NAPSNet Daily Report 11 November, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 November, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 11, 1998,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States


1. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN LOBBIES TO JOIN INTL NUCLEAR PLAN IN N. KOREA-REPORT,” Taipei, 11/11/98) reported that Taiwan’s official Central News Agency quoted US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson as saying Wednesday that the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) will consider Taiwan’s request to join. Richardson said that the matter will be considered at an upcoming KEDO meeting by members Japan, the ROK, the US, and the European Union.


2. DPRK Underground Construction

The United States Information Agency (Jane A. Morse, “UNDERGROUND SITE THREATENS U.S.-NORTH KOREA PACT,” Washington, 11/10/98) reported that an anonymous senior US State Department official said Tuesday that the US will send a delegation of some dozen officials from the State Department, Defense Department, and the National Security Council to Pyongyang on November 16 to demand inspections of an underground construction site. The official said that the US delegation will make it clear during its three-day stay that failure to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site is in violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework. He stated, “We’re not going there to make threats; we’re going there to solve the problem. But this is not a typical negotiation in which we have something that they want, and they have something we want, and we figure out a way to meet in the middle.” He added, “the Agreed Framework has already been struck; and now, we have some pretty serious doubts about whether they are living up to their side of that deal. And if they can’t remove those suspicions … I have some serious doubts about whether we can go on.” He acknowledged that the Agreed Framework is not a treaty, saying, “The Agreed Framework is something which says both sides will live up to this as long as they want to, as long as they’re both satisfied with it.” He pointed out that, despite DPRK complaints about US slowness in delivering heavy fuel oil, it has not chosen to opt out of the agreement, “and we’ve always found ways to solve their areas of dissatisfaction.” He said that the US has collected “a great body of evidence” regarding the underground site, but refused to provide specifics. He added, “North Korea is a nation that is renowned for its tunneling. And they have put most of their important projects — things that have value to them — in underground facilities for decades.”


3. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

The Washington Post (Vernon Loeb, “RUSSIA RELEASES DOCUMENTS ON U.S. PLANES SHOT DOWN IN KOREAN WAR,” 11/11/98, A05) reported that Russian officials on Tuesday turned over 5,000 pages of documents and some film footage pertaining to US aircraft shot down by Soviet fighter planes during the Korean War. US Senator Robert C. Smith (R-N.H.), a member of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs, called release of the documents a “dramatic breakthrough,” adding that the information should help determine what happened to some of the 8,100 U.S. service members still listed as missing in action in Korea. Smith said the documents would take weeks to examine and are thought to contain detailed information about the date and place of shoot-downs, the kinds of aircraft involved, their wing numbers, and any indication of whether pilots ejected or were captured.


4. ROK-PRC Summit

The Associated Press (“S.KOREAN PRESIDENT VISITS CHINA,” Beijing, 11/11/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung arrived in Beijing Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with PRC President Jiang Zemin on Thursday. During his five-day visit, Kim also is scheduled to meet with Premier Zhu Rongji and other senior PRC leaders and visit Shanghai. Before leaving for Beijing, Kim stated, “Both countries have made great strides in the economic sector. Now it’s time to expand the relations for more comprehensive cooperation in such fields as politics, security, culture and tourism.” On the eve of the Jiang-Kim summit, officials from both sides agreed on a new treaty on fishing boundaries.


5. US Energy Secretary’s Taiwan Trip

Reuters (Christiaan Virant, “CHINA HITS OUT AT U.S. OVER TAIWAN, TIBET,” Beijing, 11/11/98) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao was quoted by state television as criticizing the US over a meeting between President Bill Clinton and the Tibetan Dalai Lama and a visit to Taiwan by Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson. Zhu stated, “We resolutely oppose and cannot accept this.” He urged the US to “immediately correct its own mistakes.” He added, “The U.S. actions completely violate the international norm for international relations of non-interference in internal affairs and mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.”

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “RICHARDSON LAUDS TAIWAN IN VISIT,” Beijing, 11/11/98, A29) reported that US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson met Tuesday with Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and read Lee a letter from President Clinton. Clinton’s letter said, “All of America admires the success of Taiwan’s democracy. I want all of you to know the high level of importance I personally attach to the United States’ relationship with Taiwan.”


