NAPSNet Daily Report 12 April, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 April, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 12, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-12-april-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US Policy toward DPRK
2. DPRK Agricultural Policy
3. Pyongyang International Marathon
4. US Policy toward PRC
5. US-PRC Relations
6. US Opinions on Spy Plane Incident
7. Status of US Plane
8. PRC Fighter Intercepts
9. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
10. US-Taiwan Naval Cooperation
11. PRC South China Sea Policy
12. Japanese Prime Minister
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-Russia Summit
2. US Aid to DPRK
3. EU’s Relations with DPRK
4. US Bombing Range

I. United States

1. US Policy toward DPRK

US Secretary of State Colin Powell (US Department of State, “SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN L. POWELL’S QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS AT CONTACT GROUP MINISTERIAL JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE,” Paris, 04/11/01) stated that the DPRK still presents a serious threat to the ROK. Powell stated, “In recent years we have had discussions with North Korea . We are looking very carefully and conducting a review with respect to North Korea, looking how we might monitor and verify some of the ideas that are out on the table with respect to control of such activities. In due course we will engage, and will continue to support President Kim Dae Jung in the South and his efforts. But we are nowhere near even considering anything like diplomatic relations with North Korea because of the reasons I just cited.”

2. DPRK Agricultural Policy

The Far Eastern Economic Review carried an opinion article by Aidan Foster-Carter of Leeds University (“NORTH KOREA –GREAT BULLDOZER,” 04/12/01) which said that the root problem of the DPRK’s agricultural problems is the rigid planning and the whim of its leaders. Foster- Carter stated, “The projects that paved the way for the food crisis included years of the overuse of inorganic fertilizers, which resulted in physical and chemical damage to soil; poorly planned hillside terracing; and the tearing down of forests to plant maize in the mountains. All this on top of the follies of collective farming, restricting private plots and markets.” He noted that the Korean Central News Agency has described a new policy of rezoning as “a grand nature-harnessing work, to level at least 400,000 patches and remove 30,000 kilometres of ridges between rice fields which had been handed down through generations, and repartition them into standardized fields, each covering 1,000-1,500 pyong” (3,300 to 4,950 square meters).” Foster-Carter argued that the true motivation behind the process is to make it impossible for former owners of the land to claim their holdings. He stated, “Intriguing that the Dear Leader thinks the landlords who fled in the 1940s, or their children, might come back and claim their own — as has happened in Eastern Europe since communist rule collapsed. Is he afraid?” Foster-Carter argued that countries and agencies that aid the DPRK “have the right to insist that policies and practices which killed a million or more North Koreans cease…. Yet rather than voice their concerns and insist on tighter conditionality, they have been coy to challenge the irrational policies which caused the crisis and which still go on.” He stated, “In reality, informal markets are the only thing standing between most North Koreans and starvation. But to openly embrace them seems to be too much for Kim Jong Il.”

3. Pyongyang International Marathon

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “NORTH KOREA RUNS INTO THE ARMS OF WESTERN ADS,” Tokyo, 04/12/01, C1) reported that the DPRK promises to have 1 million people line the route at the Pyongyang International Marathon on April 15. Guy Horne, who is helping organize the event for International Sports and Leisure (ISL), stated, “They’ve got eight-lane highways and maybe 300 cars. I don’t think there will be a big traffic problem.” Horne said that the DPRK approached ISL about generating revenues for their sports infrastructure, but were unfamiliar with the concept of advertising. Only two foreign reporters are being allowed to cover the race, and one of them will be a participant. There will be 600 DPRK runners and 45 foreigners, including six US expatriates from around Asia and a few African championship contenders. The DPRK refused to allow US observers who did not participate in the race. Trish Pepper, marketing manager in Tokyo of the Financial Times, one of the sponsors of the race, stated, “It’s an unprecedented opportunity to make inroads into what is otherwise an impenetrable country.” According to Horne, there is one subscriber to the Financial Times in the DPRK, an anonymous official at the central bank, although Pepper was uncertain how he receives it. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

