NAPSNet Daily Report 05 October, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 05 October, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 05, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-05-october-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK-Philippines Relations

The Associated Press (“PHILIPPINES LEANING TOWARD FORGING TIES WITH N KOREA,” Manila, 10/05/99) reported that Philippines Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon said Tuesday that the Philippines is inclined to favor establishment of formal ties with the DPRK. Siazon warned that if left alone, the DPRK “could become a problem.” He said that the Philippines is reviewing a proposal by DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun for the two countries to resume talks on establishing diplomatic relations, which Paek made in a meeting with Siazon on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week. Siazon noted that previous talks stalled on the DPRK’s refusal to open its nuclear facilities to foreign inspection. He said that his department will consult with Philippine leaders, including those in Congress, to find out whether they support the establishment of relations with the DPRK. He added that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) invited the DPRK to join the ASEAN Regional Forum a few years ago, but the DPRK declined because it wanted to have diplomatic relations with all ASEAN members first. The DPRK has diplomatic ties with all the members of except the Philippines.

2. DPRK Reaction to Korean War Massacre

Reuters (“N.KOREA DEMANDS U.S. APOLOGY FOR REPORTED MASSACRE,” Tokyo, 10/05/99) reported that the DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Tuesday demanded that the US apologize for a massacre of unarmed civilians during the Korean War. The article stated, “The U.S. must make a public apology for the crime that it carried out. It must remove its invading army and nuclear weapons from South Korea immediately.” It added that the ROK was working to “suppress an anti-American tendency and aiding its American master in concealing the massacre.”

3. ROK Investigation of Korean War Massacre

Pacific Stars and Stripes (Jim Lea, “ROK BEGINS INVESTIGATION OF REPORTED MASSACRE,” Osan, 10/06/99, 3) reported that an ROK task force formed to investigate the reported Korean War massacre includes officials from the Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defense, Justice and Government Administration-Home Affairs ministries. The team is headed by Park Cheol-gon, Ministry for Government Policy Coordination director general for national security, foreign affairs and state council. An official in Park’s office said that the Defense Ministry is researching its military archives for documents related to the incident, and the National Intelligence Service has begun interviewing survivors. The official said that the ROK government decided to consult with US officials to determine how a joint probe of the incident should be conducted. A spokesman for the ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said that the ROK Embassy told US officials that bilateral cooperation in the investigation is needed. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 5.]

4. ROK Nuclear Accident

Reuters (Jean Yoon, “S.KOREA NUCLEAR WORKERS EXPOSED TO RADIATION,” Seoul, 10/05/99) and the Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “S. KOREA NUCLEAR PLANT REPORTS LEAK,” Seoul, 10/05/99) reported that a spokesman for the ROK’s Wolsung nuclear power plant said Tuesday that 22 workers were exposed to radiation Monday from a leak of heavy water during maintenance of the plant’s water cooling pump. The spokesman said that the leak was stopped immediately. He stated, “The amount leaked was small and not harmful.” He said that the leaked heavy water was about 45 liters and the leak was contained within the plant. The level of radiation was 440 millirem, nine percent of legally allowed radiation exposure. He added, “The 22 workers were sent home after the accident yesterday but they returned for work today.” He said that the plant was conducting its own investigation into the cause of the accident. A. David Rossin, former US assistant secretary of energy for nuclear energy, said that based on early reports of the incident, “chances are the exposures were low and the radioactivity is low.”

5. Japanese Nuclear Accident

The New York Times (Howard W. French, “URGENT INSPECTIONS ORDERED FOR JAPAN’S NUCLEAR PLANTS,” Tokyo, 10/05/99) reported that Chihiro Kamisawa, a researcher at the Citizen Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo, criticized the Japanese government for trying to focus the blame for last week’s nuclear accident on low-level workers. Kamisawa stated, “The government is still making statements to blame the accident on the individuals or people around them, and that is wrong. This incident happened under a system which had been checked and approved by the national government. So I don’t think that the national government can avoid its own responsibility.” Shaun Burnie, research director at Greenpeace International, argued, “The level of complacency throughout the bureaucratic safety apparatus is stunning, and it is difficult to understand why, except that their nuclear-fuel prices are up and they have decided that with a need to reduce their costs, safety just gets in the way. On top of that, you have an arrogance that says that their nuclear technology is Japanese, and therefore unique. They actually believed that they cannot have accidents here.” Japanese reactor designer Dr. Keiji Miyazaki of Osaka University stated, “In Japan, as you know, we have no energy resources. So for the future, we must develop the fast-breeder reactor. Currently it is not necessary for us to make haste in its development. But for energy security in the future, say the latter half of the next century, we will need plutonium use.”

