NAPSNet Daily Report 01 October, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 01 October, 1998", Daily Report NAPSNet, October 01, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-01-october-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Opinion

I. United States

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1. Implementation of Agreed Framework

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, “U.S. GIVES N. KOREA FUEL OIL AS TALKS RESUME,” Washington, 09/30/98) reported that US officials said on Wednesday that President Bill Clinton used presidential authority to provide an extra US$15 million to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization to buy some 150,000 metric tons of fuel oil to ship to the DPRK. The officials said that the funds are being shifted from anti-terrorism, nonproliferation, and other programs. US State Department deputy spokesman James Foley stated, “We continue to believe very strongly that it’s important to go forward with the implementation of the Agreed Framework. And it is essential in this regard for the U.S. to live up to its commitments just as we demand obviously that North Korea fulfill all of its obligations under the Agreed Framework.” He added that Clinton’s authorization will bring to about 366,000 metric tons the total heavy fuel oil made available to the DPRK in 1998, out of a commitment of 500,000 metric tons. He acknowledged “there is still a shortfall” and said efforts were continuing to obtain funds to provide the rest.

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2. US-DPRK Missile Talks

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “US-N. KOREA MISSILE TALKS TO RESUME,” Washington, 10/01/98) reported that the US and the DPRK resumed missile talks on Thursday in New York for the first time since June 1997. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn was leading the US delegation to the talks, while the DPRK side is led by Han Chang-on, a US expert in the DPRK foreign ministry. The talks are expected to last two days. US State Department spokesman James Foley said Wednesday that the DPRK’s rocket launch a month ago “is a matter of great concern to the U.S. because of its destabilizing impact in the region.”

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3. ROK-DPRK Relations

Reuters (“SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT RENEWS CALL FOR NORTH KOREA TALKS,” Seoul, 10/01/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Thursday renewed his call for bilateral talks with the DPRK. Kim, at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the armed forces, stated, “With the inauguration of the new leadership, I hope that North Korea can start a new age of reconciliation and cooperation with us.” He added, “We are not going to beg for bilateral talks, but as far as we are concerned the channel for dialogue is wide open.” He vowed to prevent another conflict with the DPRK, but added, “If, by some unfortunate chance, there should be an invasion, we will thoroughly smash it in the initial stage.” He also said that peace in Northeast Asia and the world was linked to stability on the Korean peninsula. He stated, “Therefore, we must strengthen the ROK-US Defense System based on our strong national defense capability and push cooperation with Japan, while not neglecting cooperation with China and Russia.” He added, “As is shown in continuing infiltration incidents, North Korea is still adhering to an unchanging strategy of communizing and unifying the country by force. It is continuing to intensify military confrontation and tension on the Korean peninsula while disregarding efforts of the international community to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

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4. Alleged Plot to Influence ROK Election

The Associated Press (“THREE S. KOREAN MEN ARRESTED FOR PLOTTING WITH N. KOREA,” Seoul, 10/01/98) reported that prosecutors said Thursday that Oh Jong-eun, an aide to former President Kim Young-sam, and two businessmen, Han Sung-ki and Chang Sok-jung, have been arrested on charges of trying to convince the DPRK to stage a brief, armed border skirmish last year to aid the presidential campaign of then-ruling party candidate Lee Hoi- chang. The prosecutors said that Han met with DPRK officials in Beijing eight days before the presidential election and asked them to provoke a brief gunfight with ROK troops at Panmunjom. In return for the DPRK’s help, the three allegedly promised the DPRK a large amount of food and fertilizer if Lee won the election. The DPRK reportedly declined the offer. The three accused were arrested secretly early last month by the ROK Agency for National Security Planning and will be indicted on charges of violating national security and election laws. Park Jie-won, ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s chief spokesman, stated, “We are waiting for the prosecution to determine whether the high-level party leadership was involved in this shocking plot.”

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5. Clinton Trip to Japan, ROK

Reuters (Arshad Mohammed, “CLINTON CANCELS PLAN TO VISIT INDIA AND PAKISTAN,” Washington, 09/30/98) reported that anonymous US officials said on Wednesday that US President Bill Clinton would travel to the ROK and Japan next month in place of his canceled trip to India and Pakistan. One unnamed official stated, “We have important issues to discuss with both allies.” The officials said that the visits would help ease displeasure in Japan and the ROK over the fact that Clinton made a nine- day visit to the PRC this summer without stopping in either country.

