NAPSNet Daily Report 02 August, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 02 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 02, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-02-august-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. Mt. Kumkang Tour

The Los Angeles Times (“KOREAS TOURISM TRIPS TO NORTH TO RESUME,” 08/01/99) and Reuters (Yoo Choon-sik, “S.KOREA REOPENS TOURISM LINKS WITH NORTH,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry on Sunday issued a statement saying that the Mt. Kumkang Tour would resume. The statement said, “The government decided to allow resumption of the tour, judging safety of tourists has now become able to be better secured after Hyundai and the North agreed on detailed rules and on safety guarantee measures.” The statement also said that the Hyundai Group had agreed with the DPRK to form a 6-8 member committee to discuss any serious violation of the DPRK’s law by ROK tourists. According to the statement, both sides also agreed that tourists found in breach of less serious tourism regulations should be immediately sent home instead of being held in the DPRK for unilateral investigation.

2. Casino in DPRK

The Associated Press (Tara Suilen Duffy, “NORTH KOREA TO OPEN CASINO,” Hong Kong, 07/30/99) reported that the US$180 million Seaview Casino Hotel, owned by Hong Kong’s Emperor Group, in the DPRK’s Rajin economic free zone was scheduled to open on Saturday. DPRK visa restrictions limit visitors to PRC citizens, but Emperor hopes to start catering soon to Russians and other foreigners who can get visas. DPRK citizens are not allowed to go to the casino, although they will comprise 70 percent of its staff, with the rest being PRC citizens. Since there are no direct flights to Rajin, to get there visitors must fly to Beijing, transfer to Yanji in Jilin province, and take a four-hour drive across the border. Kenny Wong, an executive at Emperor, said, “People are quite amazed and fascinated by North Korea.” Wong added, “We’re targeting rich Chinese, but there aren’t plenty around now.” He also said that DPRK officials originally opposed the word casino in the hotel’s name, saying, “They didn’t want the North Korean people to know what the word casino means.”

3. Floods on Korean Peninsula

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “SOUTH KOREAN FLOODS KILL 12,” Seoul, 08/02/99) and Reuters (Koo Hee-jin, “SKOREA SAYS 28 FEARED DEAD IN FLOODS, MUDSLIDES,” Seoul, 08/02/99) reported that about 28 people in the ROK are believed dead after a weekend of torrential rain. Weathermen are predicting worse to come, with a typhoon heading for the ROK’s south coast. High winds and rain have closed the ports of Inchon and Cheju to passenger traffic. The rain has also hit the DPRK. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that high winds and heavy rain had damaged crops, roads, buildings and communications.

4. Japanese Missile Damage Study

Pacific Stars And Stripes (“JAPAN ESTIMATES LIKELY MISSILE DAMAGE,” Tokyo, 08/03/99, 1) and the Associated Press (“JAPAN FRETS OVER N.KOREA MISSILE,” Tokyo, 08/01/99) reported that, according to Japan’s Mainichi newspaper, Japan’s Defense Agency formed an “Emergency Response Committee” earlier this year to study the threat of a DPRK attack on Japan. The Mainichi newspaper reported that the study, which used US military data, forecast that a missile carrying a biological warhead could kill or sicken up to 120,000 people if it struck central Tokyo. The report also said that a missile with a nuclear warhead could kill or injure as many as 80,000 people, a chemical warhead between 1,000 and 2,000, and a conventional weapon up to 100 people. US Forces Japan (USFJ) officials would not comment on the report. US Marine Corps Master Sergeant Eudith Rodney, media liaison chief for USFJ, said, “USFJ does not confirm reports compiled in independent Japanese media outlets.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 2.]

5. Japanese Remissions to DPRK

Reuters (George Nishiyama, “JAPAN LAWMAKERS URGE CUTOFF IN FUNDS TO N.KOREA.” Tokyo, 08/02/99) reported that Keiichiro Asao, a Japanese Upper House lawmaker with the opposition Democratic Party, and Ichita Yamamoto, a Japanese Upper House lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party that heads Japan’s ruling coalition, called for legal steps to allow the Japanese government to block money being sent to the DPRK. Asao said, “If North Korea launches a missile, we have to send them a signal in response. Stopping the flow of funds is the most effective step Japan can take.” Yamamoto said, “Japan must be able to stop the flow of funds on its own. It has to seek its own diplomacy. We have to do what North Korea would hate most.” Yamamoto and Asao said that they aim to submit a bill making it easier to halt the flow of funds to the DPRK to parliament before the current session ends on August 13.

