DATE=7/31/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=KOREA MEETING - L NUMBER=2-264967 BYLINE=HYUN SUNG KHANG DATELINE=SEOUL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The two Koreas have agreed to reopen border liaison offices and reconnect a major inter-Korean rail line. The measures are part of a package drawn up during three days of high-level talks between a visiting North Korean delegation and their South Korean counterparts. As Hyun-Sung Khang reports from Seoul, the two sides say in the future they will also hold regular high-level meetings as part of a new thaw in their Cold War hostilities. TEXT: The North and South Korean negotiators have announced an agreement, which includes a plan to reopen the liaison offices along the heavily-armed border, dividing the two Koreas. The announcement was made by South Korea's Vice Minister for Culture and Tourism, Kim Soon-kyu. /// KIM ACT IN KOREAN, FADE UNDER /// Mr. Kim says that on August 15th, the South and North shall resume the operations of the South-North Liaison offices at Panmunjom, which has been suspended since November 1996. The reopening of the offices will allow the two sides to talk to each other more easily. Also included in the agreement is a plan to reconnect a rail link running from the South Korean capital, through the North Korean capital, to Shinuiju, a major city on the North's border with China. The rail line has been closed since the 1945 division of the Korean peninsula. The agreement comes just weeks after June's first-ever inter-Korean summit between the leaders of the two countries in Pyongyang. In another sign of easing tensions, the two Koreas will also mark a "National Week of reconciliation" in mid-August to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of Korea from Japanese rule in 1945. Planned events during that week include the reunion of a number of families separated for decades by the division of the Korean peninsula. But there were also notable gaps in the final agreement. No mention was made of a proposed visit to Seoul by the North Korean leader Kim Sung Il. But the chief North Korean delegate was quoted as saying his leader "always keeps a promise he makes." Also absent was any mention of a military hotline, which South Korea wanted. Seoul officials say such issues will be discussed at the next round of talks, scheduled for the end of August. NEB/HK/HSK/JO 31-Jul-2000 05:23 AM LOC (31-Jul-2000 0923 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|