NAPSNet Daily Report 11 June, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 June, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 11, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-11-june-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

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1. US Sanctions on DPRK

Voice of America (John Larkin, “SOUTH KOREA / SANCTIONS,” Seoul, 06/11/98) reported that the ROK’s semi-official Yonhap News Agency quoted ROK government officials traveling with President Kim Dae-jung in Washington as saying that ROK Foreign Affairs Minister Park Chung-soo and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright agreed to meet in July to discuss the issue of relaxing sanctions against the DPRK. The officials said that the meeting would address the scope and timing of an easing of economic sanctions. The report said that some political analysts in the ROK are urging the ROK government to stand back on the issue and give the DPRK an opening for direct talks with the US on sanctions.

The Associated Press (“KIM ASKS HILL TO EASE N. KOREA SANCTIONS,” Washington, 06/11/98, A17), Reuters (Jackie Frank, “KIM: U.S. SUPPORT NEEDED FOR S.KOREAN RECOVERY,” Washington, 06/10/98) and the Washington Times (Gus Constantine, “KIM SEEKS AMERICAN BUSINESS, RAPPROCHEMENT WITH N. KOREA,” 06/10/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae- jung on Wednesday urged a joint session of the US Congress to ease US sanctions on the DPRK. At the same time, Kim warned, “No armed provocation by North Korea will be tolerated — under any circumstances.” He pledged that the ROK will not to attempt to undermine the DPRK government or reunify through absorption. He added that the state of hostility on the border “must change” through exchanges and cooperation. Kim also called on foreign investors to invest in the ROK to help it out of its current economic crisis. He predicted that by 2000, the ROK will be back on a path to growth and “will become one of the best countries for international investors to freely and safely do business.”

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2. US-PRC Relations

United Press International (“CLINTON SEES CHINA KEY TO ASIAN PEACE,” Washington, 06/11/98), Reuters (CLINTON DEFENDS CHINA POLICY,” Washington, 06/11/98) and the Associated Press (Terence Hunt, “CLINTON ANSWERS CHINA TRIP CRITICS,” Washington, 06/11/98) reported that US President Bill Clinton on Thursday praised the PRC for its efforts to slow the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, calling the PRC the key to “any ultimate resolution of this matter.” Clinton stated, “Because of its history with both countries, China must be a part of any ultimate resolution of this matter.” He also credited the PRC with helping to convince the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program and helping to calm the Asian financial crisis. Clinton said he would use his visit to the PRC to press President Jiang Zemin on other security matters, including asking him to aggressively pursue peace talks with Taiwan and take stronger actions to help stop the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. He argued that US engagement with the PRC helped convince it to take stronger actions to prevent weapons proliferation.

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3. Alleged Missile Technology Transfer to PRC

Reuters (John Whitesides, “FOREIGN LAUNCHES OF U.S. SATELLITES RISKY-ANALYST,” Washington, 06/10/98) reported that Katherine Schinasi, an associate director for the Congressional General Accounting Office, said on Wednesday that launching US satellites on foreign rockets creates inherent security risks no matter what procedures are used to evaluate and control the process. Schinasi stated, “The planning of a satellite launch with technical discussions and exchanges of information taking place over several months involves risk no matter which agency is the licensing authority.” She added that changes in export control policies in recent years have lessened the Defense Department’s influence in the decision-making process and created a system where technical information may not be as clearly controlled.

The Washington Post (John Mintz, “NSC PAPERS TRACE CONCERNS ON EXPORT WAIVERS FOR CHINA,” 06/11/98, A10) reported that declassified White House documents show that US President Bill Clinton in 1993 approved deals with the PRC to launch US-made satellites despite evidence that the PRC had sold ballistic missile parts to Pakistan. The documents show that Clinton approved every satellite export to the PRC that was presented to him after aides laid out the national security risks and explained the number of US jobs the deals would help create. An unnamed senior Clinton administration official was quoted as saying, “I see a lot of continuity between the Bush and Clinton approaches in these documents. Both have tried to use these satellite exports to give China incentives to honor their commitments” in international agreements such as the Missile Technology Control Regime.

