NAPSNet Daily Report 10 June, 1998

Recommended Citation

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

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

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1. US-ROK Summit

The Associated Press (David Briscoe, “CLINTON COOL ON NKOREA SANCTION END,” Washington, 06/10/98), Reuters (Steve Holland, “KIM MEETS CLINTON FOR TALKS ON NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 06/09/98), the Los Angeles Times (Elizabeth Shogren, “S. KOREA’S KIM ASKS U.S. TO EASE UP ON NORTH,” Washington, 06/10/98) and the Wall Street Journal (Robert S. Greenberger, “KIM WANTS NEW, POSITIVE INCENTIVES FOR NORTH, BUT WILL LET U.S. DECIDE,” Washington, 06/10/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung met US President Bill Clinton at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the DPRK and other issues. At a joint news conference afterwards, Kim stated, “To induce [the DPRK] to open up (not only) will be beneficial to the interests of our two countries, but to the peace of the peninsula and Northeast Asia in general. Thus, if the United States should ease sanctions against North Korea, the when and how and the content would be a decision for the American government to make, but we would not oppose, and we would cooperate.” Kim said that, despite food shortages, the DPRK is “relatively stable, and I don’t think it is going to collapse all that easily.” He added, “Our intent is to persuade North Korea to make it feel safe in opening up and so that it can resuscitate itself, follow the model set by China and Vietnam and so that it can overcome such a hard situation.” He warned that otherwise, “it may decide to go the road of military provocation. Or if it stays the course, it may simply collapse, and that will fall on our lap.” Clinton responded, “I would encourage the leader of North Korea, and all those in influence there, to respond to [Kim’s] far-sighted overtures.” Clinton said that Kim did not ask in their private meeting for a lifting of sanctions but for support of a policy of reciprocity, “which would enable us to move forward with the reconciliation of the North and the South.” He added that lifting some of the US sanctions would require approval by Congress. An anonymous White House official said that Kim proposed that Clinton consider being prepared to lift some sanctions or take other steps in response to specific conciliatory steps by the DPRK. The official stated, “That is because our experience has been that they don’t necessarily respond to positive gestures. It’s agreed that we need to see some give and take.”

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2. Japanese Wives of DPRK Citizens

The Associated Press (“JAPAN WOMEN IN NKOREA CANCEL PLANS,” Tokyo, 06/10/98) and the New York Times (Nicholas D. Kristof, “NORTH KOREA REBUKES JAPAN BY CANCELING WOMEN’S VISIT,” Tokyo, 06/10/98) reported that the DPRK on Tuesday called off a planned visit to Japan by Japanese-born women who are married to DPRK citizens. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the visits were called off because of “artificial hurdles” and “inhuman acts on the Japanese side.” An earlier KCNA broadcast criticized Japan for alleging that the DPRK had abducted several Japanese citizens. The broadcast said, “The Japanese reactionaries’ sustained talk about ‘suspected abduction’ will only betray the miserable plight of Japan and invite public condemnation for Japan’s playing into hands of the South Korean puppets. Japan is a war criminal state which plunged Asia into disasters.” Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sadaaki Numata stated, “This announcement came all of a sudden, and we find it regrettable.” “

Dow Jones Newswires (“N. KOREA: DOESN’T WISH TO STRAIN TIES WITH JAPAN – KYODO,” Tokyo, 06/10/98) reported that Japan’s Kyodo News said that Koreshige Anami, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian Affairs Bureau, said Wednesday that, despite the DPRK’s cancellation of return visits by Japanese wives of DPRK citizens, it does not intend to worsen relations with Japan. Anami stated, “It cannot necessarily be said that they have ruined efforts to normalize Japan-North Korean relations.” Anami noted that the announcements came from the DPRK Red Cross Society, not the government, and that the announcement documents cautiously refrained from using harsh expressions toward Japan. He added that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il may assume the state presidency in September and this might alter the country’s attitude toward Japan. However, he added, Japan will not resume normalization talks with the DPRK or give it more food aid for the time being.

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3. US-DPRK Sports Exchange

The Washington Post (“TEIKYO POST READY TO PART NORTH KOREA’S IRON CURTAIN,” 06/10/98, C02) reported that the Teikyo Post University announced Tuesday that its men’s basketball team has accepted an invitation to become the first US sports delegation to visit the DPRK. The school, located in Waterbury, Conn., is affiliated with Teikyo University in Japan.

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4. ROK Financial Crisis

Dow Jones Newswires (Chang Woo-hyuk, “S. KOREA WON’T PUSH FOR 2ND LINE OF IMF FUNDS – YONHAP,” Seoul, 06/10/98) reported that the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency said Wednesday that the ROK Finance Ministry decided it will not push for the US$8 billion promised by G-7 countries under the International Monetary Fund’s US$58.35 billion bailout arranged late last year. However, an official at the Ministry of Finance and Economy said he was not aware of the reported government decision, and said those in charge of the issue are accompanying President Kim Dae-jung on his visit to the US and are therefore unavailable for comment.

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5. Russian Ratification of START II

The Associated Press (“U.S. ALBRIGHT CONDEMNS RUSSIA’S DELAYS ON START II,” Washington, 06/10/98) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday criticized the Russian Duma’s decision to postpone hearings on the START II arms reduction treaty from next week until the fall. Albright stated, “I deeply regret that action,” adding that she hoped the Duma would reverse itself and recognize that nuclear testing in India and Pakistan makes approval of the Start II treaty even more vital. She reiterated that the US position is not to proceed with anything more than preliminary negotiations on a follow-up START III treaty until Russia ratifies Start II.

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6. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The Associated Press (“U.S. ALBRIGHT CONDEMNS RUSSIA’S DELAYS ON START II,” Washington, 06/10/98) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday urged the US Senate to act on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Albright said that the Indian and Pakistani tests make the test- ban treaty more crucial because it would set up a monitoring system and try to curb proliferation of nuclear weapons technology.