4. US Policy toward PRC

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, “CHINA GETS WHITE HOUSE’S ATTENTION, AND SOME RESPECT,” Beijing, 04/12/01) reported that the spy plane incident succeeded in getting the PRC government greater attention from the US President George W. Bush administration. Xiao Gongqin, a professor of history at Shanghai Normal University, stated, “I think people are becoming happier with President Bush. He is shifting from his initial stance about China as he has learned more about our country and had more experience with it–just as President Clinton did.” Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, stated, “Before, from President Bush, it was just ‘they’re competitors,’ and they deliberately excluded China people from the administration. Now channels are open and they are learning that this relationship requires a lot of attention and adaptation.” Anthony J. Saich, a China specialist at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, argued, “The current U.S. regime hasn’t taken China seriously–they haven’t even regarded it as a player.” Xiong Zhiyong, dean of the PRC’s Foreign Affairs College, stated, “They don’t really understand China, so they don’t know how to deal with it.” He added that private discussions would probably have been more effective than public accusations. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

5. US-PRC Relations

The Wall Street Journal (Carla Anne Robbins, Neil King Jr., Leslie Chang and Charles Hutzler, “ALTHOUGH SPY-PLANE IMPASSE MAY BE OVER, U.S. AND CHINA STILL FACE SENSITIVE ISSUES,” 04/12/01, 1) reported that analysts said that despite Wednesday’s release of the 24 crewmembers of the US surveillance plane, US-PRC relations are likely to face tensions in the coming months. The article said that the “crucial variable” is whether the moderates on both sides can find new ways to communicate with and strengthen each other, or whether they have been weakened and disillusioned by the incident. Jin Canrong, an analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the PRC “government sacrificed domestic politics to resolve this crisis.” David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, said that the US President George W. Bush administration needs to learn “that this is a high-maintenance relationship. The crisis is far from over.” He also warned, “If the Bush administration decides to sell a robust package of arms [to Taiwan] it will send the relationship back into a tailspin.” Richard Perle, a Bush foreign-policy adviser during the presidential campaign, argued, “If we simply move on, we will have kowtowed to the Chinese. There should be no talk of a return to normalcy or good relations. This episode only confirms the president’s view all along that it is absurd to view China as a partner.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Thomas E. Ricks, “DISPUTE MAY TAKE TOLL ON U.S.-SINO RELATIONS,” 04/12/01, 18) reported that the US- PRC spy plane incident may have a significant effect on upcoming issues in US-PRC relations. One unnamed US President George W. Bush administration official stated, “I think there’s going to be a significant price.” “There’s a strong sense within the U.S. government that there needs to be a price.” An outside policy expert stated, “There’s no question in my mind that people feel they’ve been rubbed the wrong way by the Chinese at senior levels of the administration.” US House of Representatives International Relations Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde (Republican-Illinois) stated, “I expect a less-than- amorous embrace of China on whatever issues present themselves, whether it’s WTO [the World Trade Organization] or arms sales to Taiwan. I think a difficult relationship will become more difficult, but whether there will be a long-term estrangement, I don’t know.” US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell stated, however, “We stopped this process that was unfolding before it became more serious. I don’t see anything that is unrecoverable.” Kenneth L. Adelman, a former President Ronald Reagan administration official, argued, “It weakens the supporters of China and very much emboldens those with suspicions that China’s up to no good in the world. Politics is about intensity, and you really zap the intensity out of the pro-China folks.” Retired Rear Admiral Michael A. McDevitt, a former top planner for the US Pacific Command, stated, “My sense is that many in the U.S. military already had a vague sense of China as a possible military problem. For these people, this is suspicion confirmed.” Former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger argued that the incident “should show both sides the dangers of accidents and the importance of attempting to prevent them. It ought to create the basis of longer-term stability in the relationship.” He added, “China is a billion and a half people…. We have to accord China the importance it warrants.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

