NAPSNet Daily Report 03 March, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 March, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, March 03, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-march-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Implementation of Agreed Framework
2. Japanese Food Aid to DPRK
3. ROK Prisoner of War from Korean War
4. Taiwan Spying on PRC
5. US Military Study of PRC
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-US Talks
2. Human Rights Report on DPRK
III. Japan 1. DPRK’s Suspected Abduction of Japanese Civilians
2. Japan’s Food Aid to DPRK
3. Japanese-PRC Relations
4. Japanese-PRC Fisheries Agreement
5. Japanese-ROK Relations
6. Japanese-Russian Relations

I. United States

1. Implementation of Agreed Framework

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “INSIDE THE RING,” 3/3/00) reported that US President Clinton in a presidential memorandum authorizing US$15 million for Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) said that he cannot legally certify that the DPRK has stopped acquiring uranium-enrichment technology. Clinton also wrote that he could not declare that the DPRK is not illegally diverting US-supplied fuel oil. Clinton waived two laws requiring him to certify that the DPRK “is not seeking to develop or acquire the capability to enrich uranium, or any additional capability to reprocess spent nuclear fuel” and certification that no US assistance is “diverted” improperly. Clinton said that supplying the money to KEDO is “vital” to U.S. national security. The presidential memorandum was published in the Federal Register on March 1. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 2, 2000.]

2. Japanese Food Aid to DPRK

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN TO ANNOUNCE FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA NEXT WEEK: REPORT,” Tokyo, 03/03/00) and Reuters (“JAPAN MAY SOON RESUME FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 03/03/00) reported that the Yomiuri Shimbun on Friday quoted Japanese government sources as saying that Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki is expected to announce on Tuesday that Japan will send 100,000 tons of rice to the DPRK. The assistance through the World Food Program comes in response to an urgent request from the DPRK. One unnamed government source stated, “The question is whether we can build a consensus within the government.” The sources said that Japan hopes to use the food aid, the first since 1997, as a tool to promote planned diplomatic normalization talks between the two governments. The report said that the Japanese government wants to hold a meeting with the DPRK in mid-March for a second round of preparatory talks, at which it will try to secure an agreement to reopen diplomatic normalization talks in Pyongyang in April.

3. ROK Prisoner of War from Korean War

The Associated Press (“S. KOREAN POW RETURNS HOME,” Seoul, 3/3/00) reported that the ROK’s National Intelligence Service said Friday that Suh Byong-ryol, 70, a prisoner of war since 1953, returned home from the DPRK. Suh arrived with three DPRK Nationals, including a 65-year-old woman and a 38-year-old woman. The agency said that Suh was captured by PRC troops in 1953, shortly before the Korean War ended in a truce. He had been forced to work in coal mines and on collective farms in the DPRK.

4. Taiwan Spying on PRC

Agence France Presse (“SENIOR SPY ACCUSES TAIWAN PRESIDENT LEE OF LEAKING INTELLIGENCE,” Taipei, 3/3/00) reported that Chang Chih-peng, a senior Taiwan intelligence officer, on Friday accused Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui of leaking vital military information which had led to the executions by the PRC of two mainland generals spying for Taiwan. Chang said that he had worked for Taiwan’s military intelligence bureau since 1990 and, undercover as a businessman, managed to build one of Taiwan’s top intelligence networks in the PRC. Chang said that Lee’s statement that the People’s Liberation Army’s three missile tests near the waters in March 1996 only carried dummy warheads was “top confidential” intelligence he had obtained. The leak immediately aroused the PRC’s suspicion and led to a massive investigation. Chang said, “such top confidential information was shared by less than 10 Chinese generals who participated in military meetings dealing with Taiwan. The leaks were easy to trace.” The investigation led to the August execution of two of Chang’s contacts–PRC major general Liu Liankun and senior colonel Shao Zhengzhong.

