NAPSNet Daily Report 11 July, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Agricultural Production
2. Discussion of DPRK at G8
3. Discussion of Taiwan at G8
4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
5. Cross-Straits Relations
6. PRC View of US Missile Defense
7. US Pending Legislation on PRC
8. PRC Navy
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Relations
2. DPRK-EU Relations
3. DPRK Leader’s Visit to ROK
4. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

I. United States

1. DPRK Agricultural Production

Agence France Presse (“HEATWAVE CAUSES SHARP DROP IN NORTH KOREA’S AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION,” Seoul, 7/11/00) and the Associated Press (“N. KOREA: NEWS MEDIA FORECAST ANOTHER BAD HARVEST,” Seoul, 7/11/00) reported that the DPRK said on Tuesday that its agricultural output would suffer a sharp drop this year because of a drought and a lengthy heatwave. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, “An unusually long spell of heat persisted in almost all areas of the DPRK until July 10 due to the effect of hot and dry air moving from vast areas of the Asian continent. In consequence, agricultural production this year is expected to suffer a sharp drop.” KCNA gave no figures to describe the production fall, but the UN Development Program figures show that the DPRK’s agricultural production has fallen 70 percent in the past four years.

2. Discussion of DPRK at G8

Agence France Presse (“GROUP OF EIGHT LIKELY TO GLOSS OVER NORTH KOREAN DIVISIONS,” Tokyo, 7/11/00) reported that experts said the Group of Eight (G8) powers meeting in Japan from July 12-13, they will likely downplay disagreements about how to deal with the DPRK’s ballistic missile program. A Japanese foreign ministry official said Japan hopes that the ministers will “back up the forward-looking move on the Korean peninsula situation, on the basis of the North-South summit and other developments.” However, the US may fear that detente in Korea undermines the overt reason for its national missile defense (NMD) system, while Russia is expected to use that fear as powerful leverage. Keio University professor Masao Okonogi stated, “Russia is concerned about the NMD. In that sense, it welcomed progress in inter-Korean dialogue which may help remove the North’s regional threat and the reason for NMD as well.” Shizuoka University professor Hajime Izumi said, “If the United States and Japan bring up North Korea’s military threat, Russia will probably call on the United States not to provoke the North with its missile defense program. I believe Putin will definitely say after stopping over in Pyongyang that the North is set in the right direction. Even at the G8, it must be very difficult to point out North Korea has changed little in military terms.” Teruo Komaki, chief analyst at Tokyo’s Institute of Developing Economics, said, “The United States is very worried about the possibility of progress in North-South economic relations without a solution to the missile issue. The G8 expressed concern over North Korean missiles at last year’s summit. But it is not seen likely to mention them directly this time because of the moratorium.” Charles Armstrong, a professor of East Asian affairs at Columbia University in the US, said that the G8 leaders will make a “rather vague and positive statement about their approval of a greater improvement in the relations between North and South Korea. I think they will be very vague about specifics because there are some fundamental disagreements among the G8 members about how to approach Korea at the moment.”

3. Discussion of Taiwan at G8

Reuters (“G8 BOW TO CHINA, KEEP TAIWAN OFF AGENDA,” Beijing, 7/11/00) reported that although the PRC has refused an invitation to take part in the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Japan, the G8 has also left Taiwan out of its agenda. In its annual security report, London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies called on leaders of the G8 to press for dialogue between the PRC and Taiwan this year. The report said, “The need for statesmanship has never been greater.” Experts said, however, that a combination of PRC lobbying, European fears of offending the PRC, and a weak new Japanese government desperate for summit success rule out a G8 statement on Taiwan. University of Tokyo professor Takashi Inoguchi said, “The Japanese government is not interested in making too much noise about the Taiwan issue.” He characterized Tokyo’s view as, “It’s noisy, difficult and troublesome, so better not to discuss it.” When asked about the summit, Chiu Kun-shuan, director of the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies at National Chengchi University in Taiwan said, “It’s simple – Taiwan is China’s internal affair. It’s obvious Communist China does not want to internationalize the Taiwan issue. It’s strategy is to first establish itself as a global superpower, which will make it easier to resolve the Taiwan problem at a later date.” However, some diplomats said that new PRC thinking on Taiwan could emerge this summer when top communist party leaders hold their annual policy retreat at the seaside resort of Beidaihe.

