NAPSNet Daily Report 10 February, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 10 February, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 10, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US Sanctions on DPRK

Agence France-Presse (“US LIKELY TO LIFT SANCTIONS ON NORTH, SAYS SEOUL,” Seoul, 02/10/99) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that the US is likely to lift economic sanctions on the DPRK if suspicions over its underground construction site are cleared. An unnamed official said that the issue was raised during a meeting between senior US, Japanese, and ROK officials over the DPRK’s underground facility. The official stated, “The US last year seriously studied plans to lift economic sanctions. But they were halted following the rocket launch and the underground site. Once all suspicions over the site are cleared, the US will go back to what they were studying last year, and very likely lift the sanctions.” He added that the lifting of sanctions “was something the US had thought of doing before. It is not to compensate North Korea” for access to the site. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

2. DPRK Underground Construction

US State Department Spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING FEBRUARY 9, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 02/09/99) said that if the US does not get access to the DPRK’s underground construction site at Kumchangri, it would affect the viability of the 1994 Agreed Framework. Rubin stated, “The North Koreans have obviously, at various times, put out different versions of what it would take to allow us multiple site access. We will not pay compensation to be permitted to ensure that an agreement is being properly implemented. That is our principled position.” He added, “the North Koreans always raise different things related to food. What position what we’ve been taking is that we have been the largest contributor to the World Food Program support for North Korea because we believe there are real needs. The World Food program is able to ensure those needs are met without significant diversion of any of this food assistance. So we take that very seriously. We’re looking seriously at the latest World Food program appeal.”

3. DPRK Military Threat

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “DEFECTOR: NK LEADER NOT GO TO WAR,” Seoul, 02/11/99, 3) reported that DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop, in a memoir titled “I Saw the Truth of History” that was recently published in Japan, said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is not likely to go to war with the ROK. Hwang wrote, “He is not the kind of man who would put everything at stake to wage a war.” Hwang also said in the book that the DPRK military was prepared to go to war in 1993 over the nuclear dispute with the US. Meanwhile, on Tuesday the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said that Kim Jong-il has ordered the military to be “beefed up” to counter preparations for war by the US “and its stooges.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

4. US Bases on Okinawa

Pacific Stars And Stripes (David Allen, “OKINAWA GOVERNOR MOVES TO ENHANCE TIES WITH U.S.,” Naha, 02/11/99, 3) reported that Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine on Monday said that representatives of his government, the Japanese national government, and the US military will meet Saturday in Naha to discuss how to resurrect a committee that used to discuss issues involving US bases on Okinawa. Inamine stated, “The pre-meeting will be held to obtain the consent of the members to resume the important mission of the committee.” He added, “The prefectural government hopes to activate the committee, so that any problems that can be solved at the local level can be discussed by this committee. And, with the mutual understanding and cooperation of the committee members, we hope the committee will contribute to prompt solutions of military- related problems on Okinawa.” Inamine also released a budget proposal this week that does not include funds for anti-base lobbying trips to the US or for “A Message from Okinawa,” an annual campaign to publicize Okinawa’s military-related problems throughout the rest of Japan. The budget does include a 9 million-yen research project to study how US bases in other countries are made environmentally safe before being turned over to the local communities. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

5. Alleged Japanese Technology Transfers to PRC

The New York Times (Stephanie Strom, “JAPAN HOLDS EXECUTIVE IN SALE OF SENSITIVE MACHINES TO CHINA,” Tokyo, 02/10/99) reported that Isao Sasaki, who retired last year as senior managing director at Ryokosha KK, an affiliate of Hitachi Ltd., was arrested on Saturday and charged with responsibility for selling telecomparators to the PRC by way of the ROK. Telecomparators, measuring devices that are accurate to less than two- thousandths of a millimeter, are used in precision engineering. The company allegedly also sent employees to install equipment and train workers at a plant in Harbin in 1997 without obtaining approvals required from the International Trade and Industry Ministry. Japanese media reported that the police are pursuing similar charges against Hitachi Electronics Ltd., another Hitachi affiliate that made the instruments using Ryokosha’s designs. Teruhito Koizumi, a Ryokosha spokesman, said the company had known that machines it sold to an ROK agent were destined to be incorporated into a larger project for the PRC, but he said the agent assured Ryokosha that he would make the appropriate applications for permission to export the telecomparators on to the PRC. Koizumi stated, “It was a mistake regarding export procedures.” Another Ryokosha spokesman, Kazushige Kamiyama, said the company had realized its mistake and tried to get the ROK agent to give it time to make the appropriate requests for permission to export the machines, but that “he did not accept our requests and explanations.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