5. US Military Study of PRC

Agence France Presse (“PENTAGON SETS UP STUDY CENTER SPECIALIZING IN CHINESE MILITARY AFFAIRS,” Washington, 3/3/00) reported that the US Defense Department established a new center for the study of PRC military affairs on March 2. The US Defense Department released a statement saying that the congressionally- mandated center was set up by the National Defense University, as part of its Institute of National Strategic Studies. The statement said, “the center will serve as a national focal point and resource center. It will provide a forum for multi-disciplinary research and analytic exchanges on the national goals and strategic posture of the People’s Republic of China and the ability of the PRC to develop, field and deploy an effective military in support of its strategic objectives.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “PREPARATORY TALKS IN NEW YORK TO FOCUS ON AGENDA, ITINERARY FOR HIGH-LEVEL VISIT,” Seoul, 03/03/00), Chosun Ilbo (Kang Hyo-sang, “PRELIMINARY NK-U.S. MEETING SCHEDULED,” Seoul, 03/02/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “FIRST STEP TAKEN TO DROP NK FROM TERRORIST LIST,” and “US, N.KOREA TO RESUME TALKS NEXT WEEK IN NEW YORK,” Seoul, 03/02/00) reported that ROK analysts said on March 2 that a final round of preparatory talks between the US and the DPRK in New York next week will likely result in some agreements on the details of a high-level DPRK official’s visit to the US, but the negotiations will not be easy. The New York talks, which will be led by Charles Kartman, US special envoy on Korea, and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan, are expected to deal with the scope of the DPRK delegation and the itinerary and agenda for the April trip. Many analysts said that they expect the visit to be the first major step towards rapprochement for the two rivals. On the sidelines of the meeting, US coordinator for counter- terrorism Michael Sheehan will inform the DPRK delegation of the steps the DPRK must take to be removed from the US list of terrorism-sponsoring nations. ROK government officials stated, “The terrorism issue is not a precondition for the high-level North Korean visit to Washington.”

2. Human Rights Report on DPRK

The Korea Times (“NK ENGAGED IN EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, DISAPPEARANCES,” Seoul, 03/02/00) reported that the US State Department has reported in its 1999 human rights report that the DPRK continues to deny its citizens human rights, saying there continue to be reports of extra-judicial killings and disappearances. In its latest human rights report, it said that DPRK citizens are detained arbitrarily and many are held as political prisoners. Prison conditions are harsh. The report said, “the constitutional provisions for an independent judiciary and fair trials are not implemented in practice. The North Korean regime subjects its citizens to rigid controls. The state leadership perceives most international norms of human rights, especially individual rights, as illegitimate, alien social concepts subversive to the goals of the state and party.” The report also said the penal code was draconian, stipulating capital punishment and confiscation of all assets for a wide variety of crimes against revolution, including detention, attempted defection, slander against the policies of the party or state, listening to foreign broadcasts, writing revolutionary letters and possessing reactionary printed matter.

III. Japan

1. DPRK’s Suspected Abduction of Japanese Civilians

The Sankei Shimbun (“JAPANESE-DPRK PRELIMINARY TALKS FOR NORMALIZATION TALKS: GOVERNMENT ASKS DPRK FOR SEARCING THREE MORE MISSING JAPANESE,” 03/02/2000) reported that during the preliminary round of Japanese-DPRK normalization talks, the Japanese government asked the DPRK to search for three Japanese civilians who went into missing between 1980 and 1983 in addition to the existing 17 cases. The three civilians went missing in Europe, and were witnessed separately by Western security authorities to be with some members of the “Yodo-Go” highjackers and DPRK agents at the time. Based on the Western authorities’ information and because these three civilians had no interest in the DPRK before they went missing, the Japanese security authorities are suspecting that the DPRK abducted the civilians.

2. Japan’s Food Aid to DPRK

The Daily Yomiuri (“GOVT TO SEND N. KOREA 100,000 TONS OF RICE AID,” 03/03/2000) reported that the Japanese government decided to donate 100,000 tons of rice to the DPRK through the World Food Program. This would be the first food aid from Japan to the DPRK in three years. Japan made the decision in response to an urgent request from the DPRK. The Japanese government hopes to use the food aid as a tool to promote planned normalization talks with the DPRK. However, some members of the Liberal Democratic Party remain cautious about resuming food aid to the DPRK due to the lack of progress in the DPRK’s efforts to clear up suspicions over the alleged abduction of several Japanese civilians by DPRK agents. The report, however, said that the latest food aid plan reflects the Japanese government’s belief that resumption of normalization talks would help solve the abduction issue.