4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN CALLS FOR CONTINUED US ARMS SALES,” Taipei, 7/11/00) reported that Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian appealed to the US on Tuesday for persistent arms supplies, steps that he said would also be in the interest of the US. Chen said, “The US should continue to supply the Republic of China (Taiwan) with defensive weapons if the military development in the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is taken into consideration. To ensure security in the region will benefit the ROC but also complies with the US interest in the western Pacific region.”

5. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse (“CHINA SAYS BALL IS IN TAIWAN’S COURT,” Beijing, 7/11/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said on Tuesday that the ball was in Taiwan’s court and warned that a standoff cannot end until the Taiwanese government acknowledges that there is only one China. Sun said, “Our view is very clear. There’s only one condition that we have, that is acceptance of the one China principle. If you hear him accepting the one China principle you can say the ball is in our court.” Joseph Cheng, an academic at City University in Hong Kong, said, “The difficulty on Chen is that in the eyes of the Beijing leadership, one China refers to the PRC and in eyes of international community, one China also means PRC. He is trying to implicitly say the year 2000 is different from 1992 and that the principle should be subject to discussion, not be the basis for talks.”

6. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Agence France Presse (“CHINA WARNS US ANTI-MISSILE PLANS COULD UNDERMINE COMMITMENT TO DISARM,” Beijing, 7/11/00) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi on Tuesday warned that the PRC’s commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation could be affected by US plans to build an anti-missile defense shield. Sun said, “The international strategic balance and stability must be maintained and the legitimate security interests of any one country must not be undermined. China will decide its own policy on disarmament in accordance with the development of the anti-missile defense situation.” Sun also said that the US plans to set up a national missile defense system will disrupt the global strategic balance, obstruct nuclear disarmament, and undermine non-proliferation efforts. He said, “It will probably trigger a new arms race. This is in the interest of no country in the world, including the United States.”

The Wall Street Journal published an editorial (“WHY CHINA HATES NMD, 7/11/00) which said that one person who was probably happy to see the US missile defense program’s booster rocket fail this weekend was PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. The article noted that “for all the talk about first-strike capabilities in the context of a suicidal nuclear exchange, what is at issue for the Chinese is an exceedingly local obsession — Taiwan. China’s real concern is not fighting an all-out nuclear war with the U.S., but preventing America from coming to the defense of Taiwan. It should be added, incidentally, that as China sees it, a U.S. missile-defense might cause China to lose much of the political leverage it has gained over the U.S. by professing to keep North Korea’s missiles in check and by stirring the strategic weapons pot through exports of missile technology to Pakistan and Iran.” However, the writer notes, Taiwan is the real concern and all of threats directed against the US by the PRC are aimed at “neutralizing America’s will to fight.” The author added that the PRC’s threat would become less credible, however, if the US had even a partial missile defense in place. This is because “China would have to calculate that the U.S. would be more willing to risk an escalation of conflict in the Taiwan Strait with a partial missile shield in place. And according to all estimates, China would lose a conventional war against Taiwan, even if it did manage to severely damage the island’s economy. That calculus discourages China from belligerent behavior.” Therefore, the article concluded, “even though NMD is not aimed at depriving China of any nuclear deterrent, it would have important benefits in restraining its behavior and enhancing the security of East Asia.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 11, 2000.]

7. US Pending Legislation on PRC

The Washington Post (“PROPOSED CHINA SANCTIONS FAULTED,” 7/11/00, P.5) reported that US Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat said on July 10 that US Senate proposals for economic sanctions against the PRC are ill-conceived and undermine efforts to work with the PRC on curbing the spread of nuclear missiles. Eizenstat said, “In an effort to impose mandatory sanctions on China for weapons proliferation, with a low threshold of proof, it would diminish our ability to work with China on missile proliferation … and would threaten permanent normal trade relationships with that nation.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 11, 2000.]

