NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 03, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-june-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Development

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA MAY HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON,” Tokyo, 06/03/98) and Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “JAPAN REPORT FOCUSES NUCLEAR FEARS BACK ON N.KOREA,” Tokyo, 06/02/98) reported that Japan’s Nihon Keizai newspaper on Wednesday said that, according to a Japanese Defense Agency internal report, the DPRK may already have at least one nuclear weapon. The document also expressed fears that the ROK might eventually move to develop its own nuclear weapons in response. It said that the chance of a nuclear war is growing in three regions of the world: the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. An anonymous agency official would say only that there remains “doubt” about the DPRK’s development of weapons. Hideshi Takesada, professor of Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies, warned, “We must be aware of close ties between North Korea, Pakistan, China and Iran.” He added, “Considering military exchanges between Pakistan and North Korea, it is highly possible that nuclear weapons could make their way into North Korea.” Takesada also stated, “Although Pakistan has nuclear technology, it does not have missile technology. Pakistan and North Korea have complimentary relations.” He argued, “I don’t think North Korea would scrap the 1994 nuclear framework agreement with the United States at the expense of massive food aid. But that does not necessarily mean that North Korea would not go nuclear. It could do so secretly.” An unnamed Western observer based in Seoul stated, “It is quite possible that Pyongyang possesses at least one nuclear bomb, as many defectors have said.” Park Young-ho, senior research fellow at Korea Institute of National Unification in Seoul, stated, “No one really knows if North Korea possesses nuclear weapons. But Pyongyang could present the nuclear weapons development card again in negotiations with the United States after receiving encouragement from the Pakistan and Indian nuclear tests.”

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA DOUBTS N. KOREA HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS,” Moscow, 06/03/98) reported that the ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Russian Atomic Energy Ministry spokesman Georgy Kaurov as saying Wednesday that the DPRK probably does not possess a nuclear weapon. Kaurov stated, “If North Korea has a nuclear bomb, it would have to test it,” but no tests have been conducted. He added that Russian specialists “are closely watching” the situation in the DPRK.

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2. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Associated Press (Robert H. Reid, “BOARD TO MEET AGAIN ON NKOREA DEAL,” New York, 06/02/98) reported that the executive board of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) failed to resolve differences Tuesday on financing the cost of supplying the DPRK with light- water nuclear reactors. However, the board agreed to continue the discussions June 29-30 in Brussels, sources close to the talks said on condition of anonymity.

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3. DPRK Missile Aid to Pakistan

US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon (“PENTAGON SPOKESMAN’S REGULAR BRIEFING JUNE 2, 1998,” USIA Transcript, 06/03/98) said that Pakistan’s nuclear development has been basically an “indigenous program,” but that it has sought other countries’ aid for its missile program. He added, “I don’t have a clear view right now of what the North Korean contribution is, if any.”

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4. Kim Dae-jung’s Trip to US

United Press International (“CLINTON LOOKS FORWARD TO KOREAN DIALOGUE,” Washington, 06/02/98) reported that White House deputy press secretary P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that US President Bill Clinton is looking forward to a dialogue with ROK President Kim Dae-jung when the latter visits Washington on June 9. He added that the US has heard that Kim “wants to look into some new approaches” toward the DPRK and that it looks forward to an exchange of views “on peace and stability in the peninsula.”

