NAPSNet Daily Report 01 September, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Talks
2. DPRK Missile Program
3. ROK Policy toward DPRK
4. ROK Military
5. US-PRC Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-US-Japan Policy Coordination
2. KEDO Chief to Visit DPRK
III. Japan 1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks
2. Japanese Agricultural Assistance to DPRK
3. Japanese Proposal of Six-Way Forum
4. PRC Stance on DPRK Missiles
5. PRC Naval Activities
6. Japanese Stance on TMD
7. Carriage of Nuclear Weapons into Japan

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Talks

Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “KOREA LEADERS MULL MILITARY DEAL,” Seoul, 9/1/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK agreed on Friday to open a military dialogue to ease tension on the Korean peninsula. The DPRK also admitted its severe food shortages, and the ROK agreed to loan it grain. A joint press statement released Friday in Seoul said, “The South and North will exert efforts to ease tension and guarantee peace. In this regard, consultations will be held for military authorities of both sides to open a dialogue as soon as possible.” The two sides will hold their next round of talks in the ROK island of Cheju on September 27-30. Pool reports from ROK journalists said that the agreement came after DPRK leader Kim Jong-il met the head of the ROK delegation, Unification Minister Park Jae- kyu. Kim met Park for three hours in a countryside resort Friday and expressed satisfaction with the thaw on the Korean peninsula following the June summit. The report also said, “The military agreement, although broad, has set the stage for both sides to discuss such issues as opening a military hot line and a direct channel of dialogue between defense officials.”

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA TO SEND ECONOMIC MISSION TO SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 9/1/00) reported that ROK pool reports from Pyongyang said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il offered Friday to dispatch a team to the ROK to explore the different economic systems there. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu stated, “(National Defense Commission) Chairman Kim said that he would dispatch an economic mission to Seoul at an early date. It would be helpful to economic cooperation, if they look around the South’s various industrial facilities and economic system.” Park said he had three-hour-long talks with Kim earlier in the morning, but did not reveal what else had been discussed. Park took a secret, overnight train on the evening of August 31 to the northern area of North Hamkyong, far away from the venue for the peace talks, to meet with Kim. An ROK official was quoted as saying that: “The North had requested the South make it confidential.”

2. DPRK Missile Program

Reuters (“U.S. EXPLORING N. KOREAN’S REMARK ABOUT SCRAPPING MISSILE PROGRAM,” 9/1/00) reported that US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on August 31 that Russia and the US are taking seriously a DPRK proposal to scrap its missile program in exchange for help with satellite launches. Boucher said that US State Department counselor Wendy Sherman discussed Kim’s offer with Russian deputy foreign ministers Alexandre P. Losyukov and Georgy Mamedov in Moscow this week. Boucher said, “She had good discussions in Moscow. Both the U.S. and Russian officials continue to believe it’s important to explore this proposal with North Korea. We and the Russians both believe it’s something that needs to be pursued seriously. We look forward to finding out more through direct discussions.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 1, 2000.]

3. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Washington Post (Nora Boustany, “CHANGING NORTH KOREAN ATTITUDES, ONE STEP AT A TIME,” 9/1/00) reported that Sung Chul-yang, the ROK’s new ambassador to the US, said that the attitudes of the leadership in the DPRK cannot change overnight, but they can change bit by bit. Sung said on August 31 that there are two major results of the inter-Korean summit: first is the DPRK’s “positive thinking” and surprising acceptance of the US military presence on the Korean peninsula even if the two Koreas reconcile. Second is the DPRK’s agreement to a formula of reunification that would allow both Koreas to maintain separate military and diplomatic powers during the transition to a confederation. Sung noted, “This is one important concession we got.” He added, however, that to ensure the leopard is really changing its spots, “we have to cautiously look out for deeds, not only words.” Sung also talked about how warm US-ROK ties can continue and added that talks are planned between both countries on legal, environmental and labor issues. Sung stressed that dialogue between the DPRK and the ROK was based on deterrence and that US-ROK military cooperation was the cornerstone of that. He added that he does not expect any fundamental differences with respect to US policy on the peninsula after the US presidential election in November. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 1, 2000.]

