NAPSNet Daily Report 12 August, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 12, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-12-august-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “N. KOREA KEEPS EVERYONE GUESSING,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that ROK officials are divided over whether or not the DPRK will test-fire a new long-range missile. The article said that most officials believe that the DPRK will decide not to fire the missile, but hopes that its threats to do so will pressure other nations to provide greater economic assistance. Lee Jung-hoon, chairman of the Department of International Studies at Yonsei University, stated, “By threatening, acting irrational, they’ve been able to get a lot of concessions. Why should they stop that pattern?” Yoo Jay-kun, ROK national assemblyman and adviser to President Kim Dae-jung, argued, “All of the aid must be halted if they fire again–even the humanitarian aid.” Kim Hyung-kook, director of the Center for Asian Studies at American University, stated, “I think the United States and Japan have fallen into North Korea’s trap. The U.S. doesn’t have any policy options at all other than reacting to North Korea.” Lho Kyong-soo, professor of international politics at Seoul National University, asked, “What’s the grand strategy of North Korea? If it’s extracting concessions, I would have to say that a package deal would get them more than firing off a missile.” However, DPRK defector Cho Myung-chul, the son of a former DPRK cabinet minister, stated, “North Koreans have the idea that the United States will attack them. They truly believe that.” Cho said that the DPRK government uses that fear to rally the populace and to justify shortages. Cho said that after last August’s rocket launch, “The public says, ‘We have starved and worked hard, but look, we have achieved this great, good thing.'” He added, “Nobody in North Korea would say, ‘Don’t fire this missile, and instead give us food.’ That’s just not their mentality.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 12.]

The Wall Street Journal (Hae Won Choi, “JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA USE ECONOMIES TO DETER NORTH KOREAN MISSILE-TESTS,” Tokyo, 08/12/99) reported that Japan and the ROK are threatening to use their economic power to dissuade the DPRK from test-launching another long-range ballistic missile. Ichita Yamamoto, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the upper house of the Japanese Diet, said that a bill introduced last week to cut off remissions to the DPRK would “significantly dry up North Korea’s economy.” However, Nicholas Eberstadt, a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, estimated that the DPRK receives only about US$20 million from Japan. He stated that second and third-generation ethnic Koreans living in Japan are reluctant to ship money to their distant relatives in the DPRK. Keiichiro Asao, an upper-house lawmaker who is also supporting the bill, stated, “The bill, if passed, will give a happy excuse” to younger ethnic Koreans who feel obligated to send money because of family tradition. Hong Yong-pyo, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, said that he does not believe the DPRK would be very worried about possible economic sanctions by the ROK and Japan. Hong stated, “North Korea has great perseverance in poverty and it has no qualms about making the people suffer.” He added that the DPRK may decide to launch the missile to boost DPRK military morale.

2. US Ship Deployment

Reuters (George Nishiyama, “US SHIP MOVEMENTS SPARK N.KOREA MISSILE TALK,” Tokyo, 08/10/99) reported that an official at the US base Sasebo Naval Base near Nagasaki confirmed Tuesday that the 17,015-ton USS Observation Island and the 2,262-ton USS Invincible left the island of Kyushu on Monday. Both ships are equipped with missile-tracking radar systems. The official said that it was purely coincidental that the two ships left port on the same day and denied that they were on a joint mission. The official added, “The Navy does not discuss the operation of their ships.” Japan’s Kyodo news agency on Tuesday quoted Sasebo base sources as saying the Observation Island would shortly join the Invincible and the USS Los Angeles, a 6,080-tonne nuclear-powered submarine which it said also left Sasebo on Monday. Makoto Momoi, a former official with the research arm of Japan’s Defense Agency, said the ships’ moves may be a sign that the US expects an imminent DPRK missile launch. Momoi stated, “For the United States, the launch will be a test at tracking future missile firings. In addition to satellites and planes, they need to have a submarine close by to monitor the details of the initial stages of the launch.” However, military analyst Kensuke Ebata said that the ships routinely move in and out of ports. Ebata stated, “They can’t have the crew resting all the time, so this could just be for training.” He added, “If there were a bunch of these submarines, let’s say five or six, then there may be something, but there is always one or two in the area.” Ebata said that a more credible sign of an imminent launch would be the presence of an RC135S reconnaissance aircraft, as the US has only two and would not spare one for an extended stay in a single area. He added that if one of the planes were to arrive at a US base in Japan, there was a strong probability it would be detected by Japanese citizens’ groups that monitor activity around US military facilities.

3. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Associated Press (“SKOREA OKS NKOREA NUKE PLANT FUNDS,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that the ROK National Assembly on Thursday approved US$3.2 billion to build two light-water nuclear power plants in the DPRK. The government-proposed bill passed the National Assembly without any objection from the opposition.

4. DPRK Fighters Purchase

The Associated Press (“S. KOREA SUSPECTS KAZAKSTAN SOLD MIG-21S TO N. KOREA,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that anonymous ROK Foreign Ministry officials said Thursday that the ROK has expressed “serious concerns” about the DPRK’s suspected purchase of 30 MiG-21 fighter jets from the former Soviet republic of Kazakstan. The officials said that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young conveyed the ROK’s concern when he met with Kazak Ambassador to the ROK Tulegen T. Zhukeyev on Wednesday. They added that Zhukeyev promised a thorough investigation into the case.

The Associated Press (“KAZAKSTAN TO INVESTIGATE ARMS SALES,” Almaty, 08/12/99) reported that Russia’s Interfax news agency said Thursday that Kazakstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered the State Security Committee to conduct a criminal probe into suspected arms sales violations by government officials.

US State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 08/11/99) said that the US is aware of alleged sales of MiG-21s from Kazakhstan to the DPRK. Rubin stated, “We have been working closely with the government of Kazakhstan. We have serious concerns about transfers of this kind, and we continue to monitor this case very, very closely.”

5. DPRK-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA LASHES OUT AT JAPAN,” Beijing, 08/12/99) reported that Ri Gi-pom, a counselor at the DPRK Embassy in Beijing, said on Thursday that the DPRK wants Japan to apologize and make reparations for colonizing Korea. Ri said that Japan killed about 1 million Koreans, enslaved millions more, and forced 200,000 Korean women to work as military sex slaves. He read a government statement that said that if Japan does not make amends, the DPRK will “make Japan pay a high price for the bloodshed” and “give vent to its century-old wrath.” Ri also said that the DPRK planned to launch a rocket as “a matter of sovereignty” and “when it is necessary.”

6. Inter-Korean Soccer Match

The Associated Press (“TWO KOREAS TAKE COMPETITION ONTO SOCCER FIELD,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that the DPRK’s General Federation of Trade Unions beat the ROK’s Confederation of Trade Unions 5-4 in a soccer match on Thursday dedicated to peace and unification. The ROK’s state-run KBS television showed a friendly match played in heavy rain in front of some 30,000 fans at a stadium in Pyongyang.

7. US Policy toward Cross-Straits Tensions

The Associated Press (“US ADMIRAL SAYS US NAVY READY IF TAIWAN CRISIS EXPLODES,” Pattaya, 08/12/99) reported that Rear Admiral Timothy J. Keating, commander of the USS Kitty Hawk battle group that just concluded scheduled exercises with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, said Thursday that the US Navy is prepared in case tensions between the PRC and Taiwan escalate. Keating stated, “China will know if they attempt to undertake any kind of operation – whether it’s Taiwan or anything – that they are going to have the U.S. Navy to deal with.” He added, “We are there in numbers, we’re trained, we’re ready and we’re very powerful.” Keating argued, “That’s a major issue for the Chinese and they will have to consider it very, very carefully in any action they anticipate they may make against, principally, Taiwan.” He added, however, that presence of the USS Constellation battle group in Singapore is coincidental. Keating said, “It’s absolutely not a response to any perceived crisis in Taiwan. We have no indication that China is undertaking any sort of offensive operations.” Keating also said that the US would only respond to a PRC encroachment in the Spratly islands with force if the PRC attempted to deny US use of the sea lane for commerce, and not to defend any of the claims to the islands by other countries.

