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INTRO:  The long-awaited summit between the leaders of 
North and South Korea has been delayed by one day at 
North Korea's request.  But VOA correspondent Roger 
Wilkison reports from Seoul that South Korean 
officials say the summit is not in jeopardy and will 
go ahead.
TEXT:  A spokesman for South Korean president Kim Dae-
jung says the North Koreans asked for the one-day 
postponement for what they called "unavoidable 
technical reasons".  But spokesman Park Joon-young 
quotes Mr. Kim as saying the two Koreas have waited 55 
years for this first-ever meeting between their 
leaders, so one more day does not matter.
South Korean Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu is 
quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency as saying 
that North Korea wants to make what he called "more 
thorough" preparations for the summit.  He says it 
wants to make sure there will be no problems with 
President Kim's visit to Pyongyang, the North Korean 
Mr. Kim was scheduled to fly to Pyongyang on Monday 
and hold meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il 
on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to South 
Korea by car.  Now, the summit will take place from 
Tuesday to Thursday.
The summit is viewed as an important step toward 
gradual reconciliation between North and South Korea 
after decades of conflict.  The three-year Korean War 
in the 1950s ended in an armistice, not a permanent 
peace treaty, and the border between the two Koreas is 
often described as the Cold War's last frontier.
At the summit, South Korea is expected to offer 
economic aid to the impoverished North as a way of 
persuading the North Koreans to make concessions on 
issues such as the reunion of families separated by 
the war.  This is an emotional issue in South Korea.  
Several million people from North Korea fled to the 
South before and during the war.  They are now old and 
anxious to see long-lost relatives before they die.
The summit's agenda is broadly worded.  It calls for 
joint efforts to promote peace and national 
unification.  But it will allow each side to raise any 
issue, even one as contentious as the US military 
presence in South Korea, which North Korea opposes.  
On the other hand, South Korea might bring up North 
Korea's missile and nuclear programs, which are seen 
as sources of instability in east Asia.  (signed)
11-Jun-2000 00:14 AM EDT (11-Jun-2000 0414 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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