NAPSNet Daily Report 02 September, 1999

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Announcements

I. United States

1. ROK-Japan Talks

The Associated Press (“JAPAN, S. KOREA DISCUSS N. KOREA,” Tokyo, 09/02/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Thursday met with visiting ROK Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil to discuss the two countries’ policy toward the DPRK. At a joint news conference afterwards, Obuchi stated, “If North Korea freezes the launch of another missile it is possible Japan, South Korea and the United States can promote relations with it in a forward- looking manner.” He added that such a development would be “beneficial” to the DPRK. Kim said that he hopes that a “good outcome” will emerge from next week’s talks between US and DPRK officials in Berlin. He also reiterated that Japan and the ROK will work closely with the US to persuade the DPRK not to carry out a missile test.

2. Russian-ROK Talks

Reuters (“RUSSIA, S.KOREA SEEK TO CURB NORTH’S MISSILE PLAN,” Seoul, 09/02/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev told ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae that Russia would cooperate with the ROK to prevent the DPRK from test-firing a long range missile. Sergeyev agreed with Cho that a rocket launch would threaten the stability of Northeast Asia. The two also agreed to hold annual joint naval exercises, starting from 2000. ROK Defense Ministry spokesman Shin Hahn-woo quoted Sergeyev as saying that the drills would be limited to peaceful purposes such as rescue and search exercises. Sergeyev was scheduled to meet ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Saturday and visit military and industrial sites on Friday.

3. ROK-DPRK Maritime Border

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “N. KOREA VOWS TO DEFEND WATERS,” Seoul, 09/02/99) reported that the DPRK military said in a special communique issued through the country’s media on Thursday that it will militarily defend its sovereignty over disputed waters in the Yellow Sea. The communique stated, “Our self-defensive right to the military demarcation line at the West (Yellow) Sea of Korea will be exercised by various means and methods.” ROK Defense Ministry spokesman Yoon Il-young stated, “It’s their old, worn-out tactics. Our will to defend the area is firm and resolute.”

4. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

The Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, “CHINA WON’T USE NUKES VS. TAIWAN,” Beijing, 09/02/99) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry issued a pledge on Friday promising not to use nuclear weapons in the event of a conflict with Taiwan. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi stated, “We will not be the first to use nuclear weapons and will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons countries and regions, let alone against our Taiwan compatriots.” He reiterated, however, that the PRC stood by its pledge to use force if Taiwan moves toward independence or foreign forces interfere in attempts at reunification. Sun also urged the US to honor commitments to support the PRC’s reunification with Taiwan “with concrete actions.”

Dow Jones Newswires (James T. Areddy, “CHINA TO IGNORE, NOT ATTACK, TAIWAN AT APEC SUMMIT,” Hong Kong, 09/02/99) reported that analysts said that PRC President Jiang Zemin is likely to ignore the Taiwan delegation at this year’s summit meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Taiwan’s state-run Central News Agency last week quoted an unnamed official who deals with PRC affairs as saying, “We have finalized preparations and drawn up a comprehensive package of measures to address mainland China’s possible hostile or detrimental moves against our country during the annual APEC gatherings.” Charles Morrison, president of the East- West Center in Honolulu, said that he did not expect any new anti-Taiwan initiatives at the summit. He stated, “China is not trying to push Taiwan out.”

5. Taiwanese Attitudes toward PRC

The Christian Science Monitor carried an analytical article (Kevin Platt, “PUSH FOR CHINESE UNITY WIDENS GAPS,” 09/01/99) which said that the experience of Hong Kong’s reunification with the PRC has caused many Taiwanese to question the value of a political union with the PRC. An unnamed filmmaker in Taipei stated, “The dictatorship of Taiwan’s past is only a distant memory. Today, we elect our own president, do whatever we want politically, and speak out on any issue that interests us. Why should we move backward like Hong Kong has in order to reunite?” Hong Kong human rights activist Frank Lu said that in the last two years, “There has been a steady erosion of both democracy and human rights.” An anonymous senior Nationalist Party official in Taipei said that Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa “keeps calling on us to reunite under the Communists’ one-country formula.” Nationalist Party leader and legislator Liu Tai-ying recently suggested that if war erupts across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan should fire some of its missiles at Hong Kong. Wang Chien-shien, a senior official of Taiwan’s New Party, said that Liu “is a close confidant of President Lee Teng-hui’s,” and that his statement could reflect high-level frustration here at the Hong Kong government’s perceived role as a pawn of the PRC. Wang added, “Many of us fled to Taiwan from communism on the mainland, and we are not about to embrace reuniting with China as it is now ruled. The New Party does not support the People’s Republic of China, only the goal of a political grouping with a democratic China.” He stated, “Hong Kong was once a colony of Britain’s, and is now a colony of China’s, and the people have no power to decide their own destiny. Taiwan is a democracy that has ruled itself since 1949, and it is the people of Taiwan who must decide our future through a free vote.”

