|SLUG: 2-268894 Clinton / North Korea (S-only)||DATE:||NOTE NUMBER:|
TITLE=CLINTON / NORTH KOREA (S-only)
INTRO: The Clinton administration says there was "substantial progress" in U-S-North Korean missile talks last week in Kuala Lumpur, but not enough to merit a visit to Pyongyang by President Clinton on the Asia trip he begins next week. V-O-A's David Gollust reports from the White House.
TEXT: The White House says there are gaps between the sides despite the progress made at Kuala Lumpur. And although the President will not add Pyongyang to the itinerary of his upcoming Asia trip, a visit to North Korea before he leaves office in January is not being ruled out.
U-S and North Korean experts met for three days to discuss conditions under which Pyongyang would end its long-range missile program and exports of missile technology. White House spokesman Jake Siewert says the talks helped expand areas of understanding, but that concerns about logistics, among things, precluded an early Clinton visit:
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They were useful in helping to clarify where the United States stood, where the North Koreans stood, to expand some areas of common understanding. But as a practical matter the [Asia] trip is very close, and it's just not feasible at this time to do that [North Korea] trip and pull it together.
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Mr. Clinton will attend next week's Pacific Rim (nations) summit meeting in Brunei, and then make the first visit to Vietnam by a U-S president since the end of the Vietnam war. (Signed)