NAPSNet Daily Report 08 May, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 08 May, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 08, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-08-may-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. EU Visit to DPRK
2. US Policy toward DPRK
3. ROK-Japan Joint Naval Exercise
4. PRC Missile Deployment
5. US Reconnaissance Flights
6. US Spy Plane
II. Republic of Korea 1. US View of DPRK Missiles
2. ROK Lawmakers to Visit DPRK
3. ROK Call for DPRK-US Talks
4. DPRK View of US
5. Kim Jong Il’s Son
6. DPRK Food Shortage
7. Aid to DPRK
III. Announcements 1. Korean Reconciliation Conference
2. Japanese Foreign Policy Website

I. United States

1. EU Visit to DPRK

Reuters (Sonya Hepinstall, “U.S. SAID TO APPRECIATE EU EFFORT ON N.KOREA,” Washington, 5/8/01) reported that Lars Danielsson, state secretary at the office of Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, told a news conference on Monday that EU officials met senior officials of the US State Department and the National Security Council about their trip to the DPRK to “compare notes” and received a “clear expression of appreciation” from them. Danielsson repeated that the European Union could not and did not intend to interfere with the diplomatic efforts of the US. He said, “We have felt all along that we’ve had strong support for this effort…. We’ve had a close dialogue. The very fact that I was sent … directly from Seoul to go here is just another example of the importance we attach to see to it that we work hand-in-hand.” Danielsson said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il himself said repeatedly that he wanted to have a “constructive relationship” with the US. He said, “There was criticism from him about certain statements … the fact that North Korea is on the list of state-supported terrorism. He referred to statements labeling North Korea as a rogue state which of course did not go down so well with him. But I think he was careful enough not to make any sort of definitive assessments on the new policy of the new administration and also said that he would, as he put it, refrain from any provocative statements during that process.” Danielsson declined to comment on any sense he had of the progress of the US policy review after his meetings but said that an announcement appeared due in the “not too distant future.”

2. US Policy toward DPRK

The International Herald Tribune published an opinion article by Leon V. Sigal, director of the Northeast Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council, (“BUSH’S TOUGH LINE ON NORTH KOREA IS DANGEROUS,” New York, 5/8/01) which said that the focus on military power in the foreign policy of the US President George W. Bush administration is preventing the engagement of the DPRK. Sigal argued that, in contrast to the belief of these policymakers, the DPRK is willing to give up its nuclear arms and missiles in exchange for an improvement in relations with the US, the ROK, and Japan, which it sees as the key to its survival. Sigal argued, “To doctrinaire realists that may seem inconceivable…. Given the uncertainties about North Korea, the Bush realists understandably regard it with mistrust, but they would be wrong to pick a fight with ally South Korea rather than try engagement with the North.” Sigal noted that by delaying the resumption of missile talks, the US is impeding reconciliation between the ROK and the DPRK and jeopardizing the US military presence in the ROK. He stated, “Realists assume that if the North and South begin to ease hostilities, U.S. troops will have to leave. On the contrary, in June Kim Jong Il told Kim Dae Jung … that so long as the United States remains its enemy, U.S. troops are a threat and must leave Korea, but that once the relationship is no longer hostile, U.S. troops could remain.” Sigal added that some people in the DPRK speak of the US as a “harmonizer” of relations between DPRK and the ROK, which could serve as the political rationale for a continuing US presence for those in the ROK who no longer perceive the DPRK threat as so daunting. However, he concluded, if the US is seen as impeding inter-Korean reconciliation, that will erode support in the ROK for the US military presence.

