NAPSNet Daily Report 05 October, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 05 October, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 05, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-05-october-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Inspections

The Associated Press (U.N. NUCLEAR AGENCY, NORTH KOREA RESUME INSPECTION TALKS,” Vienna, 10/05/98) reported that Hans-Friedrich Meyer, spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the agency resumed talks with the DPRK Monday on permission to verify the amount of plutonium in the DPRK’s possession. Meyer said that the DPRK had halted inspections of its nuclear facilities in 1994, expressing anger after IAEA officials told the UN Security Council that the DPRK had not given an accurate accounting of its nuclear facilities and fissionable material. Meyer pointed out that IAEA inspections that began in 1992, “detected that there must be more plutonium,” than the DPRK had declared. Meyer stated, “There is no indication of any surprise outcome. One can only hope.”

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2. Future of Agreed Framework

The Washington Post (Thomas W. Lippman, “PERRY MAY BE NAMED TO TRY TO SALVAGE PACT WITH N. KOREA,”10/04/98, A27) reported that administration sources said that US President Bill Clinton will likely appoint former defense secretary William J. Perry to negotiate with the DPRK to try to salvage the 1994 Agreed Framework. The article said that several key members of Congress have told the administration that the DPRK’s recent record of provocative behavior requires that the issue be taken away from career diplomats and placed in the hands of a credible emissary with a strong track record on security issues. One unnamed senior administration official said that the exact nature of Perry’s role and how long it will last are the only remaining questions. Another senior official said last week that an unpublished “confidential minute” attached to the Agreed Framework prohibits nuclear-related construction at sites other than Yongbyon. He added that unless the DPRK permits unfettered access to its underground construction site by international inspectors, the Agreed Framework could be scrapped. The official stated, “I don’t think there will be any U.S. relationship with North Korea, much less an Agreed Framework, unless we’re satisfied on this. There has to be some sort of assurance that what is not nuclear related on Monday doesn’t become nuclear related on Tuesday.” Also last week, ROK President Kim Dae-jung wrote to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston (R-La.) and other senior members urging them not to cut off funding. The ROK Embassy said in a statement, “It would be a mistake to abandon the agreement since its benefits outweigh its shortcomings.” However, Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on Asian affairs, said that the DPRK rocket launch was “what I consider to be a clearly belligerent act and should drive home the fact to this body that the Agreed Framework has been gutted by North Korea.”

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3. US-DPRK Missile Talks

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, “N. KOREA DEFIANT OVER U.S. DEMAND,” New York, 10/02/98) reported that DPRK officials said Friday that, after two days of talks, the US and the DPRK failed to reach agreement on the DPRK’s testing and exporting of long-range missiles. Chief DPRK negotiator Han Chang-on stated, “We disagreed in almost all matters.” Han said that a missile is a tool to defend a country “and is a natural independent right of a sovereign state. Nobody can negotiate on this. So there has been sincere exchange of opinions in the talks but there is no agreement.” Han added that the DPRK would continue to launch satellites “for peaceful use.” An anonymous senior US official said that the two sides did agree to meet again before the end of the year.

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4. DPRK Rocket Launches

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA TO CONTINUE ROCKET FIRING,” Seoul, 10/04/98) reported that the DPRK’s Minju Chosun newspaper said Monday that the DPRK will continue to test-fire multistage rockets. The paper stated, “We make it clear once more that we will launch another artificial satellite when we think it necessary, no matter what anyone may say. This is our inviolable sovereign right.” The article charged that the US and Japan are using the DPRK’s August 31 rocket-firing as an excuse to perfect their “theater missile-defense system.”

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5. Withdrawal of Aid Group from DPRK

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA DENIES EXPELLING CHARITY,” Seoul, 10/05/98) reported that the DPRK said Monday that it did not expel the European charity Doctors without Borders, insisting that the agency withdrew voluntarily at the end of a project. A spokesman for the DPRK’s Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee told the country’s official Korean Central News Agency that the charity voluntarily agreed to end its operations after three years. He also charged that Western media were spreading false rumors that relief medicines and food have been diverted to the DPRK military.

