U.S. Official Arrives in N. Korea
Mar. 08, 1999
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ William Perry, the U.S. policy coordinator on North Korea, arrived in the South Korean capital on Monday for talks on how to deal with the communist country.
Perry, a former secretary of defense, is supposed to give President Clinton policy recommendations on North Korea by the end of March. He is scheduled to meet with South Korea's President Kim Dae-jung, Foreign and Trade Minister Hong Soon-youg and national security adviser Lim Dong-won.
South Korean officials hope Perry's report will support their ``sunshine policy'' of greater economic and diplomatic engagement with the impoverished and isolated North.
While endorsing engagement, Perry said the United States and South Korea agree ``we must stand together'' to resolve problems over the North's missile program and its suspected nuclear activity.
South Korea wants the United States and Japan to offer North Korea expanded economic and diplomatic benefits in exchange for abandoning its missile and nuclear programs and moving toward establishing a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Perry's visit comes amid reports that U.S.-North Korean talks under way in New York were bogged down because of the North's refusal to allow free access to a suspected nuclear weapons that it claims is for civilian use.
North Korea is reportedly seeking large-scale financial aid in return for U.S. visits to the site. According to Seoul officials, the United States is pressing for unlimited access to the site in exchange for increased food aid to the hunger-stricken North.
Perry, who has visited Taiwan and China, will travel to Japan on Tuesday.