NAPSNet Daily Report 01 May, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 01 May, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 01, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-01-may-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Listing on Terrorism List
2. DPRK Economy
3. DPRK Missile Program
4. DPRK-Nigerian Relations
5. Remains of Soldiers from Korean War
6. Korean War Massacre
7. Cross-Straits Relations
8. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
9. Israeli Arms Sales to PRC
10. PRC-India Relations
11. US-PRC Spying Row
12. Japan-Russia Talks
13. G8 Summit in Okinawa
14. Japanese Nuclear Accident

I. United States

1. DPRK Listing on Terrorism List

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA REMAINS ON US TERRORISM LIST,” Washington, 5/1/00) reported that the US re-designated the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism on Monday. The US State Department insisted that the DPRK’s inclusion on the list contained in the annual “Global Patterns of Terrorism” report did not mean that the country could not be removed from the list in the near future. The report said, “the designation of state sponsors is not permanent. North Korea has made some positive statements condemning terrorism in all its forms. We have outlined clearly to the government of North Korea the steps it must take to be removed from the list, all of which are consistent with its stated policies.” The report specifically noted the DPRK’s harboring of Japanese Red Army terrorists wanted for a 1970 hijacking of a Japanese plane. It also accused the DPRK of attempting to kidnap a defecting diplomat in Thailand in 1999 and then hold the diplomat’s son hostage for two weeks. The report said, “some evidence also suggests (that the DPRK) may have sold weapons directly or indirectly to terrorist groups.”

2. DPRK Economy

The New York Times (Howard W. French, “NORTH KOREA SHYLY COURTS CAPITALISM,” Seoul, 4/30/00) reported that the DPRK has earned close to US$1 billion a year in tourism revenue paid by the ROK conglomerate Hyundai. Analysts said that with no chance of the DPRK turning its economy around by its own means, many analysts say the prospect of far more investment has become irresistible. One US government expert said, “this is a country that is incredibly resilient. Despite all our analysis that shows they are only operating at a fraction of the output of even five years ago, they are still eking out a living.” General Thomas Schwartz, commander of US troops in the ROK, in testimony before the US Senate in March said, “we must consider the North Korean economy could break down completely, precipitating social chaos and threatening the existence of the regime itself. We should anticipate a flood of refugees, humanitarian needs and the potential for chaos, a military coup or the devastation of civil war.” The DPRK state budget was US$9 billion in 1999, compared with US$15 five years earlier. According to Pyon Jinil, editor of the Korea Report, a newsletter published in Japan, the country already received approximately US$600 million in foreign aid each year, or one-fifteenth of the budget, mostly in the form of food and fuel assistance. Many analysts said that what the DPRK appears to be doing is building new infrastructure with a view of drawing still more investment from foreign companies, especially from the PRC and the ROK. Many in ROK see the DPRK acceptance of the inter-Korean summit as a logical step in a progression of extremely cautious but steady efforts to open the DPRK economy to foreign capital. Do Yong-seung, an expert on the DPRK at the Samsung Economic Research Institute, said, “they are feeling the quills of the porcupine. They need South Korean capital badly, but they are acutely fearful of its dangers.”

3. DPRK Missile Program

The Washington Post (Walter Pincus and Steven Mufson, “RUSSIA HAS OFFER ON MISSILE DEFENSE,” 4/29/00) reported that a senior US official said on April 28 that Russia has offered to work with the US to restrain the DPRK’s missile program if the US Clinton administration abandons its proposal to amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty to permit construction of a limited national missile defense system (NMD). The official said, “they are saying, let’s deal diplomatically or cooperate on a theater missile defense and shoot down [DPRK] missiles that way,” describing the offer that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov presented to US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright during recent talks in the US. The official said that the US agreed to review Ivanov’s suggestion; however, it still intends to seek alterations to the ABM Treaty at a June 4-5 summit in Russia. The official said that the Russian counterproposal was geared toward eliminating the threat posed by medium-range DPRK missiles to the Asian region and fails to deal with the potential threat to the US posed by DPRK efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile. US national security adviser Samuel R. Berger said on April 28 that in the context of the ABM talks, the US might be willing to consider Russia’s desire to reduce the number of nuclear warheads on both sides in a START III strategic arms reduction accord. Burger said, “it seems to me to be in Russia’s interest … to do it now, in the context of an administration that wants to preserve the ABM [Treaty], versus later, with an administration that might take a more robust position and do away with the ABM [Treaty]. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 1, 2000.]

