Senator Biden’s Congressional Record comments on North Korea — on the occassion of introducing S. Res 256

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Stephen Winn Linton, "Senator Biden’s Congressional Record comments on North Korea — on the occassion of introducing S. Res 256", DPRK, November 06, 2003, https://nautilus.org/briefing-books/dprk/senator-bidens-congressional-record-comments-on-north-korea-on-the-occassion-of-introducing-s-res-256/

Author:  Stephen Winn Linton <linton@eugenebell.org>
Date:  06-Nov-2003 16:33:44

Dear Karin,

 

Thanks for sending this and keep up the good work!

 

  1. Linton

—– Original Message —–

From: Karin Lee

To: dprkcoordcom@nautilus.org

Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 3:32 AM

Subject: Senator Biden’s Congressional Record comments on North Korea — on the occassion of introducing S. Res 256

This document includes a summary report regarding Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) staff Keith Luse and Frank Jannuzi’s August 21-September 2 trip to North Korea.

 

 

 

WAIS Document Retrieval

[Congressional Record: October 31, 2003 (Senate)]
[Page S13715-S13719]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr31oc03-103]

SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS

______

SENATE RESOLUTION 256–OBSERVING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MUTUAL
DEFENSE TREATY BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA,
AFFIRMING THE DEEP COOPERATION AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF THE
UNITED STATES AND THE PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA, AND THANKING THE
REPUBLIC OF KOREA FOR ITS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM
AND TO THE STABILIZATION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ

Mr. BIDEN (for himself, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Brownback, Mr.
Dodd, and Mr. Hagel) submitted the following resolution; which was
referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

S. Res. 256

Whereas October 1, 2003, marked the 50th anniversary of the
signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the United
States of America and the Republic of Korea, signed at
Washington October 1, 1953, and entered into force November
17, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as the “Mutual Defense
Treaty”);
Whereas the United States and the Republic of Korea have
formed a bond through the common struggle against communist
aggression;
Whereas more than 34,000 Americans lost their lives
fighting in the Korean War, and approximately 37,000 men and
women of the United States Armed Forces are still deployed on
the Korean peninsula, enduring separation from their families
and other hardships in the defense of freedom;
Whereas the Mutual Defense Treaty has been instrumental in
securing peace on the Korean peninsula and providing an
environment in which the Republic of Korea has become an
economically vibrant, free, democratic society;
Whereas the foundation of the Mutual Defense Treaty rests
not only on a common adversary, but more importantly on a
shared interest in, and commitment to, peace, democracy, and
freedom on the Korean peninsula, in Asia, and throughout the
world;
Whereas the United States and the Republic of Korea are
working closely together to find a diplomatic solution to the
threat posed by North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and
the export by North Korea of ballistic missiles;
Whereas the Republic of Korea is making valuable
contributions to the global war on terrorism, including the
contribution of logistics support for international forces
operating in Afghanistan;
Whereas the Republic of Korea has pledged $260,000,000 and
has already sent 700 military engineers and medical personnel
to assist in the United States-led effort to stabilize and
reconstruct Iraq; and
Whereas South Korea President Roh Moo-hyun pledged on
October 18, 2003, to dispatch additional troops to work
alongside United States and coalition forces in Iraq: Now,
therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) observes the 50th anniversary of the Mutual Defense
Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic
of Korea, signed at Washington October 1, 1953, and entered
into force November 17, 1954;
(2) reaffirms the deep cooperation and friendship between
the people of the United States and the people of the
Republic of Korea; and
(3) thanks the Republic of Korea for its contributions to
the global war on terrorism and to the stabilization and
reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, this resolution is cosponsored by my
distinguished colleague, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign
Relations, Senator Lugar, as well as Senators Kerry, Brownback, Dodd,
and Hagel. It recognizes the 50th anniversary of the United States-
Republic of Korea Mutual Defense Treaty and is thanking the Republic of
Korea for its contributions to the global war on terrorism.
The United States has no better friend in Asia than the Republic of
Korea. South Koreans have been there for us time and again, just as we
have been for them.
Our alliance has paid dividends on and off the Korean Peninsula. Most
recently, South Korea has aided the U.S. effort in Afghanistan and
Iraq. South Korea has already sent 700 military engineers and medical
personal to Iraq, and President Roh pledged on October 18 to dispatch
additional troops to work alongside U.S. forces there. South Korea has
also pledged $260 million in grants to help reconstruct Iraq.
The resolution I offer today observes the 50th anniversary of our
alliance, thanks South Korea for its contributions to the global war on
terrorism, and reaffirms the deep cooperation and friendship that
exists between our two countries.
That cooperation and friendship are sorely needed now, given the
challenges posed by North Korea. North Korea today is on the verge of
becoming a nuclear bomb factory. The United States needs to redouble
its diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korea to change its course.
President Bush, I note, has repeatedly called for a “peaceful,
diplomatic” solution to this crisis, and has worked with our friends
and allies in that region toward that goal. I believe President Bush’s
instincts are correct on this issue.
Last week President Bush told the leaders of Asia that the United
States is prepared to provide security assurances to North Korea if
North Korea takes tangible steps to dismantle its nuclear program. I
find that very encouraging. But in my view we need to do more. That is
essentially where we left off at the end of the last administration,
when we were working within the Agreed Framework.
What we need to do is have more contact with North Korea. There were
only 40 minutes of one-on-one dialog with North Korea last August in
Beijing. That, with the translation requirements in such an exchange,
is barely enough time to clear one’s throat.
Second, we should use the combination of carrots and sticks to
convince North Korea to change its course. The sticks are in play,
including the proliferation security initiative and a coordinated
crackdown on the North’s elicit activities, including narcotics
trafficking and counterfeiting, among others.
We need to identify as well some incentives for the good behavior
that would come if, in fact, there is a verifiable North Korean effort
along the path toward nuclear disarmament. This is not giving in to
blackmail. It is a positive reinforcement, and there is a huge
difference between the two.
Third, we need to sustain and consider increasing humanitarian food
and medical aid to North Korea. Nothing about this crisis will be
improved by having more hungry or sick North Korean children. This
year, the United States provided only 40,000 tons of food aid to the
North a generous donation, to be sure, but a pittance against the world
program appeal of more than 600,000 tons is needed, and far below the
food aid levels the United States has provided in previous years.

