Tracking Number:  208857

Title:  "Bush: North Korea Must Comply with Nuclear Pact." President Bush called on North Korea to comply fully with all aspects of its nuclear agreement with South Korea. (920106)

Translated Title:  La coree du nord doit respecter le pacte nucleaire. (920106)
Date:  19920106


01/06/92 * BUSH: NORTH KOREA MUST COMPLY WITH NUCLEAR PACT (Adherence to safeguards held essential) (860) By Alexander M. Sullivan USIA White House Correspondent

Seoul -- President Bush called on North Korea January 6 to comply fully with all aspects of its nuclear agreement with South Korea.

Addressing South Korea's National Assembly, Bush said, "North Korea must implement in full all (international) safeguards for its nuclear facilities without exception, and without delay." The safeguard inspections are conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Bush acknowledged that the two historic accords reached last month by the North and the South represent "positive developments," which came at a time of "rising concern" about the North's "pursuit of nuclear arms." The two countries agreed on a non-aggression pact and, at year's end, banned nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

Despite these encouraging signs, the president pointed out that "paper promises won't keep the peace." He urged the North Korean government "to demonstrate its sincerity, to meet the obligations it undertook when it signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty six years ago."

In addition to implementing in full the IAEA safeguards, Bush called on the North to carry out the inspection and verification provisions of the Joint Declaration on Non-Nuclearization signed by the two countries December 31.

"Prompt action by the North," he said, "will mark a new milestone on the path toward peace."

A senior administration official told reporters the pace of the nuclear talks since last September has been "unbelievable." He recalled that the two sides "vaulted over all sorts of hurdles." North Korea's accommodation could be attributed to "the decline of its allies" in the former Soviet Union and to the country's "failing economy," he said.

The remaining task, the official said, is to keep international pressure on the North for further progress. But the IAEA process is slow, requiring "months" to complete, he pointed out. Nonetheless, the bilateral agreement on mutual inspection of facilities could speed trust in North Korean intentions and is not precluded by IAEA norms, the official added.

The president's remarks to the National Assembly marked a high point in a busy day merging diplomacy with trade discussions. Bush met with President Roh Tae Woo for more than 45 minutes of wide-ranging discussions; conferred twice with U.S. and Korean businessmen, including 21 executives traveling with him; and witnessed the signing of a science and technology agreement and a pact protecting U.S. intellectual property rights. He also spoke to the U.S.-Korea Chamber of Commerce and visited Camp Casey, a U.S. military outpost just south of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.

In his address to the National Assembly, the president told the South Korean legislators that the United States' commitment to Korean security "remains steady and strong." He lamented the longstanding division between the North and South, saying the Cold War "continues to cast its shadow" over the peninsula." However, he assured the assembly that "the day will come when this last wound of the Cold War struggle will heal," emphasizing that "Korea will be whole again; I am absolutely convinced of it."

At Camp Casey, Bush told soldiers of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division that the U.S. commitment to South Korea "has been firm and unwavering" and stressed that "nothing will change that."

The president said that the United States "will gradually shift to a supporting role as the Korean military takes the lead" in defending the nation. "But North Korea must know that we will resist any aggression and will keep our forces strong enough to do so for as long as the Korean people want our support," he added.

White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater told reporters that Bush assured Roh any further reduction in the number of U.S. troops stationed in Korea "will depend on a range of things," including, but not limited to, IAEA safeguard inspections of North Korean nuclear facilities. The press secretary said troop levels were discussed in the "context" of overall improvement in North-South relations, "general progress in North-South reconciliation," and bilateral inspection of nuclear facilities. "The president," Fitzwater said, "assured the Koreans that we are not pulling out precipitously."

Bush told a news conference held with Roh that he had "reaffirmed" the U.S. security pledge to the country. "Let there be no misunderstanding," he said, "the United States will remain in Korea as long as there is a need and we are welcome."

Asked if Washington would "upgrade" relations with the North if it agrees to implement international nuclear safeguards, Bush said that in addition to the nuclear issue, he would want to see improvement of the North's "miserable record for individual rights, human rights." But he added that the United States "would not get out in front" of the South Korean government's diplomacy with the North.

"We are not going to permit North Korea to make an end run to start talking to us about upgrading before these fundamental problems have been solved," he explained. NNNN

File Identification:  01/06/92, PO-102; 01/06/92, AE-106; 01/06/92, AR-113; 01/06/92, EP-102; 01/06/92, EU-103; 01/06/92, NE-105; 01/07/92, AF-204
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  French
Thematic Codes:  1EA; 1AC
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EU; EA; NE
PDQ Text Link:  208857; 208918