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6. Clinton Trip to South Asia

White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry (“WHITE HOUSE REPORT, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1998,” USIA Transcript, 09/30/98) announced Wednesday that US President Bill Clinton had decided to postpone his visit to India and Pakistan. McCurry stated, “We are trying to get an environment created in which that trip will be most useful in advancing the interests of the international community and the people of the United States as well as the people of India and Pakistan.” He added that the US has “had good talks with both India and Pakistan, recognizing the significant role they play in the region and their significance to the world community. We’ve made some progress on the issues that obviously prompted this decision, nuclear testing and export controls in particular. We’re pleased that (India’s) Prime Minister Vajpayee and (Pakistan’s) Prime Minister Sharif, in their meeting last week in New York, announced resumption of foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries. That’s important, and we hope that those are fruitful exchanges. At the same time, the issues that we have been discussing with both governments are complex and we believe will require more time to be addressed to our mutual satisfaction. Until more progress is achieved, we are not going to be able to lift the sanctions that are in place and we aren’t in a position to strengthen the kind of bilateral ties with both governments that we would naturally want to make a featured element of any trip by the President to the region.”

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7. New US Nuclear Agency

The Associated Press (Laura Myers, “PENTAGON LAUNCHES NEW NUKE AGENCY,” Washington, 10/01/98) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen said in a statement that the Defense Department on Thursday created a new Defense Threat Reduction Agency to deal with modern-day threats of weapons of mass destruction. Cohen stated, “Today’s harsh reality is too powerful to ignore–at least 25 countries have, or are in the process of developing, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and the means to deliver them.” The new agency combines the Defense Special Weapons Agency, the On-Site Inspection Agency, and the Defense Technology Security Administration. It will have more than 2,000 employees and a budget for fiscal year 1999 of US$1.9 billion, about the same as the current organizations. Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre said that the agency is likely to expand as both countries and terrorist organizations gain weapons. Jay Davis, a nuclear physicist, will serve as director of the new agency. Davis said that he plans to work closely with US intelligence agencies. John Pike, a security analyst for the Federation of American Scientists, applauded the move, saying that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction “is a high-priority threat.” He added, however, that the US is not addressing the failures of the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and others to work together to sift through information from many sources. He called this problem “the most broken part” of US nonproliferation efforts.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Implementation of Agreed Framework

The US, the ROK, and Japan met along with other countries Tuesday to discuss funding for the 1994 Agreed Framework. Representatives from 11 countries met at a hotel in Seoul to review the annual report of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The US special envoy to KEDO, Charles Kartman, made no mention of the funding problems before Tuesday’s session. “From KEDO’s perspective the situation is in good shape,” he said. “There is a good deal of information about recent events in the DPRK to go over,” he added. The US administration has voiced “serious concerns” about Congress’s moves to curtail funds for KEDO and said it would lobby to reverse the decision. (Korea Times, “US, ROK, Japan MEET OVER FUNDING TO NK REACTOR,” 10/01/98)

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2. Four Party Talks

Hankook Ilbo (“4 PARTY TALKS TO RESUME OCT. 21-25,” Seoul, 09/30/98) reported that the four party peace talks will resume in Geneva on October 21-25, with the ROK taking a more flexible position regarding the debate on the status of US forces stationed in ROK. The past two rounds of Korean peace talks, involving the US and the PRC as well as the two Koreas, were deadlocked because the DPRK demanded that such issues as the withdrawal of US forces and the signing of a US-DPRK peace treaty be included in the list of main agenda items. “As North Korea has strongly called for discussions on the status of US forces in the ROK, we decided to give them a chance to raise the issue as part of the long-term arrangements,” an ROK official said.

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3. US Aid to DPRK

The US Republican Party has submitted a bill to the House of Representatives which would create preconditions for food aid to the DPRK, it was reported Wednesday. The draft proposes closer monitoring of aid and guarantees that none of it is being diverted to the military. If the DPRK fails to comply with this, then the administration would have to suspend shipments of aid indefinitely. The revision bill was proposed as a rider by Representative Christopher Cox during negotiations on the agricultural budget for 1999. It requires the Clinton administration to prove that the food is not being used by the military and that the DPRK release its own stockpiles in conjunction with overseas aid. Additionally, assistance should receive prior agreement from the ROK government. (Chosun Ilbo, “GOP PUSH BILL TO HALT AID TO NK,” 10/01/98)

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4. DPRK Reform

Korea Herald (“PRESIDENT SAYS DPRK TAKING FIRST STEPS TOWARD OPENNESS,” Seoul, 10/01/98) reported that President Kim Dae-jung said Wednesday that the DPRK is taking the first steps towards openness that the PRC and the Soviet Union took. “This shows that there is a change going on in the DPRK similar to what happened during the initial stage of opening in China and the former Soviet Union,” Kim said in an interview with the daily vernacular Cheju Ilbo. Kim spoke in reference to the DPRK’s recent amendment of its constitution, in which the DPRK adopted some basic market mechanisms. Kim pointed to the granting of autonomy in factory management, the introduction of the concept of profitability and the easing of controls on foreign trade. “We need to assist them so that this bud of change can blossom into the fruits of reform and openness,” the President said. Inter-Korean economic cooperation between the private sectors will accelerate those positive changes in DPRK, he added.

