NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 03, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Discussion

I. United States

1. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, “TWO KOREAS TO RESUME OFFICIAL TALKS,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that the DPRK and the ROK agreed on Thursday to resume official dialogue later this month. Vice minister- level officials from the two Koreas will meet on June 21 in Beijing to discuss the reunions of separated families. Lim Dong-won, Minister of the ROK’s Unification Ministry, said, “With this agreement, South and North Korea enter a new era of dialogue, reconciliation and cooperation.” He said that the DPRK agreed to discuss allowing separated family members to exchange letters and meet at “reunion stations.” Lim added that the two Koreas will hold talks regularly and eventually expand to negotiations on broader issues, such as replacing the armistice with a peace treaty. Lim also that although the DPRK had refused to participate in the talks earlier this week, they changed their mind when the ROK promised to ship 200,000 tons of chemical fertilizer by the end of July.

2. DPRK-PRC Relations

Reuters (“TOP NORTH KOREAN OFFICIAL ARRIVES IN CHINA,” Beijing, 06/03/99) reported that Kim Young-nam, head of the presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a five-day visit to the PRC. Kim was accompanied by DPRK Foreign Affairs Minister Paek Nam- sun, DPRK Cabinet Premier Hong Song-nam, and DPRK Defense Minister Kim Il-chol. The DPRK embassy had no immediate comment on the visit. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Tuesday that the meeting would strengthen ties and foster peace in North Asia. Zhu said, “The visit will further push forward the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries. He will meet with Chinese leaders to discuss regional and international issues of common concern. The two sides have no plans to sign any agreements during the visit.”

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “CHINA OPENS ANOTHER DOOR TO AN ISOLATED NORTH KOREA,” Beijing, 06/03/99) reported that after months of planning, the DPRK-PRC talks are intended to demonstrate that the alliance between the two countries remain strong. Bates Gill, a military expert at the Brookings Institution, said, “North Korea is a troublesome ally. But the Chinese see propping up the regime is their only real option.” In the talks this week, the DPRK is expected to ask for renewed commitments of the food, energy, and other forms of aid. The PRC, in turn, is expected to urge the DPRK to moderate its behavior in areas that have threatened the PRC’s own strategic interests; not to test missiles again, not to develop nuclear weapons, and to begin opening up its economy so that the DPRK can resume development and reduce its dependence on international aid. According to an unnamed diplomat, the PRC is unlikely to pose any ultimatums that could lead to a serious break in relations or endanger the DPRK government.

3. DPRK Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Associated Press (“JAPAN SUSPECTS N.KOREA HAS BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL WEAPONS,” Tokyo, 06/03/99) reported that Sankei newspaper quoted Japanese Foreign Ministry official Koreshige Anami as saying in the Japanese Diet that he suspects the DPRK has biological and chemical weapons. Anami was also said that Japan wants to work with the US and the ROK to urge the DPRK to stop making weapons of mass destruction.

4. ROK Elections

The Associated Press (“S KOREA OPPOSITION WINS TWO PARLIAMENTARY BY- ELECTIONS,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that the ROK’s main opposition party, the Grand National Party (GNP), swept two National Assembly by- elections on Thursday. With almost all votes counted, Lee Hoi-chang, head of the GNP, was assured of victory in a Seoul district. Another opposition candidate, Ahn Sang-soo, was assured of victory in a district west of Seoul.

5. US-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (John Leicester, “CHINA, U.S. DISCUSS BOMBING PROBE,” Beijing, 06/03/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Thursday that the PRC and the US have begun talks on an investigation into NATO’s bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia. Zhu confirmed that the “two sides are holding consultations” but offered no details. In a possible sign of the PRC’s willingness to mend relations with the US, the PRC’s state-run newspaper, People’s Daily, said the PRC still wanted to “develop friendly cooperation with Western developed nations, including the United States.”

The Washington Post (Charles Babington, “CLINTON BRACES FOR STORM IN SEEKING RENEWAL OF CHINA’S TRADE STATUS,” 06/03/99, A04) and the Associated Press (Kevin Galvin, “CLINTON SEEKS TO EXTEND CHINA TRADE,” Washington, 06/02/99) reported that US President Clinton on Thursday will ask the US Congress to renew normal trade relations with the PRC. US administration officials expect the Republican-led Congress to grant the annual extension of trade privileges. White House spokesman David Leavy said of the president’s request, “We’re prepared to mount a vigorous effort to make clear that this is in the national interest. And we believe there is bipartisan support in engaging China without illusions.” Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, urged Congress to support extending trade relations, adding that “integrating China into the WTO [World Trade Organization] would also foster stability in our commercial relations. It’s not a favor we are doing the Chinese, but rather a favor we would be doing ourselves.”

