NAPSNet Daily Report 07 September, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 07 September, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 07, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Announcements

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

Reuters (Nikla Gibson, “U.S., NORTH KOREA TO HOLD BERLIN TALKS,” Berlin, 09/07/99) and the Associated Press (“U.S., NORTH KOREAN ENVOYS MEET,” Berlin, 09/07/99) reported that the US and the DPRK were set to begin talks in Berlin on Tuesday. The ROK’s Yonhap news agency quoted DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye- gwan, who heads the DPRK delegation, as saying that he would take up the issue of the maritime border between the ROK and the DPRK at the talks.

2. DPRK Missile Test

The Los Angeles Times (Sonni Efron, “U.S., ALLIES SEE GAINS IN N. KOREA EFFORTS,” Seoul, 09/07/99) reported that US officials expressed cautious optimism about the likely results of this week’s talks with the DPRK in Berlin. One unnamed US official stated, “The North has an infinite ability to disappoint us. North Korea never gives us dramatic windfall victories.” Another US official stated, “They generally understand there is a red line in the sand and lots of bad things will happen if they fire the missile. They sort of understand that Congress doesn’t like them and the [Clinton] administration is their best hope.” An unnamed ROK source put the value of DPRK missile exports to Pakistan, the Middle East, and elsewhere at about US$50 million to US$100 million a year. The source added that, for political reasons, the US could not pay “two cents” to halt DPRK missile exports, but a deal with Israel or Japan “could be arranged if North Korea demands cash.” Independent analysts warned that Kim Jong-il could not afford to lose face by agreeing to US demands, given that his father’s power was derived from standing up to outside powers. L. Gordon Flake, executive director of the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, said that the DPRK has little incentive to compromise because “they know they don’t have a lot to lose by rattling the saber of the missile test. The longer they rattle, the better, because the [Clinton] administration is trying to sell this as North Korean forbearance.” He added that the US has concluded that “you’re not going to bamboozle or out-negotiate them–you have to come up with a plan to buy them out,” but the administration is unwilling or unable to expend the political capital to do so. Flake stated, “All North Koreans would get out of [a new deal] is what they were already promised–or thought they were promised–in October 1994. If we really want a peace deal, why do we expect them to sell their missile program for what they already thought they were going to get?” An unnamed senior ROK Foreign Ministry official stated, “Face-saving is quite important to both sides. That is why the fine art of diplomacy is needed. The United States has also a very big face, much bigger than North Korea.” He added, “The North Korean leadership really needs something to sell to their domestic political constituency, to their people.” An unnamed US official stated, “our goal is not to bring down the North Korean regime. There are those who wish that was our goal, but it is not.”

The New York Times carried an analytical article (Howard W. French, “STRAINS WITH NORTH KOREA EASE, BUT CLOUDS HOVER,” Tokyo, 09/07/99) which said that the US has been sounding more optimistic lately about the possibility of reaching an accommodation with the DPRK that will prevent a long-range missile test. The article argued, “The trouble is that given North Korea’s extreme isolation, it is difficult to know what drives its leaders toward more conciliatory postures. And history indicates that such postures never last long.” The article also said that regional pressure may be inducing the DPRK to forego a missile launch. It quoted James Kelley, president of the Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as saying, “On the one hand the Japanese have really decided to do something about the remittances if there is a launch, and the North Korean leadership is able to live quite well because of these remittances. On the other hand, the Chinese must know that there is no chance of putting off the theater missile defense if the North Koreans launch.” However, Chuck Downs, author “Over the Line: North Korea’s Negotiating Strategy,” argued, “If North Korea decides not to launch the missile, it is because it has decided it has additional leverage to gain from not launching. But we cannot be at all assured that there will not be some kind of additional new tension-building incidents. The goal for them is to keep a three-ring circus going.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 7.]

3. US Missile Defense

The Washington Post carried an analytical article (Steven Mufson, “KOREAN MISSILES PUSH U.S. DEFENSE PLANS,” 09/05/99, A06) which said that US plans to develop a theater missile defense system in response to the DPRK’s missile development could fuel a regional arms race. Charles Freeman, a former senior US Defense Department official, stated, “This is the classic way arms races get going. For very good reasons we go ahead with plans that cause other people for very good reasons to do things, and there you have it.” He added, “We’re in the process of bringing about the kind of China force that [Representative Christopher] Cox and others say the Chinese have been developing all along.” However, James Lilley, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former US ambassador to the PRC, stated, “That missile defense leads to Chinese missile development is a specious argument. The Chinese were going to do it anyway.” Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that while missile defense has traditionally been supported by isolationists, the potential missile threat from small states has caused proponents of an activist US foreign policy to support missile defense. Kagan stated, “Missile defense makes interventionist policy possible.” An unnamed senior US official argued, “Deterrence worked with the Soviet Union because at the end of the day it had a rational, calculating leadership. In the case of Iran and North Korea, we’re dealing with much less rational and predictable regimes that might do something crazy like attack the U.S.” However, Roelf Ekeus, Sweden’s ambassador to the US and former head of the UN Special Commission for arms inspections in Iraq, warned, “As missile defense gathers speed, what is the political impact? It gives the impression that the U.S. is settling down to live with nuclear weapons. The risk is that more and more [countries] just give up the hope [of nonproliferation], which I think is a great threat.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 7.]