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4. PRC Reaction to South Asian Nuclear Tests

The Associated Press (“CHINA LECTURES INDIA FOR USING IT TO JUSTIFY NUCLEAR TESTS,” Beijing, 06/11/98) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said Thursday that the PRC, during low-level border negotiations with India Monday and Tuesday, criticized India for using alleged security threats from the PRC to justify its nuclear tests. Zhu stated, “The Chinese side pointed out that recently Indian leaders repeatedly issued remarks slandering China, seriously hurting the feelings of the Chinese people and undermining the sound atmosphere for improving bilateral relations.” He added that “the Chinese side strongly urged the Indian side to immediately stop all unwarranted accusations against China and act concretely” to improve relations. Indian embassy spokesman Krishan Varma responded that India’s negotiators did not trade condemnations and that their PRC counterparts were not wholly unwilling to discuss the issues of resolving the disputed boundary and easing tensions on the border. Varma stated, “It is really not a question of accepting allegations of the so-called slander statements. They had their statement, and we urged them to continue making progress.”

The Los Angeles Times carried an analytical article (Rone Tempest, “INDIA’S NUCLEAR TESTS JOLT ITS RELATIONS WITH CHINA,” Beijing, 06/11/98) which said that the recent nuclear tests by India have caused the PRC to change its rhetoric regarding nuclear weapons. The article quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying that PRC officials “have adopted a vocabulary, maybe not as a superpower but certainly as a world power. They are playing the part of one of the big boys–a role that they avoided in the past.” Jonathan Pollack of the Rand Corp. argued that the PRC, as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, has come to view itself as a “stakeholder” in the nuclear weapons race. He stated, “For their own interests, they want it to be a small club.” He added, “The Chinese came out of this thing smelling pretty good. The tests gave them something to talk about with Clinton…. This was India’s gift to U.S.-China relations.” James R. Sasser, US ambassador to the PRC, confirmed that the main subject for discussion at US President Bill Clinton’s summit this month with PRC President Jiang Zemin is likely to be the question of nuclear proliferation in South Asia. Meanwhile, a diplomatic source said that India’s nuclear testing will likely not be a permanent setback to PRC-Indian relations. He stated, “The relationship suffered a bit of a jolt as a result of the testing, but it is still not off the rails.”

Dow Jones Newswires (“CHINA SEEN TAKING CAUTIOUS STANCE ON PAKISTAN NUCLEAR TESTS,” Hong Kong, 06/11/98) reported that James Lilley, former US Ambassador to the PRC, said Thursday that the PRC is likely to take a cautious stance on Pakistan’s tests on nuclear weapons as it is trying to establish a strategic relationship with that country. He added that such a “strategic relationship begins to make sense” in northwestern Asia if both countries want more stability in the region to enhance economic growth.

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5. Japanese Reaction to South Asian Tests

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN URGES TALKS ON INDIA, PAKISTAN SHOWDOWN – KYODO,” Tokyo, 06/11/98) reported that, according to Kyodo News, a high-ranking Japanese Foreign Ministry official said Thursday that Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi has sent letters to about 30 nonnuclear countries urging them to hold foreign ministerial talks on nuclear problems, possibly on the occasion of the UN General Assembly in September. Meanwhile, Japan’s House of Councillors Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense unanimously adopted a resolution urging the government to take every possible action for nuclear disarmament, including boosting international opinions against nuclear arms and supporting dialogue between rivals India and Pakistan.

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6. G8 Meeting on South Asian Tests

Reuters (Narayanan Madhavan, “INDIA ASKS G8 TO BE POSITIVE ON N-PROPOSALS,” New Delhi, 06/10/98) reported that the Indian Foreign Ministry released a statement urging the Group of Eight (G8) to respond positively to its disarmament proposals at their meeting in London Friday. The statement said, “Any action on the part of the G8 which does not take these proposals into account is short-sighted and will be counter-productive. We would expect a positive response to our initiatives from those who claim to speak for the international community, rather than prescriptive and coercive suggestions which are neither responsible nor constructive.” It added, “Our reaction to the pronouncements in recent weeks of the U.N. Security Council, G8 and P5 countries makes it clear that India categorically rejects any suggestions for curtailing our nuclear weapon or missile development programs. These are decisions to be taken by the Government of India on the basis of its own assessments and national security requirements.”

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7. Risk of Subcontinental Nuclear War

United Press International (“ALBRIGHT WARNS OF NUCLEAR DANGERS,” Washington, 06/10/98) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Wednesday that the danger of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan due to miscalculation is “high.” Albright added, “A nuclear exchange of even limited nature would kill not thousands, but millions, and depending on the winds, even a unilateral attack could destroy untold lives on both sides of the border.”