6. South Asian Nuclear Development

The Associated Press (“U.S. PUSHES PLAN TO REDUCE INDIA-PAKISTAN TENSION-FEE REVIEW,” Hong Kong, 11/11/98) reported that the Far Eastern Economic Review on Wednesday quoted US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott as saying that the US is stepping up pressure on India and Pakistan to reduce the threat of nuclear conflict. Talbott stated, “We’re under no illusions that either country will alter or constrain their defense programs under duress or simply because we’ve asked them to.” He added that the US is urging the two countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, tighten export controls on sensitive materials and technologies, hold talks to resolve their territorial dispute, halt all production of weapons-grade fissile material, and adopt prudent constraints on development and deployment of missiles and aircraft capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction. He argued, “Unless both India and Pakistan exercise genuine restraint and great care, the delivery systems themselves could become a source of tension and could, by their nature and disposition, increase the incentive to attack first in a crisis.”


7. Indian Nuclear Tests

The Associated Press (“INDIA COULD HAVE CONDUCTED 6TH NUCLEAR TEST IN MAY: VAJPAYEE,” New Delhi, 11/11/98) reported that Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said Wednesday that India was ready to conduct a sixth nuclear test on May 13. Vajpayee said the decision to cancel the sixth test was taken in consultation with scientists who said the first five explosions had provided adequate data. He stated, “We are not testing for the sake of testing.”

II. Republic of Korea


1. DPRK Underground Construction

Chosun Ilbo (“US TO PRESS DPRK TO OPEN UP YONGBYON FACILITIES,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that Charles Kartman, the US special envoy to Korean peninsula peace talks, plans to inform the DPRK that the US will shelve the 1994 US-DPRK Geneva Accord unless the DPRK agrees to provide access to underground structures near Yongbyon that are suspected of being nuclear-related. Kartman is expected to visit the DPRK between November 16-18 to deliver the official position of the US, urging the DPRK to take due action. The diplomatic sources said that the US government has set its position that its diplomatic ties with the DPRK will improve only if the DPRK cooperates with the US in clearing suspicions that the facilities are nuclear-related. The US plans to make a site visit to the area before the end of next spring, the sources added. A high-ranking US State Department official said Wednesday that the US government has a wide range of evidence which indicates that the Yongbyon facilities are for production of nuclear arms and maintained that, while suspicion lingers, the Geneva Accord cannot be upheld.


2. Light-Water Reactor Project

Korea Herald (“KEDO MEMBERS AGREE TO SHARE COST TO DPRK REACTORS,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that after more than a two-month delay, members of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) have signed an agreement on cost-sharing for the light-water reactor project. The four executive board member countries of the signed the agreement in New York Monday, ROK officials said. The four key members are the ROK, the US, Japan, and the European Union. The signing had been scheduled for the end of August this year, but it was delayed after Japan pulled out at the last minute, following the DPRK’s launch of a missile over its territory. Under the cost-sharing plan, the ROK will put up 70 percent, or US$3.22 billion, while Japan will contribute US$1 billion for the US$4.6 billion project. The US and the European Union are expected to pick up the remainder. KEDO will provide the DPRK with two light-water reactors in accordance with the 1994 Geneva nuclear agreement made between the US and the DPRK.


3. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation

JoongAng Ilbo (“SAMSUNG TO INVEST $1 BILLION IN DPRK,” Seoul, 11/10/98) reported that Samsung plans to proceed with full scale economic cooperation programs with the DPRK, including construction of an electronics complex and the establishment of a general trading office. Samsung formulated a schedule for the programs at a restructuring committee meeting on November 10. A source at Samsung indicated that staff members are currently negotiating with DPRK officials and the company will dispatch a delegation to the DPRK soon. This source said, “Both sides will reach a conclusion and exchange agreement statements sometime in January 1999.” Samsung will invest US$1 billion into constructing a world class electronics complex that will include production facilities for home appliances (US$200 million), audio and video (US$100 million), communications (US$100 million), parts (US$500 million), and others (US$100 million). This complex will hire 30,000 workers in total and produce color TVs, VCRs, refrigerators, washing machines, cellular phones, monitors, and semi-conductors. Another source at Samsung said, “We consider the optimum location of the complex to be Haeju near the Demilitarized Zone, followed by Nampo.” Samsung also plans to open a general trading office in Pyongyang that will handle finance. The source explained, “We will form a special task force for these projects in the DPRK.”


