NAPSNet Daily Report 02 December, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

IV. Corrections

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Talk

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN, NORTH KOREA READY TO RESUME RAPPROCHEMENT TALKS,” Tokyo, 12/02/99) reported that Jiji Press, Kyodo News and Japan Broadcasting Corporation reported that former Japanese premier Tomiichi Murayama struck a breakthrough deal with the DPRK Thursday to reopen stalled talks this month on establishing diplomatic ties. Murayama has led a Japanese delegation including members from all of Japan’s major political parties . Murayama said the deal with the DPRK ruling party would be formalized in a written agreement on December 4. Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki told a news conference in Japan that, “it will be quite difficult to conduct normal negotiations unless questions, including another missile launch, are resolved in a clear-cut manner.” Kim Young-Sun, who reportedly accepted an invitation for a Workers Party delegation to visit Japan next year, said, “every country has missiles, much more and bigger than what our country has.”

2. Shanghai Five Security Memorandum

Agence France Presse (“RUSSIA, CHINA, CENTRAL ASIAN STATES SIGN SECURITY MEMORANDUM,” 12/02/99) reported that interior ministers and national security heads of the Shanghai Five (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan) signed a memorandum on Thursday agreeing to meet at least once a year for a security summit to cooperatively fight terrorism, separatism and cross-border crime. PRC deputy state security minister Nu Pin said, “today’s meeting happened against a background of growth in the Central Asian region and the world of such serious crimes as terrorism, national separatism, extremism and trade of weapons and narcotics. The memorandum will maintain stability and security in Central Asia and is a serious contribution to strengthening peace world-wide.” The five countries will also conduct joint military operations and exchange information to maintain security in the region.

3. UN Resolution on ABM Treaty

Reuters (Jeremy Page, “CHINA APPLAUDS U.N. ANTI-MISSILE DEFENCE RESOLUTION,” Beijing, 12/02/99) reported that the PRC applauded the United Nations on Thursday for endorsing a resolution pressing the US to abandon plans for an anti-missile defense system. The UN General Assembly voted on Wednesday in favor of a draft calling for efforts to preserve and strengthen the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty between the US and the RF, which limits missile defenses. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi told a news conference, “In recent years, some countries have made great efforts to develop national missile defense plans to strive for their own absolute security and short-term strategic advantages. These countries have proposed changing the ABM Treaty and even threatened to withdraw from it. These actions would damage strategic balance and stability, damage the progress of nuclear disarmament, shake the foundation of nuclear non-proliferation and even cause a new nuclear arms race, including in outer space. As one of the joint sponsors of this resolution, China expresses its thanks to countries which supported the proposal.” The resolution was originally sponsored by the RF, the PRC and Belarus. Albania, Israel and Micronesia voted against the resolution and the members of the 15-nation European Union abstained, except for France and Ireland, which voted for the resolution. The resolution called on the parties to the ABM treaty “to refrain from the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems for the defence of the territory of their country and not to provide a base for such a defence.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “‘US GOAL IS TO STOP NK FROM DEVELOPING 300+ KM MISSILES’,” Seoul, 11/30/99) reported that a senior US negotiator, William Perry, said that the US wants the DPRK to join an international missile control regime by vowing not to develop, deploy and export missiles with a range of over 300 kilometers. Perry made the remarks in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington on November 29. Perry said, “We would like the North Koreans to agree to comply with the standards of the Missile Technology Control Regime, and if they do that, that would require them to voluntarily forego the production, the export, the testing, the deployment, of all missiles with a range of over 300 kilometers. That’s a big step for them and one which will be very difficult for them to take.” Perry also said the US objective is to prevent the DPRK from developing missiles with a range of over 300 kilometers, a distance which would thwart the DPRK’s use of missiles for strategic purposes. “What they gain from that is full normalization of relations, not just with the United States, but with Japan and the Republic of Korea as well,” he said.

2. DPRK-IAEA Talks

The Korea Times (“NK, IAEA TO HOLD NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS TALKS IN VIENNA,” Seoul, 11/30/99) reported that an ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official said on November 29 that the DPRK and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are scheduled to hold a “technical consultation” meeting in Vienna before December 25. The 13th meeting is set to address DPRK’s failure to comply with the agency’s nuclear safeguard measures. In particular, the DPRK has refused to grant IAEA access to its “past nuclear activities.” During the talks, IAEA will be represented by Jorma Heinonen, director of safeguards, while the DPRK would dispatch diplomats of its mission to the United Nations in Vienna. The 12th meeting between the two parties was held in the DPRK in March.

