Kim flies to UK on fission trip

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The Independent Online
President Kim Young Sam of South Korea, who arrives today on a two-day visit to Britain, will urge his hosts to join a $4bn (£2.5bn) consortium to supply light-water nuclear technology to the Communist regime in North Korea, although Pyongyang again insisted yesterday that it would not accept South Korean reactors, writes Raymond Whitaker.

Under last year's framework agreement between the US and North Korea, the South is to meet 70 per cent of the cost, with Japan paying most of the rest. Australia and New Zealand are the only other countries to offer contributions so far. Britain is taking part in the inaugural meeting of the consortium, beginning in New York today, but has not yet indicated whether it will contribute. Despite North Korea's warnings that it will allow the agreement to collapse if South Korean reactors are the only ones on offer, Washington has refused to back down.

Trade and technical matters will predominate during Mr Kim's visit, with an agreement on scientific co-operation expected to be announced after he meets John Major. Britain is still urging South Korea to open its markets and particularly to allow British banks and stockbrokers greater access.

Mr Kim is also likely to seek British support for Seoul's campaign to be elected for the first time to one of the temporary UN Security Council seats.

South Korea special report,

pages 18 and 19