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7. South Asian Nuclear Tests

Dow Jones Newswires (“FOUR NONNUCLEAR NATIONS TO MEET WITH G-8 FRIDAY – KYODO,” Tokyo, 06/10/98) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news agency said Wednesday that the foreign ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, and South Africa will take part in a luncheon meeting with foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in London Friday to discuss ways to maintain nuclear nonproliferation. Japanese government sources said that Japan has also been working on having Australia attend the expanded meeting, but Australia has yet to decide. At the meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi is expected to appeal for strengthened international monitoring of trade with India and Pakistan of materials related to nuclear weapons and missile parts.

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 9,” Washington, USIA Transcript, 06/09/98) said that the upcoming foreign ministers meeting in London is designed to “broaden the circle of countries” who want to pursue the strategy for nuclear nonproliferation laid out at the Geneva meeting of the five declared nuclear powers and in the UN Security Council resolution. Rubin stated, “What we’re trying to do is develop a group that can coordinate its activities to try to bring to bear the same positions, and decide how each one of us can pursue bilaterally these efforts and coordinate through the imprimatur of a foreign ministers’ session so that all the governments involved who have unique influence that can be brought to bear are sharing information with each other about what messages they’re delivering bilaterally so that we are in a position to make sure that neither India nor Pakistan seeks to play one of the major countries off against each other.”

Dow Jones Newswires (“INDIA VAJPAYEE ADDRESSES CONCERNS ABOUT NUCLEAR TESTS- KYODO,” New Delhi, 06/10/98) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news service said that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee called on Japan and other nations Wednesday to understand India’s decision to conduct nuclear tests. Vajpayee stated, “We would like Japan and the international community to extend and appreciate our genuine concerns and the rationale behind our decision to conduct nuclear tests. Our irreducible security concerns have been paramount in our decision.” He added, “We have always been prepared to discuss all issues with Pakistan. I have offered discussions on no-first-use of nuclear weapons to Pakistan.” He said that Pakistan’s nuclear tests have vindicated India’s stand that “Pakistan’s clandestine nuclear weapon’s program had reached a point of no return.” He concluded, “India has always been prepared to have a dialogue with Pakistan on all issues including Kashmir…. We can and should resolve all outstanding issues through bilateral discussions, without outside mediation.”

II. Republic of Korea

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1. UN-DPRK Military Talks

The United Nations Command (UNC) and the DPRK have agreed to resume a general officers’ (GO) meeting, the most senior channel of communication between the two sides, after seven years, in order to reduce tension on the Korean peninsula. In a press meeting yesterday, US Army Colonel Thomas Riley, secretary of the UNC Military Armistice Commission (MAC), announced that the agreement for the GO meeting was reached during a Monday contact he made with his DPRK counterpart, Park Im-su, in the truce village of Panmunjom. The MAC secretary said that the first GO meeting will be scheduled shortly, and that the purpose of the meeting is to handle armistice-related matters at a senior level. Under the terms of the agreement, the UNC delegation will be composed of one brigadier general each from the ROK and Britain, one US major general, and one colonel from Thailand, Australia, or the Philippines, on a rotating basis. UNC deputy chief of staff US Major General Michael Hayden will assume the senior role in the UNC delegation, but all members will have an equal say, accepting the ROK’s key demand for the resumption of the GO meeting. Colonel Riley stated that the GO meeting is another channel of dialogue with the DPRK outside the MAC, the sole established line of communication between the two sides, but falls within the armistice agreement. He said that irrespective of the GO meeting, the UNC senior member, ROK Lieutenant General Cha Ki-mun, will continue his duties as usual. From the perspective of the DPRK, this delegation format is seen as a step backward from its original insistence on a one-on-one meeting with the US. The GO meetings, to be held at Panmunjom at the request of either party, will deal exclusively with armistice-related matters, such as violations in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The UNC/DPRK’s GO meeting agreement came after “long term negotiations,” according to the UNC statement. (Korea Times, “UNC, N. KOREA TO OPEN GENERALS TALKS,” 06/10/98)

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2. ROK-US Summit

ROK President Kim Dae-jung and US President Bill Clinton, during a summit at the White House on Tuesday, agreed to take an active and flexible stance with respect to inducing the DPRK to open and reform itself. The two leaders shared the view that the ROK and the US should maintain a water-tight defense posture on the Korean Peninsula. Clinton was quoted as telling Kim that the US is in full accord with the ROK’s objective of promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula by adopting a progressive and flexible stance aimed at encouraging the DPRK to take the path of openness and reform. Clinton also said his administration will encourage direct talks between the two Koreas, according to presidential spokesman Park Jie-won. At the same time, they agreed to promote the four-party talks to ensure security and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Clinton said he fully stands behind the three principles of the ROK’s DPRK policy–no toleration of armed provocation by the DPRK; no attempts to absorb the DPRK in the name of unification; and the active pursuit of inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation. Spokesman Park said the two leaders fully agreed on the DPRK issue, noting that the summit was largely dominated by agreements on economic cooperation. Kim said he does not oppose US expansion of the scope of its relations with the DPRK, including easing economic sanctions against the DPRK, but it is up to the US to adjust the speed and scope of its economic sanctions. Clinton indicated that the US will consider adjusting its economic sanctions against the DPRK if the DPRK discards its hostile stance against the ROK and inter-Korean relations improve. The two countries also agreed to initial an investment agreement by July of this year, a move intended to stimulate US investment in the ROK. (Korea Times, “ROK, US AGREE TO FOSTER NK OPENNESS,” 06/10/98)

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

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

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom_shin@wisenet.co.kr
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
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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