NAPSNet Daily Report 08 June, 1999

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

IN TODAY’S REPORT

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Warships in ROK

Reuters (“N.KOREA PATROL SHIPS CROSS INTO BUFFER ZONE,” Seoul, 06/08/99) and the Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, “S.KOREA CITES N.KOREA BORDER BREACH,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that Captain Lim Won-kyu, spokesman for the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that six DPRK patrol ships entered a buffer zone between ROK and DPRK waters early Tuesday afternoon. Lim stated, “No guns have been fired by either side but the standoff continues.” Lim added that the United Nations Command will send a letter to the DPRK government to protest the “grave violation of the armistice.” There was no immediate comment from the DPRK.

2. PRC Position on NATO Bombing in Yugoslavia

The Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, “CHINA CALLS FOR HALT IN NATO BOMBING,” Beijing, 06/08/99) reported that the PRC demanded on Tuesday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) immediately stop bombing Yugoslavia. The PRC’s state-run television quoted PRC President Jiang Zemin as saying, “Our position is correct. We will uphold it until the end.” Martti Ahtisaari, President of Finland, stated in reference to the PRC demands for a bombing halt, “I don’t think this will become an obstacle.” Ahtisaari, visiting Beijing to brief PRC leaders on the peace negotiations, said PRC leaders were committed to a peaceful resolution. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue stated, “As a matter of priority, NATO should stop its military actions against Yugoslavia, particularly during the discussions by the Security Council of the relevant resolutions. Only with a bombing halt can we create a favorable or necessary conditions and atmosphere for the settlement of the question of Kosovo.”

The Wall Street Journal (Helene Cooper and Matt Forney, “ALLIES TRY TO PERSUADE CHINA, 06/08/99, A12) reported that analysts are worried that the PRC will veto a UN resolution on a Kosovo peace plan. John Tessatore, communications director at the UN Association, stated, “They prefer abstaining. However, if the Chinese feel strongly about an issue, and there’s no one else with a veto for them to hide behind, it’s not unprecedented for China to issue a sole veto.” Tessatore pointed to the PRC’s February veto of a resolution to extend the UN peacekeeping mission in Macedonia as one example. Some experts said that the PRC will probably try to bargain the price for its support. An unnamed PRC expert said, “It’s likely the Chinese can be assuaged to remain silent.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 8.]

3. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “U.S. DELAYS ANTI-MISSILE TEST DUE TO POWER FAILURE,” Washington, 06/08/99) and the Associated Press (“ARMY DELAYS ANTIMISSILE TEST AGAIN,” White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 06/08/99) reported that the US military on Tuesday postponed a previously announced test of the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system due to a commercial power failure. US Defense Secretary William Cohen said, “This is very, very difficult to achieve, so we can expect more failures in testing various systems. We have to proceed and we will be ultimately successful.” The test is now scheduled to take place on Thursday.

4. India-Pakistan Relations

The Associated Press (Hema Shukla, “INDIA OFFERS TO HOLD PEACE TALKS,” Dras, India, 06/08/99) reported that India’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday offering to hold peace talks with Pakistan this weekend. The statement said that the talks would be limited to ending the confrontation on India’s northern frontier. Mushahid Hussein, Pakistani Information Minister, informed the upper house of parliament of India’s offer, but did not say if Pakistan would accept the date. Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani Foreign Minister, said the Pakistani government would reply to the Indian offer later on Tuesday. Aziz added that the one-point agenda for the talk set by India was a problem and that there should be “no preconditions.”

