NAPSNet Daily Report 10 December, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 10 December, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 10, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-10-december-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

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1. US DPRK Policy Coordinator’s Asia Trip

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “U.S. FEARS NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR PACT MAY BE SCRAPPED,” Tokyo, 12/10/98) and the Associated Press (“PERRY BRIEFS JAPAN ON N.KOREA SITE,” Tokyo, 12/10/98) reported that Japanese officials said that US special envoy William Perry voiced concern Thursday that the 1994 Agreed Framework could be scrapped due to the DPRK’s refusal to allow inspections of a suspected nuclear facility. Perry arrived in Tokyo late Wednesday. Japanese officials quoted Perry as saying the current situation appeared to be moving toward a critical situation similar to that of June 1994. Japanese defense officials said Perry told them the US was seeking clear explanations through direct dialogue with the DPRK. The officials said that, in a meeting with Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka on Thursday, Perry also expressed concern over the DPRK’s launching of a Taepodong missile over Japanese territory in August. Asked about the content of that meeting, Nonaka said that Japan was not aware of any immediate signs that the DPRK was ready to launch another missile. He stated, “We have information about movements of people and vehicles, but we have no firm information that North Korea will immediately launch another missile.” He added, “If North Korea was to launch another missile, the impact (of such action) would be grave.” Perry was to meet Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura later Thursday. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

The Associated Press (“EX-DEFENSE SECRETARY, CHINESE MEET,” Beijing, 10/09/98) reported that former US Defense Secretary William Perry met with PRC officials on Wednesday for help in dealing with the DPRK. According to a statement from the US Embassy in Beijing, Perry said that US policy toward the DPRK is under review and that he wanted to hear views from the PRC. The statement said that Perry met with PRC officials and specialists on the DPRK, but an embassy spokesman and the PRC Foreign Ministry refused to provide further details.

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2. DPRK Famine

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, “IN NORTH KOREAN HUNGER, LEGACY IS STUNTED CHILDREN,” Beijing, 12/10/98) reported that a new study the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, and the European Union has found that five years of severe food shortages and a breakdown in the public health system have probably left an entire generation of DPRK children physically and mentally impaired. Among other findings, researchers from found that, because of long-term food shortages, 62 percent of children under 7 years old suffer from stunted growth, and thirty percent of children between 1 and 2 suffered from moderate to severe malnutrition. They also discovered that severe malnutrition is still widespread among toddlers despite international food aid. The teams also found that about 16 percent of children were suffering from acute malnutrition and were underweight for their height, a figure higher than in any other country in East Asia and among the 10 worst in the world. Judith Cheng-Hopkins, regional director for Asia of the WFP, stated, “Now at last we have hard facts — the situation is very grave. To me this is a famine in slow motion.” The findings are based on a random sample nutritional survey of 1,800 children. The researchers said available scientific data suggested that 10 years ago, malnutrition was rare in the DPRK. They also said that medical records and childhood growth patterns indicate that the hunger began several years before the floods and droughts of the mid-1990’s and is linked to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Judit Katona-Apte, a senior program adviser for the WFP, stated, “Even if the situation improves, it is unlikely to improve to the degree that the country will fully recover from what we saw. People will be small and not as well developed as otherwise and somewhat limited in their mental capacities.” Sten Swedlund, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ delegation in the DPRK, said that when Red Cross representatives this year tested the water supply at the 840 hospitals and clinics where they operate, they found that not one had water suitable for human consumption. Swedlund stated, “But of course they drink it — they have no choice. There is a very close relationship between the problems caused by the lack of food and a health sector that’s in very bad shape.” He said it was unlikely that the counties still closed to foreigners were markedly different from the open ones. He added, “One thing I’ve learned is how important national security issues are to the North Koreans. And I really think these areas are important from that standpoint.” He also rejected the notion that the DPRK military is stealing donated food.

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3. ROK Arms Procurement Scandal

The Associated Press (“KOREAN ARMS DEALERS SENTENCED,” Seoul, 12/10/98) reported that two ROK arms dealers were sentenced Thursday for obtaining classified information on the nation’s arms procurement programs. The two were found guilty of obtaining classified information on the ROK’s plans to buy spy planes, jet fighters, missiles, and other modern weapons and passing it to a US-based business partner between February 1997 and March 1998. Defense Ministry officials said that four ROK colonels also have been arrested in the case and are being court-martialed.