6. Japanese Military Posture

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “JAPAN RELUCTANTLY SHARPENING ITS SWORD,” Tokyo, 08/02/99, 13) reported that, according to analysts, public opinion in Japan is changing from strict pacifism to a more apprehensive approach. Historian and political analyst Hideaki Kase said, “Public opinion has changed dramatically since August of last year, when North Korea shot off its missile. More and more, people are getting apprehensive.” Shingo Nishimura, a member of the ruling Japanese Liberal Democratic Party, said, “Japan must be like NATO countries. We must have the military power and the legal authority to act on it. We ought to have aircraft carriers, long-range missiles, long- range bombers. We should even have the atomic bomb.” However, Nishimura acknowledged, “I’m probably in the minority there.” Keizo Takemi, a member of the Japanese parliament’s upper house and an expert on foreign affairs, said, “If other countries send their young men into risky situations, why shouldn’t Japan? There is still a strong influence of pacifism, but with that, we recognize that we must have the ability to defend ourselves.” John Neuffer, a political analyst for the Mitsui Marine Research Institute in Tokyo, said, “No one feels safe with missiles flying over their head. That set off a lengthy chain reaction. There’s a sense of unease, a sense that Japan should play a little bigger role in its defense of the region. Does that translate into fervent nationalism? I don’t think so. But it’s awakened the nation into understanding the region is not as safe as it thought.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 2.]

7. Japanese Flag and Anthem

The Associated Press (Eric Prideaux, “JAPAN WARNS TEACHERS WHO OPPOSE FLAG, ANTHEM,” Tokyo, 08/02/99) reported that Japanese Education Ministry officials told a parliamentary committee Monday that the Japanese government could punish teachers who do not teach respect for the national anthem and Rising Sun flag. Takashi Fuchigami, a deputy director at the Japanese Ministry of Education, said that punishment could range from severe warnings to dismissal. Shigenori Yano, chief of the Japanese ministry’s Educational Assistance and Administration Bureau, said, “Teachers are required to carry out orders by their principal to raise the flag and to lead the singing of the anthem. If they fail in this regard, they can be punished.”

8. PRC Missile Test

Reuters (Matt Pottinger, “CHINA TEST LAUNCHES LONG-RANGE MISSILE,” Beijing, 08/02/99) and the Associated Press (Joe Mcdonald, “CHINA TESTS NEW LONG-RANGE MISSILE,” Beijing, 08/02/99) reported that the PRC’s state-run Xinhua News Agency said that the PRC test-fired a new long-range missile on Monday. Xinhua only reported that the weapon was a ground-to-ground missile fired on PRC territory. A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to say whether the timing of the missile test was related to tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Military analysts had been expecting the PRC to test its Dong Feng-31 (East Wind) missile, which can carry a single 1,500 pound nuclear warhead over 5,000 miles. A Western diplomat in Beijing said, “We are 90 percent sure it is the DF-31. The DF-31 is in the last stage of development.”

Reuters (Alice Hung, “TAIWAN SAYS CHINA UNLIKELY TO ATTACK WITH MISSILE,” Taipei, 08/02/99) reported that Taiwan’s Defense Ministry issued a statement that said that the PRC was unlikely to use its long-range ground-to-ground missile to attack Taiwan. The statement read, “The purpose of the missile is to intimidate the world’s powerful nations. It’s unlikely to be used to attack Taiwan. The impact on us should be limited.” Taiwan military expert Chung Chien, a nuclear science professor at Tsing Hua University in Beijing, said that the PRC’s announcement was intended to send a message to the US. Chung said, “I think mainland China intends to scare the United States. If it wants to attack Taiwan, it does not need to use a long-range missile, a short- to medium-range missile will do.” Other military analysts said that the DF-31, the missile that is believed to have been test-fired on Monday, was better suited for long-range strategic warfare than for attacks on Taiwan. Jane’s Defense Weekly correspondent Robert Karniol said, “They can’t launch a DF-31 from Fujian against Taiwan because its minimum range is 2,000 km.” Karniol added that the PRC was expected to build between 10 and 20 DF-31 missiles for deployment beginning in 2000. He said, “That suggests there’ll be one or more test launches before the deployment.”

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, “U.S. PLAYS DOWN CHINA MISSILE TEST,” Washington, 08/02/99) reported that the US on Monday played down the recent PRC test-firing of a new long-range missile. US State Department spokesman James Rubin said, “There haven’t been any extraordinary military developments in this area in our view.” Rubin said that unlike the DPRK, “China already has long-range missiles, and therefore the fact that they’ve tested a new missile is not a dramatic new development that requires massive effort and diplomacy to try to deter. It’s a new missile, but its range is similar to already existing missiles developed by China. We have expected this test for some time. We have no indication that China intends to sell or otherwise transfer technology used in this missile…. It’s part of their intercontinental ballistic missile program that we’re quite familiar with.”

9. US Arms Sale to Taiwan

The Associated Press (Joe Mcdonald, “CHINA TESTS NEW LONG-RANGE MISSILE,” Beijing, 08/02/99) reported that, according to the PRC’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, the PRC Foreign Ministry summoned US Charge d’Affaires James Moriarty to protest a proposed US weapons sales to Taiwan. Xinhua reported that PRC Deputy Foreign Yang Jiechi told Moriarty that the sale would inflame tensions in the Taiwan Strait and “cause serious harm to U.S.-Chinese relations.”

