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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

INTRO:   The United States is expected to announce an 
easing of sanctions against North Korea within days - 
but officials say the action is not connected to this 
week's unprecedented summit between North and South 
Korea, in which the two sides agreed to work toward 
eventual reunification.   In fact, the Clinton 
administration says the historic meeting in the North 
Korean capital will not alter U-S policy toward 
Pyongyang.   Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from 
the White House.
Text:   Administration officials say preparations are 
nearly complete for the easing of sanctions against 
North Korea, and an announcement is expected in the 
coming days.
The move is the result of a decision by President 
Clinton last September, in response to Pyongyang's 
announced moratorium on testing long-range missiles. 
U-S officials say the action has no connection to this 
week's meeting between South Korean President Kim Dae 
Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il - the first 
such summit since the Korean peninsula was divided 
more than a half century ago.
Moreover, administration officials say the Pyongyang 
meeting will not change American policy toward North 
Korea at all.
Despite the cooperation agreements it signed with 
South Korea, U-S officials believe North Korea still 
poses a threat to the region.
	            // Crowley actuality //
      Fifty years of tension on the Korean peninsula 
      does not evaporate based on one meeting.
	            // end act //
National Security Council spokesman P-J Crowley says, 
for example, there are no plans to alter the 
deployment of the 37-thousand U-S troops on the 
	            //  Crowley  actuality //
      The United States and South Korea have agreed 
      that for the foreseeable future, we believe the 
      U-S troop presence in the Korean peninsula is 
      important not only to security there, but also 
      as a stabilizing factor in the region.  So at 
      this point, we do not envision any change in the 
      U-S troop status.
	            // end act //
In addition, Mr. Crowley says the Pyongyang summit has 
not eased U-S concerns about a North Korean missile 
threat, and that Washington continues to move forward 
with its planning for a national missile defense 
system, or n-m-d.
	            // Crowley actuality //
      I would say that notwithstanding the historic 
      and promising nature of the meeting in 
      Pyongyang, by the same token, we will make our 
      threat assessment based on actual capabilities 
      and actions that North Korea takes.  They still 
      have a missile program.
            // end act //
The United States is seeking to amend the 1972 Anti-
Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow for the limited 
missile defense shield.   Russia vehemently opposes 
the plan, arguing it would undermine Russian defenses 
and lead to a renewed arms race.  (signed)
15-Jun-2000 16:44 PM EDT (15-Jun-2000 2044 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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