3. ROK-Japan Joint Naval Exercise

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREA CANCELS JOINT NAVAL DRILL WITH JAPAN IN PROTEST,” Seoul, 5/8/01) reported that the ROK defense ministry said on Tuesday that a joint naval exercise with Japan that was set for June would be postponed indefinitely unless Japan made an effort to rectify the school books that ROK officials believe justify Japanese colonization of Korea. It said in a statement, “The defense ministry believes that South Korea-Japan military exchanges should be pushed ahead in trust based on a correct historical view and on public support.” The ministry also warned that proposed visits to the ROK by top Japanese defense officials in July could be delayed. The protest move came after ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-Soo summoned Japanese Ambassador Terusake Terada to demand that Japan change 35 passages in eight newly approved history textbooks. Han urged Japan to quickly “correct” the passages in the new middle school textbooks, which he said “distorted, downplayed or omitted” Japanese abuses before and during World War II. However, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi denied the demand, saying the books could not be “revised again” as they had already been approved by the education ministry with certain modifications.

4. PRC Missile Deployment

Taipei Times (Brian Hsu, “CHINA BUILDS NEW MISSILE PLATFORMS TO DETER US FORCES,” Taipei, 5/7/01) reported that according to an unnamed defense source, the PRC has built two fixed missile launch sites in its southeastern provinces and is planning to build more. The source said that the fixed missile launch site construction project, named the “Long Wall Project,” is aimed at the US, not Taiwan. The source said, “The Chinese military leadership plans to put longer-range ballistic missiles in the southeastern provinces so that they can cover US military targets in the Pacific. They can fire, for instance, a Dong Feng-31 at a US navy battle group shortly after the group leaves its base in Hawaii. The Long Wall Project is basically a deterrent against the US’ fighting forces in the Pacific. In addition to the Dong Feng-series missiles, China can also fire many other types of missiles from these two fixed launch sites.” In addition to the two fixed sites, the PRC military has also built a number of mobile missile launch bases in its southeastern provinces. Three of the mobile launch bases are located in Fujian Province and are obviously aimed at Taiwan, with short-range missiles such as the M-9 or M-11. They are based in Xienyu, Pingtan and Lienchen. A defense official said that among the two kinds of missiles targeting Taiwan, the M-11 is the more feared since it can fire a wide variety of warheads, ranging from nuclear and chemical warheads to electronic magnetic pulse (EMP) warheads. The official said, “All of these warheads for the M-11 have one common feature — they can decelerate while homing toward the target. This is an important feature because with its ability to slow its speed, the missile’s warhead can explode at the most suitable altitude to effect the greatest destruction against ground targets.” Erich Shih, a senior editor with Defense International magazine, stated, “Because of the application of global positioning system technology to the missile, the [margin of error] for the M-11 can be reduced to around 5m.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 8, 2001.]

5. US Reconnaissance Flights

Agence France Presse (“CHINA PROTESTS RESUMPTION OF US SPY FLIGHTS,” Beijing, 5/8/01) reported that the PRC on Tuesday protested the resumption of US surveillance flights near its coastal waters. PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sun Yuxi was quoted by the Xinhua news agency as saying, “China has constantly opposed US spy flights off China’s coast and will continue to lodge serious representations with the United States on the resumption of such flights.” Sun urged the US to “draw lessons and correct such wrongdoings.” A US Defense Department official said that a US Air Force surveillance plane had flown off the coast of northeastern China on Monday, resuming intelligence-gathering flights.

6. US Spy Plane

Reuters (“CHINA BARS CRIPPLED U.S. SPY PLANE FROM LEAVING,” Beijing, 5/8/01), the Associated Press (Martin Fackler, “CHINA: U.S. SPY PLANE CAN’T FLY HOME,” Beijing, 5/8/01), and Agence France Presse (“US SPY PLANE CAN’T FLY BACK, CHINA SAYS,” Beijing, 5/8/01) reported that the PRC said on Tuesday that it would not allow the US spy plane involved in the accident on April 1 to leave the country and that it had told the US as much several times. The official Xinhua news agency quoted PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi as saying, “The Chinese side has several times stated clearly in relevant Sino-U.S. negotiations that it is impossible for the U.S. EP-3 plane to fly back to U.S. from Hainan Island.” The comment was sparked by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said on Sunday that he hoped the EP-3 could be repaired and flown off Hainan. US officials said earlier that the PRC had indicated it did not want the plane repaired for flight, but Sun’s statement was the first public PRC confirmation that it had ruled out that option.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US View of DPRK Missiles

