NAPSNet Daily Report 04 June, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 04 June, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 04, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-04-june-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Tests
2. DPRK View of ROK Military
3. Japanese View of US Missile Defense
4. US-PRC Military Relations
5. PRC Military Exercises
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Summit Celebration
2. DPRK Vessels in ROK Waters
3. DPRK-US Search for MIAs
4. DPRK View of US Troops
5. DPRK-US Trade Relations
6. DPRK-Pakistan Relations
7. Korean Energy Development Organization

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Tests

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “N. KOREA SAID TO WARN OF NEW MISSILE TESTS,” Beijing, 6/4/01) reported that Selig Harrison of the Century Foundation had talks with four senior DPRK officials last week, including a three-hour meeting with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and five hours with General Ri Chan-bok, the DPRK representative at Panmunjom. Harrison quoted Paek as saying that Kim Jong-il’s promise to a European Union delegation last month to continue the moratorium on missile tests for another two years was predicated on signs from the US President George W. Bush administration that it was interested in better relations. Harrison also quoted Paek as saying that Kim’s offer last year to then-US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to freeze missile testing and production was being reconsidered. Harrison quoted Paek as saying, “As to whether we will maintain the moratorium until 2003, that is yet to be decided. It depends entirely on the policy of the new administration.” Harrison said that Ri was even more blunt, directly threatening to resume the DPRK’s nuclear program if the US did not modify its demands. Harrison quoted Ri as saying, “Right now our government has not decided that we need nuclear weapons, but everybody is thinking in that direction in view of the hostile attitude of the Bush administration.” Speaking more broadly about DPRK’s views of the US, Ri continued: “It has come to the level of an explosion.” Harrison said that the tough Bush policy was playing into the hands of “hawks” in the DPRK who oppose opening to the West. Harrison said, “What I sensed in this visit is that the hard-liners in North Korea have gotten a new lease on life as a result of the Bush administration. They have put North-South progress on hold and I am afraid they will continue to gain strength unless the tone of the administration changes and the Bush administration reiterates its commitment to pursue normalization.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 4, 2001,]

2. DPRK View of ROK Military

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA DENOUNCES S. KOREA MILITARY ,” Seoul, 6/2/01) reported that the DPRK accused the ROK on June 2 of trying to destroy rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula by beefing up its military and staging an aerial exercise. The DPRK’s official foreign news outlet, KCNA, said it “is a very dangerous development to be seen only on the eve of a war. This is a provocation to the North.” The DPRK was complaining about the ROK air force’s six-day pilot-training exercise, which ended on June 2. The ROK Defense Ministry said the drill was a routine annual defensive exercise.

3. Japanese View of US Missile Defense

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “JAPANESE AIDE IS SAID TO QUESTION U.S. MISSILE PLAN,” Tokyo, 6/2/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka was said to have told Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini on May 25 that the US missile defense plans appear to be aimed at the PRC, and to have questioned the need for such a system. Tanaka also reportedly told other diplomats that Japan and Europe should join in opposition to US President George W. Bush’s plan for a missile defense system. In response to the report, Tanaka declined to comment and then told reporters, “There is no such thing.” Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that he was unaware of Tanaka’s reported remarks, and promised to discuss the issue with her. Japanese Legislator Seiji Maehara, a member of the opposition Democratic Party, said, “If what is reported is true, the way she did it is unexpected and unimaginable. Given the importance of the program in the Bush administration, it’s a very sensitive matter and has to be handled with extreme carefulness.” The reports of Tanaka’s remarks first appeared in the Sankei Shimbun, a conservative newspaper, and later in all the major dailies. The Mainichi Shimbun said that she had made similar remarks earlier to Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. All the papers quoted “informed sources” or “Foreign Ministry sources” in their reports. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 4, 2001.]