8. PRC Navy

Agence France Presse (“CHINA’S ARMED FORCES PLEDGE KEY ROLE IN REGIONAL PEACE,” Kuala Lumpur, 7/11/00) reported that Huang Jiang, chief of staff of the PRC’s South Sea Fleet, said Tuesday at a welcoming ceremony for two PRC naval ships that the PRC’s navy has a key role in safeguarding “peace and stability” in the South China Sea. Huang said, “The Chinese armed forces’ role, especially the navy, will be to safeguard the existing peace and stability in the region, particularly in the South China Sea. We hold that all countries, big or small, are equal and should co-exist in friendly terms.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Relations

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SOUTH HOPES FOR HIGH-LEVEL TALKS WITH NORTH IN SEOUL,” Seoul, 07/11/00) reported that ROK officials said that the ROK hopes that the two Koreas will alternately hold high-level talks to discuss follow-up measures for the historic inter-Korean summit in their capital cities, starting in Seoul late this month. Officials said that the two sides have had contact, through either official or unofficial channels, to fine-tune the procedural details for the proposed follow-up talks. They added that the ROK hopes that a three to five-member delegation from each side, led by cabinet ministers, will meet before the month ends. The administration also expects that the planned ministerial talks will be held alternately in Seoul and Pyongyang, rather than Panmunjom, to further promote bilateral exchanges, as agreed on by the two nations’ leaders last month. The official also said that when the two governments complete initial discussions on a set of issues, including inter-Korean economic cooperation, at the minister-level talks, they will also launch consultations on Kim Jong-il’s reciprocal visit to Seoul.

The Korea Times (“SOUTH-NORTH HIGH-LEVEL TALKS TO TAKE PLACE LATE JULY,” Seoul, 07/10/00) reported that an ROK Unification Ministry official said that the ROK government will propose this week that the two Koreas hold high-level talks late this month to implement the June 15 accord signed by their leaders in Pyongyang. If the high-level talks are convened, ROK and DPRK officials are expected to launch a wide range of discussions on follow-up measures to the summit.

2. DPRK-EU Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “EU TO UPGRADE LEVEL OF DIALOGUE WITH NORTH KOREA IF ACCORD KEPT,” Seoul, 07/11/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “EU MULLS UPGRADING CONTACT WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/10/00) reported that a top European Union (EU) envoy said on July 10 that the EU is willing to upgrade the level of its political dialogue with the DPRK, provided that the DPRK faithfully implements the summit agreements it made with the ROK last month. EU Ambassador Frank Hesske said in a joint news conference with French Ambassador Jean-Paul Reau, “There is a possibility that the EU could hold higher-level talks with the North if it believes doing so contributes to bringing about peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Reau stated, “The EU will watch closely whether the North will observe the agreements and continue to hold talks with the South.” He also pledged that the EU would keep throwing its weight behind moves toward peace by the two Koreas, citing the EU’s contributions to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO).

3. DPRK Leader’s Visit to ROK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM JONG-IL COULD VISIT SEOUL THIS YEAR,” Seoul, 07/10/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung has said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il could come to Seoul as early as the end of the year. Kim made the statement on July 7 in a dinner meeting with senior members of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) at Chong Wa Dae. Kim said, “Chairman Kim’s reciprocal visit to Seoul could come as early as year-end, or by next spring at the latest.” In the Chong Wa Dae dinner, Kim said he told Kim Jong-il that his trip to Pyongyang should not be an isolated event and that the DPRK leader’s visit is essential to convincing the world of the two Koreas’ commitment to continuing dialogue.

4. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Yong-jong, “SOUTH TO SIGN INVESTMENT GUARANTEE WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/10/00) reported that ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu announced on July 8 that measures to actively carry out economic cooperation, including an investment guarantee agreement, would be discussed at talks between the ROK and the DPRK authorities. Park said, “following the high-ranking official talks between South and North Korea, the agreements to guarantee investment and prevent double taxation would be signed at working-level talks for economic cooperation. The major obstacles in South-North economic cooperation will be lifted through the agreements.”

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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Clayton, Australia

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