NAPSNet Daily Report 12 April, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 April, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 12, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-12-april-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Preparations for ROK-DPRK Summit
2. DPRK Views of Summit
3. ROK Views of Summit
4. US View of ROK-DPRK Summit
5. ROK Election
6. US-PRC Proliferation Talks
7. PRC View of US Missile Defense
8. Israel Arms Sales to PRC
9. Taiwan Chemical Weapons
II. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK-ROK Summit
2. PRC View on DPRK-ROK Summit
3. DPRK-Japanese Talks
4. Bombing of PRC Embassy
5. Alleged Technology Transfers to PRC
6. The Taiwan Issue
7. PRC View of New Japanese Government
8. Chinese View on NMD
9. Russian View on ABM Treaty

I. United States

1. Preparations for ROK-DPRK Summit

Reuters (“TWO KOREAS MAY HOLD PREPARATORY TALKS IN BEIJING,” Beijing, 4/12/00) reported that ROK ambassador to the PRC Kwon Byong-hyon said on April 11 that the DPRK and the ROK are likely to hold preparatory talks in Beijing to pave the way for their June summit. He said that talks might take place in late April at vice ministerial level. Kwon said, “it will be mainly held in Beijing, but it is not official. It doesn’t rule out any third venues.” Kwon said that some of the issues included economic cooperation, reunion of separated families and the resumption of governmental talks.

2. DPRK Views of Summit

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREANS REJOICE IN SUMMIT PLAN: KOREAN- AMERICAN JOURNALIST,” Tokyo, 4/12/00) reported that Moon Myong-ja, a Korean-American journalist who was in Pyongyang on Wednesday, said that DPRK Nationals shed tears of joy when they heard about plans for an unprecedented summit with the ROK. Moon said, “Northern people in the streets shed tears when I interviewed them because their wish has long been for reunification. They might live a difficult life but their faces showed that they were full of vigor.” Moon, who twice interviewed the late DPRK leader Kim Il-sung before his death in 1994 and has had personal correspondence with his son and successor Kim Jong-Il, dismissed the widely held view that the DPRK had opted for the summit to woo economic aid. She said, “reunification has been what they wished for since President Kim (Il-Sung)’s days and I don’t think they were merely looking for resources when they made the decision now.”

3. ROK Views of Summit

The New York Times (Howard W. French, “SPLIT FAMILIES EXCITED BY KOREAN THAW,” Seoul, 4/12/00) and the Washington Post (Doug Struck, “KOREAS’ SUMMIT PIQUES HOPES,” Seoul, 4/12/00) reported that families split between the ROK and the DPRK expressed hope at the news of the DPRK-ROK summit. According to the ROK government, 1.2 million people who were alive during the Korean War have families in the DPRK. ROK officials hope the summit will result in the start of family reconciliations, or will at least open a channel between the DPRK and the ROK for news of lost relatives. However, ROK President Kim Dae-jung sought to lower the expectations surrounding the summit news. Kim said at a cabinet meeting Wednesday, “the national issues, which have been divisive for a half- century, cannot be resolved overnight.” Referring to priorities that he laid out at Berlin in March, Kim said, “at the summit meeting, we will discuss the four points, and I believe we can come to agreements.” [Ed. note: Both articles were included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2000.]

Agence France Presse (“SKEPTICISM GROWS OVER OUTCOME OF HISTORIC INTER- KOREAN SUMMIT,” Seoul, 4/12/00) reported that editorials and analyses in ROK newspapers on Wednesday warned that the ROK-DPRK summit could worsen the ROK’s fiscal position. The Dong-A daily said in an editorial, “raising funds for inter-Korean economic cooperation is a tough task. There is talk of issuing unification funds but we must be careful as such bonds will impose a heavy burden on us. The government and businessmen must know that investments in North Korea may carry enormous costs.” Although ROK government officials have insisted that the DPRK set no preconditions for the summit, analysts said that it could lead to big costs for ROK in terms of financial aid, just as its own economy recovers from a two-year recession. Robert Fouser, a professor at Kagoshima University in Japan, told the Korea Herald, “the summit is useful mainly for its symbolic meaning. It cannot change the simple fact that North Korea is a bankrupt police state.” Kim Chung-kyung of Hyundai Economic Research Institute also suggested that a deal had been made with the DPRK in exchange for the summit. Kim said, “concessions must have been made, reacting to North Korea’s request for South Korean investment in social infrastructure such as railroads and power facilities.” Kim Byung-Ro, researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, also agreed that the DPRK’s motivation in agreeing to the summit was more financial than altruistic.