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5. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Wall Street Journal (Robert S. Greenberger, “U.S. IS CAUTIOUS AS KIM ADDRESSES LIFTING SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 06/03/98) and the Washington Times (Gus Constantine, “KIM CREATES FUROR WITH CALL TO LIFT NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS,” 06/03/98) reported that US officials remains wary of lifting sanctions against the DPRK, despite the call to do so from ROK President Kim Dae-jung. One unnamed top US official said, “We have no problem with the principle of using easing of sanctions to support President Kim’s north-south policy. But when you say how many sanctions and in response to what, there’s where the details become very important.” He added that the Clinton administration has indicated it would be prepared to lift certain sanctions if the DPRK behavior improved sufficiently for it to be removed from the terrorism list or if it would agree to limit its export and deployment of long-range missiles. A Defense Department official stated, “We hadn’t intended this to be an issue discussed in detail in [Kim’s] visit here. Now, it’s bound to come up.” An unnamed Congressional source stated, “A call for us to lift sanctions is asking a lot when we are not even sure that North Korea gives our emergency food aid to its starving civilians or diverts it to its soldiers.” James Pryzstup, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, said that Kim’s call for lifting sanctions is “consistent with the direction the Korean president has been been moving,” but he stressed that Kim has also insisted on reciprocity.

US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon (“PENTAGON SPOKESMAN’S REGULAR BRIEFING JUNE 2, 1998,” USIA Transcript, 06/03/98) said that ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s suggestion on easing sanctions against the DPRK will require more discussion. Bacon stated, “it’s important that we have a chance to sit down with him and talk about what he has in mind and what sort of schedule he has in mind and whether this is workable or not.” He added, “There have been a number of increased dealings with North Korea, but North Korea remains a very militaristic, difficult regime to deal with and I think we just have to wait and see what happens.”

The New York Times carried an editorial (“KIM DAE JUNG COURTS NORTH KOREA,” 06/03/98) which said that ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s call for ending US trade sanctions against the DPRK “deserves a serious hearing.” The article stated, “Mr. Kim is a better judge than anyone in Washington of South Korea’s security needs, and by championing a less confrontational approach to his northern neighbor he effectively erases the argument that an adjustment in American policy would undermine Seoul’s interests.” It added that “the best way to promote positive and peaceful change in the North is not by clinging to cold-war sanctions but by expanding economic and diplomatic links.” Arguing that “Congress should have the good sense to avoid a dangerous round of nuclear roulette in the Korean Peninsula,” the article concluded, “Closely coordinated efforts between Washington and Seoul will be required to steer North Korea toward a safer path. Kim Dae Jung comes to America offering a more constructive and effective partnership.”

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6. ROK Labor Unrest

Dow Jones Newswires (“SOUTH KOREAN LABOR GROUP WILL GO AHEAD WITH STRIKES,” Seoul, 06/03/98) reported that the ROK’s Korean Confederation of Trade Unions said Wednesday that it would go ahead with scheduled nationwide strikes next week as it failed to reach an agreement with the government on layoffs. Park Yong-hwa, a confederation spokesman, stated, “The confederation will proceed with the strike scheduled on June 10 as the government refused to accept our demands, including a halt of layoffs. If the government pushes to launch the tripartite talks in the absence of the confederation, we will fight.” Park said that about 35,000 member workers are expected to take part in the strike next week.

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7. Asian Financial Crisis

The Washington Post (Sandra Sugawara, “IMF OFFICIAL SAYS ASIA IS ON ROAD TO RECOVERY FROM ECONOMIC CRISIS,” Tokyo, 06/03/98, C15) reported that Stanley Fischer, the number two official at the International Monetary Fund, said Tuesday that Asian economies are making progress in their rehabilitation efforts. Fischer stated, “If the external environment stays quiet, then we can expect continued progress with a resumption of growth in Korea and Thailand likely toward the end of this year or possibly early next year, and from there on out, things would begin to look better, although it is always the case that unemployment lags.” However, other analysts pointed to the drop in value of the Japanese yen as evidence that a new round of currency turmoil in Asia may be on the way.

