NAPSNet Daily Report 11 November, 1997

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 November, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 11, 1997,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK-Sri Lanka Military Incident

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“SRI LANKA/N KOREA SHIP-2:FOUND CARRYING FERTILIZER,NOT ARMS,” Colombo, 11/11/97) reported that Commodore Sarath Weerasekera, a Sri Lanka Navy spokesman, said Tuesday that the navy on Monday night released a DPRK cargo ship that it had seized on suspicion of carrying arms for Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Sri Lankan investigators found the ship to be carrying fertilizer to the south Indian port of Madras from Dubai in the Persian Gulf, Weerasekera said.

2. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks

Reuters (“JAPAN GROUP MEETS KIM AIDE IN NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 11/11/97) and the AP-Dow Jones News Service (“JAPAN DELEGATION OFF TO N KOREA IN BID TO NORMALIZE TIES,” Tokyo, 11/11/97) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news agency said that on Tuesday a delegation from Japan’s ruling coalition, led by Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the general affairs council of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), held talks in Pyongyang with Kim Yong-sun, Secretary of the central committee of the DPRK’s Workers’ Party of Korea. The Japanese delegation was invited by the Workers’ Party to help begin resumption of talks on normalization of relations. The DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency said that the delegation also held a meeting with central committee members. The Japanese group was also scheduled to meet DPRK Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam. Mori has requested a meeting with Kim Jong-il, but it was not clear if the meeting will take place.

3. US-PRC Relations

Reuters (“U.S. ENVOY MEETS CHINESE FOR SECURITY TALKS,” Beijing, 11/11/97) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott on Tuesday met with PRC Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and Defense Minister Chi Haotian for talks on security issues. Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said that Talbott’s visit “is part of the discussion mechanism set up by the two nations after President Jiang Zemin’s visit to the United States.” He added, “We believe [Talbott’s] talks in China and exchange of opinions will be conducive to further strengthening cooperation between the two nations in security matters.” Talbott is scheduled to leave Beijing Wednesday for Japan.

4. PRC-Japan Relations

Reuters (“CHINA PM TO TOUR JAPAN AMID REGIONAL RAPPROCHEMENT,” Tokyo, 11/11/97), Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN, CHINA DISCUSS DEFENSE, REGIONAL TRADE,” Tokyo, 11/11/97), and the AP-Dow Jones News Service (“CHINA PREMIER LI PENG ARRIVES IN JAPAN: TO MEET PM TUESDAY,” Tokyo, 11/11/97) reported that PRC Premier Li Peng on Tuesday met with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto in Japan. A Japanese foreign ministry official said that the two leaders agreed that the PRC would send Defense Minister Chi Haotian to Japan as part of efforts to promote bilateral security dialogue. They also confirmed that PRC President Jiang Zemin would visit Tokyo next year. Li also invited Japanese ministers to Beijing in return. During their talks, Hashimoto told Li, “The role of the United States in the Asia Pacific region is … necessary and important for the stability of the region.” Li responded, “The government and people of China have grave concerns. The new [US-Japan] defense guidelines should be defense-oriented.” The summit was scheduled to mark the 25th anniversary of the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations. A Japan Foreign Ministry official stated, “Japan hopes for forward-looking talks on international, regional and environmental problems that do not get hung up on history and other problems.” In addition to his talks with Hashimoto, Li is scheduled to meet Emperor Akihito, leading lawmakers and business leaders.

5. PRC-Taiwan Relations

Reuters (“CHINA TRIES TO PERSUADE TAIWAN TO TALK,” Beijing, 11/11/97) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang on Tuesday called on Taiwan to resume negotiations to end the state of hostility between the two. Shen also reiterated the PRC’s stance that “The People’s Republic of China is the sole, legitimate government representing all China. Taiwan is a part of China.”

6. Taiwan Independence

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING,” USIA Transcript, 11/10/97) responded to reports that President Li Teng-hui said that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state by saying that there is no change in the US position or policy. Rubin stated, “We recognize the Peoples’ Republic of China as the sole, legal government of China, and acknowledge the Chinese position that there is one China, and that Taiwan is part of China.” He added that the US does not support “Taiwan independence or Taiwan’s membership in the United Nations.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Military in ROK

ROK officials said Monday that US Forces Korea (USFK) will return to the ROK government about 6 million pyong (4,900 acres) of land in Tongduchon used as military training sites. Defense Minister Kim Dong-jin and US Secretary of Defense William Cohen are expected to sign the agreement during their annual Security Consultative Meeting this Friday in Seoul, officials said. The site to be returned is about one-third of the land currently used by US troops in the city. An ROK defense ministry report said that the USFK occupies more than 80 million pyong (65,500 acres) in 96 locations countrywide used as military bases, training sites and shooting ranges. In July, both sides formed special negotiating teams to discuss terms for the proposed return of land or relocation of American military bases, such as Camp Hialeah in Pusan, to less central locations. The ROK defense ministry estimated the total value of property used by USFK to be more than 10 trillion won. They said commercial rent on the land would have garnered about US$1.84 billion in 1993. (Korea Herald, “KOREA, US AGREE ON RETURN OF MILITARY SITE IN TONGDUCHON,” 11/11/97)

2. ROK-Japan Fishing Rights Dispute

The ROK foreign ministry announced Monday that the Japanese Prosecutors Office suspended the indictment of Captain Lee Mong-koo of the ROK ship Kaerimho, which was captured for illegally trespassing into the Japanese exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Lee and three of his crewmen were released from Tsushima Island. The five previous captains of ROK fishing boats captured since last June have all been either indicted by the Summary Court or appeared before a full trial. (Chosun Ilbo, “JAPAN RELEASES CAPTURED FISHING BOAT CREW,” 11/11/97)

3. DPRK Studies in ROK

Park Jae-kyu, President of the ROK’s Kyungnam University, said Monday that a specialized graduate school of DPRK studies will be established. The school will be associated with Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies. The school will open next year with an annual admission quota of thirty students. (Joongang Ilbo, “SPECIALIZED GRADUATE SCHOOL FOR DPRK STUDIES TO BE ESTABLISHED,” 11/11/97)

4. PRC-Russian Summit

PRC President Jiang Zemin greeted Russian President Boris Yeltsin with a bear hug Monday as the two held their fifth Sino-Russian summit. “Here is the formula for our relations – a strategic partnership based on personal trust between the presidents of China and Russia,” Yeltsin told a media briefing after the summit. The two presidents marked their second summit with a frontier demarcation treaty along their 4,300 kilometer (2,700 mile) border. However, the sovereignty of three islands on the Amur river still remains unresolved, and both sides have decided to concentrate on a resolution of that issue. Yeltsin and Jiang coupled the border treaty with a major economic agreement to build a US$12 billion gas pipeline from Kovytkin in Siberia to the northeastern PRC. The framework agreement was signed by Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov after the summit. Human rights questions are not expected to figure prominently in the summit in the way that they dominated the Sino-US summit late last month, but Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov made a pointed reference to Russia’s democracy late Sunday. (Korea Times, “YELTSIN-JIANG SUMMIT ENDS BORDER DISPUTE,” 11/11/97)

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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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