NAPSNet Daily Report 06 July, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 06 July, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 06, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-06-july-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US Troops in ROK
2. US Policy toward Taiwan
3. Cross-Straits Relations
4. US-PRC Talks
5. PRC-Russian Talks
6. PRC View of US Missile Defense
7. US Missile Defense Test
II. Republic of Korea 1. Separated Families
2. ROK-DPRK Summit Discussions

I. United States

1. US Troops in ROK

The Washington Times (Rowan Scarborough, “AMERICAN CITIZENS IN SOUTH KOREA WARNED,” 7/6/00) reported that the US military command in the ROK suspects that anti-US locals have set up “strike squads” to attack US citizens, and has warned military personnel not to travel alone. The command sent out a warning message in late June which said, “Commanders shall reiterate the requirement for all [U.S. Forces Korea] personnel, to include family members, to use the buddy system when traveling off post at all times.” The US command has also set up a “civil disturbance hot line.” A hot-line message warned of the possibility of anti-US demonstrations at city parks across the ROK around the July 4 holiday. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6, 2000.]

2. US Policy toward Taiwan

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN’S DE FACTO ENVOY VOWS TO STOP U.S. CHINA POLICY FAVORING BEIJING,” Taipei, 7/5/00) and the Associated Press (“TOP U.S. ARMS CONTROL NEGOTIATOR ARRIVES IN BEIJING FOR TALKS ON MISSILES,” Beijing, 7/6/00) reported that Taiwan’s new de facto ambassador to the US, Chen Chien-jen, on July 5 pledged to prevent the US from moving toward the PRC in implementing its PRC policy. Chen said to the Taiwanese parliament ahead of his departure for the US to assume his new posting, “My major task in Washington will be to help alter its China policy if it is found tilting toward Beijing. If not, it would be to win Washington’s understanding and support.” Political analysts said that the Taiwanese government has been alarmed by the US policy change toward the PRC, sparking fears that the island’s interest could accordingly be jeopardized. Taiwanese Parliamentarian Parris Chang of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party said, “Apparently the change has occurred since 1998 after President (Bill) Clinton pledged ‘three nos’ to Beijing.” Regarding the US role in PRC-Taiwan talks, Chen said: “We all know that for years we have hoped the US would play an active and positive role but we did not expect it to serve as mediator. This was our past policy and will remain so in the future.”

3. Cross-Straits Relations

USA Today (Andrew Perrin, “TAIWAN CONCESSIONS BRING CRITICISM,” Taipei, 7/6/00) reported that analysts in Taiwan said that Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian’s willingness to give in to pressure from the US government will eventually trap the island into a reunification deal with the PRC from which it cannot escape. Taiwan’s military said on July 5 that the PRC would begin a two-day, live-fire exercise Thursday in the Taiwan Strait but called the drills non-threatening. According to senior members of the DPP, Chen’s apparent concession to the PRC last week, which government officials have since played down as “nothing new,” was a result of pressure that the US applied through informal channels. Parris Chang, a senior DPP lawmaker and chairman of the party’s national defense policy group, said that US President Bill Clinton has sent a number of “agents of persuasion” to Taiwan since the election. Chang said, “They have called on Taiwan to maintain a quiet tone, and, with an election due in the U.S., to keep things peaceful in the strait at all costs.” A senior member of Chen’s own party, lawmaker Lin Cho-shui, said that Chen’s remarks were “extremely damaging” and jeopardized the island’s sovereignty. He added, “Chen’s statement gives the impression that he accepts … communist China is the central government.” Antonio Chiang, the publisher of a Taiwan news weekly, The Journalist, and that the man who wrote Chen’s inauguration speech in May, said, “I don’t think he has gone too far. He has said he is only willing to talk about the idea of one-China. He has taken no action. However, he must learn to be careful, and not give too much away too quickly, in his attempts to appear like a peacemaker.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6, 2000.]

