NAPSNet Daily Report 06 July, 1999

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “JAPAN SAYS IT WILL FREEZE FUNDS IF NK MISSILE TESTS PROCEED,” Osan Air Base, 07/06/99, 1) reported that Japan warned the DPRK that it may freeze payments to the DPRK light- water reactor project if Pyongyang test launches another missile. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6.]

The Associated Press (“JAPAN SKEPTICAL OF N. KOREA LAUNCH,” Tokyo, 07/05/99) reported that, according to Kyodo News agency, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka was quoted as saying that he does not believe the DPRK is likely to test-fire another missile anytime soon. Nonaka stated, “Based on the information we have, we don’t think the launch of a Taepodong is imminent.” Another official at the Japanese Foreign Ministry denied earlier news reports that Japan might freeze its contribution to help the DPRK build nuclear reactors if the DPRK test launches another missile. The official stated, “That is absolutely not a fact.”

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA MAY TEST MISSILE,” Tokyo, 07/04/99), Reuters (“NORTH KOREA READY TO LAUNCH ANOTHER MISSILE,” Tokyo, 07/03/99) and the New York Times (Nicholas D. Kristof, “A REPORT THAT NORTH KOREA HAS PLANS TO TEST-LAUNCH A MISSILE,” Tokyo, 07/04/99) reported that, according to former UN undersecretary general Yasushi Akashi, who recently attended an international symposium in Pyongyang at the invitation of a research institute affiliated with the DPRK government, the DPRK has confirmed that it is prepared to test another missile. At a news conference in Beijing, Akashi said that Song Il-ho, the director of Japanese affairs in the DPRK Foreign Ministry, told him that the DPRK was “ready” to fire the missile but did not specifically say that it would launch it. According to Akashi, Song said that the DPRK was besieged by threats from surrounding countries, and thus there was no reason for other countries to protest the DPRK’s taking a “countermeasure.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6.]

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “N. KOREA WARNED ABOUT MISSILES,” Washington, 07/03/99) reported that, according to US officials, US President Bill Clinton and ROK President Kim Dae-jung agreed that a further test- fire of a long-range ballistic missile by the DPRK would pose “a serious obstacle to peace.” Clinton and Kim also agreed that a new DPRK missile test, however, would not trigger a dismantling of the 1994 Agreement Framework.

2. ROK-US Cooperation on DPRK Policy

The New York Times (David Sanger, “CLINTON AND SOUTH KOREAN LEADER WARN THE NORTH AGAINST TESTING MISSILE,” Washington, 07/02/99) reported that US President Clinton and ROK President Kim Dae-jung used a brief meeting in Washington on Friday to warn the DPRK against testing another long-range missile in coming weeks. Kim stated, “We are maintaining close coordination on all issues, on economic issues as well as security issues. And I do hope that this close cooperation sends a clear message to the DPRK.” Kim also met with former US Defense Secretary William Perry. An unnamed senior US Administration official said, “I am not prepared to discuss anything about a South Korean missile program.” When asked how the US, the ROK, and Japan might respond to a second test-launch of a Taepodong missile, the US official said that he ruled out suspending oil shipments or aid to the DPRK in building light-water nuclear reactors. The official also said that it would make no sense for the US to violate the 1994 accord and invite the DPRK to do the same by resuming its weapons projects.

3. DPRK-ROK Talks

The Associated Press (“S. KOREA, N.KOREA TALKS BREAK DOWN,” Beijing, 07/03/99) reported that, although the DPRK on Saturday requested a low-profile meeting with the ROK delegation to the Beijing talks, the talks did not make any progress. According to ROK Embassy spokesman Wi Keyei-chul, ROK Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-Shik and DPRK delegation head Pak Yong-su reiterated their positions at the secretly arranged meeting. Yang accused the DPRK anew of not negotiating in good faith, thereby violating an agreement last month to discuss family reunions in exchange for the ROK’s provision of 200,000 tons of fertilizer to the DPRK. After the talks, Yang issued a statement that said, “We greatly regret that North Korea has not implemented the June third agreement. We expect the Northern side to respond to the dialogue as agreed. We greatly deplore that the Northern side used the excuse of the [naval] incident which it provoked.”

