NAPSNet Daily Report 07 March, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 07 March, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, March 07, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-07-march-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Deal
2. Bush Admininstration’s Stance on Missile Deal
3. US-ROK Summit
4. US Policy toward DPRK
5. ROK-DPRK Talks
6. PRC Companies in Iraq
7. PRC Economic Reform
8. Alleged Japanese Spying for Russia
9. Japanese-American Internment in WWII
II. Republic of Korea 1. Light-water Reactor Project
2. ROK-US Summit
3. DPRK Defector May Visit US
4. DPRK Missile Build-up
5. DPRK-EU Relations
6. ROK Defense Talks with PRC and France
III. Russian Federation 1. RF-ROK Summit
2. DPRK-Germany Diplomatic Relations
3. RF Koreans Demand Compensation from Japan
4. RF-PRC Treaty
5. RF-PRC Military Links
6. RF-PRC Alleged Spy Case
7. PRC and Human Rights
8. RF Presidential Visit to Vietnam
Ed. Note: The Daily Report will not be issued on Thursday, March 8. The Daily Report will resume on Friday, March 9.

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Deal

The New York Times (Michael R. Gordon, “HOW POLITICS SANK ACCORD ON MISSILES WITH NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 03/06/01) reported that according to current and former US government experts, Kim Jong-il promised in confidential talks with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright last year not to produce, test or deploy missiles with a range of more than 300 miles. The experts added that the DPRK also offered to halt the sale of missiles, missile components, technology and training, including systems that the DPRK had already contracted to provide to other countries. The DPRK also reportedly dropped its demand that it be paid cash for giving up its long- range missile programs, but was prepared to accept US$1 billion worth of nonmonetary assistance, like food, coal or other commodities. Little progress was made on verification, however, as Kim insisted that the US had adequate means to monitor compliance through satellite and other technical means and did not welcome intrusive inspections. One unnamed government specialist stated, “We got further than we thought was possible on the missile issue. But there is still more work to do on the details before we know if we will have something substantial.” At expert-level talks in Kuala Lumpur, the US tried to clarify the DPRK’s position, but the DPRK negotiators complained that their move was an insult. The US team gave the DPRK a draft framework agreement that could be made public and signed at a summit meeting, and a confidential letter outlining each side’s obligations, including a ban on the production, testing and deployment of all missiles with a range of more than 180 miles that could carry a 1,000-pound payload. The US also asked for a declaration by the DPRK of the numbers and types of missiles in their arsenal and a commitment to destroy their existing stocks. Plans were made to send US Ambassador Wendy Sherman and a team of US Defense Department, National Security Council and State Department officials to Pyongyang with authorization to give a date for a Clinton summit meeting if they made more concessions on missiles, but US national security adviser Samuel R. Berger was reluctant to send an envoy with the US election in doubt.

2. Bush Admininstration’s Stance on Missile Deal

The New York Times (David E. Sanger, “SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT AND BUSH AT ODDS ON NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 3/7/01) and Reuters (“BUSH, KIM MEET AMID DIFFERENCES ON N.KOREA POLICY,” Washington, 3/7/01) reported that US President George W. Bush told ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday that he would not resume negotiations with the DPRK on missile talks anytime soon. Bush told Kim that the US still regards the DPRK as a threat. He said, “When you make an agreement with a country that is secretive, how are you aware as to whether or not they are keeping the terms of the agreement? … We’re not certain as to whether or not they’re keeping all terms of all agreements.” Kim said of his meeting with Bush, “The greatest outcome today has to be that, through a frank and honest exchange of views on the situation on the Korean peninsula, we have increased the mutual understanding.” Kim was to have dinner Wednesday night with a group of US experts on Korea, and meet with Congressional leaders on Thursday. The New York Times also reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell backed away from previous statements on Tuesday when he told reporters that Bush told Kim that the US was still conducting a full review of its relationship with the DPRK. Powell also refuted rumors that US-DPRK talks were imminent.

