NAPSNet Daily Report 08 November, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 08 November, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 08, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US-ROK-Japan Policy Coordination

Reuters (“US, JAPAN, S.KOREA OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS N.KOREA,” Washington, 11/08/99) reported that a US Department of Defense spokeswoman said that officials from the US, Japan, and the ROK will meet in Washington on November 8 and 9 to exchange views on the DRPK. The meeting precedes a high-level meeting between the US and the DRPK in Germany starting on November 15. The spokeswoman had no comment on reports that the US was considering including Japan in its bilateral talks with the DPRK on the DRPK’s missile program, but she said that a wide range of issues would be discussed at this week’s trilateral meeting in the US.

2. Korean War Massacre

Associated Press (“NO GUN RI SURVIVORS LEAVE FOR US,” Sang Hun-choe, Seoul, 11/08/99) reported that three ROK survivors of the No Gun Ri massacre flew to the US on Monday to meet and pray with three of the US Army veterans who have acknowledged that their unit was involved in the killing of civilians in the first weeks of the Korean War. The “recognition and remembrance ceremony” in the Cleveland, Ohio, Old Stone Presbyterian Church on November 10 is being sponsored by the US National Council of Churches and the ROK National Council of Churches as part of the US organization’s 50th anniversary annual meeting. From Cleveland, the survivors will fly to Washington on November 11 to meet with US Defense Department officials.

3. PRC Nuclear Arsenal

The International Herald Tribune (“CHINESE NUCLEAR BUILDUP PREDICTED,” Paris, 11/6-7/99) reported that during a two-day meeting this week sponsored by the French Institute for International Relations in Paris on the outlook for global security, specialists from Asia, Europe, Russia and the US concluded that the PRC will respond to moves in Congress to shift US policy on deterrence by upgrading its nuclear arsenal. No PRC experts attended the meeting. An unnamed French official stated, “Congressional moves to break out of multilateral nuclear arms control are making the world more unsafe without making the United States any safer.” A report last week in the PRC’s official Digest Weekly said that the PRC would begin a US$10 billion program to improve its nuclear arsenal to develop a “second-strike capability” to retaliate against a preemptive strike. Andrei Kokoshin, a former Russian deputy defense minister, noted, “The situation in which China has a handful of barely useable missiles could change into a force of 60 to 80 weapons with multiple warheads.” Kokoshin also pointed out that the real effect of that change would be an increase in tensions between India and Pakistan. Kokoshin accused the US of increasing the risk of this development in China by seeking to change the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and leaving the impression that the US wants to change the rules of nuclear deterrence. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 8.]

4. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Agence France Presse (“BEIJING CALLS ON WASHINGTON TO SCRAP ABM PROPOSED TREATY CHANGES,” Beijing, 11/08/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on November 6 criticized US attempts to build a national missile defense. Zhu stated, “China urges countries concerned to seriously heed the strong voice of the international community, and abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile plan which not only harms others, but does not benefit themselves.” Zhu continued to call on the US to abandon proposed changes to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. He said that a UN resolution opposing changes to the treaty “reflects the will and determination of the international community to oppose the deployment of the ABM system and the revision of the ABM Treaty by certain countries.”

5. UN Resolution on ABM Treaty

Reuters (Anthony Goodman, “U.N. ADOPTS DRAFT AGAINST U.S. ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE,” United Nations, 11/05/99) reported that a resolution sponsored by Russia, the PRC, and Belarus calling on the parties to the Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty (ABM) “to refrain from the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems for a defense of the territory of its country and not to provide a base for such a defense” was adopted by a UN committee on November 5 by a vote of 54 to 4 with 73 abstentions. The resolution calls for “renewed efforts by each of the states parties to preserve and strengthen the ABM Treaty through full and strict compliance.” It also forbids countries from transferring the system to other states, or from deploying outside their national territory ABM systems or their components limited by the treaty. It considers that any measure undermining the purposes and provisions of the ABM treaty “also undermines global strategic stability and world peace and the promotion of further strategic nuclear arms reduction.” The US, Israel, Latvia, and Micronesia voted against the resolution. 13 of the 15 members of the European Union abstained while the other two, France and Ireland, voted for the resolution. The abstainers included Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the ROK, as well as most East European nations. Before the resolution was adopted, a French amendment urging support for efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery was approved by 22 votes to one, with 95 abstentions. The US cast the only negative vote against the amendment.

