NAPSNet Daily Report 01 December, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 01 December, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 01, 1999,


I. United States

II. Annoucements

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO SCUTTLE DIALOGUE WITH US,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that the DPRK foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the DPRK Korean Central News Agency, “It is clear to anyone that the US seeks to unleash a war of aggression at any cost, while paying lip-service to ‘dialogue’ and ‘engagement.’ This compels the DPRK to think of the negotiations with the US again. Now the double-dealing tactics of the US reminiscent of both sides of a coin is becoming clearer.” The statement from the foreign ministry appears to signal a change in the DPRK negotiating tactics in its approach to the US. The statement added that the DPRK had never held out high expectations for the US policy aimed at improving relations. The statement also said, “Out of the stand to solve the Korean peninsula issue only through dialogue and negotiations it (the DPRK) decided to have high-level talks with the US. It was generous enough to stop missile testfire which belongs to the sovereignty, during the negotiations with the US. This stand taken by the US behind the scene of the negotiations for the ‘improvement of relations’ clearly shows that its Korea policy still remains unchanged to stifle the DPRK by force of arms rather than to pursue a peaceful settlement of the Korean peninsula issue.”

2. DPRK Military Status

Reuters (Bill Tarrant, “NORTH KOREAN MILITARY BIG UNKNOWN – U.S. COMMANDER,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that General John Tilelli, commander-in-chief of the UN forces and the US/ROK combined forces in the ROK, commented Wednesday on the uncertainties of the role of the military in the DPRK. “We know that the military in North Korea is the greatest consumer and the greatest employer, as well. If there is a void in our ability to understand North Korea…it is understanding North Korea’s intent, what’s going on between the ears.” His comments came after former Secretary of Defense William Perry expressed doubts this week about whether DPRK military rulers really want improved ties with the US. Tilelli also said that although DPRK military capabilities have been diminished to a certain extent by years of economic crisis, it still has a 1.2 million-strong armed forces. Tilelli added, “we see a force that continues to modernize despite economic difficulties. In a real sense it’s a viable threat. It’s a military that is the last viable institution of national power in North Korea.” Commenting on recent US engagement of the DPRK, Tilelli said, “in a real sense one of the outcomes achieved to date is that there has not been another Taepodong firing.” Tilelli is departing as commander-in-chief in ROK on December 9. He will be replaced by General Thomas Schwartz, who has been Commander of the United States Army Forces Command.

3. DPRK Food Aid

Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA TO RECEIVE SURPLUS EGGS,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that ROK activists on Wednesday kicked off a campaign for public donations to buy 20 million ROK eggs and send them to the DPRK. Song Wol-ju, a Buddhist monk and a co-chairman of the Korean Sharing Movement (which is sponsoring the campaign), said the food aid “will help both North Korean people and South Korean chicken farmers.” The ROK national KBS-TV and the Federation of Korean Livestock Cooperatives are also urging people to dial a hot line and donate 90 cents, enough to buy and transport ten eggs to the DPRK.

4. Japan-DPRK Talks

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN, NORTH KOREA CALL FOR BETTER TIES,” Tokyo, 12/01/99) and Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, “Former Japanese Premier in N. Korea,” Tokyo, 12/01/99) reported that the DPRK Jiji Press said former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama told a welcoming banquet for the DPRK delegation on Wednesday that he aimed to “create an environment for reopening full-scale (government-level) dialogue.” Kim Yong-Sun, secretary for international affairs at DPRK’s ruling Workers Party, said the Japanese people were calling on the Japanese government to improve ties with the DPRK “by liquidating an ‘unfortunate past.’ Politicians should not look away from this fact.” The official DPRK Korea Central News Agency confirmed the arrival of the 16 lawmakers from all of Japan’s major political parties as well as their meeting with Kim. Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi told reporters, “I agree with chief delegate Murayama’s idea to try and create a climate for Japan-Chosen (North Korea) talks without attaching any conditions. I wish them success.”

