NAPSNet Daily Report 04 September, 2001

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-PRC Talks
2. French-DPRK Talks
3. New Sino-US Missile Defense Policy
4. Reactions to New Sino-US Missile Defense Policy
5. Sino-US Military Relations
6. PRC Arms Transfer to Pakistan
7. PRC Focus on National Security
II. Republic of Korea 1. KEDO Director to Visit Koreas
2. ROK to Propose Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks
3. PRC-DPRK Summit
4. DPRK Proposes Inter-Korean Talks

I. United States

1. DPRK-PRC Talks

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA CLOSES RANKS WITH NORTH KOREA, PROMISES NEW AID,” Seoul, 9/4/01) and The Associated Press (“CHINESE PRESIDENT URGES NORTH KOREA TO RESUME TALKS WITH SOUTH KOREA, OPEN TIES WITH US, JAPAN,” Beijing, 9/4/01) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin said close ties with the DPRK were crucial for regional stability and offered aid to DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il during talks. DPRK media reported that Jiang met titular head of state Kim Yong-Nam on Tuesday and laid a wreath at the Friendship Tower in Pyongyang. Jiang and Kim were expected to hold another summit later on the second day of Jiang’s three-day visit to Pyongyang. In a banquet speech late September 3, Jiang said the PRC would seek closer relations with its neighbor. Jiang was quoted as saying by the PRC’s official Xinhua news agency, “This will be done for prosperity and development both in China and the DPRK (North Korea), and for peace and stability in the region and the world at large.” Jiang promised the PRC’s support “for efforts by the two sides on the peninsula to promote North-South dialogue to improve bilateral ties, ease tensions and achieve peaceful reunification.” He also “expressed China’s support for North Korea’s efforts to improve relations with the United States, Japan, the European Union and to eventually normalize relations with all these countries or group of countries.” In his speech, Kim said “further friendship” between the two countries would be “a contribution to safeguarding peace and security in Asia and the world at large.” PRC and DPRK media reports said the two leaders “reached a wide-reaching consensus on furthering bilateral ties and on major international and regional issues of common concern.”

2. French-DPRK Talks

Agence France-Presse (“FRENCH POLITICIANS IN GROUND-BREAKING TRIP TO NORTH KOREA,” Beijing, 9/4/01) reported that a team of French politicians from the parliamentary France-North Korea Group, left Beijing Tuesday for a week-long trip to the DPRK, a country France does not recognize diplomatically. Christian Martin, National Assembly member for Maine and Loir, who heads the three-strong team, said, “We have asked to meet as many people as possible and especially non-governmental organizations.” France and Ireland are the only European Union countries that do not recognize the DPRK government. France, which has voiced concerns over human rights, missile proliferation and access for humanitarian groups, said recognition was “not opportune” during a visit of the DPRK vice- minister of foreign affairs to Paris in April.

3. New Sino-US Missile Defense Policy

New York Times (David E. Sanger, “US TO TELL CHINA IT WILL NOT OBJECT TO MISSILE BUILDUP,” Washington, 9/2/01) and the Washington Post (Mike Allen, “US TO GIVE DETAILS OF SHIELD TESTS TO CHINA,” 9/2/01) reported that according to senior US administration officials, the US Bush administration is seeking to overcome PRC opposition to its missile defense program by telling PRC leaders that it has no objections to the country’s plans to build up its small fleet of nuclear missiles. One senior official said that in the future, the US and the PRC might also discuss resuming underground nuclear tests if they are needed to assure the safety and reliability of their arsenals. Some administration officials say the purpose of the new approach is to convince the PRC that the administration’s plans for a missile shield are not aimed at undercutting the PRC’s arsenal, but rather at countering threats from so-called rogue states. US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice offering a more nuanced explanation of the administration’s strategy on September 2, emphasizing that the US was not seeking a deal with the PRC. Rice said, “The United States is not about to propose to the Chinese that in exchange for Chinese acceptance of missile defense, we will accept a nuclear buildup. We have told the Chinese that the missile defense system is not aimed at them, and we intend to make that point more forcefully. We do not believe that there is any reason for the Chinese to build up their nuclear forces, but their modernization has been under way for some time.” Other US officials say that while there may not be an explicit agreement, both US and PRC strategists know that the PRC needs more weapons to ensure that it could overwhelm a missile defense system. The new approach drew criticism from Joseph R. Biden, Junior, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden said, “This is absolutely absurd. It shows that these guys will go to any length to build a national missile defense, even one they can’t define. Their headlong, headstrong, irrational and theological desire to build a missile defense sends the wrong message to the Chinese and to the whole world. This is taking 50 years of trying to control nuclear weapons and standing it on its head.” The US administration decided on the strategy during a review by officials preparing for US President George W. Bush’s trip to the PRC next month. The president’s top advisers concluded that the PRC nuclear modernization is inevitable and that they might as well gain advantage by acquiescing in it. A senior administration involved in formulating the strategy said in an interview, “We know the Chinese will enhance their nuclear capability anyway, and we are going to say to them, ‘We’re not going to tell you not to do it.’ Why panic? They are modernizing anyway.” Bates Gill, an expert in PRC nuclear strategy at the Brookings Institution, said, “The question is, can you accept another 50 or 60 nuclear-tipped missiles aimed at the United States at a time that Americans believe that they are no longer being targeted?” Gill, who says he believes that the administration is “right to acknowledge the practical inevitability” of the modernization of PRC nuclear forces, also warns of a possible side effect should the PRC incorporate new technologies to defeat the missile shield. He said, “We shouldn’t be sanguine about the possibility of China proliferating antimissile defense technology in the future, if the US-China relationship goes badly. That could include basic decoy and shrouding technology for Pakistan, and potentially Iran and North Korea.” [Ed. note: Both articles appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 4, 2001.]