4. ROK-DPRK Joint Music Festival

Korea Herald (“ROK-DPRK JOINT MUSIC FESTIVAL IN PYONGYANG PROVES TO BE SUCCESS,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that the first “Yun Isang Unification Music Festival,” held in Pyongyang November 3-5 featuring musicians from the ROK and the DPRK, ended successfully. It marked the first true joint musical exchange between musicians of the two Koreas. ROK soloists and conductors collaborated with DPRK orchestras. The two Koreas came together once before in the 1990 Year-end Unification Traditional Music Concert, held in Seoul and Pyongyang, but troupes from each country performed separately then. “The audience response to ROK musicians, however, was noticeably different from the 1990 performances. There were countless curtain calls and applause in the middle of the show, which is an unusual sight in the DPRK,” said Choi Hak-rae, secretary-general of the Hankyoreh Foundation for Reunification and Culture, which organized the festival. Choi headed the 12-member ROK music team. According to Choi, the DPRK side of the Yun Isang Music Festival organizing committee has largely agreed to the ROK’s proposal to hold a second edition of the festival in Seoul soon, possibly next year. “The DPRK accepted our invitation heartily. Given the political tension between the two Koreas, however, they couldn’t give us a timetable,” Choi said.


5. ROK-PRC Summit Meeting

Chosun Ilbo (“ROK AND PRC TO STRENGTHEN DIPLOMATIC TIES,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung arrived in Beijing Wednesday for a state visit to the PRC and plans to hold summit talks with PRC President Jiang Zemin at the Chinese Great Hall of the People on Thursday. The two leaders are expected to exchange opinions on how to solidify the bilateral relationship of their countries. Since establishment of full diplomatic ties in 1991, the ROK and the PRC have pushed ahead with bilateral economic cooperation, and both nations have become the others’ third largest trading partner in recent years. On the occasion of Kim’s visit, the two governments are expected to reinforce economic ties and strengthen partnership in other areas such as politics, security measures, and cultural exchange. As the PRC is still an ally of the DPRK, President Kim plans to lobby his PRC counterpart to exert his country’s influence on the DPRK to help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.


6. Controversy about Professor Choi

Chosun Ilbo (“COURT IMPOSES TEMPORARY BAN ON CHOSUN ILBO,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that the Seoul District Court made an interim disposition Wednesday which restricted the Chosun Ilbo group from commenting on chief presidential policy planning advisor Professor Choi Jang-jip’s writings and books on the Korean War. While the court agreed that freedom of the press allows investigation of issues regarding officials in sensitive positions, it ruled that the Monthly Chosun must halt distribution of its November edition until it removes the article. The rest of the group was ordered not to distribute any publication regarding issues related to Choi’s writing until final settlement of his 500 million-won lawsuit against the company. The court said that, in Choi’s writings, the word “historic” was not used in a positive sense, but a neutral one stressing the importance of an event in history, and the Monthly Chosun in implying it as being used positively misled the public. Additionally, use of the phrase “national liberation war” was not Professor Choi’s view but the reason he ascribed to the DPRK thinking behind the war, and so once again the Monthly Chosun misled its readers as it said that this was Choi’s viewpoint.


7. ROK Arms Purchases

Korea Times (“ROK OVERCHARGED W1 TRILION IN BLACK HAWK PURCHASE,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that a ruling coalition lawmaker claimed Tuesday that the Defense Ministry had paid up to 1 trillion won more than other countries for the purchase of 141 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. In the National Assembly inspection of the ministry, Representative Lee Dong-bok of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) claimed that the losses occurred in the direct purchase of three deluxe Black Hawks from US helicopter maker Sikorsky and the production of 138 by Korean Air (KAL) under license from Sikorsky. Citing remarks made by a US procurement consulting firm, Triam Associates, Representative Lee said, “Three deluxe Black Hawks the ministry bought in 1990 were priced at US$7.66 million per unit, 47.8 percent to 61.7 percent higher than the price paid for the same type of chopper by the US Army and Egypt. As for the 138 being built by KAL, the unit price ranged from US$9.60 million to US$11.97 million, including local production costs, which were about US$5 million higher than the comparable prices.” In conclusion, Representative Lee said that the ROK is feared to bear a total cost of 1 trillion won for the 141 Black Hawks, while calling on the ministry to investigate the suspicions thoroughly to get to the bottom of the matter. In response, the Defense Procurement Agency (DPA) admitted to the suspicions and said that investigations are under way.


8. ROK-Denmark Environmental Pact

Korea Herald (“ROK, DENMARK SIGN ENVIRONMENTAL PACT,” Seoul, 11/11/98) reported that ROK Environment Minister Choi Jae-wook, now attending the UN conference on climatic change in Buenos Aires, signed a memorandum of understanding on environmental cooperation with his Danish counterpart Svend Auken on Wednesday. Under the memorandum, the two countries will exchange environmental information and personnel and cooperate on nine sectors such as “clean” production, treatment of toxic chemicals and wastewater, and preservation of biodiversity. The signing of the memorandum is expected to greatly benefit the ROK since Denmark had advanced know-how in the field of clean production and treatment of water pollution, the ROK environment ministry said.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
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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