NAPSNet Daily Report 02 June, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 02 June, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 02, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-02-june-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il’s PRC Visit
2. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War
3. Cross-Straits Relations
4. US-Russian Summit
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Leader’s Visit to PRC
2. Inter-Korean Summit
3. Vatican View of ROK Policy to DPRK
4. Aid to DPRK

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il’s PRC Visit

Agence France Presse (“KIM JONG-IL’S CHINA TRIP HAILED AS STEP TOWARD BETTER REGIONAL DIALOGUE,” Beijing, 6/2/00) reported that diplomats and analysts said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s secret trip to the PRC this week was a step toward improved regional dialogue before the inter-Korean summit in mid-June. The PRC said the visit, from May 29-31, was planned long in advance and not directly linked to Kim’s talks with his ROK counterpart Kim Dae-jung from June 12-14, but admitted that the two sides discussed the issue. David Zweig, associate professor of social sciences at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said, “Kim might simply have wanted to know what kind of person Kim Dae-Jung is. All the people who know the South Korean president are in Beijing. China has a strong interest in the meeting going smoothly. They want to have a relationship with both sides.” The ROK government on June 1 welcomed the trip and said that it augured well for the upcoming summit in Pyongyang. A similar reaction came from Japan. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said, “it is desirable that North Korea deepens contact with the international community, particularly with General Secretary Kim traveling abroad by himself and holding dialogue.” One western diplomat said that Kim’s visit was an unmitigated gain for the PRC in terms of international prestige, its profile enhanced as a power to be reckoned with in regional, if not global, diplomacy. Diplomatic sources said that for Kim, his appearance in the capital of an emerging great power, warmly embracing its leaders, could help boost his image abroad as well as at home. Another western diplomat said, “Kim came in order to seek Beijing’s support. It has given him more weight ahead of the inter-Korean summit.”

2. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

The Associated Press (“U.S., N. KOREAN OFFICIALS TO MEET,” Kuala Lumpur, 6/2/00) reported that US embassy spokesman James Warren said on Friday that the US and the DPRK will resume talks in Kuala Lumpur next week on tracing more than 8,000 US soldiers missing in action from the Korean War. Warren said that a US Department of Defense team is expected to meet with DPRK officials for five days beginning June 6. The US Defense Department believes more than 500 sets of remains could be recovered near Unsan, a site of major battles between elements of the US Army’s 8th Cavalry Regiment and Chinese troops in November of 1950.

3. Cross-Straits Relations

The Washington Times carried an analytical article (Richard Halloran, “CHEN’S QUIET PLAN COULD ANGER CHINA,” Taipei, 6/2/00) which said that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian is speaking softly toward PRC, but has embarked on a strategy to maintain his island’s separation from the mainland that, if successful, still could provoke a PRC attack. The main element of this strategy is a vigorous effort to enhance a sense of identity among the people of Taiwan, especially in revising education to emphasize Taiwan’s history and culture. Chen has not articulated his strategy in public and is not likely to do so in order to avoid provoking the PRC. However, the writer wrote, “an outline of the strategy can be discerned in a book Chen wrote last year entitled ‘Son of Taiwan,’ in his subtly defiant inaugural address, and from conversations with his close advisers in Taipei.” The Chen strategy, according to analysts in Taiwan, is intended to counter what they see as a campaign of psychological warfare calculated to browbeat Taiwan into submission with military threats, political pressure, diplomatic isolation, economic disruption, subversion and propaganda. Ni Lexiong, a senior fellow at the Institute of National Defense in Shanghai during a recent visit to Hawaii, said, “China has had more than 2000 years of experience with psychological warfare,” adding, “The People’s Liberation Army has recently brought that up to date.” Chen wrote in his book, “Taiwan does not sail on smooth seas. Taiwan cannot afford to be quixotic concerning any opponent, nor can we let them dictate our position. Rather, we must anticipate all their possible reactions and formulate strategic countermeasures.” The critical component of this strategy is to expand the Taiwanese sense of identity that has flowered in recent years. Political analysts and members of Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party said that students would be taught more Taiwanese and less PRC history and more about Taiwan’s traditions, art and literature. Chen, according to his advisers, will expand the flexible diplomacy begun by former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui. In sum, Chen seeks to play for time in hopes that the PRC will become less hostile and that Taiwan will gain more space in the international arena. He will continue to speak calmly to the PRC, but will not concede to its demands. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 2, 2000.]