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6. ROK-Japan Summit Talks

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN TO HOLD SUMMIT,” Tokyo, 10/03/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will travel to Japan on Wednesday for a four-day visit that officials see as a step toward settling historical differences. Kim Suk-kyu, ROK ambassador to Japan, said recently, “To put it simply, the South Korean people were victims.” He added that President Kim “is hoping Japan will offer a heartfelt apology and reflect on its history.” Kiyokazu Koshida, secretary-general of the Asia-Pacific Research Center, an independent think-tank in Tokyo, stated, “A new type of cooperation between Japan and South Korea is needed.”

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article (Yong Mok Kim, “TOWARD CLOSING THE KOREA-JAPAN GAP,” 10/05/98) which said that the ROK’s need to negotiate the “best possible terms” with Japan for the sake of its economic crisis will overshadow all other issues during ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s upcoming visit to Japan. The author pointed to recent statements by Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Shoichi Nakagawa as evidence that “even if Kim wants to bypass the nasty issue of past Japanese-Korean relations, Japan seems to have less intention of accommodating Korea.” He also warned that removing the ban on imports of Japanese cultural products to the ROK could have negative consequences for bilateral relations. He stated, “the Japanese would demand enormous royalty payments from Korean impostors of Japanese culture, and this in turn might promote renewed Korean protests against Japan, including not only over the royalty payments but also rejecting on principle ‘things Japanese.'” He added, “Some people have suggested that Japan’s past indebtedness to Korean culture and the [Korean] cultural artifacts still held in Japan should be weighed in the negotiations over Japan’s current desire to export its popular culture to Korea.” He concluded, “Japanese reports also indicate [Emperor] Akihito’s personal wish to visit Korea, the only country formerly under Japanese control that he has not yet visited, in order to express his personal regrets over the unfortunate past. It would be timely for the Japanese people and their government to start this process by offering their apologies and amends for past deeds in Korea, and at the same time acknowledge their own indebtedness to Korean culture.”

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7. ROK Human Rights

The Los Angeles Times (K. Connie Kang, “SOUTH KOREA DEMOCRACY LACKS HONESTY, COURAGE, EDUCATOR SAYS,” 10/05/98) reported that Kim Donggil, a well-known ROK dissident intellectual, said that, despite the facade of democracy, the ROK continues to suffer from the legacy of decades of authoritarian rule. Kim said in Los Angeles last week, “Without a moral foundation–being honest in personal and public conduct–you cannot have a democracy.” Kim said that Koreans lack a tradition of civic culture that accompanies Western-style democracies. He argued, “For people who come from Confucian cultures, everything begins and ends with the family.” However, he argued, “you cannot have a democracy when you do not think of about other people’s welfare.” Regarding ROK President Kim Dae-jung, Kim Donggil stated, “I expected more from him because he was for so long associated with the opposition,” but instead President Kim has made “all manner of compromises.” He stated, “President Kim Dae-jung may talk about cleaning up the government, but as long as he remains unclean himself, it’s an impossible task.” He added, “The South Korean press is supposed to be free now under a democratically elected leader, but it does not exercise the freedom it supposedly has. The press is still crawling–keeping an eye on the powers that be. It’s the worst form of self-censorship: second-guessing the powerful.” Kim is currently on a US lecture tour as head of the Pacific-Era Committee.

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8. PRC-Taiwan Talks

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN DELEGATION MAY UPSET CHINA,” Taipei, 10/04/98) reported that Chiu Yi-jen, secretary general of Taiwan’s main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said Sunday that Koo Chen-fu, chairman of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation, has agreed to allow members of the DPP to accompany him on his visit to the PRC beginning October 14. Chiu said that the pro-independence DPP is concerned only that “the voice of all the Taiwanese people” is heard during the meetings, and would leave selection of individuals and designation of their official capacities to Koo.