6. PRC Views of South Asian Nuclear Development

Reuters (“CHINA URGES HALT TO NUCLEAR ARMS RACE IN S. ASIA,” Geneva, 09/02/99) reported that Li Changhe, PRC Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, on Thursday called on India and Pakistan to halt their nuclear arms race. Li stated, “As a close neighbor of South Asia, China genuinely hopes that the tension there can be eased and the nuclear arms race brought to an end so that peace, security and stability can prevail in the region.” Li added that disagreements on nuclear disarmament and outer space defense had prevented agreement on a program for the conference for 1999, and he called for flexibility next year.

7. PRC Hackers

Reuters (“ANTI-NATO CYBER BLITZ ‘TRACED TO CHINA’,” 09/02/99) reported that US Air Force Lieutenant General William Donahue said Wednesday that hackers with PRC Internet addresses attacked US and allied forces websites after NATO bombed the PRC embassy in Belgrade in May. Donahue said that the hackers “came at us daily, hellbent on taking down NATO networks.” He said that the US military had traced co-ordinated attacks to more than one Internet address in the PRC as well as to Serbs and their sympathizers. He said that the attacks were “not terribly sophisticated” and consisted mostly of electronic mail meant to clog networks.

8. APEC Summit

Dow Jones Newswires carried an analytical article (James T. Areddy, “U.S.-CHINA TALKS, GEOPOLITICS TO OVERSHADOW APEC SUMMIT,” Hong Kong, 09/02/99) which said that geopolitics are likely to overshadow trade matters at the annual summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) next week. Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center, noted, “The U.S. and China have a big agenda of issues.” He added, “You can’t expect an end (to the issue of the PRC’s entrance to the World Trade Organization) at this meeting. You can expect the leaders to say they expect an end soon.” Morrison also stated, “The level of uncertainty in Asia is as great as it’s been in several years. You don’t have an overriding crisis, but you have a lot of areas of tension.” An unnamed analyst at a US brokerage in Hong Kong stated, “All the evidence that I’ve seen, and after talking with the (US) administration, the Taiwan issue does not intrude very much on” the WTO issue.

II. Republic of Korea

1. UNC-DPRK Talks

The Korea Herald (“UNC REBUFFS N.K. CLAIMS ON SEA BORDER,” Seoul, 09/02/99), The Korea Times (“UNC- NK BORDER TALKS END WITH NO AGREEMENT AGAIN,” Seoul, 09/01/99) and Joongang Ilbo (Shim Shang- bok, “NK THREATENS ‘DECISIVE MEASURES’ OVER DISPUTED NLL,” Seoul, 09/01/99) reported that the United Nations Command (UNC) on Wednesday rejected a DPRK demand that the maritime inter-Korean border in the West Sea (Yellow Sea) be redrawn. In a meeting of general-level officers at Panmunjom, representatives from the UNC said that the existing Northern Limit Line (NLL) has been serving as a sea border and had been respected by the DPRK as such from the end of the 1950-53 Korean War until recently. The four-member UNC delegation made it clear that the DPRK demand to redraw the sea borderline will not be negotiated. Instead, they proposed that the ROK and the DPRK delegations discuss an ROK suggestion that an ROK-DPRK joint military commission establish a new maritime non-aggression line in the West Sea. DPRK military representatives, however, threatened to take “decisive and resolute measures” unless the UNC agrees to the DPRK’s demand, while not specifying what the measures were. They called for meetings between colonels of the DPRK and the US military, not the UNC.

2. ROK at APEC

The Korea Herald (“FOREIGN MINISTER HONG TO ATTEND APEC MINISTERIAL MEETING ON BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES,” Seoul, 09/02/99) and The Korea Times (“HONG, HAN TO ATTEND APEC IN AUCKLAND,” Seoul, 09/01/99) reported that ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) Minister Hong Soon-young will attend the ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on September 9 to discuss expanding business opportunities among member states. MOFAT spokesman Chang Chul-kyoon said on Wednesday that the meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, to start ahead of the annual APEC summit on September 13, will also discuss strengthening markets and broadening support for APEC. State Minister for Trade Han Duck-soo will also attend the meeting of foreign and trade ministers of the 21 APEC member states. On the sidelines of the APEC forum, Hong will hold individual talks with his Russian counterpart and Han will have separate meetings with trade ministers from the US, Australia and Japan on issues of bilateral concern.