US State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 08/11/99) said that the US has not seen any extraordinary developments or signs that the PRC is mobilizing for military action in the Taiwan Strait. Rubin added, “I know there are occasionally suggestions somewhere that we’re putting on some sort of lights – yellow, green, red. Let me make very clear that we have been very strong and unmistakable that we have told China publicly and privately that differences between China and Taiwan must be resolved by those parties in a peaceful manner.”

8. Taiwan Entrance into UN

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “TAIWAN TRIES AGAIN TO ENTER U.N,” Taipei, 08/12/99) reported that a dozen countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Thursday filed a draft resolution with the UN secretariat asking that the General Assembly discuss Taiwan’s lack of representation. Taiwan Deputy Foreign Minister David Lee stated, “I think everyone is very clear that this endeavor, I’m afraid, won’t achieve any immediate results, but we’ve always felt that no one can predict international change. Who, 10 or 11 years ago, would have predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall?” Lee added that Taiwan would like to see the PRC take a “rational” approach, but “We very much know what their response will be.” He said that Taiwan is only demanding its rights and does not want to “pick a fight” with the PRC.

9. PRC Company in Panama Canal

The Washington Times (Rowan Scarborough, “CHINA COMPANY GRABS POWER OVER PANAMA CANAL,” 08/12/99, 1) reported that the Panamanian government in 1997 awarded Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd., a Hong Kong- based shipping firm a 25- to 50-year contract to run the two major ports on the canal’s Atlantic and Pacific entrances. Insight Magazine, a sister-publication of the Washington Times, claimed that Hutchinson has ties to the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army. Al Santoli, an aide to US Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican-California, said that under legislation known as “Law Number 5,” Panama gave Hutchinson authority to assign the pilots who take control of ships and steer them through the canal. He also said the Chinese company can block passage of ships to meet its business needs. Santoli claimed that the canal is part of a PRC strategy to move into countries abandoned by the US and the former Soviet Union. He stated, “Panama has become the central base of operations for communist China in Latin America.” However, a spokesman for the Panama Canal Commission, a panel of five US citizens and four Panamanians who run the canal, said that the Panama Canal Treaty gives the US the right to intervene militarily to protect access. US Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Republican-Mississippi, wrote to US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen on August 1, “This administration is allowing a scenario to develop where U.S. national security interests could not be protected without confronting the Chinese communists in the Americas. U.S. naval ships will be at the mercy of Chinese-controlled pilots and could even be denied passage through the Panama Canal by Hutchinson, an arm of the People’s Liberation Army. In addition, the Chinese Communist Party will gain an intelligence information advantage by controlling this strategic chokepoint. It appears that we have given away the farm without a shot being fired.” [Ed. note: This article was the top story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 12.]

10. Indian-Pakistan Conflict

Reuters (Surojit Gupta, “INDIA SAYS NO THREAT OF WAR WITH PAKISTAN,” New Delhi, 08/12/99) reported that Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes said Thursday that he did not believe India and Pakistan were on the brink of war. Fernandes stated, “I don’t think the situation is spiraling out of control.” He added, however, “I don’t think talks can start until the situation improves.” Fernandes argued, “There is no threat (from Pakistan). We are ready for any problem. What their intention is, is up to them to answer.” He stated, “The entire Line of Control must be respected; not just the 140 km (88 miles) from where we recently pushed back the Pakistani infiltrators.” He also argued that other nations should not be concerned about a nuclear clash, stating, “India has taken some self-imposed obligations not to use the nuclear weapon and purely looks at it as a deterrent.” Fernandes said, “I hope that a situation does not arise when we have to use the nuclear bomb. I am against the bomb individually but I had to change my stand as some countries were trying to arm-twist us to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.” Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raminder Singh Jassal said that India’s shooting down of a Pakistani aircraft was “an isolated specific military action, it does not impinge on our overall approach to have a dialogue. We want a dialogue with Pakistan. Our position remains unchanged … but these kind of provocations are not conducive.”

The Associated Press (Louis Meixler, “PAKISTAN INCREASES BORDER PATROLS,” Islamabad, 08/12/99) reported that Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz said Thursday that Pakistan has increased border patrols with F-16 fighters to prevent Indian intrusions. Aziz said that Tuesday’s downing of a Pakistani fighter was an example of India’s “trigger happy attitude, which is not conducive to peace and stability in this area.” He added that Pakistan “would certainly not like to initiate any (incidents) and we hope India won’t.” He argued that even if the Pakistani aircraft violated Indian airspace, “How can a propeller plane like this threaten a jet?”

