NAPSNet Daily Report 11 June, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 June, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 11, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-11-june-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Program
2. ROK on Agreed Framework
3. Inter-Korean Commerce Routes
4. US Forces in ROK
5. Editorial on Sino-US Relations

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Program

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “US SEEKS TO CONTROL N. KOREAN MISSILE PROGRAM: HUBBARD,” Washington, 6/11/01) reported that US Ambassador to the ROK, Thomas Hubbard, told The Korea Times that the US is seeking to restrict DPRK production and deployment of missiles exceeding certain ranges, as well as a complete ban on its exports of missiles. Hubbard said, “We had talks with them before. We made clear what we would like to see, which is an end to their exports of missiles, curtailment of production and deployment of missiles with certain ranges.” Although he did not specify the ceilings for the DPRK missile ranges that the US hopes to enforce, Hubbard apparently referred to the permissible level set by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The international regime aims to restrict the export of delivery systems and related technology of systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers. An ROK official said the US is seeking to have the DPRK join the MTCR as an ultimate goal of its missile nonproliferation policy. Hubbard indicated that the US will try to strike a deal on missile issues in exchange for incentives, such as the improvement of bilateral relations. He said, “I think North Koreans are interested in a better relationship with the United States.” Asked whether the US will hold a separate meeting with the DPRK to address missile issues, Hubbard said, “I think we are going to start by having comprehensive talks, as Secretary (of State Colin Powell) has indicated, and then see what will be next.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 11, 2001.]

2. ROK on Agreed Framework

The Los Angeles Times (Jim Mann, “US IS SEEN AS READY TO FULFILL 1994 NORTH KOREA REACTOR DEAL,” Washington, 6/11/01) reported that in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung Soo said on June 9 that he is confident the US George W. Bush administration will go forward with a deal negotiated by US President Bill Clinton to provide civilian nuclear reactors to the DPRK. Han said his talks with White House and US State Department officials last week convinced him that the administration “will abide by” the agreement the Clinton administration worked out with the DPRK in 1994. Han’s remarks represent the second indication in recent days that the Bush foreign policy team has decided to embrace many of the central elements of the previous administration’s DPRK policy. US and ROK officials say that, so far, the DPRK has not begun opening up for the inspections, which could take two or three years. The new target date for transfer of the two nuclear reactors to the DPRK is 2008. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 11, 2001.]

3. Inter-Korean Commerce Routes

The New York Times (Don Kirk, “KOREAS TO PERMIT REGULAR ROAD TRAVEL ACROSS BORDER,” 6/11/01) reported that the DPRK and the ROK have agreed to open the first regular ground route between the two countries as a result of negotiations between top executives of the Hyundai Group and DPRK officials on reducing the cost of tours to the DPRK. Kim Yoon Kyu, the president of Hyundai Asan, which operates tours to the Mount Kumkang region, confirmed on June 10 that DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee had agreed to permit access to the DPRK on the eastern end of the demilitarized zone. He said tourists would be permitted next year to travel by car or bus over a little more than eight miles of roads from ROK’s unification observatory to the base of Mount Kumkang. The opening of the land route carries implications for inter-Korean commerce and communications that go far beyond tourism. The only other route to the DPRK, through the truce village of Panmunjom on the western side of the demilitarized zone, is closed to traffic on all but occasional official visits.

4. US Forces in ROK

Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “US APACHE PILOTS TRAIN IN KOREA,” Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 6/10/01) reported that US Apache pilots of the 6th Cavalry Brigade at Camp Humphreys near Pyongtaek, 43 miles south of Seoul, fly several hundred hours of training a year – twice as much as their colleagues in the US. The US$14.5-million aircraft, a two-seater made by Boeing, is a veteran of the 1989 invasion of Panama, the 1991 Gulf War and peacekeeping in Bosnia. It was originally designed to destroy armored targets on land. In the event of war with the DPRK, the dozens of Apaches based in the ROK could engage in an offshore combat against DPRK patrol boats, landing craft and mini- submarines expected to stream down to try to drop special forces on ROK soil. There are 48 Apaches in the ROK. A third ROK-based squadron of 24 craft will return this year from the US with an upgraded version of the attack helicopter. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for June 11, 2001.]

5. Editorial on Sino-US Relations

The New York Times published an editorial (“CHINA VIEWED NARROWLY,” 6/10/01) which said that although the US George W. Bush administration has yet to articulate a fully formed PRC policy, there are unsettling indications that it may be inclined to see the PRC primarily as an emerging military threat. It wrote, “The United States cannot ignore the possibility that China will grow into a global military power in the decades ahead, but Washington’s handling of Beijing ought not to exaggerate the threat.” The editorial pointed to the PRC’s large but poorly trained and equipped military which “pose no real military threat to the United States and will not for many years to come.” The paper noted that the more complex problem is finding ways to encourage the PRC to use its growing regional power in peaceful and constructive directions. It continued, “Fashioning a realistic China policy will require a balanced approach to trade, diplomacy and geopolitics. Military concerns are part of the mix but should not be allowed to drive the larger relationship.” The editorial also noted that there is no question that the PRC has become more assertive “in its pursuit of regional goals like unification with Taiwan and control of offshore waters and mineral rights in the South China Sea.” However, it concluded, the problems can be more easily overcome if the US continues “the policy of active engagement with China on economic and arms control issues pursued by the past six administrations. If Mr. Bush hopes to build the “productive relationship” that he spoke of after the 24 American crew members were returned in April, he will have to keep military issues from disproportionately influencing dealings with Beijing.”

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Monash Asia Institute,
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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