NAPSNet Daily Report 01 June, 1998

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 01 June, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 01, 1998,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States


1. DPRK Nuclear Development

Reuters (“JAPAN WORRIES PAKISTAN WILL GIVE NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR AID,” Tokyo, 05/29/98) reported that an anonymous Japanese government official on Friday voiced concern that the DPRK could get assistance from Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons. He stated, “We believe that North Korea has exported about a dozen long-range Rodong-2 missiles to Pakistan in recent years. Pakistan may then transfer nuclear weapons technology to the North.” He added, “The nuclear testing by Pakistan is a grave challenge to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the global nuclear structure itself is in jeopardy.” Another Japanese official said that, apart from the PRC, Pakistan had the closest relations with the DPRK of any Asian nation. Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi said that Japan would work closely with the US and its allies to prevent the DPRK from developing nuclear weapons. Noriyuki Suzuki, chief analyst at the Radiopress agency, stated, “Pakistan’s nuclear tests will make it easier for North Korea to play the nuclear card effectively” to gain concessions from the US. Terumasa Nakanishi, professor of international politics at Kyoto University, argued, “There is a possibility of North Korea starting to develop nuclear weapons secretly, but the chances are very small that it will leave the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.” He added, “It is quite possible that North Korea will use its potential nuclear capability as a threat and a bargaining chip in dealing with the international community.”

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, MAY 29,” USIA Transcript, 05/29/98) said Friday that, while the US is well aware of past missile sales between the DPRK and Pakistan, it is not aware of any plan on the part of Pakistan to share their nuclear technology with the DPRK. He added, “Moreover, North Korea is under a very elaborate agreement, pursuant to the 1994 Nuclear Framework Agreement, that froze their nuclear weapons program and that we believe is being honored by North Korea.”


2. US Policy Toward DPRK

The Wall Street Journal (Eduardo Lachica “EXPERTS URGE THE U.S. TO ALLOW SEOUL TO LEAD IN TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 06/01/98) and Cox News Service (Samar Abulhasan, “STUDY: U.S. SHOULD URGE NORTH, SOUTH KOREA TOWARD TALKS,” Washington, 05/29/98) reported that an independent task force, co-chaired by former US ambassador to the ROK James Laney and Morton Abramowitz, senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, argued Friday that the US should begin “aggressive” negotiations with the DPRK to combat escalating tensions. Laney, at briefing disclosing the task force’s findings, urged the US to “lay the groundwork” by easing sanctions on the DPRK to enable it to trade minerals for food, and by providing economic assistance to the DPRK. Laney stated, “We want to test their intentions.” However, he added that if the DPRK is not ready to reciprocate the effort, “we will not be helping them.” Laney said that he hopes ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s upcoming visit to the US will “contribute to the fuller US-Korea dialogue” and “bring the level of conversation between two presidents into new territory.” The task force concluded that reopening DPRK- ROK dialogue is essential to preserving peace on the Korean peninsula. The report stated, “Today, the peninsula remains the one place in the world where total war could erupt with less than 24-hours’ notice.” It added, “The North is unlikely to have a better opportunity to establish a stable relationship with the South than it has with Kim Dae Jung.” The report also argued that the US Congress should eliminate the US$50 million in debt owed by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization. It also argued that, by providing the DPRK with food assistance unconditionally, the PRC is acting in its own interests but not necessarily in line with the US desire for the DPRK to face up to the need for major structural reforms. It advised US President Bill Clinton to urge the PRC to work closely with the US on this issue when he meets PRC President Jiang Zemin later this month. The panel also proposed a “trilateral strategy” that the US, the ROK, and Japan can bring to bear on the eventual reconstruction of the DPRK, noting that prospective Japanese financial contributions to the DPRK could help induce the DPRK out of its isolation. [Ed. note: The full text of the report can be found at the GlobalBeat website.]


3. Russia-DPRK Fishing Dispute

The Associated Press (“RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS DETAIN 13 NORTH KOREAN TRAWLERS,” Moscow, 06/01/98) reported that Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency said that Russian border guards detained 13 DPRK trawlers Monday suspected of illegal fishing in the Bering Sea in the Russian Far East. The boats have been escorted to the regional center of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.


4. ROK Labor Unrest

Dow Jones Newswires (Park Kyung-hee, “S. KOREA UNIONS EASE STANCE UNDER PUBLIC PRESSURE,” Seoul, 06/01/98) reported that the ROK’s Federation of Korean Trade Unions said Monday it will take part in scheduled tripartite talks with management and the government to press its demands for chaebol reforms and a halt to layoffs. The federation’s decision came after the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions indicated earlier in the day that it may cancel a nationwide strike scheduled for June 10, to help President Kim Dae-jung succeed in regaining foreign confidence during his trip to the US. Meanwhile on Monday, workers at Kia Motors Corp. put down their tools, demanding payment of delayed wages. ROK Minister of Finance and Economy Lee Kyu-sung said Monday that the ROK’s unemployment rate is expected to rise above 7 percent this year.