6. Alleged PRC Espionage

The Omaha World-Herald (Matt Kelley, “BEREUTER: CHINA SALES NEED STUDY,” Washington, 02/10/99) reported that US Representative Doug Bereuter, R- Nebraska, said Tuesday that US-PRC relations are likely to suffer because of a congressional report alleging transfer of US military technology to the PRC through espionage. However, he cautioned against focusing public outrage on the PRC. Bereuter stated, “The focus needs to be what went wrong in our government and what needs to be done to correct it.” He called on US intelligence officials and lawmakers to “thoroughly, dramatically and energetically” revise security procedures so that past failures do not recur. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

7. PRC Missile Deployment

Reuters (“TAIWAN SAYS AWARE OF NEW CHINA MISSILE DEPLOYMENTS,” Taipei, 02/10/99) reported that Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Taiwan intelligence has confirmed that the PRC has deployed more than 100 ballistic missiles that could be fired at the island. The statement said, “Based on current information obtained by our ministry, the Chinese communists indeed have more than 100 M-class missiles in storage that could target Taiwan.” The ministry said that the intelligence reinforced the need for Taiwan to establish an effective missile defense capability. It added, “The threat of the Chinese communists’ guided missile tests has an impact not only on the military front but also on the political, economic and psychological fronts.” Meanwhile, London’s Financial Times quoted US military intelligence reports on Wednesday as saying that the PRC had sharply increased its deployment of M-9 and M-11 missiles aimed at Taiwan.

8. Proliferation of Weapons Technology

Dow Jones Newswires (“CIA CONCERNED OVER CHINA, RUSSIA WEAPON SALES TO IRAN, SYRIA,” Washington, 02/10/99) reported that a report to Congress on Tuesday by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Nonproliferation Center pointed to the emergence of independent or quasi-government entities in Russia and the PRC as exporters of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons technology. The report praised the Russian and PRC governments for expanding their commitments to restrict exports of that technology, but warned that those commitments may not be enough. It said that Chinese organizations supplied advanced conventional weapons to Iran, and some of them continued to supply Iran and Syria with chemical weapons-related materials, including basic ingredients in some chemical weapons. The CIA also cited Russian companies for supplying “a variety of ballistic missile-related goods and technical know-how to foreign countries” during the first half of last year. The report listed Russia, the PRC, and the DPRK as the key “supplier nations” for weapons of mass destruction and Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and the DPRK as the key consumer nations of these weapons. The report stated, “Throughout the first half of 1998, North Korea continued to export ballistic missile-related equipment and missile components and materials to countries of concern. Pyongyang attaches a high priority to the development and sale of ballistic missiles, equipment, and related technology. North Korea has little else to export to raise significant amounts of hard currency besides ballistic missiles and other weapons.” It added that Egypt was one of the DPRK’s key customers for missile technology and components, part of what it termed a long-running pattern of cooperation between the two nations.

9. Russian Early Warning Systems

The Washington Post (David Hoffman, “RUSSIA’S MYOPIC MISSILE DEFENSE,” Moscow, 02/10/99, 1) reported that Russian and Western security analysts said that Russia’s early-warning defense against missile attack is deteriorating because Russia cannot replenish the satellites it needs to monitor US missile silos and submarines. The analysts said that, for several hours each day, Russian military commanders cannot see any of the US missile fields. They added that Russia has not launched an early- warning satellite in nearly a year, and US-Russian plans for sharing early-warning data have not been implemented. Paul Podvig, a research associate at the Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies, said that Russia’s early warning system now has only three active satellites–less than half the number at the time of the 1983 false alarm and just a third of the full contingent. Theodore A. Postol, a professor at MIT, added, “Russia has no space-based early warning against the most potent threat its land-based forces face, the US Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles.” Postol noted that Russia’s system of ground-based early-warning radar has also been degraded because many installations were built outside Russia and are now in independent states. Postol said that the situation could drive Russia more and more toward making a quick decision to retaliate against a suspected attack based on less reliable information. Bruce Blair, a security analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said that with reduced early- warning capability, Russia “is losing its ability to distinguish between real and imaginary nuclear threats. The United States could be the big loser in this situation.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

10. US Missile Defense

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “SENATE PANEL APPROVES MISSILE DEFENSE BILL,” 02/10/99, 1) reported that the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday approved legislation to deploy a national missile defense system by an 11-7 vote. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut was the only Democrat to support the measure. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D- Louisiana, abstained. An unnamed Senate aide close to the committee stated, “This is the first [National Missile Defense] bill passed out of Armed Services on a bipartisan vote since Republicans became the majority in 1994.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 10.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Development

