|SLUG: 2-268247 Europe/Asia summit CQ||DATE:||NOTE NUMBER:|
BYLINE=HYUN SUNG KHANG
CONTENT= ///REISSUING WITH CORRECT CR-NUMBER 2-268247///
INTRO: European and Asian leaders have ended a two-day summit with a
declaration to work for peace on the Korean peninsula, The declaration
follows talks held in Seoul covering a wide range of subjects. But as
Hyun-Sung Khang reports from the South Korean capital, member states differed over
how quickly they should welcome North Korea in from the cold.
TEXT: The So-called "Seoul Declaration" endorsed by the 25 Asian and
European countries is a commitment to further reduce tensions along the
divided frontier separating the two Koreas. .
In a closing speech, South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung said the leaders of
the member nations agreed that peace and stability on the Korean peninsula
would enhance regional and global peace.
On the eve of the ASEM summit Britain, Germany and later, Spain and Belgium
announced their intention to establish diplomatic links with North Korea.
This left other member states, like France, Germany and Japan fending off
criticism that they are moving too slowly on rapprochement with North Korea.
French President Jacques Chirac was recently quoted as saying any decision on
establishing relations should depend on progress in human rights and non-proliferation
Following wide-ranging talks during the summit, the leaders also announced a
decision to establish a "Trans-Eurasia Information Network," to link the two
continents through information technology. Other initiatives included
measures to tackle international crime, as well as people-trafficking and a
declaration expressing concern over the violence in the Middle East.
There has been criticism that the work of ASEM is too thinly spread and
needs to be more focused, but the host of the Conference, President Kim
Dae-Jung, hailed the meeting as a major step forward by Asia and Europe, to
forge a genuine partnership for prosperity and stability. (signed)