NAPSNet Daily Report 09 September, 1998

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 09 September, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 09, 1998,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

I. United States


1. DPRK’s Alleged Satellite Launch

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 8, 1998,” Washington, USIA Transcript, 09/09/98) said that US analysts have not been able to confirm DPRK assertions that it launched a small satellite on August 31, 1998. He stated, “They have not observed any object orbiting the Earth that correlates to the orbital data the North Koreans have provided in their public statements, nor have they observed any new object orbiting the Earth in an orbital path that could relate to the North Korean claims.” Rubin added that, while it is an important question as to whether or not the DPRK launched a satellite, nevertheless “there was a missile launched that demonstrated the capability to deliver a payload at very long range. So that was the matter of concern in combination with the North Koreans’ active missile program and previous missile tests that we’ve seen.”

US Department of Defense Spokesman Kenneth Bacon (“PENTAGON REGULAR BRIEFING, TUESDAY, SEPT. 8, 1998,” USIA Transcript, 09/08/98) said that the US is not able to confirm the DPRK assertion that it launched a satellite on August 31. Bacon stated, “US SPACECOM, the Space Command, is in the process now of looking at a wide array of evidence that we have collected about this and will take some time to complete the analysis. But right now SPACECOM has not observed any object orbiting the earth that correlates with the orbit announced by the North Koreans in their public statements. Second, SPACECOM has not observed any new object orbiting the earth in an orbital path that could correlate with North Korean claims. Third, to the best of our knowledge, no US radio receiver has been able to depict radio transmissions at 27 MHz.” He added, “The Space Command can detect items much smaller than this satellite would be. So I don’t think that’s the issue.” He also said that “no matter what the purpose of the August 31st launch was, whether it was to launch a satellite or to do something else, it did demonstrate that the North Koreans have an ability to delivery payloads over a longer range with the new Taepodong I missile, and that, of course, is worrisome.” He stated, “I think that any country that would contemplate using weapons to attack United States troops abroad would have to expect a very swift and decisive, perhaps even a massive response.”

Reuters (“U.S. SEES PROGRESS IN TALKS WITH N. KOREA,” Washington, 09/08/98) reported that US officials privately said that there was considerable internal debate among intelligence analysts over exactly what the DPRK had done with its recent rocket launch. One theory was that the satellite launch failed, while another was that the DPRK was now claiming it launched a satellite because that could be perceived as less threatening and less objectionable than a missile. One unnamed official said, “On one level, every country’s right to launch a satellite has not been challenged. That’s why it would be different. It’s harder to argue against their missile capability if they are indeed launching a satellite.”

Reuters (“N KOREA DEFENDS LAUNCH OF ‘SATELLITE’ OVER JAPAN,” Tokyo, 09/08/98) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday issued a dispatch defending its launch of what it says was a rocket carrying a satellite over northern Japan. The report said, “The scientists chose the sky above Tsugaru Strait between Hokkaido and Honshu, Japan, as the trajectory of the recent artificial satellite launch.” It added, “The carrier rocket was equipped with a device with which to lead the rocket to a safe area and explode it in case the flying rocket is deviated from the expected trajectory.” It said, “As instructed by Kim Jong-il, the first artificial satellite was launched to significantly adorn the first session of the tenth Supreme People’s Assembly and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK.” It said that DPRK scientists were receiving data from the satellite on temperature and air pressure.


2. US-DPRK Talks

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 8, 1998,” Washington, USIA Transcript, 09/09/98) said that the US and the DPRK have held a series of meetings in New York over the last week. Rubin stated, “The delegations have returned to Washington to report on the status of the talks to our leadership, to the Congress and to our allies. The DPRK Vice Foreign Minister returned to Pyongyang on Monday to report to his government.” He added, “In these talks, what we’ve been trying to do is to seek concrete steps to assure that there is full compliance with all aspects of the agreed framework. This is absolutely essential. We have also sought to make progress on a number of other issues of bilateral and regional concern, including missile proliferation, terrorism and a resumption of talks aimed at reducing tensions and achieving a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Rubin said that the talks have made progress on a number of these issues, but he refused to discuss the details.

