NAPSNet Daily Report 09 June, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 09 June, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 09, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-09-june-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Talks
2. Vladimir Putin’s Visit to DPRK
3. US Sanctions Against DPRK
4. US-ROK Talks
5. US Military Exercises
6. US Policy toward DPRK
7. DPRK Diplomatic Opening
8. DPRK Military
9. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
10. Alleged ROK Abductees in DPRK
11. DPRK Defectors
12. DPRK Drought
13. Anti-US Protests in ROK
14. PRC Views of US Missile Defense
II. Republic of Korea 1. Kim Jong-il’s PRC Visit
2. ROK-US Meeting
3. Inter-Korean Railway
4. Alleged ROK Abductees in DPRK
III. Japan 1. Kim Jong-il’s Visit to the PRC
2. Russian President’s Visit to DPRK
3. DPRK-PRC Summit Talks
4. DPRK Criticism of Japan-US-ROK Policy Cooperation
5. DPRK Suspected Underground Nuclear Site
6. Japan-US Security Relations
7. Japan-Taiwan Relations

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Dow Jones Newswires (“N KOREA, S KOREA PLAN 3 ROUNDS OF SUMMIT TALKS – KYODO,” Seoul, 6/9/00) reported that senior government officials in the ROK briefed ROK ruling party leaders on June 2 on the inter- Korean summit and said that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il plan to hold three rounds of talks in Pyongyang and issue a joint communique on the final day of the three-day summit next week. The ROK’s Hankyoreh Shinmun newspaper said that the two Korean leaders plan to have two one-on-one meetings – one Monday afternoon and the other Tuesday morning – as well as a plenary summit session with ministers from the two countries participating following the second prime ministerial session. In a meeting with leaders of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik said that the ROK hopes the summit would bring about a “decisive change” in the relationship between the two Koreas. ROK government sources said that ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong, director general of the Japan’s Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Policy Bureau Yukio Takeuchi, and counselor of the US State Department Wendy Sherman will meet in Seoul in late June to coordinate policies on the DPRK.

2. Vladimir Putin’s Visit to DPRK

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, “PUTIN SEEKS TO EASE N.KOREA FROM STALINIST SHELL,” Moscow, 6/9/00), Reuters (Michael R. Gordon, “PUTIN TO VISIT NORTH KOREA; U.S. ABM PLAN MAY BE TARGET,” Moscow, 6/9/00) and the Associated Press (Sergei Shargorodsky, “PUTIN TO VISIT NORTH KOREA,” Moscow, 6/9/00) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has received an invitation from the DPRK to visit the country, and that the visit will take place shortly. Ivanov stated, “Naturally, the talks will touch above all on bilateral relations. They have slackened over the last years. We think that this period has to be overcome.” Ivanov said that the updated friendship treaty signed in February “lifted ties to a modern level.” Asked whether Putin would try to persuade the DPRK to halt its missile work, Ivanov said: “President Putin is coming on a visit to a friendly country and he does not intend to talk anybody out of anything. We proceed from the view that presently, there is no realistic threat. In terms of the future, naturally, nothing can be excluded.” Russian media suggested that Putin may stop in the DPRK on July 19 or 20 between trips to the PRC and the G-8 summit in Japan on July 21-23. One Russian diplomatic source said, “It will be much better if North Korea feels secure and can balance its approach to the outside world. Putin may well help to draw North Korea out of its shell.” Another diplomatic source said, “South Korea wants North Korea to come out into the outside world. In this regard, the Russian president’s visit to North Korea will encourage the North to open their society.” Ivanov said that Putin also was considering an invitation from the ROK, but noted that it was “too early” to speak of anything definite. The Russian news agency Itar- Tass also reported that a DPRK delegation arrived at Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East to discuss joint construction projects.

