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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

INTRO:  Such was the historic and unprecedented nature 
of last week's summit between North and South Korean 
leaders that the world press continues to comment on 
its impact.
Analysts are now contemplating how a less-threatening 
North Korea, while still maintaining its huge army and 
potential for long-range nuclear or biological 
missiles, will change security calculations in Asia 
and the world.
We call on ___________ now for a global sampling of 
editorial and other newspaper comment in this week's 
World Opinion Roundup.
TEXT:  For years, North Korea's huge military buildup, 
complete with an intermediate-range missile capable of 
landing a nuclear bomb or chemical or biological 
weapons in metropolitan Tokyo, as well as all of South 
Korea, has been a major security worry for the West.   
And intelligence information indicated that Pyongyang 
was dealing sophisticated weaponry with a number of 
other so-called rogue states, such as Iraq.
The question many newspaper editorial desks are trying 
to figure out now is how that equation has changed, 
following the unexpectedly cordial Korean summit last 
week in Pyongyang.
The North still has the weapons, and the world's 
fourth-largest standing army, but its leader, Kim Jong 
Il, appeared to be less of a threat following his 
friendly meetings with South Korean President Kim Dae-
Many papers are cautious about giving the meetings' 
friendly tone too much credibility, but others are 
hopeful that it could be the beginning of the end of 
the last vestiges of the Cold War.  We begin our 
sampling in South Korea.   Hankook Ilbo notes the 
partial lifting of U-S economic sanctions against the 
North, announced Monday by President Clinton:
      VOICE:  While the action had been expected for 
      some time, its significance, especially coming 
      right after the ... summit, is obvious. ... If 
      the North, however, can develop this momentum 
      provided by the U-S action to build an improved 
      investment atmosphere, this could attract 
TEXT:  Across the capital, the Hankyoreh Shinmun 
      VOICE:  With the 50-year-old U-S sanctions 
      against the North out of the way ... the two 
      nations how have an increased likelihood of 
      improving bilateral relations. ... With the 
      recent Korea summit rapidly advancing inter-
      Korean relationship, other countries, including 
      the United States, seem very interested about 
      the content of the conversation ... during the 
TEXT:  In yet another large Seoul daily, Chosun Ilbo, 
we read this:
      VOICE:  The Korean government should be able to 
      clarify any suspicion the United States might 
      have regarding the recent Pyongyang summit when 
      Secretary Albright comes to town.  According to 
      media reports, President Kim [Dae-jung] and 
      [President] Kim Jong Il had a positive 
      conversation about the North Korean nuclear-
      missile issue during the summit.  We also hear 
      that Kim Jong Il's message on that issue has 
      been delivered to President Clinton.
TEXT:  And Segye Ilbo has thgis comment:
      VOICE:  Washington's easing of economic 
      sanctions, when it comes, will serve to 
      encourage a rapprochement between the United 
      States and North Korea as well as in inter-
      Korean relations.  Coming after the summit, the 
      U-S action will also carry the message of 
      America's positive assessment of [it] and of the 
      message that the North eventually receives 
      "carrots" if it engages in dialogue rather than 
      developing weapons of mass destruction.
TEXT:  In the North, Pyongyang's Rodung Sinmun says:
      VOICE:  It is the unanimous desire and wishes of 
      all the Korean people to achieve the peaceful 
      reunification of the country that was divided by 
      ... outside forces. ... The issue of national 
      reunification is an internal issue of the nation 
      to rejoin severed blood ties. ... The peaceful 
      reunification of Korea requires the U-S troops' 
      pullback from South Korea, detente between the 
      North and the South and lasting peace.  
TEXT:  We go to the West now, across the Yellow Sea, 
for reaction from China, where Beijing's English-
language China Daily writes:
      VOICE:  The United States has changed its policy 
      toward [North Korea] ... to one of engagement.  
      The suggestion of "constructive cooperation" 
      with [North Korea] ... is indicative of the U-S 
      position.  The U-S "hegemonic mentality" is the 
      biggest obstacle in the peace process.
