NAPSNet Daily Report 07 November, 2000

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations
2. DPRK Nuclear Inspections
3. Australia-DPRK Relations
4. PRC-US Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Railway
2. Light-Water Reactor Project
3. Reunion of Separated Families
III. People’s Republic of China 1. US-DPRK Missile Talks
2. US President’s Visit to DPRK
3. PRC-Russian Relations
4. PRC-US Relations
5. Japan-US Relations
6. PRC’s Position on ABM Treaty
7. PRC Attitude to US Presidential Election

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA DEMANDS US COMMITMENT TO RAPPROCHEMENT,” Seoul, 11/7/00) reported that the DPRK urged the US on Tuesday to show its commitment to better relations. The DPRK’s official Rodong Sinmun said, “The United States should keep its faith and promise and honor its commitments.” In return, it said, the DPRK will do its best to improve relations “on the principle of mutual respect for sovereignty and non-interference in other’s internal affairs.” White House spokesman Jake Siewert said on November 6 that “gaps” between the two sides over the DPRK’s missile program frustrated US President Bill Clinton’s hopes of visiting the DPRK during an Asian tour this month. Siewert said, “It’s just not feasible to pull together a trip at this point, both because the substance isn’t there and … we’re just not in a position right now where we can make a decision to go forward.”

2. DPRK Nuclear Inspections

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, “NUCLEAR AGENCY PINS HOPE ON N. KOREA,” United Nations, 11/6/00) reported that Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the UN General Assembly on November 6 that nuclear inspectors would like to start work immediately to verify that the DPRK is not developing atomic bombs. In late September, the DPRK reiterated that it has no intention of allowing the agency to inspect its nuclear program, which it says is for peaceful purposes only. The DPRK said it does not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons “and therefore, there can be no ‘nuclear’ suspicion in our country.” However, ElBaradei said his agency must assess this claim and since verification may take two to three years, work should begin immediately so that the light-water reactor project can proceed as scheduled. DPRK diplomat Hong Je-ryong told the General Assembly that the nuclear issue was a political and military issue to be solved with the US, not in the UN.

3. Australia-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (“AUSTRALIA MIN TO DISCUSS SECURITY ISSUES IN N KOREA VISIT,” Canberra, 11/7/00) reported that Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said on Tuesday that security concerns, including missile and nuclear issues, would top the agenda during his three-day visit to the DPRK next week. Downer told the Australian parliament, “We’re working with other countries, including the U.S., to encourage North Korea to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remove concerns about its nuclear ambitions.” Downer’s visit would be the first by an Australian minister since it restored diplomatic relations with the DPRK in May. Downer said that he would also take up the DPRK’s humanitarian problems, including the food shortages. He added, “I’ll take the opportunity of discussing North Korea’s humanitarian problems because North Korea does face chronic food shortages. During my visit I will convey to the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea the importance of taking further steps to engage positively with South Korea and the region.”

4. PRC-US Relations

Agence France Presse (“JIANG ZEMIN TO MEET CLINTON AT APEC MEETING IN BRUNEI,” Beijing, 11/7/00) and the Associated Press (“CLINTON, CHINA PRESIDENT TO MEET,” Beijing, 11/7/00) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Tuesday that PRC President Jiang Zemin is to hold talks with US President Bill Clinton on the sidelines of the November 14-15 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Brunei. Zhu added that Jiang and Clinton will exchange views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of mutual interest. The two are also scheduled to give “major addresses” at the concurrent APEC business leaders’ forum. Commenting on the US presidential elections, Zhu said that the PRC wants to work with the winner on improving relations. He said, “No matter who is elected … we hope that he will approach and handle China-U.S. relations like a statesman and will be committed to the maintenance of the healthy and stable development of relations.” He also called for “proper” handling of the question of Taiwan.

