NAPSNet Daily Report 09 April, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 09 April, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 09, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-09-april-1999/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Sales

Reuters (“N.KOREA WANTS U.S. COMPENSATION TO STOP MISSILE TRADE,” Tokyo, 04/09/99) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday that it would continue exporting its missiles unless it received compensation from the US. KCNA said, “The U.S. insists that it cannot make any compensation in cash. Missile exports will not be suspended if the U.S. refuses to pay cash to compensate for the DPRK’s losses.” It added, “Having deployed a large number of ballistic missiles and inter-continental ballistic missiles in many parts of the world, the United States, the warring party of the DPRK, has posed threats to the DPRK and other countries. Under these circumstances, the DPRK will never suspend the development, production, test and deployment of missiles but go ahead with them.”

2. US Troops in ROK

Reuters (“SEOUL SAYS U.S. TROOPS STATUS MAY CHANGE WITH PEACE,” Seoul, 04/09/99) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that US troops must remain in the ROK as long as there is a threat from the DPRK. The statement said, “The structure and disposition of all forces on the Korean peninsula, including US military forces, can be discussed when substantial progress is made in establishing a durable peace regime on the Korean peninsula.” It added that the ROK would like to see a continued US military presence even after reunification “as a stabilizer for the security of Northeast Asia.” On Thursday, the National Security Council made a similar affirmation.

3. DPRK Views of NATO Bombing

The Washington Post (Mary Jordan, “N. KOREA SEES OPENING IN U.S. FOCUS ON KOSOVO ANALYSTS EXPECT PYONGYANG TO PRESS ARMS GOALS WHILE NATO EFFORT CONTINUES,” 04/09/99, Tokyo) reported that analysts said that DPRK officials believe that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia is distracting the US from focusing on the DPRK, and that it demonstrates the difficulties of US military intervention. Kim Myong-chol, an ethnic Korean in Japan with ties to the DPRK, stated, “We sincerely hope that the United States continues attacking and sends ground troops so it gets bogged down as it did in Vietnam. And we hope more of its fighter jets are shot down.” He added, “Yugoslavia is a tough country but we are 10 times, 100 times tougher.” The article also pointed to a report from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey which quoted Russian analysts as saying, “The bombing has ‘completely and irreversibly’ convinced Pyongyang that it is dealing with a ‘new Hitler’ who is determined to conquer the entire world through intimidation, pressure and aggression.” [Ed. note: See DPRK Report #17, issued over NAPSNet on April 2.] Pyon Jin-il, editor of the Korea Report in Tokyo, argued, “North Koreans see that Yugoslavia is doing pretty well, … even shooting down a stealth [fighter jet]. North Korea is getting more and more confident that their way of fighting can be effective against the U.S.” Pyon noted that when Hwang Jang-yop defected from the DPRK two years ago, he said that the DPRK would take military action when the US became “occupied with another international conflict.” Pyon stated, “That makes me nervous.” The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun met with Yugoslav Ambassador to the DPRK Ljubomir Djukic in Pyongyang to discuss the bombing. Paek condemned the attacks “against a sovereign state” and said that “progressive people all over the world” are criticizing them.

4. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “CLINTON, CHINA PREMIER MEET PRESS,” 04/09/99, Washington) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji on Thursday rejected US demands that the PRC renounce the use of force against Taiwan. Zhu said that he feared that Taiwan would be in a “perpetual state of separation from the motherland” if the PRC were to do so. He noted that US President Abraham Lincoln had resorted to force against secessionist Southerners to maintain the unity of the US. US President Bill Clinton responded that the US Civil War and the PRC-Taiwanese split are not analogous, and he reaffirmed the US view that the Taiwanese issue should be resolved peacefully.