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8. Allegations of Possible PRC Nuclear Tests

Reuters (Andrew Browne, “CHINA SAYS NO PLANS TO RESUME NUCLEAR TESTS,” Beijing, 06/03/98) and Dow Jones Newswires (“CHINA’S PRES JIANG SAYS NO NUKE TESTS PLANNED – STATE TV,” Beijing, 06/03/98) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin on Wednesday ruled out a resumption of nuclear testing in response to nuclear explosions by India and Pakistan. Jiang added, “China has nuclear weapons but has all along promised not to be first to use nuclear weapons and advocates total prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.” He stated, “We are opposed to India engaging in nuclear tests and express regret over Pakistan engaging in nuclear tests. The tense situation in South Asia is due to India setting a bad precedent.” On Monday, a PRC Foreign Ministry official had noted that a provision in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) allows signatories to opt out if they believed their “supreme national interests” were threatened. The unnamed official stated, “I’m not indicating China will do this. But let me tell you honestly we have to take into account this development.” A Beijing-based Western diplomat was quoted as saying, “If the CTBT becomes unstable, China would be the first off. If others start testing, they would back out.”

Reuters (“U.S. DISCOUNTS RUMOR OF CHINA TEST,” Washington, 06/03/98) reported that an unnamed US State Department official on Wednesday discounted rumors in Asia that the PRC had conducted a nuclear test. The official stated, “We have no such information. We have no reason to believe it’s true.”

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9. US-PRC Summit

Reuters (Scott Hillis, “CHINA URGES U.S. ‘FORESIGHT’ BEFORE SUMMIT,” Beijing, 06/02/98) reported that the PRC’s Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted PRC President Jiang Zemin as appealing to US leaders to show “foresight” before the upcoming US-PRC summit in Beijing. Jiang stated, “A sound and improving Sino-U.S. relationship is of great importance not only to the people of both countries but to the stability and security of the world as a whole.” Xinhua also reported that US National Security Advisor Sandy Berger met with PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and discussed last month’s nuclear tests by India and Pakistan. The agency said, “Both believed that the international community must take effective and feasible measures to halt the nuclear arms race in the region and prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, in order to restore and safeguard peace and stability in the region.”

Reuters (“TAIWAN OPPOSITION PLANS US-CHINA SUMMIT PROTEST,” Taipei, 06/02/98) reported that Yeh Chu-lan, a legislator from Taiwan’s main opposition party Democratic Progressive Party, said Tuesday that his party would stage a series of protests against the June 25 summit between US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin. Yeh stated, “We will launch a series of actions to express our rejection to become the sacrifice of the Clinton-Jiang talks.” He said that protest activities would include a campaign to solicit signatures from 10,000 Taiwan residents, a vigil on the eve of the summit, and demonstrations in front of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy.

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10. Alleged Missile Technology Transfer to PRC

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, “SENATORS SEEK SATELLITE DOCUMENTS,” Washington, 06/03/98) and the New York Times (Eric Schmitt, “PANEL TO QUIZ AIDES TO 3 PRESIDENTS OVER SATELLITE EXPORTS TO CHINA,” Washington, 06/02/98) reported that US Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and the chairmen of four Senate committees released copies of letters to US President Bill Clinton and Cabinet members requesting “any and all documents” in the administration’s custody pertaining to satellite exports to the PRC and PRC proliferation activities. Meanwhile, the Washington Times reported Wednesday that a previously undisclosed improper export by Hughes Aircraft of satellites containing embargoed technology was a key reason former Secretary of State Warren Christopher opposed a plan to shift authority for approving such exports to the Commerce Department from the State Department. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Ala., head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that a special panel of his committee would examine the practice of issuing presidential waivers to allow the export of US satellites for launching on PRC missiles from “the historical perspective.”

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11. International Meetings on South Asian Nuclear Tests

Reuters (“ALBRIGHT LAYS OUT U.S. GOALS AT P5 NUCLEAR MEETING,” Washington, 06/03/98) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Wednesday that the US goals for the meeting in Geneva on Friday of the five recognized nuclear powers are to dissuade India and Pakistan from carrying out more nuclear tests, deploying nuclear weapons, and fitting nuclear warheads on missiles. Albright stated, “We are somewhere now between having a capability and deployment (in India and Pakistan). We don’t want this to move any further.” She also confirmed that representatives of the Group of Eight top industrial powers would meet in London June 12 for further discussions on the issue, adding, “There are other meetings being contemplated.”