The New York Times (Joseph Kahn, “TAIWAN ARMS SALES AND CHINA’S W.T.O. APPLICATION WILL TEST A RELATIONSHIP,” Washington, 04/12/01) reported that experts said that the spy plane incident might remind both the US and the PRC that they stand to lose a great deal unless they begin to look for common ground. Former US national security adviser Samuel R. Berger stated, “There is no way to get away from this without some residue, mainly the public attitudes toward us in China and our public’s attitude toward China. But the people who believe in relations between these two countries prevailed over those who see it only in nationalistic terms, and I think that’s a positive sign.” James R. Lilley, former US ambassador to the PRC, said that every recent US president “gets himself in a terrible mess with China to start things off,” but that a slide in relations usually prompts a move to consult each other more, to open lines of communications and to consider each other’s strategic interests. Lilley stated, “I think you’re going to see this administration reaching out to China on North Korea, on the W.T.O., and on a range of strategic and economic issues. China badly needs to be included in these efforts, and we badly need to have a strategic dialogue with China.” Stapleton Roy, another former US ambassador to the PRC, stated, “I think we should view this mainly as a diplomatic management problem.” He said that the current time is a “period in which all kinds of episodes need to be handled, and the question is whether they will be handled skillfully.” Winston Lord, a former ambassador and State Department official, stated, “I think our response going forward has to be quite cool. We need to make it clear to the Chinese that there’s a residue of annoyance over their performance.” He said that the two sides should try to restore a full dialogue on international strategic issues, including nuclear issues in South Asia and stability in the Persian Gulf, but that the Bush team should not give the PRC the impression that they are back to business as usual. An unnamed former US President Bill Clinton administration official stated, “I think this incident could and perhaps should up the ante on Taiwan.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

6. US Opinions on Spy Plane Incident

The New York Times carried an opinion article by Bates Gill of the Brookings Institution (“CHINA POLICY, WITHOUT REGRETS,” Washington, 04/12/01) which said that the recent US-PRC spy plane incident had lessons on how to deal with the PRC. Gill argued, “Beijing held a lot of cards in this incident, but in the end America held the card that mattered most, namely China’s long-term need for a stable working relationship with the United States…. However, while this situation has been smoothly handled, it should be clear that more senior-level attention to China, and especially to the Chinese military, is needed.” He added, “Contrary to calls on Capitol Hill and in parts of the Pentagon to cut back or suspend military-to-military exchanges, this incident should compel the administration to reshape these ties to help it understand the workings of the People’s Liberation Army.” He noted, “The Hainan case has already revealed more clearly the divisions, and the consequent need for deliberateness, that characterize the Chinese leadership in times of difficulty. We should also note that Beijing’s leaders seem prepared to risk a great deal for short-term ‘victories’ on matters of honor.” He concluded, “In the end, the biggest lesson of all should be to recognize the complexity of our relationship with China…. The Hainan incident shows the need to appreciate nuance and think in the long term.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

The Wall Street Journal carried an opinion article by James Lilley and Arthur Waldron of the American Enterprise Institute (“THE END OF ILLUSIONS,” 04/12/01) which said that the spy plane incident could have the effect of removing “dangerous illusions” on both sides regarding the PRC-US relationship. The authors argued, “Americans have been firmly reminded that the Chinese are not always their friends…. The U.S. must treat [the PRC] with prudence, hedging against dangers even as it seeks to promote positive development.” They added, “Neither our growing economic interests in China nor our hopes for the future can override either fundamental American national interests or our commitments to democratic friends and allies in Asia.” They concluded, “One can thus hope that … a base has been built for healthy progress in the future. In Chinese-American terms that means setting aside hostility and military confrontation, and looking to our common interests in development and exchange. ” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

7. Status of US Plane

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA SAYS SPY PLANE ROW NOT OVER AND STALLS ON RETURN OF AIRCRAFT,” Beijing, 04/12/01) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Thursday that the PRC had no intention to quickly return the US surveillance aircraft that crashed on Hainan Island. Zhang stated, “China is fully entitled to conduct comprehensive investigations concerning the plane. The Chinese side will handle this aircraft in accordance with the results of the investigations.” She added, “This plane is by no means an ordinary plane and the handling of this plane is by no means the same as the handling of an ordinary aircraft.” Zhang warned, “We want to point out that the sovereignty and dignity of the Chinese nation brooks no infringement, and nothing is more important to the Chinese people to safeguard their sovereignty and dignity and territorial integrity.” PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said that the release of the crew “does not mean the end of the case and China reserves the right to affix the responsibility with the US side for the plane collision incident.” He said that the PRC had decided to release the crew only “out of humanitarian considerations”.