The Associated Press (“TAIWANESE OUTRAGED BY ZHU REMARKS,” 04/09/99, Taipei) reported that Sheu Ke-sheng, vice chairman of the Taiwan government’s Mainland Affairs Council, on Friday criticized PRC Premier Zhu Rongji’s invocation of US President Abraham Lincoln to justify the PRC’s policy toward Taiwan. Sheu said that he hoped the Zhu did not mean to imply that the PRC would seek military force to resolve the issue. He added that the PRC’s refusal to rule out the use of force has alienated Taiwanese and stands in the way of improved relations. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Jason Hu said that Zhu should be embarrassed to use such illogical reasoning, arguing that Lincoln fought the US Civil War to liberate the slaves, but a PRC invasion of Taiwan would be an attack on democracy and freedom.

5. Alleged PRC Nuclear Espionage

The New York Times (David Stout, “CHINA’S PRIME MINISTER DENIES SECRETS WERE STOLEN,” 04/09/99, Washington) and the Washington Times (Andrew Cain, “CHINA’S ZHU DENIES SPYING, NUKE THEFT,” 04/08/99) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji denied Thursday that the PRC had stolen nuclear secrets from the US. Zhu stated, “I would like to make a very solemn statement here that I have no knowledge whatsoever of any charge, of any allegation, of espionage or the theft of nuclear technologies. And I don’t believe such story.” He added, “It is not the policy of China to steal so-called military secrets from the United States. And I don’t think there can be such problem, given the tight security measures in the United States and advanced technology.” Zhu asserted, “As a senior engineer, I’ve been in charge of the industry in China for more than 40 years, and I have never known any of our most advanced technology came from the United States.” US President Bill Clinton said on Thursday that he had raised the espionage issue with Zhu on Wednesday night. Clinton stated, “You know, China is a big country with a big government, and I can only say that America is a big country with a big government, and occasionally things happen in this government that I don’t know about. I think it’s important that we continue the investigation and do our best to find out what happened, and I asked for his cooperation.”

6. US-PRC Environmental Cooperation

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “CHINA PREMIER MULLS EXPORT ISSUE,” 04/09/99, Washington) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said Friday that exports of US technology to help the PRC overcome its environmental problems could help reduce the large US trade deficit with the PRC. Zhu stated, “If that happens I will be very happy.” Zhu added, “We must find a way of sustainable and balanced development between the population, economy, society, environment and resources.” He said that the PRC must make increasing use of natural gas and other clean energy sources as substitutes for coal, or the US could help the PRC to introduce clean coal-burning technology. US Vice President Al Gore said that the US and the PRC cannot afford to ignore environmental issues because the two countries lead the world in the creation of greenhouse gases.

7. PRC-Taiwan Trade Relations

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, “TAIWAN TO LIFT CHINA IMPORT BAN TO BOOST ITS OWN WTO MEMBERSHIP BID,” Taipei) reported that Taiwan’s Economics Ministry said Friday that it will lift an import ban on 150 agricultural products from the PRC. The move is seen as preparation for Taiwan to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the PRC does, since WTO rules would require Taiwan to treat the PRC as a fair trading partner if both were members. WTO rules would also call for open transport links between the two, but Chiang Ping-kun, chairman of the Taiwan government Council for Economic Planning and Development, said it was too soon to say whether Taiwan would try that. Lin Yih-fu, head of the Taiwan Board of Foreign Trade, said that WTO members would have no reason to postpone Taiwan’s admission should the PRC meet all requirements to be admitted.

8. PRC-Pakistan Alleged Nuclear Cooperation

The Associated Press (“PAKISTAN DENIES HAVING NUCLEAR COOPERATION WITH CHINA,” 04/09/99, Islamabad) reported that Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz denied allegations that his country cooperated with the PRC on nuclear development. Aziz said that the two countries do about US$1 billion worth of business, but it is not nuclear-related. He stated, “We don’t have any nuclear cooperation with China … the only nuclear cooperation is the nuclear power plant at Chashma.”