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN PLANS JULY INTL EXPERTS FORUM ON NUCLEAR TESTS- KYODO,” Tokyo, 06/03/98) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news service on Wednesday cited Foreign Ministry sources as saying that Japan plans to host an international forum of experts as early as next month to discuss recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan and seek ways to eliminate nuclear weapons. Kyodo said the forum may consist of 10 or more experts from the government and nongovernment sectors of Japan and the five traditional nuclear powers. It added that India and Pakistan would also be asked to take part in the gathering. Forum members are expected to propose within a few months ways to speed up nuclear disarmament. Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka on Wednesday asked the ministry to hold the forum in Hiroshima. Kyodo cited Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka as saying that Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi plans to propose the international forum at a June 12 meeting in London of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major powers and Russia. Obuchi will also announce Japan’s readiness to host an international conference in Tokyo on the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.

The Associated Press (“ASEAN OFFICIALS IN MOSCOW TALKS ON FIN CRISIS, NUCLEAR TESTS,” Moscow, 06/03/98) reported that the ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies said that Russian foreign ministry officials took part in a conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Moscow on Wednesday where participants discussed recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan.

The Associated Press (“INDIA NIXES PROPOSAL TO DEBATE S. ASIAN NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT,” New Delhi, 06/03/98) reported that Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday rejected proposals to discuss global nuclear disarmament in an exhaustive South Asian context, but offered to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan. Vajpayee also rejected the possibility of third-party mediation between India and Pakistan. He said, however, that India is willing to take part in the negotiations on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty at the Geneva disarmament conference.

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12. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The New York Times (Judith Miller, “NEW BLASTS SHAKE FOUNDATION OF EFFORT TO LIMIT NUCLEAR ARMS,” 06/03/98) reported that analysts and diplomats said that the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan have all but ended prospects this year for US Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Lawrence Scheinman, director of the Washington office of the Monterey Institute of International Affairs, stated, “The nuclear tests are the most significant and damaging proliferation event in years.” However, Richard Haass, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, argued, “American policy has always placed India, Pakistan and Israel in an unstated, special category — the de facto weapons state. So we need to continue distinguishing, in fact, if not in arms control theory, between them and rogue states.” He added that pushing for India and Pakistan to sign the CTBT after they’ve already carried out nuclear tests could end up making a mockery of the treaty. He stated, “Why should we reinforce this cynical message when the problem is not so much further testing as stopping the deployment, use and transfer of nuclear technology.” Meanwhile, ten prominent members of the Union of Concerned Scientists sent letters to the Senate urging action on the treaty now. Paul Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute, criticized the Clinton administration for inadvertently encouraging the tests by making trade a higher priority than nonproliferation.

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13. Global Nuclear Disarmament

The Washington Post carried an opinion article (Zia Mian and Frank von Hippel, “THE ALTERNATIVE TO NUCLEAR TESTS,” 05/31/98, C07) which argued that instead of continuing with the “nuclear status quo” by accepting India and Pakistan as nuclear weapons states, the international community should devalue nuclear-weapons’ possession by moving toward disarmament. The authors stated, “The history of the past 50 years teaches that nuclear weapons are unusable for rational military purposes and that their existence makes ordinary human miscalculation or madness potentially catastrophic.” Arguing that the recent tests are likely to encourage more states–including possibly the ROK, Taiwan, and Japan–to join the “nuclear club,” the authors said that the “charter members of the club must make it more credible that they really intend to put the club out of business.” They said that the first step would be to end the practice of keeping nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert, and for the US, Russia, and the PRC to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They added, “The United States, Russia and China should underline the irreversibility of their commitment by shutting down their nuclear test sites,” and that the US should also cut back drastically om its “Stockpile Stewardship Program.” They also called on the US, Russia, Britain, and France to act on their commitment at the April 1996 Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit to place excess fissile materials under international safeguards as soon as possible. They added, “Russia and the United States could start by immediately committing to reduce their stockpiles of unsafeguarded fissile materials to the levels required to maintain only the 2,000 to 2,500 strategic warheads that have been agreed to for START III…. They should also announce that they intend to reduce further, on a bilateral basis and rapidly, to 1,000 warheads each and to organize multilateral negotiations on much deeper cuts to levels that would provide a staging ground for negotiations on abolition.” They concluded, “Only by making clear that the nuclear game will end soon can we reduce the incentive to begin playing.”