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4. Alleged Technology Transfers to PRC

Reuters (“CHINA: ROCKET REPORT SHOWS U.S. ‘COLD WAR MENTALITY’,” Beijing, 12/10/98) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Thursday denied a US Defense Department report that it received sensitive rocket technology in 1995 from a US satellite maker. Zhu stated, “The Chinese side had no intention to obtain U.S. missile technology through the launching of U.S. satellites.” He added, “We hope the U.S. side will thoroughly give up its legacy of Cold War mentality and do more to facilitate normal business contact between the two countries.”

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5. Spratly Islands Dispute

Agence France-Presse (“SPRATLYS ‘COULD TIP BALANCE’,” Manila, 12/10/98) reported that Senator Dana Rohrabacher, a senior member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday criticized the PRC’s expansion of structures on a disputed South China Sea shoal as “aggressive behavior.” He pledged that the US Government would help the Philippines’ in its dispute with the PRC, saying, “I don’t think the American people like it when people committed to democracy are bullied by some dictator next door like the Chinese communists.” Rohrabacher stated, “The Spratly Islands could determine the balance of power between the democratic powers of the world and this communist dictatorship in China.” Rohrabacher met Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon Wednesday and was due to visit the Spratlys Thursday under an escort provided by the Philippine Air Force and Navy. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

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6. US-Russian Nuclear Talks

The Washington Post William Drozdiak, ” ALBRIGHT, RUSSIAN SET NEW NUCLEAR TALKS,” Brussels, 12/10/98, 53) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said Wednesday that she will travel to Moscow next month to launch a new round of negotiations that will seek further reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia. Albright announced her plans after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who assured her that the Russian Duma will almost certainly ratify the Start II strategic arms reduction treaty by the end of this month. Unnamed US officials said that Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov apparently has persuaded a majority in the Duma to approve the treaty by the end of this year because of the costs involved in sustaining the arsenals. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

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7. Indian Missile Development

The London Financial Times (Mark Nicholson, “LONG-RANGE NUCLEAR MISSILE APPROVED,” Bangalore, 12/10/98) reported that officials of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) confirmed Wednesday that India is set to begin tests next year of an extended-range version of its Agni missile that would be capable of carrying a nuclear device for a distance of over 2,000km. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, scientific adviser to the defense minister, said that scientists at the DRDO were working “very hard” to bring the Agni II into full production, stating, “It will be done.” An unnamed official stated, “You will know two months before it happens, since we must lodge advance notice for clearance of air and sea lanes in the Bay of Bengal.” The article said that the decision appears to reflect India’s determination to “weaponize” its nuclear capacity. The officials’ remarks come after Defense Minister George Fernandes said on Tuesday that seven rounds of bilateral talks with the US had made “no tangible progress.” [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

II. People’s Republic of China

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1. US DPRK Policy Coordinator’s Asia Trip

People’s Daily (“QIAN QICHEN MEETS WITH PERRY,” Beijing, 12/10/98, A4) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen exchanged views on issues regarding the Korean Peninsula with former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, now special adviser to US President Bill Clinton. Qian said it is the PRC’s consistent stance to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The PRC hopes that the parties concerned will carefully and skillfully resolve the problems through dialogues and consultations.

China Daily (“DEAL URGED,” Seoul, 12/09/98, A11) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung has urged a comprehensive deal with the DPRK, including the lifting of sanctions, to avoid a crisis over its suspect underground nuclear site. Kim made the call–which is likely to be rejected by conservative US congressmen–in a key meeting late on December 7 with William Perry, the US envoy examining the disputed US policy towards the DPRK.

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2. ROK Military Accidents

China Daily (“ARMY PUNISHMENT,” Seoul, 12/10/98, A11) reported that the ROK Army and Air Force chiefs of staff were officially reprimanded on December 9 for a recent series of military accidents. Three soldiers were killed and nine people were injured in the mishaps, which included the firing of an air defense missile into commercial airspace over the western city of Inchon on December 4. Army General Kim Dong-shin and Air Force General Park Choon-taek were among 13 military officers reprimanded or punished by Defense Minister Chun Yong-taek. Two other generals and four lower ranking officers were referred to disciplinary committees.