Reuters (“U.S. SEES PROGRESS IN TALKS WITH N. KOREA,” Washington, 09/08/98) reported that an anonymous US official said that the US had detected some movement in the DPRK position over its alleged underground nuclear complex. The official would not elaborate.


3. Japanese Reaction to DPRK Launch

Reuters (“BARRING REMITTANCES TO NORTH KOREA WOULD BE DIFFICULT,” Tokyo, 09/08/98) reported that Japanese Ministry of Finance (MOF) officials said on Tuesday that a cutoff in cash remittances from Japan to the DPRK would need international coordination to make it effective and force a revision of the Foreign Exchange Law. An unnamed MOF official said, “Under the current law, Japan cannot act on its own. International cooperation is needed.” Another MOF official stated, “Forex transactions are connected worldwide. Without participation by other major industrialized nations, a remittance ban by Japan only would not work effectively.”

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN MAY GIVE NUCLEAR PLANT FUNDS WITH N. KOREA TALKS-KYODO,” Tokyo, 09/09/98) reported that the Kyodo news service on Wednesday cited Japanese Foreign Ministry sources as saying that Japan may lift suspension of its contribution to the building of two light- water nuclear reactors in the DPRK if there is progress in missile talks between the DPRK and the US. The report said that such progress would be necessary for the Japanese Diet to approve Japan’s share in the project.

Reuters (“JAPAN PROTESTS TO U.N. OVER N. KOREA MISSILE LAUNCH,” United Nations, 09/08/98) reported that Japanese UN Ambassador Hisashi Owada sent a letter to Security Council President Hans Dahlgren of Sweden on Tuesday protesting the launching a two-stage rocket by the DPRK last week. The letter said, “The government of Japan considers that this act of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea directly affects the security of Japan and the peace and stability of the entire northeast Asian region. Furthermore, it raises a serious concern about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.” Owada did not request any specific action by the council. Dahlgren said that Owada “mentioned that consultations are going on, and this means that we will … revert to this subject at a later stage.”


4. ROK-DPRK Talks

Reuters (“SEOUL CALLS FOR DIALOGUE WITH NKOREA’S NEW LEADERS,” Seoul, 09/07/98) reported that the ROK Ministry of Unification issued a statement on Monday calling for the resumption of an official dialogue with the DPRK. The statement said, “We hope that North Korea’s inauguration of a new leadership will serve as an opportunity to help open an era of peace, reconciliation and cooperation between the South and the North. To this end, we hope that the official dialogue between the authorities of the South and North will be resumed as soon as possible.” The statement also urged the DPRK to make “sincere efforts for the peace of Northeast Asia and the rest of world” and reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. Meanwhile, ROK President Kim Dae- jung’s spokesman Park Ji-won quoted President Kim as telling former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Saturday, “South Korea, the United States and Japan should not get wild, but cope with [the DPRK missile test] calmly while maintaining close three-way cooperation.”


5. PRC-DPRK Relations

The Los Angeles Times carried an analytical article (Jim Mann, “CHINA MUST DEFINE ITS ROLE IN N. KOREA,” Washington, 09/09/98) which questioned how much influence the PRC exerts over the DPRK. The article quoted former US ambassador to the ROK and PRC James R. Lilley as saying that the recent DPRK missile test was “very much against China’s own interests,” due to its possible effects on the construction of a missile- defense system. The author argued, “The North Korean missile test could help Japan overcome its qualms about the high costs of the anti-missile program and its fears of incurring China’s wrath if it signed up for the project.” Jonathan Pollack at the Rand Corporation said that the PRC “will play at best a cheerleading role for those who want to curb North Korean activities. But they will let others do the heavy lifting.” The article’s author concluded, “China is North Korea’s main outside supplier of food and energy. When the North Koreans start lobbing missiles around Asia, it seems fair to ask China to take a leading role in stopping such dangerous activity.”


6. 50th Anniversary of DPRK’s Founding

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA 50TH ANNIVERSARY PARADE,” Seoul, 09/09/98) reported that the DPRK marked the 50th anniversary of its founding Wednesday with leader Kim Jong-il viewing a military parade in Pyongyang. A dispatch by the DPRK’s official Pyongyang Radio did not report the number of soldiers who took part in the parade. Reportedly no sophisticated weapons were displayed.