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5. DPRK-PRC Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“DPRK EMPHASIZES RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA”, Seoul, 10/01/98) reported that the DPRK’s state-owned Korean Central Broadcasting Agency reported on September 30 that the DPRK government emphasized its relationship with the PRC in commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the PRC government. Moon Jae-chul, a high-ranking official said, “The amity between DPRK and China has developed since its beginning. The people of both countries will continue this tradition.” The PRC Ambassador to the DPRK also said, “The friendship between China and the DPRK has developed through both new and established procedures. Keeping the friendship is our unshakable attitude.

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6. Escape of Korean War POW

Chang Moo-hwan, aged seventy-two, who had been captured by DPRK troops during the Korean War, escaped via a third country and landed at Inchon port Monday morning. He is the third POW to escape to date, following Cho Chang-ho in 1994 and Yang Soon-yong in December of last year. According to the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MOND), Chang was captured in July 1953 and had been living in a mining compound in Hambuk province. He escaped to the PRC across the Tumen River and was able to contact his wife in Ulchin, Kyongbuk province in the ROK. MOND is arranging for him to meet his family and will hold a news conference. It estimates that between 28,000 to 37,000 ROK soldiers were taken prisoner during the war and that around 10 percent are still alive. (Chosun Ilbo, “ONE MORE KOREAN WAR POW RETURNS,” 10/01/98)

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7. DPRK Seizure of Korean-American

Concerns were raised Wednesday that the Korean-American president of the Beijing Institute of Science and Technology, Kim Jin-kyong (James Kim) has been detained by DPRK authorities. Kim visited Pyongyang on September 12 and was to have returned September 19. Authorities in the DPRK requested that he extend his visit by a week, which he did, but since then no word has been heard from him. The US State Department confirmed that Kim had been detained in Pyongyang. There are strong rumors that his detention is connected to the purge of liberals such as Kim Jong-wu, chief of the Overseas Economic Cooperation Council. Additionally, the possibility of him being involved in espionage was raised because of his frequent visits to the ROK, the DPRK, and the US. Since 1987, Kim Jin-kyong actively carried out projects to help the DPRK, by providing medicine and aid. His visit was to discuss the building of a hospital. He was accompanied by the Reverend Kwak Sun-hee, who returned alone. (Chosun Ilbo, “KOREAN-AMERICAN FEARED DETAINED IN NK,” 10/01/98)

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8. 1996 Murder of ROK Diplomat

Chosun Ilbo (“RUSSIA ENDS DIPLOMATIC MURDER INVESTIGATION,” Seoul, 09/30/98) reported that two years after the murder of Choi Deok-keun, the ROK consul general in Vladivostok, the Russian investigation into the affair has concluded that there was no DPRK involvement in his death. An official from the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) said that Russia is likely to release a detailed report in October with this conclusion. It is in sharp contrast to the ROK government’s contention that the DPRK sent agents to assassinate him. A high-ranking ROK government official said that the ROK had discovered proof of the DPRK’s involvement that was unavailable to Russian authorities because DPRK diplomats were included among the suspects. One of the reasons for the strong belief is that the second autopsy performed on Choi’s body found traces of a toxin used in fountain pen needle guns carried by DPRK agents. Additionally, Russian investigators had admitted that eyewitnesses described the murderers as Asian. Choi had been investigating large-scale drug smuggling by the DPRK at the time. An ROK government official said that there is a way to find clear evidence and that if Russia fails to do so, it can be construed as an unfriendly act that may lead to tension. Choi was murdered at 8:00pm on August 1, 1996, on the staircase leading to his apartment.

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9. ROK Grants Citizenship to Korean-Japanese

Korea Herald (“ROK TO GRANT CITIZENSHIP TO PRO NORTH KOREANS IN JAPAN,” Seoul, 10/01/98) reported that the ROK is planning to grant citizenship to pro-DPRK ethnic Korean residents in Japan. The pro-DPRK residents, who number about 200,000, live in a legal limbo because Japan does not have formal relations with the DPRK. On the other hand, 600,000 pro-ROK residents gained legal status as ROK nationals when the ROK established official relations with Japan in 1965. Many of the ethnic Koreans, be they pro-ROK or pro-DPRK, are those who were mobilized for Japan’s war efforts before 1945 and their descendants. Representative Namkung Jin, a policy coordinator at the ruling National Congress for New Politics, said that members of Chochongnyon, the organization of pro-DPRK residents, would be allowed to visit the ROK even if they refuse to renounce their membership in the organization. When they visit the ROK, Representative Jin said, they will be allowed to apply for citizenship. In the past, the ROK government issued passports and granted citizenship to those who had dissociated themselves from Chochongnyon. Representative Jin said that the ruling party will soon start talks with the government on administrative measures so that those wishing to take advantage of the program can be granted citizenship when President Kim Dae-jung returns from his state visit to Japan next week.