4. ROK Military

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “OFFICIAL CALLS FOR TROOP CUTS, PRIVATIZATION,” 9/1/00) reported that Oh Jum-lock, administrator of the ROK Military Manpower Administration, on August 31 stressed the need to reduce troops and privatize military support organizations to cope with changing situations in the near future. Oh said that the current conciliatory atmosphere between the ROK and the DPRK would inevitably lead to a reduction or freeze of the nation’s defense budgets and ensuing cuts in military manpower, which requires the ministry to come up with new military reform measures. Oh said, “In this context, I think the nation’s military structure and management should be completely reorganized to pursue a small but strong armed forces with advanced equipment. All of the military’s administrative support systems and organizations should be privatized or integrated, thereby helping cover anticipated military cutbacks.” Citing ministry data, Oh predicted that the ROK Army’s manpower will be insufficient starting in 2004. For efficient manpower management, Oh said that the military should open the doors of certain military sectors to civilian experts.

5. US-PRC Relations

Reuters (“CHINA PRESIDENT SAYS U.S. ‘OVERESTIMATES ITSELF’,” New York, 9/1/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin, in an interview with the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” said that the PRC wanted to improve its relations with the US even though the two countries “differ greatly in terms of our values.” Jiang added, “Candidly speaking, maybe it is because of the economic power and leading edge in science and technology that the United States enjoys that more often than not it tends to overestimate itself and its position in the world.” Jiang said that he wanted to reach out to the US people by granting the interview to the most-watched US television network news program. He said that regardless of whether Democrat Al Gore or Republican George W. Bush wins the US presidential election, the new president “will try to improve the friendly relations between China and the United States, for this is in the strategic interest of the whole world.” When his interviewer described the PRC as “the last major Communist dictatorship in the world,” Jiang reacted, “Dictatorship? That is a big mistake…. Speaking very frankly, I do not agree with you.” Asked to describe the state of Sino-US relations, Jiang said, “Our relations have experienced wind, rain and sometimes clouds or even dark clouds. However, sometimes it clears up. We all sincerely hope to build a constructive partnership between China and the United States.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-US-Japan Policy Coordination

The Korea Herald (“SEOUL, WASHINGTON AND TOKYO TO FINE-TUNE NORTH KOREA POLICY,” Seoul, 09/01/00) reported that senior officials from the ROK and the US discussed recent progress in inter-Korean relations on August 30, coordinating their DPRK strategies. The three allied nations will hold three-way talks Friday, called the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting, to fine-tune their approaches toward the DPRK. This TCOG meeting is the second since the ROK and the DPRK held summit talks.

2. KEDO Chief to Visit DPRK

The Korea Herald (“KEDO CHIEF VISITS N.K. TO INSPECT REACTOR BUILDING SITE,” Seoul, 09/01/00) reported that Desaix Anderson, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), flew into Pyongyang on August 28 to inspect two light-water nuclear reactors in Sinpo on the eastern coast of South Hamkyong Province. An ROK government official said on August 30 that Anderson would visit the reactor construction site to check the progress of the construction work during his stay in the DPRK until September 2. In a related development, the DPRK’s media reported on August 30 that Anderson and his company arrived in Pyongyang on August 28 but did not say anything about the purpose of his visit or his itinerary in the DPRK.

III. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks

The Asahi Shimbun (“PRIME MINISTER STATES THAT NORMALIZATION SHOULD BE DONE THROUGH ECONOMIC MEANS,” 09/01/2000) reported that during his appearance on a TV program on August 31, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori talked about Japan’s role in normalizing relations with the DPRK. Mori said, “(Normalization) should be done through a resolution similar to that between Japan and the ROK.” The report said that Mori’s statement suggests that normalization between Japan and the DPRK should take the form of economic cooperation. The Japanese government had already proposed at the 10th round of the normalization talks in August the idea of economic cooperation as a means of Japan’s compensation for its colonization and also the idea of the DPRK’s right to demand the return of Koreans’ properties. However, the report noted that Mori’s statement indicates that his priority now lies with establishing economic cooperation.

2. Japanese Agricultural Assistance to DPRK

The Asahi Shimbun (“DPRK ASKS HOKKAIDO FOR POTATOES,” 09/01/2000) reported that the DPRK appealed to an external body of the Hokkaido local government for 500 tons of potatoes and agricultural technical assistance. During a July visit to Pyongyang by the Research Institute for the North Pacific Region in Sapporo, the DPRK consulted the body on agricultural assistance and made a formal request to for assistance through the Association of Pro-DPRK Residents in Japan. The Hokkaido local government stated, “We don’t know how to respond to the request because there are no formal diplomatic relations between Japan and the DPRK. However, we would like to discuss what we can do.” The DPRK’s request described the situation in the country as “(T)he Republic (DPRK) has been suffering natural disasters over a long period of time, and an extreme degree of food shortage has continued. This year has also seen extremely hot weathers and droughts, which have done an immeasurable damage.”