10. Taiwan Ship Seized by PRC

The Wall Street Journal (Matt Forney, “SEIZURE, REBUFF AGAIN PUT CHINA AND TAIWAN AT ODDS,” Beijing, 08/02/99), the New York Times (Seth Faison, “CHINA SEIZES TAIWAN SHIP, ACCUSING CREW,” Beijing, 08/02/99) and the Associated Press (“CHINESE SEIZE TAIWANESE CARGO SHIP,” Taipei, 07/31/99) reported that, according to Feng Nen-ti, the owner of a Taiwanese freighter that was carrying supplies to the military outpost of Matsu Island, the ship was seized by the PRC on Saturday on suspicion of smuggling. Feng said that the PRC towed the freighter and its crew of 10 to the nearby southern port of Mawei in Fujian province, accusing the crew of smuggling electric appliances to the PRC. Feng said that Taiwanese lawmaker Tsao Er-chung, who is visiting Fujian, was negotiating with PRC authorities for the crew’s release. Taiwan’s Justice Minister, Yeh Chin-feng, said, “Incidents like this will not benefit normal exchanges between the two sides.” Shi Hwei-yow, vice chairman of Taiwan’s semiofficial Straits Exchange Foundation, said, “So far, according to information gathered by relevant authorities, I haven’t seen any linkage between the seizure and political motivation.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 2.]

11. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

The Washington Post (“ON ITS BIRTHDAY, CHINA’S ARMY WARNS TAIWAN,” Beijing, 08/02/99, 14) reported that the PRC army on Sunday marked its 72nd birthday and warned Taiwan that it was ready to “smash any plot to split the nation.” PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian reiterated that Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s statement last month had gone further down the “dangerous road of splitting the motherland. We sternly warn Lee Teng-hui and the Taiwan authorities not to underestimate our constancy of purpose.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 2.]

12. Alleged PRC Gangs in Taiwan

The Associated Press (“CHINESE GANGSTERS THREATEN TAIWAN’S ELECTIONS,” Taipei, 08/02/99) reported that Taiwan’s national security agencies are tracking PRC gangsters in Taiwan who may attempt to disrupt presidential elections here next March. According to Taiwan’s China Times newspaper, Taiwan police believe at least five professional killers from the PRC have been brought to the island using secret channels set up with the help of Taiwan- based organized crime syndicates. According to a Taiwanese Justice Ministry study, PRC security agencies consider contacts with Taiwan-based gangs a key part of their work against the island and have “a strong grasp” over the workings of Taiwanese gangs. The study also said that Taiwanese gangs have set up extensive criminal networks along the PRC coast opposite Taiwan, working in conjunction with PRC gangs that have sponsorship from PRC security agencies.

13. Alleged PRC Espionage

The New York Times (Robert Pear, “SUSPECT IN ATOM SECRETS CASE PUBLICLY DENIES AIDING CHINA,” Washington, 08/02/99) reported that Wen Ho Lee, the scientist dismissed from his job after security breaches at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said on CBS News program “60 Minutes,” that he was innocent and that he had not divulged nuclear secrets to the PRC or to “any unauthorized person.” Lee confirmed that he had transferred data from classified to unclassified computer systems at Los Alamos but said he had done so to protect the information. However, US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said on the “60 Minutes” program that it was “wrong and improper to download nuclear weapons information” from the classified system. Richardson stated, “This is something that we are not going to tolerate.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 2.]

14. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The New York Times (William J. Broad, “AFTER CHINESE SPY SCANDAL, NEW SUPPORT FOR TEST BAN TREATY,” 08/01/99) reported that on Friday, nine of the US top nuclear scientists and experts, including architects of the first atom and hydrogen bombs, wrote the US Senate to urge ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Its enactment, they said, would help block damage from PRC atomic espionage. The nine experts, in a letter sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private group based in Cambridge, Mass., said that the US Senate’s ratification of the treaty “would greatly help to protect the United States against the weaponization of stolen nuclear secrets.” They said that the treaty would help keep any lost secrets from speeding the development of deadly arms. The letter quoted Harold Agnew, a former director of the federal center for the design of nuclear arms at Los Alamos, as saying, “If China doesn’t resume testing, no harm will possibly have been done other than to our egos.” The letter was sent on Friday to all senators by the Washington office of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

15. US Nuclear Policy

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article by James Bush, a retired US Navy Captain who commanded a nuclear missile submarine from 1967 to 1970 (“JUST HOW MANY BOMBS NEEDED?” 08/02/99) which argued that nuclear weapons have no tactical military value. Bush, who was also the Associate Director of the Center for Defense Information From 1982 to 1998, stated, “Their only value is as a deterrent.” Bush noted that although one nuclear weapon is enough to be used as a deterrent, the US maintains about 7,500 of nuclear weapons. Bush said, “The U.S. and Russia have already negotiated treaties that, when ratified by both sides, will reduce these weapons to 3,600 warheads…. The eventual goal should be no nuclear weapons for any nations.” Bush concluded, “In the meantime, reducing our nuclear warheads to 1,000 right now rather than waiting for the tedious arms control process to be completed could save about half the cost of maintaining these weapons. And placing most of these 1,000 warheads on our survivable, highly mobile missile submarines would ensure deterrence against any possible aggressor at a far lower cost.”

16. US Missile Defense

PR Newswire (Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, “LOCKHEED MARTIN-LED THAAD TEAM ACHIEVES SECOND TARGET MISSILE INTERCEPT,” White Sands Missile Range, 08/02/99) and the Associated Press (“ANTIMISSILE MISSILE HITS TARGET,” White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 08/02/99) reported that an experimental anti-missile missile apparently hit a simulated warhead over New Mexico on Monday, the second success for the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Pam Rogers, a spokeswoman for the THAAD program office, said that when the simulated warhead separated from the target missile booster, THAAD apparently picked out the fake warhead and hit it. Rogers said, “It appears at this point that the correct target was intercepted.”

