NAPSNet Daily Report 11 October, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks
2. PRC Weapons Upgrades
3. Cross-Strait Relations
4. Taiwan Military Exercise
5. Clinton Signs PNTR
6. ASEAN Fails to Create Spratly Code of Conduct
7. Japan Solicits DPRK Help from PRC
8. Sino-Japanese Hotline
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Defectors
2. DPRK-EU Relations
3. DPRK Head Invited Cheju Governor
4. DPRK-US Talks
III. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK Invitation To Attend Party Celebration
2. DPRK Envoy’s Visit to U.S.
3. PRC-DPRK Relations
4. PRC’s View on Arms Race in Outer Space
5. PRC View on PRC-US Relations
6. PRC Premier’s Visit to Japan

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

Aerospace Daily (Linda de France, “COHEN MEETS WITH NORTH KOREAN DEFENSE OFFICIAL TODAY,” 10/11/00) reported that US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen will meet with Cho Myong Nok, the first vice chairman of DPRK’s National Defense Commission, Wednesday at the US Defense Department. While the US Defense Department was unable to discuss the specific details of the talks, Cho’s visit is seen as a move toward rapprochement between the US and the DPRK. US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley said, “Secretary Cohen will continue the substantive talks on a range of topics of concern to the United States including nuclear and missile issues.” Defense official said the Cohen-Cho talks will include items identified in a report produced by former defense secretary William Perry. Another Defense Department spokesman said, “Given the historic events taking place on the Korean peninsula at this time, the U.S. and North Korea agreed that this high level visit would provide an opportunity for discussions on issues central to peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the Asian Pacific region.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 11, 2000.]

New York Times (David E. Sanger, “NORTH KOREAN AT WHITE HOUSE, CONTINUING A WARMING TREND,” Washington, 10/10/00) and The Washington Post (Ellen Nakashima, “CLINTON MEETS SENIOR OFFICER OF NORTH KOREA,” 10/11/00) reported that officials described US President Bill Clinton’s hour meeting with Jo Myong Rok, first vice chairman of DPRK’s National Defense Commission, as polite but somewhat stiff. The content of the meeting, which included discussion of the DPRK’s efforts to become a nuclear power, missile proliferation and the search for the remains of US soldiers killed or captured in the Korean War, was less remarkable than the fact that it occurred at all. Clinton stopped short of describing the contents of a letter from the DPRK leader, delivered by Jo, but a senior administration official said it was a response to a letter from Clinton to Kim delivered last year. The official said, “It described Kim’s hopes and introduced General Jo, who clearly came here with discussions to talk about the full range of issues.” Donald P. Gregg, a former US envoy to the ROK who is chairman of the Korea Society, a nonprofit group, said, “Their relationship with us is beginning to move. If we’re going to move toward genuine improvement in our relations, we’re going to have to establish some kind of relationship with the North Korea military,” Gregg said. “The only one we’ve had up to now is one of bristling hostility.” [Ed. note: The New York Times article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 11, 2000.]

Associated Press (George Gedda, “KOREAN ENVOY SEEKS U.S. SECURITY,” Washington, 10/11/00) reported that Jo Myong Rok, , first vice chairman of DPRK’s National Defense Commission, met with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Wednesday morning. Jo outlined his concerns about DPRK’s security in a toast at a State Department dinner on October 10 presided over by Albright, but did not detail the steps the US must take. In the toast, Jo seemed upbeat about the prospects for closer ties, saying the “dramatic changes taking place on the Korean Peninsula clearly indicate the possibility of such dramatic changes due to take place between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the United States.” But he said, “Kim Jong Il will certainly make a very important political decision to turn the current bilateral relation of confrontation and hostility to a new relationship of friendship and cooperation and good will if and when the DPRK and our leadership are given strong and concrete assurances from the United States for the state sovereignty and territorial integrity for the DPRK.” In her toast, Albright said the US and DPRK must undertake a persistent search for solutions to their differences. Albright said, “President Clinton and Chairman Kim Jong Il have both made clear that hostility between our two nations in not inevitable, nor desired by our citizens, nor in the interests of our countries. That is why we must seize the opportunity to take the concrete steps required to open a new and more hopeful chapter in our relations.”