I note there is some dispute about the access of this food aid to the
people of North Korea, people we need to help. The fact is the World
Food Program and the director have reported significant progress
towards monitoring delivery of food and ensuring that the aid reaches
those most in need. Further, the food aid we have provided we seem
fairly well assured is in fact getting where it is intended.
Finally, we need to speak with one voice. The administration has yet
to fully resolve the deep internal divisions over the direction of the
President’s policy. Some senior officials in the administration
continue to argue against this policy of engagement. As a matter of
fact, they seem to occasionally look forward to tweaking the North
Koreans. I might add there is very little social redeeming value in the
policies of Kim Jong Il in North Korea. I am not arguing he is a
particularly reasonable man, but it seems to me there should be one
voice and one policy coming out of the administration. Prospects for
diplomatic solutions are in direct proportion to one voice.
To state the obvious, as I know the Presiding Officer knows, time is
not our ally in this crisis. The United States needs to communicate
both the risks of North Korea’s current path and the benefits North
Korea could enjoy if it chooses to verifiably abandon its

[[Page S13716]]

pursuit of nuclear weapons and its export of ballistic missiles. Since
the United States first confronted North Korea with allegations about
its illegal program to produce highly enriched uranium last October,
the North has ended its safeguards agreement with the International
Atomic Energy Agency, withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, taken its plutonium reprocessing plant out of mothballs, begun
to reprocess at least some of its 8,000 spent-fuel rods, and has
activated its Yongbyon nuclear reactor to produce still more spent
fuel.
I am not suggesting we should not have pointed out their violation. I
am not suggesting their response is remotely approaching anything
rational. What I am suggesting is a sense of urgency and a requirement
for us to be on the same page with our South Korean and Japanese
friends as well as continuing to engage the Chinese and the Russians in
attempting to come to a resolution here.
The North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a great threat to the
interests not only of the United States but to the entire region. As
the North’s stockpile of fissile material grows, the likelihood the
North will test a nuclear weapon and prove the viability of its design
increases, as does the difficulty of securing the North’s fissile
material in any crisis. Moreover, we have no guarantee North Korea will
not export fissile material. All we know for certain is if the North
puts a nuke on the auction block, the bidders are not likely to be our
friends.
Finally, the North’s nuclear ambitions could prompt other countries
in the region–notably Japan and South Korea–to rethink their own
opposition to nuclear arms. I don’t only think that is probable but I
think that is likely. As we all know, once Japan made that decision, it
would be a matter of months before Japan would be a nuclear armed
power. We think that would be a very bad idea. That, in my view, is why
the Chinese have become so engaged now in helping us put some pressure
on these multilateral talks with South Korea to get them to change
their behavior. I believe China understands that if North Korea
continues down this path, there is almost a certainty Japan will. Japan
becoming a nuclear power would change the dynamic and the equation for
the Chinese, and the race will be on.
The President has the right goal–to complete verifiable and
irreversible dismantlement of the North’s nuclear weapons program. The
only debate is how do we get there. I think the way we get there is the
President should either endow Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly
with more authority to drive North Korean policy or, alternatively,
appoint a special envoy with access to the President to represent the
United States in future negotiations. Second, we should strive for a
noncoercive negotiating environment.
This means that North Korea should freeze its reactor, cease all
reprocessing and uranium enrichment activities, and place under
safeguards any fissile material that it has acquired since the Agreed
Framework of 1994 was signed. For our part, the United States should
reiterate that it has no hostile intent toward North Korea and pledge
not to launch any military strikes or seek new sanctions so long as the
freeze remains in place and talks to resolve the crisis continue.
Finally, we should pursue a phased, reciprocal, verifiable agreement
to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, terminate its
export of ballistic missiles, and more closely integrate the North into
the community of nations.
Some say North Korea cannot be trusted. They are right. Modifying
President Reagan’s maxim, we should mistrust, and verify.
But the alternatives to negotiating are grim. Our current approach
leads to one of two undesirable outcomes: Either the United States will
essentially acquiesce to the North’s serial production of nuclear
weapons or we may find ourselves in a military confrontation with a
desperate, nuclear-armed regime. Any preemptive military strike option
would place millions of South Koreans and tens of thousands of
Americans at risk.
How do we go to war with the North if the South does not support it,
if that were the second option?
Negotiations with North Korea are not easy, but they offer us the
best chance–I believe the only chance–to avoid a nuclear nightmare on
the Korean peninsula.
I would like to submit a bipartisan staff report by the members of
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who traveled to North Korea
immediately following the six-party talks in Beijing in August. I ask
unanimous consent that it be printed in the Record following my marks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 1.)
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, let me conclude by saying today’s paper
carries the news that the quixotic and unreliable and often inscrutable
actions of the North Koreans have brought the Supreme Leader of North
Korea to the position where he is now saying he will engage in
multilateral talks again and resume those talks, and that he is ready
to consider what has been rejected before.
That is the sense of the article.
I have no inherent faith that we can rely upon the President of North
Korea. But it seems to me we have everything to gain and nothing to
lose by continuing to pursue these talks. We give nothing, and at a
minimum what we do is put ourselves in the position where the most
isolated remaining country in the world at least is exposed to the
notions of other major nations in the world, including China, Russia,
South Korea, Japan, and the United States as to what we consider to be
appropriate behavior. Hopefully, that will have a salutary impact on
the willingness to negotiate an end to these programs.
The alternative of not pursuing that is bleak. Therefore, I encourage
the President of the United States to continue down this path and to
continue down the path more quickly than we have thus far.

