NAPSNet Daily Report 06 September, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Participation in UN Summit
2. DPRK-ROK Relations
3. Japan-DPRK Relations
5. PRC Political Stance
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK UN Summit Cancellation
2. Red Cross Talks
3. Inter-Korean Military Talks
4. Philippines Senate Members To Visit DPRK
III. Russian Federation 1. RF Nuclear Waste Re-Processing
2. RF President’s Visit to Japan
3. RF-Japan Territorial Dispute
4. DPRK-ROK Talks

I. United States

1. DPRK Participation in UN Summit

The Washington Post (Colum Lynch and Don Phillips, “ANGRY OVER AIRLINE SEARCH, N. KOREA SKIPS U.N. SUMMIT,” United Nations, 9/6/00), Agence France Presse (“US ‘REGRETS’ FRANKFURT INCIDENT AS NKOREA PULLS OUT OF SUMMIT,” Washington, 9/6/00), and Reuters (“IRATE NORTH KOREAN UN SUMMIT DELEGATION FLIES HOME VIA BEIJING,” Beijing, 9/6/00) reported that the US State Department and the White House said on September 5 that they regretted the incident in the Frankfurt airport which resulted in the DPRK delegation’s refusal to attend the UN Millennium Summit. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said, “It’s certainly an unfortunate incident we regret. It was a combination of unfamiliarity with our procedures and, I think, some unfamiliarity on the part there with the delegation coming through.” US administration officials acknowledged privately that they may share some responsibility for the “misunderstanding” but said the DPRK had failed to inform the US State Department of the delegation’s exact travel plans. The official said, “They told us they were flying into New York on a Lufthansa flight.” One senior US official said, “I don’t know what happened in Frankfurt. But I can tell you it is not going to change the course of U.S., North Korean and South Korean moves toward progress. These glitches happen.” The DPRK’s UN ambassador, Li Hyong-chol, stated, “This incident intensified our vigilance and hatred towards the United States. The U.S. should understand that as long as they continue to resort to confrontation against us with such provocative acts, it will only disclose their true color as a destroyer of peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.” UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was disappointed by the DPRK’s cancellation, but added through his spokesman that he hoped the two Koreas “will nonetheless continue to build on the progress achieved thus far towards normalizing relations between them.” [Ed. note: The Washington Post article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 6, 2000.]

The Washington Post (Colum Lynch and Don Phillips, “ANGRY OVER AIRLINE SEARCH, N. KOREA SKIPS U.N. SUMMIT,” United Nations, 9/6/00), Agence France Presse (“US ‘REGRETS’ FRANKFURT INCIDENT AS NKOREA PULLS OUT OF SUMMIT,” Washington, 9/6/00), and Reuters (“IRATE NORTH KOREAN UN SUMMIT DELEGATION FLIES HOME VIA BEIJING,” Beijing, 9/6/00) reported that American Airlines said in a statement that the DPRK delegates allowed their checked and carry-on baggage to be inspected but objected when security personnel asked them to take off their outer garments, such as overcoats and suit jackets; to remove their shoes; and to undergo a “pat down” body search. The airline company said, “Some of the group declined to take part in the screening process. When they later changed their minds and agreed to the screening, it was 10 minutes prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time and there was not enough time to process the whole delegation.” The airline said it then endorsed the group’s tickets onto another carrier, and the delegation “was then escorted to the next available flight to New York,” but the DPRK delegates flew home instead. Aviation sources said American Airlines had suggested that the DPRK delegates could fly later in the day as standby passengers on Lufthansa, which as a German carrier is not bound by the same security rules. American Airlines said, “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused Monday to the North Korean diplomatic delegation. [But,] as a U.S. carrier, we are obliged under FAA regulations to carry out stringent security procedures for all passengers traveling on our international flights.” US government and aviation officials said security procedures are especially tight for passengers from the seven countries listed by the US State Department as sponsors of terrorism, of which the DPRK is one. Airline industry sources said that American Airlines had not been informed of the DPRK delegation’s travel plans by either the US Federal Aviation Administration or the US State Department and that if there had been an official US request for special treatment of the delegation, it would have been granted.

2. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “KOREAS EXPECT TO KEEP GOOD TIES,” Seoul, 9/6/00) reported that the DPRK and the ROK said that their relations will not be affected by a diplomatic row between the DPRK and the US over a security pat-down of DPRK diplomats in Germany. In television footage shown in the ROK on Wednesday, DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choi Su-hon said that he regretted that the meeting in New York between the two Korean leaders would not take place as scheduled, but said they would have opportunities to meet elsewhere. ROK officials said they did not see any reason to be worried. ROK national security adviser Kim Ha-joong said in New York, “As Northern officials already said (in Frankfurt), I don’t think the incident would negatively affect our relations with them.” Japan, meanwhile, expressed disappointment about the incident, which deprived it of a valuable chance to make contact with the DPRK, the only country in the region with which it has no diplomatic relations. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa said, “It is a fact that we had been adjusting schedules to hold a bilateral meeting Thursday. We are disappointed that it will not take place.”

3. Japan-DPRK Relations

Reuters (“JAPAN PM SAYS STILL WANTS NKOREA MEETING IN FUTURE,” United Nations, 9/6/00) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said on Wednesday that he was disappointed at DPRK’s decision to skip the UN Millennium Summit, but added that he remained willing to meet its leaders. Mori said, “It was an unfortunate accident. It is very disappointing.” However, he said, the fact that a meeting with DPRK delegation head Kim Young- nam had been arranged was a good sign. He added, “There was willingness (on the part of the DPRK side) to meet. I think there will be chances to talk with their leaders in the future. I would like to seek such opportunities from now on.”

5. PRC Political Stance

Reuters (“CHINA WANTS END TO COLD WAR MENTALITY, SILENT ON NMD,” United Nations, 9/6/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin made a brief speech on Wednesday to the UN Millennium Summit which made no mention of the US national missile defense (NMD) system. Despite PRC diplomats who believed Jiang would undoubtedly use the UN platform to criticize the US NMD system, he never mentioned the topic. Instead, Jiang said, “The Cold War mentality must be abandoned once and for all and a new security concept — based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation — should be established. The unfair and irrational international and political economic order has yet to be replaced.” Diplomatic analysts said Jiang might well have decided to scrap his attack on NMD after US President Bill Clinton’s announcement last week that he would let his successor decide whether to proceed with the multibillion dollar system. Jiang called for a new more devolved world order less centered on the big powers and their efforts to carve out spheres of influence across the globe. He also said that the developed world should be focusing its efforts on increasing regional stability and improving the lot of the poor. Jiang stressed that the most developed nations should not seek to overly influence those nations who desperately need humanitarian assistance. He said, “In order to support and promote the development of the developing countries and to alleviate and eradicate poverty, it is essential to fully respect the right of the people of all countries to choose their social systems and development path independently. China will never seek hegemony. This is a solemn commitment of the Chinese people to the world.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK UN Summit Cancellation

Chosun Ilbo (“KIM YOUNG-NAM CANCELS TRIP TO NEW YORK,” Seoul, 09/05/00) reported that DPRK Supreme Peoples Assembly Chairman Kim Young-nam cancelled a trip to the US where he was to attend the Millennium Summit. Kim and his group were supposed to board an American Airlines flight from Frankfurt on September 5 but were prevented from boarding the aircraft by airline officials following their refusal to undergo a body and baggage search. The DPRK delegation later issued a statement condemning US government on the treatment and demanding an apology. The DPRK mission at the UN Headquarters also issued a statement saying that it was an intentional act of the US government and that the US will have to pay heavily for this.

2. Red Cross Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Choi Byong-mook, “NORTH DELAYS RED CROSS MEETING,” Seoul, 09/05/00) reported that a proposal to its DPRK counterpart by the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC) for a second round of meetings met a cool response on September 5 with the DPRK asking for a delay. Some analysts said that this is because the DPRK has much to do following recent contacts, whereas others say that this is jut typical behavior as the reclusive country has got what it wants from the meetings.

