NAPSNet Daily Report 02 November, 1999

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US Spying on DPRK

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA ALLEGES MORE U.S. SPYING,” Seoul, 11/02/99) reported that the DPRK’s foreign news outlet, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), said that the US has stepped up electronic reconnaissance with U-2 and other spy planes since joint US-ROK military exercises began a week ago. KCNA accused the US and the ROK of mobilizing more than 600 warplanes for assault drills over the ROK. KCNA said that the exercises “lay bare the true colors of the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean authorities as war maniacs.”

2. US-PRC Relations

The Washington Post (Robert G. Kaiser, “CHINA CONCERNS LEAD HOUSE TO POSTPONE TAIWAN VOTE,” Washington, 11/02/99) reported that US House of Representative leaders have decided to put off until next year a floor vote on the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, a bill to strengthen US-Taiwan military relations. House members said that the bill would easily pass the US Congress if it came up for a vote, but disagreements arose from the fear that passage would be a provocation to the PRC while the PRC and the US are negotiating on the PRC’s membership in the World Trade Organization. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 2.]

3. Spratly Islands Dispute

Agence France Presse (“BEIJING FEARS US-FILIPINO MILITARY,” Beijing, 11/02/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on Tuesday cautioned the Philippines and the US against holding joint military exercises aimed at the PRC. Zhang stated, “The countries concerned should make efforts to preserve the peace and stability in this region instead of doing anything that may effect regional stability, including not holding military exercises which target others as an imaginary enemy.” A PRC-Philippines working group on confidence building measures had agreed that neither side would use the other as “an imaginary enemy” in war games. Zhang added, “And when holding a military exercise (the one side) must inform the other in advance.” Zhang said that the PRC views the disputed region as stable despite growing tensions over oil drilling by the PRC on the western side of the area within Vietnam’s 200 mile exclusive economic zone and the establishment of Chinese buildings on Mischief Reef some 137 nautical miles from Palawan. Filipino Defense Chief Orlando Mercado said on October 31, “it cannot be decided by us alone since the Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercise is a joint undertaking with the United States.”

4. Japanese Defense Laws

South China Morning Post (Sally Fisher, “PM’S PLAN TO BOOST MILITARY’S POWER COMES AS SHOCK,” Tokyo, 11/02/99) reported that Japanese analysts expressed surprise over Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s call for new laws to allow the Self Defense Forces (SDF) to counter possible attacks. Analysts said that the Japanese people were not prepared for a boost in the military and firmly believed in the Japanese Constitution’s Article 9, which “forever” renounces war as a sovereign right. John Neuffer, political analyst at Mitsui Marine Research in Japan, said that the DRPK’s launch of a three-stage missile last year made many people question the limits of the SDF, but added that this would not mean the development of hardline nationalism.

5. US Nuclear Testing Policy

The Associated Press (“US: WE WON’T TEST NUCLEAR WEAPONS,” Oslo, 11/02/99) and The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “Albright Says U.S. Bound By CTBT,” Washington, 11/02/99) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright sent a letter last week to Russia, the PRC and other key governments that said that the US would not test nuclear weapons and was determined to seek Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. US State Department spokesman James P. Rubin stated, “To test, we would have to first repudiate the treaty.” Rubin said it is proper to adhere to the treaty’s terms, since the intent was still to “seek the advice and consent of the Senate” on the pact.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Relations

The Korea Times (“NK MIGHT BE GIVEN PUBLIC SECURITY ASSURANCE FROM US,” Seoul, 10/31/99) reported that the US is considering guaranteeing the security of the DPRK as a measure to dissuade it from developing, firing and selling missiles. An anonymous US diplomatic official quoted former US Defense Secretary William Perry as saying that the DPRK appeared nervous over the possibility of becoming the target of a US missile attack. The official also noted that the DPRK is bent on developing missiles out of fear of a possible preemptive US missile strike. The official stated, “It is my understanding that former defense secretary William Perry has recommended that the Clinton administration make public its pledge not to make a preemptive missile strike against North Korea.” The official predicted that the US assurance might be conveyed to the DPRK when Kim Kye-kwan and Charles Kartman hold a bilateral meeting on November 15 in Berlin. He also said that in return for the US assurance, detailed negotiations will be made on DPRK’s suspension of exporting missiles.

2. Alleged DPRK Unrest

Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-bom, “RIOT REPORTED IN NORTH KOREA,” Beijing, 11/02/99) reported that according to an unnamed Chinese source, a riot occurred around October 11 in the Onsong district of North Hamkyong Province in the DPRK. The source said that DPRK authorities brought in helicopters to control the riot and mobilized the so-called “Special Unit,” the special forces that deal with riots and allegedly conduct espionage activities in the northeast region of the PRC. The source said that DPRK authorities also conducted a massive search for the leaders and “rebellious elements.” According to the source, DPRK officials told him to quickly return to the PRC since it was difficult to do business in the DPRK at the moment. The Onsong district is a mining area where criminals or people of “bad character” are banished. The people there are said to have strong revulsion toward the DPRK society and to be fairly well-informed of the outside world, due to their relationship with Koreans residing in the PRC.