Reuters (Mohammad Ilyas, “PAKISTAN SAYS KASHMIR MAJOR FLASHPOINT,” Islamabad, 06/11/98) reported that Pakistani Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said on Thursday that the dispute over Kashmir could trigger an Indo-Pakistani nuclear war “at any time.” Ayub stated, “Occupied Kashmir today constitutes the world’s only flashpoint, the major flashpoint.” He added, “With both India and Pakistan last month acquiring nuclear weapons and advanced delivery systems, this conflict can erupt any time into a nuclear conflict for the mere fact that in Europe and the former Soviet Union there was no territorial dispute or call for the right of self-determination.” Ayub argued that during the Cold War, “The difference between (Western) Europe and the Soviet Union was one of ideology and the systems. That’s why nuclear weapons were a means of not having a conflict. But between India and Pakistan it is further heightened by the mere fact that nerves are raw on both sides, tension can any time erupt and then the distance between India and Pakistan is hardly there.” He pointed out that India’s Prithvi missiles could hit targets in Pakistan within four minutes of launch. He added, “And who on earth will determine whether that missile is tipped with a conventional or nuclear warhead?” Khan said that as a result of last month’s nuclear tests, “the power factor or regional factor has shifted from India to Pakistan…. Today Pakistan is the nuclear power in the region, not India.”

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8. Pakistan Nuclear Test Ban

The Associated Press (“PAKISTAN ANNOUNCES NUKE TEST BAN,” Islamabad, 06/11/98) reported that Pakistan Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan on Thursday announced a moratorium on further nuclear testing. Ayub stated, “We wanted to clarify our position … so there would be no confusion that we will unilaterally agree to a moratorium on testing.” His ministry announced the ban in a statement, which suggested that a test ban pact with India could be the first “confidence-building measure at the regional level.” The statement also said that India and Pakistan “should address, on a priority basis, the issues of peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.” UN spokesman Fred Eckhard on Thursday said that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the moratorium and hoped that India and Pakistan will now consider joining the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-DPRK Student Exchange

A high ranking government official said Wednesday that the ROK does not intend to totally refuse the DPRK’s suggestion to begin an exchange program for students of the two countries. The program would allow students to visit with their DPRK counterparts and join exchange programs in accordance with the law. It was learned that the government decided on this policy at the National Security Council meeting last week, and will develop a detailed plan following ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s return from his US visit. The DPRK’s Kim Il-sung University sent an open invitation to Hanyang University, proposing a joint survey of historic locations. Similarly Pyongyang Machinery University proposed to Dongkuk University to sponsor tours to scenic areas in Kangwon Province; Hamhung Hydrolics College proposed to Kyongbuk University to hold a soccer match; Hamhung Chemical Industrial and Rahjin Marine Colleges proposed to hold an open discussion forum on unification with Kyemyong and Kyungsung Universities; and the Sariwon Geology College also proposed a soccer match with Aju University. (Chosun Ilbo, “SOUTH-NORTH STUDENT EXCHANGE TO BE ALLOWED,” 06/11/98)

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2. ROK-US Relations

US President Bill Clinton said at a joint news conference following a series of talks with ROK President Kim Dae-jung Tuesday afternoon that the two presidents shared opinions about US assistance to solve the ROK economic crisis and the engagement policy for the DPRK. Clinton said that the US will continue its strong support for the ROK economic reform effort. In this regard, he reaffirmed that financial assistance would be offered if necessary under appropriate conditions. However, he added that since the ROK is doing well at the moment, such assistance may not be necessary. He also announced full-scale support of President Kim’s reconciliation policy, and expressed hope that the DPRK side would respond to this initiative. Commenting on sharing the costs of supplying heavy oil to the DPRK , he indicated that he would not demand that the ROK share in the payments, saying that the US Government is doing everything to cover the costs. Kim said that developing ROK-DPRK relations and improvements between the US and the DPRK should be carried out in harmony with each other. Kim said that he also expressed to Clinton that it would be desirable to gradually ease sanctions against the DPRK in tandem with ROK-DPRK cooperation and exchanges. Following the news conference, President Kim made a speech at a joint session of the US Congress on Wednesday morning. (Chosun Ilbo, “CLINTON PLEDGES FULL SUPPORT OF KOREA’S REFORM PLAN,” 06/11/98)

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3. DPRK Famine

A high ranking government official said Wednesday that the general situation in the DPRK is improving, and grain prices on the farmers’ market are gradually falling. He said that before there had been a limit of 150 square yards of land per family for non-communal self-sustenance agricultural use, but the limit has been increased to 2,100 square yards per family. The International Red Cross Association also revealed that in Kyesong and Sariwon, a daily ration of 100 grams of rice per person has been resumed since mid- March. The Red Cross report also stated that aid goods given by ROK private organizations and individuals through the Red Cross have been distributed to families, with priority going to the elderly, handicapped people, widows, and families with many children. (Chosun Ilbo, “NORTH FOOD SITUATION IMPROVES: GOVERNMENT,” 06/11/98)

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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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