3. Inter-Korean Military Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “SEOUL SEEKS INTER-KOREAN MILITARY TALKS THIS MONTH,” Seoul, 09/05/00) reported that an ROK Unification Ministry official said that the ROK will move to hold military talks with the DPRK this month. Kim Hyung-ki, an assistant minister for unification policy, said on September 5, “We will have to first discuss the timing and venue of the military talks with the North, but our aim is to open the first round of talks this month.” Kim added that the talks will include such issues as opening a military hot line and finding measures to ease tensions, and that the talks will likely be at defense ministerial level.

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “DEFENSE MINISTERS FROM TWO KOREAS MAY MEET THIS MONTH,” 9/6/00) reported that ROK officials said on September 5 that DPRK and ROK defense ministers are likely to meet this month to discuss easing tension and building military trust. A ranking ROK Unification Ministry official said, “With respect to military talks, we will consider both a defense ministers’ meeting as President Kim Dae-jung suggested (in his Liberation Day speech Aug. 15) and working-group negotiations. As of now, ministerial talks are more likely.” The official said that Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae will represent the ROK, and his DPRK counterpart would likely be Kim Il-chol, minister of the People’s Armed Forces. He added that as it would be completely up to the DPRK government who to send, the DPRK’s chief delegate could also be Jo Myong-rok, first vice chairman of the National Defense Commission. The official said, “Although the timetable will be finalized after consultations with the North, we will push to hold the talks within this month.” Denying recent media reports speculating on the scope and timing of a DPRK-requested food loan, the official said, “Nothing has been decided. North Korea wants the loan to be implemented as soon as possible.” He added that details would be fixed after more interagency consultations and public hearings on the issue. The officials said that the ROK would propose another working-level meeting this week to discuss beginning construction on the re-linking of the Seoul-Shinuiju railway in mid-September, as scheduled by the ROK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 6, 2000.]

4. Philippines Senate Members To Visit DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“PHILIPPINE SENATE MEMBERS VISIT PYONGYANG SEPT. 5-8,” Seoul, 09/05/00) reported that the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on September 3 that a nine-member delegation of the Philippine Senate left for Pyongyang on September 5 for a four-day trip, during which the two countries’ parliamentarians are expected to discuss cooperation between their legislative branches. The delegation is led by Blas Oble, vice president of the Philippine Senate. The delegation was to visit Pyongyang in April at the invitation of Choi Tae-pok, speaker of the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly, but the trip was postponed due to the June 15 inter-Korean summit talks and normalization of relations between the DPRK and the Philippines.

III. Russian Federation

1. RF Nuclear Waste Re-Processing

Segodnya (Yevgeniya Lents, “RUSSIAN ATOMIC SUBMARINES CUT IN PIECES FOR DOLLARS,” Moscow, 5, 09/01/00) reported that William Richardson, US Energy Secretary, visited the RF Far East to get closely acquainted with storage and utilization of nuclear waste. On Thursday he visited the main base of the RF Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok. Sources at the RF Pacific Fleet Headquarters said that “the fleet has got no money. So, as Richardson promised money, rather big money, the Russian military will 100 percent fulfill his request for confidentiality of the terms and the very subject of agreement.” At an airport press conference, Richardson said that he came “to discuss the issues of utilization of liquid radioactive waste of the RF Pacific Fleet carried out for US money within the framework of US-RF program ‘Protection of nuclear materials, accounting and control.'” Prior to visiting Vladivostok, Richardson met with Admiral Mikhail Zakharenko, Commander in Chief, RF Pacific Fleet, in preparation for the signing of a bilateral agreement between the US Energy Department and the RF Defense Ministry.