9. PRC-Pakistan Talks

The Associated Press (“CHINA, PAKISTAN OFFICIALS DISCUSS EXPANDING TRADE,” 04/09/99, Islamabad) reported that former PRC Prime Minister Li Peng met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday to discuss trade relations. Li state at a banquet Thursday night, “China will remain a trustworthy friend of Pakistan no matter what changes may take place in the regional and international situation.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Forces in ROK

Chosun Ilbo (“GOVERNMENT BACKTRACKS ON USFK,” Seoul, 04/09/99) reported that the ROK government announced its formal position on the status of US military forces in Korea (USFK) on Friday. The National Security Council issued a statement Friday afternoon saying, “USFK are in Korea according to a treaty between the ROK and the United States. It is therefore an issue between our two nations and not subject to negotiations between the ROK and the DPRK or between the DPRK and the United States.” The statement went on to say that US forces would contribute to stability in Northeast Asia even after unification.

2. DPRK Human Rights Hearing

JoongAng Ilbo (“THREE NK DEFECTORS TO TESTIFY IN U.S. SENATE,” Seoul, 04/09/99) reported that three DPRK defectors will testify at a human-rights hearing that the East-Asia Committee of the US Senate will hold on April 22. Lee Soo-ok, Kang Chul-whan, and Ahn Myeong-chul will testify on the current situation in the DPRK, including political dissidents’ camps. The three defectors also plan to attend a lecture titled “Human Rights in N.K.” which the US Defense Forum Foundation (DFF) will hold on April 23 for those who are working in the US Congress. The DFF has publicly advocated human rights for DPRK residents. They assisted Choi Joo-whal and Koh Young-whan, who also defected from the DPRK, to testify in a congressional hearing in 1997.

3. Egypt’s Role for Korean Peninsula

Chosun Ilbo (“KIM ASKS MUBARAK TO GIVE MESSAGE TO NK,” Seoul, 04/09/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung at a meeting held in Chongwadae on Friday afternoon asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to give a message to the DPRK. The message states that the ROK bears no malice and has no intention of using force, but wants cooperation and reconciliation, and is ready to hold discussions on this, either step by step or comprehensively. At a news conference after the meeting, Mubarak said that he would give the message to the DPRK and expressed the hopes that there would be a good result from discussions. He added that peace and security must be established on the peninsula and offered to be an intermediary between the ROK and the DPRK. A high-ranking official said that Mubarak was understood to be planning to visit the DPRK later this year. The two leaders agreed to expand trade and economic relations and promote cultural exchange. They both attended the signing ceremony for the exchange of science and technology memorandum, before a state dinner at Chongwadae.

4. Foreign Investment in DPRK

JoongAng Ilbo (“SURVEY OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT IN TUMEN RIVER AREAS TO BE CONDUCTED,” Seoul, 04/09/99) reported that the first research survey will be conducted on the feasibility of foreign investment in the Najin and Sonbong areas around the Tumen River of the DPRK. Following the survey, a workshop based on the results will also be held. According to the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE), on April 9, the “Five Nations’ Coordination Meeting for Development of the Tumen River” decided to conduct a research survey for the potential foreign investment environment of four regions situated around the river. Researchers will scrutinize the Najin and Sonbong region in the DPRK, Hunchun region in the PRC, Nahodkha in Russia, and an area in Mongolia, for six months beginning next month. The two-day meeting was held in Mongolia on March 16 and 17th, at which time they also decided to hold a follow-up workshop to develop strategy for foreign investment based on the survey’s results. The survey will be conducted by MIGA, which operates under the auspices of the World Bank and the UN Investment Development Organization, and countries engaged in the development of the Tumen River area, including the ROK and the DPRK, will support the survey operations. The coordination meeting also decided to install information bureaus in the four areas to assist foreign investors after the survey is concluded.