4. US-PRC Military Relations

The New York Times (Michael R. Gordon, “RUMSFELD LIMITING MILITARY CONTACTS WITH THE CHINESE,” 6/4/01) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has cut off virtually all of the US Defense Department contacts with the PRC armed forces. The US Defense Department said that it is conducting a case-by-case review of seminars, visits and other contacts with the PRC and that no sweeping decisions have been made. However, internal US Defense Department memoranda indicate that Rumsfeld is personally deciding which contacts should be allowed with the PRC and that he has rejected an overwhelming majority of them. Under Rumsfeld’s policy, no direct contact between US and PRC military officers has been authorized in recent months. Under the new policy, the US is also no longer requesting port calls in Hong Kong. Senior aides to Rumsfeld said that the decisions were intended to signal deep displeasure over the PRC’s handling of downed US spy-plane. A senior US Defense Department official said, “It is not business as usual. The Bush administration was going on the belief that the relationship was not balanced and that China perhaps was obtaining more access here than we were from our visits there. We were in the process of reviewing this to try to strike a better balance when the April 1 collision occurred.” H. C. Stackpole III, a retired three-star Marine general who leads the US Defense Department-funded Asia-Pacific Security Center, said that cutting off contacts is counterproductive. Stackpole said, “I think it ensures that the hard-liners in Beijing have ammunition for an increased arms buildup. When you have the kind of position we are taking right now, only one view becomes prevalent. Those in China who do not wish to have the U.S. as an enemy find their voices become muted.” Bernard Cole, a professor at the National Defense University and a retired navy captain, said that the PRC’s secrecy about its armed forces makes military exchanges a potentially valuable tool for learning about the PRC military. Rumsfeld’s decisions also suggest that the US Defense Department policy on contacts with the PRC military is tougher than the Bush administration has previously acknowledged. Asked to comment, US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said, “There is a dearth of activity right now. First things first. We need to get the plane back.”

5. PRC Military Exercises

The Wall Street Journal (Charles Hutzler, “PLANNED CHINESE WAR GAMES OFF TAIWAN MAY BE NOD TOWARD COUNTRY’S MILITARY,” Beijing, 6/4/01) reported that planned large-scale PRC military exercises opposite Taiwan appear to be as much about political theater as tactical training. Reports in some official PRC media said that the exercises would be the country’s largest since a series of maneuvers and missile tests near Taiwan in 1996. However, compared with the rhetorical threats issued during the 1996 exercises, the PRC leaders have maintained total public silence on the latest planned exercises. The different atmosphere has aroused speculation that the PRC’s civilian leaders are using the war games more to curry favor with nationalistic generals than to unnerve Taiwan and the US. Phillip Saunders of the Monterey Institute of International Studies said, “These may be real exercises that they have decided to play up for PR or intimidation value.” Taiwan and the US defense officials, who have known about the planned exercises for two weeks, have called them routine and unthreatening. Yan Xuetong, an international affairs expert at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said, “The military maneuvers are just maneuvers. They’re held, and it’s over. The only political meaning is that China is unhappy with American policy toward Taiwan.” However, June Teufel Dreyer, a specialist on the PRC military at the University of Miami, said that a coming political shuffle in the PRC may be pushing political leaders to court the military. Dreyer said, “Whoever wants to come out on top will need the high command’s support. The nationalists want everyone to know that they’re going to defend China’s honor to the max.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 4, 2001]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Summit Celebration

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “DISCUSSIONS ON INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT CELEBRATIONS START TODAY,” Seoul, 06/04/01) reported that officials from the ROK and the DPRK pro-unification organizations were to meet Monday at the DPRK’s Mt. Kumgang to jointly prepare for the first anniversary of the inter-Korean summit held last June. Seven delegates from an alliance of about 50 ROK social and religious groups left Sunday for Mt. Kumgang to attend two-day working-level talks, ROK organization officials said. The two sides were to discuss details of a plan to hold a civilian “grand symposium on unification.”

