DATE=9/2/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=NORTH KOREA / MISSILE (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-253363 BYLINE=TANYA CLARK DATELINE=TOKYO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The prime ministers of Japan and South Korea are promising to reward North Korea if it drops plans to test launch a ballistic missile. Tanya Clark reports from Tokyo the two leaders met (Thursday) in the Japanese capital and agreed on a joint stance towards North Korea's missile program. TEXT: South Korean Prime Minister Kim Chong-pil offered North Korea what he termed -- an appropriate benefit -- for dropping its suspected plans to test launch a new long-range missile. The South Korean leader, is in Japan until Sunday, and met with his Japanese counterpart Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to discuss North Korea's missile program. At a joint news conference, neither leader would elaborate on what that benefit might be. But Mr. Obuchi said the suspension of the launch would allow Japan, South Korea, and the United States to move their relationship with the North in a -- constructive way. During the past week, there have been signs North Korea may back down from its threat to test launch a ballistic missile. But tensions returned to the region (Thursday) when the North-Korean military announced the sea border separating the two Koreas invalid. North Korea declared its right to self- defense by unspecified various means and methods. Mr. Obuchi and Mr. Kim pledged close cooperation with the United States, to prevent North Korea from test firing the Taepodong II missile. North Korea first launched a ballistic missile one- year ago. It flew over Japan and landed in the sea. The second-generation missile is considered more powerful and capable of reaching as far as Hawaii or Alaska. U-S officials are to begin discussions with North Korea in Berlin next week. Both Mr. Kim and Mr. Obuchi said they hope the negotiations will lead to a positive outcome. NEB/TC/GC/fc/RAE 02-Sep-1999 07:38 AM EDT (02-Sep-1999 1138 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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