4. ROK-DPRK Maritime Border

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “KOREAS IN DISPUTE OVER WATERS,” Seoul, 09/04/99) reported that ROK fishermen on Saturday continued to fish in disputed waters in the Yellow Sea without drawing a response from the DPRK. ROK Defense Ministry spokesman Major Kim Nak-joong stated, “We have not detected any sign of imminent danger. We don’t see North Korean ships, military or civilian, near the zone. For now, it’s all quiet there in the west sea.” Kim said that belligerent rhetoric is “a worn-out North Korean tactic,” adding that ROK marines and navy ships maintain high vigilance in the region. An anonymous ROK Defense Ministry official said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il had fired his navy chief, Admiral Kim Yun-sim, holding him responsible for the DPRK’s defeat in a naval clash with the ROK last month. In a dispatch late Friday, the DPRK’s official Pyongyang Radio quoted Kim Jong-il as saying that “tension on the peninsula has intensified to such a level that war could break out at any time.”

5. ROK Submarine Purchase

Reuters (“N.KOREA ACCUSES SOUTH OF FANNING ARMS RACE,” Seoul, 09/05/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency reported late Saturday that the ROK is spending a “huge” amount of money to purchase up-to-date submarines. The report stated, “Never-to-be-condoned is the criminal move of the South Korean authorities, who are squandering the funds squeezed from the people, in spite of the severe economic crisis, for an arms buildup for a war against the north.” It said that the ROK was seeking to buy three submarines by 2005, and accepting bids from companies in Russia, Australia, France, and other European countries. An ROK defense ministry spokesman stated, “We are not seeking to buy up-to-date submarines, but those which have been used for several years by respective countries. We haven’t decided exactly how many or when we will buy them.”

6. Japan-PRC Security Talks

The Associated Press (“JAPAN, CHINA TO HOLD SECURITY TALKS,” Tokyo, 09/04/99) reported that Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun on Saturday cited unnamed foreign and defense ministry officials from both countries as saying that Japan and the PRC have agreed to resume regular discussions on regional security issues as early as next month. The talks would be the first since November 1997.

7. Japanese Response to DPRK

Reuters (Yvonne Chang, “JAPAN PM TO AVOID HOT SEAT AT APEC,FOCUS ON N.KOREA,” Auckland, 09/07/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi will likely focus his diplomacy at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on coordinating with the US and the ROK on a joint stance towards the DPRK. Obuchi’s meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-jung and US President Bill Clinton will be the first time the three have gathered solely to discuss military threats from the DPRK. Akitaka Saiki, a spokesman for Obuchi, stated, “We want to make sure (the DPRK) will behave as a responsible member of the international community and listen to voices from the outside.” Analysts said that the three-way discussion will send a strong signal of unity to the DPRK.

8. Taiwanese Statehood

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN’S PRESIDENT SEEKS STATEHOOD,” Taipei, 09/07/99) reported that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui said Tuesday that Taiwan would continue to push to return to the UN and other international organizations. Lee stated, “With the support of our allies, we will continue to call out internationally, and deeply believe that justice and truth will one day be upheld.” He repeated his call for the PRC and Taiwan to deal with each other on a “state-to-state” basis.

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “CHINA SAYS OPPOSED TO TAIWAN INDEPENDENCE VOTE,” Beijing, 09/07/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi warned Taiwan Tuesday not to hold a referendum on independence like the one in East Timor last week. Sun stated, “The East Timor issue and the Taiwan issue are two issues of totally different nature and cannot be mentioned in the same breath.” Asked what the PRC’s reaction would be if Taiwan held such a referendum, Sun stated, “This kind of action is playing with fire. The result will be very dangerous.” Sun urged Taiwan to “recognize the situation and walk the road of peaceful reunification and ‘one country, two systems.'” The PRC’s People’s Daily newspaper said in a front page commentary on Tuesday, “No matter how grim the situation is, no matter how tortuous the road is, the Chinese government and the Chinese people will surmount all difficulties and ultimately complete the great cause of reunifying the motherland.” It added, “Deep down inside, when [Taiwan President] Lee Teng-hui says he wants ‘reunification’, it’s fake. When he thinks about ‘independence’, it’s for real.” It also accused Taiwan of trying to “undermine the Chinese psyche of Taiwan compatriots, especially youngsters, and cut historical and cultural connections” by revising its textbooks and focusing on Taiwan history and culture. It criticized Lee for refusing to lift a ban on direct trade and transport between the PRC and Taiwan and accused Taiwan of “currying favor with” Japan and the US and “begging” to be included in a US anti-missile defense system.