4. ROK Policy towards DPRK

Reuters (David Morgan, “KIM SAYS KOREA RECONCILIATION POLICY WILL SUCCEED,” Philadelphia, 07/04/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Sunday defended his strategy of reconciliation toward the DPRK. Kim said that the ROK would restart talks on the issue of reuniting families if the DPRK came forward with a concession “within the next few days.” He cautioned, however, that the ROK was ready to take “prompt and effective” action to repel any security threat. Kim stated, “Engagement is not appeasement. We believe that if we stay the course with patience, and give it enough time, we will see some positive changes in the North.”

5. Light Water Reactor Project

Reuters (Deborah Zabarenko, “S.KOREA LEADER STRESSES CLOSE TIES WITH CLINTON,” Washington, 07/03/99) reported that the ROK signed a contract with the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) on Friday to lend US$3.22 billion to the international consortium.

6. ROK Missile Development

Agence France-Presse (“CLINTON RESPONDS COOLY TO SOUTH KOREAN REQUEST TO BOOST MISSILE RANGE,” Seoul, 07/05/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung asked US President Bill Clinton on Sunday that the ROK be allowed to increase the range of its missiles to 500 kilometers to counter threats from the DPRK. An unnamed ROK official was quoted as saying, “President Clinton expressed concern over missile proliferation in Northeast Asia following President Kim’s suggestion that Seoul extend its missile range capability.” Other ROK officials said that the US has privately agreed to allow the ROK to boost its missile range to 300 kilometers. US officials have refused to comment on the discussion. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6.]

7. Kim Dae-jung Honored

The Associated Press (Meki Cox, “S.KOREA PRESIDENT HONORED IN PHILLY,” Philadelphia, 07/04/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung was awarded the 1999 Philadelphia Liberty Medal on Sunday. Kim was honored for “more than four decades of efforts to secure democracy and human rights” in the ROK. In his acceptance speech, Kim said that he would continue to engage the DPRK. Kim said that he would “strive to spread the spirit of liberty to our brethren in the North and to all dark corners of the world.”

8. PRC View on US Policy of Taiwan

The Associated Press (“CHINA CRITICIZES US STANCE ON TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/06/99) reported that the PRC on Tuesday accused the US of trying to meddle in PRC affairs by pushing for stronger ties with Taiwan. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue also urged the US administration to cancel measures in the US Congress designed to enhance Taiwan’s military capabilities, expand US-Taiwan military cooperation, and authorize the sale of an anti- missile system to the island. Zhang said that the US also planned to sell early warning radar to Taiwan. She accused the US of violating agreements with the PRC that call for a gradual phasing out of arms sales to Taiwan. Zhang stated, “In essence, the U.S. is trying to heighten U.S.-Taiwan relations and to interfere in China’s internal matters … and to obstruct the peaceful reunification of China. China hereby expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this.” Zhang urged the US to stop arms sales to Taiwan and “commit explicitly” to not sell the proposed Theater Missile Defense system to the island.

9. PRC-US Relations

The Washington Post (Michael Laris, “LONG MARCH HOME,” Beijing, 07/03/99, A15) reported that Jim Sasser, outgoing Ambassador to the PRC, said that although the US bombing of the PRC embassy in Belgrade has strained US- PRC relations, the future of US-PRC relations remain bright. Sasser said, “The bridges are still intact. Some of them have been superficially damaged as a result of the Belgrade bombing, but the structures are still strong.” Sasser also said there are signs that the PRC has begun to reexamine its handling of the issue. Sasser also criticized the US handling of the initial bombing apology. He said that the PRC leaders were offended by the tone and setting of the apology. He stated, “I can understand why they did what they did. I’m sure that they thought it was important for us to get an apology out as quickly as we can. My sense of it is we could have done a better job in the initial reaction to this.” Sasser also argued that engagement is the best way to encourage the PRC to be a responsible emerging power. Sasser said, “If you want to treat China as an enemy, you have a much better chance of making them an enemy than if you treat them as a potential friend.”

