NAPSNet Daily Report 03 May, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 May, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 03, 1999,


I. United States

I. United States

1. DPRK Business in the ROK

The Associated Press (“N. KOREAN RESTAURANT OPENS IN SEOUL,” Seoul, 05/03/99) reported that the first DPRK business in the ROK opened on Monday. “Okryukwan”, the DPRK’s most famous restaurant, opened a branch in Seoul to serve its trademark “naengmyon,” or cold buckwheat noodle, along with about a dozen other dishes. Baron Trading Co., in partnership with a pro-DPRK firm in Japan, opened the new restaurant in Seoul. Details of the arrangement were not known, but Baron officials said they are required to pay an unspecified amount of royalties for the deal. Most of the restaurant’s utensils, such as spoons and bowls, were brought from the DPRK. Baron officials said major ingredients such as buckwheat and millet will be imported from the DPRK. Some ROK nationals reacted negatively to the new restaurant. Kim Young-han, a local journalist, said, “I felt an irony. While many people in the North are starving to death, they are opening a restaurant here to feed already well-fed people.”

2. Missile Defense in Taiwan

The Los Angeles Times (Vanessa Guest, “MISSILE DEFENSE IS WRONG CALL ON TAIWAN,” 05/03/99) carried an opinion article arguing that current proposals to include Taiwan in a theater missile defense (TMD) for Asia threatens to fuel a missile arms race in the region. Guest, a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, stated that deploying missiles defense in Taiwan would needlessly alienate the PRC and aggravate regional tensions, and so would be a serious foreign policy mistake. Guest wrote, “A strengthened American-Taiwanese alliance increases the likelihood that the US might enter a cross-strait conflict or that Taiwan might start one by seeking independence,” and that this would obstruct the US government’s efforts to improve Sino-US relations. Guest added that, with the return of Macao later this year, the PRC is already under pressure to show progress on reunification, and strong US missile defense rhetoric exacerbates this tense situation. Guest concluded that TMD deployment might lead the PRC to abandon its commitment to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to be less cooperative with the US on weapons technology transfers, with implications for security in South Asia and the Middle East.

3. Taiwan’s View of the PRC

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN EXPLAINS ITS CHINA POSITION,” Taipei, 05/03/99) reported that Taiwan does not deny the legitimacy of the PRC’s government, but cannot formally recognize the government for constitutional reasons, a Taiwanese official said Monday. Su Chi, head of the cabinet’s Mainland Affairs Council, said at a legislative hearing that the 1991 end of Taiwan’s denial of the PRC’s claim to be the mainland’s legitimate government was only an acknowledgment of the government’s jurisdiction over the area it controls. “We don’t recognize (the government in Beijing), nor do we dispute them,” said Su, who is primarily responsible for interpreting the government’s policy on relations with the PRC. Su said that to officially recognize the PRC’s government, Taiwan would have to redraw its official borders. Currently, Taiwan’s constitution says its borders include all of the PRC, including Tibet and the now independent Republic of Mongolia. Taiwan insists that both sides recognize each other’s jurisdiction in the areas they control.

4. Japanese Prime Minister’s Visit to the US

The Associated Press (Sonya Ross, “OBUCHI MEETS WITH CLINTON TO TALK MARKETS, MILITARY,” Washington, 05/03/99) reported that President Clinton on Monday praised Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi for swift action to start pulling his nation from its lingering recession. Welcoming Obuchi to the White House for the first official visit of a Japanese prime minister in twelve years, Clinton said the fact that Obuchi went to work on economic problems immediately after taking office last July was a positive indication Japan will weather its woes. Aides said Clinton would stress to Obuchi that, although the measures he implemented last year are showing some encouraging results, he must do more to open the Japanese market to speed the recovery.

5. Alleged Nuclear Espionage in the US

The New York Times (Jeff Gerth and James Risen, “1998 REPORT TOLD OF LAB BREACHES AND CHINA THREAT,” Washington, 05/02/99, Pg.1) reported that a secret report prepared by US counterintelligence officials warned that the PRC posed an “acute intelligence threat” to the US Government’s nuclear weapons laboratories and that computer systems at the labs were being constantly penetrated by outsiders as recently as June 1998. The report, provided to the New York Times by an unnamed government official, was distributed in November to high US officials including Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, Attorney General Janet Reno, and President Clinton’s national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger. The 25-page report contains examples of lax security and serious intelligence breaches at the labs that have not been previously disclosed, involving more than a dozen foreign countries. The report cites the PRC as posing the most serious security threat to the US weapons labs, but also names Russia and India as immediate threats. The report states, for example, that Russian intelligence intercepted communications from Los Alamos concerning nuclear power plants used for military purposes. The report also says that an unknown individual sent 38 faxes to India from inside a sensitive area of the Oak Ridge Laboratory, in Tennessee, during a 30-day period in 1995 and 1996. [Ed note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense Early Bird news service for May 3.]

Reuters (“INDIA DISMISSES NUCLEAR SPY REPORT AS `BASELESS’,” New Delhi, 05/03/99) reported that India on Monday condemned allegations in a New York Times article that India, along with the PRC and Russia, was regarded as a security threat due to espionage at US nuclear arms laboratories. “The allegation is malicious and completely baseless,” an external affairs ministry spokesman told reporters in response to a question.

6. Reactions in US to Alleged Nuclear Espionage

The Associated Press (John Diamond, “CHINESE ESPIONAGE PROBLEM APPEARS WIDESPREAD BUT POLITICAL IMPACT ON CLINTON SO FAR IS SHALLOW,” Washington, 05/01/99) reported that some Republicans are trying to link allegations of espionage at US nuclear weapons labs to President Clinton and the controversy over his Asian- American fund raising. However, so far Republicans keep turning up evidence of security flaws dating to the early- to mid-1980s, under Republican administrations. “I don’t regard it as a political problem for Clinton, I regard it as a national security problem for the nation because the errors were made on the watches of both Republicans and Democrats,” said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. Specter has been named by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., to follow the PRC espionage issue on behalf of the Senate GOP leadership. The PRC espionage issue is politically charged because Republicans have been trying to show that the White House has been more concerned about raising campaign money than protecting national security. The White House steadfastly denies any connection.

Wall Street Journal (John J. Fialka, “CONGRESS BRINGS NEW INQUIRIES INTO WEAPONS SECURITY FAILURES,” Washington, 05/03/99, Pg. 24) reported that US House and Senate investigators are launching new inquiries into the Energy Department’s US$800 million security program and its failure to stop the nuclear- weapons secrets from being stolen from its labs. The panel will hold hearings this week. The Commerce Committee will hear testimony from Mr. McCallum, a 25-year department veteran who, among other things, has complained about difficulties in trying to protect the secret computer system at Los Alamos to testify along with another department veteran, Glenn Podonsky, who runs internal inspections for the department. While Republicans are leading the charge in the various congressional investigations, the two witnesses and others are expected to tell of foul-ups and budget shortfalls that date to the Carter administration. Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, said the secretary “is extremely concerned that the hearing may bring potential disclosures of classified information and his priority is to protect the national security.” Mr. Richardson, a former member of the Commerce Committee, irritated its leaders after a security hearing last week, accusing the panel of “exhuming the past.” [Ed note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense Early Bird news service for May 3.]

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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
Cen ter 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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