NAPSNet Daily Report 06 July, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 06 July, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 06, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-06-july-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Washington Post (Thomas W. Lippman, “N. KOREA-U.S. NUCLEAR PACT THREATENED FUNDING HOLDS UP PROMISED OIL,” 07/06/98, A01) reported that unnamed US officials said that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) cannot buy much more oil than the 152,000 tons it has delivered to the DPRK so far this year, because it is US$47 million in debt from previous years. US Representative Sonny Callahan, R-Ala., who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, stated, “I was very disappointed when I found out about that debt, and I strongly indicated that I do not consider this an obligation of the United States. When I found out they had borrowed money … they said it was secured by pledges from other nations. So I told them, call those pledges.” Callahan said that he believes the entire premise of the agreed framework is invalid because the DPRK is pursuing nuclear weapons at facilities other than those frozen under the agreement. Administration officials said there is no evidence for his claims. Some congressional Republicans have insisted that KEDO ask for a contribution from Taiwan, but the PRC opposes KEDO membership for Taiwan. The PRC has also declined to join KEDO or provide money, arguing that it is already a major aid donor to the DPRK. US State Department spokesman James P. Rubin stated, “In order to meet our share of the heavy fuel oil cost, the president is able to invoke certain provisions of American law that will free up additional funds so that KEDO can fulfill our commitment, and we are involved right now in consultations with Congress to that end.” Congress has appropriated US$35 million for KEDO in the current fiscal year, plus US$10 million as a “challenge grant,” which will be released when other countries contribute a similar amount. Former US Secretary of State Warren Christopher had promised Congress that the US share would never be more than US$30 million a year. Jason Shaplen, policy adviser to KEDO, said that there is no basis for DPRK complaints about the pace of construction at the reactor site because preliminary work is on schedule.

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2. Captured DPRK Submarine

United Press International (“UNC REPATRIATES N.KOREAN REMAINS,” Seoul, 07/03/98) and the Associated Press (Kyong-hwa Seok, “N. KOREA SUB CREW’S BODIES RETURNED,” Panmunjom, 07/03/98) reported that the UN Command (UNC) on Friday repatriated the remains of the nine crewmen of the captured DPRK submarine. A UNC statement said that other issues regarding the incident would be discussed through further general-officer dialogue between the UNC and the DPRK.

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3. DPRK Food Crisis

The Associated Press (“ALL N.KOREANS ASKED TO HELP FARMERS,” Seoul, 07/03/98) reported that an official report by the Korean Central News Agency on Friday said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on Wednesday called on the DPRK army and citizens to help farmers increase agricultural production. Kim called on the people to celebrate the regime’s 50th anniversary this year with “increased production of rice, vegetable, fruit and meat.” He stated, “The whole party, the entire army and all the people should actively assist socialist rural communities, thus reaping a bumper harvest this year without fail.” On Friday, a federation of ROK civic and charity groups began shipping 1,000 tons of fertilizer to the DPRK as humanitarian aid.

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4. ROK-Russia Spying Row

The Associated Press (“S.KOREA DECRIES DIPLOMAT EXPULSION,” Seoul, 07/05/98) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman Lee Ho-jin said in a statement that the ROK found it “regrettable” that Russia decided to expel Cho Sung-woo, a councilor at the ROK Embassy in Moscow, on suspicion of spying. Lee added, “The government will announce due action after investigating the case.” One anonymous ministry official said that the ROK government would not rule out the possibility of retaliatory action. Other ministry officials said that Cho works for the Agency for National Security Planning. According to a statement from Russia’s Federal Security Service, Cho was taken into custody as he met with an alleged Russian contact on Friday. The contact, an employee of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was also detained for investigation. The Russian was accused of “providing confidential information to South Korean security services that was damaging to Russia’s political and economic interests.”