17. Russian Missile Development

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA DEVELOPS NEW SHORT-RANGE TACTICAL MISSILE,” Moscow, 08/02/99) reported that, according to Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency, Russia has developed a new short-range missile that can hit small targets with far greater precision than its predecessors. The ITAR-Tass news agency reported that designers of the Iskander-E say the new weapon is ready for serial production and export, and that it falls within limits set by international agreements that ban the proliferation of long-range missiles. The new missile was described as a “deterrent weapon” to be used in local conflicts. According to ITAR-Tass, the Machine Building Design Bureau, one of Russia’s leading missile manufacturers, produced the missile.

18. India-Pakistan Relations

The Associated Press (“INDIA KILLS 11 MILITANTS IN WEEKEND KASHMIR FIGHTING,” Srinagar, 08/01/99) reported that, according to the Indian army, Indian troops killed six Islamic militants Saturday in the disputed Kashmir province. Indian military spokesman Major P. Purshottam said that an army patrol discovered the militants Saturday near the town of Kupwara in southwestern Kashmir. He said that troops recovered six bodies Sunday and continued patrols to flush out any remaining militants in the area, just inside Indian-held territory. The fighting took place 120 miles southwest of Kargil, where India recently launched a major offensive to dislodge several hundred Islamic fighters who had occupied Kashmiri mountain peaks.

The Associated Press (Zahid Hussain, “PAKISTAN SEEKS SANCTIONS VS. INDIA,” Islamabad, 07/31/99) reported that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz urged the West on Saturday to use the threat of sanctions to force India to resume talks on Kashmir. Aziz said, “If the world is interested in resolving the Kashmir issue, it must forcefully reject India’s diversionary tactics and exert maximum pressure, including the threat of international sanctions.” He said that Pakistan was prepared to resume talks with India without preconditions, but that the emphasis should be on solving the Kashmir issue. Aziz criticized India for imposing what he said were unrealistic preconditions for the resumption of talks. Aziz said, “How can a meaningful dialogue take place in the face of such blatant perversion of history, ground realities and basic principles?”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Mt. Kumgang Tour

Chosun Ilbo (“MT. KUMKANG TOUR TO RESUME THURSDAY,” Seoul, 08/01/99), Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “MT. KUMKANG TOUR TO RESUME AUGUST 5,” Seoul, 08/01/99), The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “MT. KUMGANG TOURS TO RESUME THURS.,” Seoul, 08/01/99) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “MT. KUMGANG TOURS DUE TO RESUME THURS.,” Seoul, 08/02/99) reported that ROK the government decided on Sunday to approve the resumption of the Kumkang Mountain tour program. According to the ROK Ministry of Unification on Sunday, the Hyundai business group and its DPRK counterpart for the tour program, the Chosun Asia- Pacific Peace Commission, signed two agreements in Beijing on Friday. One agreement was to secure the safety of tourists, while the second agreement sets out guidelines for the tour. The ministry said the Kumkang Mountain tour program will resume this Thursday. Prior to the new agreements, DPRK laws took precedence over regulations governing the tour. The new tour guidelines will now supercede DPRK laws, including those related to the punitive measures that can be taken against tourists found to be in violation of DPRK laws. Essentially, the new guidelines call for the establishment of a special dispute mediation board for the tour.

2. ROK Visits to DPRK

The Korea Times (“‘CORN DOCTOR’ VISITING NK,” Seoul, 08/01/99) and The Korea Herald (“CORN DOCTOR KIM SOON-KWON VISITS N. KOREA,” Seoul, 08/02/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of Unification said on Saturday that ROK Professor Kim Soon-kwon, known as the “corn doctor” for his work on corn cultivation, is currently in the DPRK for a one-week visit. Kim’s trip, originally scheduled for July 17, had been postponed at the DPRK’s request. The DPRK recently sent a letter to the professor authorizing the trip. The DPRK announced a temporary suspension of visits by ROK citizens on June 16, immediately after the naval conflict in the West Sea, thus postponing the visit of Kim and seven women delegates of the Korean Sharing Movement. Kim departed Friday for Beijing and went to Pyongyang on Saturday.

3. DPRK Missile Test

Joongang Ilbo (Shim Shang-bok, “NK HARSHLY CRITICIZES U.S.’S THREATENING REMARK,” Seoul, 07/30/99) reported that the DPRK on Friday called the remark by US Secretary of Defense William Cohen a day earlier the statement of a “crazy war maniac.” On Thursday, Cohen and his ROK counterpart, Cho Sung-tae, warned that the US and the ROK will mobilize “all available means” against the DPRK if it goes ahead with another ballistic missile launch. The warning was issued after Cohen and Cho reviewed the security situation in Northeast Asia, including the DPRK missile threat. However, DPRK broadcasting companies said on Friday that no country can intervene in another nation’s missile development because it is among the independent and self-governing matters of a country.