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “BUSH TO PICK UP CLINTON TALKS ON N. KOREAN MISSILES,” 3/7/01, P. A20) and the Office of International Information Programs at the US Department of State (“07 MARCH 2001 EXCERPTS: POWELL MARCH 6 REMARKS ON S. KOREA, N. KOREA, CHINA,” Washington, 3/7/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Tuesday that the Bush administration intends to pick up where the Clinton administration left off in negotiations with the DPRK over its missile programs. He said, “Some promising elements were left on the table, and we’ll be examining those elements. We think we have a lot to offer that regime, if they will act in ways that we think are constructive–ways that reduce the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, and ways that help open their society and give transparency into their society.” A senior US official, noting that the new administration is still “taking stock” of the situation, said that the DPRK remains a “bazaar for missile sales to just about everybody else we’re worried about” and that any agreement on missiles would require extensive verification procedures.

3. US-ROK Summit

Yahoo! Politics (“REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BUSH AND PRESIDENT KIM DAE-JUNG OF SOUTH KOREA,” Washington, 3/7/01) published the transcript of the remarks at the White House on Wednesday by US President George W. Bush and ROK President Kim Dae-jung. Bush stated, “I … told the President that we look forward to, at some point in the future, having a dialogue with the North Koreans, but that any negotiation would require complete verification of the terms of a potential agreement…. Any agreement must make the Peninsula more peaceful and we must be able to verify that it is more peaceful.” Kim stated that it was up to the US to decide how to proceed with any missile deal with the DPRK and that he would not propose a timeline for negotiations. Responding to a question on the proposed US missile defense system, Kim stated that the ROK-Russia joint statement supporting the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty “is not an indication of our opposition to the NMD.”

4. US Policy toward DPRK

The Office of International Information Programs at the US Department of State (“07 MARCH 2001 TRANSCRIPT: POWELL SAYS U.S. REVIEWING RELATIONSHIP WITH N. KOREA,” Washington, 3/7/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that the US still sees the DPRK as a threat and is undertaking a full review of its relationship with that country. He said that US President George W. Bush made it clear in his meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-Jung that the DPRK “is a threat; it’s got a huge army poised on the border within artillery and rocket distance of South Korea.” Powell stated that verifiability was a major problem in any potential agreement with the DPRK.

The Los Angeles Times published an opinion article by Jon B. Wolfsthal, an Associate in the Non-proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Jon B. Wolfsthal, “N. KOREA: HARD LINE IS NOT THE BEST LINE,” 3/7/01). Wolfsthal said that mixed signals from the ROK over the proposed US national missile defense system adds to US concerns sparked by recent statements from the DPRK hinting that it will restart of its missile and nuclear programs. He stated, “North Korea could reasonably interpret the lack of ongoing dialogue since President Bush took office as a sign that the winds in the United States have changed. Even analysts in the U.S. wonder what direction the new administration will take.” He argued that US President George W. Bush can quickly move to secure the future of the US-ROK alliance and improve security for the region by picking up where the US President Bill Clinton administration left off and moving to end its missile program. Wolfsthal identifies elements that could be included in a deal with the DPRK, including providing the DPRK with access to satellite launches in exchange for a halt to missile development, negotiating a final peace treaty to the Korean War in exchange for a DPRK force reduction, and large economic and agricultural assistance. He concluded, “reaching a package deal with the North offers Bush several things he wants and needs, luding stability in the region, greater freedom of action at home and one thing all new presidents want: foreign policy success to strengthen their image as a strong leader.”

5. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Associate Press (“KOREAS TO RESUME CABINET TALKS,” Seoul, 3/7/01) reported that ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Kwan-se stated that the DPRK accepted an ROK proposal to hold a fifth round of Cabinet- level talks in Seoul next week. Lee stated that the three days of talks starting on Tuesday will review a reconciliation process between the two sides and set the agenda for rapprochement for the remainder of the year. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu has said a major topic will be setting the date for an expected visit to the ROK by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.