3. DPRK-Japan Talks

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “NK, JAPAN TO RESUME NORMALIZATION TALKS,” Seoul, 12/01/99), The Korea Times (“FORMER JAPANESE PREMIER LEAVES FOR N.KOREA,” Seoul, 12/02/99) and The Korea Times (“FORMER JAPANESE PREMIER SEEKS TO IMPROVE TIES WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 12/02/99) reported that the DPRK and Japan are gearing up to launch diplomatic normalization talks in a couple of months, following a breakthrough in US-DPRK talks. A delegation of lawmakers from all of Japan’s major political parties flew to the DPRK on November 30 to discuss modalities for the resumption of normalization talks. The 70-member team included representatives from seven parties, government officials, and journalists, led by former prime minister Tomiichi Murayama. Former chief cabinet secretary Hiromu Nonaka, an influential politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, also joined the delegation, adding weight to its profile “There is no doubt this visit would lead to the reopening of diplomatic normalization talks,” a Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official said. The visit, which has been put off several times since last spring, became possible after the DPRK withdrew its demand for a prior provision of 1 million tons of grain. During their three-day stay in the DPRK, the delegation is scheduled to meet such leading DPRK officials as Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and Workers Party secretary Kim Yong-sun. If they reach agreement on reopening normalization talks, preparatory talks between the two countries are set to begin, probably in the PRC.

4. PRC Reporters in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “CHINESE REPORTERS VISIT NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that the DPRK’s Central Broadcasting reported on December 1 that two PRC press delegations, one composed of members of the People’s Daily and the other from a political magazine, visited the DPRK on November 30, according to a report by Yonhap News Agency. Upon arrival in the DPRK, the delegations were received by Wan Yung-sang, the PRC ambassador to the DPRK. However, the broadcaster did not state the purpose or schedule of their visit. The DPRK’s Rodong Shinmun, the Workers’ Paper, sent a delegation led by its chief editor Choi Chil-nam to the PRC earlier in November.

5. DPRK Defectors in Russia

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL URGED TO BRING N.K. DEFECTORS DETAINED IN RUSSIA TO SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 12/02/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyeon, “SEVEN NK DEFECTORS DETAINED BY RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS,” Seoul, 12/01/99) reported that the ROK civic groups on December 1 called on the government to bring seven DPRK defectors detained in the RF to the ROK. Lee Sang-jeen, an official at the Committee to Help DPRK Refugees said, “The government should block any move (by Russia) to repatriate them to North Korea because they are certain to face execution if sent back.” He said the government needs to bring the DPRK defectors to the ROK through close consultations with the RF government to ensure the defectors’ safety. The DPRK Citizens’ Alliance to Help Political Prisoners recently sent a letter asking RF President Boris Yeltsin not to send the DPRK defectors back to the DPRK. In the letter, the group expressed hope that the Russian authorities would consider that the defectors had escaped to search for food. The civic groups’ call came in the wake of reports that a seven-member family had defected from the DPRK and was in custody after being arrested by RF security guards for illegally crossing the border. An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the RF border police captured the DPRK defectors on November 7, and is now investigating the case. The family consists of five men, one woman, and one child. According to news reports here, the detainees expressed hope that they could settle in the ROK for fear of being executed by the DPRK authorities if they returned there. The reports said officials from the RF and the DPRK were holding negotiations over repatriation.

6. DPRK Defector in ROK

The Korea Herald (“NEW NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR ARRIVES VIA THIRD COUNTRY,” Seoul, 12/02/99) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) said that a new DPRK defector, using the alias Kwon Ki-chol, arrived in the ROK on November 29 via a third country and asked for political asylum. NIS officials are questioning him about his personal history and his reasons for escaping the DPRK. He left the DPRK in November 1997 and had been in hiding in the third country until his arrival in the ROK.