2. RF President’s Visit to Japan

Segodnya published an opinion article by Natalia Kalashnikova (“PUTIN CLOSED THE TERRITORIAL QUESTION,” Moscow, 1, 09/04/00) which said that while leaving for Japan, RF President Vladimir Putin said that the RF recognized the existence of the Kuril problem, but there was no talk about “a return” of the isles. Kalashnikova noted that “the question is closed. And it seems it is so concerning not only the short- term time-span of Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Japan, but for the whole period of his stay in power.” With his rating undisturbed even by the tragedy of the “Kursk” submarine, Kalashnikova said that Putin could solve the issue in one stroke by giving the isles back, leasing them long-term, or selling them. The RF public, in the writer’s opinion, “would swallow any option.” However, Putin decided not to betray his great-power policy. The writer continued that both RF patriots and some part of the Japanese political establishment are satisfied. Kalashnikova noted that for Japan, the return of the Northern territories has become its national idea. It can be fulfilled, but then it is very difficult to find or invent a new one. And the example of the RF has shown what might happen to a nation without the national idea. Meanwhile there are some positive shifts. The writer noted that it is expected that a no-visa entry regime would be established for the benefit of Japanese wishing to visit South Kurils. Kalashnikova concluded, “Let them look at the living conditions in the God- forsaken Northern territories. Maybe then the ancient dispute will be solved.”

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (D.K., “JAPAN’S PREMIER ON PEACE TREATY,” Moscow, 1, 09/01/00) reported that Japanese Premier Yoshiro Mori said on August 31 that he hoped for signing a peace treaty with the RF before the end of the year. Even if it is not signed at the Japan-RF summit in September, Mori said, “still there are four months remaining.” However, a high-ranking RF diplomat said that the RF and Japan “were not preparing surprises.” Izvestia (Georgy Bovt, “WHEN ON TATAMI, BEHAVE AS A TATAMI FIGHTER,” Moscow, 1, 3, 09/06/00) reported that during the official visit of RF President Vladimir Putin to Japan, the parties signed 15 bilateral documents, including a Joint Statement on interaction in international relations, a program for deepening of economic cooperation, and a number of other documents on various subjects concerning energy, ecology, utilization of nuclear waste of submarines and other issues. However, “in Tokyo they consider them skeptically as a make-believe disguising the lack of progress in main venues.” In addition to his meetings with Japanese Premier Yoshiro Mori and other state officials, Putin made a speech to members of Japanese Association of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), suggesting reanimation of an old idea of a Japanese-Russian Investment Company to provide guarantees against investment risks in RF. The volume of RF-Japanese bilateral trade is less than US$5 billion per year, which stands in a sharp contrast to annual US$60 billion PRC-Japanese trade. Concerning the bilateral peace treaty, Putin noted that at the Yelsin- Hashimoto summit in Krasnoyarsk in 1997, it was promised just to “exert all efforts” to sign it, with no “commitments” were taken. This time, however, neither party was ready to make any concessions, yet Izvestia’s author believed that an agreement signed in Japan on joint economic activities in the South Kurils concerning breeding of sea-urchins created a precedent.

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Marina Volkova and Dmitriy Skosyrev, “JAPAN IS OUR PARTNER NOW,” Tokyo-Moscow, 1, 6, 09/06/00) reported that the signing of a “non-planned” Joint Statement by RF President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Premier Yoshiro Mori became the main event of Putin’s official visit to Japan. In the joint statement, the parties noted the efforts since the Krasnoyarsk summit of 1997 and expressed their decision to continue bilateral peace treaty talks “based on Tokyo Declaration of 1993 and Moscow Declaration of 1998.” At the final press conference, the parties’ statements concerning the treaty were different. While Mori said that as long as there was time this year, it was too early to talk about a new date for its signing, Putin stated, “So far we’ve failed to come to final solution of all issues of the peace treaty.” He also advised the study of the Krasnoyarsk arrangements of 1997 more thoroughly to see that they only stated the necessity to apply efforts to sign it by 2000 and added that much more had been done in two years than in the previous 50. The paper’s authors expressed a view that the fact that the statement said nothing about a deadline meant “the wound has been healed.” The territorial issue is a fact and an unpleasant one, but it will not create agitation during each RF-Japanese contact. The issue will occupy its due place in the whole set of bilateral relations, neither the first, nor the second and maybe not even the third one. Putin assessed the situation as follows, “Russia and Japan will enter the new millennium in a new capacity – we build our relations as partners and consider them to be of strategic nature…. All actions for the benefit of Japan will be seen as actions for the benefit of the RF and vice versa.” The positions of the two countries coincide on virtually all world issues, as testified in their statement on interaction in international affairs. The RF promised to support Japan’s aspiration for permanent membership in the UN Security Council, while Japan promised to support RF entry to the WTO. A framework agreement was also on joint economic activities in the South Kurils and a program of trade and economic cooperation development were signed, both documents being “of very general nature.”