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-DPRK Cultural Exchange

A group of 30 ROK artists will be participating in an art festival to be held in the DPRK around August 15, the day Korea was liberated from the Japanese, an ROK organization of artists said Tuesday. The Korean People’s Artists Federation (KPAF) said that it had agreed with the DPRK’s General Federation of Unions of Literature and Arts to jointly hold the “Unification Art Festival 1998” in a meeting in Beijing late last month. Representatives of a Korean artists’ association in Japan also participated in the meeting. “We have proposed to send about 30 artists in music, dance, fine art and photography for the festival scheduled for around August 15,” Kim Yong-tae, president of the KPAF, said in a press conference held Tuesday in Seoul. The artists and about five journalists will stay in the DPRK for about 15 days from August 11 to participate in the festival, to be held in four DPRK cities, including Pyongyang and Hamhung. He said his organization also agreed with the DPRK General Federation of Literature and Art Unions that the ROK participants would go to the DPRK via the truce village of Panmunjom. The KPAF, however, has yet to receive an official invitation from the DPRK. “However, we are very optimistic everything will proceed as agreed in Beijing. The North Koreans in the Beijing meeting seemed sincere in inviting us,” Kim said. The festival is the first of its kind but the idea for the event had been in the making since 1993. The project was halted briefly after the death of Kim Il-sung. (Korea Herald, “SOUTH KOREANS TO TAKE PART IN ARTS FESTIVAL IN NORTH,” 06/03/98)

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2. DPRK Food Aid

The ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced Tuesday that food assistance to the DPRK through the World Food Program (WFP) has been delayed. Park Won-hwa, the ministry planning officer, said that out of the 658,000 tons of food that the WFP estimated the DPRK needs, only 258,000 tons has been pledged so far by various countries, including the ROK. Park continued that the WFP has reduced the aid request by 55,000 tons because the DPRK refused to allow inspections in 39 counties, despite earlier promising to do so. As of the end of May, the total amount of food delivered was 389,000 tons. (Chosun Ilbo, “FOOD ASSISTANCE TO NORTH DELAYED,” 06/03/98)

III. People’s Republic of China

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1. US Sanctions on DPRK

China Daily (“SANCTIONS ON DPRK COULD BE REVIEWED,” Seoul, 06/02/98, A11) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung hinted in an interview published on June 1 that US sanctions against the DPRK may be reviewed if tense relations between the two sides of Korea improve. The ROK and the US will work together to press the DPRK towards reform and openness, Kim said ahead of his first summit with US President Bill Clinton, to be held during a visit to the US later this week. Stressing that improved ties between the Koreas are key to easing tension between the US and the DPRK, Kim also called for firmer US backing for the ROK as it weathers an unprecedented economic storm.

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2. PRC-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“KOREAN VISITORS,” 05/29/98, A2) reported that Chi Haotian, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the PRC and PRC defense minister, met with a delegation from the DPRK People’s Army led by the vice-director of its General Political Bureau, Ji Yong-chun, in Beijing on May 28. Chi said that the PRC and the DPRK are friendly neighbors. The two nations, their peoples, and their armed forces have always supported and helped each other. Ji said that DPRK-Chinese friendship is precious because it was created and fostered by Chairman Kim Il-sung and Chairman Mao Zedong, and other leaders.

