DATE=8/15/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=KOREAS / DEFENSE (L-O) NUMBER=2-265479 BYLINE=ALISHA RYU DATELINE=HONG KONG CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung says he will propose a meeting between the defense ministers of South and North Korea to seek ways to reduce military tensions on the Korean peninsula. VOA's Alisha Ryu has the details from our Asia News Center. TEXT: President Kim says the defense ministers of South and North Korea should meet to defuse long- standing hostility that still divides the two Koreas along the world's last and most heavily defended Cold War frontier. He says he also favors establishing a military hotline with the communist North as a way to improve communication between the two sides. Addressing the nation Tuesday at a ceremony marking the 55th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, Mr. Kim said his proposals will be discussed with North Korea in the next round of ministerial talks scheduled for later this month in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. He expressed hope that inter-Korean committees could be established to facilitate military, economic and social and cultural cooperation. Mr. Kim says that South and North Koreans have much to celebrate this Liberation Day. He says the promise of reconciliation, eventual reunification and peace are closer at hand following President Kim's historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in June. But the South Korean leader says his government continues to support the presence of U-S troops in South Korea, as an essential player in preserving peace on the peninsula and maintaining stability in Northeast Asia. North and South Korea remain technically at war after the Korean War ended in 1953 in an armed truce. Their heavily fortified border is manned by more than one million soldiers - including some of the 37-thousand US troops in South Korea. (Signed) NEB/HK/AR/JO 15-Aug-2000 03:53 AM LOC (15-Aug-2000 0753 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|