NAPSNet Daily Report 08 December, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 08 December, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 08, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-08-december-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. DPRK-ROK Relations

Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “COLD WAR DEADLOCK CONTINUES IN KOREA,” Panmunjom, 12/08/99) reported the increase in interaction between the DPRK and the ROK may be a signal of progress for the DPRK. Jeffrey Jones, president of the ROK-based US Chamber of Commerce, said, “there’s a general increase in activity that I think we have to view as pretty positive.” However, Hur Moon-young, a researcher with the ROK-run Korea Research Institute for National Unification, said, “rapprochement with South Korea means weakening of the North Korean control system.”

2. Cross Strait Relations

Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “TAIWAN DISCUSSES MISSILE DEVELOPMENT,” Taipei, 12/08/99) and Reuters (Jeffrey Parker, “FACING CHINA MISSILES, TAIWAN VP WANTS DETERRENT,” Taipei, 12/08/99) reported that Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan said Wednesday that Taiwan needs long-range missiles capable of hitting the PRC and of discouraging an attack on the island. Lien said in a speech to a conference on defense, “To make a foe afraid to attack Taiwan, we definitely must develop a reliable deterrent force, and strengthen our second strike capability. That includes developing the potential force of a long-range, surface-to-surface missile.” Taiwanese Defense Minister Tang Fei declined to comment directly on Lien’s statement, but said the military would “immediately look into the matter,” even though it had no budget to develop a long-range missile without foreign assistance. The military also announced on Wednesday that the US was close to selling Taiwan advanced air-to-air missiles. A defense ministry spokesman said that officials were optimistic that the US would permit the sale.

3. Second PRC Missile Base

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA TARGETS TAIWAN WITH 2ND MISSILE BASE,” 12/08/99, 1) reported that the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has discovered a second PRC short-range missile base under construction near Taiwan. This second site, the Xianyou missile complex, is closer to the PRC coast than the Yongan site and only 135 miles from Taiwan. When complete, it will contain a “brigade-size” force of short- range missiles. In a report last month to US Defense Department officials, the DIA said that the two missile bases are being readied for deployment of hundreds of CSS-7 Mod 2 missiles. US intelligence officials also clarified the location of the first missile base as Yongan, not Yangang, as earlier reported. The US Defense Department estimates each missile base will have a brigade of 16 truck launchers and 97 CSS-7 mobile missiles with a range of 300 miles. A US Defense Department official concluded that the new missile bases would allow the PRC “to target all of Taiwan’s major military bases.” The DIA estimated that the PRC has deployed 40 CSS-7s and are working toward deployment of 500 short- range missiles by 2005. Another defense official said, “they will be able to take Taiwan with little or no warning.” One official said, “Chinese missiles will be able to overwhelm any planned Taiwan missile-defense system in the not- too-distant future.” Another US Defense Department official said that the missile buildup is “destabilizing….. It increases the chances Beijing will use force and it decreases the chance that Beijing will compromise politically in future talks with Taiwan.”

4. PRC Response to Japan-DPRK Talks

Agence France Presse (“CHINA SUPPORTS JAPAN’S INITIATIVE TO RESUME TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 12/08/99) reported that PRC parliament chief Li Peng told Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun in an interview that the PRC supports Japan’s commitment to resume normalization talks with the DPRK. Li said that Japan’s initiative was important for peace in the entire East Asia, and “it would not be wise to keep North Korea out of the international community for a long time.” Regarding PRC-Japan relations, Li said there “would be no fundamental conflict of interests unless militarism revives in Japan.”

