USA: SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS ABOUT SUBMARINE INTRUSION

English/Nat

The South Korean Foreign Minister, Ro-Myung Gong, says there can be no genuine peace on the peninsula without North Korea’s acceptance of peaceful co-existence.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of a meeting with U-S Secretary of State Warren Christopher, both men sharply condemned the recent submarine intrusion as provocative and dangerous.

South Korean Foreign Minister, Ro-Myung Gong was in New York to attend the initial signing of the comprehensive test ban treaty.

But security concerns closer to home were more on the minister’s mind.

A North Korean submarine was discovered last Wednesday grounded on a reef off South Korea’s eastern coast.

Twenty of some 25 North Koreans believed aboard the sub have died.
South Korean soldiers killed nine infiltrators and 11 others found dead reportedly were killed by their comrades to prevent capture.

Foreign Minister Gong said the incident showed peace was not possible without North Korean co-operation.

SOUNDBITE:
“For the moment, this incident clearly shows that no genuine peace and security on the Korean peninsula will be achievable without North Korea’s acceptance of peaceful co- existence no matter what progress is made between the United States and North Korea.”
SUPER CAPTION: Ro-Myung Gong, South Korean Foreign Minister

SOUNDBITE:
“The United States strongly calls on North Korea to avoid any further provocative actions of this character, we will continue to stand together with you, Mr. Minister and our close ally the Republic of Korea certainly stand together in the face of any threat or violation of the armistice agreement. ”
SUPER CAPTION: Warren Christopher, U-S Secretary of State

Despite calls from Seoul’s Defence Ministry to revive joint military
exercises with the United States in light of the incursion by the sub, neither men were prepared to discuss the issue with reporters.

The joint exercises, held annually since 1976, were suspended in 1994 as part of an agreement with the United States to freeze and eventually dismantle North Korea’s suspected nuclear weapons programme.

SOUNDBITE:
“Secretary Christopher and I will have a in depth discussion on matters of our common concern. As you know North Korea’s infiltration of armed commandoes into the developed Korea by means of submarine constitutes a flagrant violation of the armistice agreement as there is a grave military provocation against the South.”
SUPER CAPTION: Ro-Myung Gong, South Korean Foreign Minister

Christopher also stressed the importance of the nuclear agreement between the U-S and North Korea saying almost half of its spent fuel had been safely stored.

In exchange, North Korea was promised a supply of energy to substitute for what it claimed was being produced in its home-grown nuclear programme, by being provided heating oil and modern
heavy water atomic power reactors.

SOUNDBITE:
“We think the nuclear agreement is an extremely important agreement, it has produced a freeze on North Korean nuclear ambitions and provides for the ultimate dismantling of it. I think the Minister and I will be discussing that. It remains in the interests of both countries and indeed the region as a whole, see as implied for the North Koreans not to go ahead with a nuclear programme so we would expect to maintain that freeze and maintain that framework. But that’s something the Minister and I will be talking about how best to achieve that in the face of these regrettably provocative actions.”
SUPER CAPTION: Warren Christopher, U-S Secretary of State

Christopher also urged North Korea to accept a proposal for four-way peace talks with South Korea, the United States and China.

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