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INTRO:   President Clinton is praising the 
unprecedented meeting between the leaders of North and 
South Korea as a hopeful first step toward 
reunification of the divided peninsula.  Correspondent 
Deborah Tate reports from the White House.
Text:   Speaking to reporters at a health care event 
at the White House, MR. Clinton was quick to welcome 
the summit between the two Koreas and the resulting 
communique in which both sides agreed to work toward 
eventual reunification, the reunion of families, and 
economic and cultural exchanges.
	            // Clinton actuality //
      I am very, very pleased.  You know, for years, 
      as long as I have been here, anyway, I have 
      tried to get the North Koreans to speak to the 
      South Koreans, without an intermediary - 
      including the United States.  So I am very 
      pleased by this, and I think the communique is 
      hopeful.  Now they have a lot of work to do, and 
      it is just the first step, but it is clearly a 
      step in the right direction, and everyone else 
      in the world should be encouraged by this.  This 
      is a good thing.
	            // end act //
Earlier, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart expressed 
hope the two sides would find a way to build on the 
success of the summit.
The two-day meeting between South Korean President Kim 
Dae-Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was the 
first summit since the peninsula was divided in 1948.  
Although the two Koreas signed an armistice to end 
their three-year conflict in 1953, they are still 
technically at war.   The United States has 37-
thousand troops deployed on the peninsula to bolster 
South Korea's security.
On a related matter, spokesman Lockhart said Mr. 
Clinton would soon announce details of a plan to ease 
sanctions on Pyongyang.   The President announced his 
intention to relieve some of the sanctions last 
September, after North Korea vowed to end is testing 
of long-range missiles.  
	      // rest opt //
Meanwhile, there has been some speculation that Mr. 
Clinton would stop in South Korea during his scheduled 
trip to the region next month to attend a meeting of 
the major industrialized nations and Russia in 
Okinawa, Japan - especially in the wake of the summit 
between the two Koreas.  But the President did not 
address the issue Wednesday, and spokesman Lockhart 
said he had no announcements about any additions to 
Mr. Clinton's travel schedule.   (signed)
14-Jun-2000 16:21 PM EDT (14-Jun-2000 2021 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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