6. PRC Companies in Iraq

The Wall Street Journal (Carla Anne Robbins and Neil King Jr, “CHINA ORDERS TELECOM FIRMS TO STOP DOING BUSINESS IN IRAQ,” Washington, 3/7/01) and the Associate Press (“WSJ: CHINA SAYS VIOLATED SANCTIONS,” New York, 3/7/01) reported that a senior US official reported that PRC officials told US Ambassador to the PRC Joseph Prueher on Monday that three companies were violating UN sanctions, and that it has ordered the companies to stop doing business in Iraq and abide by the sanctions. However, the PRC officials also denied that the companies were upgrading Iraq’s air-defense system, and instead claimed that they were involved in civilian work, but without UN approval.

7. PRC Economic Reform

The Washington Post (Clay Chandler, “CHINA UNVEILS BOLD PLAN TO REFORM ECONOMY,” Beijing, 3/7/01, P. E01) reported that a five-year plan presented at the PRC’s National People’s Congress promises to scale back government, dismantle unprofitable state-owned enterprises, make way for private firms and investors, and welcome competition from foreign multinational corporations. However, the reform agenda is contradicted by a number of competing government initiatives designed to bolster the Communist Party and give a short-term boost to ease the social pain of the effort to become a modern, market-oriented economy. PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji said that the plan reflected a shared awareness that “market mechanisms should be fully exercised,” but said that the reform process, “is at a crucial juncture in economic restructuring, and reform is in a very difficult period.” Nomura International economist William Overholt estimates that PRC state-owned enterprises have shed at least 14 million workers over the past two years and will eliminate another 5 million jobs in 2001. Fred Hu, China economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said, “The dramatic surge in the joblessness rate is the most compelling evidence that reforms in China are moving forward.”

8. Alleged Japanese Spying for Russia

The Associate Press (“JAPANESE OFFICER JAILED FOR SPYING,” Tokyo, 3/7/01) reported that a Tokyo District Court spokesman said that Shigehiro Hagisaki, formerly a lieutenant commander with the Maritime Self-Defense Force, had been sentenced to 10 months in prison for leaking defense secrets to a Russian military attache. Judge Noriaki Yoshimura said that Hagisaki’s act was a “vicious crime” that resulted in a loss of trust in Japan’s defense forces. Hagisaki had been arrested on September 8 after he handed Russian Capitan Victor Bogatenkov copies of a classified papers.

9. Japanese-American Internment in WWII

The Los Angeles Times (Jonathan Kirsch, “POSTHUMOUS BOOK IS BASED ON INTERCEPTED WARTIME COMMUNICATIONS WITH JAPAN,” 3/7/01) reviewed a book by David D. Lowman, entitled “MAGIC: The Untold Story of U.S. Intelligence and the Evacuation of Japanese Residents From the West Coast During WWII.” Lowman argues that the order to intern Japanese-Americans in camps during World War II was justified by urgent security concerns. He basis his study on a wartime intelligence project with the code name “MAGIC,” which showed large- scale disloyalty by Japanese-Americans. He said, “In addition to MAGIC, the president had available to him alarming assessments from the U.S. intelligence community which reported large-scale disloyalty, espionage and potential sabotage by U.S. residents of Japanese ancestry.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Light-water Reactor Project

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “REACTOR PROJECT IN N.K. THE ‘HOT POTATO’ OF KOREAN PEACE,” Seoul, 03/07/01) reported that the nuclear reactor project in the DPRK increasingly appears to be a diplomatic nuisance to related governments these days, ROK observers said. Amid the strife between the DPRK and the US, ROK officials have maintained that the construction of two light water reactors should be completed as planned. “Certainly, the U.S. government’s stance is that it will implement the Agreed Framework fully and completely. And if there arise any misunderstandings, we will persuade them (U.S. officials),” said a senior Unification Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity. ROK lawmakers also joined the government’s demand. Representative Kim Won-wung of the opposition Grand National Party, for instance, sent a letter Tuesday to the three US House of Representatives members, claiming that the Agreed Framework had greatly helped to ease military tension on the Korean Peninsula and should be respected.

