NAPSNet Daily Report 03 July, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 July, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 03, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-july-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Maritime Relations
2. DPRK-US Security Talks
3. ROK DPRK Rice Aid
4. DPRK KEDO Visit
5. ROK Response to Naval Ship Incident
6. PRC Missile Tests
7. Japan on Reliability of US Intelligence
8. US-Taiwan Relations
9. PRC Russian Scientists Security Trial
II. Republic of Korea 1. US Cancellation to Visit DPRK
2. Food Aid to DPRK Held Up
3. New Guideline for Naval Operations
4. Joint Investigation Proposed by UN
5. Rumsfeld’s Remarks on Naval Clash
III. Japan 1. Japan-US Military Cooperation
2. Japan-ROK Relations
3. US Bases in Okinawa

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Maritime Relations

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, “SOUTH KOREAN FISHING BOATS RESUME OPERATION NEAR TROUBLED SEA BORDER WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/03/02) reported that ROK fishing boats resumed operations Wednesday near the disputed sea border with the DPRK where warships from the two countries clashed over the weekend, maritime police said. About 60 fishing boats, escorted by four navy patrol vessels and two maritime police cutters, sailed out of Yonpyong island near the western border at daybreak, said Kim Hyun-koo, a maritime police officer in the area. Some 40 trawlers also departed from nearby Baekryong island to go crab fishing, said Lee Chang-hoon, another maritime police officer. The border area in the Yellow Sea was calm, and no DPRK navy boats were seen, the Defense Ministry said.

2. DPRK-US Security Talks

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “U.S. WITHDRAWS OFFER TO HOLD SECURITY TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA NEXT WEEK,” Washington, 07/02/02) reported that the US has withdrawn a proposal for resuming security talks with the DPRK next week because DPRK failed to respond in a timely manner, the State Department said. In addition, spokesman Richard Boucher said a deadly confrontation between vessels of the ROK and the DPRK on Saturday had created an “unacceptable atmosphere” for the talks. US officials had expected to use the talks to seek curbs on the DPRK’s development and export of long-range missiles and reductions in the DPRK’s large force deployment near the ROK border. Boucher said the administration formally proposed last Thursday that the two sides meet in Pyongyang on July 10. He said the administration asked the DPRK for an early response because US planners had to take the July 4 holiday into account. The DPRK was informed of the latest US decision Monday night. “The proposal that we had made is off the table,” Boucher said. “We remain committed to the policy of having serious discussions with the North Koreans, but we’ll just have to look as things evolve at any questions of rescheduling,” he said.

3. ROK DPRK Rice Aid

Reuters (Cho Mee-young, “SOUTH KOREA MAY HALT RICE AID TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/02/02) reported that the ROK’s agriculture ministry Wednesday said it was unlikely to ship 300,000 tons of surplus rice to the DPRK as a result of a fatal weekend naval battle. “We are internally considering (other ways of disposing of the rice),” an agriculture ministry official stated. He was referring to huge stockpiles of the staple which the ROK had been considering sending to the DPRK. Saturday four ROK sailors died and 19 were wounded in a gun battle between naval ships of the ROK and the DPRK. Some 30 DPRK sailors are also thought to have died. The ROK, which has an oversupply of rice threatening farm prices, unveiled plans in April to reduce the country’s rice stockpile by 576,000 tons by offering rice to the DPRK on credit. The surplus rice supplies are separate from the ROK’s aid to DPRK through the U.N. World Food Program.

4. DPRK KEDO Visit

Reuters (“NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR EXPERTS ARRIVE IN SOUTH KOREA ON STUDY TOUR,” Seoul, 07/02/02) reported that twenty-five DPRK nuclear experts arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for three weeks of training, despite a skirmish between ROK and DPRK navy vessels that killed four ROK sailors days earlier. The DPRK nuclear experts will undergo training at the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, said Kim Jong-roh, a spokesman at the Unification Ministry. They will also go to the east coast village of Ulchin, where four French-built nuclear reactors are operating, he said.