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3. PRC-Taiwan Relations

People’s Daily (“SPOKESMAN ADMONISHES TAIWAN SPLITTISTS,” Beijing, 12/10/98, A1) reported that a spokesman for the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Taiwan Work Office and the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Offices warned a handful of people in Taiwan on December 9 to stop playing with fire in their attempts to split the country. This is a dangerous example of “playing with fire” and a vain attempt to use a referendum to stop reunification of the motherland and create an “independent Taiwan,” the spokesman said. He added, “We firmly oppose this and are issuing this stern warning to these divisive forces.” What Taiwan’s divisive forces are doing is illegal, invalid, and a futile attempt to oppose the reunification of China and to change Taiwan’s status as a part of China through a referendum, he said. These activities not only go against the will of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and seriously undermine the stability and development of cross-Straits relations, but will endanger the safety of Taiwan compatriots as well as the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific Region, he said.

China Daily (“OFFICIAL DISCUSSES RESULTS OF TAIWAN’S WEEKEND VOTE,” 12/09/98, A1) reported that although the central government respects the Taiwan people’s desire to keep their lifestyles, it opposes separatist action. An official with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the comments while discussing the region’s weekend “parliamentary and mayoral” elections. “On political activities in the region of Taiwan, we always hold a clear attitude. We completely respect the lifestyles of Taiwan compatriots, and their wishes and rights to be masters of their own affairs,” the official said. However, he reiterated the central government’s opposition to “Taiwan’s separatist force, which conducts acts aimed at splitting the motherland in the name of democracy.”

China Daily (“CROSS-STRAITS POLITICAL TALKS SOUGHT,” 12/08/98, A1) said that discussion about China’s reunification should not be postponed indefinitely and Taiwan’s authorities should open cross-Straits political talks as soon as possible. Zhang Kehui, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said on December 7 that Taiwan should value the progress achieved during the recent meeting between Wang Daohan and Koo Chen-fu and “join hands in striving for the realization of reunification.” Zhang made the comments during a recent forum sponsored by the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots and the Central Committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self- Government League. Forum participants decided on the general principle of solving the Taiwan issue through peaceful means, Zhang noted.

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4. US Policy toward the PRC

Jie Fang Daily (“US POLICY TO CHINA A PARADOX,” 12/07/98, P3) issued an article, written by Wu Baiyi from the China Foundation of International Strategy Studies, saying that ups and downs in the past two decades of Sino-US relations are the result of the US paradoxical and speculative PRC policy. Specifically speaking, the paradox of US policy towards the PRC can be found in the following three points. First, despite the clear stance on Taiwan defined in three joint communiques between the PRC and the US, the US still unilaterally claims responsibility for Taiwan’s defense through arms sale. Second, to safeguard its position as a world power, the US tends to use internal and regional disputes to restrain and balance the power of other countries. Third, internal politics in the US have increasing influence over its foreign policy, which makes the latter unstable. Its PRC policy is no exception. Against such a background, a series of bills and policies targeting the PRC have been passed on Taiwan, Tibet, trade, human rights, and arms control. This paradoxical policy of the US towards the PRC forecasts long-term zigzagging in the relationship between these two countries. The policy is not good for establishing a constructive partnership for the 21st century.

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5. China Human Rights Broadcasting

China Daily (“SERIES ON HUMAN RIGHTS BROADCAST,” 12/09/98, A1) reported that the PRC started its first-ever radio series on human rights on December 8, in a bid to enhance public awareness of the rights, interests, and obligations of a Chinese citizen in modern society, and how to protect them. Dong Yunhu, deputy secretary-general of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, said on December 8 in Beijing that the essence of the PRC’s modernization will be the modernization of its people and their attitudes. Widening the human rights knowledge of the country’s 1.2 billion people will be a big step forward in promoting the progress of the cause of human rights in the world, he said. The 24-part series, consisting of interviews and information on human rights, will be broadcast from 9:30 pm to 9:45 pm Beijing time every Tuesday and Wednesday by China National Radio.

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Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage: 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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