4. Reactions to New Sino-US Missile Defense Policy

The Washington Post (Mike Allen, “BUSH TEAM MITIGATES OVERTURES TO CHINA,” 9/3/01) reported that the US Bush administration added a note of restraint to its overtures to the PRC on September 2 after critics from across the spectrum said the White House appeared to be going too far in trying to build support for a missile defense shield. Robert Kagan, an authority on the PRC who is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the news accounts about the new plan “make even strong missile defense advocates like myself wonder if the price is getting to be too high.” Kagan said, “I don’t think there’s any question that where there’s smoke, there’s some fire. There’s a game being played here, where we’re trying to calm Chinese sensitivities by indicating a certain acquiescence in their modernization program. We’re sending little subtle signals that the reason they don’t have to fear a missile defense is our acceptance of their effort to overwhelm it, which strikes me as a form of strategic insanity on our part.” When asked on US television station CBS’s “Face the Nation” about the idea of the US withdrawing opposition to a PRC build-up, US Senator Arlen Specter said, “I am very skeptical. . . . I would not like to see them become any more powerful in the nuclear line. I think we ought to formulate our policy in many different ways to try to avoid just that.” On the Cable News Network’s (CNN) “Late Edition,” US Senator Byron L. Dorgan said he considers the possibility of resumed nuclear testing to be “absurd” and “a huge step back.” US Representative Peter T. King, who had just returned from Taiwan, said that the overtures to the PRC were unexpected but that he has faith in Rice. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 4, 2001.]

The Associated Press (Anjetta McQueen, “WHITE HOUSE DENIES IT’S SIGNALING CHINA THAT NUCLEAR BUILDUP IS OK,” Washington, 9/4/01) reported that the US Bush administration denied that its plan to update the PRC on US missile defense plans is a signal that it condones a nuclear weapons buildup by the PRC. US White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said on September 2 that the PRC will get an update on the US plans before US President George W. Bush visits Beijing. Fleischer said, “This is part of the administration’s outreach to China and other nations such as Russia to discuss with them the reason why we are developing a missile defense system and how it is designed to protect us from rogue nations or accidental launches.” However, he denied the administration was courting the PRC’s support of the missile defense system in exchange for US acceptance of a nuclear or military buildup by the PRC, as reported by The New York Times on September 2. Fleischer said the US policy remains unchanged in discouraging the PRC and other nations from testing and building nuclear arsenals. He said US officials just want to convince the PRC and others that US plans for a missile shield would counter threats from rogue nations rather than compromise their defense systems.

5. Sino-US Military Relations

The Associated Press (“CHINA, U.S. TO HOLD TALKS ON AVOIDING MILITARY ACCIDENTS,” Beijing, 9/4/01) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that PRC and US officials will meet on the island of Guam on September 13-14 to discuss how to avoid military accidents at sea. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao did not say whether US reconnaissance flights near the PRC coast, which have since resumed, would be discussed at the Guam meeting. Zhu said a military officer will lead the PRC delegation to the talks.

6. PRC Arms Transfer to Pakistan

The Washington Post (Alan Sipress, “CHINESE ARMS FIRM FACES U.S. SANCTIONS,” 9/1/01) reported that according to the US State Department on September 1, the US Bush administration will impose sanctions on the China Metallurgical Equipment Corporation, a private company that US administration officials say works closely with the PRC government, and at the same time on the National Development Complex of Pakistan, which received the missile technology. The decision to take these punitive measures comes a week after a US delegation to the PRC headed by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Vann Van Diepen failed to break a deadlock over US demands that the PRC halt the transfer of technology for missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Both PRC and Pakistani officials have denied allegations of missile technology sales. However, a US State Department official said on August 31 that the PRC transfer of Category 2 technology had contributed to Pakistan’s missile program, violating the Missile Technology Control Regime. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 4, 2001.]