8. PRC Fighter Intercepts

The Washington Post (Thomas E. Ricks, “U.S. SEEKS END TO CHINA’S AGGRESSIVE AIR INTERCEPTS,” 04/12/01, 24) reported that an anonymous senior US defense official said Wednesday that the top US priority at upcoming talks with the PRC is not to retrieve the spy plane but to persuade the PRC air force to stop its aggressive intercept tactics. The official stated, “What we want to do is discuss with them what happens when we fly and how they do intercepts.” He noted that during the Cold War, Russian and US pilots worked out standard procedures according to which a fighter jet should approach on the left side of the intercepted aircraft, remain visible to its pilot and maintain a safe distance. The official said that he expects the PRC side at next week’s talks to request the US to move the reconnaissance flights farther offshore or even to stop them. He said, however, that to do so would reduce their ability to monitor PRC radar and radio signals, adding, “the geographic area we’ve been flying has been fixed for years.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

9. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (William Foreman, “TAIWAN WORRIED ABOUT US-CHINA DEAL,” Taipei, 04/12/01) reported that Taiwan officials are concerned that as the PRC and the US repair their relations after the spy plane dispute, the US will accede to PRC demands not to sell Taiwan Aegis- class destroyers. Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese government’s top PRC policymaker stated, “We have to be very careful in observing the developments of the case.” Taiwanese political scientist Chao Chun-shan of National Chengchi University said that Taiwan will undoubtedly figure into US-PRC talks, but all Taiwan can do is to wait and stay quiet because it has little leverage and is at the mercy of the US and the PRC. Chao stated, “If U.S.-China relations worsen, the United States would seem to need a strong Taiwan.” However, now that the two sides have worked out a resolution of the incident, a US decision to sell weapons to Taiwan could hurt US-PRC relations, so that the US may not sell the equipment to prevent that from happening. Dennis Hickey, associate professor of political science at Southwest Missouri State University, said that he doubted that the US had been ready to sell the ships before the dispute and probably had not changed. Hickey stated, “I think we are back to where we were before the dispute began.”

10. US-Taiwan Naval Cooperation

Taipei Times (Brian Hsu, “US NAVY GIVES CODES TO MILITARY,” 04/10/01) reported that an unnamed defense source said Monday that the US navy sent a delegation of officials to Taiwan last week to provide wireless communication codes to facilitate communication between the two militaries. The source said that the codes will enable Taiwan’s fighter planes and warships to communicate with their US counterparts any time in the future. Erich Shih, a senior editor with the Defense International magazine, stated, “This may sound incredible, but it is something to be expected given that the militaries of the two countries worked closely together during the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis. Direct military links between Taiwan and the US also started in 1996 as China launched a series of missile tests in the waters off Taiwan.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

11. PRC South China Sea Policy

The International Herald Tribune (Michael Richardson, “BEIJING IS SHIFTING SECURITY CONCERNS FROM LAND TO MARITIME AREAS,” Singapore, 04/12/01) reported that Asian officials and analysts said that the PRC government and military are increasingly turning away from issues of land borders and to maritime issues, particularly its assertion of sovereignty over all disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea. These analysts said that the PRC regards the South China Sea as akin to a territorial sea in which only innocent passage for foreign warships and military aircraft would be permitted. They noted that while this would give surface warships the right to transit without prior notification, aircraft and submarines would not be given the same freedom because innocent passage does not cover the right of aircraft overflight or submerged submarine transit. Jose Almonte, a national security adviser to former President Fidel Ramos of the Philippines, said that any serious effort by the PRC to dominate the South China Sea and its sea lanes “will set off great power conflict in Southeast Asia’s front yard more intense than the region has every known.” Almonte stated, “China’s sweeping claim is not just about barren islets, some of which disappear at high tide. Nor is it just about fishing rights, marine resources or even the oil and gas widely believed to lie under the shallow waters of the South China Sea. It is about Southeast Asia’s security and survival.” However, Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum-CSIS in Honolulu, said that the PRC had been careful not to claim the South China Sea as a territorial sea because “it would quickly internationalize the dispute and would be tested, successfully, by the U.S.” Cossa said that his main concern was that if he PRC’s claim to all the disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea were realized, it might use them to “further project power into Southeast Asia and possibly interfere with the sea lanes.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