2. PRC Weapons Upgrades

Reuters (“U.S. REPORT DISCUSSES CHINA WEAPONS UPGRADES,” Washington, 10/11/00) reported that a report released by the Congressional Research Service on October 10 said the PRC has “significantly” upgraded its conventional arms by buying equipment from Russia and other countries in recent years. However, the report said it is unclear what effect this will have on the PRC’s ability to threaten Asian stability. The report said the PRC’s ability to take advantage of its new acquisitions will depend on many factors, including the quality of training to conduct joint military operations. The report said, “China has made some significant qualitative upgrades through foreign acquisitions but it remains to be seen how these acquisitions will be expanded and linked to other PLA improvements.” The report asserted that a full-scale attack on and invasion of Taiwan by the PRC military could require considerable joint operation and integration of air force, naval, missile and army units to have “some” chance of success. However, the report noted that PLA military exercises to date “have displayed little integration between air force and naval (as well as missile and army) forces.” Report researchers said, “A lack of integration between air and other units in such operations (as amphibious assault and close-air support) could easily prove disastrous. It is important to note that there are other factors important to PLA modernization, besides having foreign equipment.”

3. Cross-Strait Relations

Agence France Presse (“CHINA URGES CHEN TO BE MORE ‘CONCRETE’ ON REUNIFICATION,” Beijing, 10/11/00) reported that the PRC’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council (TAO) called on Taiwan Wednesday to be more “concrete” in its efforts to improve cross- Strait relations. The statement was seen as a response to the October 10 National Day speech by Taiwan President Chen Shui- bian. TAO spokesman Zhang Mingqing said, “Taiwan authorities (should) take concrete measures to improve cross-Strait relations. The Taiwan authorities (should) comply with the people’s desire and face up to the reality instead of avoiding it.”

4. Taiwan Military Exercise

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN FLEXES AIR FORCE MUSCLE AMID BEIJING THREAT,” Taipei, 10/11/00) reported that Taiwan’s air force on Wednesday demonstrated what it called its “new generation” of planes designed to ward off any military threat from the PRC. The display began with a formation fly past by five different aircraft over some 6,600 people from Taiwanese and PRC communities around the world at the Taiwan’s central Chingchuankang air base. The guests were invited for Taiwan’s “Double Ten” National Day celebrations on October 10. Before the performance, Chang Fu-mei, chairwoman of Taiwan’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, urged the pursuit of stable relations but also defended the need for an arms buildup. Chang said, “The two sides of the strait must dedicate themselves to peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region because history suggests war would only spawn hatred and hostility. However, under the growing Chinese Communist threat, we have to maintain sufficient defenses to ensure Taiwan’s constitutional democracy and the lives and property of the 23 million people in Taiwan.”

5. Clinton Signs PNTR

Reuters (“CLINTON SIGNS CHINA BILL, SENDS BARSHEFSKY FOR TALKS,” Washington, 10/11/00) reported that US President Bill Clinton signed into law on October 10 a historic bill granting permanent normal trade relations to the PRC and dispatched his top trade negotiator for urgent talks with PRC Premier Zhu Rongji in hopes of settling disputes that threaten the PRC’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Clinton said at a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, “Trade with China will not only extend our unprecedented economic growth, it offers us a chance to help to shape the future of the world’s most populous nation and to reaffirm our own global leadership.” The White House argues that besides boosting business, the PRC’s accession to the WTO will benefit national security. The hope is that freer trade will moderate the PRC’s actions as prosperity grows.

6. ASEAN Fails to Create Spratly Code of Conduct

Agence France Presse (“ASEAN WINS NO MOVEMENT FROM CHINA ON SPRATLYS CODE OF CONDUCT,” Hong Kong, 10/11/00) reported that diplomats from the PRC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) failed to reach an agreement Wednesday on a proposed code of conduct for territorial disputes in the South China Sea. One delegate said, “No specific consensus has been arrived at in that area.” The delegate said “a little progress” had been made in other areas, but added that no date had been set for further talks. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja said, “There must be specific mention on the principle of no new occupation. Otherwise, (we) don’t want a written code of conduct.” Diplomats said the PRC wants a much weaker formulation of the clause under which the claimants to the islands would undertake only to “refrain from any action that would complicate the situation,” a wording they say is already contained in existing agreements. The ASEAN draft explicitly stipulates a “halt to any new occupation of reefs, shoals and islets in the disputed area.”