5. US-PRC Relations

Agence France Presse (“SINO-US MILITARY TIES HAVE YET TO BE NORMALIZED: US ADMIRAL,” Hong Kong, 12/08/99) and South China Morning Post (Glenn Schloss, “US SHIP VISIT ‘DOES NOT SIGNAL PLAIN SAILING IN TIES’,” Hong Kong, 1) reported that US Vice-Admiral Walter Doran, commander of the USS Blue Ridge, was quoted by the South China Morning Post at a reception in Hong Kong for the PRC People’s Liberation Army as saying that his ship’s visit to Hong Kong does not signify the normalization of military-to-military relations between the US and the PRC. The USS Blue Ridge and its 990 crew arrived in Hong Kong on December 7 for a five- day port call. It was the first US warship to visit Hong Kong after the sovereignty transfer in June 1997.

6. US National Missile Defense

Reuters (Christopher Wilson, “U.S. MISSILE SHIELD TECHNOLOGY FAR FROM READY,” Washington, 12/08/99) reported that many experts are confident a limited anti-missile system capable of shooting down a few incoming intercontinental missiles is technologically within reach. Greg Seigle, a reporter for Jane’s Defense Weekly, said, “whether it is technologically feasible is not really an argument any more. It is just a question of when is it feasible? When is it cost effective? And when is it reliable?” However, a US intelligence study in September judged that the DPRK, Iran and Iraq would be able to develop “penetration aids” such as balloon decoys, chaff, and jammers based on “readily available technology.” Lisbeth Gronlund, a physicist and arms control expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stated, “that means that while the system may work on a test range against mock warheads that it won’t work in the real world against even a few warheads if the attacker takes simple steps to foil the system.” Former US Air Force Chief of Staff General Larry Welch, who led a panel reviewing the National Missile Defense system (NMD), cautioned that the program was on a tight, high-risk schedule and any slippage would delay it. Welch said, “our concern was that if things don’t come off right on schedule, then people will begin to say it isn’t working.” Michael O’Hanlon, a weapons expert and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote recently in Foreign Affairs magazine, “it makes little sense to insist on deploying NMD (National Missile Defense) before shorter-range systems with much slower interceptors, like THAAD (Theater High-Altitude Area Defense) … can be fielded.” Jeffrey Isaacson, a senior physical scientist at RAND, stated, “given the luxury of time, I believe we would have a much less ambitious development schedule. The fear is that the threat won’t wait. It could emerge with little or no warning.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “LIM PLEDGES ‘OPEN’ STANCE TOWARD N.K. TO SOLVE HUMANITARIAN ISSUES,” Seoul, 12/08/99) reported that ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won said on December 7 that the ROK would strive to maintain a more “open” stance toward the DPRK to help solve the humanitarian issues of Cold War victims. Lim spoke at a symposium, saying, “In order to establish a new inter-Korean relationship for the 21st century, we will promote North Korea policy on a grander and newer dimension.” Lim’s remarks were interpreted by DPRK watchers as hinting that the ROK government would positively respond to a DPRK proposal for dialogue concerning the repatriation of long-term, pro-DPRK prisoners in the ROK. Lim stated, “Whatever the reasons, those who have been separated for more than 50 years should be able to meet their family members. The government is determined to actively help our North Korean brethren to pull themselves out of disease and poverty and live happily as members of the Korean community.” Lim stressed that the ROK is ready to discuss all the issues stipulated in the ROK-DPRK agreement with the DPRK, including political, military and economic matters. He also said, “North Korea should return to its stance of eight years ago and try to solve all inter-Korean issues through dialogue, by reactivating the suspended South-North joint committee, for instance.”

2. DPRK-Australia Talks

The Korea Herald (“N.K. LIKELY TO HOLD TALKS WITH AUSTRALIA ON REOPENING TIES,” Seoul, 12/08/99) reported that ROK government sources said on December 7 that the DPRK and Australia will hold talks on reopening diplomatic relations in late February in the DPRK for the first time since ties were severed in 1975. Officials from the DPRK and the Australian embassies in Bangkok were in contact from late November to early December on improving relations before agreeing to meet in the DPRK capital. A senior official of the Australian Embassy in the ROK also confirmed the meeting. The two sides will discuss the issues related to humanitarian aid to the DPRK from Australia, DPRK’s human rights record and weapons program and participation in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