Reuters (David Storey, “U.S. WELCOMES REPORT PUTIN TO VISIT NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 6/8/00) and the Associated Press (Sergei Shargorodsky, “PUTIN TO VISIT NORTH KOREA,” Moscow, 6/9/00) reported that the US sees Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the DPRK as a further sign that the DPRK is lowering its barriers to the outside world. One US official said, “If it were true, it would fit into our basic attitude to say that’s a good thing. As a general principle we’ve said we welcome greater contact between North Korea and other members of the international community.” US Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon said, “I hope President Putin will try to convince the North Koreans to stop work on their long-range missile program and concentrate on feeding their people, and that he will also convince them to stop attempting to sell their weapons all around the world.” Alexander Mansourov, an analyst with the Brookings Institution in Washington said, “This would give [Putin] a chance to re- engage in the end game in the Koreas. This is an attempt to correct some imbalance in Russia-China relations. It is also an attempt to throw a bone to the United States, to show he is doing diplomatically what the United States is trying to do militarily.”

3. US Sanctions Against DPRK

The Washington Times (Edward Neilan, “U.S. SET TO EASE N. KOREA SANCTIONS,” Tokyo, 6/9/00) reported that US White House spokesman P.J. Crowley said that the US would follow through on US President Bill Clinton’s announcement last September that in principle the US would work on an easing of sanctions against the DPRK. Crowley stated, “We’ve had a process in place to work through issues related to that, and I would expect we would have an announcement on that very soon.” Larry Wortzel, director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, said, “The form is not so important as the improvement in mood. You get the idea that their behavior is beginning to change.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

Reuters (Elaine Monaghan, “U.S. HOPES EASING N.KOREA SANCTIONS WILL AID TALKS,” Washington, 6/8/00) reported that while an easing of US sanctions against the DPRK would not have a significant economic impact, the US hopes it will open communication with the DPRK. Michael Green, who heads a Task Force on the Korean Peninsula sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, said, “It is more of a politically symbolic gesture than the opening of the floodgates. There are many, many reasons why U.S. companies are not going to invest. But it’s a good first step.” He said, “Based on experience, if the North Koreans decide to accept investment, they will prefer it to be investment which allows them to receive cash with little restructuring, transparency or exposure of North Koreans to the West.” Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at Brookings Institution, stated, “I don’t expect this to make a huge difference at the economic level. It will happen at the diplomatic level as a first step.” US citizens currently need a license from the US Treasury Department to do business in the DPRK and US visitors are only allowed to spend money on hotels and meals and other day-to-day expenses and bring back US$100 worth of merchandise in non-commercial quantities.

4. US-ROK Talks

The Associated Press (Sonya Ross, “CLINTON DISCUSSES KOREAN SUMMIT,” Tokyo, 6/8/00) and the Washington Post (Kathryn Tolbert, “A MISSION OF MERCY CLINTON JETS TO TOKYO FOR FUNERAL–AND SOME DIPLOMACY,” Tokyo, 6/9/00, P. A26) reported that Ken Lieberthal, the US National Security Council’s senior director for Asian affairs, said that US President Bill Clinton met with ROK President Kim Dae-jung for 25 minutes on June 8 when he was in Japan for the late Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s funeral. Lieberthal said that the purpose of the visit was to show that, “There is really no daylight between the United States and South Korea on the proper approach to North Korea in this summit.” US national security spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “President Kim said during the meeting, ‘We will still need patience. But the process of dialogue can have a tremendous effect on easing tensions.’ It’s safe to say decades of conflict are not going to melt away in one meeting. But if coming out of this is a process for building a dialogue, that would have a tremendous effect on reducing tensions on the (Korean) peninsula.” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori asked Kim during their meeting to convey to the DPRK Japan’s wish to normalize relations, as talks have been suspended since early April.

5. US Military Exercises

The Associated Press (Seok Kyong-Hwa, “U.S. SUSPEND BOMBING FOR KOREA MEET,” Seoul, 6/8/00) reported that Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman for the US command, said that the US military will suspend live strafing and bombing exercises in the ROK “in an effort to contribute to peace initiatives” during the inter-Korean summit. The ROK Defense Ministry said that it has no such exercises scheduled during the summit.