10. PRC-Taiwan Rivalry

The Associated Press (“CHINA WARNS PAPUA NEW GUINEA OVER TAIWAN TIES,” Beijing, 07/06/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on Tuesday protested Papua New Guinea’s decision to open diplomatic ties with Taiwan. According to Zhang, PRC Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called in Papuan Ambassador Barney Rongap to lodge a “strong protest” Monday after Taiwan and Papua New Guinea signed a communique establishing ties. Zhang stated, “China strongly urges the Papua New Guinea government to correct its erroneous decision. Otherwise the Papua New Guinea government will have to assume full responsibility for the serious consequences arising from this.” Zhang added that by opening ties with Taiwan, Papua New Guinea encroached on PRC sovereignty and “greatly undermined the friendly long-term cooperation between the two countries.” She also accused Taiwan of using its wealth to prey on poor nations in its battle with the PRC for international recognition.

11. Keizo Obuchi’s Visit to PRC

The Associated Press (“OBUCHI TO VISIT CHINA, MONGOLIA THIS WEEK,” Tokyo, 07/06/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi will travel to the PRC and Mongolia this week. Mineo Nakajima, president of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, said, “There are more dangers for Obuchi than opportunities.” John Neuffer, a senior fellow at Mitsui Marine Research Institute, stated, “I could definitely see (China) trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Tokyo.” PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “There are still some outstanding problems between the two countries. The bills related to the Japan-U.S. security cooperation guidelines … is a very outstanding problem. We hope Japan will correctly resolve this and we stand ready to work together with Japan to remove obstacles so as to promote new development of China-Japan relations.”

12. US-Pakistan Meeting

The Associated Press (Lawrence L. Knutson, “PAKISTAN AGREES TO WITHDRAW FORCES,” Washington, 07/05/99) and the New York Times (Jane Perlez, “US IS EXPECTING KASHMIR PULLBACK BY PAKISTANI SIDE,” Washington, 07/04/99) reported that US President Bill Clinton and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a joint statement in which Sharif agreed that “concrete steps will be taken” to restore the Line of Control. The joint statement said that Clinton and Sharif agreed that the Indian-Pakistani dialogue begun last February in Lahore “provides the best forum for resolving all issues dividing India and Pakistan, including Kashmir.” It also said, “The president said he would take a personal interest in encouraging an expeditious resumption and intensification of those bilateral efforts, once the sanctity of the Line of Control has been fully restored.” An unnamed US official said, “Our understanding is that there will be a withdrawal of the (Pakistani) forces now. We want to see steps taken very quickly. Our position has been that the forces across the Line of Control need to be returned to the Pakistani side.” Another US official said, “The Prime Minister will have to make those decisions himself on how he will undertake to implement the decisions contained in this document. We hope to get this back on track so that diplomacy can be resumed.”

The Washington Post (Pamela Constable, “DOMESTIC PRESSURES IMPERIL KASHMIR PEACE DEAL,” New Delhi, 07/05/99, 9) reported that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif essentially has agreed to withdraw Pakistan’s support for armed rebels in Kashmir. “There is going to be tremendous pressure inside Pakistan now. Either Nawaz [Sharif] will have to go or the army chief of staff will have to go,” said one Pakistani source close to a major Islamic group. Other sources in Islamabad said that protests and strikes are being planned for Sharif’s return this week. Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh said, “I do not accept this as mediation or even as playing the role of an intermediary. We have consistently said no mediation is necessary. We don’t need interpreters, because we speak the same language.” A spokesman for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said, “This statement is not enough. One still has to wait and see.” Hamid Gul, a retired Pakistani general, said, “Clinton has got Nawaz in a jam. He has committed a crime against the nation and everyone is condemning him. People are getting more and more angry, and soon it will be Nawaz on one side and the nation on the other.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6.]

The Associated Press (“PAKISTAN’S RELIGIOUS PARTY PROTESTS KASHMIR AGREEMENT,” Karachi, 07/06/99) reported that Pakistan’s religious party Jamaat-e-Islami protested Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s weekend summit with US President Bill Clinton. Munawar Hussein, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, accused Sharif of treason in front of 200 demonstrators in Karachi. Hussein said that Muslim guerrillas will not withdraw from Indian- held Kashmir.