3. DPRK Exports to US

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “EXPORT OF PRODUCTS MADE IN NK TO U.S. FACES HURDLE,” Seoul, 12/07/99) reported that the export of DPRK-made products to the US has been facing difficulties due to the high tariffs imposed on the goods by the US. According to a report released by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) on December 7, goods which ROK companies manufactured in the DPRK have been sold on the US market at a price 30 to 40 percent higher than PRC products. This is a result of US general tariffs set on products made in the DPRK and a low tariff for imported PRC merchandise. In the case of men’s overcoats made from artificial fabrics, the US has imposed a 6.7-percent tariff on those imported from the PRC while applying a 63.3-percent tariff on those from the DPRK.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC View on DPRK-Japanese Relations

People’s Daily (Yu Qing, “DPRK-JAPANESE RELATIONSHIP TURNING FOR BETTER,” Tokyo, 12/6/99, 6) reported that Japan and the DPRK reached three agreements on improving their relations and agreed to recover bilateral negotiations on diplomatic normalization. The report said that the process of realizing Japanese-DPRK diplomatic normalization is turning for better. The article also said that the progress of the Japan-DPRK relationship was helped by the international background, the new developments on Korean Peninsula, and the two countries’ wishes to improve their relationship. It also reported a positive Japanese media assessment of the Murayama delegation visit, but pointed out that Japan’s media was not optimistic about further progress in future negotiations.

People’s Daily (Xu Baokang, “DPRK-JAPANESE RELATIONSHIP HAS NEW PROGRESS,” 12/8/99, P6) reported that the positive development of the DPRK-Japanese relationship is conducive not only to the improvement of the relationship between the two countries, but also to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. According to the article, Japan and the DPRK reviewed and adjusted their policies toward the Korean Peninsula and brought about new progress. The four-party talks created a benign atmosphere for ending confrontation, improving relationships and realizing peaceful co-existence. The US changed its policy of comprehensively “isolating and containing” the DPRK and partially lifted its economic sanctions on the DPRK. ROK President Kim Dae-jung also insisted that his “sunshine policy” was welcomed. Kim also supported the improvement of US-Japan relationships with the DPRK. Those developments set a big challenge to Japanese policy to the DPRK, which made containment the precedence. Japan regarded the DPRK’s August 1 statement on the DPRK-Japanese relationship as a signal to improve the two countries’ relationship. The successful talks between Japan and the DPRK delegations creates a good atmosphere for the two countries to improve bilateral relationship and paves the way for them to re-start talks on diplomatic normalization. The two sides should take the opportunity and to make concrete measures to contribute to regional peace and stability.

2. People’s Daily Delegation Visits DPRK

People’s Daily (Zhao Jiaming, “KIM KI NAM MEETS PEOPLE’S DAILY DELEGATION,” Pyongyang, 12/7/99, 6) reported that Kim Ki-nam, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, met with visiting People’s Daily Delegation headed by Deputy Editor-in-Chief Yu Ning in Pyongyang on December 6. Kim stressed that the DPRK-PRC friendship was created and cultivated by the two country’s old generation of revolutionaries. Kim also said that the friendship will be constantly consolidated and developed with the loving care of General Secretary Kim Jong-il and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin. Kim briefed Yu on the current DPRK domestic situation, pointing out that the DPRK Nationals, rallying closely around the Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee headed by Kim Jong-il, have set off an upsurge in the struggle for building a powerful socialist state. Kim said that the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese government and the people, have been consistently providing help and support to the DPRK who sincerely wish that the Chinese people will achieve still greater progress in the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core.

3. Tung Chee Hwa’s Visit to ROK

People’s Daily (Gao Haorong and Li Baodong, “ROK FOREIGN MINISTER HOLDS TALKS WITH TUNG CHEE HWA,” Seoul, 12/8/99, P6) reported that ROK foreign affairs and trade minister Hong Soon-young met Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, in Seoul on December 7 to discuss ways of increasing economic cooperation. Hong and Tung agreed to establish a financial cooperation channel to cope effectively with possible economic crises. During the meeting, Hong hoped that Hong Kong will increase its investment in the ROK. At present, Hong Kong’s investment in the ROK is US$700 million, while the ROK’s investment in Hong Kong is US$1.2 billion.