6. US Policy toward DPRK

The Chicago Tribune carried an analytical article1 (John Diamond, “FOR NORTH KOREA, U.S. OFFERS CARROT, STICK,” Washington, 06/09/00) which said that the US is carrying out a dual approach toward the DPRK, supporting next week’s summit meeting while continuing to plan a national missile defense to guard against DPRK missile development. White House spokesman P.J. Crowley stated, “We view North Korea’s engagements with various countries in the region in a very positive light. Our dealings with North Korea in recent months have been very constructive.” Stanley Roth, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, cited “a pattern of behavior” from the DPRK that indicates a desire to join the international community. However, he added that the basic US view toward the DPRK missile program remains unchanged. He stated, “It is very nice to create reassuring scenarios. But if you’re responsible for the defense of the United States, do you just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘Well, that’s just for posturing?'” He added that the possibility of a DPRK missile attack on the US “doesn’t have to be the most likely scenario, it just has to be a credible scenario. And it is credible, unfortunately.” However, Senator John Kerry, Democrat-Massachusetts, said Thursday, “The threat from rogue missile programs is neither as imminent nor as immutable as some have argued. We have time to use the diplomatic tools at our disposal to try to alter the political calculation a rogue nation will make before it decides to use its ballistic missile capability.” Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat-Illinois, said that the DPRK is the “enemy du jour” among advocates for national missile defense, and that if the threat from the DPRK were removed, they “would find another nation that would pose the frightening prospect of a rogue missile.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 9.]

Dow Jones Newswires (“N KOREA DENOUNCES US ANTIMISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM,” Seoul, 6/9/00) reported the official DPRK Korean Central News Agency quoted an unidentified ministry spokesman as saying that the DPRK accused the US on June 2 of using “fictitious” missile threats to justify its plan to build an antimissile defense system. The unidentified ministry spokesman said, “The U.S. employs the trite method of sacrificing small countries to please big countries, but it is gravely mistaken if it thinks that will work on the DPRK. The DPRK is always ready to demonstrate its will not to pardon anyone infringing upon the sovereignty and dignity of the nation even a bit.”

7. DPRK Diplomatic Opening

The International Herald Tribune carried an opinion article by Robert J. Einhorn, US assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation (“TOWARD CONSTRUCTIVE RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Hong Kong, 06/09/00) which said that the critical challenge in Northeast Asia is to eliminate the threat posed by the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs, while seeking over time to build normal and constructive relations. He stated, “The United States fully supports [ROK] President Kim [Dae-jung]’s efforts and regards them as complementary with its own…. And it is confident that an improvement in North-South relations will advance the goal shared throughout Asia of eliminating the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.” He added that the US engagement strategy has begun to pay off. He stated, “There have been ups and downs, largely because North Korean tactics often involve provoking crises in an attempt to acquire additional negotiating leverage and because the regime in Pyongyang is wary about the domestic implications of engagement. But the overall trend is positive.” He also stated, “We are encouraged by the current North Korean policy of expanding its international contacts…. The expansion of Pyongyang’s interactions with the outside world can bring important benefits for the North Korean people, especially in addressing their pressing humanitarian needs.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

The International Herald Tribune carried an opinion article by Georgi D. Toloraya, deputy director-general in the First Asian Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“NORTH KOREA IS CHANGING AND OUGHT TO BE HELPED,” Moscow, 06/09/00) which said that next week’s summit meeting in Pyongyang should signal the beginning of official international recognition of the status quo on the Korean Peninsula. The author argued, “But it should be clear that North Korea will not accept reforms and openness if they mean the present ruling elite’s loss of power and the country’s eventual absorption by South Korea…. Its leaders cannot be expected to endorse moves to improve the social and economic environment in their country unless that concern is relieved.” He stated, “The international community should accept the prospect of long-term coexistence between two Korean states, paving the way for reconciliation, convergence and eventual unification taking into account the interests of both parts of the divided nation.” He argued, “The practical strategy based on such an understanding is to keep the North afloat. That means providing it with security guarantees and a minimum subsistence level for the population.” He concluded, “Such progress can start only if military and political guarantees of noninterference are in place; this would involve diplomatic recognition of North Korea by the West. It would involve mutual recognition by North and South Korea, maybe in a form of special intergovernmental relations, and the signing of treaties and agreements.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