Segodnya (Aleksandr Chudodeyev, “THE ISLES REMAINED WITH RUSSIA,” Moscow, 2, 09/06/00) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin at the final press conference in Tokyo on the last day of his official visit to Japan said, “Despite the fact that so far we have failed to come to agreement on all elements of the peace treaty, it is important that Japan and RF do not pretend that the issue does not exist.” The author noted that considering the fact that Putin called Japan almost “a strategic partner,” one could expect that the work on the treaty will be accelerated.

3. RF-Japan Territorial Dispute

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (“DULLES’ THREAT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES,” Moscow, 6, 09/01/00) published a half- page article (with full over one-page version published in Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye) by Dr.Anatoliy Koshkin, Member, Executive Committee, Association of Historians of World War 2, Professor of Eastern University, subtitled “‘Kuril Problem between Moscow and Tokyo Was Created by Americans in the 1950s.” The author argues that before the 1950s, both the US and Japan considered the territorial issue in the Far East solved as stipulated by the Yalta agreements and the Potsdam Declaration of 1945. On January 29, 1949, Douglas McArthur, Commander-in- Chief, Allied Forces sent Japanese Imperial Government his Memorandum #677, in which “the Kuril (Tishima) Isles, the group of Habomai Isles and the Island of Shikotan” were excluded from Japan’s territory. The departure began in the early 1950s, when the San Francisco peace treaty was signed without the USSR, who refused to sign it due to US blocking of PRC participation and the fact that the treaty lacked a detailed list of isles that Japan was giving up, thus encouraging its territorial claims against the USSR. In 1955 Japan put claims on all Kuril Isles and the Southern part of Sakhalin, but then it understood that such approach would make the USSR block its admission to the UN. Therefore a compromise was reached and a Joint Declaration was signed establishing diplomatic relations and ending the state of war between the USSR and Japan in October, 1956. The Declaration provided for transfer of Habomai and Shikotan back to Japan. That “shortsighted voluntary” concession of a part of USSR territory made by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev without consultation with the Soviet parliament destroyed the international legal basis of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements and contradicted the San Francisco peace treaty, becoming “a delayed action mine.” However, the US objected even to that. US State Secretary John Dulles openly threatened that if Japan agreed to recognize Kuril Isles as belonging to the USSR, then the US would occupy Okinawa and the Ryukyu Archipelago forever. With the US-Japanese Security Treaty signed in 1960, any concessions by USSR “would have expanded the territory used by foreign troops of an unfriendly power. The issue of ‘the Northern Territories’ served as a means of carrying out anti- Soviet American strategy. As a result Japanese and Russian peoples has become hostages to that cunning US policy.”

4. DPRK-ROK Talks

Segodnya (“SECOND ROUND OF INTER-KOREAN TALKS OPENED IN PYONGYANG,” Moscow, 4, 08/31/00) reported that the second round of DPRK-ROK ministerial level negotiations opened in Pyongyang. The negotiations were meant to reach agreements in various fields including military relations, to reduce tensions, and to promote cooperation. At the start of the negotiations the ROK proposed to restore the railway between Seoul and a city in the DPRK, to hold meetings between ministers or other high officials of the respective defense ministries, and to reach agreements concerning economic cooperation and the repatriation of Korean War POWs.

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

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

Leanne Payton: lbpat1@smtp.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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