4. US-PRC Talks

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “COHEN TO LEAVE FOR CHINA MONDAY,” 7/6/00) reported that US Defense Department officials said on July 5 that US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen will depart on July 10 for his first visit to the PRC since the US bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia last year. Officials said that Cohen will resume the “high-level dialogue” on defense issues with PRC President Jiang Zemin as well as his counterpart, PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian, and other People’s Liberation Army (PLA) leaders. A senior US Defense Department official said, “the secretary’s trip demonstrates that the two countries are seeking to work together in a positive fashion. It gives the secretary an opportunity to meet the most senior leaders from the Central Military Commission and to have contact with the PLA, which is important in decision-making in the country.” The talks will center on the security situation in Asia, including the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan. The PRC is expected to send a senior general to the US later this year, but no plans exist yet for a reciprocal visit by PRC defense minister General Chi to the US. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6, 2000.]

Agence France Presse (“STRONG US DELEGATION, LONG LIST OF CONCERNS AT US-CHINA TALKS,” Washington, 7/6/00) reported that a senior US team led by US Under Secretary of State for Security and Arms Control John Holum is due in the PRC late Thursday to take up a dialogue with the PRC renewed last month by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Holum’s team will discuss the PRC’s reaction to a proposed US national missile defense system. The PRC is expected to complain about US arms sales to Taiwan. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on July 5, “The talks are aimed at improving our overall relationship with China and deepening our bilateral arms control and nonproliferation security dialogue with Beijing.” Some analysts believe that the importance the Clinton administration attaches to the talks is unlikely to be shared by the PRC officials. Bates Gill of the Brookings Institution said, “For the Chinese this is strictly symbolic, there are voices in China that don’t see much point in having these talks at all.” He added that the PRC remains interested in a stable relationship with the US and that therefore the talks still serve a useful purpose in the PRC.

Reuters (“U.S. ARMS EXPERTS TO VISIT CHINA, SINGAPORE, TOKYO,” Washington, 7/6/00) reported that US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on July 5 that US Under Secretary of State for Security and Arms Control John Holum and his delegation who visit the PRC this week will also travel to Singapore and Japan. Boucher said that the purpose of the visit to Japan “will be to debrief the Japanese foreign affairs officials on the talks in Beijing, and to continue with our ongoing consultations with Japan on nonproliferation and arms control issues.”

5. PRC-Russian Talks

The Washington Post (Sharon LaFraniere, “MISSILE SHIELD UNDER ATTACK,” Moscow, 7/6/00) and The Associated Press (“PUTIN AND JIANG IN CENTRAL ASIA ACCORD,” Dunshanbe, 7/6/00) reported that a Russian official said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and PRC President Jiang Zemin, in their first meeting as heads of state, reaffirmed their joint opposition on June 5 to a US proposal to build a national missile defense system. Putin said that a US decision in favor of the system “will signify the undermining of the global balance.” According to a top Putin aide, Jiang agreed that the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty should not be altered to allow the US to put up missile interceptors. Putin and Jiang met for 50 minutes at a regional security summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, also attended by the leaders of three Central Asian countries. Putin said at a news conference that Russia will consider it highly significant if the US proceeds with the project despite the Russian legislature’s recent ratification of the START II arms reduction treaty and his own suggestion that Russia and the US create a joint missile defense system. Putin said that if despite “decisive support by China and other states … decisions are taken nevertheless aimed at disruption of the 1972 [ABM] treaty, this will signify the undermining of the world balance.” In an interview published on June 5, General Vladimir Yakovlev, head of Russia’s strategic rocket forces, said that Russia might respond by increasing the number of warheads on its Topol-M missile, or by reviving a program to build mid-range ballistic missiles. [Ed. note: The Washington Post article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6, 2000.]

6. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Reuters (“CHINA SLAMS U.S. MISSILE SHIELD BEFORE TALKS,” Rome, 7/6/00) reported that the PRC voiced its opposition to a US missile defense plan for Asia on Thursday, saying it could be used to protect Taiwan in what would amount to “blatant interference” in the PRC’s affairs. PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji told a news conference in Rome during a tour of European states, “China is categorically opposed to the TMD (Theater Missile Defense) system. The system would aim to put Taiwan in a sphere of protection. This would be blatant interference in Chinese affairs.”