7. Japan Solicits DPRK Help from PRC

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN TO WOO CHINA’S LEVERAGE TO OPEN NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 10/11/00) reported that analysts said the DPRK will be high on the agenda for talks between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. Analysts said Japan will ask the PRC to help further open the DPRK. Hajime Izumi, a professor at Shizuoka Prefectural University, said, “While Japan welcomes progress in the Korean dialogue, Japan’s concern about a North Korean military threat and its kidnapping issue remains deep.” Izumi added that “Mori will ask Zhu to use China’s influence on North Korea to lure the country to the international community” so that Japan and the DPRK can hold talks over pending issues under global standards. Mori and Zhu are also likely to show their joint support for an expansion of the DPRK-ROK dialogue. Izmi said, “The two leaders will confirm the importance of the dialogue between North and South Koreas. Therefore, Japan and China are likely to show their joint support for the Korean dialogue in order to maintain peace and stability in the region.”

8. Sino-Japanese Hotline

Kyodo News Service (“JAPAN, CHINA TO OPEN HOTLINE TO STAY IN TOUCH,” Tokyo, 10/11/00) reported that Japanese sources said Wednesday that Japan and the PRC open a hotline on October 13 to coincide with an upcoming visit to Japan by PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. Sources said the hotline will facilitate dialogue between Japanese and PRC leaders in case of emergency and enable the two sides to stay in close contact. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, “It is a politically symbolic gesture” to demonstrate the close relationship between the two countries. The two countries reached an agreement on establishing the hotline during PRC President Jiang Zemin’s visit to Japan in 1998.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Defectors

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS NUMBER 1,265,” Seoul, 10/11/00) reported that an ROK researcher said on October 10 that the number of DPRK defectors stood at 1,265 as of the end of September. Out of the total, 1,048 are living in the ROK, while the remainder have either died or immigrated to other countries

2. DPRK-EU Relations

The Korea Times (Sohn Suk-joo, “EU MEMBERS URGED TO EXPEDITE DIALOGUE WITH NK,” Seoul, 10/11/00) reported that the European Union (EU) has urged its members to accelerate political talks with the PDRK in a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxemburg on October 16. In the statement, the ministers advised its members to make a speedy dispatch of high-level special envoys from EU chair-country, France and the two other countries to the DPRK and to expedite political dialogue and human exchanges with the DPRK. The EU, which seeks a common foreign policy, will deliver its intent on the DPRK policy at the biennial Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) held in Seoul on October 20-21. However, the EU will likely to wait and see before finalizing policy on the DPRK by monitoring progress in talks between the DPRK and the US and analyzing shared information gathered through Sweden. Meanwhile, DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Nam-sun sent a letter of suggestion for normalized diplomatic relations to the EU and nine European nations including Britain, Germany and Spain in September

3. DPRK Head Invited Cheju Governor

The Korea Times (“KIM JONG-IL INVITES CHEJU GOVERNOR,” Seoul, 10/10/00) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has invited Cheju Governor Woo Keun-min and the island province’s people to visit the DPRK next spring. The invitation came from the North after the island provided 4,300 tons of citrus fruit to the DPRK, according to the governor.

4. DPRK-US Talks

Chosun Ilbo (“NK PROPOSES DROPPING MISSILE PROJECT AT WHITEHOUSE MEETING,” Seoul, 10/10/00) and Chosun Ilbo (“NK DEPUTY DEFENCE CHAIRMAN TO MEET US PRESIDENT,” Seoul, 10/10/00) reported that an informed source said on October 10 that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il’s special envoy Jo Myong Rok formally proposed a plan to abandon it’s long-range Daepodong missile development project if international society provides with financial assistance needed for launching of satellites in a third country during meetings with US President Bill Clinton. The source said the US side expressed favorable response to this proposal. Jo also delivered Kim Jong-il’s letter to Clinton outlining proposals to expand on progress the DPRK has made in easing tensions with US. US White House spokesman Jake Siewert said Kim’s letter spelled out a number of ways in which the DPRK “might further the exchange of ideas about how to lower tensions in the Korean peninsula.” Ambassador Wendy Sherman, the top US State Department official for DPRK policy, characterized the 45-minute meeting between Clinton and Jo as “very positive, direct and warm” and said, “they both agreed that the Inter-Korean summit has created an opportunity for this historic meeting here today.”