9. PRC Military Exercises

The Associated Press (“CHINA SAID PLANNING MILITARY DRILLS,” Hong Kong, 09/05/99) reported that Hong Kong’s Chinese-language daily Wen Wei Po on Sunday quoted an unidentified military expert as saying that the PRC army is planning large-scale exercises on the coast across from Taiwan. The report said that the drills would be a closer simulation of war than those performed in 1996. It said that navy, air force and ground troops will take part in the exercises that will focus on beach landings in the southeastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong.

10. US View of Cross-Straits Tensions

The Wall Street Journal (Russell Flannery, “U.S. ISSUES WARNING TO CHINA NOT TO LAUNCH TAIWAN ATTACK,” 09/07/99) reported that Susan Shirk, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, warned the PRC that the US would likely respond to any military attack against Taiwan. Shirk stated, “We certainly understand that … [the PRC] has not renounced the use of force and is prepared to use force in the event that Taiwan declares independence. We believe that even in such an eventuality the use of force would be catastrophic for China as well as for Taiwan, and of course disastrous for U.S.-China relations, and would, no doubt, pit us in an actual war. So even in such an eventuality we would urge China not to use force.” She added, “Any military action, no matter how small, is likely to trigger a United States reaction. Either a political reaction such as a congressional vote against permanent NTR [normal trade relations] for China, the veto-proof passage of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, or some other political reaction which would be damaging from the standpoint of … [the PRC’s] interests in U.S.- China relations, and could possibly even lead to a military reaction.” Steven Yates, a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said that the US has “slowly been pushed into a tough line on the use of force.” He added that US officials “now realize we have given Beijing a blank check on the use of force.” An unnamed foreign observer stated, “They have to do something before the Clinton-Jiang meeting, or it will look like Clinton isn’t being tough.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 7.]

11. US-PRC Relations

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “IN ADVANCE OF JIANG-CLINTON MEETING, CHINA RELAXES ITS STANCE,” Beijing, 09/05/99, A25) reported that US officials said that Chinese officials who recently have met with their US counterparts have demonstrated a more open attitude than at any time since the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. The officials noted that during a meeting last week with Morton Halperin, head of the State Department’s policy planning section, PRC officials did not charge the US with deliberately bombing the embassy. Halperin held a two-hour meeting about nonproliferation issues. The officials added that the PRC apparently has dropped its demand that the US punish those responsible for the attack. One Western diplomat stated, “Both sides are engaged in a little historical rewrite. Everybody is making nicey nicey.” One unnamed senior US diplomat said that that the PRC “realized that it did not need a confrontation with the world’s greatest power right now. No one else is going to buy their products like we do, and they understood that no one would back them up in a war with the United States.” Sources said that, when Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui announced that PRC-Taiwan relations should be considered as “special state-to-state” relations, the US stopped a senior Taiwanese official, Su Chi, from traveling to the US to explain the policy.

Reuters carried an analytical article (Andrew Browne, “CHINA-U.S. SUMMIT AIMS TO PATCH UP TIES,” Sydney, 09/05/99) which said that US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin are unlikely to make any major breakthroughs in bilateral ties when they meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum next week. One unnamed Beijing-based diplomat stated, “It will be less than a kiss-and-make-up. Perhaps make-up without the kissing.” Another diplomat stated, “It’s an attempt to get the relationship back on an even keel.”

12. US Ambassador to PRC

The Associated Press (“CHINA OKS PRUEHER AS US AMBASSADOR,” Beijing, 09/07/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said Tuesday that the PRC has agreed to the appointment of retired Admiral Joseph W. Prueher as US ambassador to the PRC. Sun stated, “We have agreed to the appointment of the new ambassador to China.”

13. US Port Visits to Hong Kong

The Associated Press (“U.S. NAVAL VESSEL DOCKS IN HONG KONG,” Hong Kong, 09/07/99) reported that the US Navy vessel Tippecanoe arrived Tuesday in Hong Kong, the first US warship to gain approval to dock in the territory since the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia in May. Robert Laing, a US consular spokesman in Hong Kong, said that the Tippecanoe, staffed by 95 civilians and 21 military personnel, would deliver fuel to warships at sea. The ship was scheduled to leave Friday.