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K.’S NUCLEAR ENERGY PLANTS,” Seoul, 03/06/01) and The Korea Times (Oh Young-jin, “KIM, BUSH FACE DAUNTING TASKS,” Seoul, 03/06/01) reported that debates on the revision of 1994 agreement between the US and the DPRK have come to light since the inauguration of President George W. Bush. Some US experts and Republicans are expressing their skepticism about both the safety and efficiency of the two light water reactors. The skeptics based their demands for the amendment of the 1994 deal on the delayed construction, which also helped the DPRK stall for time in verifying the abandonment of its own nuclear projects until years later. They also raised the possibility that the DPRK may be able to extract weapons-grade plutonium from the provided nuclear plants, proposing that one of the twin reactors be replaced with conventional thermal power plants. They also cited the growing financial burden of the US stemming from the 500,000 tons of heavy oil it must send every year during the extended interim period. A former US ambassador to the ROK, James Lilley, stressed the need to review the accord. “We should consider an alternative to the ongoing light water reactors construction as it causes a lot of problems, while maintaining the basic framework of the Geneva Agreement,” he was quoted as saying by a local newspaper. Diplomatic watchers in the ROK expect that the summit talks between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and US President George W. Bush on Wednesday will be the key opportunity to set the two governments’ policy directions toward the DPRK.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, U.S. TO CONTINUE N.K. REACTOR PLAN,” Seoul, 03/06/01) reported that the ROK government Monday dismissed speculation about a possible revision of the Agreed Framework made between the US and the DPRK in 1994 to build nuclear reactors in the DPRK. “We don’t have any plan to revise the KEDO (Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization) project,” Deputy Foreign Minister Yim Sung-joon said in a meeting with Seoul-based foreign correspondents. “As for the issue, the governments of South Korea and the United States are keeping the same position,” Yim said.

2. ROK-US Summit

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM BEGINS U.S. VISIT WITH NORTH KOREA POLICY AT STAKE,” Washington, 03/07/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung arrived in Washington on Tuesday to start a visit that aides said is crucial in setting the course of US policy on the DPRK. Kim, the first Asian leader to meet US President George W. Bush, is scheduled to hold a summit Wednesday at the White House. Kim hopes that Bush and his foreign policy and security team continue to back his approach and improve US ties with the DPRK government. ROK officials said that the missile issues, nuclear problems and the planned visit to the ROK by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il will be major topics in talks between Kim and Bush.

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “MILITARY LOOKING FOR CLOSER DEFENSE TIES WITH U.S., HOPING KIM’S VISIT WILL DELIVER THEM,” Seoul, 03/07/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s visit to the US will help the two allies coordinate their overall policies toward the DPRK and other Asian countries more effectively, particularly with defense related issues, ROK military experts said Tuesday. At the summit, President Kim and U.S. President George Bush were expected to stress their traditionally strong military alliances, they said. “Through the summit, we will explain to the U.S. our overall North Korea policies, while listening to the Bush administration’s position on the North, which would greatly help the two sides align and formulate a policy toward the Communist country,” said Cha Young-koo, director general of the Policy Planning Bureau at the ROK Defense Ministry. “For a better coordination of policies toward North Korea, we will propose that the U.S. hold early defense ministers’ talks, possibly in the first half of this year,” Cha said.

