TITLE=U-S-KOREA SANCTIONS (L-UPDATE)
INTRO: The Clinton administration has eased economic
sanctions against North Korea - issuing rules that will
allow trade in non-military goods and direct flights to
that country. The announcement of the decision comes one
week after last week's North-South Korean summit. VOA's
David Gollust reports from the White House.
TEXT: The easing of the sanctions dating back to the
Korean War of the early 1950's came without fanfare. The
new trade rules were posted in the Federal Register, a U-S
government publication. The new policy allows trade in non-
military goods, investments in North Korea, and service by
American ships and air liners.
U-S counter-terrorism and weapons-proliferation sanctions
against North Korea remain in effect, barring sales of
military and dual-use products. The United States will
continue to oppose international loans to North Korea and
provide only humanitarian aid to Pyongyang.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher cautions against
expectations of a surge in trade with the communist state,
given its troubled economy and widespread poverty:
I'm not forecasting some explosion in trade or some
particular product that would be traded. The point is that
we're allowing those decisions to be made by commercial
people on a commercial basis.
The administration decided to ease the economic sanctions
last September following contacts with the Pyongyang
government by former Defense Secretary William Perry and a
North Korean pledge to refrain from further testing of
long-range ballistic missiles.
Implementation of the new trade rules was to have been
contingent on a ground-breaking U-S visit by a senior North
Korean envoy which has yet to materialize.
The administration decided to go ahead with the lowering of
sanctions anyway - timing the action to follow last week's
historic Korean summit. The aim is to giving further
momentum to the improving political climate on the
The Clinton White House has warmly welcomed the summit,
though it says it is not changing its assessment of the
security threat posed by North Korea and is not considering
any reduction in the 37-thousand strong U-S troop presence
in the south.
Sunday, the newspaper of the North Korean communist party
condemned the United States as "imperialist" and accused it
of increasing the danger of a another Korean war by
refusing to discuss a troop withdrawal.
At the State Department, spokesman Boucher said it was
puzzling that what he called "outdated rhetoric" had
appeared in the North Korean media at this time. He
stressed U-S support for South Korean President Kim Dae-
Jung's summit initiative, and said any implication that the
United States sought increased tensions is "just plain
He said American troops are in Korea for as long as the
South Korean and U-S governments believe they are necessary
for defense. (Signed)
19-Jun-2000 15:21 PM LOC (19-Jun-2000 1921 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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