NAPSNet Daily Report 03 August, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 03, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Latest NATO Nuclear Flash

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA SAYS IT MAY FIRE MISSILE,” Seoul, 08/03/99) and Reuters (Linda Sieg, “N.KOREA: U.S. PRESSURE COULD PROMPT MISSILE TEST,” Tokyo, 08/03/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Tuesday that it would push ahead with test-firing a missile if the US increased its pressure. KCNA said, “For the United States to return challenge for our good faith will encourage us to significantly increase our national defense capabilities and continue to push ahead with the missile test-fire, to say nothing of satellite launch. The further the United States escalates pressure upon us, the stronger our reaction will become to bring unpredictable consequences. It (Cohen’s visit) was precisely aimed at finding a pretext to ignite a war. Whether we test-fire a satellite or a missile is a legitimate, independent right to be exercised by a sovereign state because it in no way runs counter to the DPRK-U.S. agreed framework as well as to the recognized international convention.”

2. DPRK Missile Base

The Associated Press (“NKOREA UPGRADES MISSILE BASE,” Tokyo, 08/02/99) reported that, according to Japan’s Sankei newspaper, the DPRK is improving and expanding facilities at its ballistic missile launch base. The article, quoting unnamed Japanese and US sources, said that the DPRK is constructing facilities for storing and injecting liquid fuel and oxidizing agents inside the compound of the launch base. According to the report, the DPRK is also building a pipeline linking the launch pad to the two facilities under construction. Sankei quoted a source as saying that the construction of the two facilities and the pipeline was “clearly” confirmed by US intelligence satellite reconnaissance. Tatsuhiko Fukui, a spokesman at Japan’s Defense Agency, said the matter is very sensitive and that his agency could not comment on “individual information.” US and Japanese officials in Tokyo refused to comment.

3. Agreed Framework

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“DON’T LINK NKOREAN MISSILE TESTS WITH AGREED FRAMEWORK,” Washington, USIA Text, 08/02/99) said that no links should be made between the DPRK’s missile tests and the 1994 Agreed Framework. Rubin said that members of the US Congress and other international players who would consider ending the Agreed Framework because of the DPRK’s missile tests would be losing the considerable benefits of the agreement. Rubin stated, “The Agreed Framework serves America’s interests and the world’s interests by preventing North Korea from becoming a dangerous nuclear weapons state. The fact that they may increase their missile capability doesn’t change the fact that we wouldn’t want them to become a nuclear weapons state – arguably it makes it even more important.”

4. DPRK Floods

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA SAYS CONSIDERABLE HUMAN AND PROPERTY LOSSES,” Seoul, 08/03/99) and Reuters (“N.KOREA SAYS TYPHOON OLGA HITS CROPS, BUILDINGS,” Tokyo, 08/03/99) reported that, according to the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), floods and mudslides in the DPRK have killed many people and destroyed many houses and buildings. KCNA said that more than 40,000 hectares (99,000 acres) of farmland have been under water, with thousands of hectares washed away or buried under silt. KCNA stated, “No small loss of human lives was reported. Hundreds of houses and public buildings were either destroyed or submerged.”

5. PRC Missile Test

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA TESTS NEW LONG-RANGE MISSILE,” 08/03/99, 1) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Navy Captain Craig Quigley said that the PRC’s DF-31 missile test on Monday appears to have gone well. Quigley stated, “[The DF-31] is similar in concept to the [Russian] SS-25. It is not a dramatic improvement in missile capability, but the mobile aspect is something we’re watching with great interest.” Quigley said he did not know if the DF-31 test involved multiple warheads or dummy warheads used to fool missile defenses. According to an unidentified US official, the DF-31 launching was tracked by several US intelligence monitoring systems, including satellites, aircraft, and the ship code-named Cobra Judy. The official said that the missile was tracked in flight from the Wuzhai Missile and Space Center in central PRC to a remote area inside the PRC. He said that the test took place around midnight Eastern Standard Time. A classified report by the US Air Force’s National Air Intelligence Center several years ago stated, “The DF-31 ICBM will give China a major-strike capability that will be difficult to counterattack at any stage of its operation. It will be a significant threat not only to U.S. forces deployed in the Pacific theater, but also to portions of the continental United States and to many of our allies. The DF-31’s mobility and defense-penetration capability will allow it to threaten part of the continental United States and many U.S. allies, as well as forces in the Pacific theater.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

