NORTH and South Korea agreed on the final details of an accord on cross-border economic exchanges yesterday, laying the framework for post-cold-war trade between the divided nations.
The accord includes agreement on direct transport links, mail services, and steps to promote trade and economic exchanges between the two ideological foes.
It is one piece in a complicated jigsaw of accords which the North and South started negotiating after signing a nonaggression and reconciliation pact last December. Other negotiations have fared less well and are a long way from implementation.
The accord will be initialed next week when South Korean Prime Minister Chung Won Shik travels to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang for talks with his northern counterpart, Yon Hyong Muk.
The accord includes agreement on scientific, cultural, and technological exchanges but excludes any mention of the emotional issue of reuniting Korea's war-divided families.
It is one of the most promising developments in the complex series of talks launched at the beginning of the year to promote closer Korean cooperation. Iran urges Afghan unity
In an attack on Afghanistan's warring factions, Iran's President Hashemi Rafsanjani yesterday accused the new Islamic leadership of playing into the hands of an "arrogant West" that wants to keep Muslim nations divided.
The main combatants in the sectarian clashes in Afghanistan are the Iranian-backed Hezb-e-Wahadat, an eight-party alliance of Shiite Muslim rebels, and the ultra-orthodox Sunni Muslims of Ittehad-e-Islami, bankrolled by Saudi Arabia.
Some Sunni Muslim leaders have accused predominantly Shiite Iran of fomenting violence in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose fundamentalist Hezb-e-Islami fighters laid siege to Kabul last month, has also accused Iran of interference. Mr. Rafsanjani denied the charge. Australia protests new US subsidies
Australia will ask Canada to join it in protest of increased United States wheat subsidies when it goes before a world trade watchdog organization, Trade Minister John Kerin said yesterday.
The Australian government announced last week it would take to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) its protest of the $1 billion boost in government subsidies for wheat exports.
Mr. Kerin said he planned to talk with Canadian Wheat Minister Charlie Mayer and suggest that Canada join Australia in invoking GATT's dispute-settlement process.
Kerin said he also will go to Washington in two weeks to explain the impact that the subsidy increases will have on Australia's troubled farmers.
Prime Minister Paul Keating has said he is optimistic the increased wheat subsidies will not undermine the Uruguay Round of world trade negotiations, being held under GATT's auspices.
The wheat subsidy has served to underscore domestic disputes over trade policy in Australia.
The opposition coalition has said the government is not working hard enough outside GATT to come up with bilateral agreements to improve Australian trade access. Opposition leader John Hewson also has suggested that Australia ask to become a member of the new North American Free Trade Area. But Mr. Keating said Australia's future is in the Asian region.
National Party leader Tim Fischer has urged British Prime Minister John Major to try to make the European Community cut farm subsidies and help avert a trade war that Mr. Fischer said could threaten the existence of the Australian wheat industry.
Meanwhile, the Australian Wheat Board said the US administration would be breaking its own rules if it succumbs to pressure from American farmers and offers subsidized wheat to Indonesia.