5. PRC Military Threat to Taiwan

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN SPY CHIEF WARNS OF CHINESE INVASION CAPABILITY,” Taipei, 06/01/98) reported that Yin Tsung-wen, director of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, said Monday that new weapons and advances in electronic warfare have vastly increased the threat to Taiwan from the PRC military. He added that the reduction of other defense concerns has allowed the People’s Liberation Army to train exclusively for an invasion of Taiwan. Yin said that a PRC invasion would begin with an electronic assault on Taiwan’s communications and financial networks, followed by missile attacks, a fight for control of airspace and coastal seas, and finally a ground invasion.


6. PRC Arrest of Alleged Taiwanese Spies

Reuters (“TAIWAN TELLS CHINA SPY CASE HURTS INVESTMENT, TIES,” Taipei, 05/29/98) reported that Sheu Ke-sheng, spokesman for Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, warned on Friday that the PRC’s arrest of four Taiwan merchants could hurt cross-strait ties. He stated, “The Chinese communist authorities should respect human rights and handle the matter carefully. Otherwise it will not only affect Taiwan businessmen’s normal activities and hurt investment willingness, but also influence normal exchanges and genuine interaction across the Taiwan strait.” Meanwhile, the Taiwan Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Bureau said regarding the arrests, “The news released by the Chinese communists is not factual and has no link to the Intelligence Bureau.” The bureau said that the PRC routinely accuses Taiwan of espionage ahead of the anniversary of the June 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, adding that the aim of the accusations was to smear Taiwan’s intelligence services and frighten PRC dissidents. Taiwan’s United Daily News said in an editorial, “From the political aspect, the mainland side wants to warn Taiwan not to take advantage of warming ties to conduct intelligence-gathering on the mainland. More importantly, it wants to tell the international community … that bilateral ties, which the Chinese communists say they are dedicated to improving, are being sabotaged by Taiwan.” Taiwan Economic minister Wang Chih-kang warned, “This case shows there is a high degree of risk involved in mainland investment, especially when cross-strait ties are uncertain.”


7. Alleged US Missile Technology Transfer to PRC

The Washington Post (Bradley Graham, “CHINESE MISSILE GAIN QUESTIONED,” 05/31/98, A01) reported that many independent specialists on PRC forces do not believe that US participation in the PRC’s satellite launching has had a significant effect on the PRC’s missile targeting capabilities. Paul Godwin, a National Defense University professor, stated, “If there’s anything we’ve given them, the gains have been incremental.” Bates Gill, a China specialist at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, argued, “Even if some U.S. technology transfer has occurred, enabling the Chinese to improve the accuracy of their missiles, it’s not going to change their doctrine, which requires simply the ability to come within a mile or two of a U.S. city. I can’t see how this latest development will change the strategic reality that Americans have been under from the Chinese for more than 15 years.” However Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center said in the Weekly Standard last week that US firms showed the PRC how to construct better dust-free, climate-controlled areas that can be used for preparing not only satellites but also complex warhead packages prior to launch. He also pointed to US help in improving the nose cone and attitude and engine controls on the PRC’s Long March rocket following two launch failures in 1992. He added that, more recently, PRC advances in cushioning the vibration of rockets in order to carry more sensitive payloads stemmed from discussions with US contractors, and that the PRC developed a better dispenser for releasing more than one satellite from a single booster while working with US satellite makers. Sokolski stated, “We’re not going to find out if these things were avoidable or inevitable until we investigate.” Michael Swaine, a PRC security specialist with the Rand Corp, countered, “Among those who look at Chinese military capabilities, there’s a fairly strong degree of skepticism about the extent to which China’s relationship with U.S. commercial satellite makers has resulted in significant advances in its long-range military missile capabilities.”


8. US-PRC Summit

Reuters (“U.S. OFFICIAL IN CHINA FOR PRE-SUMMIT TALK,” Beijing, 06/01/98) reported that the PRC’s Xinhua news agency said that US national security adviser Sandy Berger arrived in the PRC Monday for talks with Chinese officials ahead of the Sino-US summit later this month. Xinhua quoted ministry sources as saying that Berger was scheduled to confer with Chinese leaders on the agenda for US President Bill Clinton’s upcoming PRC visit. Berger is scheduled to leave the PRC on Wednesday.

Reuters (Laurence McQuillan, “AGENDA SHIFTING FOR US-SINO SUMMIT IN JUNE,” Washington, 06/01/98) reported that senior US administration officials said that the focus of the agenda for this month’s Sino-US summit has been shifting to deal with the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan. One administration official stated, “Obviously we’re not waiting until the summit to talk with the Chinese about this, but certainly it will be an important subject at the summit.” Regarding US National Security Advisor Sandy Berger’s current mission to the PRC, the official stated, “Sandy is going there to nail down the substance of the summit. He’s not going there to discuss protocol.”