6. US Missile Defense

Washington Post (William Drozdiak, “POSSIBLE U.S.MISSILE SHIELD ALARMS EUROPE,” Berlin, 11/06/99) reported that US Undersecretary of Defense Walter Slocombe said Saturday that US President Bill Clinton would decide “next summer at the earliest” whether to order the deployment of a limited national missile defense. Slocombe said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that the US will not let Russian objections stand in the way of a missile defense system if the US determines it is in its national security interest to build one, and could contemplate withdrawing from the treaty. An unnamed senior European diplomat at NATO warned, “this issue could end up driving a stake through the heart of the alliance. First there is the danger that it will cause the Russians and the Chinese to ratchet up the arms race by finding ways to beat missile defenses. But there is also the fear that if the system works, American and European security interests will no longer be bound by exposure to the same threats.” The allies also fear that, once endowed with a missile shield, the US would be tempted to protect its superior posture by launching preemptive nuclear strikes against any perceived challenge, from “rogue states” such as the DRPK or Iran, –with or without the consent of its allies. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 8.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “U.S., N.K. TO ARGUE OVER EASING HOSTILITY AT TALKS,” Seoul, 11/08/99) reported that ROK officials and analysts said on November 7 that a serious issue for next week’s scheduled talks between US special envoy Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan will be how to ease hostility between the two countries. US officials said that the two countries will focus on arrangements for the visit by a high-level DPRK official to the US during the November 15 talks in Berlin. The DPRK, however, has indicated that it may demand a US pledge not to strike the DPRK first as a measure to alleviate mutual confrontation. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency on November 5 stated, “Concerns of the two countries, including the US promise not to promote confrontational policy toward the North, will be discussed in the Berlin talks.” In a related move, ROK officials have said that a US pledge against a strike on the DPRK may be discussed during the Kartman-Kim meeting. ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong said, “Washington and Pyongyang may exchange views on the assurance of the North’s security during the upcoming talks.” Jang added, however, “I don’t expect that the U.S. assurance on the North’s security will be in the form of a treaty such as a non-aggression or peace pact.” Director General of the North American Affairs Bureau at the ROK ministry Song Min-soon said, “If discussed at all, it may appear in the form of a declaration.” A senior US diplomat also said last Wednesday that the assurance of the DPRK’s security will first be discussed between Kartman and Kim before being discussed at a high-level meeting between the two countries. An unnamed DPRK watcher in the ROK said that it remains to be seen whether the DPRK will be satisfied with a US declaration that it would not launch a preemptive strike. “In this sense, the North will likely renew its demand for the conclusion of the tentative peace pact during the Berlin talks.”

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “WILLIAM COHEN DENIES U.S. OFFERED GUARANTEE OF SAFETY TO NK,” Seoul, 11/05/99) and The Korea Times (“US NOT OFFERING N.KOREA NO-FIRST-STRIKE PLEDGE: COHEN,” Seoul, 11/05/99) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen on November 4 denied that the US has offered the DPRK a guarantee that it will not strike the DPRK first, although it has sought to ease tension between the two countries. A high-ranking official at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently stated that William Perry suggested to the DPRK authorities that the US would not make a preemptive attack against the DPRK. However, Cohen said that he did not discover any suggestion that the US will rule out a preemptive strike against the DPRK in the US coordinator’s recent remarks. He added that the US will not take any steps which would endanger the security of its armed forces in the ROK.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Comparison

The Korea Herald (“INCOME GAP BETWEEN TWO KOREAS NARROWED IN 1998,” Seoul, 11/08/99), Chosun Ilbo (Kang Kyoung-hee, “DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SOUTH KOREA AND NK,” Seoul, 11/07/99) and Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “INCOME GAP BETWEEN SOUTH AND NORTH DECREASES,” Seoul, 11/07/99) reported that a drastic drop in ROK’s national income in the wake of 1997’s economic crisis narrowed the income gap between the ROK and the DRPK last year, the first time that has happened since such statistics began to be compiled in 1990 . The ROK’s gross national income (GNI) in 1998 represented just 61.1 percent of that recorded in 1996, the all time high. The DPRK’s 1998 GNI stood at 56.5 percent of 1995’s figure, according to statistics released on Sunday by the National Statistical Office. The ROK’s GNI peaked at US$518.3 billion in 1996 before declining to US$474 billion in 1997and US$316.8 billion in 1998. The DPRK posted US$22.3 billion in 1995, US$17.7 billion in 1997 and US$12.6 billion in 1998. Although both nations have been on a downward curve, the ROK experienced a sharper decline, so that the ratio of the ROK’s GNI to the DPRK’s decreased from 26.8 times greater in 1997 to 25.1 times greater in 1998.

