Skip to main content

Full text of "SOUTH KOREAN SEEKS MEETING TO END CONFLICT"

See other formats


I 


Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/08/12 : CIA-RDP05T02051R000200350057-9 


WASHINGTON POST 


NEW YORK TIMES ' 
WALL STREET J. 




DATE toLvJfti 


WASHINGTON TIMES 

USA TODAY STAT 


South Korean * 
Seeks Meeting 
To End Conflict 


Roll's Bid to Ease Tensions 
With North Could Lead 
To U.S. Troop Cutbacks 


By Robert S. Greenberger 

Staff Reporter of The Wall Street J ournal 

WASHINGTON— Sout h Korean effor ts 
to_ ease tension with North Korea could 
To&g r^wnTHe road, to a reducttoTnr nj.'S. 

tration officials believe may help cool the 
anti-Americanism cropping up in South Ko : 
reaT 

In a conciliatory speech at the United 
Nations yesterday, South KoftapPresident 
/ Roh Tae Woo called 
repeatedly for steps 
*o hasten a "spring- 
-time for peace and 
Reconciliation on the 
‘.Korean peninsula." 

Mr. Roh, making the 
first U.N. address 
by a Korean head of 
state since the for- 
mal division of Ko- 
rea into the Commu 
nist North and pro 
U.S. South in 1948, 
proposed a peace 
conference involving 

the U.S., the Soviet Union, China, Japan 
and both Koreas. He also renewed his call 
for a face-to-face meeting with North Ko- 
rean leader Kim II Sung. Mr. Roh is ex- 
pected to pursue his reconciliation theme 
in talks at the White House with President 
Reagan tomorrow. 

U.S. analysts said they believe it was 
the first time Mr. Roh has proposed such 
an international peace meeting. But they 
added they expect North Korea to reject 
the idea. A senior North Korean official is 
scheduled to address the U.N. today. 

The U.S., worried that Korea remains a 
tinderbox that could set off a superpower 
conflict, supports Seoul’s bid to ease ten- 
sions. "We_ have troops there that could g o 
t o war at anyhour through no choosing of 
ours." savs aSfaTe Dep artment analys t. 
‘ ‘The - status quo on the Korean peninsu la 



Roh Tae Woo 


High-Level Review 

As a result, the State Department is re- 
viewing its attempts to keep North Korea 
in diplomatic isolation. The administration 
is proceeding cautiously because twice be- 
fore-in September 1983 and March 1987— 
it extended a diplomatic olive branch to- 
ward Pyongyang; each time, the effort 
was aborted by a North Korean terrorist.'' 
act. This time, the U.S. is considering such' 
m.&dest measures as resuming limited dip- 
lomatic contacts and easing visa restric- 
v tions for North Koreans. . 

’ Mr. Roh’s drive to dissipate tensions 
with the North could serve the broader in- 
terests of Washington and Seoul by reliev- 
ing the friction between these two allies. 
Anti-Americanism in South Korea is fed 
by the prominence of the American mili- 
tary headquarters in downtown Seoul, pnd 
by the fact that joint U.S.-Korean forces 
are commanded by American officers. Ko- 
reans’ resentment has grown as South Ko- 
rea has developed into a leading economic 
power that is clashing .frequently with the 
U.S. on trade matters. 

If regional tensions are relaxed, the 
U.S. would like to Jake the initiative to im- 
prove,, the Seoul-Washington relationship. 
"Ta jte the ten sions and, t hreat .ofLwar . 
away,; and we could reconsider our mili- 
fary “posture^ the State Department offi- 
cTaTsSysl 
Loo}£ing Ahead 

Soiith Korean officials foresee a time, 
perhaps mTO years/ when they will provide 
their own defe nse, says Pa ul Kreisber g. an 
Asia specialist at the Carnegie Endowment 
for International Peace. Kim II Sung. 
North Korea’s leader, has proposed that 
,^both sides reduce their forces to 100,000 
troops by 1991, but Seoul has rejected the 
proposal as unrealistic. More than 40,000 
U.S. troops. are stationed in South Korea. 

However, President Roh is prepared to 
discuss gradual force reductions with 
North Korea. In his U.N. speech yesterday, 
Mr. Roh proposed that the two koreas 
"agree to a declaration of nonaggression 
or non-use of force." 

The congruence of these U.S. and Ko- 
rean interests also could help remove a 
major obstacle in the path of Korean reuni- 
fication talks. North Korea. insists that the 
removaLof-U^. forces is a prerequisite for 
talks. While that condition is unacceptable 
to the U.S. and Seoul, a gradual reduction 
could form part of a compromise. 

Mr. Roh made clear yesterday reunifi- 
cation is the ultimate goal. He called the 
border between the Koreas an "artificial di- 
vision. . . drawn through the mid-section of 
the Korean peninsula." 




Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/08/12 : CIA-RDP05T02051R000200350057-9