2. DPRK Vessels in ROK Waters

The Korea Herald (“N.K. CARGO SHIPS VIOLATE SOUTH’S WATERS,” Seoul, 06/04/01) reported that three DPRK cargo vessels crossed into ROK’s territorial waters Saturday. They all returned to international waters Sunday after being challenged by ROK naval vessels, ROK officials at the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. The Defense Ministry lodged a protest to the DPRK the same day and called for measures to prevent the DPRK’s vessels from entering its territory. The unarmed commercial boats sailed into ROK waters Saturday morning and afternoon, a spokesman for the JCS said. Two of them, 6,700-ton and 2,700-ton cargo ships, left ROK territory after the Navy sent a P-3C surveillance plane and patrol ships. There were no violent confrontations. At around 3 p.m., the Navy drove off the third vessel, the 13,000-ton Chongjin No. 2, which was sailing through the strait between Cheju Island and the southern coast. It is the first time that DPRK vessels have infiltrated the sea lane.

3. DPRK-US Search for MIAs

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “U.S., N. KOREA TO RESUME JOINT SEARCH FOR MIAS,” Seoul, 06/04/01) reported that the DPRK and the US will embark on their joint search operation this Saturday for the remains of US soldiers missing in the Korean War (1950-53), officials said Sunday. The operation, the second of its kind this year, will be conducted in several areas in the DPRK between June 9 and July 10. The areas include Kaecheon, Kujang and Unsan in Pyongan Provinces and Changjin in South Hamgyeong Province, they said. “The continued search process demonstrates that North Korea and the United States are going ahead with humanitarian projects despite a deadlock in their relations,” an ROK government official said.

4. DPRK View of US Troops

Chosun Ilbo (Yoon Jong-ho, “NK ORGANS AGAIN CALL FOR USFK WITHDRAWAL,” Seoul, 06/03/01) reported that the Friday edition of the DPRK government newspaper the Minju Chosun repeated calls for the withdrawal of the US Forces in the ROK, saying that there could be no conventional weapons reduction with their continued presence. The newspaper said that there were many ways to realize this, but the best would be for the US to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK.

5. DPRK-US Trade Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “TRADE EXCHANGE BETWEEN NORTH-U.S. REMAINS SLUGGISH,” Seoul, 06/01/01) reported that the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) cited sources from the US Department of Commerce as saying on Friday that trade exchanges between the DPRK and US for the first quarter of 2001 recorded US$22,767 for US imports from the DPRK and nothing for exports. During the same period last year, the US gained a total of US$2.64 million by selling corn and other products to the DPRK during the first quarter. In the second quarter last year, the export volume dropped to US$10,000, on the third quarter to US$70,000, and in the final quarter to US$60,000. US imports from the DPRK have remained frozen since February this year. Most of the major imports were electrical appliances including ceramic condensers worth US$16, 405 and wired and wireless transmitter-receiver plus television parts worth US$6,362.

6. DPRK-Pakistan Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“PAKISTAN HOPES TO CONTINUE FRIENDLY TIES WITH NORTH, U.S. FROWNS,” Vienna, 06/01/01) reported that Pakistan’s Chief General Pervaiz Musharif expressed his hopes to continue to develop ties with the DPRK army, reported the DPRK’s Central Broadcast Station on Friday June 1. The General upon his meeting with DPRK Air Force Commander Oh Kum-chol last Wednesday said that Pakistan has long valued its friendly ties with the DPRK and wished continued development in bilateral military relations, revealed the Central News.

7. Korean Energy Development Organization

Joongang Ilbo (“KEDO CHAIRMAN KARTMAN TO ARRIVE IN SEOUL, TOMORROW,” Vienna, 06/01/01) reported that Charles Kartman, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was to make a five-day visit to Seoul starting from Saturday June 2. During his stay, Kartman was to hold series of talks with Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Han Seung-soo, Unification Minister Lim Dong- won and Light Water Reactor Planning Chairman Chang Sun-sop to exchange opinions on the overall issue of light water reactor project.

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