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “CONTROVERSY RESURFACES OVER REPLACEMENT OF NUCLEAR REACTORS FOR NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 05/08/01) reported that despite ROK officials’ repeated denials, the US is indicating that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) should provide the DPRK with thermal plants instead of nuclear reactors which they fear may be diverted to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Robert Einhorn, assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, recently raised the need to replace two light-water nuclear reactors under construction in the DPRK with thermal power plants. However, another senior US official, James Kelly, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, recently said that he expected that the Bush administration will neither scrap the 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework nor revise the agreement to replace light-water reactors in the DPRK. ROK government officials have opposed the replacement of the nuclear reactors with thermal plants, saying it would cost too much. They said the Bush administration has yet to determine its position on the type of replacement power plants, dismissing news reports that the US already informed the ROK of its decision regarding the power supply. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 8, 2001.]

2. ROK Lawmakers to Visit DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Hyung-jin, “FOUR LAWMAKERS TO VISIT N.K. ABOARD TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY MAY 31-JUNE 2,” Seoul, 05/08/01) reported that a group of ROK citizens plan to visit the DPRK May 31-June 2 aboard a Trans-Siberian Railway train, in commemoration of the first anniversary of the inter-Korean summit last June and to help resume the dialogue between the two sides, a ruling party lawmaker said Monday. “The planned railway trip is meant to show how inter-Korean relations have changed over the past year,” said Representative Kim Seong-ho of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), the organizer of the event. Kim and ruling party Representatives Lee Mi-kyung, Park Byeong-seug, and Lee Nak-yon, and Choi Yeon-hae, a professor at Korea National Railroad College, will make a symbolic three-day visit to Pyongyang during the trip. “During our three-day stay in North Korea, we plan to meet young North Korean parliamentarians, ranking government officials and railroad experts,” Kim said in an interview with The Korea Herald. “We will discuss various issues ranging from unification to the inter-Korean cross-border railway project.” The lawmakers’ visit is also aimed at improving inter-Korean relations, which many say stalled due to the US government’s hard-line policy towards the DPRK, Kim said.

3. ROK Call for DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SOUTH KOREA’S RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL LEADERS CALL FOR EARLY RESUMPTION OF U.S.-N.K. TALKS,” Seoul, 05/08/01) reported that a total of 113 leading figures from various walks of life on Monday called on US President George W. Bush to resume dialogue with the DPRK. They also voiced concerns over the US missile defense plan. In a letter addressed to President Bush, his top aides and other US leaders, the ROK citizens also urged the US to step up its efforts in encouraging the DPRK to participate in the international community. “We are sending this as we believe that U.S. support is more crucial than anything else in realizing Koreans’ hope for peace,” it said.

4. DPRK View of US

Chosun Ilbo (Ju Yong-jun, “KIM JONG IL EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT WASHINGTON’S HARDLINE,” Seoul, 05/07/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is reportedly pointing to the US policy toward the DPRK as the biggest obstacle to a second inter-Korean summit. While summing up his trip to the DPRK, Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson quoted Kim as saying his next inter-Korean summit would only take place once the Bush administration has decided on a new DPRK policy. The DPRK’s leader told the European Union delegation last week that he honored his personal friendship with President Kim Dae-jung, but felt that the ROK was too influenced by the US. EU officials added that Chairman Kim also expressed displeasure with the US listing of the DPRK as a sponsor of terrorism and emphasized that he does not regard the US as an enemy nation.

5. Kim Jong Il’s Son

Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-bum, “WHEREABOUTS OF KIM JONG NAM UNCERTAIN,” Beijing, 05/04/01) reported that the whereabouts of Kim Jong-nam, the DPRK leader’s eldest son, and his family were uncertain Sunday after his departure to the PRC on Friday. According to a source in Beijing, Kim and his family were staying in the DPRK embassy in Beijing, but there are rumors that they may have departed for Pyongyang by rail. The source also said that the DPRK is suspicious of the Japanese intentions after it revealed Kim’s identity to the public, saying that Japanese authorities were fully aware of Kim’s previous visits to Japan. The DPRK is said to be uncomfortable with what happened and analysts said that the DPRK believes that Japan had ill intentions, which may have negative impact on the future relationship of the two countries. Meanwhile PRC media groups were completely silent on the matter, failing to report on it.

