NAPSNet Daily Report 11 January, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 January, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 11, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-11-january-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Refugees in PRC
2. PRC Defense Minister’s ROK Visit
3. International Outlook for DPRK
4. Japanese View of DPRK-Italy Normalization
5. Korean War Massacre
6. Indian Adherence to CTBT
II. Republic of Korea 1. German Policy toward DPRK
2. DPRK Refugees in PRC
3. Detained Japanese in DPRK
4. Inter-Korean Economic Body
5. DPRK Economic Policy
6. ROK-US Talks
7. Korean War Massacre
8. ROK First Lady to Visit US

I. United States

1. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Agence France Presse (“CHINA LIKELY TO REPATRIATE SEVEN NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES,” Beijing, 1/11/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said Tuesday that seven DPRK refugees would be dealt with according to international norms and relevant PRC law. Zhu said the refugees were “no different from other illegal immigrants and therefore are not refugees as their background and their purpose to cross the border show.” The refugees were found in Russia near its border with the PRC in November 1999 and deported to the PRC two weeks ago. The deportation sparked an outcry in the ROK where civic groups accused Russia of going against humanitarianism and demanded that the PRC hand the refugees over to the ROK. The ROK Red Cross on January 8 appealed for international help to stop DPRK refugees from being deported, saying they could be executed if sent back.

2. PRC Defense Minister’s ROK Visit

Agence France Presse (“CHINESE DEFENSE CHIEF TO MAKE FIRST VISIT S.KOREA SINCE WAR,” Seoul, 1/11/00) and the Associated Press (“CHINESE MINISTER TO VISIT S. KOREA,” Seoul, 1/10/00) reported that ROK defense officials said Tuesday that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian will make a visit to the ROK from January 19- 23, the first by a PRC defense chief since the Korean War. ROK officials said that they hoped Chi’s visit will help ease military tension on the Korean Peninsula. Officials said that Chi is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on ROK President Kim Dae-jung on his arrival to Seoul on January 19, and will meet his ROK counterpart Cho Sung-tae the following day.

3. International Outlook for DPRK

Oxford Analytica (“NORTH KOREA: FRAGILE ENGAGEMENT,” 01/10/00) carried an analytical article which said that the DPRK is beginning the new year with an unusually favorable international climate, as all three of its traditional enemies–the ROK, the US, and Japan–are pursuing engagement policies. It argued, however, that the new momentum remains fragile, and the risk of reversal is high. It stated, “With elections due later this year in all three countries, continued lack of reciprocity (let alone provocation) by Pyongyang will lessen the will for engagement and strengthen the voice of critics who view current policy as appeasement of an unrepentant rogue state.” It added, “North Korean internal politics remain opaque. Kim Jong-il’s grip seems firm, with military support.” The article said that, while the DPRK’s economic decline appears to have halted, “It is hard to exaggerate how much economic ground any North Korean recovery has to make up.”

4. Japanese View of DPRK-Italy Normalization

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN PREPARES G8 SUMMIT, HAILS ROME-PYONGYANG TIES IN ITALIAN TALKS,” Rome, 1/10/00) reported that Chikahito Harada, the spokesman for Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, said on January 10 that Japan welcomed Italy’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with the DPRK as a bold move that was important for world security. Harada said that Japan and Italy both agreed that “as in Kosovo, conflict prevention is very important.” Harada quoted Kono as telling Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema that Italy’s decision would promote stability in northeast Asia and help bring the DPRK into the international community. Harada said that Italy saw the move as helping the DPRK “move toward democracy” and expected “no direct impact” on Japan’s own relationship with the DPRK.

5. Korean War Massacre

Associated Press (Kyong-hwa Seok, “SKOREA LEADER SEEKS NO GUN RI PROBE,” Seoul, 1/11/00) reported that ROK chief presidential spokesman Park June-young said Tuesday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung urged the head of the US Army Secretary Louis Caldera to conduct a thorough inquiry of the alleged mass killing at No Gun Ri. Park quoted Kim as saying, “the No Gun Ri incident is a sensitive issue, but all truth should be clearly brought out so that South Korea-U.S. relations should not be damaged and will instead be enhanced.”

Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA WAR-TIME MASSACRE PROBE TO DETERMINE IF KILLINGS INTENTIONAL,” Seoul, 1/11/00) reported that US Army Secretary Louis Caldera said Tuesday that the US Department of Defense probe into the alleged No Gun Ri massacres will focus on whether the killings were intentional. Caldera said, “our commitment is to do a thorough review of the incident in No Gun Ri, because the central claim that makes No Gun Ri unique is the claim that there was an intentional taking of innocent lives.” In a news conference held with ROK minister Chung Hae-Joo, who is in charge of the ROK side of the investigation, Caldera said that the US Defense Department had catalogued all of the alleged incidents, but “there are surely some claims that would be impossible to review because of the inability to determine what units, where and when. But certainly, the allegation is that their taking lives was intentional, knowing that individuals or non-combatants posed no threats to the soldiers. That is deserving of attention.”