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5. US Policy towards Taiwan

The Associated Press (“U.S. SEEKS TO CALM TAIWAN,” Taipei, 07/05/98) reported that Richard Bush, the top US liaison to Taiwan, assured Taiwanese officials on Sunday that US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the PRC had not altered US commitments to Taiwan. Bush stated, “United States policy toward Taiwan has not changed. In all its elements, it is exactly the same as before Clinton’s trip.” Bush will meet with Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and other officials on Monday, and is expected to fly to Guam on Thursday to meet with Taiwanese Premier Vincent Siew. Taiwan Foreign Minister Jason Hu said that he told Bush that Taiwan suffered “psychological fallout” from Clinton’s statement in Shanghai last week. He added that the US now needs to take concrete measures to reassure Taiwan. He stated, “You can’t do everything with [the PRC] in the glare of the spotlight, and keep contacts with us totally low key. Our people will misunderstand.” Meanwhile, opposition lawmaker Parris Chang said Sunday, “No American president before used this sort of language, or presumed to decide Taiwan’s fate for it. (Clinton’s comments) pose a considerable challenge to Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.”

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, JULY 2, 1998,” Washington, USIA Transcript, 07/06/98) said that US President Bill Clinton’s recent statements on Taiwan do not indicate a change in US policy. Rubin pointed out, “that we have a position on not supporting Taiwan independence, not supporting one-China, one-Taiwan, not supporting Taiwan membership in international organizations that require a party to be a state, is something that I’ve said from this podium…. And it’s something that, for those of you who accompanied Secretary [of State Madeleine Albright] to China, she said in China several months ago. So that statement of policy is not new.” He added that while some people take the statement more seriously because it came from the president, “as a matter of the official US Government policy, that’s something that I’ve said from this podium, and that Secretary Albright has said in China.”

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6. US-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (Laura Myers, “MADELEINE ALBRIGHT REASSURES JAPAN,” Tokyo, 07/03/98), the Washington Post (Mary Jordan, “ALBRIGHT ASSURES JAPAN THAT ALLIANCE IS STRONG,” Tokyo, 07/05/98, A12), the Los Angeles Times (Tyler Marshall, “JAPAN GIVEN REASSURANCE ON U.S. TIES,” Tokyo, 07/05/98) and the New York Times (Nicholas Kristof, “ALBRIGHT HUGS WARY TOKYO SMARTING FROM BEIJING TRIP,” Tokyo, 07/05/98, 4) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright assured Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on Saturday that the US relationship with Japan remains the “cornerstone” of its Asia policy. Hashimoto said that he thought that US President Bill Clinton’s just-concluded trip to the PRC “was good for Asia and good for Japan.” US State Department deputy spokesman James Foley stated, “The prime minister was appreciative of the president’s gesture in having secretary Albright come to Tokyo to brief him and his government.” Foley said that Albright “was able to point to the trip as having made a contribution toward making the region safer – Japan’s neighborhood safer. And that was in Japan’s interest, which, obviously, the prime minister agreed with.” US presidential spokesman Mike McCurry said, “One of the purposes of Secretary Albright’s visit is to assure the Japanese that relations with China are not a zero sum game. If U.S. relations with China improve, that does not mean relations with Japan are not good.” However, Atsushi Kuse, a political consultant in Tokyo, stated, “Japan is very nervous that China will replace its role with the United States in the 21st century. Given the fact that Clinton spent a full nine days in China, and the nature of his visit … it gives Japanese leadership the clear signal that America is serious about deepening its relationship with China.”

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7. Security Implications of Asian Financial Crisis

The Associated Press (“JAPAN DEFENSE OFFICIAL SAYS ECON CRISIS THREAT TO STABILITY,” Singapore, 07/06/98) reported that Japan’s Vice Minister for Defense, Masahiro Akiyama, warned Monday that the economic crisis in Asia could adversely affect regional security. Akiyama said that high inflation and rising unemployment could disrupt the political situation in some countries, leading to wider destabilization across borders. He added that the economic slowdown is already causing reductions in military spending, which can upset the regional balance of power. He also warned that countries badly hurt in the crisis might become increasingly insular, hampering regional cooperation and confidence building measures. Akiyama added that the nuclear proliferation on the sub-continent has the potential to significantly deteriorate regional and global security and urged a concerted international effort to encourage dialogue between Indian and Pakistan. Akiyama also stressed what he saw as the fundamental need for the US to stay involved in the region.