3. Japanese Proposal of Six-Way Forum

The Japan Times (“COMMUNICATION NEEDED FOR PEACE IN ASIA,” Beijing, 08/31/2000) reported that during his speech at the Central Party School of the PRC Communist Party in Beijing on August 30, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono emphasized the importance of multilateral dialogue to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia. He also reiterated Japan’s proposal for the establishment of a six-way forum involving the PRC, Japan, the DPRK, the ROK, Russia and the US. Kono said that he believed the six-way forum that Japan has been advocating for some time is one feasible idea, and also underlined the need to enhance two trilateral frameworks of dialogue–one involving the PRC, Japan and the US, and the other involving the PRC, Japan and the ROK. Kono added that the creation of such a framework can be achieved with a flexible and realistic approach and that dialogue should start with issues related to the environment, economy and personnel exchanges and eventually expand to comprehensively cover political and other issues.

4. PRC Stance on DPRK Missiles

The Sankei Shimbun (“IT IS DIFFICULT TO HAVE DPRK ABANDON MISSILES,” 08/30/2000) reported that the PRC Vice Premier said to Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on August 29, “There has been some progress in Japanese-DPRK relations, but it is difficult to have the DPRK abandon its satellites or missiles. I know that the continuation of the DPRK’s missile development would make it hard to solve problems.”

5. PRC Naval Activities

The Japan Times (“COMMUNICATION NEEDED FOR PEACE IN ASIA,” Beijing, 08/31/2000) reported that during his speech at the Central Party School of the PRC Communist Party in Beijing on August 30, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said that the two countries took a “meaningful step” on August 29 when he agreed with PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan to set up an advance notification mechanism in an attempt to resolve what Japan claims are increasing PRC marine research activities within its exclusive economic zone. Kono also said that many Japanese have strong concerns about the PRC’s increasing military spending and missile stockpiles and that they are also becoming more worried about reportedly low assessment and awareness of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) to the PRC, which has reached some 30 billion yuan (384.7 billion yen) annually. Kono added that Japan started reviewing its policy for extending ODA to the PRC due to a backlash in public sentiment, although its basic stance of assisting the PRC’s reform efforts remains intact since Japan introduced the policy 20 years ago.

6. Japanese Stance on TMD

The Japan Times (“COMMUNICATION NEEDED FOR PEACE IN ASIA,” Beijing, 08/31/2000) reported that during his speech at the Central Party School of the PRC Communist Party in Beijing on August 30, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono defended ongoing Japan-US joint technical research on a theater missile defense (TMD) system and dismissed the PRC’s concerns over the re-emergence of a militaristic Japan. Kono said, “We Japanese are victims of militarism and there are few, if any, who would allow the revival of militarism.” He also said that this position is widely recognized in Japan, referring to the 1995 statement by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama which expressed “deep remorse and heartfelt apology” for the suffering and damage Japan inflicted on other parts of Asia during its colonial rule and during the war.

7. Carriage of Nuclear Weapons into Japan

The Asahi Shimbun (“CONTENT OF JAPAN-US SECRET DEAL ON SECURITY TREATY WAS REVEALED,” 08/30/2000) reported that US Department of State documents, obtained by the US National Security Archive, a private institute based in Washington DC, revealed a secret deal between Japan and the US concerning US carriage of nuclear weapons into Japan as part of the 1960 Security Treaty between the two countries. The documents clearly state that there is no need for the US to consult with Japan on US carriage of nuclear weapons into Japanese territory and US use of its bases in Japan in times of contingencies on the Korean Peninsula prior to these actions. The documents were found in the Congressional Briefing Book at the US National Archive. Although the private research institute had obtained the documents once last year, the US government reclassified the documents for the reasons of national security.

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPANESE GOVERNMENT DENIES SECRET DEAL ON US CARRIAGE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS INTO JAPAN,” 08/31/2000) reported that the Japanese government on August 30 denied the report that there was a secret deal between Japan and the US on US carriage of nuclear weapons into Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said to reporters, “There is no secret deal regarding the Japan-US Security Treaty. There is no need for further investigation, either.” A Japanese Foreign Ministry official also announced, “The government is in no position to make any comment. Just as many prime ministers and foreign ministers have repeated before, there is no secret deal regarding the need for the US to consult with Japan.”

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