5. ROK Response to Naval Ship Incident

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT WARNS RETALIATION IF NORTH KOREA PROVOKES AGAIN,” Seoul, 07/02/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said Tuesday that he was “enraged” by a DPRK border intrusion that triggered a deadly naval skirmish and warned that the DPRK’s military will suffer if it provokes the ROK again. “If North Korea tries to hurt us again with military force, it will suffer much greater damage,” Kim said in a nationally televised speech upon returning from a visit to Japan. “I want to be clear about this.” Earlier Tuesday, the ROK’s military said that it will take a firmer stand against DPRK ships that violate its maritime border, vowing to issue fewer warnings before resorting to force. While telling ROK citizens that that he “cannot help feeling enraged by the North Korean provocation,” President Kim promised to maintain his policy of trying to engage the DPRK. “As long as we don’t want war, we must have patience and continue our efforts to promote peace on the Korean peninsula,” he said. “We must all work to prevent war.”

6. PRC Missile Tests

The Associated Press (Audra Ang, “CHINA VAGUE ON MISSILE TEST REPORTS,” Beijing, 07/02/02) reported that the PRC on Tuesday sidestepped a direct response to reports it tested a new air-to-air missile in a move that US defense officials say could prompt the US to give Taiwan access to similar weapons. US officials said the PRC missile was fired last week. “I’m not aware of the specific case…but would like to reiterate that no matter what kind of excuse the United States uses for the arms sales to Taiwan, it will be resolutely opposed by China,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao. “China has a long border. It is very normal for China to build its national defense.” US officials are debating whether to respond by allowing Taiwan to have access to AIM-120 missiles. The PRC has spent billions of dollars on modernizing its arsenal with Russian fighter jets, submarines and other weapons. A key aim has been to counter Taiwan’s better-equipped air force, which has hundreds of US-made fighter planes and would be a key obstacle in a PRC attack. The missile fired last week was a Russian-made AA-12 Adder, according to The Washington Times newspaper, which cited unidentified US officials. “Before, Taiwan had air superiority. The AA-12 will reduce this superiority. … It will be dangerous for Taiwan,” said Erich Shih, senior editor of Defense International, a Taiwanese military magazine. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry shrugged off the potential threat. Ministry spokesman Huang Shuey-sheng said the island is well-armed with air-to-air missiles bought from the United States and France, and has made its own as well. The AA-12s are believed to be part of China’s purchase from Moscow over the last several years of up to 80 Su-30 fighter-bombers.

7. Japan on Reliability of US Intelligence

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “JAPAN QUESTIONS RELIABILITY OF U.S. SECURITY INFO,” Tokyo, 07/03/02) reported that a string of erroneous information provided by the US military has raised doubts in Japan about the reliability of the US, prompting the government to consider bettering its own intelligence capabilities, Japanese intelligence sources said. “Government officials and politicians in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have started to think that it’s too dangerous to depend blindly on America for military information needed to protect Japan’s national interest,” an intelligence source said. Lacking the technology to detect missile launches, Japan has depended solely on the US for information on regional security since the end of World War II. But the US military has failed Japan in providing reliable information on numerous occasions during the past few years. Apart from failing to alert Japan about a DPRK ballistic missile flying over its main island in 1998, it has provided information that simply turned out to be wrong. The latest false alarm came on Sunday, 30 minutes before the final match of soccer’s World Cup was to take place in Yokohama. The US warned co-hosts Japan that a missile launched by the PRC could drop in waters near the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. Security officials were thrown into a panic, only to have their sources take back the warning 90 minutes later, government officials said. “Frankly, we don’t want to be swung back and forth by false alarms. We’re now cautious when we receive intelligence reports from the U.S. military,” a Defense Agency official said, asking not to be identified.