14. PRC Entrance to WTO

The Associated Press (“CHINA SEEKS ENTRANCE INTO WTO,” Beijing, 09/06/99) reported that Robert Cassidy, assistant US trade representative, said that PRC and US trade officials resumed talks Monday on the PRC’s bid to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). Cassidy stated, “We’re doing some stocktaking, just looking to see where we are on WTO negotiations.”

15. PRC-ASEAN Relations

The Associated Press (Thaksina Khaikaew, “CHINESE LEADER CRITICIZES U.S,” Bangkok, 09/04/99) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin on Friday said that ties between the PRC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were paving the way for a new world order based on Asian values of peaceful coexistence. Jiang stated, “Both China and ASEAN countries are advocators for a new international order. Our consensus on strategic issues is increasing.” Jiang also said that the “gunboat diplomacy” and “economic colonialism” of the US were threats to world peace and international security.

16. Pakistan Adherence to CTBT

Reuters (Tahir Ikram, “PAKISTAN SAYS WORRIED ABOUT INDIAN NUCLEAR PLANS,” Islamabad, 09/07/99) and the Associated Press (“PAKISTAN URGES WORLD TO STOP INDIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANS,” Islamabad, 09/07/99) reported that Pakistan Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad said Tuesday that concerns about more nuclear testing by India would make it hard for Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) soon. Ahmad stated, “The very possibility that India may conduct further nuclear tests creates doubts in Pakistan regarding the advisability of our early adherence to the CTBT.” He added, “If India does conduct further nuclear tests, this will, once again, oblige Pakistan to respond.” He said that Pakistan’s policy toward signing the treaty was unchanged, but that Pakistan felt a “coercive atmosphere” still existed and that India’s nuclear doctrine and the recent conflict in Kashmir had changed the security situation in South Asia. He stated, “The first priority of the world must be, therefore, to press India — and not Pakistan — to sign and ratify the CTBT and to reverse the preparations it has made for further nuclear tests.” Ahmad argued, “The growing imbalance in conventional capabilities will accentuate Pakistan’s reliance on nuclear deterrence. This will have the consequence of lowering, not raising, the ‘threshold’ of possible use of nuclear weapons in South Asia. But the choice is not ours to make, it is India’s.” He added, “We appeal in particular to Russia and France” to halt the supply of advanced conventional dual-use weapons technology to India.

17. Indian Elections

The Associated Press (Hema Shukla, “2 INDIA PARTIES OPTIMISTIC,” New Delhi, 09/06/99) reported that both of India’s leading parties on Monday claimed strong showings in the first round of parliamentary voting. A survey conducted for the Times of India newspaper said that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s National Democratic Alliance would win 144 of the 259 seats in contention in the first two phases of the poll, while the main opposition Congress Party and its allies would take 109 seats. Officials reported a decrease in violence compared with earlier elections. The second phase is scheduled for Saturday. The remaining 289 seats will be decided during three more rounds of voting. Actual vote counting will begin on October 6. Most surveys indicate that the ruling coalition could win more than 300 seats.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “U.S.-N.K. TALKS FACE ROUGH SAILING; PYONGYANG’S REDEFINITION OF SEA BORDER CAUSES STIR,” Seoul, 09/07/99) reported that ROK officials and analysts said on Monday that contrary to the initial optimism, the US-DPRK missile talks which start in Berlin on Tuesday may turn out to be much tougher than expected if the remarks by DPRK’s chief negotiator are any indicator. DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan, upon his arrival in the German capital on Sunday, hinted at raising the issue of the inter-Korean maritime border on the West Sea, posing a potential stumbling block to the negotiations. ROK analysts said that the negotiations between the US and the DPRK will be tough if the DPRK is really determined to raise the redefinition of the inter- Korean maritime border at the missile talks, as Kim indicated. The DPRK vice foreign minister said that all the issues concerning the Korean Peninsula will be tabled at the talks. “The Berlin talks will have a rough time, as the North’s attempt to raise the NLL (Northern Limit Line) issue is aimed at strengthening its bargaining position,” said Lee Jong- sok, a DPRK expert at the Sejong Institute. Lee said, however, that the DPRK is unlikely to suggest the redrawing of the NLL as a precondition to reaching an agreement with the US in connection with its missile program. ROK officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also said that the DPRK’s move is not seen as aimed at breaking down the missile talks. “It is nothing but a stereotypical North Korean tactic of promoting dialogue with the United States but confrontation with South Korea,” said a ministry official, asking not to be identified.