4. US View of ROK-DPRK Summit

The Asian Wall Street Journal published an editorial (“MR. KIM, MEET MR. KIM,” 4/12/00) which said that although DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has finally agreed to a summit with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, it is still not clear that much can come out of it. The editor wrote, “there are still many unknowns on the North’s side. Perhaps Pyongyang realized the South Korean president was in political trouble — and with him, the sunshine policy and lucrative Hyundai contracts — and made the announcement to boost his chances. Or the summit may herald a power shift in a supposed power struggle between Pyongyang’s internationalists and isolationists.” Lee Hun-jai, ROK minister of finance and economy, said on April 10 that the ROK government is prepared to spend US$180 million on business projects in the DPRK, and hinted that he might dip into a US$630 billion reserve for developing countries. However, the editor pointed out, the ROK should be wary because the DPRK “has a spectacular track record of increasing its demands on well-intentioned foreign leaders with future promises to reform or behave. The promises never seem to stick permanently, and more payment is extorted.” The editor also said that there has not been signs that the DPRK has reformed drastically, “a more reliable sign than a summit that North Korea’s behavior is changing.” Nevertheless, the editorial continues, “a summit is probably a good thing. It’s reassuring that after the exuberant remarks of his finance and economics minister, Kim Dae Jung Tuesday played down expectations that big concessions were on the way. It looks like he understands that until North Korea gives more concrete indications, it’s too soon to say the bad neighbor is changing his behavior.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2000.]

5. ROK Election

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “S. KOREANS TO VOTE FOR PARLIAMENT,” Seoul, 4/12/00) reported that ROK citizens will vote on Thursday for a new National Assembly. With up to 40 percent of votes still undecided, ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s ruling Millennium Democratic Party was running neck-and-neck with the main opposition Grand National Party. The April 10 announcement of the June 12-14 inter-Korean summit brought opposition criticism of the timing. Analysts said that the Millennium Democratic Party, with 103 seats in the outgoing parliament, is unlikely to emerge from voting with an absolute majority. That would force it to find a coalition partner. A total of 1,040 candidates are vying for 227 seats to be filled by direct vote. Another 46 members will be chosen by a proportional representation system, which counts the total number of votes to each party.

6. US-PRC Proliferation Talks

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA, U.S. SET TO RESUME TALKS ON ARMS PROLIFERATION,” 4/12/00) and the Washington Post (Cindy Sui “CHINA TO RESUME ARMS TALKS WITH US,” Beijing, 4/12/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi announced on April 11 that the PRC was ready to resume talks on PRC weapons sales to “rogue” states, ending the ban on discussions imposed by the PRC after NATO’s bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade last year. Sun said, “the Chinese side has already expressed agreement [to the request from US National Security Adviser Samuel Berger for the talks on weapons proliferation.] The two sides are now making preparations through diplomatic channels.” US White House spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “we certainly have an interest in getting back to the proliferation talks and have expressed a desire to do that to the Chinese.” Crowley also said that the US and the PRC have “many common interests” and have worked in the past “productively” in dealing with issues like the DPRK’s nuclear program and nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan. He stated, “we also have proliferation concerns that we continue to raise as part of our broad strategic dialogue and have done so through recent trips” to the PRC by senior US officials. However, a US administration official said that Berger was not informed by the PRC that it was ready to resume the dialogue on arms control matters. The official said, “this may or may not represent a breakthrough” on proliferation talks. US Defense Department officials said that the announcement appeared to be a PRC government response to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) statement on April 8 that it had fired one employee and disciplined others over the bombing. [Ed. note: Both articles were included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2000.]

7. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Agence France Presse (“US MISSILE SYSTEM DESIGNED TO CONTAIN CHINA, EXPERT SAYS,” Beijing, 4/12/00) reported that Shen Dingli, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, was quoted in the PRC’s state-run China Daily saying that the US National Missile Defense system (NMD) was actually meant to contain the PRC’s nuclear forces, not rogue states’. Chen said that the proposed US NMD system would push the strategic nuclear imbalance even further towards the US side, and compromise the PRC’s strategic ability. He added that an NMD system would be unable to stop Russia’s arsenal of thousands of strategic weapons, while countries designated by the US as rogue states did not have intercontinental missile capability. Shen continued, “therefore Beijing can only view the U.S. NMD as being designed to most effectively neutralize China’s strategic deterrence. Some Americans argue that there is a growing threat from China as it modernizes its strategic forces.” Shen compared the option held by the US which owns the world’s most formidable nuclear arsenal, to strike first with a standing promise by the PRC, the smallest of the world’s five recognized nuclear powers, only to launch nuclear missiles after another country launched first. He added that many people in the US were turning a “blind eye to the fact that such a behavior (building an NMD system) would deteriorate strategic relations between Beijing and Washington.”

8. Israel Arms Sales to PRC

Agence France Presse (“ISRAEL DENIES AWACS DEAL WITH CHINA IS THREAT TO UNITED STATES,” Jerusalem, 4/12/00) reported that Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy denied on Wednesday that a deal to sell airborne radar equipment to the PRC threatened the US, adding that as a sovereign state Israel had the right to act in its own interests. Levy said, “we will do nothing that can harm the United States, that is obvious Israel will do all it can to reach an understanding with the Americans so as not to give them the impression that we are acting against their interests. The United States must be convinced that their interests are not threatened, and on the other hand we must be able to work to advance our interests. We can’t be in a situation where we can do nothing without the permission of the whole world. The United States must understand that we are a state like other states and work for our interests as they do, including with China.”

9. Taiwan Chemical Weapons

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN PLEDGES NOT TO MANUFACTURE, USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS,” Taipei, 4/12/00) reported that Taiwan’s Chief of the General Staff General Tang Yao-ming pledged on Wednesday to comply with international treaties regarding nuclear and bio-chemical weapons. Tang said, “(We) will by no means own, produce nor use nuclear and bio- chemical weapons. Regarding bio-chemical preparedness, the military would only engage in the development of protection equipment and protection training programs. The backdrop and the purpose of the seminar was the rising nuclear and bio-chemical threat from the Chinese communists.” According to Chung Chien, a professor with the War College of the Armed Forces University, the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army imported 500 tons of sarin toxic chemical materials from Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chung said, “China also hired former East German bio-chemical experts and officers of chemical units, who inspected the coast of Fujian province to study the possibility of bio-chemical warfare on offshore islands.”

II. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-ROK Summit

People’s Daily (“DPRK AND ROK TO HOLD FIRST SUMMIT IN MID-JUNE,” 04/11/00, P1) reported that the DPRK and the ROK signed an agreement on April 8, announcing that a summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and ROK President Kim Dae-jung will be held in mid-June. The summit agreement was reached during a meeting between ROK Culture and Tourism Minister Park Jie-won and Song Ho-gyong, Vice-chairman of the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, in Beijing, according to Park. The agreement confirms again that in order to realize national reconciliation and consolidation and promote exchanges, cooperation and peace and unification, the DPRK and ROK will hold a summit on June 12-14, when ROK President Kim Dae-jung will visit Pyongyang. The two sides will conduct preliminary contact within this month, discussing the procedural issues of the summit.