7. DPRK Defector’s Testimony

Chosun Ilbo (Park Hae-hyun, “NK DEFECTOR TESTIFIES ATROCITIES TO EU,” Paris, 12/01/99) reported that a fifty-two year old DPRK refugee, Lee Soon-ok, spoke of the seven years of hardship she experienced at a DPRK political prison camp. Lee appeared on a French broadcast of Radio France Inter on November 29 at the invitation of a French human rights group, Liberte. She revealed she was tortured by being placed naked outside in minus 35-degree centigrade weather. Lee said that she could still see the image of a woman calling the names of her children left behind at home while whe was fighting not to be killed as she was being dragged to an execution site. Lee was a supply manager for communist party officials at north Hamkyong Province before she was accused of a political offense in 1985 and sentenced to 13 years in prison after refusing to pay bribe money to a police official. Lee was forced to do labor at a correction center in south Pyongahn Province from 1992 to 1994 when she escaped to the PRC with her son.

8. Humanitarian Mission to DPRK

The Korea Times (“VATICAN HUMANITARIAN MISSION RETURNS FROM NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 12/02/99) reported that the Holy See said on Wednesday that a Vatican humanitarian mission has returned from the DPRK. The mission was led by Monsignor Celestino Migliore, who met with the DPRK’s vice minister of foreign affairs, Li In Gyn, and other officials during the visit. He also met with Catholic aid agency officials, the Vatican said. The delegation returned to Rome on November 30. It was the fourth high-ranking Vatican mission since the DPRK was hit by acute food shortages.

9. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “VARIOUS INTER-KOREAN EVENTS TO BE HELD IN LAST MONTH OF 20TH CENTURY,” Seoul, 12/02/99) reported that ROK officials said on December 1 that the DPRK and the ROK have scheduled a number of joint events in December. Kicking off the series will be the “Year 2000 Peace and Friendship Concert” in the DPRK on December 5, which features pop singers from both halves of the Korean Peninsula. The inter-Korean pop concert will be followed by another joint concert December 16, inter-Korean friendly basketball matches December 23-24 in Seoul and an international motor rally linking the ROK and DPRK’s Mount Kumgang. The “Millennium Mount Kumgang International Rally,” to be held from December 30 to January 2, will be the first inter-Korean car race ever.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-Japan Relations

China Daily (“JAPANESE OFFICIALS IN N. KOREA,” 12/2/99, P11) reported that a group of Japanese politicians and government officials left for a three-day mission to the DPRK on December 1 in a bid to help mend strained ties with the state. Four Japanese foreign ministry officials joined a delegation of legislators from Japan’s ruling and opposition parties. The delegation was headed by former Socialist Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. This is the first visit to the DPRK by such a large group of Japanese politicians and government officials in nearly a decade. Analysts and government officials expect no major breakthrough from the trip. “Their mission is simply to create an atmosphere in which the two sides will become willing to discuss future relations,” one Japanese government official said, “we don’t think there will be a big surprise this time.”

2. PRC View of DPRK-US Relations

People’s Liberation Army Daily (Liang Ming and Meng Xianjun, “OBSERVING US-DPRK RELATIONS IN BERLIN TALKS,” 11/27/99, P5) carried a commentary on recent developments in US-DPRK relations. On November 16, the US State Department spokesman expressed satisfaction over the talks between US and DPRK officials which focused on improving US-DPRK relations and on DPRK missile programs. According to the US State Department, a senior official of the DPRK will visit the US after the Berlin talks. Liang and Meng wrote, “This means the relationship between the United States and North Korea had reached new progresses. The United States has played two cards in its contacts with the North Koreans – one is the nuclear issue and the other is the missile. Although these two ‘cards’ are nothing new, the Untied States played them this year with some new tactics. In September, the US and North Korean officials met in Berlin to negotiate the issues related to so-called North Korean missile launching. After bargaining, both sides made relatively bigger concessions. The US announced to partially lift its 50-year-old economic sanctions on North Korea and the latter committed not to test long-range missiles temporarily. So far, the US-North Korean agreement has received the biggest progress since 1994 when the nuclear framework agreement between the two countries was concluded. Undoubtedly, those progresses are conducive to relaxing the tense on Korean Peninsula. However, at the same time that analysts concerned believe the easing of sanctions by the US has more symbolic meaning. The path for the US and North Korea to normalize their relations still overgrown with brambles. Only after continuous efforts by the parties concerned, the Korean Peninsula will win real peace and stability.”

