NAPSNet Daily Report 04 December, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 04 December, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 04, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-04-december-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Military Posture
2. US Contingency Plans for Korea
3. Nautilus DPRK Windpower Project
4. Reunion of Separated Families
5. ROK-DPRK Exchanges
6. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan
7. Taiwanese Military Development
8. PRC Military Purchases from Russia
9. US-PRC Relations
10. Japanese Slave Labor Compensation
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Military Talks
2. US-ROK SOFA Talks
3. Korean War Massacre

I. United States

1. DPRK Military Posture

Agence France-Presse (C.W. Lim, “NORTH KOREA BOLSTERS MILITARY POWER DESPITE THAW WITH SOUTH,” Seoul, 12/04/00) and BBC World News (“N KOREA BOOSTS BORDER DEFENCES,” 12/04/00) reported that an ROK Defense Ministry policy report said Monday that the DPRK has bolstered its military power along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The report stated, “Despite recent attempts to reduce tensions, North Korea has not moved away from the most fundamental policy of communizing the peninsula.” It accused the DPRK of deploying more than 55 percent of its key forces and 40 percent of its fighter jets in forward bases for a possible surprise attack. The white paper said that the DPRK had reduced some military exercises since the June inter-Korean summit but was still pushing forward with “long-term force improvement and combat readiness.” It said that the DPRK purchased 40 MIG-21 fighters in 1999, and expressed concern over stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. It added, “Present attention is on the development of another set of missiles, called Taepodong-1 and Taepodong-2, with a range of 2,500 kilometers (1,560 miles) and 6,700 kilometers respectively. Behind the production of mid and long-range missiles lies North Korea’s agenda of simultaneous attack on major cities and strategic targets in the South.” It said that the DPRK also deployed an unspecified number of multiple rocket launchers “recently” along the border, prompting the ROK to send 20 new attack helicopters and 200 new tanks and armored vehicles to frontline units. It said that the DPRK has also increased the number of military aircraft to 870 this year from 850 a year ago, while the ROK acquired 20 fighters and 10 support planes. The DPRK increased its army divisions from 63 in 1999 to 67 this year by transforming five brigades, but the total number of soldiers remained unchanged at 1.17 million. The white paper said that overall, the DPRK’s conventional military strength was far superior to the ROK’s, and it pledged a strong security alliance with US troops. The paper described the DPRK as the ROK’s “main enemy” but also said that priority should be given to the peace process.

2. US Contingency Plans for Korea

Agence France-Presse (Tim Witcher, “US PLANS HUGE FORCE TO ANY NEW KOREAN WAR, SAYS GOVERNMENT REPORT,” Seoul, 12/04/00) reported that an ROK defense ministry white paper said Monday that the US would deploy up to 690,000 troops on the Korean peninsula if a new war broke out. It stated, “The latest Time Phased Forces Deployment Data for any contingency on the Korean Peninsula is comprised of 690,000 soldiers, 160 navy ships and 1,600 planes.” The figure has risen from 480,000 in plans made in the early 1990s and 630,000 in the mid-1990s. The report said that the increased contingency force was the result of a new US “win-win strategy” that would require the US to have the capability to fight two wars simultaneously. It added that the contingency plans show “a strong US determination to guard the Korean peninsula.” It stated, “South Korea’s partnership with the United States will ensure peace and deterrence of war on the peninsula and create an atmosphere for peaceful unification. And with sights beyond unification, this partnership will contribute to the stability of Northeast Asia.” ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-Tae said Monday, “whatever changes happen in inter-Korean relations and security, our basic mission will not change at all.” Cho criticized “demands from society for a reduction in the military budget and arms and also for the withdrawal of US troops.”

