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SLUG: 2-268247 Europe/Asia summit CQ DATE: NOTE NUMBER:







INTRO: European and Asian leaders have ended a two-day summit with a

declaration to work for peace on the Korean peninsula, The declaration

follows talks held in Seoul covering a wide range of subjects. But as

Hyun-Sung Khang reports from the South Korean capital, member states differed over

how quickly they should welcome North Korea in from the cold.

TEXT: The So-called "Seoul Declaration" endorsed by the 25 Asian and

European countries is a commitment to further reduce tensions along the

divided frontier separating the two Koreas. .

In a closing speech, South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung said the leaders of

the member nations agreed that peace and stability on the Korean peninsula

would enhance regional and global peace.

On the eve of the ASEM summit Britain, Germany and later, Spain and Belgium

announced their intention to establish diplomatic links with North Korea.

This left other member states, like France, Germany and Japan fending off

criticism that they are moving too slowly on rapprochement with North Korea.

French President Jacques Chirac was recently quoted as saying any decision on

establishing relations should depend on progress in human rights and non-proliferation

of weapons.

Following wide-ranging talks during the summit, the leaders also announced a

decision to establish a "Trans-Eurasia Information Network," to link the two

continents through information technology. Other initiatives included

measures to tackle international crime, as well as people-trafficking and a

declaration expressing concern over the violence in the Middle East.

There has been criticism that the work of ASEM is too thinly spread and

needs to be more focused, but the host of the Conference, President Kim

Dae-Jung, hailed the meeting as a major step forward by Asia and Europe, to

forge a genuine partnership for prosperity and stability. (signed)


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