Tracking Number: 259575
Title: "Nuclear Issue Is Key to US-Koreas Relations." A study group sponsored by the Asia Society has made a series of recommendations for future relations between the US and North and South Korea. The group sees new opportunities to defuse tensions and improve stability on the Korean peninsula. (921221)
Author: SMITH, EDIE (USIA STAFF WRITER)
NUCLEAR ISSUE IS KEY TO US-KOREAS RELATIONS (Appraisal by Asia Society Study Group) (610) By Edie Smith VOA Correspondent New York -- A study group sponsored by the Asia Society has made a series of recommendations for future relations between the United States and North and South Korea. The group sees new opportunities to defuse tensions and improve stability on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea has allowed International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its nuclear facilities four times this year. But Professor Robert Scalapino says it is disappointing that North and South Korea have been made no progress toward inspections of each other's nuclear facilities. He says the resolution of the question of mutual nuclear inspections is key to many other issues.
"That issue must be resolved," Scalapino said, "but there is every reason to hope that if that issue is resolved, we can move forward with South Korea into a less tension ridden atmosphere on the Korean Peninsula and step by step into greater interaction with the North."
Professor Scalapino, a U.S. expert on Korea, has led two study groups to the Korean Peninsula in May of 1991 and again in October of 1992. Both were sponsored by the private, New York-based Asia Society which aims at improving relations between the United States and Asia. He gave the recommendations of the most recent study group at a news conference at the Asia Society on December 21.
Once the nuclear issue is resolved, the group recommends regular high level meetings in New York between the United States and North Korea aimed at normalizing relations and drawing North Korea into a constructive relationship with the rest of the world.
Professor Scalapino and the study group say the question of whether the United States should keep troops in South Korea should be reconsidered only after there is genuine reunification of the two Koreas. However, they say the United States should reduce its forces to the minimum level necessary to provide deterrence and come to South Korea's defense in case of attack.
The study group says some joint U.S.-Korean military exercises are needed, but it recommends that one of the largest, the annual "Team Spirit Exercises," should be suspended because, justified or not, North Korea sees them as a threat to its security.
The study group says now, following the presidential elections in South Korea and the United States, ties between the two countries should be closer than ever. To preserve good relations it underlines the need to avoid protectionism and also to increase exchanges involving young people. The study group says there is also a need for a significant increase in the number of North Koreans involved in exchanges and educational programs and opportunities to meet a wide variety of Americans.
At his new conference, the professor was asked about change in North Korea and the possibility of its economic and political collapse when long time leader Kim-il Sung dies. The American professor said he does not think this is necessarily the most likely possibility.
Scalapino said, "Another scenario would be that, with or with out Kim Jong-il, a military, civilian technocratic coalition would seek to hold politics restrained and authoritarian while engaging in accelerating economic reform. That scenario incidentally bears a resemblance to the developments in certain other Asian societies at earlier points of time."
Professor Scalapino says other scenarios are also possible; he doesn't think even North Koreans know what the future holds. However, he adds he thinks a collapse in the North could be very expensive for South Korea, and it would better if the Northern society has a chance to develop before reunification.
File Identification: 12/21/92, EPF104
Product Name: Wireless File
Product Code: WF
Keywords: KOREA (SOUTH)-US RELATIONS; KOREA (NORTH)-US RELATIONS; KOREA (NORTH)-KOREA (SOUTH) RELATIONS; KOREA (NORTH)/Defense & Military; KOREA (SOUTH)/Defense & Military; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; ASIA SOCIETY; REPORTS & STUDIES; INTERNATIONAL
Thematic Codes: 1EA; 1AC
Target Areas: EA
PDQ Text Link: 259575
USIA Notes: *92122104.EPF