6. PRC-India-Russia Relations

The Los Angeles Times carried an editorial (“ANTI-U.S. AXIS? NOT TOO LIKELY,” 10/04/99) which said that although the PRC, Russia, and India share concerns about unchecked US power, it is far too early to say whether such concerns could push them towards a trilateral alliance. The article argued, “it seems a good guess that the three countries are not so motivated by envy or fear of the United States that they are ready to forget about their own sometimes competing national interests. It’s one thing to strike short-term deals for, say, weapons transfers. It’s another to cast aside decades or even centuries of suspicions, rivalries and occasional open hostility. No less important, all three have compelling interests in maintaining productive working relations with the United States, the world’s biggest market and greatest source of advanced technology.” It concluded, “A pan-Eurasian, anti-American coalition may lurk somewhere over the horizon. Wise U.S. policies can help keep it from appearing.”

The Boston Globe carried an editorial (“THE RUSSIA-INDIA-CHINA AXIS,” 10/03/99, E6) which said that the reason that US foreign policy experts are concerned about strategic partnerships among Russia, the PRC, and India is that those governments fear unchallenged US power. The article argued, “Russia, China, and India all have grounds for feeling threatened by NATO’s American-dominated bombing of Serbia. Each of the three countries has had, or can anticipate having, an armed conflict over a secessionist province.” It added, “The Clinton administration and its successor would be wise to take seriously these worries. One of the first requirements of statecraft is to be capable of seeing the world as other states see it.” It warned, “Those three populous nuclear powers must be persuaded by deeds that Washington is not bent on exercising global hegemony. The path to such persuasion passes through multilateral cooperation on international problems such as drug trafficking, terrorism, climate change, and border-disdaining diseases. Similarly, Washington will have to demonstrate a will to engage in genuine consultation wherever it wishes to resolve regional or humanitarian crises.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 4.]

7. Indian-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

The Associated Press (Kathy Gannon, “PAKISTAN FEARS UNCHECKED INDIA,” Islamabad, 10/03/99) reported that Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz warned Sunday that an unchecked India is certain to push the South Asian subcontinent into a nuclear arms race. Aziz stated, “At all cost a nuclear arms race in South Asia must be avoided … this is the most important global security issue in the world today … and this is potentially the most dangerous region.” He added that the price of an unrestrained nuclear arms race could be catastrophic, not just for the Asian subcontinent but the world. He argued, “The time is now to apply pressure for restraint, before India moves away from minimum deterrence to full scale nuclear posture.”

The Associated Press (Susanna Loof, “EXPERTS WARN OF NEW NUCLEAR THREATS,” Stockholm, 10/02/99) reported that former US defense secretary William Perry, speaking Saturday at a two-day Nobel Symposium called “A future arms control agenda,” warned that another war between India and Pakistan could include a nuclear exchange. Perry stated, “The losing side might be tempted to use nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to save the day.” He argued, “Last year’s India test ruptured the fragile barrier of the (Non Proliferation Treaty). Not surprisingly, Pakistan quickly followed suit, and my expectation is that we will see Iran, Iraq and possibly Syria go nuclear as well.” Francesco Calogero, a former executive of the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, warned, “I think that there is an even chance that a nuclear explosion in a city will occur in the next decade. This nuclear explosion will be due to a terrorist act, or perhaps be made by … some crazy people.”