III. Opinion

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1. Indian-Pakistan Nuclear Programs

[Ed. note: The following commentary is by Ralph A. Cossa, Executive Director of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, a non-profit, foreign policy research institute affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. Mr. Cossa’s previously contributed NAPSNet Policy Forum Online (#11), Monitoring the Agreed Framework.]

“India-Pakistan: Signing the CTBT is Not Enough!” by Ralph A. Cossa

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan have both intimated that their countries might be willing to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) before the scheduled September 1999 CTBT review conference…provided certain conditions are met.

“Pakistan’s adherence to the treaty will take place only in conditions free from coercion or pressure,” said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, arguing for a complete lifting of international sanctions. And, of course, if India resumes testing, then all bets are off. India is looking not only for a lifting of sanctions and recognition as a nuclear power, but also wants greater access to dual-use nuclear-energy technology. In return, Prime Minister Vajpayee is willing to forego future tests since “whatever data we required we have collected; there is no need for further tests.”

The fact that both nations are rethinking their earlier refusal to sign the CTBT is a positive sign since the treaty cannot enter into force without their signatures; it is not sufficient cause to remove sanctions or reduce the pressure on both states to halt their nuclear weapons programs. A halt in testing now, while desirable, accomplishes little, as Vajpayee himself admits. The concern now is for both to refrain from building weapons arsenals and actually deploying missiles with nuclear warheads in the field.

The international community faces two pressing tasks. One is to stem the tide of additional proliferation. (Why should we believe it will stop with India and Pakistan, especially if the global response is weak or short-lived?) The second is to convince India and Pakistan to at least halt, if not reverse, their self-destructive behavior. Returning to “business as usual” with India and Pakistan in return merely for a “no more tests” pledge serves neither purpose. It encourages others to follow India’s and Pakistan’s lead and does little to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock (advanced when both nations conducted nuclear tests last May in defiance of world public opinion) further back from midnight. Instead, it validates past actions and encourages India’s government in particular to pursue its nuclear weapons development and deployment program.

What is really needed is for both nations to step back from the nuclear precipice and sign not just the CTBT but the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear weapons states. But what are the odds of this happening? Perhaps not as bad as one would think, particularly if the US, Japan and other key creditor states and institutions hold firm.

The White House’s leadership is particularly critical in this regard. The days of US agents covertly undermining undesirable foreign governments, thankfully, are over. But they should not be replaced by overt moves by public officials to embolden governments whose policies undermine US national security interests and threaten the prospects for peace in South Asia, if not globally. There are many in India who are openly questioning not only the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) dangerous nuclear weapons policies but also its incendiary policies toward its Pakistani neighbors as well as its own Moslem minorities. The BJP government has arrogantly predicted that the rest of the world would “come to its senses” and endorse its nuclear policies; does President Clinton want to validate this assertion?

The first step toward turning back the Doomsday Clock is to recognize the profound differences in Indian and Pakistani motivation for going nuclear. India is driven by the mistaken assumption that nuclear weapons will give it the recognition and respect it believes it deserves as the world’s largest democracy. Envy of China’s more elevated status (China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and an accepted nuclear power), more so than its stated “China threat” justification, is another major, related factor.

Pakistan’s primary motive, plain and simple, is fear of India, the gigantic neighbor with which it has fought three wars and has outstanding territorial disputes. This fear, present even in the best of times, has been magnified by the BJP’s openly antagonistic policies. But, is Pakistan condemned forever to follow India’s bad examples rather than pursuing a higher independent path? Or, will Pakistan’s desperate need for economic relief permit it to take the first step, provided its basic security fears are addressed?

With Pakistan’s best friend, China, serving as interlocutor, Islamabad should be approached with the following deal: Pakistan gives up its nuclear program and signs the CTBT and NPT under full safeguards in return for a full lifting of sanctions, increased economic assistance, and positive security assurances not just from China or the US, but from the UNSC, which includes all five recognized nuclear weapons states. Under such conditions, President Clinton would pledge to visit Pakistan this fall, while offering also to visit India if New Delhi follows suit.

Such a move not only gives Prime Minister Sharif the incentive he needs to move Pakistan forward, it provides the best hope of convincing the BJP government to change its policy or, failing that, of convincing the Indian people to change their government in favor of one that is willing to earn, rather than merely demand, the international respect India desires.

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.
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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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

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

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

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


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