7. US-ROK Relations

The US Department of State Office of the Spokesman (“ROK FOREIGN MINISTER HONG TO VISIT U.S.,” Washington, USIA Text, 09/08/98) announced that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young will travel to Washington to meet with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Friday, September 11. The announcement said, “Issues to be discussed include North Korea’s missile activities, matters relating to implementation of the Agreed Framework, South Korea’s economic situation, and other matters of bilateral concern.”


8. ROK National Security Law

Dow Jones Newswires (“S. KOREA’S PRES KIM PROMISES TO REVISE ANTI-SPYING LAW,” Seoul, 09/09/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday told Pierre Sane, secretary general of the London-based human rights group Amnesty International, that his government will revise the National Security Law. Kim’s spokesman, Park Jie-won, quoted Kim as saying, “The day will come when the government will push for a revision, and it will happen before long.” Kim said that increasing military threats from the DPRK have intensified anti-communist sentiment in the ROK, making it politically risky for his government to try to revise the law.


9. US Missile Defense System

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, “MISSILE DEFENSE PLAN IS REVIVED,” Washington, 09/09/98) reported that a motion to move ahead with a debate on legislation to speed deployment of a national missile defense system fell one short of the required 60 votes. Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss., stated, “We are putting that security at risk under the current policy.” However, Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., cited the strong opposition to the bill of General Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as justifying a no vote. Levin stated, “It will not contribute to our national security. It will weaken and jeopardize our national security.”

US Department of Defense Spokesman Kenneth Bacon (“PENTAGON REGULAR BRIEFING, TUESDAY, SEPT. 8, 1998,” USIA Transcript, 09/08/98) said that the US national missile defense program is a “three plus three” program. Bacon said that the policy consisted of “Three years in development and then starting in the year 2000 … three years from a decision to deploy, to actually deploy.” He added, “it’s not simply a question of adding money to these programs or setting arbitrary scheduled acceleration goals. It’s a matter of making the current programs work. That’s what the missile designers and builders are trying to do right now.” Bacon argued, “The question of national missile defense is complex and very contentious politically. On that program the [Joint] Chiefs [of Staff] believe that the current ‘three plus three’ program is about as ambitious as we can be.”


10. US Sanctions Law

The Washington Post (Thomas W. Lippman, “NEGOTIATIONS ON SANCTIONS OPEN ON HILL,” 09/09/98, A24) and the Wall Street Journal (Robert S. Greenberger, “U.S. SEES LIMIT TO USE OF SANCTIONS,” Washington, 09/09/98) reported that US Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat said Tuesday that the president needs more flexibility in sanctions law, including the right to waive sanctions when he believes it would be in the national interest. Eizenstat told a Senate task force, “If our policies are to be effective, we must work together to see that our use of sanctions is appropriate, coherent and designed to gain international support.”


11. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Reuters (John Chalmers, “INDIA IN NO RUSH TO SIGN N-TEST BAN PACT,” New Delhi, 09/08/98) reported that Brajesh Mishra, principal secretary to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, said Tuesday that India is not ready to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Mishra stated, “The main problem is that in this country there has been traditional opposition to the non-proliferation regime put up by the United States and others.” He said this meant domestic opinion in India had to be turned around before India could join the CTBT. He also said that one of the stumbling blocks was the failure of the US Congress to ratify the CTBT. He added that the planned visit to South Asia by US President Bill Clinton in November had no bearing on India’s deliberations. Mishra said that he thought it unlikely that Clinton would make his trip, saying, “Our point of view is that Mr. Clinton could hardly come here while the sanctions are in place and India could hardly receive him while the sanctions are in place.”

The Associated Press (“PAKISTAN GOVT WANTS TO SIGN NUCLEAR TEST BAN – NEWSPAPER,” Islamabad, 09/09/98) reported that Pakistan’s the Nation newspaper said Wednesday that Pakistan’s government wants to sign the nuclear test ban treaty and will seek parliament’s approval. Pakistan Information Minister Mushahid Hussain confirmed that parliament had been summoned for a special joint debate about the issue on Friday, but insisted that the government had yet to take a stand. On Monday, a top Pakistan official said that the Pakistani government’s defense committee had approved signing the treaty.