The Korea Herald (“EXPECTATIONS HIGH ON U.S.-N.K. TALKS,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that local officials and analysts’ attention was drawn on Sunday to whether the so-called “K-K” (US envoy Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan) dialogue could pull off another dramatic breakthrough. Such an expectation for Tuesday’s talks is not unfounded, as the chief delegates from the two sides have reached successful conclusions on two important occasions in the past, defusing near crises, ROK analysts said. An official at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated, “As the two negotiators have already finished sounding out each other’s intentions at two preliminary meetings in Beijing and Geneva in May and July, respectively, chances are high that they could reach a positive conclusion, if not a final agreement.” Other officials, however, were more skeptical about the outcome of the upcoming talks. “If North Korea raises the issue of redrawing the inter-Korean maritime border in the West Sea as part of its strategy to ante up its chances at the talks, the negotiation may run into a stalemate from the beginning,” said another ministry official, also wanting to remain anonymous.

2. ROK-DPRK Maritime Border

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “WEST SEA MARITIME BORDER WITH NORTH KOREA EMERGES AS LONG- TERM BONE OF CONTENTION,” Seoul, 09/07/99) reported that the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL) issue has become not only the subject of inter-Korean negotiations but also a long-term bone of contention between the involved parties, including the US. The de facto maritime border runs between five ROK islets – Paengnyong, Taechong, Sochong, Yongpyong, and Woo – and the DPRK mainland. As the line slants sharply toward the DPRK, compared with the extension of the demarcation line on land, the DPRK has demanded that the line be redrawn far south of the current one. The ROK Defense Ministry and Construction and Transportation Ministry claimed on Sunday that the DPRK virtually acknowledged the NLL when it failed to raise any objection to the new, NLL-based FIR (flight information region) of the ROK, declared by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1997. Despite the ROK government’s claims based on past practices, some experts said that the ROK can ill afford to unconditionally enforce the NLL, as the UNC neither informed the DPRK of the establishment of the unilaterally-set line nor did the DPRK acknowledge it. They based their argument on the international law of the sea, which stipulates that a country can have territorial waters of up to 12 nautical miles from its mainland. “As the contested five islets in the West Sea are all included in the Northern territory in accordance with the law, the South’s claim on the islets may be hard to verify,” said an internationally renowned expert on maritime law at a recent closed-door seminar, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Korea Times (“NK SHOWS NO EXTRAORDINARY MOVEMENTS DESPITE THREATS,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that an ROK Defense Ministry spokesman said on Sunday that the DPRK has shown no extraordinary military movements despite its threats of possible military action in the West Sea last week. He said that the DPRK media has renewed its claim to the waters on 27 separate occasions since its military announced its resolve to protect the waters on Thursday. “Our military is preparing to counter any North Korean provocations on land, at sea and in the air,” the spokesman said.

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Young-won, “GOVERNMENT TO DEFEND NLL,” Seoul, 09/03/99), The Korea Times (“SEOUL PLEDGES MILITARY ACTION,” Seoul, 09/03/99) and The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “SEOUL WARNS PYONGYANG NOT TO VIOLATE SEA BORDER: STATEMENT ISSUED AFTER EMERGENCY NSC MEETING,” Seoul, 09/04/99) reported that the ROK government held a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Friday to discuss the DPRK’s unilateral declaration of a new maritime border and announced that it would vigorously defend the existing northern limit line (NLL). A source at the meeting, which was chaired by ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won, said that the NSC rebuffed the DPRK’s actions and said that any changes had to be discussed at the joint military committee as outlined in the 1992 DPRK-ROK Basic Agreement. Following the NSC meeting, the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issued a statement warning that if the DPRK crossed the NLL it would meet a strong response. Ministry of National (MND) Defense and JCS officials held a planning session before sending orders out to operational units in the area. Additional naval vessels have been sent to the West Sea and surveillance has been increased. The USFK command also ordered an increase in U2 reconnaissance flights.

The Korea Times (“US URGES N.KOREA TO RESPECT SEA BORDER WITH SOUTH,” Seoul, 09/03/99) reported that the US urged the DPRK on Thursday to respect its UN-imposed sea border. “The northern limit line was and still is demarcated by the UN command to serve as a practical way to separate forces,” US State Department Philip Reeker told a press briefing. “It’s been an effective means of preventing military tension between North and South Korean military forces for 46 years.” “We urge (the DPRK) to recognize the practicality of the northern limit line by keeping its craft north of the line,” he added. Reeker expressed hope that military talks between both sides “will result in an amicable solution that will avoid future incidents.”

