NAPSNet Daily Report 07 February, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 07 February, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 07, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-07-february-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Alleged DPRK Uranium Imports
2. US-ROK Missile Talks
3. Alleged ROK Missile Development
4. PRC Participation in G8
5. PRC View of US Missile Defense
6. US Missile Defense
7. US Missile Defense Test
8. Spratly Islands Dispute
II. Republic of Korea 1. US Sanctions on DPRK
2. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation
3. DPRK Defectors
4. DPRK Consulate in Hong Kong
5. DPRK Participation in UN
6. Korean War Massacre
7. DPRK Naval Drill
8. ROK Proposal on DPRK Aid
9. Alleged DPRK Spies in PRC

I. United States

1. Alleged DPRK Uranium Imports

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA DENIES IMPORTING URANIUM,” Seoul, 2/7/00) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday denied media reports that it might be importing uranium from Congo to manufacture nuclear weapons. KCNA said the accusation was a “sheer fabrication and is nothing but a charade intended to slander and hurt North Korea. North Korea has clarified more than once that it has neither intention nor capacity to develop nuclear weapons” amid its economic difficulties.

2. US-ROK Missile Talks

Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA TO SEEK MISSILE RANGES LONG ENOUGH TO MEET SECURITY DEMAND,” Seoul, 2/7/00) reported that the ROK said Monday that it needs to develop attack missiles with sufficient range to combat the military and security threat from the DPRK. An ROK foreign ministry spokesman said, “in case of military missiles, South Korea will make utmost efforts to secure such ranges as necessary to meet the demand for military security. Our position is also that there should be no range ceilings on Seoul’s developing rockets for civilian and scientific purposes.” Song Min-soon, the head of the ROK foreign ministry’s North American affairs bureau, left Monday for two day talks in Hawaii with US assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation Robert Einhorn. ROK negotiators did not elaborate on the exact missile ranges they will seek to secure from the US, nor on the prospects of a breakthrough in the negotiations.

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “NORTH KOREA THREATS OVERSHADOW TALKS,” Seoul, 2/6/00) reported that US and ROK officials will resume missile talks in Hawaii starting on February 8. Chang Chul-kyun, a spokesman for the ROK Foreign Ministry said, “we anticipate progress in this week’s talks. We need a missile strong enough to provide a deterrent to North Korean threats.” Chang said the talks in Hawaii will center on the issue of allowing the US to get involved in every stage of ROK missile development, a request the ROK has already rejected. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 7, 2000.]

3. Alleged ROK Missile Development

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA ACCUSES SOUTH KOREA OF DEVELOPING LONG-RANGE MISSILE,” Seoul, 2/5/00) reported that the DPRK’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 5 accused the ROK of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles under the disguise of a commercial satellite-launching program which it announced in December 1999. KCNA said, “we will immediately and unhesitatingly take a strong countermeasure against the South Korean authorities’ ‘satellite launch program’ when it is confirmed.”

4. PRC Participation in G8

Reuters (“OKINAWA SEEKS CHINA PARTICIPATION IN G8 SUMMIT,” Naha, 2/7/00) reported that Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine told a news conference on Monday that he wants Japan to invite the PRC to this year’s Group of Eight (G8) leaders’ summit in July as an observer or something similar. Inamine added that the PRC’s presence would help ease tensions in East Asia. Japan has already invited PRC Premier Zhu Rongji to visit this year, but Akitaka Saiki, a spokesman for Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, said on Monday that there had been no official response from the PRC to that invitation. Government sources have said that nothing has been decided about the PRC’s participation in the G8 summit. Some Japanese diplomats have said the PRC was reluctant to participate because the PRC believed it had better diplomatic leverage operating outside the G8 framework.

5. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Agence France Presse (“CHINA LAMBASTS US ANTI-MISSILE PLAN, WARNS AGAINST ARMS TO TAIWAN,” Munich, 2/6/00) and Reuters (Douglas Busvine, “CHINESE OFFICIAL GIVES WARNING ON TAIWAN,” Munich, 2/7/00) reported that PRC Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Guangya warned during an informal defense and security forum in Germany on February 6 that the US government’s plan to develop a national anti-missile defense system could provoke a new arms race. Wang also warned countries against selling arms to Taiwan and urged them to accept its goal of absorbing Taiwan or risk consequences “you don’t want to see.” US Defense Secretary William Cohen was also in attendance. Wang said, “in an attempt to seek absolute security for itself, a certain country is stepping up its research, development and deployment of sophisticated anti-missile systems, even at the expense of violating the international legal obligations to which it has committed itself. This move will undoubtedly inflict severe damages on global strategic balance and stability, undermine the international security environment, make it difficult to carry on the international non-proliferation regime and may even trigger a new round of arms race, to the detriment of its (the US) own security at the end of the day.” [Ed. note: The Reuters article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 7, 2000.]

6. US Missile Defense

The International Herald Tribune (Joseph Fitchett, “COHEN BRINGS U.S. MISSILE-DEFENSE ARGUMENT TO EUROPE,” Munich, 2/7/00) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen said on February 6 that the Clinton administration has started a public relations drive to win support in Europe for an anti-missile defensive system. Cohen told European and Asian officials at the Munich Conference on Security Policy that the system could protect the US from nuclear blackmail by a country such as Iraq and help ensure US willingness to risk a war to protect Western interests. US officials said that Cohen stressed the narrow focus of the proposed US system and the belief that so- called “rogue regimes” are liable to pose a nuclear missile threat in only five or 10 years. Cohen cited the DPRK as the worst offender, saying that it was building and selling long-range missiles and already had an arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological warheads. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 7, 2000.]

7. US Missile Defense Test

Associated Press (“PATRIOT MISSILE LAUNCH A SUCCESS,” White Sands Missile Range, 2/6/00) reported that officials said that the US Army’s newest Patriot interceptor missile knocked a target from the sky during its fifth test flight early February 6. A modified Minuteman-2 target missile was launched from Fort Wingate near Gallup, and traveled roughly 200 miles toward the missile range. Army spokesman Jim Eckles said that a PAC-3 was fired, hitting the target missile, called a Hera, over White Sands. The missiles use kinetic energy, rather than explosive warheads, to destroy targets. They are designed to defend against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and enemy aircraft. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 7, 2000.]

8. Spratly Islands Dispute

Agence France Presse (“PHILIPPINE NAVY SAYS SHOTS FIRED TO AVOID SMASH WITH CHINESE VESSELS,” Manila, 2/5/00) reported that Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Luisito Fernandez said on February 5 that a navy ship was forced to fire warning shots to avert a collision with two Chinese fishing boats sailing near the Scarborough Shoal. Fernandez said that the destroyer-escort Rajah Humabon aimed the shots well away from the Chinese boats, instead of across their bows, in order to avoid any risk of accidental damage. Philippine military chief General Angelo Reyes had said on February 4 that the shots were fired in order to drive a single Chinese vessel away from the shoal, but Fernandez noted the mistake and clarified that two Chinese fishing vessels were involved.

Agence France Presse (“PHILIPPINE DEFENSE CHIEF RULES OUT FUTURE ARRESTS OF CHINESE POACHERS,” Manila, 2/7/00) reported that Philippine Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado on Monday ruled out future arrests of Chinese fishermen who stray into the country’s territorial waters. Regarding the two Chinese fishermen already in their custody, Mercado said, “in the end (we will) release them also. It’s a very tedious function. So, I think our task now, instead of arresting them, is to be preventive in our actions.” Mercado said instead of arresting Chinese intruders, Manila would be try to deter them from entering the contested territory.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-young, “NORTH KOREA DEMANDS U.S. LIFT ALL ECONOMIC SANCTIONS,” Seoul, 02/07/00), The Korea Times (“N.KOREA DEMANDS COMPENSATION FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANT,” Seoul, 02/06/00) and The Korea Times (“N. KOREA URGES US TO LIFT SANCTIONS,” Seoul, 02/06/00) reported that the DPRK has again called for the US to “fully and comprehensively” lift the economic sanctions. The latest DPRK demands, made on the DPRK’s Central Broadcasting Station over the weekend, followed US President Bill Clinton’s statement on international computer exports. The report said that the US ban on computer and technology exports is aimed at undermining and “suffocating” the DPRK’s scientific, technological, and economic development. The report said, “it is a grave error (for the United States) to attempt to isolate and pressure us through economic sanctions.”

2. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON FIRST INTER-KOREAN AUTO PLANT IN N.K.,” Seoul, 02/07/00) reported that the DPRK’s official news agency announced that the Unification Church opened construction on February 3 on the first auto plant to be built jointly by ROK and DPRK partners in Nampo, DPRK. Pyonghwa General Motors Works is an inter-Korean venture, led by the ROK’s Pyonghwa Motors Company (PMC), which is affiliated with Reverend Moon Sun-myung’s Unification Church, and the DPRK’s state-run Yonbong Corporation. The partners hope to complete the first stage of construction by the end of March and start to assemble vehicles in April. Under a contract with Italian automaker Fiat SpA, it is expected to turn out about 10,000 cars annually. An official said, “not only Fiat, but many other European auto-makers also expressed interest in our project, as they regard North Korea as a good base for their forays into China, which will be the biggest market in the 21st century.” The official said that up to 60 percent of the assembled cars will target DPRK consumers, with the other 40 percent being aimed at foreign markets such as the PRC and Russia.

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “SOUTH AND NORTH KOREA ACTIVELY DISCUSSING COOPERATION,” Seoul, 02/06/00) reported that cooperative projects between the ROK and the DPRK are making considerable progress this year. According to the Ministry of Unification on February 7, about ten ROK-DPRK joint projects are being sought. The DPRK recently announced that it will receive up to 50 percent of the total payment in goods rather than cash owed to it by Neovision, which agreed to jointly produce TV programs with the DPRK on February 5. The ROK government regards the DPRK’s suggestion on payment in goods as the “intention to increase the cooperation with the South.” A source at the Ministry of Unification said, “we are aiming to maximize North Korean citizens’ benefits as a consequence of the increase in South-North exchanges.”

3. DPRK Defectors

The Korea Herald (“NORTH KOREA TIGHTENS SECURITY ALONG CHINESE BORDER,” Seoul, 02/07/00) reported that the DPRK has tightened security along its border with the PRC since the PRC forcibly returned seven DPRK defectors to Pyongyang last month. An ROK government official said on February 6 that DPRK border guards have recently increased checks on vehicles crossing the Sino-Korean border.

4. DPRK Consulate in Hong Kong

Chosun Ilbo (Hahm Yeong-jun, “NK CONSULATE TO OPEN IN HONG KONG,” Seoul, 02/03/00) reported that Yanchukan, a Chinese language weekly, reported on February 3 that the DPRK had finished preparations for opening a consulate on the 20th floor of a building in Hong Kong’s central district of Wanchai. The magazine also reported that US and Japanese intelligence agencies had already begun surveillance of the DPRK diplomats.

5. DPRK Participation in UN

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Chulmin, “NK LOSES UN VOTING RIGHTS,” New York, 02/03/00) reported that the UN General Assembly unveiled on February 3 a list of 45 member countries that have lost their right to vote in assembly meetings because of unpaid dues exceeding its two year grace period. Among the 45 countries that have been deprived of their right to vote were the DPRK, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi and Yemen. At first, the list included 52 countries but 7 countries, namely, Bosnia, Comoros, Congo, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua and Tajikistan, were allowed to keep their voting rights until June 30 due to their countries financial or wartime situations. The DPRK paid this year’s fee of about US$158,000 in January but the country still had not paid over US$1 million specially budgeted to run the international court for war criminals in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The DPRK has also failed to pay for UN peacekeeping forces. The DPRK will have to pay at least US$383,200 this year in order to recover the right to vote at the general assembly. Its contribution was lowered from 0.019 percent to 0.015 percent of the total UN budget when it became a member in late 1997 because of the country’s economic difficulties.

6. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Kang Hyo-sang, “US INTERVIEWS KOREAN WAR VETS ON NOGEUN-RI,” Seoul, 02/03/00) reported that the US army announced on February 3 that it has started to interview US-Korean War veterans concerning the Nogun-ri massacre and has not ruled out the possibility of punishment, depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation. US Army Secretary Louis Caldera compared the Nogun-ri massacre with war crime courts held after the Second World War. Caldera said in an interview that they do not want to set double standards, but stated that it was too early to regard what the US soldiers did in Nogun-ri as war crimes. Caldera said the US army will indict anyone who is found guilty of ordering the Nogun-ri Massacre after a thorough investigation of the case. The report said that Caldera’s statement showed that the US was sincere with its desire to uncover the truth and act according to international laws. The report also said the Nogun-ri Massacre, which occurred in the early stages of the Korean War, was an important case that will show whether the US army committed crimes against humanity.

The Korea Times (“SEOUL DELEGATION TO VISIT US TO PROBE NOGUN-RI CASE,” Seoul, 02/06/00) reported that an ROK government delegation will visit the US on February 22-26 to probe the Nogun-ri Massacre. The delegation, to be headed by Lieutenant General Kim Jong-hwan, assistant defense minister for policy and planning, will conduct two rounds of talks with a US counterpart to hear the results of the US investigation. The two sides will also discuss future measures in their efforts to determine the facts surrounding the alleged killings. The Defense Ministry said that the delegation, in particular, will conduct interviews with US Korean War veterans who were involved in the atrocities at the hamlet of Nogun-ri.

7. DPRK Naval Drill

The Korea Times (“NK STEPS UP NAVAL DRILL SINCE DEFEAT IN WEST SEA,” Seoul, 02/06/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said in a report titled “Defense Policy Direction in 2000,” that the DPRK has been stepping up its naval exercises in the West Sea since its defeat at the hands of ROK Navy forces last June. The report said that the DPRK Navy has been conducting war preparedness exercises along the borderline in the West Sea, while increasing and improving its infiltration capabilities. According to the report, new semi-submarines for infiltration purposes built at Sinpo naval base on the eastern coast have been deployed and a new SBS-2 underwater booster is also under development. The report said low-flying AN-2 infiltration aircraft, which are difficult to track by ROK radar, are undergoing routine training near the Demilitarized Zone.

8. ROK Proposal on DPRK Aid

The Korea Times (“TAX FAVORS NEEDED TO PROMOTE NK AID,” Seoul, 02/06/00) reported that as a measure to promote aid to the DPRK, an ROK researcher has proposed that the government provide tax favors to private organizations which engaged in humanitarian assistance to the DPRK. In a report on DPRK assistance projects, Choe Song-kun of the state-run Korea Legislation Research Institute suggested that “donations by the private sector deserve the favors, as it is deemed a public service contributing to inter-Korean exchanges.” As a concrete measure, the researcher suggested a refund of the VAT (value added tax), that private donors paid in procuring goods to assist the DPRK.

9. Alleged DPRK Spies in PRC

The Korea Times (“HUNDREDS OF FEMALE NK AGENTS SPYING IN CHINA,” Seoul, 02/06/00) reported that the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency said on February 6 that hundreds of female DPRK agents are conducting espionage activities in PRC big cities. The report quoted informed military intelligence sources and estimated the number of female DPRK spies at 600 to 700. Yonhap said most of them come from well-established families and graduated from top universities in the DPRK. The report said, “they are believed to have received specialized training at a spy unit under the auspices of North Korea’s Communist Party.” The report said the female agents often pose as ethnic Koreans in the PRC and work at restaurants or karaoke bars in big PRC cities such as Beijing and Shenyang to spy on ROK and Japanese businessmen and government officials. The report said, “some were trained at a spy school in Shenyang established by North Korea.” However, Yonhap said that the ROK had yet to confirm which of the Communist Party’s several spy units was in charge of training these agents. An intelligence official said, “what is clear is that they are controlled by the Communist Party.”

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

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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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
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