12. Russian Nuclear Safety

The Associated Press (“RUSSIAN GOVT TO PAY BACK WAGES OF NUCLEAR WORKERS- INTERFAX,” Moscow, 09/09/98) reported that the Russian government plans to allocate 317 million rubles before the end of the month to pay back wages to nuclear industry workers. Acting Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov and the vice chairman of the Atomic Energy Workers’ union, Vladimir Kashkin, signed an agreement Wednesday for transferring the funds to the Atomic Energy Ministry. The money is about half of the federal government’s wage debt to nuclear industry workers. Trade union leaders had said that the failure to pay threatens the safety of Russia’s nuclear centers.

II. Republic of Korea


1. ROK-US Relations

Top ROK and US foreign policymakers are expected to discuss the DPRK’s demand that it be removed from the US list of terrorist nations when they meet in Washington this week. ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hong Soon-young, who is scheduled to embark on a four-day US trip on Wednesday, will discuss recent developments in the DPRK when he meets with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. One of the major agenda items will be the outcome of the US-DPRK talks, in which the DPRK demanded it be excluded from the US list of terrorist countries, officials of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Tuesday. (Korea Herald, “MINISTER HONG SOON-YOUNG TO DISCUSS NORTH KOREA ISSUES ON US TRIP,” 09/09/98)


2. DPRK Military

DPRK leader Kim Jong-il yesterday appointed Vice Marshal Kim Il-chol, one of his loyal supporters, as minister of the People’s Armed Forces. The appointment of Kim Il-chol, 65, sparked speculation in the ROK of a coming generation shift in military leadership. Former defense ministers in the DPRK were from the “revolution generation” of wartime comrades of the late DPRK President Kim Il-sung. Kim Jong-il, chief of the ruling Workers’ Party, made the appointment in his capacity of chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission (NDC). The Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, or the defense ministry, is under the direct control of the NDC, the highest office in military affairs. It is Kim Jong-il’s first appointment of military personnel since being reelected to the newly- augmented NDC chairmanship at the Supreme Peoples’ Assembly Saturday. New DPRK Defense Minister Kim is known in the ROK as one of the core members of the military, elected as one of the vice chairmen of the NDC at the parliamentary session over the weekend. Before being appointed defense minister, Kim, a former Navy commander, served as first deputy defense minister. He became one of the 11 vice marshals in 1997. (Korea Herald, “APPOINTMENT SIGNALS GENERATIONAL SHIFT IN NORTH KOREA’S MILITARY,” 09/09/98)

III. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea


1. DPRK Socialist Constitution

[Ed. note: The following is the text of chapter two of the DPRK Socialist Constitution amended and supplemented at the first session of the 10th DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly on 5 September. The text was read out by an announcer over the Korean Central Broadcasting Network.]

Chapter II. Economy

Article 19. The DPRK is based on socialist relations in production and an independent national economy.

Article 20. In the DPRK, means of production belong to the state and social cooperative organizations.

Article 21. State property is all the people’s property. Objects subject to state ownership are unlimited. The state owns all the country’s natural resources, railways, aviation assets, transportation, telecommunications and postal organizations, as well as major plants, enterprises, ports, and banks. The state protects and develops with priority the state property that plays a leading role in the country’s economic development.

Article 22. Property of social cooperative organizations is collectively owned by the working people in the concerned organizations. Social cooperative organizations can own land, farm machinery, boats, and small- and medium-sized plants and enterprises. The state shall protect the property of social cooperative organizations.

Article 23. The state shall enhance the standards of the farmers’ ideology, awareness, technology, and culture. The state shall organically combine the property of all the people and cooperative property, elevating the leading role of property of all the people over cooperative property. The state shall improve the guidance and management of the cooperative economy and shall solidify and develop the socialist cooperative economic system. The state shall gradually transform cooperative organizations’ property into property of all the people, according to the accord of all the members of the cooperative organizations.