2. PRC View on DPRK-ROK Summit

People’s Daily (“FM SPOKESMAN COMMENTS ON DPRK-ROK SUMMIT AGREEMENT,” 04/11/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao commented on the summit agreement reached by the DPRK and ROK in Beijing on April 10. The PRC has consistently supported and promoted peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the spokesman said. The PRC side has all along supported the improvement of relations and the reconciliation between the north and south of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation, said Zhu. The PRC hopes that the summit will yield positive results, Zhu said.

3. DPRK-Japanese Talks

China Daily (“DPRK-JAPAN TALKS YIELD NO RESULT,” Pyongyang, 04/08/00, P8) reported that talks aimed at normalizing relations between the DPRK and Japan ended without agreement, with the DPRK insisting that Japan must first offer compensation for its wartime actions. A joint statement issued on April 7 gave no reason for why an agreement has not been reached, the report said, but the talks were hampered from the start by numerous difficulties, including the DPRK’s demands for an apology from Japan for its colonization of the Korean peninsula. The report added, however, that the two sides agreed to meet again for further talks in Japan, probably at the end of May. “The biggest obstacle is the lack of mutual trust,” said DPRK first Vice-Foreign Minister Kang Sok-ju. A diplomatic source close to the negotiation, however, said that the DPRK side appeared enthusiastic about improving relations with Japan, and it has expressed hopes that ties could be normalized by the end of this year.

4. Bombing of PRC Embassy

People’s Daily (“CHINA REJECTS US EXPLANATION,” 04/11/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao commented on the latest US investigation of its bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia in May last year, strongly demanding that the US conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation. On Saturday the US Government gave the PRC the results from its latest investigation on the bombing, the spokesman said. The report said that improper methods of locating military targets caused the incident and that the reviews at every level failed to detect the mistake. According to the US explanation, several people neglected their duties and reviews of their work failed to find the mistakes, Zhu said. “This is hard for people to believe,” Zhu said. “Our embassy in Yugoslavia has unmistakable features and is clearly marked on US maps. The US claim that it did not know its exact location is not justified.” The Federal Directory of Supply and Procurement of Yugoslavia–NATO’s supposed target–is not a secret agency, and its building is half a kilometer away from the Chinese Embassy. The two buildings look totally different, Zhu said. “So it was impossible for the US side to mix up these two buildings,” he said.

5. Alleged Technology Transfers to PRC

People’s Daily (Jia Xiping, “CHINA GREAT WALL INDUSTRY CORP REFUTES US CLAIMS,” 04/10/00, P4) reported that a China Great Wall Industry Corporation spokesman refuted the allegations that the company had heavy technical assistance from US aerospace company Lockheed Martin, saying that the accusations are groundless. The US State Department has said that the PRC has probably acquired crucial satellite technology (known as EPKM-the perigee solid kick motor for Long March 2E) from Lockheed Martin in 1994, when the Great Wall company launched the Lockheed Martin-built Sat-2 aboard a Long March 2E rocket, according to the report. The company developed important satellite technology on its own, without the need for scientific secrets from the US, the spokesman said. “We solemnly announce that we developed the EPKM on our own,” he said.

6. The Taiwan Issue

People’s Daily (Zhang Jingyu, “JIANG REITERATES CHINA’S POSITION ON TAIWAN ISSUE,” 04/12/00, P1) reported that PRC president Jiang Zemin held talks with visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on April 11, reiterating the PRC’s position on the Taiwan issue. “Our guiding policy to resolve the Taiwan issue is ‘peaceful reunification’ and ‘one country, two systems’,” which has not changed, Jiang stressed. The “one China principle” is the precondition and basis for China’s peaceful reunification, Jiang said. Under the “one China principle we can negotiate on everything,” Jiang said. “But ‘Taiwan independence’ in any form is not permissible,” he stressed.

