DATE=6/19/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-S-KOREA SANCTIONS (L-UPDATE) NUMBER=2-263543 BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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: ///Boucher actuality/// 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. ///end act/// 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 peninsula. 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 wrong." 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) NEB/DAG/KBK 19-Jun-2000 15:21 PM LOC (19-Jun-2000 1921 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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