3. Perry Report

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “PERRY REPORT RECOMMENDS PACKAGE DEAL,” Seoul, 09/05/99) reported that a diplomatic source said on Sunday that US DPRK Policy Administrator William Perry has decided that the status quo on the Korean peninsula is unsatisfactory and will recommend the international normalization of the DPRK through a package deal policy. The source said that Perry’s report is known to have been completed and will be distributed at the US-ROK-Japan summit in New Zealand on September 12, following the US-DPRK missile talks in Berlin on September 7-11. According to the source, the report will present a gradual solution to the present predicament, by persuading the DPRK to abandon its development of weapons of mass destruction, build mutual political confidence, and remove the Cold War structure on the Korean peninsula. It details five measures to accomplish this: full implementation of the Geneva Accord, acceptance of the Missile Technology Control Regime to solve the missile issue, talks at the ministerial level and above, a three stage economic assistance package, and normalization of relations between Japan and the DPRK. With regard to economic assistance this will be divided into primary, advanced, and full-scale, which will include loans. In relations with the ROK, the report stresses the importance of implementing the 1992 ROK-DPRK Basic Agreement and emphasizes the re-introduction of official dialogue and continued contact. A source in the ROK government said that the report also detailed measures to be taken if the DPRK failed to accept the package deal, but refused to give any information, saying that in this scenario, the DPRK should prepare itself for complete international isolation.

4. DPRK Missile Test

The Korea Times (“N. KOREA WARNS IT RETAINS ‘SOVEREIGN RIGHT’ TO LAUNCH MISSILES,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency warned the US and its East Asian allies late Sunday against pressuring the DPRK not to test-fire a new long-range rocket. “From international usage, whether a country launches satellites or missiles belongs to its sovereignty,” it said in a dispatch monitored in the ROK. It added that moreover, the DPRK is exposed to permanent nuclear and missile threats from the US and other “foreign aggressors. So, its missile development is a legitimate exercise of sovereignty to defend peace and security of the country from A to Z.” The agency attacked the US and Japan for planning a regional Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system to counter possible DPRK missile attacks as an aggressive move which could lead to war. It warned that this “increasing military pressure” on the DPRK “will only give rise to irrevocable consequences.”

5. ROK’s View of DPRK Leadership

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “PRESIDENT BLASTS PYONGYANG’S UNRESPONSIVENESS TO PEACE DEAL,” Seoul, 09/06/99) and The Korea Times (“COMMUNIST SYSTEM IN NK BREAKING DOWN,” Seoul, 09/05/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung has blamed the DPRK military and other hard-liners for the DPRK government’s failure to respond to the so-called “package proposal” from the ROK, the US and Japan. “My view is that the North Korean regime fears that accepting such proposal will result in the opening up to the outside world,” Kim said in an interview with Asian Affairs, a politico-economic journal published in Hong Kong. Kim said that the DPRK is afraid that the proposal would lead its people to discover what the outside world is like, “thus realizing that they have been told lies for all these decades.” “It might make it very difficult to sustain the regime,” Kim said, adding that the “whole communist system” is breaking down. He pointed to the economic hardships, food shortages and the loose control on travel by citizens. The President contended that the DPRK military is behind the DPRK’s unwillingness to respond to peace proposals from the outside. “Another reason, which may be the strongest one, is that the military is very much in control of all aspects of life. The military does not want an opening up. It has vested interests in all areas of society,” he said. “In fact, it benefits by keeping the tension at a certain level.” He said that “the people who move North Korea from within” are “very different” from the diplomats who are engaged in negotiations with the US. “The people you meet in Geneva may feel they agree with you deep inside, but when they return home, they are unable to speak for fear they might be sacked,” Kim said. “When they come up with these agreements with the outside world, there are other forces inside the regime who are trying to ruin everything, and they do ruin everything from time to time.” Then the whole process has to start again, Kim stated.

6. ROK-Russia Relations

The Korea Herald (“KIM CALLS FOR MILITARY COOPERATION WITH MOSCOW,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Saturday called for the ROK and Russia to promote military cooperation between the two countries. Kim, receiving a courtesy call from Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev at Chong Wa Dae, also restated his proposal to form a multilateral security forum in Northeast Asia. Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon- young said that Kim made the comments after conferring an ROK government medal on Sergeyev at the presidential mansion. Kim’s aides said that the President’s decision to bestow a government honor on the Russian defense minister reflects his wish to expand ROK-Russia ties beyond economic areas. Sergeyev, holding a meeting with his ROK counterpart, Cho Sung-tae, agreed that the two countries should launch a joint naval exercise. Spokesman Park said the President expressed satisfaction with Russia’s support for the ROK’s efforts to establish peace and stability on the peninsula through its engagement policy toward the DPRK. Kim also mentioned his proposal to establish a regional security and cooperation forum in Northeast Asia, an idea shared by the Russian government. The proposed forum would include the two Koreas, the US, the PRC, Japan, and Russia. Kim has said that Mongolia might be invited to the regional body. Spokesman Park said that Sergeyev reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to the ROK government’s peace efforts in the region. When Sergeyev met ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young, Hong reconfirmed that the ROK government will not join the theater missile defense (TMD) system being promoted by the US.