8. Indian Elections

The Associated Press (Laurinda Keys, “VOTE COUNTING BEGINS IN INDIA,” New Delhi, 10/05/99) reported that vote counting was to begin Wednesday in India’s parliamentary elections. A new lower house of parliament is expected to be formally constituted by Sunday. A new government should be named by the middle of the month. The main exit polls broadcast Sunday after most voting ended showed Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s National Democratic Alliance of 22 parties winning a clear majority of the seats. The opposition Congress party, however, still hopes to win the most seats of any single party and claim the first chance to form a government.

9. Indian Adherence to CTBT

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “INDIA EXPECTED TO SIGN NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY,” New Delhi, 10/03/99) reported that Indian National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra said Sunday that India will sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) after the seating of a new parliament this month. Mishra stated, “Consensus is building in the country about our stand on the CTBT and after the parliament meets, we will be in a position to take concrete steps.”

10. US Ratification of CTBT

Reuters (Randall Mikkelsen, “SENATE HEARINGS START ON NUCLEAR TREATY,” Washington, 10/05/99) reported that US Senate hearings began Tuesday on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Central Intelligence Agency and US Energy Department experts on Tuesday testified on the military implications of the treaty in a closed- door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The armed services panel and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday reversed earlier plans not to hold hearings and said they would take testimony this week. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart stated, “Even at the 11th hour it’s important that the Senate deal with this in a responsible way and deal with the important issues that face us. They will deal with no more serious issue about our security and safety for Americans into the next century.” He added, “Whatever the reasons for scheduling the hearing, it’s important that the Senate hear the arguments from our scientific community, from our national security community and from a bipartisan group of former national security officials that it is in our interest.” White House officials said that only two Senate Republicans were on record as favoring the treaty, but they were hoping others could be won over.

Reuters (Arshad Mohammed, “CLINTON IN BLITZ TO RATIFY NUCLEAR TEST BAN,” Washington, 10/05/99) and the New York Times (Marc Lacey, “CLINTON KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN TO PASS NUCLEAR TEST BAN,” Washington, 10/05/99) reported that US President Bill Clinton on Monday admitted that he did not now have the 67 votes needed to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treat (CTBT). He stated, “We don’t have enough now. I hope we can get them.” He argued, “Since we don’t need nuclear tests, it is strongly in our interests to achieve agreements that can help prevent other countries like India, Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran and others from testing and deploying nuclear weapons. If the United States Senate votes this treaty down, it would be a signal that the United States now wants to lead the world away from the cause of nonproliferation. We would be giving the green light to all these other people.” He added, “We’ll have monitoring stations, we can do on-site visits, there is the deterrent impact of a country signing and then getting caught violating it. So we’ll have a lot more ability to pick up all kinds of testing at all levels.” [Ed. note: This article was the top story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 5.]

11. Russian Reaction to US Anti-Missile Test

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA CRITICAL OF MISSILE TEST,” Moscow, 10/04/99) and Reuters (Gareth Jones, “RUSSIA SAYS U.S. ANTI-MISSILE TEST VIOLATES ABM DEAL,” Moscow, 10/05/99) reported that Vladimir Petrovsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, was quoted by the ITAR-Tass news agency as saying on Monday that the test of a proposed US missile defense system would increase tension in the Asian Pacific region. Petrovsky stated, “Testing may aggravate relations not only between the United States and the Asian Pacific region, but also between Japan – a U.S. ally in the development of the system – and other countries.” On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said that the test went against the spirit of the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. Rakhmanin stated, “Such actions by the U.S. side effectively lead to the undermining of key provisions in the treaty with all the negative consequences which that entails. Responsibility for this lies with the United States.” He added, “Russia doggedly insists on the preservation and increased effectiveness of the ABM treaty as the most important element for securing strategic stability in the world and for continuing the process of nuclear disarmament.”

US State Department Spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, OCTOBER 4, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 10/04/99) said that US discussions with Russia on modifications of the ABM Treaty include cooperation in the area of early warning and other technologies and expertise. Rubin stated, “we are intending to work very closely with Russia, including technical, scientific and other cooperation to improve their capability to detect incoming ballistic missiles because we believe that some of the very countries that we’re concerned about, Russia should be concerned about as well. That’s part of the argument that we’re making to them.” He added, however, “sharing the actual operation of a global defense shield which was something that I think most people thought was not on and I don’t believe it’s on now.”