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8. Asian Nuclear Free Zone

The Associated Press (Birgit Brauer, “NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE URGED FOR ASIA,” Almaty, 07/04/98) reported that Russia, the PRC, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed a joint declaration Friday calling for a nuclear- free zone in Asia. Kazakstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev stated, “We are particularly concerned about the recent series of underground nuclear explosions by India and Pakistan.” He said that the tests “not only worsened the relationship between these countries, but also the situation on the Asian continent.”

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9. Russian Nuclear Forces

Reuters (“YELTSIN SAYS RUSSIA NUCLEAR FORCE NOT WEAKER,” Moscow, 07/03/98) reported that Russian President Boris Yeltsin said Friday that Russia’s nuclear arsenal remains vital to the country’s security posture. Yeltsin stated, “Nuclear forces are some of the most important factors ensuring the security of our country.” He added, “The fact that reports appear here and there in the media that we have got weaker on the nuclear front, first of all, they are seriously mistaken, and second, they do not help the state.” Yeltsin’s spokesman, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, said that during a meeting of the Russian National Security Council, “Major decisions were made on developing strategic nuclear forces, on developing nuclear and space technology, on financing the strategic nuclear forces, cutting arms and developing the nuclear non-proliferation regime.” Yastrzhembsky added, “The president said that Russia’s nuclear forces are under full control, reliable and meet national security needs in their current form.” He also quoted Yeltsin as urging a prompt ratification of the 1993 START-II treaty. On Thursday, Colonel-General Vladimir Yakovlev, the head of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, told Noviye Izvestia newspaper that Russia currently had 756 strategic weapon launchers on combat duty. Yakovlev added that Russia’s ability to wage nuclear war was unchanged from Soviet times despite economic problems. He said that the Strategic Missile Forces controlled about 60 percent of all Russian nuclear warheads.

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10. US-Russian Summit

The Associated Press (“CLINTON TO HOLD MOSCOW SUMMIT WITH YELTSIN IN SEPTEMBER,” Washington, 07/06/98) reported that an unnamed White House official announced Monday that US President Bill Clinton has agreed to hold a summit meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in September in Moscow. Media reports speculated that Clinton’s decision to go in September means he is willing to wait longer for Russian ratification of the START II nuclear reduction treaty.

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11. Defection of Pakistani Nuclear Scientist

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, JULY 2, 1998,” Washington, USIA Transcript, 07/06/98) said that the US has no information to support the claim of a Pakistani scientist seeking asylum that Pakistan was planning a preemptive strike on Indian nuclear facilities. He added, “we note significant discrepancies in his story as reported in the press.”

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12. Indian Adherence to CTBT

The Associated Press (“INDIA MULLS NUCLEAR TREATY IN EXCHANGE FOR CONCESSIONS,” New Delhi, 07/06/98) reported that Indian newspapers said Monday that India is negotiating with the five nuclear powers to extract concessions on the transfer of dual use nuclear technology in return for a commitment to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). One of the concessions India is reportedly seeking is removal of full safeguards for nuclear power plants built with western technological assistance. India would like such safeguards to be facility specific so that indigenously built nuclear plants are not open to international scrutiny. However, Foreign Office spokesman K.C. Singh stated, “India’s basic position remains unaltered.” Singh admitted, however, that India was talking to “key interlocutors” on the nuclear issue. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s special envoy Jaswant Singh met US deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott last month in Washington and is scheduled to meet with him again on July 9 in Frankfurt.

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13. Anti-Nuclear Protests in India The Associated Press (“INDIAN SIKHS HOLD PROTEST MARCH AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS,” New Delhi, 07/06/98) reported that more than 2,000 Sikh nationalists rallied in downtown New Delhi Monday to protest India’s recent nuclear weapons tests. Protesters said that heightened tension between India and Pakistan made them feel particularly vulnerable because Punjab, where most Sikhs live, is on the Pakistani border. Simaranjeet Singh Mann, leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal party, said in a speech to the protesters, “We don’t want Punjab state to be another Hiroshima.”

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

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

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom_shin@wisenet.co.kr
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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