8. DPRK Military

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “INSIDE THE RING,” 6/9/00) reported that Lieutenant General Charles R. Heflebower, the top US air commander in the ROK, said that the DPRK military is capable of adapting to change. Heflebower stated, “They looked at the air campaign in Kosovo and Bosnia and we can only assume they learned lessons.” He said that virtually all DPRK army and air force assets are now underground. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

9. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

Dow Jones Newswires (Chris Yoo, “N, S KOREA ECON PACTS NEEDED FOR KOSPI GAINS – DAEWOO SEC,” Seoul, 6/9/00) reported that Daewoo Securities’ Lee Jae-won said that the Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, has surged recently in part due to strong gains in shares of construction companies and fertilizer manufacturers on hopes of potential business opportunities in the DPRK. He said that ROK share prices are not likely to get a significant boost from next week’s summit meeting unless the two Koreas conclude specific agreements to deepen economic cooperation. He added that although many observers believe construction, textile and home-appliance stocks will benefit the most from improved inter-Korean ties, recent evidence suggesting that Kim Jong-il is interested in information technology which could lead to a rise in technology shares.

10. Alleged ROK Abductees in DPRK

The Associated Press (Seok Kyong-Hwa, “S. KOREANS HOPE FOR NEWS OF LOVED ONES,” Seoul, 6/9/00) reported that ROK citizens hope that the inter-Korean summit might lead to reconciliation, permitting negotiations for the release of fishermen and hundreds more believed to be abducted by the DPRK. In 1987, the ROK rejected the offer to exchange a dozen ROK fishermen who were captured by the DPRK navy that year for a family of 11 DPRK citizens who had defected to the ROK, and the DPRK responded by accusing the crewmen of spying and refusing to repatriate them. Choi Woo-young, who heads the Family Action to Rescue Abductees in North Korea and is the daughter of one of the fishermen, said, “My long-dead hope was rekindled when I heard of the summit.” The ROK believes that the DPRK has abducted 3,756 ROK citizens since 1953 and returned all but 454.

11. DPRK Defectors

The Baltimore Sun (Frank Langfitt, “TWO KOREAS MUST REACH ACROSS WIDE GULF OF CULTURES,” Seoul, 06/09/00) reported that the experiences of DPRK defectors in the ROK demonstrates the wide gaps that exist between the two Koreas that would have to be closed to achieve reunification. One DPRK defector who goes by the false name of Rhyu Chi-sung stated, “It was such a huge culture shock…. The pace of information is so fast, I can’t keep up.” The ROK Unification Ministry opened a training center this year for DPRK defectors, which one official described as a “small testing ground” for eventual reunification. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

The Christian Science Monitor (Kevin Platt, “N. KOREA GETS CHINA’S COOPERATION ON REFUGEE RETURNS,” Beijing, 06/09/00, 7) reported that Kongdan Oh at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia said that the PRC is cracking down on DPRK refugees. Oh said that the refugees “now face round-ups by the Chinese and punishment, imprisonment or worse if they are repatriated.” She added that the DPRK government “need scapegoats to punish as models to scare the rest of the North Korean populace.” An international aid worker said that in the past several months, PRC security forces have swept through border areas to find and detain DPRK refugees, and that several thousand have been returned to the DPRK. He added that when DPRK leader Kim Jong-il visited the PRC, “North Korea applied strong pressure on the Chinese to repatriate the refugees, and the Chinese did their best to comply.” The aid worker stated, “The North Koreans who have contact with religious figures from the South are subject to the harshest punishments if they are caught and returned.” An unnamed senior ROK official said that the ROK “is pressing the Chinese government to grant the refugees safe passage to South Korea.” He added that ROK President Kim Dae Jung “will definitely try to reach a solution to the refugee question” at next week’s summit, but that the DPRK is unlikely to agree anytime soon to stop seeking repatriation. An unnamed PRC official in Beijing stated, “We have a treaty with North Korea that obligates us to return North Koreans who enter China illegally. And lately, the North has been stepping up demands that we repatriate the North Koreans – especially those who are party members or political criminals.” He stated, however, that “some moderates in the Communist Party realize that returning these refugees is hurting China’s international image, and they are recommending a rethinking of the refugee policy.” He added that when PRC officials met with Kim Jong-il, “They hinted that if the North adopted Chinese-style market reforms, it could feed its people and stop the refugee flow.” He argued, “If we grant political asylum to one refugee today, there could be thousands or millions of North Koreans who might flood China for the same opportunity.” He added, however, “Right now, we have so many border guards and patrols that few North Koreans are likely to make it past their own sentries and ours.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