9. Pakistani Nuclear Test

Reuters (Tahir Ikram, “DEFIANT PAKISTAN STAGES NEW NUCLEAR TEST,” Islamabad, 05/30/98) reported that Pakistan Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad said on Saturday that Pakistan carried out one more nuclear test to match India’s total of six. Ahmad declined to say how big the explosion was or whether Pakistan’s devices were more powerful than India’s. He said the test was of a device compatible with a weapons system. Ahmad stated, “As a responsible nation whose record of restraint and responsibility is impeccable, Pakistan today assures the international community and in particular India of our willingness to enter into immediate discussions to address all matters of peace and security, including urgent measures to prevent the dangers of nuclear conflagration.”

Reuters (Andrew Hill, “RENEWED PAKISTAN N-TESTS DRAW UN REBUKE,” Islamabad, 05/31/98) reported that the UN Security Council on Saturday rebuked Pakistan for conducting another underground nuclear test. Security Council President Njuguna Mahugu of Kenya stated, “The council also called on the government of Pakistan to issue a public declaration announcing a moratorium on future tests and experimentation on delivery systems.” He added, “The council expressed its increased concern at the risk of a nuclear arms race escalating in South Asia and urged India and Pakistan to accede to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that was negotiated two years ago.”


10. Pakistani Missiles

Reuters (Tahir Ikram, “PAKISTAN HAS NEW MISSILES TO TEST -REPORTS,” Islamabad, 06/01/98) reported that Samar Mobarik Mand, the scientist who conducted Pakistan’s nuclear test program, said on Monday that the Shaheen-1, a 700 km-range missile based on solid fuel and that could carry nuclear weapons, was ready for testing. Mand stated, “It has been mounted on the launching pad and awaits a go- ahead from the government.” He added that a 2,000 km-range missile, Shaheen-2, was being developed and would be ready for testing within a year. Mand also said that the first five nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan last week were in the range of 40 to 45 kilotons, and the sixth on Saturday was between 15 to 18 kilotons. He added, “These devices were advanced and sophisticated with minimum size and weight.”

Reuters (Raja Asghar, “PAKISTAN CALLS OFF ANTI-INDIA MISSILE ALERT,” Islamabad, 05/31/98) and the Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “PAKISTAN BRACED FOR STRIKE ON EVE OF NUCLEAR TESTS,” 06/01/98) reported that Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, said on Sunday that Pakistan has called off a missile “red alert” ordered four days ago to counter a feared Indian attack on the country’s nuclear installations. He said that the missiles were deployed last Wednesday after receiving reports of a possible attack by India on Pakistan’s nuclear enrichment plant at Kahuta. Asked how effective Pakistani missiles would have been without nuclear warheads if India had attacked, Khan remarked, “Who says which types of arms or warheads were put there?” According to US intelligence officials, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad notified the US government and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday that an attack was expected at dawn Thursday by Israeli and Indian warplanes operating out of India. One unnamed US official said, “This was close to a war.” A second US official said that the Pakistani ambassador to the UN began calling television networks, including about the anticipated air strike. One intelligence official said that a major fear was that the Pakistanis would use the pretext of an Indian attack to launch one of their new Ghauri missiles against an Indian target, possibly with an untested nuclear warhead. However, US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott called the situation “serious” but said “we shouldn’t be apocalyptic about this. Let’s remember we’re talking about two countries here which have been not just to the brink of war, but over the brink of war several times in the 50 years of their existence.”

Jane’s Information Group (“SIXTH INDIAN NUCLEAR TEST CANCELED; PAKISTANI MISSILE CAN TRAVEL FARTHER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT,” Washington, 05/29/98) reported that India intended to conduct a sixth nuclear test on May 13 but a technical glitch, along with concerns about economic and diplomatic sanctions, led Indian officials to cancel the test. The report also said that Pakistan’s Ghauri missile can travel farther than previously thought.


11. International Reactions to South Asian Nuclear Tests

The Washington Post (Jim Hoagland, “INCENTIVES CONSIDERED TO END TESTS IN S. ASIA,” Paris, 05/30/98, A01) reported that the US, France, Great Britain, and other major powers have begun discussions on staging an international conference to get India and Pakistan to renounce further nuclear testing in return for security guarantees and help in developing civilian nuclear power centers. French President Jacques Chirac stated, “The seven or eight powers with the capability to do something should meet among themselves first to discuss what we can do to persuade India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to join the negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on the cutoff” of the manufacture of fissionable material. He added, “Then India and Pakistan could join the talks without fearing they would be humiliated, as they fear now, and we could all work together to save the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which must be saved.” US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed similar proposals Thursday at a NATO conference in Luxembourg. In Washington, State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said that Albright was arranging a meeting next week among her counterparts from the permanent Security Council members.