4. PRC-US Relations

People’s Daily (“CHINA OPPOSES USING RELIGIOUS ISSUES TO INTERFERE IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS,” 12/08/99, P4) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said at a press conference on December 7 that the PRC opposes using religious issues to interfere in internal affairs of other countries. Zhang said, “the US Government has recently, in disregard for the solemn representations and strong opposition of the Chinese side, distorted facts, made unjustifiable attacks upon the Chinese Government and even gone so far as to impose sanctions against the Chinese side. All this constitutes a serious violation of the basic norms governing international relations and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.” Zhang also said the PRC demands that the US reverse its decision on the aforesaid sanctions, canceling the impact on Sino-US relations.

5. PRC-Japanese Investigation of Germ Warfare

China Daily (“GERM WARFARE KILLED 270,000,” 12/6/99, 6) reported that an in-depth study by PRC and Japanese scholars shows that at least 270,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were slaughtered by Japanese germ warfare troops between 1933 and 1945. PRC scholars, including Guo Chengzhou and Liao Yingchang from the Academy of Medical Sciences affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army, put the figure at more than 270,000. Some Japanese experts believe the total is no less than the number of people killed in the Nanjing Massacre, in which at least 300,000 Chinese died. According to researchers, Japanese troops who invaded China between 1932 and 1945 set up a germ-warfare base in the Wuchang County in the northeastern part Heilongjiang Province in 1933 and eventually deployed five “bacteriological experimentation units” with a total of over 20,000 men in the cities of Harbin, Changchun, Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou. Twenty Chinese provinces were attacked by these Japanese units, who spread deadly diseases including typhoid, cholera, diarrhea fever, anthrax, lockjaw, and gangrene, the report said.

6. PRC Nuclear Industry

China Daily (“NUCLEAR ENERGY SHOULD STAY ON TRACK,” 12/7/99, 4) reported that the Development Research Center under the State Council of China released a report saying that the development of the nuclear power industry concerns both national security and energy strategy and deserves a long-term blueprint. Despite the end of the Cold War, the role of nuclear weapons and nuclear capability in securing national security has not changed, said the report published in the China Economic Time. The report also said post-World War II international relations and recent developments in geopolitics show that the PRC should maintain its nuclear capabilities in the interest of national security. During the past few years, the PRC has made efforts to reform the nuclear power industry under the guiding principle of transmission from military to civilian use. By actively developing the nuclear power industry, the PRC could promote the institutional reform and structural adjustment of the industry while further enhancing the PRC’s nuclear technology strength, the report said. Because of its close connection with national security, the nuclear power industry is different from ordinary commercial sectors. In the current economic environment, it has not yet gained a market-oriented driving force and needs a strong government hand to guide development.

7. PRC Foreign Military Cooperation

People’s Daily (Cao Zhi and Jing Shuzhan, “CHI HAOTIAN ON TRAINING OF FOREIGN MILITARY OFFICIALS,” Beijing, 12/8/99, P4) reported that General Chi Haotian, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, State Councilor, and Minister of National Defense, said on December 7 that the PRC should study the new characteristics and training procedures of foreign military officials and further carry out the diplomatic principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and President Jiang Zemin’s important statements on the international strategic issues. Chi said that as the highest military learning institute in the PRC, the university has taken the lead in the training of foreign military officials, accumulated valuable experience, and a good example for the People’s Liberation Army. He pointed out that under the new international situation, the training of foreign military officials should be expanded as an important way of international military cooperation and a way to improve the unity and cooperation with other countries. He called on relevant units to study and master PRC diplomatic policies and improve the training of foreign military officials.

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

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Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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