Exhibit 1

Six Party Talks and the North Korean Nuclear Issue

October 14, 2003.
Hon. Richard Lugar,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations.
Hon. Joseph R. Biden,
Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Relations.
Dear Senators Lugar and Biden: In late August, Keith Luse
and Frank Jannuzi traveled to China and North Korea, and Mr.
Jannuzi traveled to South Korea, to examine the prospects for
a peaceful negotiated solution to the North Korean nuclear
issue and to follow-up on an earlier set of visits to North
Korea in an effort to gain greater transparency on food aid
issues. Throughout the course of the visit, the staff
delegation received commendable support from U.S. Diplomatic
personnel. The delegation enjoyed high level access to
Chinese, North Korean, and South Korean government officials,
and also met with numerous academics, think tank specialists,
and employees of non-governmental organizations concerned
with developments on the Korean Peninsula. Our key findings,
including some recommendations for next steps on the Korean
Peninsula, are reported below.
Sincerely,
Keith Luse,
Professional Staff Member, Majority Staff, East Asian and
Pacific Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Frank Jannuzi,
Professional Staff Member, Minority Staff, East Asian and
Pacific Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

summary

Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) staff members
Keith Luse and Frank Jannuzi traveled to Northeast Asia
August 21-September 2 to examine the prospects for a peaceful
negotiated solution to the North Korean nuclear issue and to
follow-up on their earlier set of visits to North Korea
designed to push for greater North Korean transparency and
accountability on food aid and humanitarian relief. The
delegation expresses its appreciation to U.S. diplomatic
personnel at Embassies Beijing and Seoul who helped set up
productive meetings and coped with the vagaries of arranging
travel to and from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
(DPRK).
Over the course of three days in Pyongyang, the delegation
held a variety of meetings with officials representing the
DPRK, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations
(see list of interlocutors, attached). The delegation told
senior DPRK officials that the United States views North
Korea’s nuclear ambitions as a grave threat to international
peace and stability and urged the DPRK to seek a peaceful,
negotiated solution to the crisis through multilateral
dialogue. The delegation visited select humanitarian relief
operations, making

[[Page S13717]]

the point that such efforts are tangible proof that the
United States has no hostile intent toward North Korea. SFRC
staff strongly advised DPRK officials that they should permit
greater transparency for food aid deliveries under the
auspices of the World Food Program and various non-
governmental organizations. The delegation pressed DPRK
officials to adhere to international standards of human
rights, including respect for religious freedom, and
emphasized that the United States’ concern for the human
rights situation in North Korea reflects the deeply held
convictions of the American people.

key findings

Six party talks in Beijing helped improve coordination
among the five nations trying to reign in North Korea’s
nuclear ambitions, but DPRK officials left the talks
unconvinced that the United States genuinely seeks a
peaceful, negotiated solution to the crisis. DPRK officials
told the staff delegation that they believe the true aim of
the United States is “regime change,” and that de-
nuclearization is just the first step toward that objective.
Under pressure from China, the DPRK probably will come to
another round of multilateral talks. However, China’s
encouragement for DPRK’s participation will be contingent on
the United States outlining specific steps it will take once
the DPRK pledges to dismantle/eliminate its nuclear program.
Talks could easily be derailed should North Korea decide to
launch a ballistic missile or even test a nuclear weapon.
Moreover, North Korea might scuttle the talks in response to
the appropriate and necessary U.S. efforts to enforce the
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the
Illicit Activities Initiative, both of which the North
interprets as attempts to “strangle” the regime.
Some North Korean officials believe that the United States
continues to station nuclear weapons in South Korea.
Decision-making in the DPRK is centralized and ultimate
authority rests with Kim Jong-il.
Top officials in North Korea are carefully monitoring
polling data reflecting opinion on domestic politics in the
United States, Japan and South Korea.
The World Food Program has taken some small, but
significant steps in recent months to enhance its operations
in the DPRK and reduce the likelihood of diversion of food
aid. The significant reduction in U.S. food aid to North
Korea (from a high of more than 300,000 tons/year to this
year’s 40,000 tons) may have undercut United States leverage
in pressing for greater transparency on food aid. North
Korean officials are convinced the United States is using
food as a weapon.
Humanitarian operations run by non-governmental
organizations–such as the Nautilus Institute’s Village Wind
Power Pilot Project and the Eugene Bell Foundation’s
tuberculosis treatment programs–are making important
contributions to the welfare of the North Korean people and
help allay DPRK suspicions about the intentions of the United
States, thereby contributing to an overall political
environment conducive to resolution of sensitive security
issues.
After extensive discussion with the delegation, Vice
Minister Kim Gye Gwan advised the DPRK would allow NGO access
to some prison camps on a “case by case” basis.
There were two key differences to our earlier trips. While
we were not allowed to make purchases, street vendors were
present throughout Pyongyang and in Nampo, selling food and
other small items. Additionally, the DPRK military appeared
to be at a higher state of alert. More soldiers were armed
than during our previous visits.