13. Kashmir Conflict

Dow Jones Newswires (Mark Drajem, “NO INDICATION OF INTRUDER WITHDRAWAL FROM KASHMIR,” Mew Delhi, 07/06/99) reported that Indian official spokesmen Colonel Bikram Singh said on Tuesday that there is no indication that intruders are leaving Indian-controlled Kashmir. Singh stated, “There are no such indications. In fact, we did have a counterattack as such (at one of the points recently taken by India.) This is indicative of the intentions of the enemy in this area.” He added that there was also fierce fighting in the Batalik sector of Kashmir. Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said that there are currently no talks about India possibly providing safe passage back to Pakistan for any of the intruders. Jassal said, “There is no such proposal under consideration.” On Tuesday, a Pakistan Urdu-language newspaper quoted a Pakistan Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf saying that the Pakistani government will ask Islamic insurgents to withdraw from the Kargil, but that the final decision will be their own. Musharraf also said that Pakistan’s military was behind the weekend agreement reached between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Bill Clinton.

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “KASHMIR FIGHTING SAID TO CONTINUE,” Kargil, 07/06/99) reported that Indian Interior Minister Lal Krishna Advani said that, despite India’s recapture of a strategic peak, the conflict is not over. Advani stated, “The military operations will continue till the eviction of the last Pakistani intruder. This is also the overwhelming national sentiment and commitment and we humbly appreciate it.”

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “INDIA DENIES CEASE-FIRE DISCUSSIONS,” Kargil, 07/05/99) reported that Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh on Monday denied having any discussions with Pakistan about a cease-fire in Kashmir. Singh said, “Pakistan understands that where it is today militarily and internationally is in a blind ally. There is only one way to rectify it: Turn back from what they have done.” Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raminder Singh Jassal said that the fighting “will continue with full force until the intruders are evicted from our side of the Line of Control.” He said India was not discussing any cease-fire and “there is no evidence on the ground that Pakistan is taking the logical step of” pulling back forces.

14. Pakistan Military Purchases

Reuters (“FRANCE MAY DELAY COMBAT PLANE DELIVERY TO PAKISTAN,” Paris, 07/02/99) reported that French Foreign Ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau said on Friday that France might delay the delivery of Mirage combat jets to Pakistan as a result of fighting in Kashmir. Rivasseau said, “In the framework of routine verifications carried out due to the increase of fighting in Kashmir, there may be delays in the execution of ongoing contacts.” He said that the affected contract was for 40 updated Mirage III combat jets, of which eight have already been delivered and a further eight were to be sent within the next few days. Rivasseau insisted that France was not imposing an arms embargo against Pakistan or against India.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-US Summit Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “KIM AND CLINTON WARN ON NK MISSILE,” Seoul, 07/02/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung met with US President Bill Clinton and held summit talks on Saturday on policies concerning the DPRK and trade issues between the ROK and the US. They agreed on a secure defense and readiness posture against DPRK aggression. Both countries’ leaders agreed that a DPRK missile test would be a threat to the safety of the Korean peninsula and all of northeast Asia and will thus encourage the DPRK not to fire its missiles. The two countries are set to review the ROK-US Bilateral Cooperative Measures in case the DPRK does not heed the warnings.

2. ROK Missile Development

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yul, “KIM SEEKS 500KM MISSILE RANGE,” Seoul, 07/04/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung is reported to have pushed the US on Sunday to allow the ROK to develop and deploy missiles with a range of 500km. An ROK government official said that an agreement regarding development and deployment of a 300km missile that was supposed to be signed prior to Kim’s visit was delayed because of the ROK position. He added that the ROK government wants the private development of launch vehicles for commercial use to be unlimited. US President Bill Clinton issued no comment other than that the matter should be dealt with at working level talks. The article said that, in the face of public opinion, support for the US proposal within ROK government circles has all but faded away, due to criticism of the previous administration’s agreement. Additionally, ROK “hawks” called for unlimited ranges and were critical of Kim for limiting the range to 500km.