3. DPRK-Russia Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER’S VISIT TO N.K. SEEN TO HELP RESTORE TIES,” Seoul, 11/02/99) and the Korea Times (“IVANOV TO CONVEY SEOUL’S SUNSHINE’ MESSAGE TO NK,” Seoul, 10/31/99) reported that, according to an ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade official, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is scheduled to visit the DPRK next Monday. The official said that Ivanov is expected to stay in the DPRK for three days during which he is expected to conclude a new treaty aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation in political, economic and other fields with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-soon. According to the official, the new pact would replace the 1961 military treaty between the two countries, which had called for the former Soviet Union’s military intervention in a war involving the DPRK. The official stated, “The signing of the new treaty means that Russia and North Korea are restoring their friendly relations.” However, an anonymous diplomatic observer stated, “It is difficult for the two countries to make substantive progress in their relations anytime soon, given the economic difficulties facing them. Unlike China and the United States, Russia has no economic ‘carrots’ to give to the North.” Ivanov is scheduled to meet Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the DPRK Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly. It is also expected that Ivanov will discuss the two countries’ joint stance against US Theater Missile Defense (TMD).

4. DPRK Satellite Programs in ROK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. SATELLITE TV PROGRAMS FAIL TO DRAW MUCH INTEREST IN SOUTH,” Seoul, 11/01/99) reported that, according to Unification Ministry officials, the DPRK satellite broadcasts have not drawn as many viewers as the Ministry had predicted. The officials said that only 25 people have visited the Unification Ministry’s library to watch the DPRK Central TV programs during the past week. The Institute of Political Education for National Unification, the other facility designated by the government to show the DPRK programs, did not receive a single visitor during the past week. An anonymous official stated, “Many citizens do not know much about their access to North Korean broadcasting.” However, another official said, “It only takes a few minutes for viewers to get bored with the propaganda-filled programs. Moreover, most of these programs are nothing new for South Korean watchers, who have been accustomed to them through South Korean networks.”

5. Mt. Kumgang Tour

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “HYUNDAI TO MONOPOLIZE MT. KUMGANG TOURISM FACILITIES,” Seoul, 10/29/99) reported that, according to Hyundai Group chairman Chung Mong-hun, the DPRK has agreed to give Hyundai a monopoly over operating facilities around Mt. Kumgang for the next 30 years. Chung said that Hyundai received a document to this affect from the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee of the DPRK on October 27. Chung also said that Hyundai has decided to dispatch a delegation to the DPRK on November 6 to inspect the site of the west-coast industrial complex.

6. Korean War Massacre

JoongAng Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “N. KOREA STRESSES ‘BLOOD PRICE’ FOR NOKUNRI MASSACRE,” Seoul, 11/01/99) reported that the DPRK emphasized that a “blood price” must be paid for the Nogunri massacre. The DPRK’s government-run Rodong Shinmun reported on Monday that although the truth of the incident was revealed by the US Army’s soldiers’ testimony and documents, the US administration has been hesitant to accept responsibility. The article stated, “Blood must be paid with blood. The South Korean people have to fight against the deadly American enemies and punish them.”

Chosun Ilbo (Ahn Seok-bae, “US INVESTIGATION TEAM ARRIVES AT NOGEUN-RI,” Seoul, 10/29/99) reported that the Nogun-ri massacre Investigation Team, led by US Army Inspector General Lieutenant-General Michael Ackerman, visited the Youngdong-kun Office in North Chungchong Province on October 29. Ackerman listened to the testimony of villagers who lost family members or were wounded during the alleged massacre of refugees by members of the US 1st Cavalry during the opening stages of the Korean War. Ackerman stated that the team came to the ROK after receiving orders from the US Government to make a thorough investigation of the Nogeun-ri incident, and said that October 29’s meeting would be the first step to finding out the truth. The investigation team also inspected the railway arch where the refugees were killed by machine-gun fire.

7. US to Issue Gas Masks

Chosun Ilbo (“US TO ISSUE GAS MASKS TO MILITARY FAMILIES,” Seoul, 10/30/99) reported that the US Forces Korea (USFK) announced on October 29 that the US Defense Department approved its request to issue protective masks to command and non-command sponsored military family members in the ROK. Masks will also be issued to all non-emergency-essential Defense Department personnel and their family members. The masks will become part of each family’s noncombatant evacuation kit. Previous steps taken in the ROK to enhance noncombatants’ safety include installing barricades, widening roads and improving installation access control.

8. ROK-US Criminal Extradition Treaty

The Korea Herald (Chang Jae-soon, “ROK-U.S. CRIMINAL EXTRADITION TREATY TO TAKE EFFECT NEXT MONTH,” Seoul, 11/01/99) reported that, according to US Justice Ministry officials and the US Supreme Court, a new criminal extradition treaty between the ROK and the US is expected to go into effect early next month. The officials said that the US Senate will vote on the bill for the extradition treaty as soon as the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passes a motion on December 3. The treaty was struck last June during President Kim Dae-jung’s state visit to the US. According to the officials, the treaty will take effect as soon as it receives US Senate approval and the two countries exchange ratification letters. The treaty, however, will not be applied to ROK National Security Law violators, as such offenses do not constitute crimes in the US. In addition, US soldiers in the ROK will not be affected by the treaty in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement between the two countries.

9. ROK Campaign for East Timor

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “DEFENSE MINISTRY EMPLOYEES DONATE GOODS FOR E. TIMORESE,” Seoul, 11/01/99) reported that employees of the ROK Defense Ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have started a campaign to collect relief goods for East Timorese residents. An ROK Defense Ministry official said that employees are voluntarily donating summer clothes, medicine, sugar, soap and other necessities to Timorese residents. According to the official, some food and pharmaceutical companies, as well as religious and civic groups, have also expressed their willingness to join the campaign that started last Friday. The ROK Ministry plans to ship relief goods to Lautem in November via Air Force C-130 aircraft and again in December on a cargo ship.

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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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