12. US Missile Defense

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “COHEN SEES RUSSIA, U.S. ALLIES AS HURDLES TO A MISSILE DEFENSE,” 10/05/99, 1) reported that US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said that Russia and US allies are the remaining hurdles to deploying a limited national missile defense system. Cohen stated, “I think with the spread of technology, with the transfer of this technology between rogue states, it poses an increasing threat. I don’t think there is any question about that.” He added, “I believe that we can persuade [Russia] that we are serious about holding on to the structure of the ABM treaty, but it needs to be modified to give us this protection for our own country.” Cohen noted, “The fact is our European allies see this as one of the few remaining strategic stabilizing factors that we have … and it’s important to them. So, we have to also indicate to our allies that we are trying to be reasonable and responsible here.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 5.]

The Washington Post (Bradley Graham, “U.S. ANTI-MISSILE TEST IS LATEST IN STRING OF SUCCESSES,” 10/04/99, 1) reported that some critics remained skeptical of the feasibility of building a national missile defense system despite the success of last week’s test. John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists stated, “What they’ve done is the equivalent of shooting a hole-in-one. What they have to be able to do is shoot a hole-in-one every time. Missile defense must work perfectly if it’s going to work at all. They can’t afford to miss.” John Steinbruner, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, worried that the US effort would antagonize Russia and the PRC and thus destroy efforts at nuclear arms reductions. He predicted, “Everyone says we’ll fix it with them, but we won’t.” [Ed. note: This article was the top story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 4.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-soo, “SOUTH GAVE 95 BILLION WON IN AID TO NORTH LAST 5 YEARS,” Seoul, 10/05/99) reported that the ROK’s Korean National Red Cross (KNRC) disclosed on Monday that the ROK government and the KNRC gave more than 95 billion won in relief supplies to the DPRK over the past five years. The KNRC, in a report to the ROK National Assembly, said that it has donated 95.2 billion won in relief supplies, food and fertilizer to the DPRK between 1995 and June this year. Relief supplies, including food, accounted for 49 billion won. Fertilizer donations made up 46.2 billion won, of which 33.9 billion won was provided by the ROK government. The KNRC said that 155,000 tons of fertilizer have been shipped to the DPRK since 1995. The KNRC’s figures showed that relief to the DPRK increased most dramatically after 1997. In 1995, 8,000 blankets costing 200 million won were delivered to the DPRK. The next year, the DPRK received 1.3 billion won in instant noodles and other relief items. In 1997, 18.2 billion won worth of flour, or 7,600 tons, were transported to the DPRK. In 1998, 27.5 billion won worth of corn and other food items, or 60,000 tons, were donated. The reported amounts did not include relief items sent by private organizations or individuals.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “HYUNDAI MAY BUILD ANOTHER COMPLEX IN N.K.,” Seoul, 10/05/99) reported that a top Hyundai Group official said on Monday that in addition to a massive industrial park along DPRK’s southwestern coast, the Hyundai Group may build a corresponding complex on the DPRK’s east coast area, too. “At a meeting with visiting Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-yung Friday, North Korean top leader Kim Jong-il was known to ask Chung whether the South Korean conglomerate intends to construct a matching industrial complex in Tongchon nearby the Mt. Kumgang area,” ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won told reporters. In response to Kim’s request, Hyundai Group Chairman Chung Mong-hun replied that the group plans to build light industrial plants in the east coast region, too, Lim added. Tongchon, about 50km north of Mt. Kumgang along the DPRK’s eastern coast, is the hometown of the senior Chung. Lim’s remarks came in the wake of reports that Hyundai unveiled plans to build an international airport at Tongchon for foreign tourists coming to see the scenic DPRK mountain, beginning as early as this month, under an agreement at the Kim-Chung meeting. As for foreign participation in the cruise tour, a Hyundai official said, “We will start with foreign residents in South Korea and expand the scope to Korean residents abroad and to complete foreigners.” Among the first group of would-be foreign tourists will likely be US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth and Jeff Jones, president of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Korea. On the possible improvement in governmental ties spurred by Hyundai’s brisk inter-Korean business, “That Kim supported most of Hyundai’s plans means he desperately wants economic cooperation with the South,” Lim said, stressing that joint businesses by private companies would inevitably involve both governments at certain stages.