7. US Missile Defense Test

The New York Times (Elaine Sciolino, “PENTAGON GIVES A PREVIEW OF MISSILE DEFENSE TEST TOMORROW,” Washington, 7/6/00) reported that the US Defense Department said on Thursday that it will stage a missile test on July 7, the third and most demanding in a series of 19 tests for a national missile defense system. The test is to last thirty minutes. The US Defense Department plans to fire a 63-foot rocket with a mock warhead and a deflated Mylar balloon, to serve as a decoy, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Five minutes later, officials said, the rocket would release its fake warhead, and the balloon decoy would inflate to more than 6 feet in diameter. About 15 minutes after that, a 54-inch 130-pound “exoatmospheric kill vehicle” would be launched from Kwajalein Atoll about 4,300 miles away in the Pacific Ocean and guide itself to a collision with the incoming mock warhead. If the kill vehicle finds and destroys the warhead, the sky will fill “with a big flash.” This time a communications system has been added that would transmit information directly to the kill vehicle about the location of the target after it has lifted off. However, critics said that the test on July 7 is grossly misleading because it is occurring under conditions that do not reflect those of a real attack. They also said that the so-called “decoy” is not really a decoy, but more like a lure that would attract the kill vehicle to the real target, and that an adversary would use not one, but many decoys. They said that an adversary might even hide the warhead in a decoy-like balloon. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 6, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Separated Families

The Korea Times (Kim Yong-bom, “RESETTLEMENT OF SEPARATED FAMILIES DISCUSSED DURING INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT,” Seoul, 07/06/00) reported that ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il were known to have discussed the resettlement of separated families during the June 13-15 summit, and the latter had shown a positive response to the issue. Park said in his meeting with the 21st Century Northeast Asia Peace Forum, a research society at the ROK National Assembly, “The two leaders have agreed to take measures on a long-term basis to reunite the dispersed families if the atmosphere matures.” However, the Unification Ministry denied any agreement on the resettlement issue, saying, “In the June summit, the resettlement was discussed, but there exists no accord on it.” Though denied later, analysts said that the minister’s remark implied that the two leaders had almost agreed to let separated families choose to settle in the ROK or the DPRK according to their wishes.

2. ROK-DPRK Summit Discussions

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “KIM JONG-IL PROPOSES TO TRANSPORT MINERALS TO THE ROK VIA RAIL,” Seoul, 07/06/00) reported that, during the ROK-DPRK summit, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il proposed to transport the DPRK’s abundant minerals to the ROK when the severed inter-Korean railroad is linked in the future. Kim also said that he never ordered the DPRK Navy to fire on ROK ships during last year’s skirmishes in the West Sea. According to ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu, the conversations lasted 11 hours and 30 minutes during the inter-Korean summit, including the limousine ride to Paekhwawon Guest House. Regarding war and peace, ROK President Kim Dae-jung said that another war on the Korean peninsula would lead to mutual destruction, saying that his Sunshine Policy, which has been in effect for two and a half years, is not aimed at strangling the DPRK. Chairman Kim agreed with President Kim’s view on war. President Kim also conveyed the international community’s concerns on the DPRK’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, saying the programs might erode efforts to ensure peace and security on the peninsula and attract foreign investment, which is indispensable for the restoration of the DPRK’s bankrupt economy. Kim Jong-il was quoted as saying, “You are right.” As for the institutional framework for ROK investment in the DPRK, Kim Dae-jung called for the establishment of agreements on investment protection and double taxation avoidance. Kim Jong-il refused, at first, to put his signature on the Joint Declaration, proposing that Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, sign the declaration. However, Kim Dae-jung remained firm on his position and said, “I cannot return to the South Korea with this.” Finally, Kim Jong-il agreed to sign, saying jokingly, “In the face of a Cholla-do (man)’s insistence, I gave up.” He also said, “As I put my signature on it, I will keep it under all circumstances.”

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Moscow, Russian Federation

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

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