11. US Policy toward South Asian Conflict

US National Security Council Spokesman David Leavy (“WHITE HOUSE DAILY BRIEFING, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 08/11/99) said that there did not appear to be any political motives behind any of the recent air clashes between India and Pakistan. Leavy stated, “Clearly, we’re concerned about the rising tensions…. We urge both sides to follow the procedures that are set in place and to really try to lower tensions.” He added that while a date has not been set for US President Bill Clinton to visit South Asia, “I don’t think that what’s happened over the last several days would derail that. We have tremendous interests in the region, both bilaterally with each country, but also on the subcontinent — those include nonproliferation, security, arms control, also economics — and I fully expect the President’s trip to go forward.” Leavy also stated, “the approach we want to take is to get both sides talking bilaterally … there’s a road map, there is a process in place, and it’s our intent to have both parties engage in that process, not for the U.S. to mediate directly.”

US State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 1999,” USIA Transcript, 08/11/99) called on both India and Pakistan to re-institute their 1991 agreement on preventing air incidents. Rubin stated, “We have been in touch with both governments through our ambassadors in Islamabad, and our charge in New Delhi has been in touch with the Indian and Pakistani Governments. In addition, we have had conversations here in Washington with the Indian Ambassador and the Pakistani Ambassador.” He added, “What our policy is, is that we have said that we will only mediate or involve ourselves in the work that is being done if both parties want us to. That is with respect to a resolution of the Kashmir dispute.” Rubin said that he was not aware of any plans to have a special US envoy travel to South Asia at this time. He added, “We don’t have any ability to confirm in this part of the world with precision precisely where the aircraft was when it was shot down. We do … believe that there was a mechanism to deal with such problems, and clearly that mechanism was not used prior to the shoot-down.”

12. Russian Ratification of START II

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA UNLIKELY TO RATIFY START II,” Moscow, 08/11/99) reported that Gennady Seleznyov, speaker of the Russian State Duma, said Wednesday that the Duma is not likely to ratify the START II treaty any time soon. Seleznyov said that Russia “cannot trust the United States, which follows a hypocritical policy.” Seleznyov’s comments came after Russian President Boris Yeltsin on Wednesday submitted a list of high-priority bills for the Duma’s fall session that included START II.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Test

Chosun Ilbo (Kang Hyo-sun, “US DOD DOES NOT EXPECT EARLY MISSILE TEST,” Seoul, 08/11/99) reported that the US Department of Defense (DOD) announced on Tuesday that the DPRK is not expected to test launch its ballistic missile in days or weeks under the current circumstances. DOD spokesman Kenneth Bacon said at a regular briefing concerning the additional missile launch that the US has been carefully observing the situation since the DPRK indicated its intentions of test firing a long-range missile. He added that a surveillance ship was heading towards the North Pacific from Hawaii and would observe any possible launch.

2. DPRK Fighter Purchase

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, “NIS CONFIRMS NK PURCHASE OF MIG 21S,” Seoul, 08/11/99) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) confirmed on Wednesday that the DPRK had purchased 30 or so MiG-21s from a former Eastern Bloc country for US$40 million. In a briefing to the ROK National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee, NIS surmised that the DPRK was strengthening its war capability as cheaply as possible. It added that the DPRK had earned US$1.4 billion last year by exporting missile technology and from remittances from DPRK citizens in Japan, and that it had probably funded the purchase from these sources, as opposed to diverting aid or funds earned from Hyundai. NIS officials said that the DPRK had readied a Taepodong-2 missile (range 4,500km to 6,700km) by the end of May and were now studying a launch window.