7. ROK-Japan Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Choi Ku-shik, “PRIME MINISTER MEETS JAPANESE EMPEROR,” Seoul, 09/03/99) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “P.M. KIM’S TRIP TO JAPAN PROVES NEW PARTNERSHIP STAYING ON COURSE,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that ROK Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil met with Japanese Emperor Akihito on Friday, the third day of his official visit to Japan. Kim’s meeting with the Japanese Emperor was officially to convey an invitation to the Emperor to visit the ROK.

8. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Seong-jin, “CIVIC GROUPS RESPOND TO CHINESE AMBASSADOR,” Seoul, 09/03/99) reported that the ROK Campaign Center for UN Refugee Recognition of DPRK Escapees in the PRC held a press conference led by center director and lawyer Kim Sang-cheol to respond to comments by PRC Ambassador Wu Dawei. [Ed. note: See the ROK section of the Daily Report for September 3.] “Ambassador Wu talks of sovereignty, but North Korean agents are wandering about Chinese territory herding up these refugees indiscriminately,” read a statement issued by the group, which also released a 1,180,000 signature petition it had collected to urge the UN to grant the estimated 300,000 DPRK defectors in the PRC refugee status through the UN High Commission for Refugees. The group announced that it plans to hold a protest in front of the PRC embassy on September 8. Kim argued that the ROK government is not doing all it should about the situation either, claiming that the ROK embassy in Beijing is turning away DPRK defectors who seek refuge in the ROK. “Our government has forgotten what the role of the state is as it sits just watching these North Koreans suffer,” he said. Under the Constitution of the ROK, DPRK citizens automatically qualify for citizenship in the ROK, as the DPRK is defined as Communist-occupied territory of the ROK.


Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “MND SEEKS TO REPATRIATE 5 POWS,” Seoul, 09/03/99), The Korea Times (“SEOUL SEEKING TO BRING BACK POWS IN 3RD NATIONS,” Seoul, 09/03/99) and The Korea Herald (“DEFENSE MINISTRY SEEKS RETURN OF FIVE KOREAN WAR POWS,” Seoul, 09/04/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of National Defense announced on Friday that negotiations are being held with related ministries to repatriate five former ROK Prisoners of War (POW) who recently escaped from the DPRK and are staying in the PRC and Russia. At a second meeting of the “Governmental Committee of Measures for POWs” that is to be held on Saturday, the Defense Ministry’s Assistant-Secretary Park Yong-ok will request the cooperation of each ministry to protect the ROK soldiers’ personal safety and to safely bring them back to the ROK. The Ministry also plans to ask the DPRK to return any ROK POW who may still be alive. In addition, the ministry is also considering adding this issue as one of the high items on the agenda of DPRK-ROK government representative talks.

10. ROK Military Satellite

The Korea Times (“MILITARY SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED IN 2005,” Seoul, 09/05/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the ROK plans to launch a military communication satellite in 2005. Six local companies, including Dacom and Hyundai, are participating in the project, which will make it possible for the ROK military to command the Army, Navy and Air Force collectively. The state-funded Agency for Defense Development (ADD) is also taking part in the project. Officials estimated the cost of the project at 200 billion won. If the military satellite is put into the orbit successfully, its operational range will cover the entire Korean peninsula. A civilian rocket will place the satellite into orbit.

11. DPRK Naval officers purged

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “NORTH KOREAN NAVAL LEADER PURGED,” Seoul, 09/03/99) reported that an ROK governmental source stated on Friday that the DPRK has recently forced out the naval commander and vice- admiral Kim Yoon-shim, holding him responsible for the defeat in the West Sea. The source stated, “Kim led the North Korean forces in the West Sea and the North Korean authority holds him responsible for what they see as an unforgivable defeat.” Kim succeeded Kim Il-chol in the position in 1997.

12. Anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s rule

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “STABILITY, UNCERTAINTY COEXIST IN N. K. ON KIM JONG-IL’S ANNIVERSARY AS TOP LEADER,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that September 5 marked the one year anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s reelection as the chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission (NDC). On the political and military fronts, Kim Jong-il has successfully established a “royal guard” system by filling all key posts with his confidantes and supporters, ROK analysts noted. “North Korea appears to have placed top priority on its military forces for the past year,” said Lee Jong-suk, a research fellow at the Sejong Institute. The DPRK is also striving for realistic benefits in diplomacy, as shown by the recent closure of its embassies in 17 African countries, in the midst of attempts to open missions in industrialized countries. However, by hardening its decision-making process, the DPRK’s military has become a mixed blessing for Kim, said a senior official at the ROK Unification Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity. The current freeze in the relationship between the DPRK and major rivals, including the ROK, is largely attributed to the military, which is extremely shy of opening the isolationist regime to the outside world, the official added. “North Korea will have to modify the current central control system run mostly by the military, if it is to speed up the economic recovery. It also should seek economic benefits in relation with the South instead of escalating tensions,” he added. Without seeking to fundamentally resolve the food shortage and other economic problems through the bolder opening of its system, the DPRK will always find itself at a crossroads between co-prosperity and collapse, the analysts said.