Chicago Tribune (Merrill Goozner, “CONGRESS NOT ABOUT TO OVERTURN CLINTON’S DECISION,” Washington, 06/02/99) reported that the US Congress is not about to overturn US President Clinton’s decision to renew normal trading relations with the PRC. Robert Kagan, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said, “There might be 10 more votes against it, but nothing fundamental has changed.”

Ambassador Robert T. Grey Jr., US Representative to the Conference on Disarmament (“U.S. RESPONDS TO CHINESE CRITICISM OF NATO ACTION IN KOSOVO,” USIA Text, 06/03/99) at a plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) responded to criticisms of the NATO actions against Yugoslavia made by the PRC representative to the CD during the previous two sessions. Grey stated, “it was not NATO actions that brought about the humanitarian crisis in the region; it was the humanitarian crisis, generated through the deliberate and inhumane policies of the Serbian government, that brought about NATO actions.” Grey also disputed a PRC statement that the US has breached the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty by accelerating the research and development of missile defense systems. Grey argued, “This research and development does not conflict with ABM treaty provisions. As for deployment, the U.S. will not make a decision until the year 2000 or thereafter. In any event, the ABM treaty remains a cornerstone of strategic stability for the U.S., and we are committed to continued efforts to strengthen the treaty and to enhance its viability and effectiveness.” Grey concluded, “further strategic stability could be achieved were this Conference to proceed to negotiate a ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices…. It serves no purpose to create linkages which suggest that all the items we are considering have equal support in the CD.”

6. PRC-Russia Relations

The New York Times (“STOP BOMBING, CHINA AND RUSSIA INSIST,” Beijing, 06/03/99) reported that a joint communique was issued on Wednesday by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan that repeated their demand that NATO air-strikes be halted. The communique said, “NATO’s immediate halting of military operations is a precondition of a political settlement of the Kosovo issue.” Ivanov said that plans are being laid for a state visit to the PRC later this year by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, following up the visit to Russia by PRC President Jiang Zemin. Ivanov said that increased political, economic, and military cooperation between Russia and the PRC “will contribute to stability and the interests of the international community” by helping to create a more multipolar world.

7. PRC-Malaysia Defense Cooperation

The Washington Post (“MALAYSIA, CHINA REACH DEFENSE AGREEMENT,” Beijing, 06/03/99, 24) reported that Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said that Malaysia and the PRC have agreed to boost defense cooperation and use peaceful means of resolving tensions over disputed waters in the South China Sea. The pledges were part of a broader agreement expanding political, trade and transportation between the two countries in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

8. Taiwan’s WTO Entry

Dow Jones Newswires (“TAIWAN: ‘GOOD OPPORTUNITY’ FOR WTO ENTRY IN ’99,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that Taiwan Economics Minister Wang Chih-kang said on Thursday that Taiwan faces “a very good opportunity” to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1999. Wang, who is in Seoul to attend a regional investment trade show organized by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, said that he does not believe Taiwan will have to make further concessions to gain entry to the WTO.

9. US Military Bases in Japan

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, “TOKYO GOV. TOURS U.S. MILITARY BASE,” Yokota Air Base, Japan, 06/02/99) reported that Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo’s new governor, toured the US military base in Yokota, which he is demanding be returned to Japan. Ishihara said, “I didn’t think it was being used much. There’s no major war going on in the world.” Both the US and the Japanese central government say Yokota is crucial of the operations of the US forces. US Ambassador Thomas Foley has said that Yokota is an issue that should be discussed with the central government, not with a local politician like Ishihara. Ishihara said he did not bring up Yokota’s return in their meeting because of concerns about diplomacy. He added, “But a joint use of Yokota will be good for U.S.- Japanese relations.”

