NAPSNet Daily Report 04 September, 1997

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 04 September, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 04, 1997, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-04-september-1997/

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Chang Defection

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 3, 1997,” USIA Transcript, 9/3/97), was asked if the DPRK was telling the US diplomatically, as it was saying publicly, that US haven to diplomatic defectors Chang Sung-kil and Chang Sung-ho was a hurdle to continuing the preliminary four-party Korean peace talks. Foley replied, “Without getting into specifics, what you’ve seen publicly has been reflected. But we’ve seen no indication, to this point, of a change of plans in regard to the four-party talks, which we still hope will take place the week of September 15.” Foley added that he had nothing new to say on the issue of granting asylum to the defectors.

2. DPRK Famine Effects on DPRK Military

The Associated Press (Susanne M. Schafer, “N. KOREAN SOLDIERS HARVEST CROPS,” Seoul, 9/4/97) reported that a senior US military officer, who is based in the ROK and focuses on the defense of US and allied forces there, told reporters on condition of anonymity that the DPRK military has cut training time in half so troops can help harvest the drought-stricken nation’s summer crops. The officer said that for their efforts soldiers receive more food than the civilian population but not “a varied diet as we know it.” However, the officer added that the work does not appear to have affected the DPRK military’s readiness, and there appeared to be no lessening of discipline among the troops, nor a fracturing of the DPRK’s political and military leadership. Meanwhile, Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-N.Y.), chairman of the US House Committee on International Relations, has requested a study of how US and other foreign food assistance to the DPRK is being used. Mark Kirk, chief counsel for the committee, said that the PRC, which provides the majority of the DPRK’s food aid, is “unconcerned” about monitoring it, and that expatriate North Koreans in Japan believe most of this aid goes to government and military officials.

3. US View of DPRK Tidal Wave, Food Aid

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 3, 1997,” USIA Transcript, 9/3/97), asked about reports that a tidal wave on August 21 destroyed a large portion of this year’s DPRK corn crop and displaced some 28,000 people, replied, “Well, clearly the people of North Korea have been much plagued by calamity over the years and certainly in recent years.” Foley stated that the US “would be willing to look at any additional requests that the World Food Program might bring our way,” adding, “We made, I think, an important policy decision not to link political considerations with the plight of the North Korean people and what we feel is a responsibility that is shared by the American people to help people in need. That hasn’t changed.”

4. Private US Aid to DPRK

The New York Times (“NORTH KOREA TO ACC

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In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Chang Defection

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 3, 1997,” USIA Transcript, 9/3/97), was asked if the DPRK was telling the US diplomatically, as it was saying publicly, that US haven to diplomatic defectors Chang Sung-kil and Chang Sung-ho was a hurdle to continuing the preliminary four-party Korean peace talks. Foley replied, “Without getting into specifics, what you’ve seen publicly has been reflected. But we’ve seen no indication, to this point, of a change of plans in regard to the four-party talks, which we still hope will take place the week of September 15.” Foley added that he had nothing new to say on the issue of granting asylum to the defectors.


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