3. DPRK Defector May Visit US

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Ingu, “HWANG JANG-YOP INVITED TO US SENATE,” Beijing, 03/05/01) reported that DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop may travel to the US at the invitation of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms to offer testimony at a hearing on the DPRK, it was revealed on Monday. Hwang is said to have sent a confidential letter to Helms on February 12 that he was “ready to respond to any invitation,” and reportedly gave the letter to someone to deliver it in person. This would have been a reversal of a letter he had delivered through the National Intelligence Service, in which he said he desired to delay any travel to the US until after October of 2001 “because of personal reasons.” Helms is reported to have responded by telling Hwang that he would be sending him a formal invitation in the name of the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “soon,” adding that he would be organizing a hearing on the DPRK to hear both about the truth on the DPRK and ROK policies toward it.

4. DPRK Missile Build-up

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “DEFENSE MINISTRY SILENT ON N. KOREA MISSILE BUILD-UP,” Seoul, 03/06/01) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry refused comment Monday regarding a local report which said that the DPRK has built up its Scud missiles with ranges between 300 and 500 km and relocated two mechanized brigades to the frontal area. Quoting an unidentified government source, the vernacular Kyunghyang Shinmun reported that the DPRK has also made an additional forward deployment in the west front of 54 units of 170-mm self-propelled artillery and 240-mm multi-rocket launchers (MRLs). This brought to about 1,100 the total number of 170-mm self-propelled artillery units and 240-mm MRLs deployed in the forward area of the DPRK’s west front, the daily said

5. DPRK-EU Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “N.K.’S DIPLOMATIC CAMPAIGN TARGETS EU NATIONS,” Seoul, 03/07/01) reported that DPRK’s diplomatic campaign to normalize relations with all European Union (EU) members is reaching its final stages as it has opened ties with most of the EU states, ROK officials said Tuesday. In its latest diplomatic achievement, the DPRK added Luxembourg to its column of EU members. This would decrease the number of EU states without diplomatic links with the DPRK to two–France and Ireland. “The remaining two countries are expected to set up diplomatic ties with the North within the first half of this year,” said a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity. If all of the EU member states establish diplomatic links with the DPRK, it would lead to the normalization of relations between the EU and the DPRK, the observers said. The DPRK has stepped up its diplomacy toward Europe as the new US administration has been showing signs of taking a hard stance on the DPRK, the observers said.

The Korea Herald (“N. KOREA’S DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT SWEDEN,” Stockholm, 03/06/01) reported that DPRK’s Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Su-Hon will make a three-day visit to Stockholm later this month to discuss a possible Swedish or European Union role in the Korean peace talks, Sweden’s news agency TT said Sunday. Choi’s visit to Sweden, which currently holds the six-monthly rotating presidency of the EU, is scheduled to begin March 22, the agency said. The Swedish undersecretary of state for foreign affairs, Hans Dahlgren, told TT that it would be “natural” for Sweden to play a key role in the Korean talks “as we are the only (EU) country that has an ambassador in North Korea.”

6. ROK Defense Talks with PRC and France

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS WITH CHINESE, FRENCH MILITARY OFFICIALS,” Seoul, 03/06/01) reported that ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae met Monday with two ranking military officials from the PRC and France to exchange opinions on issues of mutual concern, the Defense Ministry said. In a meeting with Liu Syunyao, PRC air force chief of staff, at the ministry, Cho discussed bilateral military exchanges and cooperation. Following his meeting with Liu, Cho also met with Jean-Pierre Andre Kelche, chief of the French defense staff.

III. Russian Federation

1. RF-ROK Summit

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Dmitriy Kosyrev (“PUTIN HELPED KIM TO HURRY UP BUSH,” Moscow, 1, 03/01/01) made a commentary on RF President Vladimir Purin’s visit to the ROK. In the author’s opinion, the RF-ROK joint statement in favor of preservation of the ABM Treaty of 1972 demonstrated the ROK’s well-known although rarely voiced position as concerns US missile defense plans. An anonymous ROK diplomat linked it to RO President Kim Dae-jung’s visit to US to meet with US President George Bush, where Kim “will tell Bush where the Korean Peninsula is situated.” In Nezavisimaya gazeta’s author’s words, “Seoul is much afraid that the new US administration will damage its policy of gradual involvement with the DPRK; a policy aimed at isolation of the DPRK might become necessary to justify US plans to build a National Missile Defense. Therefore Putin to a certain extent helped Kim Dae- jung to hurry up Bush who still has not made clear the substance of his policy as regards the Korean Peninsula.”