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK Invitation To Attend Party Celebration

Xinhua Daily Telegraph (“DPRK INVITES ROK TO ATTEND ITS PARTY CELEBRATION,” Pyongyang, 10/04/00, P3) reported that the Korean Central News Agency said on October 3 that the DPRK has invited leaders of the ROK’s political parties, organizations and individual personages to Pyongyang for the 55th anniversary of the founding of its Worker’s Party on October 10. The DPRK is said to have extended invitations to ROK’s six parties and 22 social organizations and individuals through the Panmunjom Liaison Office.

Xinhua Daily Telegraph (Gao Haorong, “ROK SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS WELCOME DPRK’S INVITATION,” Seoul, 10/04/00, P3) reported that some people in the ROK social organizations expressed their welcome on October 3 to the DPRK’s invitation for them to attend DPRK’s 55th anniversary of the foundation of the Worker’s Party, and hoped that their trip could be approved by the ROK government. Media reports said that most of the people on the invitation list held positive attitudes towards DPRK’s invitation. Until now, no decision is made concerning the invitation. Governmental officials were quoted by the local news agency as saying that ROK will take Inter-Korean relations, people’s inclination and political influence into consideration for the final decision.

People’s Daily (Wang Linchang, “ROK GOVERNMENT TURNS DOWN DPRK’S INVITATION TO ITS PARTY CELEBRATION,” 10/06/00, Seoul, P3) reported that, according to local news, ROK Government did not permit its governmental departments, parties, and social organizations to attend DPRK’s Workers’ Party’s birthday celebration. ROK relevant government Department was quoted as saying that ROK Government has decided not to accept DPRK’s invitation and not to ratify any applications, considering the political paint of the DPRK’s Workers’ Party’s 55th anniversary celebration

2. DPRK Envoy’s Visit to U.S.

China Daily (“DPRK ENVOY LEAVES FOR THE US,” Seoul, 10/09/00, P12) and China Daily (“DPRK ENVOY IN THE US FOR KEY TALKS,” San Francisco, 10/10/00, P12) and People’s Daily (Yan Feng, “CLINTON MEETS WITH DPRK SPECIAL ENVOY,” Washington, 10/11/00, P6) reported that representative of the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, Vice-Marshall Jo Myong-rok, left Pyongyang on October 8 for the US for the highest-level talks between the DPRK and the US since its founding. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim’s deputy will discuss how to improve two-way ties during his visit, from October 9 to 12. The US government officials are expected to talk to Jo about DPRK’s weapons programs and how to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The US hopes the three-day visit by Jo could further heal ties between the former Cold War enemies. Jo met with US President Bill Clinton on October 10 in the White House. The US State Secretary Albright was scheduled to host a dinner later that day for Jo, who is due to meet Defense Secretary William Cohen on October 11. Clinton called the meeting with Jo an “excellent start” to the three days of talks. However, neither sides release news to the media about the 45-minute Clinton-Jo talks.

3. PRC-DPRK Relations

People’s Liberation Army Daily (Che Yuming, “JIANG ZEMIN ATTENDS DPRK EMBASSY’S RECEPTION,” Beijing, 10/10/00, P1) and China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “TIES WITH DPRK TO DEVELOP FURTHER,” 10/10/00, P1) reported that the PRC and DPRK pledged to continue promoting bilateral ties. Prior to a reception held by the DPRK Embassy in Beijing to mark the 55th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK Workers’ Party, PRC President Jiang Zemin told DPRK Ambassador to Beijing Chu Chang-jun that it is the unswerving and long-term policy of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Government to consolidate and develop friendly ties with the DPRK. Jiang said such efforts are not only in accordance with the common wishes and fundamental interests of both peoples, but also conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region and the world at large. He also said the PRC is willing to work with the DPRK Workers’ Party, the DPRK Government and its people to ensure continuing friendly bilateral ties by enhancing cooperation. Chu said in his speech that the DPRK government has always treasured and worked to consolidate and develop ties with PRC. He spoke highly of PRC’s progress make under the guidance of the CPC and wished PRC greater achievements in the reunification.

Xinhua News Agency (“JIANG ZEMIN SENT LETTER TO CONGRATULATE DPRK’S WORKERS’ PARTY 55TH ANNIVERSARY,” Beijing, 10/09/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin, on October 9, sent a letter of congratulation to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il , applauding the achievements of the Korean people made under the guidance of the DPRK Workers’ Party in the past 55 years. Noting the Party’s long history of revolutionary struggle, Jiang recalled that it was under its leadership that the Korean people established the DPRK, safeguarded the country’s national sovereignty and dignity and made incessant progress in socialist construction. Jiang also said that in recent years, the Party has led the Korean people to make a series of remarkable achievements in building a socialist country with DPRK characteristics, in improving inter- Korean relations and in developing good relations with other countries.