The Wall Street Journal (Carla Anne Robbins and Robert S. Greenberger, “NUCLEAR POWERS PLAN STRATEGY MEETING TO CONTAIN INDIA-PAKISTAN ARMS RACE,” Washington, 06/01/98) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called for a meeting of the foreign ministers from the world’s five major nuclear powers in Geneva this week to discuss measures for containing the India- Pakistan nuclear-arms race. The meeting also will focus on ways of reducing political tensions on the subcontinent, especially over the disputed Kashmir region. An unnamed senior US official stated, “The normal pattern of incentives and disincentives didn’t stop [India and Pakistan] from testing. The only real hope we have is making them understand just how much danger they’re now in.” Some US officials are reportedly worried that a complete cutoff of international lending to Pakistan could force it to sell its nuclear technology.

The Associated Press (“CHINA TO SEEK U.N. ACTION TO HALT S. ASIAN ARMS RACE,” Beijing, 06/01/98) reported that an anonymous PRC Foreign Ministry official said Monday that the PRC will urge the world’s powers to find a way to halt the nuclear arms race in South Asia when foreign ministers of the UN Security Council’s permanent members meet Thursday in Geneva. The official said that the PRC fears the recent nuclear weapons tests by India and Pakistan will set off a chain reaction of other countries obtaining nuclear weapons and set back disarmament. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright jointly proposed holding the meeting.

The New York Times (John F. Burns, “INDIA CALLS FOR TALKS ON NEW TREATY LIMITING NUCLEAR ARMS,” New Delhi, 06/01/98) reported that the Indian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Sunday appealing for early negotiations on a new global treaty limiting nuclear arsenals that would include “all nuclear weapons states.” The statement said, “India calls on all nuclear weapons states and indeed the international community to join with it in opening early negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention so that these weapons can be dealt with in a global, nondiscriminatory framework as other weapons of mass destruction have been, through the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.” The statement also called for a no-first-use treaty between India and Pakistan, and pledged that India would join in negotiations under way in Geneva on an international treaty to limit the production of fissile material. The statement also reiterated India’s pledge to observe a “voluntary moratorium” on nuclear testing.


12. Indian Nuclear Tests

The Associated Press (“INDIA DENIES IT PLANS ANOTHER NUCLEAR TEST,” New Delhi, 06/01/98) reported that Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman K.C. Singh said Monday that Pakistani Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan’s claims that India was secretly preparing to conduct more nuclear tests next month was wrong. Singh stated, “India has declared a moratorium on testing, and this has been reiterated by the prime minister himself.” However, Indian Atomic Energy Commission chairman R. Chidambaram told scientists in Bombay Monday that India might carry out small nuclear tests for research purposes, but “only if necessary.” Khan had said earlier that he had credible information that India was “already in the process of preparing a new test site … to blast somewhere in the first or second week in July.” US intelligence sources said they had detected no signs that either Pakistan or India was readying new tests.


13. Origins of Pakistani Nuclear Program

The New York Times (Tim Weiner, “U.S. AND CHINA HELPED PAKISTAN BUILD ITS BOMB,” Washington, 06/01/98) reported that present and former US officials said that Pakistan’s nuclear program was developed with the aid of smuggled Chinese technology and contradictory shifts in US policy. Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Project on Arms Control said that the PRC provided blueprints for the bomb, as well as highly enriched uranium, tritium, scientists, and key components for a nuclear weapons production complex. For its part, the US provided Pakistani nuclear scientists with technical training from the 1950s into the 1970s, but then cut off a multi-billion dollar military aid program in the 1990s, following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Milt Bearden, a senior CIA officer in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, stated, “We have helped create the conditions that exist today for the big bomb. Our marvelous sanctions forced their hand — forced them to go where they are today.” Nicholas Platt, US ambassador to Pakistan in 1991-92 and now president of the Asia Society, said, “Our own policy, which denied them a credible conventional capability, has in a way forced them to rely more on the nuclear deterrent.” He also warned, “Sanctions are such a blunt instrument that they could potentially ruin Pakistan’s economy.”

II. Republic of Korea


1. Monitoring of DPRK Food Aid

A US DPRK expert has recently returned to the US with photos taken at a tuberculosis hospital that showed Amish people from the US. According to a DPRK expert in Washington, the connection dates back to a can of US beef found on a DPRK submarine that ran aground in the ROK last year. The discovery caused an outcry at the time and the ROK government asked the US to step up its monitoring of aid distribution. Later it was discovered that the beef had been donated by the Amish community, and it is assumed that members of that community had traveled to the DPRK to undertake their own monitoring. (Korea Times, “AMISH IN NORTH KOREA,” 06/01/98)

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

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
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

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