3. Nautilus DPRK Windpower Project

The Los Angeles Times (Robin Wright, “WINDMILL PROJECT PROPELS A QUIXOTIC QUEST,” Berkeley, 12/03/00) reported that the Nautilus Institute is putting up wind turbines and windmills in the DPRK to demonstrate the viability of alternative energy sources so that the DPRK will feel less need to build nuclear power plants that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. Peter Hayes, Executive Director of the Nautilus Institute, said that such cooperative engagement projects are more effective in providing security than funneling money into expensive military programs like national missile defense. Hayes stated, “The missile defense argument is like saying the solution to America’s handgun problem is for everyone to wear body armor…. There are too many handguns and bullets, and it isn’t possible to get everyone to wear armor on every part of their body.” He added, “Besides, the issue really isn’t about missiles and warheads. It’s about strategic rivalry and distrust and perceptions at a much deeper level.” Hayes stated, “A lot of what drives the military is fear or uncertainty. We’re willing to embrace uncertainty. Otherwise we’ll keep developing the same old world with the same old problems.” Joseph Cirincione, director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that treaties have “been more effective in intercepting and destroying more missiles than other weapons. And the military has increasingly become the second line of defense, as a deterrent threat against those who use these weapons against you.” He added, “The IMF does it with economic factors on a global scale with billions of dollars. Peter Hayes does on a local scale what big institutions can’t or won’t.” However, Mitchell Reiss, former chief US negotiator with the DPRK, stated, “Treaties codify the status quo. But pure military power is still the key to influence, the coin of the realm.” He added, “Peter Hayes does amazing work, and the more interaction that you can have with countries like North Korea is probably good. But giving all the windmills in the world is not going to convince the North Koreans to dismantle their nuclear weapons program.” Timothy Savage, Nautilus Security Program Officer, stated, “The fact we chose windmills, which have a connotation of dreaming the impossible dream, is appropriate for the kind of work we’re trying to do. We’re trying to help end the single longest conflict on Earth.”

4. Reunion of Separated Families

The Associated Press (“NO DATE YET FOR NEXT KOREAS REUNION,” Seoul, 12/04/00) reported that three-day reunions with of separated family members ended Saturday. The ROK hopes to arrange to hold a third reunion early next year, but the two sides have yet to fix a date. Park Hyong-joon, a spokesman at the ROK Red Cross, stated, “At this pace, we’ll have more people dying on us than meeting relatives.” Park said Monday that the ROK Red Cross hopes to hold talks with the DPRK in January to set up a regular meeting place for separated family members.

The New York Times (Howard W. French, “IT’S KOREAN REUNION NO. 2, WITH A FEW SOUR NOTES,” 12/01/00) and The Los Angeles Times (Mark Magnier, “NORTH KOREANS PUT PRIDE BEFORE POVERTY IN REUNIONS WITH THE SOUTH,” Seoul, 12/02/00) reported that the DPRK government insisted that the total value of any gifts given by ROK citizens to their DPRK relatives be limited to US$500. Haksoon Paik, research fellow with the ROK’s Sejong Institute, stated, “The North Korean leadership is very concerned about the infiltration of capitalism. And expensive gifts are a pretty concrete form of infiltration.” Kwak Tae-hwan, president of the Korea Institute for National Unification, said that gifts also have the potential to disrupt the party ranks by creating jealousy among those who did not get a chance to go to Seoul. Cho Sung-young, one of the ROK citizens who met DPRK relatives, stated, “They wouldn’t talk about the economic problems at all. But you can see from their appearances they’re really having a hard time, even though they have a high position in the party.” Park Ki-ryun, secretary general of the ROK Red Cross, stated, “It is true that these visits are about two months behind schedule. But we must consider that recent events, including proposals for President Clinton to visit North Korea, have created real scheduling problems for North Korea.” He added, “We are not satisfied with the current arrangements, and want them to be freer. The point is for them to visit their hometowns and to sleep in their relatives’ houses, but so far the North has not agreed to this.” US Representative Tony P. Hall (Democrat-Ohio) said that he stopped trying to understand the gap between the DPRK’s actions and its needs. He added that he told high-level DPRK officials that allowing US aid workers to enter the nation would result in a huge increase in US food aid. He stated, “They listened. But I don’t know if it registered.”