4. DPRK-Nigerian Relations

The Washington Times (“NORTH KOREA WOOS NIGERIAN MILITARY,” Lagos, 4/28/00) reported that the DPRK’s defense attache in Nigeria, Colonel Ho Cho-guk, said in a report cited by the Guardian newspaper on April 26 that the DPRK is willing to enter into a military pact with Nigeria. Ho said, “we are proposing to meet and agree with Nigerian military authorities on some specific areas of cooperation between us.” He said that the DPRK was also exploring the possibility of establishing “concrete” areas of cooperation with Nigeria to cement the existing bilateral relationship. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 28, 2000.]

5. Remains of Soldiers from Korean War

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “S. KOREA SEEKS REMAINS OF SOLDIERS,” Kaehwasan, 5/1/00) reported that ROK soldiers began digging up the Kaehwasan Mountain on the outskirts of Seoul in search of remains of soldiers lost during the Korean War. The excavation is part of an ROK government plan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War. ROK soldiers are digging in two other areas and plan to increase the number of excavation sites to 26 by 2003. The ROK government said it is doing the work now because it has the money, technology and manpower to do so. US and ROK officials began field research Monday to excavate an area at Seoul National University Hospital this week. At least two sets of remains of US soldiers who died in the Korean War are believed to be buried at the site.

6. Korean War Massacre

The Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA’S NO GUN RI INVESTIGATIVE TEAM TO VISIT U.S,” Seoul, 5/1/00) reported that a group of five ROK experts left Monday for the US on a mission to coordinate the two countries’ investigations into the alleged No Gun Ri massacre. During their six-day visit, the ROK experts, led by retired General Paik Sun-yup, will meet US Defense Department officials and their US counterparts, including former ambassador to the ROK Donald Gregg and former congressman Paul McCloskey. They will be assisted in the talks by three ROK Defense Ministry officials handling the issue. The ROK experts said they had requested the US government to arrange interviews with US veterans who said they were involved in the mass killing before they left Seoul, but the US government responded negatively to the request, citing legal restrictions.

7. Cross-Straits Relations

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “BEIJING STRESSES ‘ONE CHINA’ TO TAIWAN,” Beijing, 4/28/00) reported that Tang Shubei, vice chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, warned Taiwan’s president-elect Chen Shui-bian that he was courting disaster if he did not accept the “one China” principle. He added, however, that if Chen does accept the formula, the island will be treated as an equal in any negotiations with the PRC. The official New China News Agency quoted Tang as saying, “cross-strait talks are not talks between the central government and local, they are not talks between the government of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan local authorities, but equal talks under the ‘one China’ principle.” Tang’s statement, in the news agency’s Chinese version, added that if Chen did not accept the “one China” principle, “the result will not be peace but war.” However, an editor at the agency’s Beijing headquarters said that Tang had been misquoted. Later, an English version of the remarks quoted Tang as saying, “if they do not recognize that Taiwan is part of China and the ‘one China’ principle, this will lead to disaster instead of peace, confrontation instead of harmony, and hostility instead of goodwill.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 28, 2000.]

8. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Washington Post published an opinion article by William J. Perry, former secretary of defense in the Clinton administration, and Brent Scowcroft, former national security adviser to presidents Ford and Bush (“MERITS OF THE MIDDLE,” 5/1/00) which said that criticisms of the US Clinton Administration’s response to Taiwan’s request for advanced weapons have tended to characterize the decision as either appeasement or provocation of the PRC. However, the authors wrote, “both these criticisms are using the wrong criterion for judging the decision. We should not base our decisions on whether we please or offend China. Our decisions should be based on whether the arms sales lead to greater or less security for Taiwan, and what the ultimate effect will be on the security of the United States.” The authors wrote that the Clinton administration’s decision to use moderation in providing Taiwan with arms “gives China and Taiwan the opportunity to direct their energies to the resumption of cross-strait dialogue, business, investment and traffic. All of these would strengthen the incentives between Taiwan and the mainland, thereby improving the atmosphere for political dialogue.” They continued that such increased interchange helps cross-strait relations by magnifying the cost of a confrontation for both sides and therefore would buy time in allowing the PRC’s evolution to continue in ways that would facilitate a peaceful resolution. And if, the authors wrote, the approach by the Clinton administration does not work, the US is obliged by the Taiwan Relations Act to respond, and the administration’s decision on arms sales is flexible enough to accommodate such an unfortunate development. They noted that several of Taiwan’s requests for naval systems were not denied but deferred, pending a detailed assessment of its needs. The authors continued, “Both sides should consider the real alternatives. Taiwan’s goal of greater security cannot be ensured by buying ever more arms. China’s goal of reunification cannot be ensured by raising its military threat to Taiwan. Neither side would ‘win’ such an arms race; indeed, if other regional powers followed suit, it could result in a disaster for the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and would clearly be detrimental to American security interests. But that outcome is not preordained. It is not too late for moderation. The administration’s response sets the tone…. It is time for serious reflection before all parties head down a dangerous path.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 1, 2000.]