The Korea Times (“MILITARY OPTION NOT DISCUSSED IN KIM-COHEN TALKS ON NK MISSILE,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that a high-ranking Chong Wa Dae official dismissed media reports that ROK President Kim Dae- jung and US Defense Secretary William Cohen had discussed the use of military options against the DPRK if the DPRK fires another missile. “Cohen did not address this military option in his meetings either with President Kim or Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae in Seoul,” he said.

The Korea times (Son Key-young, “HAMPER NK POLICY CONSISTENCY,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that inter- ministerial conflicts have resurfaced in the ROK over how to deal with DPRK’s possible test-firing of a missile. On Friday, ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Hong Soon-young, who was on a trip to Vietnam, told reporters that the ROK, Japan, and the US were not considering taking any military action in the event of a DPRK missile launch. Hong’s remarks were a contradiction of what was announced on Thursday by the Defense Ministry following a meeting between visiting US Secretary of Defense William Cohen and ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae. Following Hong’s statement, the Defense Ministry noted that it had not considered taking any military “sanctions” to counter the DPRK’s missile launch. However, Defense Ministry officials also reported that ROK and US military officials had, in fact, discussed military measures, calling it a natural course of action in coping with “strong actions of a military nature” like a missile launch. The article said that the controversy arose primarily because the Defense Ministry had intentionally played up joint ROK-US military actions as part of its efforts to serve the DPRK a strong warning timed with Cohen’s trip to the ROK and Japan. Following its triumph in the recent naval confrontation, the ministry appears to have reached the judgment that a demonstration of strong military preparedness is the best precaution against deepening the security crisis, the article said. It added that, because Hong was in Hanoi and Cho was in Seoul, the nation’s top security officials failed to convene the weekly standing council meeting of the ROK National Security Council slated for Thursday.

4. Four-Party Talks

The Korea Times (“FOUR-PARTY TALKS TO ADDRESS N.KOREAN MISSILE THREATS,” Seoul, 07/30/99) reported that Ambassador Park Kun-woo, ROK envoy to the four-party peace talks, on Thursday told reporters that the ROK and other participating countries will put forward their positions on DPRK’s projected missile launch during the talks. However, he said that it is unlikely that the missile issue would be included as an agenda item. Park said that the US and the DPRK are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting on Tuesday to exchange views on a wide range of pending issues. “The meeting will address North Korea’s missile issues as well as the North’s failure to give a response to [US Policy Coordinator William] Perry’s initiatives delivered to Pyongyang,” he said. With regards to four-party talks, the ambassador said that ROK delegates would devote themselves to working out positive actions for tension reduction and the establishment of a peace structure in the two subcommittee meetings. However, he noted that there will be some conflicts in the process of setting agenda items for the subcommittee talks, because the DPRK has demanded the withdrawal of US forces stationed in the ROK and the establishment of a peace agreement with the US.

5. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Times (“NK VICE MINISTER TURNS DOWN US INVITATION,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that the DPRK has turned down the US invitation for its vice foreign minister to visit Washington for policy negotiations. Yonhap News Agency quoted the Kyodo News Agency as reporting on Saturday that William Perry had invited DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok-ju to Washington when he visited Pyongyang last May. Kyodo, quoting US diplomatic sources, said that the DPRK representative to the UN notified the US in mid-June that Kang will not be going to the US, but did not give specific reasons for the decision. Kang’s visit was meant to assure the US of the DPRK’s support for Perry’s report, Yonhap quoted Kyodo as reporting.

6. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Korea Times (“‘US TO LIFT SANCTIONS IF NK HALTS MISSILE LAUNCH’,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that, according to Japan’s Yomiuri daily on Friday, the US will lift some of its economic sanctions on the DPRK if the DPRK halts its plan to launch another ballistic missile. The article quoted a US administration official as saying that the US will consider a drastic cut in its food aid to the DPRK if the DPRK does fire the missile. The US President is empowered to lift a certain part of sanctions, under the Trading With the Enemy Act and the Law on Export Ban, without permission from Congress. [Ed. note: A fact sheet on US sanctions against the DPRK is available.] The US message will be delivered to the DPRK during the bilateral talks scheduled for Tuesday in Geneva, Yomiuri said. Charles Kartman, US special envoy for Korean Affairs, and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan are to have a bilateral meeting in Geneva on the sidelines of the sixth round of the Four-Party peace talks.

7. Japanese Reparations for DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “NK UNIONISTS DEMAND JAPAN APOLOGY AND COMPENSATION,” Seoul, 07/30/99) reported that the central committee of the DPRK’s General Federation of Trade Unions on July 28 sent letters to union organizations in Japan demanding that the Japanese government make efforts to recompense the past. Pyongyang Radio reported on July 30 that the committees of industrial unions, including metal, transportation and fishery unions, insisted in the letter that, “Japan has not apologized or compensated for its 36 years of colonial rule.” The DPRK unionists criticized the Japanese government, “which has sustained an anti-NK policy for the 50 years since the independence of Korea, and has tried to reinvade North Korea in collusion with the U.S.” They also pointed to the massacre of one million Koreans, conscription of 6 million young people in World War II, and the drafting of 200,000 Korean women as “comfort women” during the colonial rule.