Agence France Presse (“BEIJING URGES U.S. TO STOP ‘ANTI-CHINA’ BILL FROM BECOMING LAW,” Beijing, 11/7/00) reported that the PRC criticized a bill passed by the US Congress as containing anti-PRC provisions and urged the US government to make sure that it does not become law. According to the PRC’s official Xinhua news agency, foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that the bill interfered with the PRC’s internal affairs by raising the issues of Taiwan, Tibet and human rights. Xinhua also said that the PRC has complained to the US and has urged US authorities to “oppose the anti-China provisions enshrined in the act, and take effective measures to prevent the act from becoming law.” The US House of Representatives earlier this year agreed to set up the commission as a concession to critics of a congressional decision to grant PRC exporters full access to the US market, as part of a deal on PRC entry into the World Trade Organization. The appropriations bill also recommits the US Congress to its positions on the PRC and Taiwan and states that the secretary of state must consult with the US Congress on aid to Taiwan.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Railway

The Korea Herald (“UNC HOLDS MEETING WITH N.K. ON RAILWAY PROJECT,” Seoul, 11/07/00) reported that the United Nations Command (UNC) and the DPRK held a meeting on Monday to discuss preparations for the construction of the inter-Korean railway and adjacent road passing through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Colonel Martin Glasser, secretary of the UNC Military Armistice Commission (MAC), and Colonel Kwak Chol- hee, senior liaison officer at the DPRK side of Panmunjom, represented their respective sides at the meeting, which focused on ways to guarantee the DPRK’s right to negotiate with the ROK in the handling of affairs related to the projects in the UNC-controlled part of the DMZ. The meeting was held at the request of the DPRK, a UNC source said. The UNC advised the DPRK to hold a meeting of working-level military officers with the ROK on preparations for the construction of the railway and road linking the two Koreas, the source said.

2. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “GE’S WITHDRAWAL THREATENS REACTOR PROJECT IN N.K.,” Seoul, 11/07/00) reported that General Electric (GE) has recently notified the ROK and US governments that it would bow out of the nuclear reactor project in the DPRK unless the governments make pledges of compensation in case of accidents, a lawmaker said. According to international business rules, the DPRK is obliged to take full responsibility for all accidents stemming from the atomic power plant construction, but GE believes that the DPRK does not have the funds to do this, said Representative Kim Won-woon of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP). The ROK, while keeping the latest GE demand secret, had sought to make guarantees using its inter-Korean cooperation fund and other sources, but finally decided against it, he said. “The government has recently proposed to GE to come back to the project by acceding to international insurance but the U.S. company rejected the proposal, threatening the smooth proceedings of the project,” Kim said.

3. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Seo Soo-min, “SIBLINGS OF SOUTH KOREAN SPIES SENT TO NK APPLIED FOR REUNION,” Seoul, 11/07/00) reported that for the first time, siblings of ROK spies in the DPRK are confirmed to have applied for the inter-Korean family reunion, a ruling party policymaker revealed during ROK National Assembly inspections of the Unification Ministry on Monday. “Lee chae-pil, and Choi Tae-uk, both applied for their reunion with their brothers Chae-sung and Chin-uk, who were dispatched to North Korea as spies in 1970s and 50s, respectively,” said Kim Seong-ho of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), calling for the government’s recognition of the spies sent to the DPRK. Choi Tae-uk, an Inchon resident, applied to the Unification Ministry for reunion with his brother. The reason for separation he wrote, was that his brother was “dispatched to the North on a spy mission around 1959-1960.” The paper was turned in as evidence. Out of 7,726 spies listed as missing or dead during spy missions to the DPRK, at least 77 dispatched in the 1950s were confirmed to be alive in the DPRK, he said.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

China Daily (“US, DPRK RESUME MISSILE TALKS,” Kuala Lumpur, 11/02/00, P12) reported that in a move that could influence whether US President Clinton makes a trip to DPRK, officials from the two countries came on November 1 to Kuala Lumpur to resume missile talks. The talks follow a meeting the previous week between US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. “Serious progress was made, including missile issues, but much work remains to be done,” said Robert Einhorn, Assistant Secretary of State and head of the US delegation, of Albright’s visit. “The talks of this week will build on discussions between Albright and Chairman Kim [Jong-il],” Einhorn said. “The US will seek solutions that promote non-proliferation and promote regional and global security and help move DPRK-US relations forward.” DPRK negotiator Jang Chang-chon, head of his country’s Bureau of US Affairs, said that the talks at the US Embassy in Malaysia, seen by both countries as a neutral venue, were expected to last until Friday but could go longer. “We will discuss all issues, including our suspension of missile exports and the US launch of our satellites during the missile talks,” Jang was quoted as saying by the ROK Yonhap News Agency.

2. US President’s Visit to DPRK

People’s Daily (Fu Quansheng, “CLINTON WILL NOT VISIT DPRK,” Washington, 11/06/00, P6) reported that at a press conference on November 4, a US White House spokesperson said that US President Bill Clinton will not visit the DPRK in his Asian tour in the mid of this month. The spokesperson added, “Clinton has not decided yet whether he will visit the DPRK as President, but one thing is sure—that is his upcoming Asian tour will not cover the DPRK.”