3. Japanese-PRC Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“ZHU’S VISIT TO JAPAN BEFORE G-8 SUMMIT,” 03/01/2000) and the Daily Yomiuri (“GOVT TO ASK CHINESE PREMIER TO VISIT BEFORE G-8 SUMMIT,” 03/02/2000) reported that the Japanese government is planning to invite PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji to Japan before the upcoming G-8 Summit in Okinawa so that the PRC’s views can be fully reflected at the July summit. In preparation for Zhu’s visit, the government plans to invite PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan next month and send Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono to the PRC in May. Although the PRC has reportedly been negative about attending the summit, even as an observer, and other G-8 member countries are also negative about the PRC’s participation, the Japanese government plans to realize reciprocal visits by PRC and Japanese foreign ministers, while asking the PRC to advance the visit to Japan by Zhu in June or July. The government also plans to brief Tang about the Okinawa summit to hear PRC views before the summit talks, even if Zhu cannot visit Japan.

4. Japanese-PRC Fisheries Agreement

The Daily Yomiuri (Hiroyuki Sugiyama, “JAPAN, CHINA CONCLUDED BILATERAL FISHERIES TREATY, Beijing, 02/28/2000) and The Sankei Shimbun (“JAPAN SIGNED AGREEMENT IN SPIRIT OF RECIPROCITY,” 02/27/2000) reported that Japan and the PRC signed an agreement on February 27 in Beijing to make their new bilateral fisheries pact effective from June and to settle differences over zoning in the East China Sea. Under the pact, Japan and the PRC agreed to establish a free fisheries zone between 127 degrees 30 minutes east longitude and 124 degrees 45 minutes east longitude, where boats of the two countries may catch fish without prior approval from their respective governments. Japan also agreed to allow a total of 600 PRC fishing boats annually into its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) east of the free fisheries zone, while the PRC agreed to allow a total of 317 Japanese vessels into its EEZ. The new agreement will enable Japanese authorities to inspect or seize PRC boats within its EEZ to protect fishery resources there if they are found to be violating the bilateral agreement, which has been impossible under the current treaty. The new agreement, which was originally signed in November 1997, replaced a 1975 bilateral fisheries treaty and follows the two countries’ ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1996. After signing the agreement, Japan’s Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Tokuichiro Tamazawa said at a press conference that the fisheries pact was no longer a political issue between Japan and the PRC, suggesting that a danger of aggravating the bilateral relations has been avoided. Tamazawa said, “It took a long time to get this far, but both sides reached the agreement in the spirit of reciprocity. I am very glad because (the agreement is about) our mutual (cooperation in) continuation of limited natural resources. I will go to Nagasaki to tell this to people involved in the fishery business.”

5. Japanese-ROK Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPANESE EDUCATION MINISTER TO VISIT ROK FOR FIRST TIME EVER SINCE END OF WWII, 02/29/2000) and the Daily Yomiuri (“EDUCATION CHIEF TO VISIT S. KOREA,” 02/29/2000) reported that Education Minister Hirofumi Nakasone will pay an official visit to the ROK from March 18 to 20. It will make him the first education minister to formally visit the country since the end of World War II. The visit had not been possible earlier partly because of controversy arising from the ministry’s revision of school texts on the history of the Japanese colonization of the ROK, in which it ordered words such as “invasion” to be replaced by “advancement.” Nakasone’s trip was been made possible by the successful visit in October 1998 of ROK President Kim Dae-jung to Japan, during which Kim and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi agreed to strengthen bilateral ties and put an end to discrepancies between the two nations in the issue of history. Nakasone will meet with ROK Prime Minister Park Tae-joon, Education Minister Moon Yong-lin and some other ministers to build a foundation for a governmental-level dialogue on culture, academics and sports in the 21st century. The talks also aim to promote greater exchange on the local and private levels, in light of the Japan-ROK co-hosted soccer World Cup 2002.

6. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (“JAPAN, RUSSIA BEGIN TALKS TO ORGANIZE MAY SUMMIT,” 03/03/2000) reported that Japan and Russia began negotiations to hold a summit meeting between the two countries in May in Irkutsk, Siberia, before the G-8 Summit Meeting in July in Okinawa. A Japan-Russia summit was scheduled for this spring after former Russian President Boris Yeltsin visited Japan last year for talks aimed at drawing up a peace treaty. However, because of Yeltsin’s resignation, the Japanese government requested that an earlier visit to Japan be made by the new Russian president. However, as it may take time to establish the administration of the new Russian president, an official visit by the latter may have to be delayed until after the Okinawa summit. In light of this situation, Obuchi’s unofficial visit to Russia in May was proposed.

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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
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

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

Gee Gee Wong: 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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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