Chosun Ilbo (“US, JAPAN KOREA TO DISCUSS NK QUESTION,” Seoul, 09/01/99) reported that the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri said on Wednesday that the ROK, the US, and Japan decided to hold summit talks on September 12 at Auckland, New Zealand to discuss countermeasures against the DPRK. Kim Dae-jung, Bill Clinton and Obuchi Keizo will analyze and discuss the flexible attitude shown by the DPRK concerning a ballistic missile test.

3. DPRK Celebrates Anniversary of Missile Launch

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “NORTH KOREA BRAGS EPOCHAL CHANGE ON ANNIVERSARY OF MISSILE LAUNCH,” Seoul, 09/02/99) and The Korea Times (“N.KOREA BOASTS OF SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES ON ANNIVERSARY OF LAUNCH,” Seoul, 09/01/99) reported that the DPRK celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of a long-range missile on Tuesday, boasting that there have been “epoch-making changes” in political, social, scientific and technological areas. “During the past year, our people have overcome food crisis and economic difficulties with courage and a smile based on our pride as a ‘satellite-launching country,'” said the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Maintaining that the satellite launch has rapidly advanced the DPRK’s science and technology, the broadcast cited about 50 significant research and development projects in electronics, machinery, metallurgy and bioengineering. “Among the many criteria to evaluate a country’s national power, the manufacture and launch of an artificial satellite is regarded as a comprehensive display of strong national power,” the DPRK media said. It added, “Ours was the stern thunder which declared the total failure of attempts by imperialists to dominate space and invade other countries based on such a domination of space.” Radio Pyongyang, another governmental organ – while noting that there are only a few countries that have launched satellites, including the PRC, Russia, the US, Britain and France – said that the DPRK’s successful launch of a satellite meant it could compete on a par with the superpowers. The DPRK media maintained that Kwangmyungsung I is still circling the earth, contrary to conclusions of neighboring countries, which say that it failed to reach orbit.

4. ROK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “P.M. KIM TO URGE JAPAN TO CONTINUE FUNDING KEDO IF N.K. FIRES MISSILE,” Tokyo, 09/02/99) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “PM KIM KICKS OFF TRIP TO JAPAN,” Seoul, 09/01/99) reported that ROK Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil was expected during his talks with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Thursday to ask Japan not to suspend its share of funding for the KEDO reactor project even if the DPRK test-fires a missile, aides to Kim said on Wednesday. “Prime Minister Kim will stress that the two light- water reactors project for the North should be continued,” a source close to Kim said. Kim and Obuchi will also discuss ways to strengthen policy coordination between the two nations to effectively cope with the DPRK’s repeated threats, especially the recent threat to test-fire a ballistic missile. The two prime ministers will also exchange views on how to successfully organize the 2002 World Cup soccer finals.

5. Mt. Kumgang Tour

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “MT.KUMGANG TOURISTS SURPASS 100,000,” Seoul, 09/01/99) reported that the Mt. Kumgang tour program finally surpassed 100,000 travelers in its 8 months of existence. Hyundai officially announced on Wednesday that its 158th departure to the DPRK marked 100,318 total tourists since the first ship set sail on November 18, 1998. It also revealed that the ages of the tourists between their 50-60s made up 43 percent, while those in their 30-40s were 37 percent and under 20 were 12 percent.

6. ROK-DPRK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Herald (“INTER-KOREAN CONCERT LIKELY TO BE DELAYED TO AFTER CHUSOK HOLIDAYS,” Seoul, 09/02/99) reported that an inter-Korean pop music concert scheduled for around Chusok (Korean Thanksgiving) will likely be postponed to after Chusok and its scale will also be reduced due to disagreements between the two Koreas over protocol for the event. According to related sources on Wednesday, the two to three performances of the “South and North Arirang Concert” that were scheduled alternately in both Koreas are unlikely to go ahead as planned due to the discord. The concerts are thus likely to be merely overseas performances of the ROK’s pop singers rather than an exchange of musical talent. “However, we should place significance on the fact that civil groups alone planned the concert with their own money in order to open a gate of cultural exchange between the two Koreas,” one source said. Meanwhile, six delegates from SN Enterprise, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation and other organizations pushing for the concert will visit the DPRK on September 11 to discuss the proceedings of the event with the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

III. Announcements

1. DPRK Food Aid Map

Relief web has maps of the DPRK available on its website, including maps of flood-affected areas, World Food Program food distribution, and UN monitoring visits.

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Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Timothy L. Savage: 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: 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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