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9. Taiwanese Military Exercises

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN SCRAPS MILITARY DISPLAY,” Taipei, 10/02/98) reported that Taiwan Armed Forces Commander in Chief Tang Fei said that Taiwan on Friday canceled a large live-fire display of jet fighters and missile cruisers designed to show off new weapons. Tang said that the staging of the event was “not appropriate at this time.” He added that by canceling the display, Taiwan hopes to set the stage for “pleasant relations” with the PRC and to avoid “unnecessary misunderstanding and difficulties.” Tang’s announcement came after a full-scale, televised rehearsal in which tanks, planes, and attack helicopters staged a mock assault, and navy frigates fired missiles off the Pingtung coast. Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the semiofficial Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, stated, “I think this is a goodwill gesture and Beijing can be expected to pick up on it.”

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10. PRC Human Rights

Reuters (“CHINA SIGNS HUMAN RIGHTS ACCORD AT UNITED NATIONS,” United Nations, 10/05/98) reported that PRC Ambassador to the UN Qin Huasun on Monday signed the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The treaty provides for freedom of movement, equality before the law, presumption of innocence, freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and participation in public affairs and elections. Once the treaty is ratified, the PRC would be required to submit periodic reports on how it abided by the convention. The New York-based Human Rights Watch group stated, “Since China is currently in violation of almost every article of the covenant, we hope its decision to sign indicates a change in human rights practices.”

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11. Russian Nuclear Power Development

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA MUST INCREASE USE OF NUCLEAR POWER – MINISTER,” Moscow, 10/05/98) reported that Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov said Monday that Russia needs to increase its reliance on nuclear power. Adamov said that nuclear power should provide 30 percent to 40 percent of Russia’s energy needs, up from its present 12 percent. He stated, “Nuclear power engineering has advantages over the traditional energy production methods and they should be used.” Adamov also suggested that the Russian nuclear industry export program be revived to increase its revenues. However, Yevgeny Ignatenko, president of the state-run Rosenergoatom company that runs Russia’s nuclear plants, said Monday that three of the nine plants have only enough fuel for a week.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Alleged DPRK Nuclear Weapons

Doctor Shin Seong-taek of the Korea Defense Institute (KDI), a think tank under the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MOND), claimed that the DPRK is already in possession of up to ten nuclear warheads. In his thesis entitled “The Threat Of the DPRK’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction,” Shin said that it is likely that the DPRK extracted 40kg of plutonium from the Yongbyon reactor, enough to build ten warheads, before the International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring began in 1992. He added that DPRK ballistic missiles are difficult to intercept as they travel very fast. For example, if a Taepodong-1 were fired from Anjou north of Pyongyang at Seoul, 251km away, it would arrive in five minutes at mach 12. Shin noted that 1kg of chemical weapons delivered onto a 1,000 square meter area could deliver a lethal dose to 50 percent of all living creatures and plants. He said that the DPRK has 1,000 tons of such agents. (Chosun Ilbo, “EXPERT CLAIMS NK HAS TEN NUCLEAR WEAPONS,” 10/04/98)

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2. Light-Water Reactor Project

Kang In-duk, the ROK Minister of Unification, said Friday that the government plans to move ahead with the construction of the light-water reactors in the DPRK before the end of the year whether or not Japan decides to continue suspending project funding. Speaking at a forum Friday, Kang stated, “Even in the event of a delay in the final signing of support for the DPRK’s light water reactor construction by the three countries of Korea, Japan, and the United States, we will support the construction anyway, borrowing money from other countries if necessary.” Kang said that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) is currently in talks with Korea Exchange Bank, Mitsubishi Tokyo Bank of Japan, and Citibank of the US. (Chosun Ilbo, “KEDO TURNS TO BANKS FOR FUNDS IN FACE OF JAPANESE DELAYS,” 10/03/98; Joongang Ilbo, “CONTINUOUS SUPPORT FOR DPRK REACTOR CONSTRUCTION, ” Seoul, 10/02/98)