12. Japanese Prime Minister

The Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, “JAPAN’S HASHIMOTO COULD REPLACE MORI,” Tokyo, 04/12/01) reported that former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and three other senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party formally registered their candidacies for a party leadership election scheduled for April 24. The election is expected to come down to a battle between Hashimoto and former Health Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The other candidates are party policy chief Shizuka Kamei and Economy Minister Taro Aso.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-Russia Summit

Chosun Ilbo (Hwang Seong-joon, “NK ASKS FOR DELAY IN KIM JONG IL’S MOSCOW VISIT,” Moscow, 04/11/01) reported that a high ranking source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Wednesday that the DPRK had informed Russia that Kim Jong-il’s Moscow visit, scheduled for April 17, would have to be postponed. The source noted that Russia has been trying to get the visit to go ahead as planned, citing that all preparations had been made and there was still time before the agreed arrival date. In May 1995, when ROK President Kim Dae-jung visited Russia, he was asked to put off a summit with then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, due to the latter’s health problems. However the ROK side insisted on going ahead because of the potential negative international repercussions.

2. US Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, “U.S. SENDS 100,000T FOOD AID TO NORTH,” Seoul, 04/11/01) reported that the US decided to provide the DPRK with 100,000 tons of food aid, reported a diplomatic source in the US on Wednesday April 11. “The Department of State chose to dispatch 100,000 tons of humanitarian aid and is currently looking into right time to make the announcement,” the source said. DPRK watchers in Seoul explained that the latest decision came from US administration’s efforts to prove its consistency toward the DPRK.

3. EU’s Relations with DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Seok-jae, “EU’S PYONGYANG VISIT NOT RELATED TO ANTI U.S. SENTIMENTS,” Seoul, 04/11/01) reported that Chris Patten, EU Foreign Relations Commissioner, said on Wednesday April 11 that the European Union (EU) delegation’s visit to the DPRK has nothing to do with anti-US sentiment. Patten continued that the EU has no intention to provoke the US, arguing that the latest trip is instead an effort to express support toward ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s sunshine policy that tries to pull the DPRK out of darkness. He added that the process would take some time to bear the fruit. Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson is to head the EU delegation that is scheduled to visit the DPRK from May 2-4 with Chris Patten and Javier Solana, the EU’s chief of foreign and security affairs. The three-member delegation after holding talks with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang will then head to Seoul for talks with President Kim Dae-jung.

4. US Bombing Range

The Korea Times (Park Yoon-bae, “GOV’T ORDERED TO PAY COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGE FROM US BOMBING EXERCISES,” 04/12/01) reported that the Seoul District Court on Wednesday ordered the ROK government to pay a combined total of 132 million won (US$100,000) in compensation to 14 residents of the village of Maehyang-ri who claimed they suffered damages from strafing exercises at the nearby Koon-ni range run by the US Air Force. It marked the first time that the ROK government was ordered to pay compensation for damage inflicted on residents by US Forces Korea (USFK) military exercises. Presiding judge Chang Jun-hyon said in the ruling, “We have found that Maehyang-ri residents have been troubled with an ‘intolerable’ level of noise pollution caused by the U.S. military’s firing exercises almost every day since Koon-ni range was set up in 1955.” Lee Tae-sok, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said, “The ruling has significant meaning in that the damages caused by U.S. Air Force exercises have for the first time in Korea been recognized by the judiciary.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 12, 2001.]

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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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