3. PRC View of ROK Military Modernization

People’s Liberation Army Daily (Guo Hongjun, “ROK WORKING FOR DEVELOPING AND PRODUCING WEAPONS BY ITSELF,” 11/28/99, P5) reported that the ROK’s new military strategy is emerging – it is to establish a national defense of self-reliance and to realize the modernization of weapons. After the Cold War, the ROK has made a strategy of self-reliant national defense. Being guided by the strategy, the ROK military seeks to “walk on two legs” in the process of pushing forward weapons modernization. The ROK is transforming its military strategy from dependence on foreign advanced weapons purchases to being self reliant for license production, cooperative production, technology imports and developing. In recent years, the ROK military industry has developed rapidly and has expanded to more than 80 military enterprises. According to the article, the ROK can produce most weapons except airplanes and missiles. In respect to license and cooperative production with foreign countries, the ROK military industry mainly depends on US and European technology (90 and 10 percent respectively). The article stated that the ROK did not reduce its budget on developing advanced weapons, stop its cooperative production of weapons with the US, or stop developing its own weapons even though it the financial crisis caused ROK to cut its national defense budget.

4. PRC-US Relations

People’s Daily (Zhang Jingyu, “JIANG ZEMIN MEETS US SENATOR,” Beijing, 12/2/99, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin met with US Senator Larry Craig and his delegation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 1. Jiang said that both the PRC and the US are determined to bring the sound, stable and growing PRC-US relations into the new century. “This is not only in the interests of the peoples in our two countries, but also conductive to peace and development of the world,” Jiang said. Taking the recently signed PRC-US agreement on PRC’s admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an example, Jiang pointed out that both the PRC and the US should review major issues that are of fundamental interest to PRC-US relations and the rest of the world. On the Taiwan issue, Jiang stressed that the problem touches the hearts of all Chinese people. He urged the US to observe the three Sino-US joint communiques and relevant commitments in dealing with the Taiwan issue, citing that such documents are of vital importance in ensuring the health and steady growth of PRC-US relations. Jiang also recalled exchanges with the US congressmen during his 1997 state visit to the US. He reiterated the importance of promoting mutual understanding and improving relations between the PRC and the US Congress. Craig, who is also the chairman of the policy committee of the Republican Party, expressed his support for the bilateral pact signed by the PRC and the US on PRC’s WTO accession. Craig told Jiang he was fully aware of the importance of properly handling the Taiwan issue and expressed the willingness to promote bilateral ties and economic and trade cooperation.

5. PRC Space Program

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “MILITARY FUNCTION DENIED,” 11/26, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said during a regular press conference on November 25 that PRC’s development of space technology is purely for peaceful use. “Such technology contributes to the peaceful exploration of outer space and will benefit mankind,” Sun said in response to a question on whether the PRC’s manned space program has a military function.

6. PRC Security Environment

China Daily (Chen Yali, “NATION SHOULD SAFEGUARD SECURITY,” 11/30/99, P4) reported that at a seminar sponsored by the Institute of Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, PRC scholars and officials agreed that a turbulent world strategic environment, unrest in the Asia-Pacific region and surging of separatism worldwide are the three major threats to PRC security. The report said the Kosovo War shook the geopolitical structure established after World War II, under which the five powers of the UN Security Council oversaw international affairs through consultation. “Conflicts among big powers sharpened between the US and Russia as well as between the US and China,” said Zhu Chenghu, deputy director of the Institute of Strategic Studies. Another tough challenge posed by the US is its plan to develop the National Missile Defense (NMD) and Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems. “The strategic balance will be broken and the international strategic situation might regress to its 1950s position if the US successfully develops the NMD and TMD systems,” said Sha Zukang, director-general of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament under the Foreign Ministry of China. Sha warned that if the US develops and deploys the NMD and TMD systems, the existing global arms control mechanism will meet unprecedented setbacks and a new round of global arms race might be triggered. According to the report, China’s historic task of peaceful reunification is faced with more difficulties as the US-Japan alliance eyes Taiwan covetously and pro-independence forces in Taiwan gain some ground. However, Zhu Chenghu said, “If Taiwan oversteps their bounds, the mainland will be forced to take military action even though such action would hurt China’s security environment.” Overlapping claims for sovereignty in the South China Sea have also put major pressures on PRC security, said Senior Captain Chen Guangqi, with the Naval Research Institute of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Chen stated that the PRC should actively develop relations with other major powers and neighboring countries to promote trust and understanding while putting greater emphasis on improving its defense capabilities.

IV. Corrections

The URL given at the end of the November 25, 1999, Daily Report, Section II, item 3 regarding the Korean War Massacre was incorrect. The US Army website with a direct toll-free telephone line for information on the Nogeun-ri massacre is http://saig-web3.ignet.army.mil/nogunri/

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

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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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