2. DPRK-Germany Diplomatic Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Yevgeniy Grigoriev (“F.R.G. ESTABLISHED DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH D.P.R.K.,” Moscow, 6, 03//01) reported that Germany became the 11th European Union member country to establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK. After the reunification of Germany, the East German embassy in Pyongyang was closed and German interests in DPRK were represented by Sweden.

3. RF Koreans Demand Compensation from Japan

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Aleksey Bayandin (“SAKHALIN KOREANS DEMANDED 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH,” Yuzno-Sakhalinsk, 2, 03/03/01) reported that on March 1 about 200 ethnic Koreans living in Sakhalin stood in pickets in front of the Japanese Consulate general there. They demanded Japan pay for their repatriation to their “historical motherland” and provide US$100,000 as compensation to each of those who wished to remain in the RF. The demands are based on the forcible transfer of Korean coal- miners between Korea, Sakhalin and Japan during World War II by Japanese authorities.

4. RF-PRC Treaty

Segodnya (“CHINA AND R.F. WILL SIGN A NEW FRIENDSHIP TREATY THIS SUMMER,” Moscow, 4, 03/07/01) reported that the PRC Foreign Minister said that a new RF-PRC treaty would be signed this summer. He said that the treaty would not include “any mutual obligations of military-political nature and no agreements on assistance in case of a threat.” The RF is to become the first country with which PRC is to sign a fundamental treaty to increase strategic partnership.

5. RF-PRC Military Links

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (“CHINESE A.W.A.C.S.,” Moscow, 6, 03/2-15/01, #8(230)) reported that a representative of Beriev aircraft enterprise in Taganrog said that the company was ready to build AWACS- type A-50 planes for the PRC in case the relevant contract were signed. The enterprise has produced 20 such planes for the RF Air Force. In 2000 under US pressure, Israel refused to deliver to PRC the AWACS systems installed on Taganrog- made planes.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (Moscow, 6, 03/2-15/01, #8(230)) reported that a successful test firing of RF- made anti- ship “Moskit” (“Mosquito” in Russian or “Sunburn” under NATO classification) supersonic missile took place in PRC. The missile was fired from an RF-made project 956E “Sovremenniy” destroyer at a target 120 kilometers away. ITAR-TASS news agency reported that the test would facilitate the negotiations concerning delivery of additional two such ships constructed at “Severniye Verfi” naval enterprise to the PRC.

6. RF-PRC Alleged Spy Case

Segodnya’s Yevgeniya Lents (“A CHINESE SELF-MADE-GENIUS,” Khabarovsk, 2, 03/05/01) reported that several days ago a PRC citizen who tried to take abroad blueprints of an RF nuclear- powered submarine and maps of areas where RF Navy units were stationed was detained in Khabarovsk airport customs by the RF Federal Security Service. At the first interrogation he said he himself had drawn “those pictures just for fun.” That was the first instance in years of a PRC citizen or any other foreigner to be detained with secret documents. The last such case occurred on November 7, 1996 when Han Chang-gen, an interpreter and a DPRK citizen, was detained while trying to buy an underwater-firing machine-gun from an RF naval officer for US$3000.