3. DPRK-PRC Relations

The Korea Herald (“CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER TO ARRIVE IN N. KOREA TODAY,” Seoul, 10/05/99) reported that an ROK government official said that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan would arrive in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a five-day visit at the invitation of his DPRK counterpart Paek Nam-sun. He will lead an eight-member mission visiting the DPRK on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. In the DPRK, Tang will meet Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun, and other high-level officials, the official said. Whether he will meet DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong-il is not yet known but he will attend three to four events marking the 50th anniversary of DPRK-PRC rapprochement to be held in the capital.

4. ROK Military Buildup

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Young-won, “ATACMS TO BE INTRODUCED,” Seoul, 10/04/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on Monday its intention of buying 110 M270 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to be used to fire Block 1A M39 missiles commencing next year through 2006. The MND has been in touch with the US government with regard to the purchase and following concurrence will approach main contractors Lockheed Martin Vought Systems. According to a US-ROK agreement effective to date, the US forbade the sale of missiles with a range greater than 180km to the ROK, but following negotiations the two sides agreed to extend this to 300km. The Block IA is an upgrade of the Block 1 missile and can be fitted with a variety of warheads, including ones that dispense M74 Anti-Personnel and Anti-Materiel (APAM) bomblets, as well as conventional ones. The average unit cost of the system is US$820,000.

5. US Germ Detection in ROK

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, “USFK INSTALLING GERM DETECTION EQUIPMENT,” Seoul, 10/04/99) reported that US forces stationed in the ROK have begun to set up germ detection equipment in major military bases like Pyongtaek, in preparations for possible bacteriological and chemical attacks from the DPRK. “The USFK has been installing anti-germ warfare facilities called ‘potal shield’ beginning this May against possible DPRK offensives using bio-weapons,” said Rep. Kim Deok of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP). During an ROK National Assembly inspection of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kim, former head of the Agency for National Security Planning, the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service, said that the US Army has been conducting smallpox vaccinations of the US soldiers serving here in preparation for the biological warfare. Leading US organizations like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have begun to warn against the DPRK’s possible dependence upon germ and chemical warfare, putting the smallpox germ on the priority watch list, Kim said. What matters is the fact that smallpox use has a lethality ratio of more than 50 percent, a fact that shows that the majority of ROK youths who lack immunity will suffer fatal damage, he said. Kim confirmed that the DPRK possesses 13 kinds of biological weapons and can produce one ton of anthrax per year through its 10 research and production facilities. He went on to claim that the DPRK is capable of manufacturing 4,500 tons and 12,000 tons of chemical weapons in peace and war periods, respectively, and many of them have been targeted mainly at the ROK and its surrounding areas.

6. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, U.S. TO DISCUSS JOINT PROBE ON NOGUN-RI,” Seoul, 10/05/99) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “SEOUL CONVENES 1ST TASKFORCE MEETING ON U.S. MASSACRE,” Seoul, 10/04/99) reported that ROK officials said on Monday that the ROK and the US will soon discuss a joint probe into the so-called “Nogun-ri massacre.” “The government is contacting the U.S. administration to hold consultations on a joint investigation,” said an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The US government has reportedly agreed on the need to dig out the truth about the incident through cooperation with the ROK, but has not shown a clear-cut attitude toward a joint probe. Diplomatic observers, however, expressed skepticism about the possibility that the two countries will reach an agreement on the launching of a joint investigation team. “Washington will unlikely agree on Korea’s participation in its planned probe team given that it should look into the U.S. chain of command in connection with the order of the killings of Koreans and U.S. documents related to the incident,” said an analyst. Accordingly, he said, although a joint probe is agreed between the two countries, it would be limited to inspecting Nogun-ri and interviewing ex-GIs involved in the alleged mass killings. ROK officials agreed on the possibility, saying that cooperation between the two countries over the incident will be made possible in the fields of exchanges of related information and outcomes of their respective investigations.

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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