DATE=6/22/2000 TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP TITLE=KOREAN SUMMIT RAISES SECURITY ISSUES NUMBER=6-11888 BYLINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS TELEPHONE=619-3335 CONTENT= INTRO: Such was the historic and unprecedented nature of last week's summit between North and South Korean leaders that the world press continues to comment on its impact. Analysts are now contemplating how a less-threatening North Korea, while still maintaining its huge army and potential for long-range nuclear or biological missiles, will change security calculations in Asia and the world. We call on ___________ now for a global sampling of editorial and other newspaper comment in this week's World Opinion Roundup. TEXT: For years, North Korea's huge military buildup, complete with an intermediate-range missile capable of landing a nuclear bomb or chemical or biological weapons in metropolitan Tokyo, as well as all of South Korea, has been a major security worry for the West. And intelligence information indicated that Pyongyang was dealing sophisticated weaponry with a number of other so-called rogue states, such as Iraq. The question many newspaper editorial desks are trying to figure out now is how that equation has changed, following the unexpectedly cordial Korean summit last week in Pyongyang. The North still has the weapons, and the world's fourth-largest standing army, but its leader, Kim Jong Il, appeared to be less of a threat following his friendly meetings with South Korean President Kim Dae- jung. Many papers are cautious about giving the meetings' friendly tone too much credibility, but others are hopeful that it could be the beginning of the end of the last vestiges of the Cold War. We begin our sampling in South Korea. Hankook Ilbo notes the partial lifting of U-S economic sanctions against the North, announced Monday by President Clinton: VOICE: While the action had been expected for some time, its significance, especially coming right after the ... summit, is obvious. ... If the North, however, can develop this momentum provided by the U-S action to build an improved investment atmosphere, this could attract investors... TEXT: Across the capital, the Hankyoreh Shinmun suggests: VOICE: With the 50-year-old U-S sanctions against the North out of the way ... the two nations how have an increased likelihood of improving bilateral relations. ... With the recent Korea summit rapidly advancing inter- Korean relationship, other countries, including the United States, seem very interested about the content of the conversation ... during the summit. TEXT: In yet another large Seoul daily, Chosun Ilbo, we read this: VOICE: The Korean government should be able to clarify any suspicion the United States might have regarding the recent Pyongyang summit when Secretary Albright comes to town. According to media reports, President Kim [Dae-jung] and [President] Kim Jong Il had a positive conversation about the North Korean nuclear- missile issue during the summit. We also hear that Kim Jong Il's message on that issue has been delivered to President Clinton. TEXT: And Segye Ilbo has thgis comment: VOICE: Washington's easing of economic sanctions, when it comes, will serve to encourage a rapprochement between the United States and North Korea as well as in inter- Korean relations. Coming after the summit, the U-S action will also carry the message of America's positive assessment of [it] and of the message that the North eventually receives "carrots" if it engages in dialogue rather than developing weapons of mass destruction. TEXT: In the North, Pyongyang's Rodung Sinmun says: VOICE: It is the unanimous desire and wishes of all the Korean people to achieve the peaceful reunification of the country that was divided by ... outside forces. ... The issue of national reunification is an internal issue of the nation to rejoin severed blood ties. ... The peaceful reunification of Korea requires the U-S troops' pullback from South Korea, detente between the North and the South and lasting peace. TEXT: We go to the West now, across the Yellow Sea, for reaction from China, where Beijing's English- language China Daily writes: VOICE: The United States has changed its policy toward [North Korea] ... to one of engagement. The suggestion of "constructive cooperation" with [North Korea] ... is indicative of the U-S position. The U-S "hegemonic mentality" is the biggest obstacle in the peace process. TEXT: In Hong Kong, an autonomous region of China where the press is much freer than in the rest of the nation, we catch this in the South China Morning Post editorial column: VOICE: Fears of war have turned into hopes for peace, and the main question is whether these hopes have outpaced reality. ... The North has no fewer troops along the shared border this week than it did last week. The future of its missile and nuclear programs has not been decided. Its willingness to open up to visitors and investors remains unclear. TEXT: The other major geopolitical player in the region reacted this way. We touch down in Japan to hear Tokyo's huge Mainichi Shimbun. VOICE: Hopefully, the partial U-S easing of sanctions against [North Korea] will lead eventually to the improvement of bilateral ties. But difficult negotiations are expected at U-S - [North Korean] missile talks opening in New York at the end of this month. TEXT: Turning to Asahi, we read this front-page commentary. VOICE: The U-S - Japan Security Treaty has contributed tremendously toward ... Japan's economic prosperity. For many more years to come, Japan's diplomacy, built on the treaty, will continue. But ... at a time when a dramatic shift from ... hostility to national reconciliation and reunification is occurring on the Korean Peninsula, Japan should examine what role it should and can play... TEXT: Now to the land "down under," Australia, which also has been watching the Korean summit with extreme interest. The national daily, The Australian, in Sydney, editorializes: VOICE: The tenor of the agreement [signed by the two leaders at the summit] has had global impact in countries as diverse as the United States, Japan and China. ... Notwithstanding the promise of this document ... expectations must also be grounded in history. The [reconciliation] agreement ...follows similar attempts in 1972 and 1991, both of which failed, and led to renewed hostility. And ... the toughest questions of regional security remain to be broached. TEXT: For the view from New Zealand, we check in with the Dominion in Wellington, the capital, where there is this comment. VOICE: By any standards, the meeting ... was a momentous breakthrough. Though Kim Dae-jung's visit ... is hugely significant symbolically, its value lies mainly in signaling a shift in mindsets. TEXT: The summit was also viewed closely in Indonesia, where the Jakarta government has its own troubles with a still-deflated economy, and deadly Muslim-Christian rioting in the Spice Islands. Jakarta's daily Merdeka suggests: VOICE: Deep-seated past suspicion between the two Koreas represents a constraint on the reconciliation process. There are still huge differences in political and cultural systems. Given this backdrop, both sides must take constructive steps toward mutual confidence. ... Other countries must also give concrete support. The United States has reduced its economic blockade. Russia, China and Japan are to follow. TEXT: And there is this wry observation from Media Indonesia, referring to ethnic strife in that country: VOICE: The good news [from Pyongyang] both pleases and saddens us. As the Koreas begin cooperating, we [in Indonesia] self-destruct. TEXT: In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's big English- language daily, The Straits Times, notes there is a new "Korean calculus" afoot. VOICE: Detente between the two Koreas, wishful thinking only days ago, is now a distinct likelihood. ... The international strategic implications of the development call for a sober reflection by Asia beyond [the Koreas]. ... A Korean peace would increase ironically the competition for influence among the principals involved-China, the United States, Japan and Russia. ... If North Korea comes in from the cold, the United States and Japan (and furtively, Taiwan) will lose their justification for building the missile-defense shield the Clinton administration is keen on... TEXT: On that point, we conclude this essentially Asian sampling of journalistic comment on the strategic implications of last week's Korean summit. NEB/ANG/WTW 22-Jun-2000 19:53 PM EDT (22-Jun-2000 2353 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|