DATE=6/15/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-S - KOREA (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-263531 BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United States is expected to announce an easing of sanctions against North Korea within days - but officials say the action is not connected to this week's unprecedented summit between North and South Korea, in which the two sides agreed to work toward eventual reunification. In fact, the Clinton administration says the historic meeting in the North Korean capital will not alter U-S policy toward Pyongyang. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the White House. Text: Administration officials say preparations are nearly complete for the easing of sanctions against North Korea, and an announcement is expected in the coming days. The move is the result of a decision by President Clinton last September, in response to Pyongyang's announced moratorium on testing long-range missiles. U-S officials say the action has no connection to this week's meeting between South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il - the first such summit since the Korean peninsula was divided more than a half century ago. Moreover, administration officials say the Pyongyang meeting will not change American policy toward North Korea at all. Despite the cooperation agreements it signed with South Korea, U-S officials believe North Korea still poses a threat to the region. // Crowley actuality // Fifty years of tension on the Korean peninsula does not evaporate based on one meeting. // end act // National Security Council spokesman P-J Crowley says, for example, there are no plans to alter the deployment of the 37-thousand U-S troops on the peninsula. // Crowley actuality // The United States and South Korea have agreed that for the foreseeable future, we believe the U-S troop presence in the Korean peninsula is important not only to security there, but also as a stabilizing factor in the region. So at this point, we do not envision any change in the U-S troop status. // end act // In addition, Mr. Crowley says the Pyongyang summit has not eased U-S concerns about a North Korean missile threat, and that Washington continues to move forward with its planning for a national missile defense system, or n-m-d. // Crowley actuality // I would say that notwithstanding the historic and promising nature of the meeting in Pyongyang, by the same token, we will make our threat assessment based on actual capabilities and actions that North Korea takes. They still have a missile program. // end act // The United States is seeking to amend the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow for the limited missile defense shield. Russia vehemently opposes the plan, arguing it would undermine Russian defenses and lead to a renewed arms race. (signed) NEB/DAT/PT 15-Jun-2000 16:44 PM EDT (15-Jun-2000 2044 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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