III. Japan

1. Japanese-US Defense Cooperation

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPANESE DEFENSE AGENCY HEAD SAYS GUIDELINES MAY BE APPROVED IN MAY,” 04/09/99) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Hosei Norota met with Bill Young, visiting head of the US House of Representatives committee on expenditure, at the Defense Agency in Tokyo on April 9. Norota stated, “A bill of Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation will pass the Lower House before Prime Minister Obuchi’s visit to the US. Some opposition parties are supportive of the bill, and the bill may pass the Diet in May.”

2. Survey on Japanese Constitution

The Daily Yomiuri (“POLL: MAJORITY SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL REVISIONS,” 04/08/99) on April 9 reported that revision of the Japanese constitution was supported by 53 percent of respondents to a nationwide survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun late last month, the highest percentage since such surveys began. For the first time, environmental problems topped the list of constitutional issues that most concerned the respondents over the renunciation of war and the Self-Defense Forces. The article said that this indicates a new trend in public opinion. A majority of the respondents, at 74 percent, felt there was a gap between the constitution and current realities. Those who said there should be discussion of the constitution accounted for 73 percent. This indicates a shift from the past focus on war-renouncing Article 9, according to the article. The percentage wishing to see the constitution remain in the present form was the same as last year at 31 percent, while those supporting amendment rose from 52 percent last year. More than 60 percent of those in their 20s or 30s supported revision of the Constitution, indicating growing interest in the issue in those age groups. With regard to reasons for revisions, 46 percent cited new issues that are difficult to deal with, such as international contributions, reflecting a diversification of values and social change. Of those opposed to amendment, 57 percent said the constitution had become familiar to so many people that it could not be changed now. The second-largest group, at 35 percent, responded that the “peace constitution” is a source of national pride and therefore should not be revised.

3. Japanese Naval Engagement

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“TWO REPORTS OF UNIDENTIFIED SHIPS SHIVER JAPANESE CABINET,” 04/08/99) reported that on April 8, the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency reported to the Cabinet that one unidentified ship was discovered off Okushiri Island near Hokkaido and that another was discovered off Wakasa Bay in Fukui Prefecture by local residents. The Agency immediately took pictures of the ships from the sky and found that the one discovered off Okushiri Island was a Russian fishing vessel with the other in Fukui being a DPRK commercial ship. The article concluded that although reports of unidentified ships are not uncommon, the reports of the two ships this time concerned the Cabinet because of the recent infiltration of DPRK ships into Japanese waters.

4. PRC Views of Japanese Military

The Sankei Shimbun (“PRC FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL SAYS JAPAN OVERREACTED TO DPRK SHIPS,”) reported that, regarding Japan’s naval engagement to deal with the two DPRK ships that recently infiltrated into Japanese waters, PRC foreign ministry official Zhang Ku-huan said to reporters at the PRC Embassy in Tokyo on April 7, “We hope (that the Japanese government) will not further overreact to them.” Zhang also said, “I understand that Japanese people are concerned about DPRK issues…. We don’t know everything yet (in terms of the DPRK ships). I hope that Japan will act in a self-restrained way.” With regard to the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch last August, Zhang said, “I wonder how much threat the DPRK can really pose to Japan. There is the impression that the Japanese government is trying to create an unnecessary environment by overemphasizing (the DPRK’s) threat.” As for Japan’s involvement in the US-led theater missile defense (TMD) initiative, Zhang said, “the situation on the Korean Peninsula is calming down. There is no reason for Japan and the US to forge ahead with TMD” or the New Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation. Regarding the guidelines’ stipulations on “situations in areas surrounding Japan,” Zhang said, “such a notion is very dangerous because it assumes that if the PRC took some action to Taiwan, it would pose a great influence on Japan’s security.” He asked Japan to consider the PRC’s concern about the guidelines.

5. Japan-Russia Naval Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“RUSSIAN NAVY PACIFIC COMMANDER TO VISIT DEFENSE AGENCY ON APRIL 12,” 04/08/99) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency announced on April 8 that the Russian Navy Pacific Commander will visit the Agency for the very first time on April 12. The visit is part of Japan-Russia defense exchanges, according to the report.

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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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