6. Indian Adherence to CTBT

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN URGES INDIA TO SIGN NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY,” Tokyo, 1/11/00) reported that a Japanese foreign ministry official said that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki, during a meeting with visiting Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes, pressed India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The official quoted Aoki saying, “signing the CTBT would be good not only for the international community but also for India. In addition to offering new economic assistance, we are ready to review economic sanctions once India decided to sign the treaty.” The official said that Fernandes replied, “with a view to joining the treaty, the Indian government is currently discussing it with all political factions and parties and it is making utmost efforts to build a political consensus.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. German Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. MUST SEEK PEACE BEFORE GERMANY ESTABLISHES TIES: AMB. VOLLERS,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that German Ambassador to the ROK Claus Vollers said on January 10 that Germany will not consider establishing diplomatic ties with the DPRK unless it opens itself to the outside world and participates in the peace-building process. However, Vollers did call for the ROK to adopt a more generous stance in accepting DPRK defectors seeking refuge in the ROK. Vollers said, “very few defectors are accepted by the (ROK) National Intelligence Service. And there are many more people in Russia and China who would like to come to the South.” Vollers said that in the former West Germany “we had a policy that any Germans who escaped from the East at any time could come to the West.” The German envoy also recommended that the ROK government take more active and practical steps in its engagement policy toward the DPRK. Vollers stated, “we pursued a set of active policies for improving our ‘day-to-day’ relationship with East Germany, and allotted substantial funds to free refugees detained in the East, who later came to the West.”

2. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, “RKNRC CALLS ON INTERNATIONAL HELP OVER DEPORTATIONS,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that the ROK National Red Cross (RKNRC) sent a formal complaint on January 10 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), asking them to protect the rights of seven DPRK citizens who were deported from Russia to the PRC. In the complaint, RKNRC stated that, “since they abandoned North Korea trying to escape its desperate food shortage, their motives cannot be stated as unjust. If they are sent back to North Korea certain execution awaits them. International agencies and relevant countries should take measures to ensure that these seven are not sent back to North Korea against their wills.” The Korea Freedom League (KFL) has also issued a statement announcing that, “the Chinese government should recognize the seven as political refugees and grant them passage to South Korea and not deport them to North Korea under any circumstances. The Korean government will assert all its political influence to stop the seven from being deported back to North Korea.”

3. Detained Japanese in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“NK DETAINS JAPANESE CITIZEN ON SUSPICION OF ESPIONAGE,” Seoul, 01/10/00) reported that Japanese government said that it did not know why the DPRK’s Korean Central New Agency (KCNA) waited 20 days before announcing the detention of Japanese researcher Takashi Sugishima on espionage charges. [Ed. note: See the ROK section of the Daily Report for January 3.] An unnamed Japanese official said that the detention “will have a bad effect on the re-opening of talks between Japan and NK.” The DPRK commented that it would carry out a further “investigation” instead of a trial. Experts believe that this indicates the DPRK’s intention not to delay the case for a long period. An ROK source said, “NK may release Sugishima around March as the talks between NK and Japan on diplomatic relations will begin at that time.”

4. Inter-Korean Economic Body

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “DEFYING N.K. REJECTION, SEOUL TO FORGE AHEAD WITH INTER- KOREAN ECONOMIC BODY,” Seoul, 01/11/00) and The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “NK NEGATIVE OVER PRES. KIM’S PROPOSAL FOR S-N ECONOMIC COMMUNITY,” Seoul, 01/10/00) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that despite the DPRK’s rejection of ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s proposal for an inter-Korean economic cooperative body, the ROK will not cease in its efforts to make the idea a reality. Assistant Unification Minister Kim Hyung-ki said, “we regard Pyongyang’s initial response as neither a direct nor an official rejection. Either North Korea doesn’t fully understand what our proposal means or they are indicating their intention to stall for more time to weigh the proposal.” An editorial in the Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the DPRK’s ruling Workers’ Party, stated, “North and South Korea agreed on a framework for economic cooperation and the necessary measures long ago. South Korea continues to propose meetings between research bodies, which have no practical power. This cannot be regarded as anything other than an attempt to shirk our earlier agreements.” Assistant Minister Kim said that the ROK does not regard the DPRK statement as a “blatant rejection. Instead, the editorial makes clear the North Koreans’ hopes for economic cooperation with South Koreans (in more direct and substantive ways).” However, DPRK experts said that the ROK’s plan for the economic community might look somewhat ineffective and unacceptable to the DPRK. Professor Lee Ki-tak of Yonsei University noted, “the government’s intention to bring North Korea to the dialogue tables through economic issues rather than political, military or ideological questions, demonstrates a very positive and pragmatic attitude. However, North Korea is already enjoying considerable benefits from joint ventures with South Korean private businesses, including the Hyundai Group. Why, then, would North Koreans want to bring the southern authorities, the last people they want to have dialogue with, into the current situation?”

