NAPSNet Daily Report 06 April, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 06 April, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 06, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-06-april-1999/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Japan

I. United States

1. Japanese Naval Engagement

The New York Times (Nicholas D. Kristof, “NORTH KOREA: DENIAL OVER SHIPS,” 04/06/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency denied any involvement in the recent incursion of two ships into Japanese territorial waters. The agency said, “The ultra-rightist reactionaries of Japan invented such a shocking incident.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service on April 6.]

2. ROK-PRC Fisheries Treaty

The Associated Press (“CHINA, SOUTH KOREA TO DISCUSS NEW FISHERIES TREATY,” Seoul, 04/06/99) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that they will meet with their PRC counterparts in Seoul on Thursday and Friday to try to negotiate new fishing quota and other rules to implement the fisheries treaty reached last November. The officials said they would urge the PRC to speed up negotiations to put the treaty in effect as soon as possible, in the hopes of regulating Chinese fishing boats that ROK fishermen said are depleting fishing stocks in ROK coastal waters.

3. PRC-Japan Talks

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN, CHINA REMAIN APART ON MISSILE DEFENSE FOR TAIWAN-KYODO,” Tokyo, 04/06/99) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news service said Tuesday that PRC Foreign Ministry Asian Affairs Department Director Zhang Jiuhuan and Koreshige Anami, head of the Japanese ministry’s Asian Affairs Bureau, held a one-day working-level meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday. According to an unnamed Japanese Foreign Ministry official, Zhang reiterated the PRC’s call for Japan and the US to exclude Taiwan from both the updated US-Japan defense cooperation guidelines and the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) program. The official added that Anami told Zhang that Japan and the US do not intend to make the guidelines geographically specific. He also said that the two countries intend to use TMD for “defensive” purposes only. The official said that Anami called on the PRC to act “responsibly” regarding Chinese maritime research vessels operating in Japan’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. Zhang insisted that the vessels were conducting “normal research.” Earlier on Tuesday, the Maritime Safety Agency said a Chinese research ship had entered Japan’s zone off Kumejima Island, Okinawa Prefecture, on Monday.

4. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN GIVEN APPROVAL FOR U.S. GUIDED-MISSILE SHIPS – REPORT,” Taipei, 04/06/99) reported that Taiwan’s China Times newspaper on Tuesday quoted unidentified Taiwanese military sources as saying that the US will let Taiwan build or buy Aegis guided-missile destroyers. The report said that Taiwan hopes to acquire up to four of the ships, which cost about US$800 million each. The ships could provide launch platforms to intercept incoming PRC missiles using space-based sensors to detect attacks and relay tracking data. The Taiwan Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report.

5. Taiwanese Views of PRC Premier’s US Visit

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN REMINDS US TO MAINTAIN ITS INTERESTS DURING ZHU VISIT,” Taipei, 04/06/99) reported that Lin Bih-jaw, executive secretary of the National Unification Council, which advises Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui on PRC policy, on Tuesday urged the US to consider Taiwan’s interests during PRC Premier Zhu Rongji’s visit. Lin said that Taiwan wants the US to pursue a “parallel development of relations” with the PRC and Taiwan. He added that Taiwan hopes Zhu’s visit will help ease PRC-US tensions for the sake of stability in the entire Asia Pacific region.

6. PRC Premier’s US Visit

The Associated Press (“CHINA’S ZHU RONGJI LEAVES ON VISIT TO U.S., CANADA,” Beijing, 04/06/99) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji left Tuesday for the US after a brief farewell ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Zhu is scheduled to meet US President Bill Clinton on Thursday. Zhu will also travel to Canada afterward to meet Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

The Asian Wall Street Journal (“ZHU RONGJI’S AMERICAN CHALLENGE,” 04/06/99) published an interview with PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. Zhu said that the PRC is determined to work toward establishing a constructive strategic partnership with the US based on the understanding that the PRC is not a rival nor enemy of the US, “but rather, is a reliable friend.” Zhu added, “Looking at the whole of world history, no superpower remains a superpower forever. Therefore, I feel that as a superpower, the US should try act responsibly. In dealing with other countries, the United States should pay attention to democracy, freedom and equality, as it advocates.” He also stated, “We feel that building theater missile defense is not in conformity with the current anti-missile treaties…. What we are opposed to is including Taiwan in this system.”