12. DPRK Drought

The Associated Press (Seok Kyong-Hwa, “U.S. SUSPEND BOMBING FOR KOREA MEET,” Seoul, 6/8/00) and Reuters (“PYONGYANG REPORTS NEW DROUGHT,” Seoul, 6/9/00) reported that the official DPRK Korean Central News Agency said on Friday that “drought and heat persist in all parts” of the country. It said, “paddy fields are parched and rice-transplantation is suspended in some areas. Maize and other crops in dry fields are also hard hit.”

13. Anti-US Protests in ROK

The Associated Press (“S. KOREAN VILLAGERS MARCH AGAINST US,” Seoul, 6/7/00) reported that ROK police said that approximately 2,000 villagers and activists clashed with riot police on June 6, demanding closure of Kooni Range, a US military bombing range near Mae Hyang, southwest of Seoul. Anti-US protests have increased since early May, when a US fighter jet with engine trouble dropped six bombs there. Villagers claimed that six villagers were injured and buildings damaged, but US and ROK military investigators said that there were no injuries or property damage. The ROK Defense Ministry intends to relocate 236 homes that are nearby.

14. PRC Views of US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (“CHINA CRITICIZES U.S. ARMS PLAN,” Beijing, 6/9/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed in a telephone conversation on June 8 their shared opposition to US bids to revise the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Lead PRC arms negotiator Sha Zukang said that any revision to the ABM treaty would “seriously hinder nuclear disarmament. If the plan is carried out, space will become a new weapons base and battlefield.” Sha said that the US should “think carefully before taking any action” so as to not “lift a rock only to drop it on its toes.” Sha said that the inclusion of Taiwan in such a system “seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and is a gross interference into China’s internal affairs – something the Chinese people will never allow.”

The New York Times carried an opinion article (Peter Scoblic, “WHAT ABOUT CHINA?” 6/9/00) which said that the US administration has ignored the PRC in its eagerness to persuade Russia to accept deployment of a US missile defense system. The author noted that the PRC has about 20 nuclear-armed missiles capable of striking the continental US as a deterrence to a US nuclear attack, but also to guarantee the PRC a place at the table with the other great powers and to offset their conventional weaponry. He added that, unlike the DPRK and the other “rogue” states that would be the primary targets of an US missile defense, the PRC is capable of compensating for the defenses by arming its missiles with multiple warheads and adding sophisticated countermeasures to confuse the defense system. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 5, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Kim Jong-il’s PRC Visit

Chosun Ilbo (Park Jong-hoon, “CHINA REVEALS KIM JONG-IL’S AMAZEMENT AT PROGRESS,” Seoul, 06/08/00) reported that, according to an unnamed official in the Japanese Foreign Ministry, PRC Vice Premier Chen Chichun, who was in Tokyo for the funeral of former prime minister Obuchi, revealed that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was astonished at the changes he saw in Beijing on his recent trip there. The official added that Chen agreed with Japanese Foreign Minister Kono that the DPRK’s diplomacy was in line with its policy to avert a series of catastrophes and indicated that Kim was fully in control domestically.