3. ROK Intelligence Aircraft Purchase

Joongang Ilbo (“N.KOREA CRITICIZES S.KOREA’S PLANNED BUY OF SPY PLANES,” 08/12/99) reported that the DPRK said on Wednesday that the ROK was gearing up for war after deciding to purchase eight spy planes from the US over the next two years. The DPRK’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) accused the ROK and the US of making a “bellicose attempts to carry into practice” a war scenario targeting the DPRK. “They should not act rashly, clearly mindful that their operational attempt is no more than a daydream and it will bring only destruction to them,” the KCNA said. The DPRK’s official media also added its criticism to the earlier announced US plan to introduce “Popeye” missiles against the DPRK’s missile threat. The ROK’s planned purchases of spy planes and the missiles are part of a war scenario set up by the ROK and the US against the DPRK, it said.

4. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “‘SEOUL TO UPHOLD SUNSHINE POLICY’,” 08/11/99) and The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “PRESIDENT AGAIN URGES NORTH KOREA TO ABANDON PLAN TO TEST-FIRE MISSILE,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on Tuesday that among others, the US and Japan are still attempting to dissuade the DPRK from test-firing another missile. In presiding over a meeting on the ongoing “Ulchi Annual Military Exercise” at Chong Wa Dae on Tuesday, the Chief Executive noted that the allies have sent a clear message to the DPRK that it would sustain serious losses if it goes ahead with a missile launch. However, even if the DPRK fired a missile, the ROK would uphold its engagement policy with the DPRK. He noted that the annual military drill should not become a routine, ceremonial, and cosmetic event, saying that a strong defense posture is the key to maintaining peace.

5. DPRK-US Missile Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “HOPES FOR N.K. RESTRAINT RISE FOLLOWING POSITIVE U.S. REPORTS,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that following reports from the US that the DPRK is unlikely to test-fire another ballistic missile “in the next few weeks,” officials and analysts here expressed cautious speculation that there might be some progress in US-DPRK missile talks. ROK analysts said that the DPRK is likely to delay its plan to test-launch a missile for at least a few weeks, as the bilateral talks appeared to have made some progress. “This series of comments from Washington touched off hope and speculation in South Korea that the United States and the North may have made some progress during the Geneva talks,” said an ROK government official requesting anonymity. “There is a possibility that Washington and Pyongyang agreed to seek more dialogue to tackle the missile issue,” said the official. Sources in the ROK government said that the DPRK is expected to shelf the missile launch for the time being, as negotiations with the US loom large. Ahead of expected talks between the DPRK and the US, the sources said, the ROK and Japan will also likely disclose concrete incentives they could give to the DPRK in an effort to deter the DPRK from test-launching a missile.

6. DPRK-ROK Flood Controls

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “JOINT FLOOD CONTROLS FORMALLY PROPOSED TO NK,” Seoul, 08/11/99), Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “GOVERNMENT SUGGESTS JOINT FLOOD PREVENTION WITH NK,” Seoul, 08/11/99), The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “SEOUL PROPOSES JOINT S-N ANTI-FLOOD STEPS,” Seoul, 08/11/99) and The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SEOUL PROPOSES JOINT FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT ALONG IMJIN TO PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 08/12/99) reported that the ROK government communicated with the DPRK on Wednesday its willingness to hold discussions on joint-flood control of the Imjin river area. The message was delivered in a letter from president of the Korea National Red Cross Society (KNRC) Chung Won-shik to his counterpart in the DPRK. Chung’s letter was transferred to the DPRK side through a liaison officer at Panmunjom on Wednesday morning. The ROK Ministry of Unification (MoU) made the suggestion of joint efforts as both countries experience floods from the Imjin, two thirds of which is in DPRK. An official at the MoU said that the working-level meeting between the Koreas would include discussion of various programs including dredging operations, construction of riverbanks, and systematic basic steps to take in preparation for floods. “The government expects NK to show affirmative responses to its suggestions,” he added.

7. ROK Student Movement

Chosun Ilbo (Jeon Byung-kun, “NK HUMAN RIGHTS SURFACES AT SNU,” Seoul, 08/11/99) reported that, according to reports on Wednesday, student activists on Seoul National University (SNU) campus have begun a debate over DPRK human rights. The argument started on Tuesday when a wall-poster in the name of the representative committee of a student union was posted on the student hall wall. It insisted that the DPRK’s Juche ideology is only an excuse for personal dictatorship and the only way to save “our fellow countrymen” is through the democratization of the DPRK. The poster proposed a campaign to unveil the deception and actual situation of the DPRK. The poster, however, disappeared on Tuesday night and other critical posters were posted instead around the library in the name of the 21st century progressive student union. These insisted that the recognition of existing unification movements and the DPRK’s relative superiority must be reconsidered, but that the “democratization-first” theory was being used by ROK conservatives and mass media.