8. US-Taiwan Relations

The Associated Press (William Ide, “NEW U.S. REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE DIRECTOR THANKS TAIWAN FOR HELPING TO REDUCE CHINA TENSIONS, FIGHT TERRORISM,” Taipei, 07/03/02) reported that the new top US representative in Taiwan thanked Taiwan’s leaders for their efforts to reduce tensions with the PRC and to help in the fight against terrorism. The statement from Douglas Paal – the new director of the American Institute in Taiwan – came days after he arrived to take up his post, which was left empty for nearly a year. “I have been on assignment here only a few days, but I bring from Washington fresh appreciation for Taiwan’s contribution to the war on terrorism,” he said. US officials say Taiwan has worked closely with them since the Sept. 11 attacks, freely sharing information, heightening security at ports of entry and helping monitor money flows. “America’s leaders appreciate as well Taiwan’s contribution to reducing tensions across the Strait,” the statement said.

9. PRC Russian Scientists Security Trial

The Associated Press (Anatoly Medetsky, “TWO SCIENTISTS GO ON TRIAL ON CHARGES OF PASSING SENSITIVE TECHNOLOGY TO CHINA,” Vladivostok, 07/03/02) reported that two Russian scientists went on trial in Russia’s Pacific port of Vladivostok on Wednesday on charges of attempting to pass technology to the PRC that could be used for military purposes. Vladimir Shchurov, one of the defendants, dismissed the charges against him and his colleague Yuri Khvorostov, saying they stem from a research project that had the approval of Russia’s main security agency, the Federal Security Service. The project was a joint effort between the Pacific Oceanological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where Shchurov is a laboratory chief, and the PRC’s Harbin Engineering University, he said. The team studied ocean noises and signals using acoustic gauges developed by Shchurov. The Federal Security Service claims the equipment could be used for military purposes such as detecting submarines, but Shchurov has insisted that his research had no military applications. “I’m not an expert in the creation of hydro-acoustic weapons,” Shchurov said. He said that given miserly state funding, Russian scientists often have to look for foreign research institutions willing to help fund their work.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Cancellation to Visit DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Choo yong-joong, “US CANCELS PYONGYANG VISIT,” Wahsington, 07/03/02) reported that the US Government informed the DPRK Tuesday that it had cancelled a plan to visit Pyongyang on July 10 as there was no timely response from it. The State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in his regular noon briefing that it had proposed the date to the DPRK Mission to the United Nations on June 14 to begin the process of expressing US concerns and explaining its policy toward DPRK. Boucher also said that it had told the DPRK that violent naval conflict in the West Sea created an unacceptable atmosphere to conduct the talks. US Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized the DPRK for the Saturday’s provocation in the West Sea and said he would reconsider sending a special envoy to DPRK. Secretary Powell said that US’s move would be determined after receiving DPRK’s response to US’s offer on June 27 to send an envoy, and the West Sea naval clash would be considered when making future decisions.

2. Food Aid to DPRK Held Up

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, Chun Young-gi, “RICE AID TO NORTH TO BE HELD UP,” Seoul, 07/03/02) reported that the ROK government is reviewing its policy of assistance to DPRK in the aftermath of the weekend’s deadly inter-Korean sea battle. Government-level aid packages to DPRK, including a previously arranged 30 metric tons of rice, will be withheld. ROK President Kim Dae-jung issued a stern warning to DPRK upon returning from Japan on Monday. “I can hardly repress my indignation at North Korea’s provocation,” Kim said. “Should the North attempt to inflict damage on us again with military force, then the North will suffer great damage and we have power to do it.” The Agriculture Ministry said that more than 30 metric tons of rice from government storage, set aside as food aid to DPRK, could be donated to the Third World countries or used as cattle feed. The government’s policy of assisting the DPRK has faced fierce criticism since Saturday’s clash. Opposition parties and some ruling party members have joined the denunciation, and planned deliveries to DPRK of fertilizer, cattle and farming tools are also in doubt.

3. New Guideline for Naval Operations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Min-seok, “NEW RULES PERMIT NAVY TO SHOOT FIRST,” Seoul, 07/03/02) reported that ROK military authorities issued new naval operations guidelines Tuesday, allowing the navy to shoot first, after as little as a single warning round, at enemy ships in South Korean waters, the National Defense Ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The measure responds to public criticism that the previous operational strategy left ROK ships vulnerable and led to death and damage in Saturday’s naval battle. Ahn Ki-Seok, a navy commodore at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed Tuesday that the new guidelines have been communicated to all naval operational units. According to the new operations guidelines, the ROK Army, Navy and Air Force will be alerted immediately upon detection of a violation of the Northern Limit Line extending west of the peninsula to form a sea boundary between the two Koreas. The first step for the navy will be blocking and pushing the intruder back north, without using guns; second is the firing of warning shots, followed by firing shots directly aimed at the enemy ship.