2. ROK-US Meeting

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “KIM HOPES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF US-NK TIES AT TOKYO SUMMIT WITH CLINTON, Seoul, 06/08/00), the Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “U.S., JAPAN BACK S. KOREAN POLICY TOWARD PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 06/09/00), Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, “CLINTON URGES TO ADDRESS NUCLEAR, MISSILE ISSUES AT SUMMIT,” Seoul, 06/08/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin-kook “U.S.-JAPAN EXPRESS STRONG SUPPORT FOR INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS,” Seoul, 06/08/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung met with US President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori separately on Thursday. According to senior ROK presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security Hwang Won-tak, Clinton and Mori both said that improved relations with the DPRK would contribute to the early settlement of the peace system. Hwang said that Clinton reconfirmed his support of Kim’s engagement policy and said that he hoped that the inter-Korean summit would lead to emerging rapprochement and cooperation in Northeast Asia. Hwang added that Clinton and Kim agreed to coordinate their policies on the DPRK and that Clinton said that there should be limits to assistance provided if the missile and nuclear issues are not settled. According to Hwang, Kim specified that he aims to speak frankly about all issues in Pyongyang and will try to get agreements on easy issues first. Hwang added that Mori expressed his will to normalize relations with the DPRK and asked Kim to convey this to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.

3. Inter-Korean Railway

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Kwang-hoi, “30-KM LONG INTER-KOREA RAILWAY UNDER STUDY,” Seoul, 06/08/00) reported that the construction of a 30 km railroad connecting Kangsung in the ROK’s Kangwon Province and Onjung, near Mt. Kumkang in the DPRK is likely to begin before the end of the year. According to an unnamed official at the Hyundai Business Group, Hyundai has been consulting with concerned ROK government offices on the project. The official said that the railroad project would be one of the agenda items to be discussed during the inter-Korean summit.

4. Alleged ROK Abductees in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Shin Dong-heun, “FAMILIES OF KIDNAPPED FISHERMEN TO SUE GOVERNMENT,” Seoul, 06/08/00) reported that the families of the “Tongjin” fishing boat crew, who were abducted to the DPRK near Paekryong-do Island on the West Sea in January 1987, decided to file a class action against the ROK Government for compensation. Choi Woo-young, the eldest daughter of the Tongjin’s fisherman, Choi Jong-seok, said that her family and the families of other abducted fishermen on the Tongjin fishing boat decided to request indemnity for the psychological and economical damages they went through for the last 13 years. Choi contended that the Tongjin’s crew could have returned home safely had the ROK Government not insisted in bringing the eleven family members of the DPRK nationals Kim Man-chul to the ROK. Kim Man-chul had escaped from the northeastern port of Chongjin in the DPRK and was first discovered drifting by Japanese Maritime Police off Mikuni Port in February 1987 and the whole family of 11 were eventually persuaded to defect to the ROK via Taiwan.

III. Japan

1. Kim Jong-il’s Visit to the PRC

The Sankei Shimbun (“JAPAN EXPECTS POSITIVE EFFECTS OF KIM JONG-IL’S VISIT TO PRC,” 06/02/2000) reported that regarding DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s visit to the PRC, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki said to reporters on June 1, “it is very good that the DPRK can facilitate friendly relations with many countries.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ryuichiro Yamazaki added, “We expect that inter-Korean summit talks would produce positive effects.” The report concluded that while there is a view within the government that Kim’s visit to the PRC aims to challenge the Japan-US-ROK coalition, the general reaction to the visit is positive.

2. Russian President’s Visit to DPRK

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“RUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT DPRK,” 06/09/2000) reported that the Russian Presidential Office announced on June 9 that Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit Pyongyang in the near future. The report said that although the Russian Presidential Office did not reveal the exact date of the President’s visit, governmental sources said that the visit would take place before the G-8 Summit Meeting in Okinawa, slated for July 19. The report also said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il invited Putin and that the Russian President’s visit to Pyongyang would be the first of its kind. The report quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying that during his visit to Pyongyang, Putin would discuss with Kim the result of the inter-Korean summit talks, the US-led national missile defense (NMD) initiative and other security issues related to the Korean Peninsula.