discussion

North Korea isolated . . .
Over the course of three days in North Korea, the staff
delegation found DPRK officials to be disappointed by the six
party Beijing talks, which they described as “five against
one.” In both formal meetings and informal settings, DPRK
officials described the Beijing talks as “pointless” and
cast doubt upon whether the North would be willing to engage
in future rounds of multiparty dialogue. DPRK officials were
critical of the fact that they had only 40 minutes of
“direct” dialogue with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
James Kelly over the course of three days of talks in
Beijing, and said they had been misled into believing the
multilateral talks would provide a venue for substantive
one-one-one discussions with the U.S. envoy.
In one particularly blunt exchange, DPRK Vice Foreign
Minister Kim Gye Gwan told the staff delegation that the
Beijing talks had “confirmed” the North’s assessment that
the United States has no intention of changing its “hostile
policy.” Kim said the DPRK, “had no choice but to maintain
and reinforce its nuclear deterrent.”
The SFRC delegation conveyed their personal views that a
North Korean decision to enhance its nuclear weapons
capabilities would be viewed by the United States as a grave
threat to international peace and security and would be
interpreted by Americans as a hostile act. The delegation
urged the DPRK to proceed with multiparty dialogue and to
refrain from any provocative actions.
DPRK officials were non-committal with respect to any
future dialogue, but after the staff delegation’s departure,
the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement claiming that
the North remains “equally prepared for dialogue and for a
war.” This statement represented a slight softening of the
stance articulated immediately after the Beijing talks, and
certainly leaves the door open to another round of multi-
party talks in Beijing or some other venue.
With strong encouragement from China (a senior delegation
from China visited the DPRK in late September), the DPRK may
agree to another round of six-party talks, if only to avoid
being held directly responsible for a breakdown of the
diplomatic process. It remains unclear what stance the DPRK
will take at any future talks, and at what level they will be
represented. Decision-making in the DPRK is highly
centralized, with Kim Jong-il wielding the ultimate
authority. Junior level DPRK officials such as Kim Yong-il,
who represented the DPRK in Beijing in August, often are
unable to engage in substantive dialogue, a fact which argues
for the United States to try to elevate the talks to engage
officials with real authority and the ear of Kin Jong-il.
. . . and wary of U.S. intentions
The difficult of communicating with the North Koreans was
evident throughout the staff delegation’s visit to Pyongyang,
highlighting the risk that conflict could arise from
miscalculation or mis-communication. North Korean officials
with whom we met had an imperfect understanding of United
States security policy, especially the recently issued
National Security Strategy and Nuclear Force Posture Review.
They repeatedly expressed their belief that both documents
called for pre-emptive nuclear strikes against North Korea,
and said the North’s own nuclear program was necessary to
counter this United States “nuclear threat.”
Sometimes, confusion arose out of the imprecision of
different English terms. DPRK officials asked the staff
delegation to clarify the different meanings
“simultaneous,” “synchronous,” “phased,” and
“reciprocal.” Attention to such detail suggests the DPRK is
actively studying how the nuclear issue might be resolved
given what they characterized as the “zero trust” which
exists between the two parties.
DPRK officials took note of recent U.S. efforts to curtail
North Korean involvement in narcotics trafficking,
counterfeiting, and other illicit activities. DPRK officials
flatly denied North Korean involvement in such illicit
activities, and alleged that the United States had trumped up
the charges as part of a more general campaign to “stifle”
the DPRK.
Food aid: slow progress on transparency and accountability
The staff delegation met with the Flood Damage
Rehabilitation Committee (FDRC) director Jong Yun-hyong, who
oversees agricultural reconstruction as well as foreign food
aid programs. The delegation explained to Yum that it as
essential for the DPRK to enhance transparency for food aid,
to open up counties currently off-limits, and to provide
random access to WFP monitors seeking to verify food aid
deliveries. The delegation told Yum that the level of
monitoring requested by WFP was consistent with international
norms, and that the DPRK could not expect donors and
potential donors to contribute food aid if they did not have
high confidence that the aid was reaching its intended
recipients.
Yun said that security issues are paramount for the DPRK,
and that the military would not permit international access
to certain sensitive regions of the country. He also said
that monitoring had greatly improved since food aid began to
flow during the North Korean famine of the mid-1990’s. Yun
specifically cited the recent U.N. nutritional survey, and
reported that “security officials” had initially objected
to the survey, but that FDRC officials had prevailed in an
inter-agency battle in order to permit the survey to be
conducted. Yun argued that recent significant reductions in
WFP food aid–just 300,000 metric tons in 2002, down from
811,000 tons in 2001–had made it more difficult for him to
push for greater numbers of monitors and greater access for
international observers. Nonetheless, Yun promised progress
on monitoring in the future, and invited the international
community to shift its humanitarian aid strategy away from
food donations and toward “sustainable development,”
including agricultural reforms, new seek varieties and
planting techniques, and “food for work.”
The delegation met with World Food Program country director
Rick Corsino, who reported slow, but significant progress
toward enhanced monitoring of food aid and ensuring that aid
reaches those most in need. These are the highlights:
First, WFP has terminated food aid to 17 of 21 districts of
the capital city of Pyonghang after concluding that residents
of the capital are on average better fed than those of
outlying areas. This is an important step, both symbolically,
and substantively.
Second, with the full knowledge and support of DPRK
authorities, WFP is conducting Korean language training for
food aid personnel stationed inside the DPRK. The DPRK
continues to object to WFP bringing in Korean-speaking
experts from overseas, but the growing language facility of
WFP’s foreign staff allows for smoother interaction with DPRK
officials and higher quality monitoring in the field.
Third, WFP has increased the number of monthly inspection
visits and now has approximately 50 international staff in
residence in Pyongyang and at five sub-offices located in
Sinuiju, Wonson, Hamhung, Chongjin, and Hyesan. WFP is the
only

