Korea revise strategy on North Korea

U.S., S.

November 22, 1993|By New York Times News Service

SEATTLE -- Even as President Clinton and leaders from across Asia met here to declare the arrival of a new "Pacific community" based on economic rather than security links, administration officials working the back rooms of Asia's first summit meeting were quietly revising their strategy for forcing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

This week in Washington, Mr. Clinton and South Korea's president, Kim Young Sam, are expected to agree on a long-brewing change of course in its dealings with the bankrupt but volatile North Korean government.

Under a so-called "package deal," the United States will offer a series of small concessions and larger promises of future aid to North Korea -- and steps toward diplomatic recognition -- in return for immediate, limited inspections of its nuclear sites.

Until now, administration officials have said that North Korea must either concede or face economic sanctions.

But after weeks of consultations in Japan and South Korea, Mr. Clinton's senior advisers have recommended a shift in strategy.

"It is our last real chance," said a senior South Korean official. "If nothing happened in the next few weeks, we will have to start with the sanctions."

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