. But the President did not
address the issue Wednesday, and spokesman Lockhart
said he had no announcements about any additions to
Mr. Clinton's travel schedule. (signed)
14-Jun-2000 16:21 PM EDT (14-Jun-2000 2021 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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