[[Page S13718]]

international agency working in the country with
international staff permanently placed outside the capital.
Fourth, WFP has sustained its access to 162 of 206 total
counties in North Korea. WFP does not deliver food aid to
those counties that remain off limits, most of which are
concentrated along the sparsely populated mountainous
“spine” of the country and along the DMZ (see attached
map).
Finally, through its inspection visits, WFP is gradually
building a detailed database of schools, hospitals,
orphanages, and other institutions receiving WFP assistance.
Although the DPRK still has not provided a comprehensive list
of aid recipients–a list long requested by WFP officials–
the WFP is essentially building its own list with each
inspection visit.
NGO’s making contribution to welfare of average North Koreans
Although WFP is the largest humanitarian organization
working in North Korea, they are not the only international
organization operating in North Korea. The staff delegation
made a point of visiting two humanitarian operations
supported by U.S. non-governmental organizations; the Village
Wind Power Pilot Project run by the Nautilus Institute (with
significant financial support provided by the W. Alton Jones
Foundation) and a tuberculosis treatment hospital and mobile
van sponsored by the Eugene Bell Foundation. These
initiatives have fostered good will on a “people-to-people”
basis, and have measurably improved the quality of life for
the North Korean beneficiaries.
Wind power
The US-DPRK Village Wind Power Pilot Project was the first
attempt by a United States NGO to work side-by-side with
North Koreans in cooperative development. Previously, non-
governmental organizations had been limited by both
Washington and Pyongyang to delivering food aid to North
Korea. The project installed seven technologically advanced
wind turbine towers in a rural village on the west coast of
North Korea near the port of Nampo. This region is known as a
bread basket for North Korea, rich in arable land and other
natural resources, including steady breezes off of the Korea
Bay. The turbines provide clean, renewable energy to the
village’s medical clinic, kindergarten, and 67 households.
In addition, a wind-powered water pump irrigates the
village’s fields, and has significantly boosted yields,
according to villagers. The combined generating capacity
of the turbines is 11.5kW.
Since the wind power project was completed in 1999, it has
had its share of ups and downs. At present, the delegation
found that the facility was not operating at full capacity
due to maintenance problems with two inverters and damaged
batteries. North Korea lacks adequately trained technicians
to service the equipment, and the nuclear stand-off has
disrupted visits by foreign experts needed to assess the
maintenance requirements and make needed repairs.
Despite these difficulties, the DPRK participants in the
project remain enthusiastic about it as a model for rural
electrification, and hope to press ahead with a major
windpower survey project along the west coast in coming
months. DPRK authorities told the visiting Senate staff
delegation that deciding to proceed with the wind power
survey requires approval from military officials worried
about the collection of militarily sensitive meteorological
information. Notwithstanding the sensitive nature of the data
to be collected, DPRK officials believe the project will move
ahead. Wind power projects could alleviate severe shortages
of power in rural areas, and have the advantage of not
requiring major upgrades in North Korea’s electric power
grid–a grid that experts have found to be in need of major