8. ROK-DPRK Youth Seminar

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “SOUTH-NORTH KOREAN YOUTH UNIFICATION SEMINAR IN BEIJING,” Seoul, 07/30/99) reported that a fifth meeting of the “South-North Korean Youth Unification Seminar,” held in Beijing’s Intercontinental Grand Hotel, invoked the maxim “blood is thicker than water” and “Let’s meet again in our unified country.” The young students from the two Koreas agreed that the meeting was the first step toward their ultimate goal of unification. The meeting was sponsored by the Unification Church. The first seminar was held in 1994 in Moscow. The ROK sent 143 students and the DPRK 60. A DPRK professor revealed, “Even Kim Il-sung’s University professors sometimes eat porridge nowadays. The economic situation is getting more and more difficult.” A student from the ROK said, “It is wonderful to realize that all the people from the North are not like the ones in the West Sea infiltration.”

9. Food Aid to DPRK

The Korea Times (“INT’L AID TO NK SLUGGISH,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) said on Saturday that by the end of June, international organizations had provided only 17 percent of a promised US$292 million in aid to the DPRK this year. Quoting a report by the UN officer for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), MOFAT said, “As of June 30, international and non-governmental organizations have sent just 50 million dollars, or 17 percent of their combined 1999 target of 292 million dollars in aid to famine-stricken North Korea.” The UN Development Program (UNDP) and non-governmental organizations provided none of their initial goal of US$6.93 million, while OCHA and the World Food Program (WFP) sent US$840,000 and US$43.54 million dollars, respectively, according to the ministry. The figures for OCHA and WFP are comparatively high, as they represent 35.2 percent and 30.8 percent of their initial goals for aid to the DPRK this year. “The modest aid is attributed to recognition on the part of the organizations concerned that the North’s food shortage is lessening and that they can thus shift their focus away from the famine problems there,” a MOFAT official said.

10. Inter-Parliamentarian Union

The Korea Times (“IPU CONCERNED OVER NK’S MISSILE PROGRAM,” Seoul, 08/01/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that the Asia-Pacific Group of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union (IPU) has adopted a joint statement expressing concern about the DPRK’s move to launch a new ballistic missile. Although it did not name the DPRK, the joint statement said that the IPU’s Asia-Pacific Group expressed concern about missile-related activities that would heighten tension on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, possibly with grave consequences, the ministry said. The statement is a strong message of warning to the DPRK, along with the similar statement adopted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum in Singapore earlier last week, it added. Representative Park Chung-soo was heading the ROK delegation to the IPU Asia-Pacific Group meeting held in Ulan Bator from July 26 through 31. The DPRK was not represented in the meeting.

III. Russian Federation

1. DPRK Missile Test

Izvestia’s Vladimir Skosyrev (“PYONGYANG IS GETTING READY TO GO INTO A BALLISTIC ORBIT,” Moscow, 4, 7/28/99) reported that, after learning about the DPRK’s possible ballistic missile test this August, the US decided to send their “Constellation” aircraft carrier of 81,773 tons displacement from Yokosuka, Japan, to patrol the Western Pacific, with the Korean Peninsula within the reach of its deck-based aircraft. Simultaneously, the foreign ministers of the US, Japan, and the ROK made a joint declaration in Singapore, where they participated in the ASEAN meetings, warning the DPRK about the “serious consequences” of any long-range missile test. The ROK Foreign minister said that the consequences could include freezing of aid to build two light-water nuclear reactors in the DPRK, while his Japanese colleague said that for Japan it would be “very difficult” to give the promised US$1 billion for the reactors. Japan could also possibly restrict money and commodity flows from Japan to the DPRK, meaning transfers from Koreans living there. It is still unclear, though, if the DPRK indeed plans to launch the missile or is just trying to extort the promised funds this way.

2. DPRK Vessel Seized in India

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Aleksey Tamilin (“A SCANDAL IN AN INDIAN PORT,” Moscow, 6, 7/28/99) reported that the DPRK vessel “Ku Wol Sang” was seized in the port of Kandla, India. 178 boxes containing components and mechanisms to assemble short-range surface-to-surface liquid-fuel Rodong-1 missiles were found on board the vessel that was allegedly headed for Karachi, Pakistan. Indian military experts are carrying out an investigation. Some believe that “the missile spare parts” were actually a re-export to Pakistan via the DPRK from the PRC, because the PRC “felt awkward” to do that itself. DPRK Ambassador Myun Ghu promptly came from New Delhi to Kandla. He rejected all speculations as groundless “just for the simple reason that from Kandla the vessel was to go directly to Malta,” and had nothing to do with the Pakistani missile program. Yet, it is just a few hours journey between Kandla and Karachi, and Malta has never been known to be interested in missiles.

3. Alleged PRC Missile Technology Exports to DPRK

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“DOES THE DPRK BUY CHINESE MISSILES?” Moscow, 4, 7/22/99) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright expressed concern about the recent transfer of PRC missile technology components to the DPRK. She said that investigations were underway. According to the Washington Times, last month some Chinese enterprises exported both PRC and US missile production technologies to the DPRK, allegedly facilitated by the growth of anti-US sentiments in the PRC due to the NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade.

