NAPSNet Daily Report 07 September, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Program
2. DPRK Absence at UN Millennium Summit
3. ROK Speech in UN Millennium Summit
4. US-DPRK Relations
5. US Role in Cross-Straits Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. UN Millenium Summit
2. Kim Dae-jung in UN Millennium Summit
3. ROK POWs in DPRK

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Program

The Los Angeles (Jim Mann, “N. KOREAN MISSILES HAVE RUSSIAN ROOTS, EXPLOSIVE THEORY SUGGESTS,” Washington, 9/6/00) reported that some missile experts theorize that the DPRK missile program was built with the help of Russian missile scientists. Robert H. Schmucker, a German missile technology specialist, said in a recent paper, “It must be concluded that various Russian companies–not necessarily the Russian government–and North Korean authorities are closely cooperating in the missile programs. From these [Russian] institutions, North Korea received everything necessary to manufacture or assemble missiles…. The future of North Korea’s work and success depends completely on the Russian involvement.” Timothy McCarthy, senior analyst at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said that he has been quietly examining for months the possibility that some Russians are continuing to provide key components for the DPRK missiles. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the Russian government has been involved. Still, McCarthy noted, “If the North Korean program isn’t viable without Russian components, then you’d have to look at Russia, not North Korea, for the solution to the problem.” So far, US intelligence agencies are said to be skeptical about this theory, but the idea has gained adherents among missile experts in Europe, particularly in Germany. There is, however, a consensus that the DPRK program began in the 1980s with Russian help, and that the DPRK missiles are based upon Russian designs. John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists said, “We’ve taken a close look at the design of the [Korean missile] and it’s clearly a knockoff of the [Russian] SS-4.” Pike added, “The paper trail ended eight years ago.” Some analysts point to the Russian-style design of the DPRK missiles and to the fact that they were developed more rapidly, and with fewer flight tests, than those of other nations. Joachim Krause, deputy director of a German research institute, said, “Countries like Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and Egypt all tried to develop these missiles and failed. Only North Korea, this totally run-down country that can’t feed its own people, succeeded.” Some experts said there have also been some customs seizures in Europe of missile parts that the DPRK was exporting, parts that appear to be Russian. Robert Schmucker concluded that there are “so many indications [of Russian involvement], and there is no other way…. The North Korean missile is a complete Russian system, with nothing developed in North Korea.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 7, 2000.]

2. DPRK Absence at UN Millennium Summit

Agence France Presse (“US SENDS LETTER OF APOLOGY OVER PROTOCOL DISPUTE TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 9/7/00) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn said that the US on Thursday sent a letter to the DPRK apologizing for airline security checks which led the DPRK to withdraw from the UN Millennium Summit. Lee said, “A letter from a high-ranking US official was delivered to North Korea today. In the letter, the United States expressed regret at the ‘mistake’ by American Airlines and hoped that the incident would not have any negative impact on the development of US-North Korea ties.” A US official said that other countries, including the PRC, regard the incident as a mere unfortunate event which stemmed from misunderstandings. He said, “The United States is doing its best efforts to resolve the dispute and we expect to see a positive outcome.”

3. ROK Speech in UN Millennium Summit

Agence France Presse (“KIM HAILS KOREAN PENINSULA ‘MIRACLE’ BUT IGNORES NORTH’S ABSENCE AT UN,” United Nations, 9/7/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on September 6 hailed the start of a “miracle” of rapprochement on the divided Korean peninsula, and thanked the United Nations for its support in easing tensions. Kim said, “The new millennium is beginning with a miracle on the Korean peninsula. Warm sunshine has begun to melt down the wall of ice that has stood between the south and north during the past 55 years of Cold War division.” He called the restoration of the peninsula under a single Korean sovereignty the “ultimate goal” of the talks, but said that it had to be achieved peacefully “no matter how long it takes. Unification must be a success for both sides.” He also asked for a continuation of UN support for the process that has already been assisted by last month’s reunions between families separated since the Korean War.

4. US-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “U.S. WARY OF NORTH KOREAN MILITARY,” 9/7/00) reported that Stephen Bosworth, US ambassador to the ROK, said on Thursday that the DPRK’s military threat has not diminished despite the recent thaw on the divided Korean Peninsula. Bosworth said that the US must maintain a military alliance as a “strong, credible deterrent against possible North Korea aggression. I suspect it will be some time before engagement can be a sufficient strategy by itself. It must still be bolstered by deterrence.” Bosworth also praised the ROK’s policy of seeking reconciliation with the DPRK, but warned that heightened expectations from the summit should not serve to lower the ROK’s guard against the DPRK’s military threat. He said, “It is important to recognize that at present, despite very encouraging developments in North Korea’s policy toward the South and the outside world, the physical threat posed by its military has not diminished at all.”