9. Israeli Arms Sales to PRC

Agence France Presse (“U.S. DELAYS MILITARY DEALS WITH ISRAEL IN BID TO BLOCK CHINA SALE,” Jerusalem, 5/1/00) reported that the leading Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, said on April 30 that the US is delaying military deals with Israel in order to pressure it to cancel its arms deal with the PRC. The Hebrew paper said that according to a US Defense Department source, Israeli requests for new weapons and advanced military technology would be subjected to a “very harsh review. The dispute over the sale of the Israeli-made AWACs planes to China has clouded American-Israeli relations in recent weeks and may thwart Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s efforts to upgrade the strategic relationship with Washington.”

London Times (“BRITAIN ‘TO SELL AWACS TO CHINA’,” Jerusalem, 5/1/00) reported that Israel is reported to have told the US that Britain is ready to sell early-warning planes to the PRC if a similar deal with Israel is canceled. The US wants the Israelis to scrap a planned sale of eight Awacs radar planes because it fears that they could be used in the Taiwan Strait against US and Taiwanese aircraft. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 1, 2000.]

10. PRC-India Relations

Agence France Presse (“INDIA, CHINA AGREE FOR A ‘FORWARD LOOKING’ RELATIONSHIP,” New Delhi, 5/1/00) reported that Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said that India and the PRC agreed on April 29 to adopt a “forward looking” approach and set up an expert group to solve a long-running border dispute. A statement issued by the Indian foreign ministry said, “the two sides discussed boundary-related issues including clarifications of the line of actual control, and confidence building measures between the armed forces. The discussions were held in a frank and friendly atmosphere. The two sides agreed that the expert group would meet as often as required to discuss boundary-related issues including clarifications on the line of actual control.” Jassal said that both sides also agreed on promoting cultural, economic scientific, technical and people-to-people contact “while continuing to address outstanding issues. There was recognition of the Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control Treaty signed in 1993 and the agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field (1996). Both the sides reiterated their commitment to the two treaties.”

11. US-PRC Spying Row

The New York Times (World Briefing, “CHINA: NO PAROLE FOR RESEARCHER,” 4/28/00) reported that a Hong Kong human rights group said the PRC government rejected a request for medical parole for PRC-born Stanford University researcher, Hua Di, who has been jailed in Beijing since 1988 on charges of revealing military secrets. Hua, a former PRC weapons scientist who is serving 15 years, has a rare form of breast cancer that strikes men.

12. Japan-Russia Talks

The New York Times (Patrick E. Tyler, “ISLAND TALKS GET NEW PUSH FROM JAPAN AND RUSSIA,” St. Petersburg, 4/30/00) reported that Russia president-elect Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori pledged on April 29 to try to conclude a peace treaty by the end of the year that would end the dispute over islands that Japan calls its Northern Territories, and Russia claims as part its Kuril Island chain. Mori said at a joint news conference, “We attach great significance to concluding a peace treaty by the end of the year.” Putin said he had accepted an invitation to go to Japan this summer for an official visit that both sides hope will yield a compromise on the islands. The two leaders also discussed preparations for the Group of Eight (G-8) meeting in Okinawa in July, and Russia’s view of nuclear disarmament issues.

13. G8 Summit in Okinawa

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State released a statement by The White House Office of the Press Secretary (“STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY,” 4/28/00) which said, “President Clinton will travel to Tokyo and Okinawa, Japan in July, to attend the G8 Leaders Meeting hosted by Japan. In Tokyo, the President will attend a dinner hosted by the Emperor of Japan for G8 Leaders. On July 21, the President will travel to Okinawa, Japan to participate in the G8 Leaders Meetings. The President looks forward to meeting the people of Okinawa and expressing his appreciation for their significant contribution to the security of Asia by hosting U.S. Forces”

14. Japanese Nuclear Accident

The New York Times (World Briefing, “JAPAN: NEW NUCLEAR DEATH,” 4/28/00) reported that a second person died as a result Japan’s nuclear accident eight months ago. The victim, Masato Shinohara, was one of several plant workers who were manually feeding uranium into equipment used illegally to increase productivity.

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Monash Asia Institute,
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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