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “SEOUL SEEKS ENHANCED MISSILE CAPABILITY, NOT ARMS PRODUCTION,” Seoul, 07/06/99) reported that ROK officials said on Monday that the ROK’s request to research and develop missiles with a range of up to 500km would be aimed at enhancing defense capability, not the actual production of missiles. An ROK Defense Ministry official said, “What we want is not production of missiles with a range of up to 500km, but to test-fire one for research and development.” He said that ROK and US officials would have talks over the ROK’s proposal.

3. DPRK-ROK Talks

Chosun Ilbo (“SECOND BEIJING TALKS FAIL,” Seoul, 07/03/99), Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “BEIJING TALKS END IN STALEMATE,” Seoul, 07/04/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “NK REMAINS UNCHANGED ON DISPLACED FAMILIES,” Seoul, 07/04/99) reported that the second deputy ministerial talks in Beijing between the ROK and the DPRK failed on Saturday despite a last minute effort by the two representatives. Yang Young-shik, the head of the ROK delegation, said that the DPRK kept insisting on their previous position of sending fertilizer before any discussion on displaced families. Yang expressed regrets for the failure and said that the ROK delegation would return to Seoul in the afternoon. He added that he had presented a detailed proposal to the DPRK delegation, but they had not even looked at it. The DPRK’s Pak Yong-su called for a news conference and blamed the failure of the Beijing talks on the ROK side. He said that the DPRK would not take any initiative for another meeting and would only resume talks when the first shipment of fertilizer arrives in the DPRK.

4. ROK Fertilizer Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “GOV’T HINTS AT ADDITIONAL FERTILIZER AID TO NK,” Seoul, 07/05/99) reported that although ROK-DPRK vice-ministerial level talks held in Beijing ended poorly, the ROK government still alluded to the possibility of additional fertilizer aid to the DPRK. Yang Young-shik, ROK vice minister of unification, said on Monday, “If North Korea displays behavior faithful to the agreed upon matters, we will not abort furnishing fertilizer. At the very least, we will be sending the additional 100,000 tons to fulfill the 200,000 tons promised, and the government may consider more support once the talks get back on track in the future.” On the other hand, the DPRK’s representative at the meeting, Pak Yong-su, in a press conference at the China World Hotel held late last week stated, “We secured promises from the South to deliver 200,000 tons of fertilizer by July while agreeing on additional support in the event the divided family issue produces fruitful results.” Yang’s delegation members will hold a wrap-up meeting on Tuesday to analyze the Beijing talks and future countermeasures.

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SEOUL WAS READY TO SEND AN EXTRA 50,000 TONS OF FERTILIZER TO N. KOREA,” Seoul, 07/06/99) reported that the ROK’s chief delegate said on Monday that had the inter-Korean talks progressed smoothly in Beijing, the ROK might have sent an additional 50,000 tons of fertilizer to the DPRK. ROK Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik told reporters, “We could have continued the fertilizer aid even after the delivery of the promised 200,000 tons is completed, if only Pyongyang had kept its earlier agreement (to discuss reuniting separated families).” When asked if his remarks meant that the ROK had pledged more than 200,000 tons of fertilizer during secret contacts before June 3, Yang said, “Yes, if only the two sides had reached a good agreement on the family issue.” Yang added, however, “With the North reluctant to discuss the family issue, whether we promised 200,000 or 250,000 tons of fertilizer is irrelevant, because we would never send a ton of fertilizer unless North Korea discussed reuniting split families.” DPRK delegation head Pak Yong-su, in an interview with an ROK daily, claimed that the ROK had promised to provide 200,000 tons of fertilizer by July 20, and 50,000 tons more if the two sides make “tangible” headway on the family reunion issue. Pak’s remarks sparked disputes as they differed from what the ROK said was agreed upon between the ROK and the DPRK in several closed-door meetings. Even right before Yang’s remarks on Monday, ROK officials had maintained that the ROK promised to send 100,000 tons of fertilizer to the DPRK before the talks, and another 100,000 tons after making progress on the family reunion issue.

5. ROK Policy toward DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “KIM FIRM ON NK STANCE,” Seoul, 07/04/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae- jung visited Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon and said that he would not send the remaining 100,000 tons of fertilizers to the DPRK if the DPRK does not first show a concrete attitude towards the issue of organizing a reunion for separated families. Kim also said that his decision was firm and solid, and that, in the same manner, he will not allow the Mt. Kumkang tour to resume until the DPRK guarantees the personal safety of all tourists.