The Associated Press (“CHINA, PAKISTAN DENY MISSILE TRADING,” Beijing, 9/4/01) reported that an executive of the state owned China Metallurgical Equipment Corporation and the Pakistani government on September 3 denied US accusations that they have been trading in missile technology. The executive said it had made sales to Pakistan, but only of civilian equipment, while Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry called the sanctions “regrettable and without any justification.” It accused the US of being more critical of Pakistan’s military industries than those of India.

7. PRC Focus on National Security

The Associated Press (“GOVERNMENT ORDERS NATION TO STUDY DEFENSE,” 9/1/01) reported that the PRC state run China Daily reported that the PRC legislature has decreed that the third Saturday of September each year will be National Defense Day in order to boost public awareness of national security. Li Peng, the legislative chairman, said defense education was necessary, especially for young Chinese, because the world is “plagued with constant regional conflicts and the threat of hegemony.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. KEDO Director to Visit Koreas

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “KEDO CHIEF TO VISIT BOTH KOREAS,” Seoul, 09/04/01) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said on September 3 that the head of an international consortium on building nuclear reactors in the DPRK will visit the ROK and the DPRK from September 7-15. Charles Kartman, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), will arrive in Seoul on September 7 to discuss the project to construct light-water reactors in the DPRK. During his four-day stay in Seoul, Kartman will meet with ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Yim Sung-joon and KEDO executive board chairman, Chang Sun-sup. Kartman will visit the DPRK from September 10-13 to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for excavation work in Shinpo, South Hamgyeong Province. The ceremony will be held September 12, after which he will return to the ROK. Charles L. Pritchard, US special envoy for Korean peace talks, is also scheduled to visit Seoul from September 8-11 to discuss DPRK policy with Seoul officials, including ROK Vice Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong.

2. ROK to Propose Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SEOUL GOV’T TO PROPOSE RESUMPTION OF SOUTH-NORTH MINISTERIAL TALKS THIS WEEK,” Seoul, 09/04/01) reported that ROK officials said on September 3 that in response to the DPRK offer to resume dialogue, the ROK will propose as early as this week that the two sides reopen their cabinet-level talks. ROK assistant unification minister Rhee Bong-jo said, “We will respond to the North’s offer this week after consulting the relevant authorities. The ministerial talks still forms the key framework of inter-Korean dialogue.” The ministerial meeting has served as a major dialogue channel between the two Koreas since the historic summit by their leaders in June last year.

3. PRC-DPRK Summit

Joongang Ilbo (“CHINA’S JIANG ARRIVES IN N. KOREA FOR OFFICIAL VISIT,” Seoul, 08/27/01) reported that according to PRC’s official Xinhua News Agency, PRC President Jiang Zemin arrived in the DPRK on September 3 for a three-day official visit during which he is expected to urge DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to hold talks soon with ROK President Kim Dae Jung. Jiang is scheduled to meet the DPRK leader for summit talks twice during his visit, with the first session to be held later Monday and the second on Tuesday. The talks are also set to focus on economic aid to the DPRK for rebuilding its shattered economy and improving DPRK ties with the US. A joint communiqué is also expected to be signed.

4. DPRK Proposes Inter-Korean Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “NORTH PROPOSES TO RESUME INTER- KOREAN DIALOGUE,” Seoul, 08/27/01) reported that in the broadcast message to Unification Minster Lim Dong-won on Sunday, the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland proposed a quick resumption of government-level inter-Korean talks. Radio Pyongyang said, “We [North Korea] wish the South to respond to our calls for fast resumption of inter-Korean talks in line with the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Declaration which has fully reflected the intention of all Koreans.” Brent Choi of the Unification Research Institute (URI) said, “They may be up to save Minister Lim’s neck. However considering the entangled situation in the South’s political circle this effort may only backfire, strangling Lim even more.” “Furthermore the fact that the North sent it through TV message explicitly shows the urgent nature of this call. In normal circumstances they would use telephone message which would be delivered to the South by next morning. Obviously the decision was made at the last minute.” The ROK Unification Ministry meanwhile showed a cautious stance revealing that it would wait until the DPRK specify on the terms for resumed talks via inter-Korean liaison office at Panmunjom. An ROK official said, “It is true that the North’s Committee took a role to reveal its authority’s intention but they have yet to elaborate on exact level of talks and its contents. We better watch carefully on their next step.”

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