4. US-Russian Summit

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “SUMMIT OF LESSER ACCORDS LOOMING,” 6/2/00) reported that US President Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to highlight accords on early warning systems and the safeguarding of nuclear materials at their Moscow summit meeting this weekend, because there is little hope of sealing an accord on arms control. However, a surprise agreement on amending the ABM Treaty is still conceivable. Putin said in an interview with NBC News on June 1 that he would propose to Clinton that Russia and the US jointly develop a missile shield to protect against “rogue” states. Michael McFaul, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said, “earlier in the year, they were talking about this being a grand bargain summit. I’d be very surprised if they come up with that agreement now. It’s just not in the cards. They had hoped for a big bang and will go out with a whimper on the arms control stuff.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 2, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Leader’s Visit to PRC

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL CONFIRMS KIM JONG-IL’S SECRET VISIT TO CHINA,” Seoul, 06/02/00) reported that the ROK government on June 1 officially confirmed that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il made a secret visit to the PRC early this week just ahead of the historic inter-Korean summit slated for June 12-14. One official said that Kim arrived in Beijing on May 29 by special train for talks with PRC leaders. ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn also told visiting Japanese journalists that Kim is believed to have met with PRC President Jiang Zemin, parliamentary leader Li Peng and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji during his stay in the PRC capital. An ROK diplomatic source said, “Jiang and Kim might have agreed to fully cooperate during the summit and on PRC economic aid to the North, including food and fuel.” Cho Myung-chul, a DPRK defector who once taught economics at Kim Il- sung University, stated, “Kim might also have felt the need to determine China’s exact position on the summit, as the meeting is expected to cover not only inter-Korean matters but also regional issues.” Cho also said that Kim’s trip to Beijing is expected to help the DPRK cement its relations with the PRC. Some reports claimed that Kim and Jiang agreed that the PRC president would make a reciprocal visit to the DPRK within this year.

2. Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “MINISTER LEE INDICATES SEOUL WILL TOUCH ON N.K. NUCLEAR ISSUE DURING SUMMIT,” Seoul, 06/02/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will likely bring up the DPRK’s weapons programs at the upcoming inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, a top ROK diplomatic policymaker indicated on Thursday. The ROK has said that it will discuss the expansion of economic assistance to the DPRK and the reunion of families separated by the division of the peninsula during the meeting, but the US and Japan reportedly want the ROK to tackle international concerns about DPRK’s nuclear and missile development programs.

3. Vatican View of ROK Policy to DPRK

The Korea Herald (“VATICAN SUPPORTS ENGAGEMENT POLICY TOWARDS NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 06/02/00) reported that the Ambassador of the Vatican to the ROK said on June 1 that the Holy See supports the ROK government’s efforts to solve inter-Korean issues through dialogue with the DPRK and to help those who are suffering there. Quoting Pope John Paul II’s words in March during a meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-jung in Rome, Archbishop Giovanni Battista Morandini said in a keynote speech at the first Catholic forum, “the Holy See has provided spiritual and material aid such as medical equipment and food to the North four times since 1996 via its official delegation”

4. Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Shin Hye-son, “MEDICAL GROUPS TO RAISE FUNDS TO HELP NORTH KOREANS,” Seoul, 06/02/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, “GOVERNMENT WELCOMES NK LEADER’S CHINA VISIT,” Seoul, 06/02/00) reported that medical groups are gearing up to provide aid to disease-stricken DPRK citizens. The Korean Sharing Movement, a civic group set up to help Koreans throughout the world, said on June 1 that it began a three- month-long fund-raising campaign to boost medical and health services in the DPRK in cooperation with six medical- related organizations. Groups involved include the Korean Medical Association, the Association of Korean Oriental Medicine, the Korean Pharmaceutical Association, the Korea Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, the Korean Dental Association and the Korean Hospital Association. In the first phase of the campaign, these groups hope to raise US$1 million from members and the public by the end of August, which will be used to purchase basic and essential pharmaceutical products for DPRK citizens. The groups also plan to hold a Paris-Berlin bicycle marathon June 20-July 13 to raise funds to help DPRK children suffering from tuberculosis. Representatives from the groups plan to visit the DPRK in September and provide four frequently used pharmaceutical products. The ROK groups’ goal is to push for full-scale ROK-DPRK cooperation in the medical field.

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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
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leanne Payton: lbpat1@smtp.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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