3. PRC-Russian Relations

People’s Daily (Zhang Jinyu, “JIANG ZEMIN MEETS WITH RUSSIAN PM,” Beijing, 11/04/00, P1), (Zhang Jinyu, “LI PENG MEETS WITH RUSSIAN PM,” Beijing, 11/04/00) and Xinhua News Agency (Che Yuming, Li Shijia, “PRC PREMIER TALKS WITH RUSSIAN PM,” Beijing, 11/03/00) reported that PRC government leaders who met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his delegation pledged to work for closer economic cooperation and inject life into the PRC-Russia strategic partnership. Both sides spoke highly of the developments of bilateral relations. They also exchanged views on issues of common ground and interest such as the establishment of a new world political order and the promotion and economic order and the promotion of a multi-polar world. Eight agreements dealing with forestry, minerals, science and technology and trade were signed. In a joint communique issued after a two-and-a-half hour closed meeting between officials from the two countries, PRC Premier Zhu Rongji and his Russian counterpart stressed their willingness to cooperate in areas such as trade and military technology. According to the communique, the two sides will improve ties in finance, banking, insurance, advertising, arbitration, and transportation, and will cooperate in nuclear energy, oil, gas and astronautics projects. In the communique, Kasyanov reiterated his government’s support for the one-China principle, promising that Russia will neither support Taiwan’s participation in any international organization where statehood is required nor sell weapons to Taiwan. Sino-Russian ties have never been better, Zhu said during the press conference.

4. PRC-US Relations

China Daily (“MILITARY LEADERS MEET, AGREE ABOUT SINO-US RELATIONS,” Washington, 11/02/00, P1) reported that on Monday when meeting with visiting PRC General Yu Yongbo, Director of the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), US Defense Secretary William Cohen said that no matter who is elected in November, the next US President will attach great importance to Sino-US relations. Cohen also said that both the Democratic and Republican Parties have reached a consensus on the development of friendly ties with PRC. He stressed the need to further strengthen friendly relations between the two countries as well as the two militaries. The US and the PRC have a common interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world as a whole, he said. Cohen pointed out that the US Congress’ passage of the bill on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with the PRC, which has already been signed into law by President Bill Clinton, will not only strengthen bilateral trade ties but also play a significant role in ensuring steady growth of the relations between the two countries. Yu said that the PRC government and military pay great attention to PRC-US relations, and the purpose of this current visit is to promote mutual understanding, expand common ground and strengthen ties. Yu described the Sino-US relationship as “one of the most important bilateral ties in the world,” and stressed that at the turning point of a new century, the two countries, both influential powers, bear a common responsibility for world peace and development. “The improvement of Sino-US relations are not only in the peoples of both countries, but also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in the whole world,” he said.

People’s Liberation Army Daily (Li Shijia, “ZHANG WANNIAN MEETS WITH CHAIRMAN OF US JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF,” Beijing, 11/04/00, P1), (Li Mingjiang, “CHI HAOTIAN MEETS WITH CHAIRMAN OF US JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF,” Beijing, 11/04/00, P1), (“FU QUANYOU MEETS WITH CHAIRMAN OF US JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF,” Beijing, 11/04/00, P1) and China Daily (Hu Qihua, “US MILITARY LEADER BACKS ONE-CHINA POLICY,” 11/4/00, P1) reported that Vice Chairman of PRC Central Military Commission Zhang Wannian, PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian and Chief of General Staff of PLA Fu Quanyou met respectively with Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Henry Hugh Shelton. Shelton said that his country will abide by the one-China principle in handling the Taiwan question. He expressed his hope that stable relations would be established to avoid misunderstandings. The development of “continuous and constructive” relations between the US and the PRC are not only in the interests of the two countries, but would also improve peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, Shelton said. Fu echoed the importance of PRC-US relations. On the issue of military exchanges between the two countries, Fu said that the resumption of contact earlier this year is a sound move that the PRC is willing to maintain. However, he pointed out that an increase in US arms sales to Taiwan not only “gave the wrong signals” to Taiwan, but also has a negative impact on cross-Straits relations and the stability of Sino-US relations. He said that Chinese people wanted peace, but added there is no room for compromise on the question of territorial integrity. The PLA does not rule out the use of force over the Taiwan question. Chi Haotian said that the new leader in Taiwan has evaded and blurred the one-China policy, adding that such conduct seriously damaged the possibility of peaceful reunification.

