The World: Hands Across the Sea

To South Korea's chagrin, the Communist government of North Korea has signed a "private" trade agreement with Japan that will boost trade between the two nations from less than $60 million a year to as much as $500 million by 1976. The pact envisions easy Japanese bank credits to North Korea and the exchange of trade missions.

Under badgering from South Korean diplomats, the Japanese Foreign Office said that it was accepting the agreement "reluctantly" and termed the exchange of trade missions "premature." Privately, Japanese businessmen concede that they are trying to get the best of both worlds: improved relations with North...

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