overhaul before it could accommodate the introduction of
large new power plants such as the light water nuclear
reactors contemplated under the Agreed Framework.
Tuberculosis treatment
Since 1995, the Eugene Bell Foundation has been working
inside North Korea to fight deadly diseases like tuberculosis
(TP). Eugene Bell foundation currently coordinates the
delivery of TB medication, diagnostic equipment, and supplies
to 1/3 of the North Korean population and approximately 50
North Korean treatment facilities (hospitals and care
centers). The staff delegation visited one such hospital in
Pyongyang, and also inspected one of the 17 mobile x-ray
vehicles designed to navigate the North’s antiquated road
network.
The delegation found the Eugene Bell project to be
characterized by high standards of transparency and
efficiency. The foundation conducts regular site visits (more
than 60 since 1995) and is able to donate goods directly to
recipients rather than through third parties or government
intermediaries. Staff at the hospital we visited appeared
well trained and highly motivated. They were deeply
appreciative of the support they receive from the United
States and recognized that this humanitarian outreach occurs
even at a time when the two nations do not maintain normal
diplomatic relations. The Eugene Bell foundation supports 16
TB hospitals and 64 TB care centers in the DPRK. More than
200,000 patients have been treated. Moreover, serving as a
conduit, the Eugene Bell foundation is currently responsible
for sending tuberculosis medicine, medical aid, and equipment
for approximately 1/3 of the North Korean population.
Joint recovery operations
The staff delegation met with Sr. Col. Kwak Chol-hui of the
Korean People’s Army, the director of the Joint Recovery
Operation searching for the remains of U.S. servicemen left
behind after the Korean War. The United States estimates that
as many as 8,000 remains of U.S. servicemen are on DPRK soil.
So far, only 378 of these remains have been recovered. More
than 200 remains were found as the result of unilateral DPRK
searches and returned to the United States. Just over 170
sets of remains have been recovered through the joint
recovery operation.
The recovery operations are laborious. Historical records
can indicate likely search areas, but only eye witnesses can
pinpoint the possible locations for remains. As the
population ages and the terrain of North Korea is shaped by
construction, erosion, flooding, and other forces, it is
becoming increasingly difficult to locate remains. Even after
likely sites are identified, time-consuming excavations and
careful forensic work are necessary to find and identify
remains. U.S. and North Korean military personnel work side
by side in the field during the recovery operations.
According to U.S. participants in the operation, this
interaction in the field has been constructive, deepening our
understanding of the Korean People’s Army.
Colonel Kwak told the delegation that the DPRK would like
to expand the joint recovery operation, employing as many as
2,700 investigators to scour the country to conduct
interviews with those elderly North Korean who might have
knowledge of the location of U.S. remains. He indicated that
the DPRK’s commitment to the recovery operations is
independent of the nuclear issue, and, in his opinion, should
remain so. It is unclear, however, what role the DPRK
envisions for U.S. forces in such an expanded operation. The
staff delegation believes that any expansion should be made
contingent on greater U.S. access to those North Korean
citizens claiming to have first-hand knowledge of the
whereabouts of remains.