6. DPRK Food Shortage

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, “GRAINS IN NORTH, DRIED UP FOR SPRINGTIME,” Seoul, 05/08/01) reported that the DPRK’s state-run Central News Agency said last Friday that the total amount of rainfall from March 1st to early May recorded just 15mm, an 18 percent drop from the average 83mm. Hwanghae Province, dubbed as the grain belt of DPRK’s western region, recorded 9mm in rainfall, setting a record low. North Hamgyung region got the worst with no rain at all for last 58 days. The biggest damage would be to grain farming, the nation’s basic food source. The planting season for corn, for example, should have started around late April and be completed by late June. However the chances are slim with the ongoing tough weather and its roots most likely to be dried up before ever having chance to stretch out. “The farm soil has dried down to 8-15cm exceeding the seed planting level. Most of the already planted seeds have dried up leaving hardly a chance for hope,” reported the News Agency. The Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul expects clear weather for most of the month and precipitation rate lower than usual. “If this famine prolongs agricultural sector of the North would again be ruined for this year,” said Dr. Kim Un-geun of Korea Rural Economic Institute.

7. Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“CIVIC GROUPS AID NORTH WITH $2.67 MILLION IN APRIL,” Seoul, 05/08/01) reported that the DPRK has received aid worth 3.46 billion won (US$2.67 million) from domestic civic groups in April. According to a report of the ROK Unification Ministry last Thursday, nine civic groups including the Korean Sharing Movement aided the DPRK with underwear, medicines and other goods worth about 2.86 billion won (US$2.2 million) last month alone. Another 4 civic groups and the Red Cross Society made a contribution worth 590 million won (US$460,000). A total of 44 civic group officials entered the DPRK to ensure fair distribution of goods seven times in a row in April. “The government has already dispatched 65,000 tons of corn to North Korea late April via World Food Program and is also planning to send in the remaining 35,000 tons by mid-May,” said the state official.

III. Announcements

1. Korean Reconciliation Conference

A conference on “Korean Reconciliation: Implications for Northeast Asian Security” held at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) on 15-17 March, 2001 is available for viewing in an enriched media format on the academy’s web-based resource site. The conference was sponsored by USMA, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), United States Air Force Academy, Duke University, and the program on the Role of American Military Power. Security experts from the ROK, Japan, the PRC, and Taiwan presented those nations’ perspectives concerning the security needs of the states in the region and the evolving situation on the Korean Peninsula, and addressed the architecture that must be in place to support the reconciliation process while providing a security “hedge” against a disintegration of the process. The conference includes a keynote speech by General John Tilelli, former Commander of UN and US forces in Korea. The web-based presentation contains searchable video of the conference along with complete transcripts and additional research materials on the issues discussed. Presenters include Professor Victor Cha from Georgetown University, Tom McNaugher of RAND’s Arroyo center, and Professor Akio Wantanabe. For comments or feedback, please call 703-907-2400 or email ramp@ausa.org.

2. Japanese Foreign Policy Website

The second issue of the home page “Japan in the World,” containing selected articles from the journal SEKAI has been published. The new uploaded articles are: “Packaging Prejudice for the Global Marketplace: Chauvinism Incited by Tokyo Governor Ishihara,” by Tessa MORRIS-SUZUKI, The Australian National University; “The Hanaoka Incident: Corporate Compensation for Forced Labor,” by UCHIDA Masatoshi, Attorney; “The Unbelievable ‘Lightness’ of the US-Japan Alliance: The Ehime-maru Incident in Historical Perspective” by MAEDA Tetsuo, Military analyst; and “[Statement] Deeply Concerned about the Regressive History Textbooks, We Urge the Japanese Government to Take Appropriate Action.”

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