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3. US-DPRK Missile Talks

The third session of missile talks between the US and the DPRK ended Friday in New York with delegates from both countries unable to reach common ground. During the meetings, the two parties made their positions known to one another, with the US warning that additional test firings or exports of missiles would have negative consequences on US-DPRK relations. DPRK representatives maintained the same position they have been holding all along, reiterating earlier claims that their only interest in missiles is for defense purposes and that the August 31 rocket launch was for the peaceful purpose of putting a satellite into orbit. They added that they intended to pursue developing technology for scientific purposes. The Americans pointed out, however, that use of a Taepodong 1 rocket to launch the satellite was, in effect, the same as test-firing a missile. Before adjourning this round of talks, however, the two countries agreed to meet again before the end of the year. A spokesperson from the US delegation told reporters that they saw no reason to discontinue dialogue with the DPRK, and confirmed that they will continue negotiating with the DPRK in the hopes of checking its missile development. (Chosun Ilbo, “LATEST US-NK TALKS END WITHOUT CONCRETE RESULTS,” 10/04/98)

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4. DPRK Rocket Launch

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced Saturday a resolution made earlier that day to officially condemn the DPRK for its August 31 launch of a missile over the Pacific Ocean. Proposed by eight countries–including the ROK, Japan, and the US–the resolution was passed by member countries at the 32nd ICAO Assembly held in Montreal. The ICAO pointed out that the DPRK had test-fired the missile into skies through which up to 180 flights between Asia and North America pass every day and violated ICAO standards and regulations. The resolution also included a call for all nations to solidify efforts to ensure the safety of international civil flights. (Chosun Ilbo, “ICAO CONDEMNS NK MISSILE LAUNCH,” 10/04/98)

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5. ROK Military Procurement Scandal

Chosun Ilbo (“SALE OF SECRETS TO US ARMS DEALERS INVESTIGATED,” Seoul, 10/02/98) reported that ROK military investigators have launched a probe into allegations that high-ranking military officers may have been involved in peddling top-secret information related to the purchase of reconnaissance aircraft from a US manufacturer. A US-based arms deal lobbying company, IMCL, is known to be involved in the scandal, and is currently being investigated, according to a military spokesperson. The purchase of the planes is part of a 200 billion Won (US$140 million) project to equip the ROK army with reconnaissance aircraft for communication interception. The authority said it has detained four Air Force officers, including Lee Hwa-soo, a lieutenant colonel, on suspicion of divulging military secrets. Several other former high-ranking air force officers have also been detained on suspicion of handing over military secrets to the lobbying company.

III. Russian Federation

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1. DPRK Military

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (“IN BRIEF …. KOREAN KAMIKAZE,” Moscow, 2, 10/02-08/98, #37(111)) quoted an ROK TV company as saying, citing anonymous ROK officials, that the DPRK this year created an air force unit consisting of about 200 kamikaze pilots selected out of thousands of candidates and subordinated directly to DPRK Supreme Commander-in-Chief and national leader Kim Jong-il. In case of war, those pilots allegedly are to fly about 140 obsolete MiG-17s capable of carrying chemical weapons at low attitudes in order to avoid radar detection and to zero their planes at the ROK Presidential Residence, the Defense Ministry, and other vital targets. [Ed. note: See DPRK Military in the US Section of the September 21 Daily Report.]

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2. RF-Japanese Fisheries Agreement

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Chudodeyev (“OCTOPUS HUNT WITHOUT RISKING ONE’S LIFE,” Moscow, 3, 10/02/98) reported that for the first time since World War II, Japanese vessels on Thursday went fishing in the South Kurils area still disputed over by the Russian Federation and Japan. In the past there were incidents in the area, but from now on Japanese fishermen will fish there safely under the Japanese flag, yet supervised by RF Border Guard boats, as there are fears that the fishermen might be tempted to exceed the established fishing quotas. Japan will pay the RF over US$74,000 by this November’s end. Local RF authorities are reportedly unhappy that the money is to go RF Finance Ministry, instead of being spent on local needs.