10. Indian Arms Purchases

The Associated Press (“INDIA SHOPS FOR AMMUNITION AS KASHMIR FIGHT FLARES,” New Delhi, 06/03/99) reported that the Indian Express newspaper said that India is buying US$47 million worth of artillery shells to replace ammunition fired at infiltrators entrenched on the Himalayas. According to the Indian Express, the Indian Defense Ministry is finalizing agreements with South African manufacturer Denel for 155-mm shells for its Bofors howitzers, which are being used extensively at Kargil, where a fierce battle has raged for the last week. Independent confirmation of the report was not immediately possible.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-ROK Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “TALKS WITH NORTH SLATED FOR JUNE 21,” Seoul, 06/03/99) and the Korea Herald (“HIGH-LEVEL TALKS POISED TO ENHANCE S-N RELATIONS,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that the ROK and the DPRK formally signed an agreement in Beijing on Thursday in which the ROK agreed to deliver 100,000 tons of fertilizer aid by June 20 and a further 100,000 tons by July, in return for the resumption of deputy ministerial talks beginning June 21. The talks will be primarily on displaced families, but other pending issues of mutual concern will also be addressed. It was learned that while not mentioned in the agreement, the two sides also agreed to a test case reunification of a displaced family.

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “SEOUL TO OFFER 200,000 TONS OF FERTILIZER TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that Minister of Unification Lim Dong-won said, “We are now putting an end to the era of no dialogue and entering a new era of dialogue. This process will help inter-Korean relations to enter a new era of reconciliation and cooperation.” Following the first round of vice minister-level talks in Beijing, Lim said the ROK is seeking to organize a second round of talks at Panmunjom. He said, “We want to hold the second round of talks in Panmunjom, but we will have to reach an agreement over the venue.” Lim said “We can call it a process. Prior to the high-level talks, we agreed to open vice minister-level talks.”

The Korea Herald carried an excerpt from a news conference with Unification Minister Lim Dong-won (“MINISTER LIM SAYS SEOUL HOPES TWO SIDES WILL EXTEND VICE-MINISTERIAL MEETING FURTHER,” Seoul, 06/04/99) which quoted Lim as saying that although the DPRK and the ROK had a comprehensive discussion about the reunion of separated families at the latest talks in Beijing, they did not formally write down any details. Lim said that concrete measures will be discussed in the scheduled vice minister-level talks on June 21. Lim said, “Seoul hopes that the two sides will extend the vice-ministerial meeting further, to which Pyongyang has agreed in principle. If the meetings proceed without any problems, it can even develop into meetings at higher levels.” Lim said that unlike last year’s talk, the ROK did not insist that the DPRK immediately give something in return for aid. Lim said that it was rather the DPRK that promised to actively cooperate with the ROK on the family reunion issue in exchange for the fertilizer. Lim said, “Even without such written pledges from the North, I think the reunion issue of separated families has all but been resolved.” Lim added that US envoy to the DPRK William Perry’s visit is “indirectly” related to this agreement, and said, ” In fact, the two sides had almost agreed on the contents of the agreement before Perry visited Pyongyang, but the announcement has been somewhat delayed.”

2. DPRK-PRC Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-bom, “NK DELEGATION TO MEET JIANG ZEMIN,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that the DPRK delegation led by Kim Yong-nam, head of the standing committee of the Supreme People’s Party, arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a five day visit to the PRC. Kim met with Lee Fong, Kim’s PRC counterpart, and is to meet with PRC President Jiang Zemin and PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji on Friday. The delegation will negotiate the repayment of US$3.8 billion that the DPRK owes the PRC, and also discuss about other measures for economic cooperation. Some analysts worry that due to current US-PRC problems, the PRC may be drawing the DPRK into its three way sphere of influence following rapprochement with Russia.

The Korea Herald (Jun Kwan-woo, “PYONGYANG, BEIJING MOVING FAST TO ADDRESS ESTRANGEMENT,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry officials said that while meeting with PRC leaders, DPRK envoy Kim Yong-nam will likely invite PRC President Jiang Zemin or Prime Minister Zhu Rongji to the DPRK. They predicted that the DPRK delegation’s visit to the PRC will “bear some fruit.” They added that in the short term, one of the gains the DPRK may seek from the PRC through the visit is the realization of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s state visit to the PRC. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hong Soon-young welcomed the DPRK’s reopening of high-level exchanges with the PRC. He said, “It’s good for the reclusive North to expand ties with the outside world.” Hong also expected that the PRC would convey the ROK’s sincere attitude in pushing its present engagement policy towards the DPRK. However, an unnamed official said that the PRC may have a different aim in complying with the DPRK’s gesture to restore its ties with the PRC. He said, “China may try to get some leverage in Korean Peninsula issues through an equal-distance approach to the two Koreas.”