staff conclusions

So as to reduce what we believe is a significant risk of
conflict arising out of miscalculation or mis-communication,
the United States should greatly expand dialogue with North
Korea, both within the framework of multi-party talks, as
well as through informal or “Track II” bilateral
negotiations.
The United States should appoint a senior official to
represent the United States solely on issues related to the
Korean Peninsula. Alternatively, the Administration should
endow the current negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State
James Kelly, with greater authority to direct and coordinate
the President’s North Korea policy and gain access to more
senior North Korean officials.
The United States should acknowledge recent improvements in
WFP operations and continue food aid to the DPRK under UN
auspices. The United States should also consider funneling a
portion of future U.S. food aid through non-governmental
organizations, some of which have been able to achieve
strong monitoring capability for their humanitarian
relief.
The U.S. should search for ways to expand outreach efforts
by NGOs in the fields of rural energy development,
agriculture, and public health.
The Joint Recovery Operation to identify the remains of
U.S. servicemen from the Korean War affords the United States
valuable contact inside North Korea. Any expansion of the
operation, however, should be made contingent upon greater
U.S. access to those North Korean citizens claiming to have
first-hand knowledge of the whereabouts of remains.

list of interlocutors

In Beijing, China
Michael Green, Director Asian Affairs, National Security
Council
David Straub, Korea Desk, U.S. Department of State
Wang Yi, Vice Foreign Minister, Chinese Ministry of Foreign
Affairs
Fu Ying, Director General, Asian Department, Chinese Ministry
of Foreign Affairs
He Yafei, Director General, North American Department,
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Liu Jinsong, First Secretary, Asian Department, Chinese
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Piao Jianyi, Executive Director, Center for Korean Peninsula
Issues, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Gu Guoliang, Director, Center for Arms Control and
Nonproliferation Studies, Deputy Director, Institute of
American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Wang Jisi, Director, Institute of International Strategic
Studies, Central Party School
Wu Baiyi, Deputy Director, Research Division, China Institute
of Contemporary International Relations
Yang Mingjie, Director, Division of Arms Control and Security
Studies, China Institute of Contemporary International
Relations
Wei Zonglei, Deputy Director, Center of U.S.-European
Studies, China Institute of Contemporary International
Relations
Shi Yinhong, Director, Center for American Studies, People’s
University
Ruan Zongze, Vice President, China Institute of International
Studies

[[Page S13719]]

Liu Xuecheng, Director of American Studies, China Institute
of International Studies
Shen Dingli, Deputy Director, Center for American Studies,
Fudan University
Zhu Feng, Director of International Security Program, Beijing
University
In North Korea
Kim Gye Gwan, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
Jong Dong-hok, First Secretary, United States Department,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Lee Yong Chol and Kim Yong Nam, United States Department,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Jong Yun-hyong, Director Flood Damage, Reconstruction
Committee
Sr. Col. Kwak Chol-hui, Director, Joint Recovery Operation,
Korean People’s Army
Lt. Col. Li Jong Sop, Deputy Director, Joint Recovery
Operation, Korean People’s Army
Lt. Col. Byon Sol-hok, Joint Recovery Operation
Kim Song, Secretary General, Korean National Peace Committee
Richard Corsino, Country Director, World Food Program
In South Korea
Wi Sung-lac, Director General, North American Affairs,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Park Joeong-nam, Deputy Director, North American Affairs,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Yang Chang-suk, Director of International Cooperation,
Ministry of Unification
Park Ro-Byug, Chief, Policy Coordination Bureau, National
Security Council, Blue House
Kim Taewoo, Nuclear Policy Specialist, Korean Institute for
Defense Analyses
Pak Yeong-tae, Korea Institute for Defense Analyses

 

Karin J. Lee

East Asia Policy Education Project

Friends Committee on National Legislation Education Fund

Mailing Address:  245 Second Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002

Phone: 202 547 6000 ext 110; Fax 202 547 6019

Email:  Karin@fcnl.org


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