6. DPRK Defectors to ROK

Associated Press (“U.N. HELPS 13 DEFECT FROM NORTH TO SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service said Wednesday that thirteen DPRK nationals from five families defected to the ROK with the help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The National Intelligence Service officials said the defectors were farmers or laborers.

7. ROK Defoliant Compensation

Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA TO PAY VICTIMS OF AGENT ORANGE,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that ROK officials said on Wednesday that the ROK government will compensate military and civilian victims of a US manufactured toxic defoliant that was sprayed along the ROK-DPRK border in the 1960’s. Officials at the ROK Defense Ministry said they will conduct a field investigation to determine the number of victims and provide them with medical care, help in finding jobs, and other subsidies.

8. PRC Activities in Panama Canal

Reuters (“CLINTON SAYS CHINA NO THREAT IN PANAMA CANAL,” Washington, 12/01/99) reported that US President Bill Clinton on November 30 dismissed the notion that PRC control of the Panama Canal could hurt national security once the US cedes control at the end of the year. Clinton stated, “I think the Chinese will in fact be bending over backward to make sure that they run it in a competent and able and fair manner. This is like them – is like China coming into the World Trade Organization; I’ll think they’ll want to demonstrate to a distant part of the world that they can be a responsible partner. I would be very surprised if any adverse consequences flowed from the Chinese running the canal.” Responding to remarks made earlier this week by retired Admiral Thomas Moorer that said the PRC was plotting to take over the canal once the US relinquishes control, White House National Security Council spokesman David Leavy on November 30 said, “responsibility for operation of the canal following the transfer will rest solely with the government of Panama. The company in question will have no control over, or role in, the operation of the canal.”

9. PRC-Israel Military Exchanges

Agence France Presse (“CHINESE OFFICIAL LEAVES ISRAEL AFTER BOOSTING MILITARY COOPERATION, JERUSALEM,” 12/01/99) reported that PRC parliamentary speaker Li Peng ended a six-day visit to Israel on November 30 after giving a discreet but firm boost to military cooperation between the two states. Zeev Schiff, military expert for the Haaretz newspaper, told Agence France Presse that, “Beijing has secretly asked for this cooperation and wants to extend it. The visits by Li Peng and Chi Haotian are closely connected.” Schiff also said Israel wanted to put pressure on the PRC to persuade it to stop supplying “sensitive material” to Iran, especially steel for ballistic missiles. Recent reports from Israel — confirmed by the US Defense Department and the US State Department, but denied by the PRC — say that Israel plans to sell the PRC (?)an AWACS radar system mounted by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) on a Russian-made Ilyushin-76 cargo plane. Schiff said the contract, worth US$250 million, was signed in 1996 as part of a plan, codenamed Ring, to supply eight such AWACS systems. They operate over a radius of 400 kilometers (250 miles) and are able to home in on 60 targets at one time and to guide 12 planes. Haaretz said Israel is also co-producing a fighter-bomber, the F-10, with the PRC and the Russian Federation. The fighter is said to out-perform the Russian Sukhoi-27, and will be equipped with Israeli Python-4 missiles. The pilots will be fitted with special Israeli-made headsets, directly connected with the firing systems. According to the specialist at the British magazine Jane’s Defense Weekly, Israel is also helping the PRC develop an electrically propelled Song-class submarine.

II. Annoucements

1. New Publication

The United States Institute of Peace Press has now published “Negotiating On The Edge: North Korean Negotiating Behavior,” by Scott Snyder. In the work, Snyder draws on interviews with eminent US officials and extensive research on the DPRK in order to trace the historical and cultural roots of DPRK negotiating behavior and expose the full range of tactics in its diplomatic arsenal. Snyder explains why DPRK officials behave as they do, and he argues that there is in fact an internal logic to what often seems to be outrageous conduct. For more information about the book, visit USIP Publications at

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.