3. DPRK Foreign Reserve

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jangsoo, “NK’S OVERSEAS WORKERS FORCED TO DONATE 50 PERCENT OF INCOME,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that according to the National Intelligence Agency (NIS), the DPRK has recently forced its laborers working abroad to donate 50 percent of their income to the DPRK in order to increase foreign exchange holdings. A DPRK laborer reportedly receives only US$20-30 monthly payment for his labor because the government collects tens of thousands dollars from each place of work as “loyalty money” or “money to purchase military provisions.”

4. ROK Elections

Chosun Ilbo (Yang Sang-hoon, “OPPOSITION SWEEPS BOTH BY-ELECTIONS,” Seoul, 06/03/99) reported that the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) won both National Assembly by-elections held on Thursday. According to the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), GNP leader Lee Hoi-chang easily defeated his opponent in Songpa-A district in Seoul, garnering 63.5 percent of the vote. In a closer battle at Gayang-Kanghwa A in Inchon, GNP candidate Ahn Sang-su won 52.3 percent compared to 44.8 percent for the United Liberal Democrat’s (ULD) candidate Song Young-kil.

III. Discussion

1. US-PRC Military Exchanges

[Ed. note: Colonel Monte Bullard (Retired) was the first US Army attache to the PRC and is currently Interim Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA. This article was originally issued by the Global Beat Syndicate, and is available on their website at: ]

A Secure China Advances U.S. Security By Monte Bullard

MONTEREY, Calif. — The United States policy of promoting a strong, stable and confident China was correct in the 1980s and remains correct today. This is especially true when it comes to issues of arms control and nuclear-weapons proliferation.

This policy, as articulated by the Reagan administration, was clear: A strong, stable and confident China is in the best interest of the United States as a counterweight to the Soviet Union and a force for regional stability in Asia.

Although not everyone agreed, the U.S. developed programs to make this policy a reality. We established military-to-military relationships to help professionalize and modernize the People’s Liberation Army. The goal was to help make the PLA stronger, more secure and more confident and draw it into constructive relationships with the rest of the world.

A new atmosphere was created. We invited senior PLA officers to the United States to discuss military modernization. You can imagine the reaction of America’s civilian, military and scientific community when the first PLA delegation, in full uniform, came to visit such previously sensitive sites as the Naval Weapons Lab in Pensacola, Fla., NORAD headquarters deep underground in Colorado Springs, Colo., or IBM’s headquarters in New York.

While we discussed sharing basic computer and military technologies, the idea of providing the Chinese with nuclear and missile technology, or anything that could help them launch an attack against the United States, was not considered.

There is no excuse for deliberately passing classified information to China or any other country and it is vital that we determine how these apparent breeches of security may have occurred. But the furor following the publication of the Cox Commission report points to the critical need for the United States to better define its relationship with China.

For years, the world has sent mixed messages to China and this has made the Chinese feel less secure. For fifty years China was told that the strategies of nuclear deterrence and “mutual assured destruction” were directly responsible for maintaining peace and stability in Europe.

But now, China is told that the United States acting as the world’s sole superpower can best maintain peace.

China doesn’t trust the United States to be the world’s policeman. It worries that U.S. values will be forced on the rest of the world, even in areas where they are incompatible.

Today, the Chinese equate NATO’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia to the gunboat diplomacy of the 19th century, by which the “imperialist powers humiliated China for 100 years.” Western powers not only carved out extraterritorial concessions within China, they controlled China’s customs service. That infamous sign in a Shanghai park ­ “No dogs or Chinese allowed” — continues to burn in China’s collective memory.

Given the U.S. history of launching preemptive strikes against nations with whom it disagrees (Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia), China fears it may become the next target of air-power diplomacy over such questions as Tibet or human rights. Its strategy is to modernize its military so as to prevent American hegemony from “blackmailing” China into adopting policies it does not consider in its interest — policies it considers internal matters. While we cannot condone Chinese espionage, we must understand their motivation to modernize the PLA. We cannot expect the PLA to limit its modernization process. We can tighten our security and, through research, development and deployment, maintain our current huge military advantage.

But it is vital that we continue to engage China and work with its leaders to build a more peaceful world through cooperation rather than confrontation. U.S. policy should be to work through the United Nations and other multi-lateral organizations to convince China to be an active force in solving such problems as Kosovo and South Asia. We should not just assume that they would veto any action in the UN.

The development of a strong, stable and confident China is still in the best security interests of the United States and the world.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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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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