3. DPRK View of ROK Sunshine Policy

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. FIRES SALVO AT ‘SUNSHINE POLICY,’ SOUTH KOREA-U.S. JOINT MILITARY DRILL,” Seoul, 11/08/99) reported that a day after ROK Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil defended the ROK government’s engagement policy toward the DPRK, the DPRK attacked the “sunshine policy” on Saturday. In an official editorial titled, “Who should undress? – Arguing over the sunshine policy again,” the DPRK criticized the sunshine policy as a replica of the US plot that drove the Soviet Union to collapse in the 1980s. “The South Korean government itself must take off its coat of flunkeyism toward the United States,” said the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland. “There is absolutely no need for the North to remove ‘our own’ clothes of self-reliance and independence.”

4. DPRK Views of US TMD

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. FIRES SALVO AT ‘SUNSHINE POLICY,’ SOUTH KOREA-U.S. JOINT MILITARY DRILL,” Seoul, 11/08/99) reported that an editorial of the DPRK’s official daily Rodong Sinmun on Saturday denounced the US Theater Missile Defense (TMD) project, dubbing it a “U.S. ploy to dominate the entire world.” The article emphasized that the US has no reason to push for the “warlike” project, which would trigger new armament competition and escalate tensions in the region, while no countries, least of all the DPRK, are currently assailing the US with military threats.

5. US Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “U.S.-N.K. TIES WON’T BE NORMALIZED WITHOUT SOUTH’S INPUT, BOSWORTH SAYS,” Seoul, 11/06/99) reported that US Ambassador to the ROK Stephen Bosworth said on November 5 that despite the DPRK’s bid to bypass the ROK in establishing a relationship with the US, the US will never normalize its ties with the DPRK without a fundamental resolution of the conflict between the ROK and the DRPK. “The Kim Jong-il regime tries to drive wedges between the U.S., Korea and Japan, thus spawning some speculations that North Koreans might reach a separate agreement with the United States on bilateral issues and create a normal relationship at the expense of South Korea,” Bosworth said, “However, I can forthrightly say that such a scenario cannot come to pass.” Bosworth was offering his prospects and proposals on the unification of the ROK and the DPRK at an international symposium titled, “Proposals on How to Establish a Peaceful System on the Korean Peninsula,” held at the Press Center in downtown Seoul. While strongly urging the DPRK to give up its closed attitude in dealing with foreign countries, Bosworth stressed that the DPRK must adopt that very stance to gain practical benefits from the US easing of economic sanctions last month.

6. ROK View on DPRK Opening

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “PRES. KIM ADVISES N.KOREA TO ADOPT MARKET ECONOMY,” Seoul, 11/05/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on November 4 advised the DPRK to adopt the market economy system, which he said will lead to self-sufficiency in food and economic prosperity. At a meeting with 371 leaders of the Korea Freedom League at Chong Wa Dae, the Chief Executive said that the DPRK should not be worried about the possibility that the ROK will absorb it once it follows the path of opening. “What the South expects right now is not realizing German-style unification through absorption but encouraging the Communist country to adopt the market economy. We want to help North Korea stand on its own feet through food self-sufficiency, development of its own economy and fostering the ability to buy food and oil with its own money,” Kim stated. He said that in the process of the DPRK’s transition to the market economy, many things will change in the DPRK, which will ultimately bring about unification. Kim said, however, that he does not expect Korean unification to be realized during his tenure. Kim expressed the hope that his Sunshine Policy will surely lead to a change in the DPRK, although there is no concrete evidence that the DPRK’s strategy of communizing the ROK through force has changed.

7. Mt. Kumgang Tour

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “NK TELLS HYUNDAI NO JAPANESE TO KUMGANG TOUR,” Seoul, 11/07/99) reported that it was learned on November 7 that DPRK negotiators are refusing to allow Japanese tourists to join the Hyundai tour to the Kumgang Mountains. A source at the ROK Ministry of Unification said that at the October 1 meeting between DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and Hyundai chairman Chung Ju-yung, Kim agreed that foreign tourists could join the tour, but at later working level negotiations this was modified to exclude Japanese and foreign diplomats resident in the ROK. The DPRK side said that this was because the Japanese had ravaged their country, but Hyundai officials strongly suspect that it is because the DPRK wants to independently court tourists from Japan as it will make more money that way.

8. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-soo, “NOGUN-RI VICTIMS TO VISIT U.S. TO TESTIFY ON ALLEGED MASSACRE,” Seoul, 11/06/99) and The Korea Times (“5 NOGUN-RI MASSACRE VICTIMS TO VISIT US,” Seoul, 11/05/99) reported that five residents of Nogun-ri, North Chungchong province, will leave for the US on Monday to testify on the alleged massacre of civilians in the town during the early days of the Korean War. Reverend Kim Dong-wan, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the ROK, will accompany the five on the week-long trip at the invitation of the US Council of Churches, the council announced on Friday. The five will visit Washington D.C., Cleveland, Ohio, and other cities to deliver speeches and hold news conferences on their experiences.

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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
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

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia


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