7. US Missile Defense

The Washington Post (Steve Vogel, “NAVY ANTI-MISSILE PROGRAM OVERSHOOTS BUDGET,” 04/06/99, 5) reported that Captain Paul Schultz, director of the US Navy’s office of Theater Air Warfare, said that the Navy’s theater ballistic missile defense program, which had been projected to cost US$913 million through 2005, will require an additional US$420 million over that time. Schultz stated, “That’s a pretty significant cost increase.” He added, “We can’t afford to have this program killed. It’s been very successful to this time. There’s a lot of confidence that this is going to work.” Andrew Krepinevich, director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, stated, “A 50 percent cost overrun is quite high, even by Pentagon standards. That’s something that’s going to get a lot of attention and not a lot of sympathy.” He added, “People were looking at the Navy as a prospective savior for missile defense. This shows we’re not likely to get missile defense on the cheap. We’re looking at a national defense program that’s going to be very expensive.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service on April 6.]

8. US Nuclear Exports

USA Today (Barbara Slavin, “NUCLEAR LAB FACES CHARGES OVER EXPORTS,” 04/06/99, 11) reported that officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory said that the US Commerce Department notified the laboratory in January that it was preparing civil charges over unlicensed exports of nuclear detectors and a computer router to Russia. Laboratory director John Browne stated, “It’s one of those gray areas of interpretation. At the time, the interpretation made here was that a license was not required.” Representative Christopher Cox, R-Calif., stated, “I would hope the Department of Energy and Los Alamos would use this as an example of what will no longer be tolerated.” US Assistant Secretary of Energy Rose Gottemoeller said none of the items gave Russia “any additional nuclear weapons capability.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service on April 6.]

II. Japan

1. Japanese Naval Engagement

The Daily Yomiuri (“N. KOREAN FREIGHTERS IN JAPAN DURING SPY SHIP CHASE,” 04/06/99) reported that investigations found that two DPRK-crewed freighters were at anchor in the ports of Kanazawa and Nanao in Ishikawa Prefecture during the recent pursuit and escape of two DPRK vessels suspected of carrying out espionage activities in Japanese territorial waters. According to the report, around 8:30 a.m. on March 18, a 315-ton Honduran-registered freighter, the North Star No. 1, with 15 DPRK crew members, entered Kanazawa Port, five days before the incursion of two unidentified ships in waters off Niigata Prefecture. Officials from the local maritime safety office and the customhouse searched the ship, but found nothing dubious or questionable. However, the ship did not leave port for several days, citing bad weather as an excuse. None of the crewmembers left the ship during that time. During the same period, Maritime Safety Agency and prefectural police officials were monitoring a DPRK freighter, the 199-ton Ryung Song 1, at Nanao Port, about 50 kilometers northeast of Kanazawa Port. The Ryung Song 1 left for the Philippines on the morning of March 25, after the suspected DPRK spy ships successfully fled into DPRK territorial waters. However, no evidence was found pointing to any linkage between the freighter and the alleged spy vessels.

The Asahi Shimbun (“CABINET CHIEF SECRETARY NONAKA SUMMARIZES INTO SEVEN POINTS PROBLEMS OF JAPANESE MARITIME PATROL ACTIVITIES CONCERNING DPRK SUSPECTED SHIPS,” 04/06/99) reported that on April 5, Japanese Cabinet Chief Secretary Hiromu Nonaka summarized the problems of Japanese maritime patrol activities concerning the recent infiltration of two suspicious DPRK ships. Nonaka pointed to the way relevant governmental agencies communicated and cooperated with one another; the responses by the Japanese Maritime Agency; operational problems relating to maritime patrol activities by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force; the appropriate use of weapons; how to cooperate with other countries which cooperated with Japan; and public relations as the specific points to be considered. Nonaka also said, “I myself reviewed the series of actions and each piece of information. By doing this, I want to prepare for the future security and crisis management.” The report added that within the ruling parties, contingency legislation is gaining more support. However, the Prime Minister and the government are seeing this move as “a bad bandwagon” and cautiously trying to improve naval operations within the existing legal framework.