5. US Role in Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse (“US NUDGED TO HELP REINSTATE BEIJING-TAIPEI DIALOGUES, TAIWAN’S WTO BID,” Taipei, 9/7/00) reported that Taiwan on Thursday urged US President Bill Clinton to help restore the PRC’s stalled dialogue with Taiwan. PRC Foreign Minister Tien Hung-mao said, “President Clinton can serve as a promoter, which is different from the role as a mediator. As long as the two sides can talk, then we can talk face-to-face without further bothering the United States.” Tien advised Clinton to take the opportunity at a meeting with PRC President Jiang Zemin on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit. Tien also voiced hope that the PRC would not about the title of Taiwan’s entry into the WTO. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said that the PRC has always supported Taiwan joining the international trade body, but only as a part of the PRC. He claimed that a 1992 presidential statement of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade agreed that Taiwan could join as a separate custom territory of the PRC. However, in a letter to Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, Clinton pledged that the US would not accept PRC attempts to enshrine its claim to Taiwan in documents covering the PRC’s entry into the WTO.

II. Republic of Korea

1. UN Millenium Summit

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “NK LEADER’S ABSENCE IN UN – A CALCULATED ACTION,” Seoul, 09/06/00) and Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL, WASHINGTON TO MINIMIZE AA INCIDENT,” Seoul, 09/07/00) reported that DPRK’s nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, blaming a “rude search” by US airline security officials, cancelled his trip to the UN Millennium Summit, in what has come as another surprising twist in the US-DPRK ties. Initially, ROK officials feared that the incident might hurt the US-DPRK ties and make the international community consolidate their impression of the DPRK as an “unpredictable” state. However, because DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su- hon said in a press conference that the incident would not affect relations between the two Koreas, the ROK now believes that inter-Korean ties will remain unaffected. A Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official warned however, “we are worried that the international community might form a bad impression about North Korea.” Therefore, the ROK government has been making diplomatic efforts to prevent the US-DPRK relationship from turning sour. ROK President Kim Dae-jung will discuss this issue with US President Bill Clinton at the summit talks. Kim Ha-joong, ROK senior presidential advisor on foreign affairs, who is in the US with President Kim, said that it was important for both the DPRK and the US to resolve any misunderstanding so that the two countries relationship could improve further.

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “U.N. TO ISSUE STATEMENT SUPPORTING 2 KOREAS,” N.Y., 09/07/00) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “AIRPORT DISPUTE MAY WORSEN NK-US RELATIONS,” Seoul, 09/07/00) reported that ROK officials said on September 5 that the cancellation of Kim Yong-nam’s visit to New York would not negatively affect the ongoing rapprochement between the two Koreas. The officials also said that Kim’s decision not to attend the UN Millennium Summit would not affect the plan of the UN summit’s co-chairs to issue a statement supporting the two Koreas’ moves to improve relations. Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young issued a statement saying that the incident should not impede exchange and cooperation programs planned between the ROK and the DPRK. Park stated, “We also hope that this will not worsen relations between North Korea and the United States.”

2. Kim Dae-jung in UN Millennium Summit

Chosun Ilbo (“PRESIDENT APPEALS PEACE ON PENINSULA AT U.N,” Seoul, 09/07/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung at the opening session of the three-day UN Millennium Summit appealed to world leaders on September 6 to support the Korean initiative for promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. Kim said that reunification is the ultimate goal of the Korean people and that the leaders of the divided countries agreed to attain it in peacefully at the inter-Korean summit in June. Kim attended a luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. According to Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young, Kim praised the role played by the UN and the contribution that the world body had made to promoting world peace, maintaining security, and pushing economic and social developments worldwide. Kim also attended a roundtable conference where leaders of the participating countries met in groups to discuss such global and regional issues. Kim is scheduled to hold one-on-one meetings with PRC President Jiang Zemin and US President Bill Clinton on Thursday.

3. ROK POWs in DPRK

The Korea Herald (“GOV’T SAYS 351 S. KOREAN POWS ALIVE IN NORTH,” Seoul, 09/07/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on September 6 that a total of 351 ROK prisoners of war (POWs) are presumed to be still alive in the DPRK. The ministry said that its latest POW estimate, eight higher than the previous one of 343, is based on the testimony of five former ROK soldiers who recently returned to the ROK via a third country. The National Intelligence Service announced on September 3 the names of the five POWs who escaped to the ROK in July and August, along with an abducted fisherman and his two family members.

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