5. Japan-US Relations

China Daily (“FIRST JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES UNDER WAY,” Tokyo, 11/03/00, P12) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency official said that Japan and the US began their first joint military exercises on Thursday in line with the adoption of new security arrangements last year. The New Defense Guidelines drawn up by the two countries in August 1999 authorize Japan to provide logistical support to the US military in the event of an emergency in the region. Over 21,000 soldiers and 310 jets will participate in the exercises at land facilities run by Japan’s Self- Defense Forces, as well as in Japanese territorial waters and airspace. The agency official said that the exercises, which will last for 17 days, are aimed simply at better preparing for a possible invasion of Japan, and were not targeted at any specific country. US Forces in Japan spokesperson Master Sergent Eudith Rodney said that the joint maneuvers are intended to “increase the defensive readiness” of Japan’s Self- Defense Forces and US military personnel. Naval forces from the two countries will simulate picking up pilots of downed US warplanes off Japan’s east and west coasts.

Contemporary Asia-Pacific Studies (Xu Wansheng, “JAPAN-U.S. ALLIANCE RELATIONS AFTER COLD WAR: THREE MAJOR DEVELOPMENTAL TENDENCIES,” No. 10, 2000) published an article on the future development of Japan-US relations. The writer noted that after the end of the Cold War, when Japan and the US are seeking to establish alliance relationship on a global scale, the unsymmetrical characteristics existing in bilateral relations is being adjusted. However, the potential development of conflicts between Japan and US are inevitable and insurmountable. Three features—global scale, symmetry and conflict, frame the Japan-US relations. Xu compared policies and actions of the two countries after the end of the Cold War to the motives and forms of Japan-US alliance during the Cold War, commenting that, in the new era, Japan and US have wider common interests and share similar values and ideology. While both emphasize the new global scale of their bilateral relations, Japan is driven by the idea of improving its political significance in the international community by allying with the US, while the US, still guided by the idea of leading the world, needs Japan due to its own relatively decline of economic capability. This in turn plays a restraining role on Japan’s remilitarization. When shifting focus to diplomatic practice, Xu said, Japan and US have generally maintained a collaborative paradigm. On the symmetrical relationship issue, he argued that in the Cold War, Japan-US relations are extremely asymmetrical. However, with the development of Japan’s economy, the voices for equal partnership in Japan increases. Since the end of the Cold War, Japan has become more strategically important to US leadership in its Pacific wing, which is fully expressed in the revised guidelines. The writer predicted that as long as Japan keeps its economic growth, it is only a matter of time to break the Japan-US asymmetrical relations. Being the most sophisticated of bilateral relations, Japan and US can not avoid the potential increase of conflict. Superficially speaking, conflict lies in trade disputes. The in-depth conflict is strategic. Japan has never given up its dream and struggle for political significance, and Japan is seeking to be independent in international affairs, which will inevitably confront US leadership.

6. PRC’s Position on ABM Treaty

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “COUNTRIES CALLED ON TO COMPLY WITH MISSILE SYSTEM TREATY,” 11/03/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao on Thursday urged the international community to strictly observe the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The First Committee of the UN adopted a resolution–proposed by Belarus, the PRC, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan–on Wednesday calling for united efforts to strengthen the ABM Treaty. Zhu argued that the passing of the resolution reflected the will and determination of the international community to maintain global balance and stability. Zhu reiterated that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, criticizing the US proposal to include Taiwan in Theater Missile Defense (TMD), which he said will severely violate China’s plans for reunification. He said that developing NMD and the TMD was “contrary to the trend of the times” and “not conducive to international efforts on disarmament and arms control,” adding that the PRC hopes that the US will give them up at an early date.

7. PRC Attitude to US Presidential Election

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “COUNTRIES CALLED ON TO COMPLY WITH MISSILE SYSTEM TREATY,” 11/03/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao said on November 2 that the US election is an internal affair of the US, and China “will not interfere.” He said that the PRC hopes that friendly relations and cooperation between PRC and US will continue to develop. Zhu pointed out that the PRC has taken note that both candidates said that they attach great importance to the development of relations with PRC. He had no comment on the election itself.

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