NAPSNet Daily Report 02 October, 1998

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 02 October, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 02, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-02-october-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

III. Japan

I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, THURSDAY, OCT. 1,” USIA Transcript, 10/01/98) said that US-DPRK missile talks began Thursday morning. Rubin stated, “the United States has serious concerns about North Korea’s missile exports and their indigenous missile activities, including the attempt in August to use a Taepo Dong-1 missile to orbit a very small satellite. The August 31 launch represents another step forward in North Korea’s missile development program and is a matter of deep concern to the United States.” He added, “We intend to make quite clear to the North Koreans that if they were to proceed with additional launches or were to export such missiles, there will be very negative consequences for our policy. On the other hand, if North Korea were to adopt strict restraints on its missile program, including the cessation of North Korean flight testing production, deployment and export of missiles and related technology, there could be a commensurate improvement in its relationship with the United States.”

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2. DPRK Missile Development

Dow Jones Newswires (“N. KOREA COMPLETES DEVELOPING RODONG 1 MISSILE – KYODO,” Tokyo, 10/02/98) reported that Japan’s Kyodo News quoted an unnamed senior Japanese Defense Agency official as saying Friday that the DPRK has completed its development of the Rodong 1 ballistic missile with a range of about 1,000 kilometers and capability to hit most of Japan. He added, however, that it is still “unclear” whether the DPRK has deployed Rodong 1 missiles. The official attributed the change to the DPRK’s August 31 rocket launch.

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3. Fuel Oil Deliveries for DPRK

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, THURSDAY, OCT. 1,” USIA Transcript, 10/01/98) said that, for the current year, the US Congress had agreed to the Clinton Administration’s request to appropriate US$30 million for funding for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). Foley added, “A contribution from the EU of about $60 million is expected to be received by KEDO shortly to help KEDO retire its debt for past oil purchases. Additional contributions for heavy fuel oil shipments have been received, including from Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Singapore and Finland.”

Reuters (“KEDO SEEKS BIDS FOR FUEL OIL DELIVERIES TO N KOREA,” Washington, 10/01/98) reported that the International Services Corp (ISC) said Thursday that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) is seeking bids for two fuel oil deliveries to the DPRK for late October. KEDO intends to purchase one lot of approximately 20,000 and 22,000 metric tons of fuel oil to be delivered October 18-25 at the ports of Nampo and Songrim. A second delivery is out for bids for 22,000 to 32,000 metric tons of fuel oil for delivery to the port of Sonbong, also between the dates October 18-25.

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4. Future of Agreed Framework

The Los Angeles Times (Bob Drogin, “U.S., N. KOREA OPEN TALKS ON MISSILE ISSUE,” 10/02/98) reported that many people in Congress believe that the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework may need to be revised. The article quoted an unnamed congressional aide as saying, “There’s general agreement that either the Agreed Framework was a lousy agreement from the beginning and never should have been agreed to, or, alternatively, whether it was reasonable or not in 1994, the North Koreans, with their actions since then, have made it irrelevant and it’s time to replace it. The problem is [that] none of the critics address the issue of what will we do if you walk out of the agreement and the North Koreans start increasing their plutonium stockpiles. So, instead of having enough fissile materials for at best one or two bombs, you get enough for 10 or 20 a year.” The aide said that the agreement was based in part on an “overly optimistic” assessment by the US that the DPRK regime would soon collapse. He added that the Asian financial crisis has also put unexpected burdens on the ability of Japan and the ROK to contribute to the implementation of the agreement.

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article (Jim Mann, “N. KOREA AID YIELDS BOUNTY OF THREATS,” Washington, 09/30/98) which said that the money that the US is spending to provide heavy fuel and food aid to the DPRK has not yielded any change in the DPRK’s policies. The article stated, “The administration is handling North Korea as though it were either too unimportant or too embarrassing for its top officials to discuss in public.” The author argued, “for the purpose of ‘engaging’ North Korea, the United States now seems to be accepting a situation in which North Korea fires new missiles over Japan and continues to threaten South Korea with military attack, while the U.S. feeds North Korea and supplies it with ever-greater sums of money for energy. The core of the administration’s failure lies in its utter inability to drive a hard, tough deal. If North Korea wants to become a ward of the West, it can stop threatening its neighbors. If not, then it is responsible for its own isolation.”

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5. Aid for DPRK

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, THURSDAY, OCT. 1,” USIA Transcript, 10/01/98) said that the decision by the international relief group Doctors Without Borders to halt operations in the DPRK will not affect the US Government’s decisions to send 300,000 tons of wheat to the DPRK. Foley stated, “It’s unfortunate that they are going to be pulling out. We agree with them fully that food and other humanitarian assistance should be distributed to those most in need, and we are disturbed by reports that access was denied to the Doctors Without Borders professionals.” He added, “under our arrangement, as you know, we send all of our food assistance to North Korea through the World Food Program. Under our arrangement with the World Food Program, monitoring of food assistance is required.” Foley maintained, “No significant diversion of US Government assistance has been detected. With the recent announcement … of an additional 300,000 metric tons of food that the US plans to contribute, the number of monitors also will increase.” He also said, “there are more than 30 food aid monitors in North Korea. They spend most of their time in the field. While the access and tempo of operations conducted by the monitors is improving, they’re still prevented from conducting unscheduled, unsupervised visits. So there are problems in this area, and we’d like to see the number, for example, of Korean-speaking monitors increased.”