Article 24. Private property is for the citizens’ private and consumptive purposes. Private property is gained from socialist distribution as a result of labor and as additional benefits from the state and society. Proceeds from subsistence farming, self-managed economics, and income from other legal economic activities are private property. The state protects private property and legally guarantees the rights of inheritance.

Article 25. The DPRK considers it the supreme principle of its activities to constantly elevate the level of the people’s material and cultural lives. The increasing material wealth of the society in our country, where there are no taxes, is entirely used to enhance the working people’s welfare. The state shall prepare all conditions of feeding, clothing, and consumption for all the working people.

Article 26. The self-reliant national economy that the DPRK has prepared is the firm foundation for the happy socialist lives of the people and the growth and prosperity of the fatherland. The state shall accelerate the chuch’e-orientation, modernization, and scientification of the national economy to make the national economy a highly developed, chuch’e-oriented economy, adhering to the line of building a socialist self-reliant national economy, and shall struggle to build material and technological bases befitting a perfect socialist society.

Article 27. The technological revolution is a main link for developing the socialist economy. The state shall carry out all its economic activities while always placing the technological development above all; shall accelerate the scientific and technological development and the technological systemization of the people’s economy; and shall vigorously carry out the mass movement for technological innovation. By doing so, the state shall free the working people from difficult and laborious work and narrow the gap between physical labor and mental labor.

Article 28. In order to eliminate the gap between cities and rural areas, as well as the class gap between the working class and farmers, the state shall accelerate the technological revolution in rural areas, industrialize and modernize agriculture, enhance the role of counties, and strengthen its guidance and support for rural areas. The state shall construct production facilities of cooperative farms and modern houses in rural areas, and the construction costs shall be borne by the state.

Article 29. Socialism and communism are built by the creative labor of the working masses. Labor in the DPRK is the independent and creative labor of the working people who have been freed from exploitation and suppression. The state shall make the labor of our working people, who do not know unemployment, more joyful and worthwhile as labor that they do for society, their groups, and themselves with voluntary zeal and creativity.

Article 30. Working people shall labor for eight hours a day. The state shall shorten the daily working hours according to the level of difficulty or the special conditions of certain labor. The state shall properly carry out labor organization and strengthen labor discipline to make full use of the workday.

Article 31. DPRK citizens shall begin to work at the age of 16. The state shall prohibit labor by young boys and girls under the designated age.

Article 32. In guiding and managing the socialist economy, the state shall firmly maintain political guidance, economic and technical guidance, unified state guidance, creativity at each level, unitary command and democracy, and the principle of correctly combining political-moral incentives and material incentives.

Article 33. With the independent strength of the producing masses, the state shall guide and manage the economy according to the Taean work system, which is a socialist economic management style to manage and operate an economy in a scientific and reasonable manner, and according to the agricultural guidance system to guide rural economies locally. According to the demands of the Taean work system, the state shall apply a cost accounting system in managing the economy and guide the people to properly use such economic levers as cost, price, and profit.

Article 34. The DPRK’s national economy is a planned economy. According to the rules of socialist economic development, the state shall draw up and implement the plans to develop the national economy so as to properly balance supply and consumption, accelerate economic construction, ceaselessly improve the people’s living standards, and strengthen national defense capabilities. The state shall unify the plans and guarantee a quick improvement in production and a balanced development of the national economy.

Article 35. The DPRK shall plan and execute the national budget according to the plans for developing the national economy. The state shall strengthen the struggle to increase production and conserve energy in all sectors, and strictly apply financial controls, systematically increase the state’s wealth, and expand and develop socialist property.

Article 36. In the DPRK, the state or social cooperative organizations shall engage in foreign trade. The state shall develop foreign trade under the principle of perfect equality and reciprocity.

Article 37. The state encourages joint business management and joint ventures between our country’s agencies, enterprises, and organizations and foreign corporations or individuals, as well as the establishment and management of various forms of enterprises in the special economic zone.

Article 38. The state shall apply government-directed policies to protect the self-reliant national economy.

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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,
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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon:
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

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