6. DPRK Missile Sales

Chosun Ilbo (“INDIA DISCOVERS MISSILE PARTS IN NK SHIP,” Seoul, 07/04/99) reported that the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday that authorities had discovered missile parts on the DPRK freighter Koowolsanho, which had been detained on the suspicion it was carrying arms. According to the report, the ship had been kept at India’s Kandala port on the west coast found missile warhead cones and other machined parts designed to produce rocket casings and motors. It is believed they were to be delivered to Pakistan as part of its nuclear program. Officials from the Indian government’s Defence Institute, which developed India’s nuclear capability, were involved in the search of the vessel.

7. Canadian Policy toward DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (“CHRETIEN URGES NK TO STOP MAKING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION,” Seoul, 07/04/99) reported that in a written interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Friday, Canada’s Prime Minister Jean Chretien said that the DPRK should stop developing and exporting weapons of mass destruction and agree to participate in bilateral talks with the ROK. He continued that the DPRK should recognize the ROK’s legitimacy and conduct a dialogue to ensure peace on the Korean peninsula. Chretien was speaking on the eve of ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s summit trip to Canada.

8. ROK-Canada Talks

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “KIM-CHRETIEN SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON N.KOREA,” Ottawa, 07/05/99) reported that visiting ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will hold summit talks on Tuesday morning on bilateral relations and DPRK policy. Kim will explain his engagement policy towards the DPRK and seek Canada’s full-fledged support for his effort to dismantle the Cold War structure on the Korean peninsula. In particular, Kim is expected to ask Canada to expand its contacts and exchanges with the DPRK in a bid to encourage it to open itself to the outside world. The two leaders will discuss bilateral relations, particularly economic and scientific cooperation and ways to closely coordinate at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other international fora.

9. ROK Political Prisoners

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “MORE SECURITY VIOLATORS TO BE RELEASED,” Seoul, 07/05/99) and The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “SECURITY LAW OFFENDERS TO BE FREED,” Seoul, 07/05/99) reported that at a news conference following his receipt of the Freedom Medal in Philadelphia on Monday, ROK President Kim Dae- jung said that he would order the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to release as many inmates who have violated the National Security Law as possible, to commemorate liberation day on August 15. In addition, those on wanted lists will also be reviewed, as well as the cases of long term inmates. All released must pledge to follow the law. Kim said that there are elements in the National Security Law that are undemocratic and too general, and that he will thoroughly overhaul it, replacing or removing clauses as necessary. Presidential spokesman Park Joon-yong said that the president wants to ensure that all ROK citizens received full democratic rights, but added that he did not know whether politicians convicted of corruption would be included. A ruling party source said that politicians’ cases would probably be decided taking into account public sentiment. According to the MoJ, 198 people are incarcerated for violations of the security law and approximately 100 will be considered for amnesty. It is estimated that 70 unionists are also being detained and that they too will be freed.

10. ROK Military Scandal

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Young-won, “OFFICERS ARRESTED FOR SECURITY BREACH,” Seoul, 07/05/99), The Korea Times (“4 ARRESTED FOR LEAKING CLASSIFIED MILITARY DATA,” Seoul, 07/05/99) and The Korea Herald (“4 INDICTED FOR THEFT OF MILITARY SECRETS,” Seoul, 07/06/99) reported that the ROK Military Security Command (MSC) announced on Monday that two serving ROK officers were arrested on suspicions that they violated military security by passing information to two civilians, who were also taken into custody. Warrant officer Seo Seung-woo, stationed at the MSC, and Lieutenant Colonel Chung Tae-young from the army’s Chemical Warfare School allegedly passed classified information to Daewoo Heavy Industries director Lee Jong-sun and Chong Hoi-sam, head of Weesong Industries, an arms brokerage firm. Army investigators are also looking into allegations that a brigadier-general took W5 million from Chong in relation to the purchase of chemical protection gear. Seo is alleged to have leaked details related to the purchase of small reconnaissance helicopters to Daewoo’s Lee for a W7 million bribe. Chung gave information about the purchase of chemical warfare equipment to the arms broker.

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