4. PRC-Taiwan Relations

Izvestia’s Yury Savenkov (“TAIPEI ASKS BEIJING NOT TO BE NERVOUS,” Moscow, 4, 7/27/99) reported that in order to soften “Beijing’s turbulent reaction” to Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui, a Taiwanese Governmental spokesman said that such words as “two states,” “Two Chinas,” “one China, two states, “one people, two states” and other similar formulas should be done away with to avoid confusion. At the same time he added that “we are equal with China in the international arena and only on that basis are ready to hold political negotiations on re-unification.” The Taiwanese representative also assured that Taiwan was not going to change its Constitution, its laws, or its governmental acts, and that it would adhere to the concept of “one China.” Lee Teng-hui himself said that was the way to understand his expression “special state-to-state relations” and that he was still in favor of “a single China” in the future, when the mainland becomes democratic and pluralist without the full rule of the Communist Party. The US reportedly will postpone delivery of an AWACS system to Taiwan to punish it for having provoked the crisis, although US Senator Jesse Helms applauded Lee’s “courage.” Apparently, Izvestia’s author commented, Lee forgot Confucian wisdom: “Courage without ritual leads to chaos.”

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“BEIJING WILL NOT PERMIT TAIPEI’S INDEPENDENCE,” Moscow, 6, 7/23/99) reported that the PRC on July 22 expressed appreciation for the “wise decision” of Papua New Guinea’s Government declaring invalid “a communique on establishment of diplomatic relations with Taiwan” signed by the previous government on July 5. Meanwhile, Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Roberto Rojas on July 22 said that all Central American countries had firm diplomatic and economic relations with Taiwan and considered it an independent state. In his words, Taiwan merits admission to the UN, the World Trade Organization and other international organizations. Rojas expressed regret for the recent PRC-Taiwan aggravation of tensions. He said all Central American presidents would participate in a summit this September in Taipei to consider further cooperation.

Izvestia’s Sergey Bablumyan (“TAIWAN TO CHINA IS NOT THE SAME AS KARABAKH TO ARMENIA,” Yerevan, 4, 7/23/99) reported that Ju Jiaochun, PRC Ambassador in Armenia, called the parallels drawn recently by Armenian political scientists between the PRC relations with Taiwan and Armenia’s with Nagorny Karabakh “improper.” In his words, due to the fault of former Soviet leaders, Karabakh is in the territory of another state and a settlement must be sought on the state-to-state basis, while PRC-Taiwan relations are based on the “one country-two systems” principle. Simultaneously, he expressed satisfaction that Armenia promised not to establish official relations with Taiwan.

5. Bombing of PRC Embassy

Segodnya’s Igor Devin (“WASHINGTON IS TO BE FOR THE EMBASSY BOMBING IN BELGRADE,” Moscow, 3, 7/31/99) reported that the US voluntarily agreed to pay US$4.5 million to Chinese harmed by the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. Altogether 27 persons, including the families of the 3 persons killed, will get the compensation. The PRC authorities will distribute the money. The PRC’s demands for detailed explanations, official apologies, and punishment of the guilty are still unresolved. The two countries also agreed to start negotiations on compensation for the damage inflicted by Chinese demonstrators to the US Embassy in Beijing and US consulates in other PRC cities.

6. PRC Underwater Missile

Izvestia’s Vladimir Skosyrev (“THE DRAGON EXHALES FIRE,” Moscow, 4, 7/29/99) reported that, according to the Xinhua News Agency, PRC submarines are capable of firing missiles from underwater. Actually, PRC experts said that the first launch of the “Giant Wave” missile from a submersed submarine took place as early as 1982. It cannot hit all potential enemies, with it range being 1,800 kilometers. The PRC navy numbers has only 5 nuclear submarines, of which only one can fire ballistic missiles. According to the latest data, the PRC possesses 434 nuclear warheads. The bulk of the means of delivery consists of surface-to-surface missiles with 2,800 kilometers range capable of hitting US bases in the Pacific. Twenty DF-4 missiles with 4,750 kilometers range can hit Moscow. Finally, four DF-5 ICBMs with 12,000 kilometers range can hit targets in the US and Western Europe.

7. ASEAN Regional Forum

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Chudodeyev (“THEY FIRED IN KOSOVO, BUT THE ECHO WAS IN SINGAPORE,” Moscow, 2, 7/27/99) reported that at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Singapore, RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, in particular, said that the crisis in the Balkans “led to a decrease in stability in the Asian Pacific region.” He did not specify the exact details, but said the Yugoslavian events cannot but be seen as “a serious blow” against the whole system of international relations. Also Ivanov called the US-Japanese Theater Missile Defense plans “a very alarming factor.” Segodnya’s author added that Ivanov could be “a little bit optimistic thanks to his South Korean colleague, who said … Seoul will not participate in that US initiative. But that South Korean promise might change soon, if North Korea–in the conference lobbies still tacitly called ‘an ally of Moscow and Beijing’–tests it new ballistic missile.”

