TITLE=G-8 / NORTH KOREA (L-O)
INTRO: Foreign ministers from the world's seven most
industrialized nations and Russia, known as the G-8,
are expected to endorse Wednesday North Korea's moves
to improve relations with South Korea and the
international community. VOA's Alisha Ryu has the
details from our Asia News Center.
TEXT: The foreign ministers, meeting Wednesday for
two days of talks in Miyazaki in southern Japan, are
expected to support a landmark agreement reached
between North and South Korea during last month's
historic summit in Pyongyang.
At the June summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il
and his South Korean counterpart Kim Dae-jung agreed
to work toward reunification by, among other things,
allowing some families separated since the Korean War
to reunite. The ministers say they will formally
embrace the plan, which they believe will help reduce
tension on the Korean peninsula.
According to a senior Japanese foreign ministry
official, part of the talks will also focus on how the
industrialized nations can best respond to communist
North Korea's recent efforts to restore ties with the
outside world after decades of political and economic
isolation. In addition to meeting South Korean
president Kim in June, North Korea established
diplomatic relations with Australia in May and with
Italy in January.
North Korean expert Michael Breen in Seoul believes
the endorsement of the inter-Korean summit by G-8
nations will create momentum for more North Korean
diplomatic contacts in the future.
/// BREEN ACTUALITY ///
This is very good news. The idea of talking to North
Korea when North Korea was refusing to talk to South
Korea always made the allies uncomfortable. Now that
North-South relationship is leading the process, I
think it is making everyone feel more comfortable.
/// END ACTUALITY ///
Based on the foreign ministers' talks, the G-8 leaders
are expected to issue a special statement on the state
of affairs on the Korean Peninsula at next week's
summit on the island of Okinawa. (Signed)
11-Jul-2000 08:37 AM EDT (11-Jul-2000 1237 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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