2. Japan-Russia Maritime Cooperation

The Daily Yomiuri (“JAPAN, RUSSIA SET MEETING FOR JULY TO DISCUSS MARITIME PATROL ACTIVITIES,” 04/04/99) reported that government sources revealed on April 3 that, prompted by the recent territorial violation by two suspected DPRK ships, the Japanese and Russian maritime authorities will meet in July at the earliest to discuss cooperation in security operations near the two countries. The meeting will include officials from the Maritime Safety Agency and Russia’s border guard bureau. According to the sources, similar talks have been held in the past, by they mainly dealt with measures to strengthen control over illegal drug and weapons trafficking. This will be the first time the two sides will hold full-scale discussions on maritime policing activities to prevent incidents similar to the recent infiltration of DPRK spy ship into Japanese territorial waters. The same sources also said that the Japanese delegation will also visit Vladivostok to meet with officials from the Russian border guard bureau’s Pacific command to confirm how to cooperate with each other in joint activities.

3. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Akihiro Ito, “DPRK RODONG SHINMUN CRITICIZES JAPAN FOR FABRICATION,” Seoul, 04/05/99) reported that, according to the Korean Central News Agency, the DPRK’s Rodong Shinmun on April 5 carried a comment on Japan’s official protest against the recent infiltration of two suspected DPRK ships into Japanese waters. The comment said that such an incident is “a fabrication” by the Japanese government and that Japan’s “protest” is an obvious sign of Japan’s new confrontation with the DPRK. The Rodong Shinmun comment went on to say, “The Japanese authorities have recently been reiterating their willingness to improve our bilateral relations as if they were really willing to do so, but it has become clearer that what they are seeking is confrontation, not improved relations…. The Japanese authorities and political reactionary rightists should immediately stop the meaningless and plotted agitations.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER SAYS THERE ARE A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF DPRK AGENTS IN JAPAN,” 04/02/99) reported that the Japanese Home Affairs Minister said at a Lower House Special Committee on Defense Cooperation Policy on April 1, “Even at present, there are estimated to be a considerable number of DPRK agents engaged in their operations.” He also said that such operations include establishing a base for anti-ROK activities, gathering information concerning US forces in Japan, and abducting Japanese civilians. The report added that at the same committee, the Japanese Defense Agency Director General also pointed out that the two suspected DPRK ships may have aimed to gather information and land or pick up DPRK agents.

4. Japan’s Satellite Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN DECIDED TO USE SATELLITE OF ITS OWN MAKING,” 04/01/99) reported that the Japanese government decided on March 31 to introduce an information satellite of its own making in response to the DPRK’s missile launch over its territory last August. According to the report, the decision is based on the government’s assessment that while US satellites have better resolution, Japan can develop sufficient technologies that cover reconnaissance, disaster-response and so on; that while US satellites are cheaper, in the mid-term, home-made satellites are easier to maintain; and that home-made satellites are more suitable for contingencies where the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency have to cooperate with each other. The government also already decided to establish a committee on promotion of Japan’s reconnaissance satellite within the Cabinet Secretariat on April 1.

5. Japan and KEDO

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN AND US COMPROMISED ON LOAN WARRANTY FOR KEDO,” 04/01/99) reported that Japan and the US reached an agreement on loan warranties for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The agreement stated, “KEDO will resume loan warranties, but the member countries are not responsible for any duties.” Japan had been calling for a loan guarantee for KEDO against US objections. The agreement is likely to be approved at an executive meeting slated for April 6 in New York. The report added that the European Union took sides with the US, arguing, “Japan is well aware that the DPRK is unlikely to be able to pay back the loan.”

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

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

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.com
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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