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3. RF-Japan Relations

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Dmitriy Gornostayev (“IGOR IVANOV: ‘WE WILL STRIVE NOT TO LET THE COUNTRY DOWN’,” Moscow, 1, 6, 09/30/98) published an interview with Igor Ivanov, new Foreign Minister of the RF. Ivanov dwelled on the ideas about the organization of further work of the Ministry and a possibility of personnel changes there, at the same time pointing out that he is “very cautious about all changes.” He concentrated chiefly on the CIS and European affairs, UN and NATO. As for the Asian Pacific region, he mentioned only Japan: “As concerns the negotiations with Japanese – by the way, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan will come to Moscow very soon – everything that has been worked out during all this time will become the ground for continuation of the negotiations. And of course agreements between Russia’s President and Japan’s Prime Minister will be the basis for that. We will continue the work on the peace treaty. Here it should be clear that the essence, the deliberate movement forward is important, not a unilateral adjustment of those most complicated, delicate issues to some calendar. Here all factors should be taken into account: historical and the present-day human ones. Thorough and quiet work is needed; there should be no leaps and unexpected events. It is important for our Japanese partners to accept such a form of interaction.” He added, “Proceeding, of course, from the idea of Russia’s territorial integrity.”

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4. PRC Ethnic Minorities

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye’s Yevgeniy Dezhin (“BEIJING DOES NOT ACCEPT SEPARATISM,” Moscow, 2, 10/02-08/98, #37(111)) considered the problem of ethnic minorities in the PRC, namely Tibetans, Uighurs, and Mongols. The author described the recent history of unrest in the areas inhabited by those groups and speculated on exactly what foreign countries could be tempted to render various types of assistance to separatist movements in the PRC. As for the RF, the PRC gains much benefit from cooperation with it in this specific context as well. In particular, implementation of joint RF-PRC economic projects in the North and Northwest of the PRC can provide employment and better living standards for those ethnic minorities, which so far have gained little from special economic zones and other free-market developments in the East and Southeast.

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5. PRC Financial Crisis

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Chudodeyev (“BEIJING TRIES TO RETURN HARD CURRENCY BACK,” Moscow, 3, 10/01/09) reported that practically every day, high-ranking PRC officials keep saying that “there will be no devaluation of the yuan.” Measures are being undertaken to strengthen the national currency. For instance, the People’s Bank of the PRC ordered all state enterprises to return all their hard currency from abroad back to the PRC by October 1, threatening wrongdoers with harsh penalties. Presently, national hard currency reserves are about US$120 billion. Yet, according to Hong Kong experts, some state trade and industrial enterprises accumulated over US$20 billion at accounts abroad. That is considered inadmissible, as it undermines trust in the yuan and provokes black market growth. While the official exchange rate is US$1 per 8.28 yuan, black marketeers sell at the rate of US$1 per 9-10 yuan.

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6. Planned 1960s US Strike against the PRC

Izvestia’s Mariya Kalughina (“UNITED STATES PLANNED A NUCLEAR STRIKE AGAINST CHINA,” Moscow, 1, 09/29/98) quoted Hong Kong TV as saying, with reference to declassified US documents, that in the summer of 1963, the US State Department asked the US Defense Department to prepare a plan for a US strike against the PRC’s nuclear center in Lop Nor in order to prevent the PRC from turning into a nuclear power. The plan was ready by December and provided for an air strike with conventional means, but it did not rule out the use of nuclear weapons as well. [Ed. note: See Declassified US Documents in the US Section of the September 29 Daily Report.]

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7. Theft of RF Pacific Fleet Ordnance

Kommersant-daily (“AMMO STOLEN FROM A PACIFIC FLEET WAREHOUSE,” Moscow, 5, 09/30/98) reported that an ammo depot belonging to a unit of the RF Pacific Fleet was plundered between September 22-29. The RF Main Military Procurator Office undertook a criminal investigation. The unknown thieves stole 10 grenades, 7 pistols, 6 grenade-launchers, several thousand explosive and explosive-imitation packages, and over 15 thousand cartridges.

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Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

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

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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