13. ROK-DPRK Family Reunions

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “DISPERSED FAMILIES EACH GAVE $1,300 TO THEIR FAMILIES IN NK,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that ROK citizens who have met family members and relatives residing in the DPRK in a third country have given an average of US$1,345 to their family members. The ROK Ministry of Unification said on Monday, “The number of cases in which South Koreans gave money to relatives in North Korea while meeting them in other countries from 1990 to the end of last August totaled 578. The total amount of money handed over to the North Korean families during the meetings was calculated at US$777,200.” A source in the ministry said, “We are permitting personal support of less than US$10,000 to families in North Korea, even though to directly give money to North Korean residents is prohibited by the law.” Civilian organizations working for the ROK and DPRK divided families’ meetings presumed that the real amount of support is far larger than that announced by the ministry as citizens usually understate the amount when reporting to the government.

14. ROK-DPRK Religious Exchanges

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “RELIGIOUS EXCHANGES BETWEEN TWO KOREAS SHRINKING,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that religious exchanges between the ROK and the DPRK have shrunk considerably this year. According to “The Weekly North Korea Trend” released by the ROK Unification Ministry, the total number of ROK religious leaders who contacted DPRK residents as of the end of August 1999 were found to reach 80 in twelve separate cases, down by 66 percent from the same period in 1998. In addition, the overall number of religious leaders who visited the DPRK amounted to 11 in two different trips, an 80 percent decrease from last year. A ministry official said that the revitalizing of religious exchanges by the two Koreas will take some time. He added that the religious visits and exchanges explicitly promoted by President Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine Policy have been at a standstill because both Koreas have judged that exchanges at this time are not that efficient in promoting beneficial dialogue.

15. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Dong-hwan, “NK REQUESTS 50,000 TVS FROM HYUNDAI,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that an official at Hyundai said on Monday that a member of the Asia Pacific Peace Committee made a request for 50,000 TV sets to Kim Yoon-kyu head of Hyundai’s Asan Corporation. He said that the DPRK official told Kim that thousands of home appliances had been washed away in floods and asked if the company could replace them. The official said that as Hyundai does not produce televisions, the company, if it agrees to the request, faces the dilemma of how to buy and export them to the DPRK and what payment guarantees it can expect. Hyundai has so far provided automobiles to the DPRK on a deferred payment basis.

16. DPRK in International Competitions

The Korea Times (“ROUSING WELCOME GREETS N.KOREAN MARATHONER,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that the DPRK held its largest ever celebration to greet the winner of the women’s marathon gold medal in the World Championships, Jong Song-ok, on Saturday. In Pyongyang alone, one million people, or one-third of the capital city’s population, spilled onto the streets to cheer Jong. “The whole country was wrapped in joy and raptures,” said the DPRK’s official Korea Central News Agency. “Such a large-scale welcome function was the first ever after the birth of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” Rodong Shinmun stated, “Her success is a manifestation of the strong national spirit of the Korean People who are … breaking through all sorts of trials and it is an event of weighty significance in encouraging the whole party, the whole country and all the people.”

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “NK WINS WORLD BADUK PROGRAMMING CHAMPIONSHIP,” Seoul, 09/06/99) reported that the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) of the DPRK reported on September 6 that the DPRK’s team won the “5th FOST Cup World Computer Go/Baduk Program Championship” held in Tokyo on September 3. KCNA said, “The Baduk program developed by the Korea Computer Program Center was victorious as it won seven out of eight matches utilizing excellent strategy and forecasting ability of competitors’ moves at the contest in which about 50 teams from the world participated.” A source in the ROK Ministry of Unification said, “North Korea, which has turned over its outdated computer sector, has recently striven to advance onto the international stage, while concentrating on such basic and simple software as Baduk and fingerprint recognition programs.”

III. Announcements

1. Articles about Nautilus

The San Francisco Chronicle carried an article featuring an interview with Nautilus Co-Executive Director Peter Hayes. Hayes argued that, instead of providing the DPRK with US$250 million per year in food aid, international aid would be better spent rehabilitating the DPRK’s basic food producing infrastructure. He stated that within five years, the DPRK would be back on track, safer to share a world with, and less likely to implode. The article can be accessed through the Nautilus website at or at:

Windpower Monthly, a news magazine of wind energy development, recently published an article describing the Nautilus Institute’s DPRK Renewable Energy Project. The article is reprinted with the magazine’s permission on the Nautilus website at:

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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