5. ROK-DPRK Exchanges

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, “UN AMBASSADOR MEETS KOREAN STUDENTS,” New York, 12/02/00) reported that DPRK Ambassador to the UN Li Hyong-chol on Friday met with more than 250 ROK students and press at Columbia University. Li stated, “I was happy to accept the invitation not to speak as a representative of our government at the United Nations, but as a member of the same nation.” Li said that since the June summit, “the situation is really excellent and the whole nation is excited. Everybody is full of conviction that the country is moving ahead, advancing very rapidly toward reunification.” Responding to questions, Li said that no foreign troops on Korean territory can be justified, and that in a united Korea, “we will calculate how to remove” the US troops. He said that the ROK and the DPRK have more common ground than they do differences, but added, “We are fully determined to continue our own way of life. Don’t expect any change.” Kim Hyeong-chan, president of the Korean Graduate Students Association at Columbia, stated, “If this forum were held five years ago, then Ambassador Li would not say those kind of remarks – never.” However Yong-hui Park, a Korean-American student at Barnard College, said, “I felt it was more of a pep talk. He told us to study hard to do well for the country.”

6. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan

Reuters (“TAIWAN SILENT ON REPORT IT MAY BUY U.S. DESTROYERS,” Taipei, 12/03/00) and Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN NEGOTIATING WITH US ON FOUR KIDD-CLASS DESTROYERS: REPORT,” Taipei, 12/03/00) reported that Taiwan’s defense ministry on Monday refused comment on a report in Jane’s Defense Weekly last week that it was considering acquiring Kidd-class guided missile destroyers from the US. Jane’s said that the plan signaled that Taiwan might be seeking an alternative to the Aegis-equipped air-defense destroyers it had sought to acquire from the US earlier this year. It added that the US Navy’s four Kidd-class destroyers were commissioned in 1981 and 1982 and decommissioned in 1998 and 1999 after serving only half their service life. It said that the destroyers could provide Taiwan’s navy with a platform capable of simultaneously conducting anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The Taipei-based China Times Express said that Li Chieh, commander in chief of Taiwan’s navy, told parliament at a closed-door session last week that “other alternatives would not be ruled out although Aegis is still given priority.”

7. Taiwanese Military Development

Taiwan’s Central News Agency (“TAIWAN SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOPS ADVANCED ANTI-SHIP MISSILE, Taipei, 12/03/00) reported that researchers at Taiwan’s Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology said on Sunday that they have successfully developed a Hsiungfeng-3 supersonic anti-ship missile. The researchers said that the missile outperforms the Russian-made Sunburn missile that the PRC purchased earlier this year in terms of its speed and range, but they would not elaborate.

8. PRC Military Purchases from Russia

Aviation Week and Space Technology (David A. Fulghum, “CHINA SLIPS PAST U.S. AWACS BAN,” Washington 12/04/00, 31) reported that Russian officials said that Russia will lend the PRC two airborne radar surveillance aircraft for three years and then sell them up to four advanced A-50E airborne warning and control systems (AWACS). The deal is to be completed by 2005, according to both US and Russian officials. The deal was finalized during a November visit to the PRC by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. An unnamed US Air Force official stated, “Once the [Israeli] program was canceled, China had three options. It could seek an A-50 from Russia, begin to indigenously develop its own AWACS platform, or rely on the Y-8 airborne early warning platform under development for the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] Navy. The A-50E will provide China with the most capable platform in the shortest amount of time.” A US radar company official said that the standard Russian-built A-50 is a “far-less capable AWACS than the Chinese would have had” if purchase of an Israeli-developed Phalcon system had been completed. The radar is expected to take three years for production, tests and integration into the aircraft. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 4, 2000.]

9. US-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (“CHINA ‘WON’T FORGET’ BELGRADE EMBASSY,” Belgrade, 12/04/00) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan laid a wreath Sunday at the ruins of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. Tang stated, “Everybody asking why we keep saying that the talk in the West about human rights is false, that it is full of double standards, should see this and they will understand. It was an example of the policy of force. We shall never forget this.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 4, 2000.]