8. DPRK-ROK Soccer Match

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “NK REPORTS UNION HEAD LAYS FLOWERS AT KIM IL-SUNG STATUE,” Seoul, 08/11/99) reported that the DPRK’s state-run Central Broadcasting Station (CBS) reported on Wednesday that the representative of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) Lee Kap-yong had placed flowers at the foot of the Kim Il-sung statue at Mansudae in Pyongyang. CBS also said that the representative had made a ceremonious low bow to the statue. In addition, it stated that a ribbon accompanying the flowers read “In Memoriam to the great head leader Kim Il-sung from KCTU.” No official comment was made by the KCTU.

9. DPRK-ROK Environmental Conference

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “SOUTH AND NORTH ECOLOGISTS TO MEET IN CHINA,” Seoul, 08/11/99) reported that ROK and DPRK scientists will meet in the PRC to discuss the environment in Northeast Asian. The Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) announced on August 11 that its scientists will meet with DPRK scientists at a Symposium on the Ecosystem in Northeast Asia, to be hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences from October 14 to 18 in Dalian, PRC. The Academy of Sciences from the DPRK will reportedly dispatch five or six scholars to the symposium, while the same number of KAST staff plan to participate. Along with the ROK and the DPRK, Japan, Russia and Mongolia will participate in the symposium, which was organized to help increase cooperation between Northeast Asian countries on environmental and ecological issues. Dr. Chon Moo-shik at KAST said, “We plan to hold the symposium in Seoul in the year 2000.”

III. Japan

1. Japanese Security Policy

The Daily Yomiuri (“GOVERNMENT RELEASES PROPOSALS ON SECURITY THREATS,” 08/12/99) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency on August 11 released a draft of policies designed to counter threats to national security, such as incursions into domestic waters by unidentified vessels, and guerrilla and terrorist operations on Japanese soil. According to the draft, which was handed to the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) crisis control project team led by former Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga, the Self-Defense Forces would be trained to deal with such emergencies. The draft proposes that the Cabinet be given the power to quickly authorize the prime minister and relevant ministers to take action in the event of an emergency. The draft proposed the implementation of joint training exercises involving the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and the Maritime Safety Agency (MSA) in line with a manual detailing joint responses to national emergencies. It also called for the drafting of procedures for liaisons between the Ground Self-Defense Force and prefectural police headquarters, which should also engage in joint training. A government plan announced in June to address such emergencies also said that the MSDF and the MSA should train together. However, the draft is the first issued by the government to contain proposals for joint training exercises involving the GSDF and prefectural police forces. Concern has arisen within the LDP that the deployment of police alone may be insufficient to counter armed guerrillas or terrorists. Simplifying the decision-making process in the Cabinet was previously studied in a review of government procedures relating to maritime security, but no conclusion was reached, said that report.

2. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“DPRK’S UNPRECEDENTED ANNOUNCEMENT ON POLICY TOWARD JAPAN,” 08/11/99) and the Sankei Shimbun (“DPRK ANNOUNCES THREE PRINCIPLES TO JAPAN,” 08/11/99) reported that, according to the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency, the DPRK issued an announcement articulating its three principles to Japan on August 10. The reports said that the first principle is that Japan should abandon its suppression policy against the DPRK. The second is that Japan should provide a sincere apology and full compensation to the DPRK people for its past crimes against them. The third is that if Japan would not abandon its force against the DPRK, the DPRK would also take appropriate measures. The reports also said that the announcement criticizes Japan by saying, “Japan is still reluctant about DPRK-Japanese negotiations (on diplomatic normalization).” The reports added that the announcement also said, “If Japan accepts good-neighbor relations (with the DPRK), we are also willing to accept this.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN TO STUDY DPRK THREE PRINCIPLES ANNOUNCED TO JAPAN,” 08/11/99) reported that a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official said, “The three principles are nothing new…. But it is unusual that the DPRK announced this kind of official statement. It may contain some important message. It should not be overlooked.” According to the report, the Japanese government is particularly paying attention to the statement, “If Japan accepts good-neighbor relations (with the DPRK), we are also willing to accept this” because this suggests a sign that the DPRK is beginning to show a forward-looking attitude. The Japanese government is trying to have more contacts with the DPRK to deter the DPRK from launching another missile, added the report.