Korea Times (“UKRAINIAN EXPERTS HELPED NK DEVELOP MISSILES: MIIS REPORT,” 02/10/99) reported that the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California said that experts from Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc nations helped the DPRK develop the long-range Taepodong-1 missile. According to its latest website report, the bulk of the equipment for Taepodong-1 derived from Japanese technology acquired by the DPRK from other countries. Experts from the former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine, provided assistance on the spot to develop the missile. The report was jointly made by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the MIIS and the Center for Contemporary International Problems at the Russian Diplomatic Academy. The report also said that the PRC has flatly denied its alleged assistance to the DPRK missile development. “Chinese officials complain that the DPRK did not provide any advance notice to the PRC about its missile test last August. When the PRC side asked for clarifications, the DPRK gave a ‘rather rude’ answer by saying that each country had a right to develop its space program without outside interference,” the report said. “The missile, Taepodong-1, has a diameter very close to that of the PRC’s DF-3 medium-range ballistic missile. This fact led some US experts to claim that the DPRK missile had been developed with Chinese assistance,” it added. The report said that the PRC officials denied this possibility categorically, arguing that the PRC is not interested in fostering a missile race right on its own border and in a region that is already full of weapons and tension. [Ed. note: The article is referring to DPRK Report #15, issued over NAPSNet on February 2. It is available at the MIIS website at: A text-only version is available at the Nautilus website at: ]

2. DPRK-Japan Talks

Joongang Ilbo (“JAPAN READY TO GIVE FOOD AID TO NK,” 02/10/99) reported that Japanese Ambassador to the ROK Kazuo Ogura said in an interview with the monthly magazine “Win” that Japan intends to donate food if the DPRK accepts government-level Japan-DPRK dialogue. Ogura added, however, “I cannot tell how much aid will be sent.” He further commented, “Six-party talks, formed by NGOs, scholars and ex-ministers from the DPRK, ROK, Japan, the US, the PRC, and Russia, can help the DPRK with both agricultural development and medical aid.” Regarding the possibility of former Japanese Prime Minister Murayama’s visit to the DPRK, he explained, “he is one of the Japanese politicians who wants to visit the DPRK, but even a rudimentary dialogue channel between Japan and DPRK is still closed.”

3. DPRK Food Aid

Joongang Ilbo (“GOV’T TO APPROVE PRIVATE AID FOR NK,” 02/10/99) reported that the ROK government approved private individuals providing aid to the DPRK. Until now, only the ROK Red Cross has handled all food provisions for the DPRK. Affiliates are saying that aid to the DPRK will be revitalized and increase according to the new measure. A source at the Ministry of Unification commented, “The ROK government will approve private support depending on their capacities and specialties. The government is now considering more than 10 private institutions that wish to provide aid to the DPRK.” The government, however, decided that it would not approve any support for the DPRK by economic institutions or press companies for the time being.

4. Hwang Jang-yop’s Memoir

Korea Herald (“FORMER N. KOREAN IDEOLOGUE SAYS KIM JONG-IL NOT UP TO WAGING WAR,” 02/10/99) reported that Hwang Jang-yop, a former DPRK ideologue, has said that he sees little possibility of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il launching a war against the ROK. “In view of his inclinations, Kim Jong-il is not the kind of man who would put everything at stake to wage a war,” Hwang said in a recently published memoir, “I Saw the Truth of History.” He also said that the DPRK’s capability to wage war has weakened considerably. “Back in 1993, the DPRK military thought that its war capability would decrease as time passes,” Hwang said. He added that the DPRK was ready to risk a war in 1993, when tension on the Korean Peninsula heightened in the wake of the DPRK’s nuclear development program. “It was wise for the US to avoid a war at that time,” Hwang said.

5. Alleged DPRK Opium Production

Chosun Ilbo (“NK’S OPIUM EXPORTS UNDER FIRE,” 02/10/99) reported that the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) said that the DPRK government is producing opium and marketing it overseas to earn foreign currency. CRS urged the US administration to work out countermeasures under threat of stopping US aid to the DPRK. In a report to the Congress, CRS said that the US information agencies estimate that the opium production capacity of the DPRK amounts to 500,000 tons a year. In 1995, production reached 400,000 tons, equivalent to that of Mexico’s. In 1997, the DPRK earned more than US$85 million by selling opium and counterfeit US dollars. The report also pressed for sanctions against the DPRK for its production and export of opium because the country has not been listed among countries engaging in the illegal activity.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
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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