5. DPRK Economic Policy

Joongang Ilbo (“NK EMPHASIZES SCIENCE FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY,” Seoul, 01/1000) reported that the DPRK has emphasized “science” as the basis for its economic policy this year, while sustaining last year’s plans for economic recovery. The DPRK’s party, military and youth organizations released information on their new science- oriented policy in a public announcement. Along with this new policy, the DPRK will continue to concentrate on fundamental industries and agriculture for economic recovery, while pointing out the importance of the productivity of every person or economic unit as they did last year. The DPRK has reportedly been considering the introduction of an incentive system to encourage workers’ productivity.

6. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “ROTH DUE IN SEOUL TO DISCUSS N.K., OTHER PENDING ISSUES,” Seoul, 01/11/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “ROTH TO VISIT SEOUL TO DISCUSS NK, BILATERAL ISSUES,” Seoul, 01/10/00) reported that an ROK official said Tuesday that US Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth will visit the ROK on January 15 for a series of talks with ROK officials on the DPRK and other issues concerning both the ROK and the US. During his two-day visit, Roth is scheduled to meet with ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong and ranking officials at the Unification and Defense Ministries. An anonymous official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said, “Roth and Jang will exchange views on the upcoming round of talks between the United States and North Korea in Berlin.” The official also said that Roth and Jang will discuss the recent progress in relations between Japan and the DPRK.

7. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Times carried an Associated Press article (Sang-hun Choe, “US RULES OUT PROBING ALL WAR MESSACRES,” Seoul, 01/10/00) which reported that the head of the US Army, Louis Caldera, said on January 9 that the US will not investigate every allegation of US forces killing unarmed civilians during the Korean War. Caldera said, “it is not possible to go back and investigate every firefight, every battle, that occurred during the three years of the Korean War.” Since the No Gun Ri investigation, more ROK victims have come forward with stories of alleged mass killings of civilians by US troops. Some have said that US jets strafed war refugees flooding the ROK’s roads in 1950-51, and have demanded compensation. In an interview with the Associated Press, Caldera said that the issue of compensation will be assessed once the investigation is complete. He also said that all loss of life was regrettable, but emphasized the need to establish whether civilians were killed intentionally.

The Korea Herald (“U.S. GROUP BEGINS INVESTIGATION ON NOGUN-RI KILLINGS,” Seoul, 01/11/00) and The Korea Times (“NOGUN-RI PROBE TO CONTINUE BEYOND MAY,” Seoul, 01/10/00) reported that a visiting US advisory group led by US Army Secretary Louis Caldera attempted to get at the truth of the No Gun Ri incident by questioning the survivors on a number of points, including the circumstances under which the US forces conducted air raids and detained Korean civilians who were fleeing the war. An ROK Defense Ministry official said, “the U.S. delegation’s visit was meant to be more than a field study. They wanted to make it a chance to console the villagers, thus the large size (18) of the delegation.” The group was scheduled to hold a joint meeting Tuesday with its ROK counterpart on cooperation measures, and then meet ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young. Accompanying Caldera is former US ambassador to the ROK Donald Gregg, leading Korean War historian Don Oberdorfer, former US Representative Paul McCloskey, former Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan, retired Colonel Kim Young-ok, and retired Marine Lieutenant General Bernard Trainor.

8. ROK First Lady to Visit US

The Korea Times (“FIRST LADY LEE TO VISIT US,” Seoul, 01/10/00) reported that ROK First Lady Lee Hee-ho will visit the US for five days from January 30 to February 4 to deliver a keynote speech at the US National Prayer Breakfast (NPB) to be attended by 500 political and business leaders, and diplomats, including US Vice President Al Gore. Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young announced that Lee will deliver the speech at the Hilton Hotel in Washington on February 2. Park said, “Senator Connie Mack (Republican, Florida) has organized the luncheon meeting.” Prior to her visit to the US capital, Lee will make a stopover at Los Angeles where she will hold a “signing ceremony” for the buyers of her English biography “Prayer for Tomorrow.”

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

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
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Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
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