The Washington Post (John Pomfret and Steven Mufson, “CHINA, TAIWAN STEP UP SORTIES OVER STRAIT AS FLIGHTS,” 08/03/99, A01) reported that, according to analysts, the PRC’s military modernization in recent years has focused on the development of missiles. David Finkelstein, a former counterintelligence analyst at the US Defense Intelligence Agency and now a researcher at the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, stated, “It’s poor man’s force projection. China’s missile force is really the one true force-projection capability it has…. Those missiles are not to be sneezed at. If I was in Tokyo I wouldn’t be smiling.” Finkelstein said that if the PRC conducts more missile tests, it could indicate there were problems with Monday’s launch. He added that if the launch did meet specifications, the PRC could be expected to deploy the missile within several years. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

6. PRC-Taiwan Military Exercises

The Los Angeles Times (Henry Chu, “AMID TENSIONS, CHINA TESTS NEW MISSILE,” Beijing, 08/03/99) and the Washington Post (John Pomfret and Steven Mufson, “CHINA, TAIWAN STEP UP SORTIES OVER STRAIT AS FLIGHTS,” 08/03/99, A01) reported that the PRC and Taiwanese fighter jets have flown hundreds of sorties over the past three weeks. According to a US official, the PRC, which rarely sends planes over the Taiwan Strait, has flown more than 100 sorties with three different types of aircraft, including advanced Sukhoi 27s recently acquired from Russia. He added that Beijing routinely stages military training exercises from July through September, partly to mark Army Day on August 1, the celebration of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army. Another senior administration official said that Taiwanese aircraft have flown a similar number of times and ventured over the centerline of the strait. A Taiwanese military official said, “As long as you don’t cross over the line, it’s not a hostile maneuver.” However, another official acknowledged that Taiwan had detected an increase in PRC sorties over the strait, and that the Taiwanese government had no choice but to respond. He said, “If they’re flying close to our side and pose a possible threat, how could we not react? For our own safety, we have to mount a response.” An unidentified US official said, “We believe both sides would be well-advised to take precautions so as not to have an inadvertent incident that could escalate. If planes fly very near each other fully armed, even if they are not intended to actually engage, they certainly risk that something unintended could happen.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

7. US Arms Sale to Taiwan

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“UNITED STATES TO SELL EARLY WARNING AIRCRAFT TO TAIWAN,” Washington, USIA Text, 08/02/99) said that the US has decided to sell two E2T early warning aircraft as well as additional spare parts to Taiwan. Rubin said the decision is “fully consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.” Rubin stated, “We do make available to Taiwan arms of a defensive character. We have supplied aircraft spare parts to Taiwan for 20 years. Taiwan already has E2T aircraft in its inventory. It is common and expected for China to complain about any transfer of parts or aircraft like this…. We have responded that it’s fully within our policy of providing for Taiwan’s self defense.”

8. Analysts View of Lee Teng-hui’s Statement

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “TAIWAN LOCKED IN CHINA’S ERRATIC ORBIT,” Taipei, 08/01/99, A23) reported that, according to analysts, Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui wants to create an independent Taiwan. Chang Ling-chen, a professor of political science at National Taiwan University, said, “Lee wants to create an independent Taiwan, that’s totally clear. He can package it nicely, but that’s what he wants.” C.V. Chen, who worked closely with Lee managing relations with the PRC from 1990 to 1992, also said that Lee dreams of an independent Taiwan. However, Chen also noted that the PRC, by its diplomatic pressure, gave Lee the excuse he needed to sell the “special state-to-state” concept to Taiwan’s people. Chen stated, “China should have been more generous. They could have offered us a lot more diplomatic space without jeopardizing their position, but they didn’t.” Another senior Taiwanese official said that US officials have pressured Taiwan to start concluding “interim agreements” with the PRC on issues leading toward reunification. The official said, “Lee was tired of American pressure.”