China Daily (Guo Aibing, “STRAITS TRADE VOLUME SURGES,” 04/12/00, P5) reported that the trade and investment volume between the PRC and Taiwan surged during the first quarter of this year, a senior official with the ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) said on April 11. Ma Xiuhong, assistant minister, said that the number of Taiwan- invested enterprises increased 13 percent when compared with the same period last year. The contractual investment volume in the first quarter surged 46 percent over the same period last year. “Following this trend, the trade and investment volume between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan is expected to see a steady increase this year,” Ma said. Ma announced that the fourth session of the China Fair for International Investment and Trade will be held September 8-10 in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian Province. Since Xiamen is close to Taiwan, the fair will have a special exhibition hall for Taiwan investors. Xiamen Vice-Mayor Su Shuili believes that there will be more participants from Taiwan this year than there were last year.

7. PRC View of New Japanese Government

People’s Liberation Army Daily (Liang Ming, “YOSHIRO MORI FACES CHALLENGES,” 04/09/00, P4) carried an opinion article which said that newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is walking down a rough path with lots of problems waiting to be settled. The first and most difficult problem that Mori must cope with is how to promote Japan’s economic recovery, the article said. Although after a 10-year slump momentum of economic recovery has emerged due to his predecessor’s efforts, how to maintain the current recovery remains a tough task for Mori, Liang said. Mori has announced that restoration of economic increase will be his top priority, the article said. How to strengthen the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition government is another serious challenge, Liang said. Yoshiro Mori’s rich political experience will help him in dealing with this problem, the article said, but the complicated fractional conflicts both in the LDP and among its coalition allies will consume much of his energy and time. As a “green- hand” in diplomacy, Mori will also meet diplomatic challenges, according to the commentary. Currently Mori will focus on the following issues: to successfully host the July Okinawa G-8 summit; to handle negotiations with the DPRK on the normalization of bilateral relations; and to conclude a peace treaty with Russia. Sino-Japan relations is also one of Yoshiro Mori’s priorities, Liang said. He said that Mori must be prudent on issues such as the Taiwan issue, Japan’s view on history and Theater Missile Defense, etc.

8. Chinese View on NMD

China Daily (Shen Dingli, “NMD SYSTEM HURTS SECURITY OF OTHER COUNTRIES,” 4/11/00, P4) carried an article which said that the US should take into account the common security of all the states which possess nuclear weapons and seek a win-win solution in missile nonproliferation and missile defense issues. It said that the US has made it plain that its National Missile Defense (NMD) has not factored in the PRC. However, it said, the PRC has reasons to be suspicious of the US intention of NMD deployment. It is highly unlikely that the US would spend more than US$10 billion on a system solely with “rogue” states in mind, the article said. To the argument by some in the US that there is a growing threat from the PRC as it is modernizing its strategic force, the article pointed out that taking a look at the CSS-4 force and the PRC’s sea-based deterrence, one can hardly reach such a conclusion. In pursuit of national missile defense, many in the US turn a blind eye to the fact that such behavior would deteriorate strategic relations between the PRC and the US, the article said. If the US insists on hurting the national interests of other nuclear states, Shen said, it will be hard for the US to receive international support for its nonproliferation initiatives in other fronts. It should also be pointed out that there are ample means to defeat a missile defense, Shen said.

9. Russian View on ABM Treaty

China Daily (“RUSSIA WARNS US ON ABM TREATY,” Moscow, 04/11/00, P12) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on April 10 that a US push to amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty risked causing Cold War-style tensions, but stressed that Russia sought good ties with the West. “The collapse of the 1972 ABM treaty would cast the world into a new confrontation,” Ivanov told a delegation of visiting US businessmen and journalists. Such confrontation would badly hamper cooperation on economic and other issues where Russia and the US have common interests, he added. Moscow regards ABM as a key pillar of international arms control. The ABM treaty and other arms issues are expected to top Ivanov’s agenda when he travels to Washington later this month for talks with US Secretary of state Madeleine Albright, the report said. Ivanov also told the US businessmen that Russia wanted to build constructive ties with Western countries on the basis of mutual respect and to boost foreign investment in its economy.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

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

Chunsi Wu: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
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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