4. PRC’s View on Arms Race in Outer Space

China Daily (“ARMS RACE OFF EARTH OPPOSED,” United Nations, 10/05/00, P5) reported that at the general debate of the First Committee of the 55th General Assembly session held on October 3, Hu Xiaodi, the PRC Ambassador on disarmament, voiced strong opposition to an arms race in outer space. Hu said that the stance is crucial for maintaining peace, security and stability on Earth. He added, “Outer space is the common property of mankind, and the peaceful exploitation of outer space is the common aspiration of humanity. The prevention of an arms space race and the prohibition of weapons systems in outer space will not only exempt outer space from wars, but also be crucial for maintaining peace, security and stability on Earth. Some people claim that there is no arms race in outer space at present,” he said. “But what worries us is that certain countries are trying to seek military superiority in outer space and strategic superiority on the Earth through outer space. Should this negative trend not be checked, there will be a weaponization of, or even an arms race in, outer space in the near future.” Regarding security, he said, “History tells us, security is both relative and mutual. One country can achieve security in its real sense only if it bases its own security on the common security of all countries.” Hu also noted the importance of the ABM Treaty and urged the strict observation of the treaty.

5. PRC View on PRC-US Relations

Contemporary International Relations (Yuan Peng, “ON THE CHARATERISTICS OF CURRENT SINO-US RELATIONS, No.9, 2000, pp.1-5) published an article on PRC-US relations. Yuan Peng, in his article, criticized the currently popular definitions on PRC-US relations. Yuan noted that heated debates have been carried on both in PRC and US on the characteristics of PRC-US relations, in which various definitions come out as “strategic partnership”, “competitive rivalry”, “potential adversary”, “not enemy and not friend” and the like. Since 1997, with the settlement of the framework of PRC-US “constructive strategic partnership”, it seems that the mainstream perception in PRC has focused on this theme. For the US, the “strategic competitive rivalry” relations with the PRC has been written into the Republican election platform. He concluded in the first part of his article that PRC and the US is not “strategic partnership”, which is only an expectation to the future bilateral relations, and is the result of subjective creativity rather than an objective description. Problems lie in PRC-US bilateral relations, in fact, are the same problems that have run through the contemporary world history. One is how an existing power co-exists with a rising power. The other is in what ways two ideologically and institutionally different countries avoid conflict. It has to be admitted that due to the dynamics in international and domestic situations, it is very difficult to find a stable position in the bilateral relations. Concluding by saying that the “strategic partnership” definition is too simple and lopsided, the writer continued to analyzed the rights and wrongs of the “strategic competitive rivalry” definition. Logically, the wording has no loopholes, because 1) as mentioned above, China and US has formed a kind of strategic relations, 2)relations among countries are intrinsically competitive, and 3) rivalry does not necessarily mean adversary. However, he wrote, the tendency of competitiveness between

6. PRC Premier’s Visit to Japan

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “AMBASSADOR: JAPAN WELCOMES ZHU’S VISIT,” 10/11/00, P2) reported that, Tanino Sakutaro, Japan’s Ambassador to PRC, said that keeping friendly relations between Japan and the PRC benefits the Asia-Pacific areas and the rest of the world. In an exclusive interview on October 10 before he left for PRC Premier Zhu Rongji’s visit, Tanino said, “Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and the Japanese people are looking forward to Premier Zhu’s upcoming visit to Japan.” He said Japan highly valued its relations with PRC, noting that he believed Zhu’s visit will further promote bilateral relations. Tanino said many issues will be touched upon by the two Prime Ministers, including the strengthening bilateral economic cooperation, the situation in the Korean Peninsula and the reform of the UN. He said that the Japanese government will continue to pursue the friendly policy toward PRC, and support PRC’s reform, opening-up and modernization drive. Tanino added, “Japan and China will jointly work to expand the cooperation on environmental protection.” He admitted that there are some problems existing in bilateral relations, but emphasized that keeping healthy and friendly ties is the main stream of bilateral relations. He said, “It is very important to peace and prosperity in Asia.” He also said that Japan suggested that the PRC, Japan, Russia and the US to establish a group to study the problems of Northeast Asia.

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