9. PRC Ascension to WTO

Reuters (“CHINA FOREIGN TRADE CHIEF VOWS OPENING, MUM ON WTO,” Beijing, 08/03/99) reported that, according to the PRC’s state-run Xinhua news agency, PRC Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng said that the PRC will reduce tariffs and open new sectors of the economy regardless of when it joins the World Trade Organization (WTO). Xinhua quoted Shi as saying, “China will, despite the time of its accession to the WTO, continue to open up further to the outside world according to the need of the national economy.” However, there was no mention of when the PRC would resume WTO talks with the US.

10. US-Russia Missile Defense Research

The Baltimore Sun (Jonathan Weisman, “U.S., RUSSIA TO DEVELOP A JOINT MISSILE DEFENSE,” Washington, 08/01/99) reported that US President Clinton, US Vice President Al Gore, and Russian Prime Minister Sergei V. Stepashin spoke about mutual interests in missile defense last week. Stepashin said that both nations should work together toward a “global security system. The ballistic missile threat is not from Russia but from unstable regimes. These threats also affect Russia.” US National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger said, “It is conceivable that we could cooperate in such a way that would protect American security, but would also provide tangible benefits to the Russians.” A US administration official familiar with the talks said, “I think people want to explore this. We haven’t talked in concrete terms, but there’s a lot of potential here.” According to military analysts, last week’s discussions about US and Russia joint missile defense work has signaled that the US administration is becoming serious about deploying the missile defense system. Keith Payne, director of the National Institute for Public Policy and the US director of a joint US-Russian study of missile defense issues, stated, “This is not some romantic notion of a great strategic partnership that’s driving this. It’s a notion that the U.S. is serious about going through with this, and the Russians don’t want to be left behind.” Payne added that there was a very serious change in Russian attitude. John Pike, director of the Space Policy Project at the Federation of American Scientists, “It’s only been going on for a few weeks. But evidently, there’s been much more discussion in the last few weeks than in the last several years.” However, US administration officials said that the talks have a long way to go. One official said, “I don’t think there’s been a sea change on Russian thinking on this issue.”

11. India-Pakistan Relations

Reuters (“INDIA SAYS ONUS ON PAKISTAN TO REVIVE TALKS,” New Delhi, 08/03/99) reported that the Indian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday that said that it was Pakistan’s responsibility to create the right atmosphere for the two countries to resume talks. The statement said, “The onus is now on Pakistan to repair the damage it has done to the Lahore process.” The statement also said that India hoped Pakistan would move towards restoring trust and confidence by “reaffirming the sanctity and inviolability of the entire Line of Control.”

12. India-US Relations

Dow Jones Newswires (Denny Kurien, “INDIA-US RELATIONS STILL FACE CHALLENGES,” New Delhi, 08/03/99) reported that, according to Asia Society Executive Vice President Marshal Micahel Bouton, relations between India and the US have “reached a new phase” but are still constrained by differences of interest. Bouton said, “We do have an opportunity now, the best in a generation, to bring together the two countries.” Bouton said that India’s signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty will be a major factor in improving ties between the two countries. Bouton said that India so far has not received as much priority in US foreign policy as the PRC because “we are well short of the critical economic mass that will provide India-U.S. relations the legs for the long run.” This, Bouton added, can be corrected only by an immediate review of the prospects of relations by both the countries. Bouton also said that it would be wrong for India to mistake the support it received from the US during the confrontation with Pakistan over an incursion in Kashmir as backing for India’s broader stance on the territory.