3. DPRK-PRC Summit Talks

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Chiharu Mori, “DPRK OFFICIAL PAPER CRITICIZES JAPAN-US-ROK POLICY COOPERATION,” Seoul, 06/04/2000) reported that Japanese DPRK monitoring service Radio Press quoted an editorial of the DPRK’s official paper Rodong Shinmun as saying, “(The recent DPRK-PRC summit meeting indicated that ) DPRK-PRC friendship is eternal friendship…. Strengthening DPRK-PRC friendship brings benefits to peace and stability in the Asian region at the present time when international affairs are changing in a complicated way.”

4. DPRK Criticism of Japan-US-ROK Policy Cooperation

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Chiharu Mori, “DPRK OFFICIAL PAPER CRITICIZES JAPAN-US-ROK POLICY COOPERATION,” Seoul, 06/04/2000) reported that according to the DPRK’s Central News Agency, the DPRK’s official paper Rodong Shinmun on June 3 criticized the ongoing Japanese-US-ROK policy cooperation on the upcoming inter-Korea summit talks. The official paper said, “The South’s cooperation with the outside forces (prior to the inter-Korea summit talks) is a denial of national reconciliation, cooperation and unification,” according to the report. The report pointed out that the paper’s criticism seems to refer to the Japan-ROK summit meeting last month and ROK president Kim Dae-jung’s meeting with US President Bill Clinton at the funeral of the late Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, slated for June 8.

5. DPRK Suspected Underground Nuclear Site

The Sankei Shimbun (Katsuhiro Kuroda, “DPRK’S UNDERGROUND SITE FOR NUCLEAR MATERIAL PRODUCTION IN JONMASAN,” Seoul, 06/09/2000) reported that the Sankei Shimbun obtained a report on an alleged DPRK secret underground site for nuclear material production. The article said that according to the report, the DPRK has secretly produced uranium at Jonma Nuclear Power Plant in Mt. Jonma in Pyongando since 1989. The article said that although that the amount of uranium initially produced was 1.3 grams a day, the simplest calculation tells us that approximately 5 kg have already been produced. The report also said that although there have been rumors about the DPRK’s secret production of nuclear material in Pakchon or Pyongsan, the report on the facility in Mt. Jonma is the most detailed one. The article added that the report was released last year, is based on the testimony of former DPRK People’s Army official who defected from the DPRK and had been detained by the PRC, and that ROK sources suspect that the PRC already sent the officer back to the DPRK.

6. Japan-US Security Relations

The Sankei Shimbun (“81 PERCENT OF US CITIZENS LIKE JAPAN,” 06/05/2000) and the Asahi Shimbun (“84 PERCENT OF US CITIZENS SUPPORT US-JAPANESE SECURITY TREATY,” 06/05/2000) reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry released on June 4 the outcome of an opinion poll conducted by the US Gallup company. The reports said that according to the survey results, 84 percent of the respondents out of 1,878 US citizens, including 1,500 members of the general public over 18 years old and 378 intellectuals, replied that the US-Japanese Security Treaty should be maintained. The Asahi report said that the percentage is the highest since the survey began in 1996. The reports also said that both 71 percent of the general public and 83 percent of the intellectuals think that Japan is contributing to peace and security in Japan and the Far East. The reports added that 81 percent of the intellectuals think that Japanese-US relations are favorable. However, the Sankei report said that while 65 percent of the intellectuals think that Japan should increase its defense capabilities, 51 percent of the general public think that Japan should not do so.

7. Japan-Taiwan Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“TAIWAN REGRETS JAPANESE GOVERNMENT’S REFUSAL TO ACCEPT TAIWANESE HIGH-RANKING VISIT TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER’S FUNERAL,” Taipei, 06/05/2000) reported that the Taiwanese Government announced that Taiwan regrets the Japanese government’s refusal to accept a high-ranking visit by Taiwan to the funeral of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. The Taiwanese announcement stated, “The Japanese government is showing excessive political considerations.”

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Tokyo, Japan

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

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

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

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

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