TEXT:  In Hong Kong, an autonomous region of China 
where the press is much freer than in the rest of the 
nation, we catch this in the South China Morning Post 
editorial column:
      VOICE:  Fears of war have turned into hopes for 
      peace, and the main question is whether these 
      hopes have outpaced reality. ... The North has 
      no fewer troops along the shared border this 
      week than it did last week.  The future of its 
      missile and nuclear programs has not been 
      decided.  Its willingness to open up to visitors 
      and investors remains unclear. 
TEXT:  The other major geopolitical player in the 
region reacted this way.  We touch down in Japan to 
hear Tokyo's huge Mainichi Shimbun.
      VOICE:  Hopefully, the partial U-S easing of 
      sanctions against [North Korea] will lead 
      eventually to the improvement of bilateral ties.  
      But difficult negotiations are expected at U-S - 
      [North Korean] missile talks opening in New York 
      at the end of this month. 
TEXT:  Turning to Asahi, we read this front-page 
      VOICE:  The U-S - Japan Security Treaty has 
      contributed tremendously toward ... Japan's 
      economic prosperity.  For many more years to 
      come, Japan's diplomacy, built on the treaty, 
      will continue.  But ... at a time when a 
      dramatic shift from ... hostility to national 
      reconciliation and reunification is occurring on 
      the Korean Peninsula, Japan should examine what 
      role it should and can play...
TEXT:  Now to the land "down under," Australia, which 
also has been watching the Korean summit with extreme 
interest.  The national daily, The Australian, in 
Sydney, editorializes:
      VOICE:  The tenor of the agreement [signed by 
      the two leaders at the summit] has had global 
      impact in countries as diverse as the United 
      States, Japan and China. ... Notwithstanding the 
      promise of this document ... expectations must 
      also be grounded in history.  The 
      [reconciliation] agreement ...follows similar 
      attempts in 1972 and 1991, both of which failed, 
      and led to renewed hostility.  And ... the 
      toughest questions of regional security remain 
      to be broached.
TEXT:  For the view from New Zealand, we check in with 
the Dominion in Wellington, the capital, where there 
is this comment.
      VOICE:  By any standards, the meeting ... was a 
      momentous breakthrough.  Though Kim Dae-jung's 
      visit ... is hugely significant symbolically, 
      its value lies mainly in signaling a shift in 
TEXT:  The summit was also viewed closely in 
Indonesia, where the Jakarta government has its own 
troubles with a still-deflated economy, and deadly 
Muslim-Christian rioting in the Spice Islands.  
Jakarta's daily Merdeka suggests:
      VOICE:  Deep-seated past suspicion between the 
      two Koreas represents a constraint on the 
      reconciliation process.  There are still huge 
      differences in political and cultural systems.  
      Given this backdrop, both sides must take 
      constructive steps toward mutual confidence. ... 
      Other countries must also give concrete support.  
      The United States has reduced its economic 
      blockade.  Russia, China and Japan are to 
TEXT:  And there is this wry observation from Media 
Indonesia, referring to ethnic strife in that country:
      VOICE:  The good news [from Pyongyang] both 
      pleases and saddens us.  As the Koreas begin 
      cooperating, we [in Indonesia] self-destruct. 
TEXT:  In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's big English-
language daily, The Straits Times, notes there is a 
new "Korean calculus" afoot.
      VOICE:  Detente between the two Koreas, wishful 
      thinking only days ago, is now a distinct 
      likelihood. ... The international strategic 
      implications of the development call for a sober 
      reflection by Asia beyond [the Koreas]. ...  A 
      Korean peace would increase ironically the 
      competition for influence among the principals 
      involved-China, the United States, Japan and 
      Russia. ... If North Korea comes in from the 
      cold, the United States and Japan (and 
      furtively, Taiwan) will lose their justification 
      for building the missile-defense shield the 
      Clinton administration is keen on... 
TEXT:  On that point, we conclude this essentially 
Asian sampling of journalistic comment on the 
strategic implications of last week's Korean summit. 
22-Jun-2000 19:53 PM EDT (22-Jun-2000 2353 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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