13. Alleged Pakistan-Saudi Nuclear Link

Reuters (Paul Taylor, “WEST CONCERNED AT SAUDI-PAKISTAN NUCLEAR LINK,” London, 08/03/99) reported that, according to a British official, western governments are concerned that Saudi Arabia may be seeking to acquire a nuclear weapons capability after its defense minister visited Pakistan’s secret nuclear facilities. According to the official, Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan toured the Kahuta uranium enrichment plant and missile factory with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in early May and was briefed by A.Q. Khan, the builder of Pakistan’s atom bomb. The official said, “There is concern that … the Saudis are showing interest in acquiring a nuclear capacity.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Mt. Kumgang Tour

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “INTER-KOREAN TIES UNLIKELY TO IMPROVE DESPITE MT. KUMGANG TOUR RESUMPTION,” 08/03/99) reported that ROK analysts said on Monday that the ROK government’s decision to lift its embargo on the cruise to Mt. Kumgang in the DPRK reflects its wish to find a breakthrough on inter-Korean relations. They said, however, that the resumption of the suspended tour is unlikely to lead to an immediate thaw in relations between the two Koreas. Although the ROK government allowed the resumption of the tour, “It remains yet to be seen whether the tour resumption will give a green light to improvement in inter-Korean relations given that the North still shuns government-level talks with the South,” said an unnamed DPRK watcher. He was referring to the Friday agreement that calls for the establishment of a civilian-level joint committee to mediate disputes that may arise from future tours. The ROK government had pushed for the establishment of a government-level arbitration committee, but to no avail. “The government should have allowed the resumption of the tour only when the North agreed on establishing the government-level mediation panel,” said the expert, on condition of anonymity. Another expert in inter-Korean relations also expressed skepticism about an imminent breakthrough in inter-Korean relations, pointing out that the DPRK most likely wanted to resume the tour to keep the tour fees rolling in, not to improve inter- Korean relations. He also said the Mt. Kumgang tour might be suspended again if the DPRK ignores international warnings and test-fires a second missile.

2. Alleged DPRK Purge

Chosun Ilbo (Hwang Song-joon, “NK SECURITY CHIEF PURGED,” Moscow, 08/02/99) reported that Kye Eun-tae, one of the highest public security chiefs in the DPRK and a close aide to Kim Jong-il, has been removed from his position, according to a DPRK source in Moscow. Apparently, Kye was deprived of all powers in April and is now under house arrest. His son and son-in-law have also been arrested for alleged corruption. Kye is charged with not curbing his family’s corruption and engaging in an overseas joint project on his own volition. He had been aggressive in setting up joint projects with his public security department. Russian experts said that the DPRK’s action may be a warning to other party officials who are making money from overseas activity. Rising friction has been noted between departments and ministries vying to operate joint projects.

III. Latest NATO Nuclear Flash

Following are the headlines from the latest NATO Nuclear Flash.

1. Russia Sets START III Talks Date.
2. China, India Pledge Nuke-Free Zone.
3. Ukraine Offers Russia Bombers to Pay Debt
4. Indian Navy To Produce Indigenous Nuclear Submarines.
5. Russia’s Ivanov Warns U.S. Of New Arms Race.
6. Russia To Upgrade Nuclear Forces, If US Deploys National ABM.
7. US and Russia To Hold Arms Control Talks In August.
8. Statement From the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
9. U.S. Navy’s Canadian Test Site Comes Under Fire.
10. Clinton Names Wulf to State Department Post.
11. DC Congresswoman Introduces Disarmament Bill.
12. The China-Taiwan Crisis:
a) MND Denies Developing Nuclear Weapons, Mid-Range Missile.
b) “The Taiwan Issue.”
c) Tang Fei Says Taiwan Developing Arms To Deter Attack.
d) Clinton confirms rebuke to Taiwan.
e) China Issues New Warning To Taiwan.
f) China Hails PNG Reversal On Taiwan Recognition.

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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

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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