4. Joint Investigation Proposed by UN

Joongang Ilbo (“UN COMMAND PROPOSES HIGN-LEVEL TALKS WITH NORHT,” Seoul, 07/03/02) reported that the United Nations Command on Wednesday reiterated its earlier proposal to the DPRK military for general officer talks to discuss Saturday’s inter-Korean naval clash. The proposal was made in a telegram sent by Major General James N. Soligan, the deputy chief of staff of the UN Command, and addressed to Lieutenant General Li Chan-bok, his DPRK counterpart on the Military Armistice Commission. The message called for a joint investigation of the skirmish that took place in the Yellow Sea and discuss ways to prevent recurrence of hostile actions. The UN Command’s first call for general officer talks took place immediately after the shooting Saturday. DPRK’s rejection came the next day along with calls to get rid of the Northern Limit Line first. The line serves as the de facto maritime border in the Yellow Sea. It has long been disputed by DPRK.

5. Rumsfeld’s Remarks on Naval Clash

Joongang Ilbo (“RUMSFELD SAYS NORTH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SEA CLASH,” Seoul, 07/03/02) reported that brushing off the DPRK’s claim that the ROK Navy launched a preemptive attack on DPRK vessels in the Yellow Sea, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday the department has “every reason” to believe that the DPRK ships initiated the clash. Speaking on last weekend’s bloody naval clash to reporters in a daily briefing, Rumsfeld said it is “pretty clear that the North Korean vessel came south into areas that are beyond the Demilitarized Zone” and that it was the DPRK ships that started the battle. He added, however, he is not in a position to say whether the crossing into ROK waters was intentional or a mistake on the part of DPRK. Nevertheless, the secretary said the incident was evidently a violation of the armistice DPRK signed to effectively end the Korean War.

III. Japan

1. Japan-US Military Cooperation

The Asahi Shimbun (“MSDF JOINS EXERCISE OFF HAWAII,” Honolulu, 07/02/02) reported that the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) took part in a missile interception drill Sunday off Hawaii as part of the US-led RIMPAC 2002 multinational naval exercise. The 7,250-ton Aegis destroyer Kirishima and two other Japanese destroyers launched a total of six anti-aircraft missiles, each costing 120 million-yen, successfully intercepting a target missile in the air.

2. Japan-ROK Relations

Jiji Press (“MINISTERS TO GIVE TO SEX-SLAVE FUND,” 07/03/02) reported that Japanese cabinet members said Tuesday that they will donate to the Asian Women’s Fund, which pays compensation to former “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery during the war. The ministers will offer part of their salaries returned to the national treasury. The ministers return 10 percent of their salaries to the government coffers treasury each month, a measure that has been taken in light of the government’s deteriorating finances.

3. US Bases in Okinawa

Kyodo (“RESIDENTS NEAR FUTENMA PLAN LAWSUIT,” Naha, 07/03/02) reported that a group of people living near the US military’s Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, said Tuesday they intend to file a lawsuit demanding that helicopter landing practice be stopped at the facility due to excessive noise. The group plans to file the suit with the Naha District Court as early as October, people close to the group said. It would be the first noise pollution suit filed against the facility, they added. The group, composed of local residents and their supporters, said it would ask the court to issue an order for the Japanese and US governments to put an end to helicopter flight practice over residential areas as well as takeoffs and landings early in the morning and late at night. It would also demand compensation for noise pollution. Residents critical of the current noise levels maintain that their ability to sleep, converse and watch TV has been affected. Classes at elementary and junior high schools are often disrupted due by the noise, they claim.

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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

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

Kim Young-soo: yskim328@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy84@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata: saiko@akira.ne.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@online.ru
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi: 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

 


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