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6. Alleged Plot to Influence ROK Election

Reuters (“S. KOREA OPPOSITION DENIES PLOTTING N. KOREA SHOOTOUT,” Seoul, 10/01/98) reported that the ROK’s main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) on Thursday denied allegations of conspiring to arrange a shooting incident between the ROK and DPRK in the Demilitarized Zone last year to influence the presidential election. The party issued a statement saying, “We affirm that the party and its president Lee Hoi-chang had absolutely no part in such a conspiracy, even if those implicated are found to have hatched such an absurd plot.” GNP President Lee Hoi-chang called the allegations “preposterous.” He stated, “I do not have, nor have I ever had, a covert group comprised of shady characters linked with the Blue House.” He added, “President Kim Dae-jung has been abusing his power and wreaking political vengeance under the guise of a so-called political reform.”

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7. Taiwanese Elections

The Washington Times (James Morrison, “A TWO-CHINA POLICY,” 10/02/98) quoted Mayor George Tsan-Hong Chang of Tainan, fourth-largest city in Taiwan, as saying that his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) could defeat the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) in parliamentary elections on December 5. Chang stated, “Without a doubt, the DPP will gain considerably more strength and influence in all national policies and politics than expected.” He added that he doubts the PRC would attack Taiwan if the DPP wins. He stated, “I really don’t think they have the capability to launch a large-scale military attack on Taiwan.” Chang criticized US President Bill Clinton for his remarks concerning Taiwan during his trip to the PRC. He argued, “The whole world perceived a … U.S. change in favor of the PRC. Although the KMT government’s policy of ‘one China’ is also to be blamed, Clinton’s announcement actually backfired in Taiwan.”

III. Japan

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1. Japanese Reconnaissance Satellite

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (LDP) PROJECT ON SATELLITE NARROWS DOWN TO RECONNAISSANCE PURPOSE,” 10/02/98) reported that the LDP project team on information satellites, led by Taro Nakayama, decided on October 2 to narrow their discussion to reconnaissance satellites, although the team was initially discussing multi-purpose satellites. Since the alleged missile test by the DPRK in late August, the LDP has discussed the introduction of multi-purpose reconnaissance satellites because of the 1969 Diet decision on the peaceful use of space. However, because the US, which had earlier opposed Japan’s possession of its own satellite, is now inclined to agree to the introduction a Japanese satellite, the LDP came to this decision. The report said that the LDP also decided to include the Defense Agency’s view that multi-purpose satellites are too complicated to use and that they are of no use for reconnaissance. The report quoted Nakayama as saying, “(Also) reconnaissance activities are necessary for security, and all self-defense forces are actually engaged in these activities.” However, according to the report, Nakayama will not stick to the term “reconnaissance satellite,” because it may not easily be accepted by the public.

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2. DPRK Tourism Project

The Sankei Shimbun (“KUMGUNGSAN SIGHTSEEING PROJECT BECOMES DIFFICULT THIS YEAR,” 10/02/98) reported that, according to the ROK’s Chosun Ilbo on October 1, the Hyundai Group and the DPRK held a meeting in Beijing regarding the sight-seeing project to Mt. Kumgang slated for mid-October. The two sides decided to cancel the voyage of the first boat to the DPRK this year. Although the Hyundai Group said, “There is no change in (our policy to promote the project),” the decision may affect the exchange, according to the report. According to Chosun Ilbo, the DPRK’s demand for a higher payment by the Hyundai Group for the project than the group’s offer of US$300 per tourist caused the cancellation of the project this year. If the DPRK does not change its stance, the project will remain postponed until next March, when a working meeting will take place, according to the Hyundai Group. Because it becomes colder in November, it is virtually impossible to carry out the Mt. Kumgang project this year.

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3. Japanese-ROK Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“SECURITY DIALOGUE AND SUMMIT EXCHANGE ARE INCLUDED IN JAPAN-ROK ACTION PLAN,” 10/02/98) reported that the “Japan-ROK Partnership for Implementation of Action Plan toward the 21 Century” was revealed on October 1. According to the report, the action plan included 41 specific steps for both countries to take in order to construct forward-looking relations. The items include institutionalization of security dialogue and summit exchanges and cooperation in preventing the DPRK’s nuclear weapons development. The plan will be agreed on at the time of the Japanese-ROK summit meeting on October 8, along with the Japan-ROK Joint Statement, which also addresses the issue of “past history.” In addition, the plan consists of five areas, including “expansion of dialogue channels for the peace and security of the international community; strengthening of economic cooperation; strengthening of cooperation regarding global issues; and promotion of international and cultural exchanges.”

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

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

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
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


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