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U.S., Trying to Avoid Boycott, Asks Soviets to Talk With North Korea

September 15, 1987

The United States has asked the Soviet Union to use its influence to get North Korea to accept South Korea's offer of some 1988 Olympic Games events, a South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman quoted Assistant Secretary of State Gaston Sigur as telling South Korean Foreign Minister Choi Kwang-soo that the request was made during his talks with Soviet officials last week in Moscow.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is negotiating with North and South Korea to avert a possible Pyongyang-led communist boycott of the Games.

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said that Cuban President Fidel Castro has offered help in settling the dispute.

Samaranch said he received "a personal, important letter" from Castro, a North Korean ally, when he returned Sunday from the Mediterranean Games in Syria.

In July the IOC offered North Korea the archery, table tennis, women's volleyball, men's 100 kilometer cycle road race and one of four soccer preliminary group competitions.

North Korea last month responded with new proposals calling for five full events, including the soccer tournament, and one partial event.

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