Segodnya’s Yevgeniya Lents (“SPY FAILED TO BE MADE,” Khabarovsk, 7, 03/06/01) reported that RF customs and security officers who detained Li Yung, a PRC citizen, in Khabarovsk airport proved to be too vigilant. RF Federal Security Service experts studied the allegedly secret documents confiscated from Li and concluded there was nothing secret about them. The alleged blueprints of an RF nuclear-powered submarine proved to be blueprints of an old type diesel submarine published in mass media. As for the maps of Yuzhanay Bay, where an RF Navy unit was allegedly stationed, Li as a businessman dealing in scrap iron already had arrangements made with local authorities to take rusty submarines from there for re-processing. His Chung Key company in general works with scrap iron in the RF and is primarily interested in big ships. The local PRC Consulate General called the detention “totally illegal.” Li is going to sue the customs officers for delay in his business activities, while they in turn say he was anyway obliged to declare naval documents in his possession. Also they noted that Yuzhanay Bay is indeed used by the RF Pacific Fleet units and a detailed map of it on principle should not be freely available to the public.

7. PRC and Human Rights

Segodnya (“CHINA RATIFIED HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY,” Moscow, 4, 03/01/01) reported that the PRC ratified the UN treaty on human rights. The treaty legalizes strikes and bans torture. The PRC has been asked to ratify it since 1997. Critics say the treaty is useless, as it does not provide for any liability in case of its violation.

8. RF Presidential Visit to Vietnam

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Dmitriy Kosyrev (“HANOI’S OIL TRIUMPH,” Hanoi, 1, 6, 03/02/01) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Vietnam signed a joint RF-Vietnamese declaration with Vietnamese President Chang Duc Luong on a strategic partnership. In particular it states that that the two countries will strengthen defense cooperation not aimed against third parties, stresses the need to preserve the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and rejects the plans to create both US national missile defense and Pacific Theater Missile Defense and pays much attention to the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Yet, the main parts of the document are dedicated to RF- Vietnam economic cooperation. Mr.Putin became the first ever among the leaders of USSR or RF to visit Vietnam. His visits to Vietnam and ROK earlier became somewhat sensational, as for the first time in many years RF intentions to invest millions of US dollars abroad were voiced clearly.

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Chudodeyev (“HANOI EVENINGS,” Moscow, 3, 03/03/01) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Vietnam met with thousands of Vietnamese graduates educated in USSR in the past, paid homage to Vietnam’s founder Ho Chi Min’s Mausoleum and had a meeting with Le Kha Fiey, Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Valentin Kuptsov, the number 2 man in the Communist Party of the RF, accompanied the RF President on his visit, but came to Hanoi by a different plane.

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Dmitriy Kosyrev (“WITH DRUMS BEATING,” Hanoi, 1, 03/03/01) reported that Igor Ivanov, RF Foreign Minister, accompanying RF President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Vietnam, had talks with Nguen Di Nien, Vietnamese Foreign Minister chiefly concerning ASEAN, including the ASEAN Regional Forum this July. An anonymous Western diplomat told Nezavisimaya gazeta’s author that in his opinion the US felt positive about RF arms sales to Vietnam as a weak Vietnamese army armed with obsolete Soviet weapons would be at odds with security interests in the Asia Pacific.

Dipkurier’s Dmitriy Kosyrev (“TALKS ON KAMRAHN WERE NOT SPECIALLY PLANNED,” Hanoi, 1, 03/01/01, #4(24) reported that the absence of the RF Defense Minister among the delegation accompanying RF President Vladimir Putin on his visit to Vietnam was a proof that the was no special talks planned concerning RF naval support base in Cam Ranh. Yet, some time ago RF military leaders came to a firm decision that the base was needed. Before that it existed as if by itself, the staff at its radar station is some 30 to 40 persons only and Vietnam has taken away a substantial part of it. Now, after the visit and the RF decision to write off a larger part of Vietnam’s debt it seems obvious that the base is to remain. Alternatives to that are illustrated by the fact that the PRC has already approached Vietnam with proposals to carry construction works in Cam Ranh. That would automatically increase US concerns and the question would be whose ships are to visit Cam Ranh first–those of the US or the PRC? In that case Vietnam’s choice would be of strategic nature. As concerns the RF, “with the Cam Ranh base our Pacific Fleet proves that it is a Pacific one indeed, not a coast guard.”

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