The New York Times carried an opinion article by Benazir Bhutto (“CAMP DAVID FOR KASHMIR,” 06/08/99) which argued that tensions between India and Pakistan threaten world security. Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and currently leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, wrote that, “Like Kosovo, the possibility of a nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan is predictable, dangerous, but clearly preventable.” Bhutto argued that the Camp David peace process in the Middle East, based on leaving the most sensitive issues to be resolved last, might provide a model for conflict resolution between India and Pakistan. Bhutto proposed that in Kashmir, “Both sections would be demilitarized and patrolled by either an international peacekeeping force or a joint Indian-Pakistani peacekeeping force. Both legislative councils would continue to meet separately and on occasion jointly. The people on both sides of divided Kashmir could meet and interact freely and informally. None of these steps would prejudice or prejudge the position of both countries on the disputed areas.” Bhutto concluded, “It would be our hope that, as with Jordan and Israel, after a period of open borders and open trade there would follow a period of open hearts and open minds.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 8.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Warships in ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “NK PATROL BOATS CROSS DML,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that Joint Military Command (JMC) issued a statement stating that six DPRK patrol boats entered ROK waters on Tuesday and are currently involved in a stand off with ROK Navy forces. The statement said that the boats appeared in DPRK waters on Monday escorting DPRK fishing vessels, but then crossed into the demarcation line 10km west of Youngpyong island. The statement also said that eight ROK Navy fast patrol ships had been dispatched to the area.

2. ROK-DPRK Red Cross Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jangsoo, “RED CROSS CHIEFS FROM TWO KOREAS TO MEET JUNE 29,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that, according to an unnamed government official, Park Ki Lyoon, Secretary-General of the ROK Red Cross, and Huh Hai Lyong, Secretary-General of the DPRK Red Cross, will meet in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on June 29. They are likely to discuss ways to resolve separated family issues.

3. ROK-DPRK Trade

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SAMSUNG EXECUTIVES TO VISIT N.K. ON BUSINESS,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of Unification has approved the Samsung delegation’s visit to the DPRK. Samsung Group’s public relations official said, “Long-term business projects, including the construction of an electronics complex near Pyongyang, will also be discussed during the one-week visit to the North.” Samsung is expected to invest US$1 billion in the DPRK by 2008 to manufacture electronic goods and communications-related products, including mobile phones. Samsung is also planning to open a trading branch in Pyongyang in order to facilitate economic cooperation with the DPRK. If the electronics complex is created, the conglomerate will employ at least 30,000 DPRK nationals.

4. DPRK Casino

Chosun Ilbo (“NORTH KOREA GETS FIRST CASINO,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that, according to an unnamed source, a casino will open on July 1 in the DPRK’s Najin-Sonbong Free Economic Trade Area. The source said that the casino is being supported by Hong Kong’s Emperor Group as part of a foreign investment program initiated in 1997. The casino will be located at the Emperor Hotel in Najin-Sonbong, and will employ approximately one hundred DPRK nationals and seventy PRC nationals. The main customers will consist of Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian clients from Taiwan and Hong Kong. ROK and US citizens will not be allowed in the casino.

5. ROK Military

The Korea Times (“W180 BIL. ASKED FOR NEW KF-16 PLAN,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry has asked budget officials to allocate an extra 180 billion won to finance production of 20 more KF-16 fighter jets, which will create more jobs in the ROK. The requested 180 billion won is the first installment of the 1.2 trillion won needed to produce 20 more KF-16s through 2005. The ROK government’s decision came over objections from the ROK Air Force, which wanted to arm itself with advanced fighter jets to counter threats from the DPRK and Japan’s growing military role in the region. While the Defense Ministry called for extra money, budgetary officials showed a lukewarm response to the demand. An official from the Ministry of Planning and Budget said, “If we pour money into bolstering private aerospace companies this time, we will have to give them money again a few years later.”

6. ROK-PRC Disarmament Conference

The Korea Times (“CHINA WELCOMES KOREA’S DECISION NOT TO JOIN TMD,” Seoul, 06/08/99) reported that Sha Zukang, director general of the PRC Foreign Ministry’s arms control and disarmament bureau, spoke highly of the ROK’s decision not to join the theater missile defense (TMD) program. Sha expressed his concern that the TMD project might not only touch off an arms race in Northeast Asia but also bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities if TMD-related technologies are transferred to Taiwan.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
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

 


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