Izvestia’s Yury Savenkov (“ASIAN ‘TEN’ LOOKING FOR A PLACE UNDER THE SUN,” Moscow, 4, 7/28/99) reported that at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore, RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov stressed that international stability and sustainable democratic development were possible only in a multipolar world. He expressed concern about US-Japanese plans to create a Theater Missile Defense for Northeast Asia, endangering the existing balance of power. Ivanov also put forward an idea for the DPRK to join the ARF in order to make the regional situation more healthy. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called the Korean Peninsula “possibly the most dangerous place in the world” and supported the RF’s initiative, remarking that the DPRK should apply if “it is ready to do that.” During the meetings, Ivanov and Albright also signed an agreement to establish a hot-line between them. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan urged the USA not to “fan the flame of Taiwan’s independence.”

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Dmitry Skosyrev (“ASIA DOES NOT WISH TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF EUROPE,” Moscow, 6, 7/28/99) reported that the Asian participants at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore felt vulnerable both economically and strategically. The article said, “Nowadays no serious people believe in the fairy tale that the crisis was caused by ‘the corrupted system,’ as the economic bases in the majority of the hurt countries have been sound and firm.” As for the strategic security, “the word ‘Kosovo’ was heard constantly behind the closed doors of the ASEAN meetings. The fear that any hot spot in Asia might bring about a tragedy is obvious.” That is why the words “preventive diplomacy” were repeated often in Singapore. An idea of “a code of conduct” concerning the Spratly Isles was promoted, although the PRC still favors bilateral approaches to the issue. Also much attention was paid to the Korean Peninsula, with the US, the RF, and others favoring DPRK accession to the ARF. The issue of a Northeast Asian Theater Missile Defense was raised, and the RF Foreign Minister pointed out that instead the region needed a collective security system. Concerning a nuclear weapon free zone in Southeast Asia, India is ready to sign the relevant treaty, while the RF wishes for “certain conditions” to be fulfilled, implying that it is ready to do it simultaneously with the other nuclear powers. In Nezavisimaia gazeta’s author’s view, the RF feels much better at the ARF than at the other world forums. “While in the G8 and the West in general we are a well-armed hopeless debtor, … in the Asia Pacific we are a partner.” RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the newspaper: “In Asia there is an obviously different situation…. Here there is no Atlantic solidarity…. But instead in Asia there are different, purely Asian mechanisms which are to be understood and which operate very actively…. One can state that presently we see an obvious positive movement in the Asian direction, that is we can say that we are a Euro-Asian state…. We are perceived as a full-fledged member of the Asian states’ club. That is very important.”

8. RF Navy

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Valeriy Aleksin (“THE NAVY’S 60TH DAY,” Moscow, 2, 7/27/99) reported that in the RF the last Sunday of July was celebrated as the Navy Day. In particular, RF Premier Sergey Stepashin attended the RF Pacific Fleet parade in Vladivostok. He said that the RF needed all its fleets, including those of the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the most powerful ones of the North and the Pacific Ocean. He also said that the RF “will never and to nobody give away the four islands of the South Kurils.” The article pointed out that Stepashin’s statement has added importance in connection to his visit to the US to talk, in particular, about preparations for the START-3 treaty, after which more than half of the RF nuclear deterrence potential will be deployed on the strategic missile submarines of the RF Navy. It noted, “These days for the first time it was said at the highest governmental level about the mission of the Navy not only in the capacity of a powerful means of prevention and restriction of an aggression and punishment of an aggressor, but also that of a strongest diplomatic and foreign policy argument in ensuring the vital–primarily economic–interests and national security of Russia in the 21st century. The NATO aggression against Yugoslavia once again has shown that contemporary wars arrive from the sea, the air and outer space. A strong Navy is the Motherland’s sword and shield capable of preventing a war unleashed against us and of forcing anybody to take our interests into account.”

9. Balkan Conflict’s Impact on Non-Proliferation

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (“A BLOW AGAINST THE NON-PROLIFERATION REGIME,” Moscow, 1, 4, 7/30-8/5/99, #29(152)) published an article by Vladimir Belous, Professor, Academy of Military Sciences, and Aleksey Podberyozkin, Deputy, RF State Duma, the main message of which was that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia delivered a strong blow against the international non-proliferation regime. They divided proliferation into “vertical” and “horizontal.” The first includes the RF’s steps to upgrade its nuclear weapons, its combat readiness, and its guidelines, as well as the PRC’s activities. The second one could be even more spectacular. In the past, Yugoslavia toyed with the idea of military use of nuclear energy, but in the early 1980s all works were stopped. “It is beyond any doubts that were Yugoslavia to possess even a small (several units) nuclear stockpile … then even a mere threat to use nuclear weapons in response to military force used would have forced the NATO countries’ political leaders to abandon a military force solution of the Kosovo problem.” Three preconditions are needed to create nuclear weapons: scientific and technological capacity, production or acquisition of fissionable materials, and political leaders’ determination. There are 437 industrial reactors working in more than 30 countries and in addition there are research reactors. Plutonium produced in the process in principle can be used in weapons, although the yield would be lower. As for the relevant secret decisions, they have been doubtless encouraged by the Balkan events. In the future it is quite possible that alongside the official “nuclear five,” a kind of “a de-facto nuclear club” will emerge. The fact that activities to hire poorly paid RF and Ukrainian nuclear weapon engineers have been stepped up by some countries is circumstantial evidence of that development.

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

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

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

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.com
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

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.