Dow Jones Newswires (“TENSIONS IN CHINA SET TO RISE – CLINTON ADVISOR,” Shanghai, 12/04/00) reported that Kenneth Lieberthal, former special assistant on Asia to US President Bill Clinton, said that tensions in the PRC will rise sharply as the country enters the World Trade Organization (WTO). Lieberthal said that the PRC “has a very tough period to go through. There’s going to be uncertainty and no one likes change. Tensions will rise. That’s in China’s future, that tensions will rise a great deal.” In addition to WTO, Lieberthal outlined four specific challenges he saw facing the PRC: the lack of a social safety net, water shortages in the north of the country, enormous environmental problems requiring “large amounts of capital to be spent in a focused way” and mass migration from the rural to urban areas. He stated, “My main fear is not that China will be too strong but that domestic instability will lead to a period of weakness.” He said that the major goal of the incoming US administration should be to educate the people of the US not to fear the PRC as a rising world power, but to help it overcome the massive problems it faces.

10. Japanese Slave Labor Compensation

Agence France-Presse (Stephanie Strom, “FUND FOR WARTIME SLAVES SET UP IN JAPAN,” Tokyo, 11/30/00) reported that the Kajima Corporation agreed to establish a fund with 500 million yen (US$4.6 million) to compensate wartime laborers at its Hanaoka copper mine and their survivors. The agreement settled a court case brought on behalf of nearly 1,000 Chinese forced to work in Japan in World War II. The PRC Red Cross will administer the fund. Yoshitaka Takagi, head of the Association of Lawyers for Coordinating Action Seeking Postwar Compensation, stated, “This settlement is extremely significant, because companies similarly accused are likely to set up similar funds to deal with wartime compensation issues.” Takagi noted that this was the first time in Japan that compensation had been awarded for a violation of international law, specifically a 1907 Hague Convention dealing with prisoners’ rights in wartime. It is also the first time that a Japanese company has agreed to compensate Chinese forced laborers. Takagi added, “Forced labor was possible only with the involvement of the government and the military. And hopefully the kind of settlement we have today will bring renewed energy to the pursuit of the government’s responsibility.” Japanese Foreign Ministry representative Yasuhisa Kawamura said that the government officially expressed its “apologies and remorse” in 1995. He declined comment on the new accord, saying the ministry did not know all the details.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Military Talks

The Korea Herald (“SECOND ROUND OF INTER-KOREAN MILITARY TALKS TO OPEN TOMORROW,” Seoul, 12/04/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK will hold the second round of working-level military talks in Panmunjom on Tuesday to narrow differences over the reconnection of a cross-border railway and a parallel highway, the ROK Defense Ministry said. The ministry reported that the head of the DPRK’s delegation for inter-Korean working-level military talks had phoned his counterpart in the ROK to say the proposed schedule was acceptable. The talks will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the ROK’s Peace House in Panmunjom. Also on the table will be the establishment of regulations aimed at preventing disagreements between ROK and DPRK troops, administrators and workers during the course of the construction. They will also discuss the range of the common control area and finalize the itinerary for the second inter-Korean defense ministerial talks, which will be held in the DPRK.

2. US-ROK SOFA Talks

The Korea Herald (“KOREA, U.S. HOLD 2ND DAY OF TALKS ON SOFA REVISION,” 12/04/00) reported that the ROK and the US on Saturday resumed talks to revise the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) governing the status of the US troops in the ROK. The two sides discussed criminal jurisdiction, labor rules and quarantines in the morning and environmental issues and facilities in the afternoon. The talks will continue until next Thursday. Chief negotiators at the talks were Director General Song Min-sun of the ROK Foreign Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau and Frederic Smith, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 4, 2000.]

3. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, U.S. DRAW DIFFERENT FINDINGS ON NOGUN-RI,” 12/04/00) reported that ROK sources said Sunday that ROK and US investigators have drawn different conclusions about the alleged Nogun-ri. An unidentified government source stated, “There are some discrepancies between the two sides to be addressed, including whether U.S. soldiers committed the mass killings intentionally.” He said the US side appears to have come to the conclusion that the incident was attributable to “panic” by US soldiers in the chaotic situation. The US also apparently told the ROK that it failed to secure any hard evidence on whether US troops were ordered to shoot Korean civilians. Officials at the ROK Office for Government Policy Coordination (OGPC) said that the fact-finding teams from the two sides were scheduled to meet Tuesday in Seoul to coordinate the results of their investigations. An ROK government official said, “This time, the two sides will try to complete adjustment of differences and consult on measures Washington should take for the victims and their families.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 4, 2000.]

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
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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