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3. PRC-US Summit

According to People’s Daily (“TAIWAN STATEMENT NOT PLANNED,” Beijing, 05/30/98, A1), PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on May 29 that Chinese and US leaders will certainly discuss the Taiwan issue during Clinton’s visit to the PRC. The Taiwan issue is the most sensitive and core issue in Sino-US relations and the principles for correct handling of the issue have been defined in the three Sino-US joint communiques. The US Government is clearly committed to the “one China” policy and the principles set out in the three joint communiques. Zhu said that the PRC and the US do not have any plan to issue a new joint communique or joint statement on the Taiwan issue during US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the PRC. The key is to conscientiously abide by the principles in the three joint communiques and the commitments on the Taiwan issue.

People’s Daily (“JIANG ZEMIN MEETS WITH BERGER,” Beijing, 06/03/98, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin met with Samuel Berger, assistant to the US president for national security affairs, on June 2. Jiang said that the two governments and leaders must show foresight, proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and overcome all kinds of hurdles to continuously develop Sino- US relations. Facts have proved that a constructive, strategic partnership between the PRC and the US will not only benefit the two peoples, but also the world, Jiang said. He is looking forward to meeting with President Clinton in Beijing soon. Clinton’s visit would steer Sino-US relations onto a healthy and stable track.

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4. PRC Policy on Nonproliferation

China Daily (“SPOKESMAN REITERATES POLICY ON NUKE ISSUE,” 06/03/98, A1) said that the PRC will not support, encourage, or engage in nuclear proliferation. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said at a regular news briefing in Beijing on June 2 that the PRC will not help other nations develop nuclear weapons. According to him, the PRC Government has always opposed the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their carriers. The PRC undertook commitments on missile exports, in keeping with its nonproliferation policies. The PRC has strictly honored its commitments, Zhu noted. As a responsible major country, the PRC has taken a cautious attitude and imposed responsible control on missile exports, Zhu said. The so-called proliferation of missiles and relevant technology by the PRC does not exist, the spokesman said.

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5. PRC-Japan Relations

Jie Fang Daily (“JAPAN URGED NOT TO MEDDLE IN CHINA’S SOVEREIGNTY,” Beijing, 05/30/98, A4) reported that PRC Assistant Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Japanese Ambassador to the PRC Tanino Sakutaro on May 28 and again took exception to remarks made by Japanese officials on Japan-US security cooperation, since such remarks infringed on the PRC’s sovereignty. After restating the PRC’s stance on the matter, Wang asked the Japanese to abandon their “Cold War” mentality and adhere to the China-Japan Joint Declaration. Wang said the Japanese should confine Japan-US security cooperation to bilateral relations and should not allow it to have anything to do with Taiwan or do anything to harm the PRC’s sovereignty. He asked the Japanese to clarify immediately what their officials said, explain their action, and take steps to see that it does not happen again. Ambassador Sakutaro provided the explanation on behalf of Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.

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6. PRC-Taiwan Relations

China Daily (“TAIWAN, MAINLAND JOIN TO LOOK FOR OIL,” 05/50/98, A3) reported that Chinese people across the Taiwan Straits are joining hands to explore petroleum resources in the South China Sea for the first time. The China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and the Taiwan-based Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) implemented an exploration agreement on May 1, CNOOC spokesman Chen Bingqian said in Beijing on May 29. According to Chen, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation officially approved the agreement on April 16, 1997. The agreement was signed by the CNOOC and the CPC on July 11, 1996, but the Taiwan authorities had not approved it until this year, Chen noted. According to the agreement, the two sides are ready to invest US$1 million to launch petroleum exploration in the waters of the Tainan Basin and the Chaoshan Sag in the South China Sea.

People’s Daily (“ARATS WELCOMES KOO TO VISIT MAINLAND,” Beijing, 06/02/98, A4) reported that, in a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) reiterated that it welcomes SEF head Mr. Koo Chen-fu to visit the mainland.

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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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


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