3. DPRK Missile Launch

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SAYS MISSILE LAUNCH IS NOT IMMINENT,” 08/11/99) reported that Hiromu Nonaka, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, said to reporters on August 11, “We are striving to gather information (on the DPRK’s missile launch) closely with related ministries and agencies. At this stage, we have not come as far as saying that the launch is imminent.”

4. 1994 DPRK Nuclear Crisis

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“GALLUCCI SAYS US AND DPRK ALMOST WENT TO NUCLEAR WAR BEFORE AGREED FRAMEWORK,” 08/10/99) reported that the September issue of “Diplomacy Forum” carried a talk between Robert Gallucci, former US chief negotiator with the DPRK during the 1993-94 nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, and Daniel Poneman, former US National Security Council official. According to the report, Poneman said that when former US President Jimmy Carter visited the late DPRK President Kim Il-sung on July 16, 1994, the situation was like that of the Cuban missile crisis. Poneman said that on that day, the news of the DPRK’s agreement to freeze its nuclear development came in during his and Gallucci’s meeting on the DPRK’s military situation with US President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and other staff. Poneman added that in order to specify the nature of the freeze, he and Gallucci began working on a document. In response to the question of what would have happened if Carter’s visit had not succeeded, Gallucci said, “It is certain that (the US) was going to take an adversarial action quite intentionally,” according to the report.

5. Japanese-PRC Territorial Dispute

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“ISLE ISSUE, TAIWAN THREATEN TIES BETWEEN TOKYO, BEIJING,” 08/08/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (“ISLE ISSUE, TAIWAN THREATEN TIES BETWEEN TOKYO, BEIJING,” 08/09/99) reported that PRC ocean research ships have conducted 25 surveys in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone near the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands. Critics said that the PRC’s ocean activities are a “demonstration of power that ignores Japan’s sovereignty over the islands.” The lower house’s security committee, chaired by Jiyuto (Liberal Party) member Nobuaki Futami, plans to inspect the islands using a Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship and a helicopter. Futami said the “Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory and a number of parties have agreed that the inspection would pose no problem.” Futami added that the main issue was “how and when we will go.” PRC Ambassador to Japan Chen Jian told Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Yoshiro Mori, “We have to eliminate anything that causes discord between Japan and China.” Japanese Foreign Ministry officials told directors of the committee that “the inspection could be interpreted as suggesting that Japan has admitted there is a territorial dispute with China.” The lower house’s transport committee, chaired by LDP member Shigeru Ishiba, also plans to inspect the Senkakus from the air using a Maritime Safety Agency plane. Ishiba said, “We will not land, and the PRC will understand that it is not a demonstration.” A senior member of the New Komeito Party opposed the inspection, saying “Even from the air, an inspection at this time will anger the PRC and Taiwan, both of which claim the islands.”

6. Japan-Taiwan Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“ISLE ISSUE, TAIWAN THREATEN TIES BETWEEN TOKYO, BEIJING,” 08/08/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (“ISLE ISSUE, TAIWAN THREATEN TIES BETWEEN TOKYO, BEIJING,” 08/09/99) reported that former Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian, who is expected to run in the Taiwan presidential election in March next year for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, recently visited Japan. Chen held talks with Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Yoshiro Mori and former Defense Agency Director General Tokuichiro Tamazawa, and contacted former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Taku Yamasaki on July 29. The visit “was aimed at building ties with Japanese politicians before the presidential election,” sources said. The report quoted an LDP source as saying, “There were requests to meet incumbent Cabinet members from Mr. Tamazawa, but the meetings were not arranged after a request from Chief Cabinet Secretary (Hiromu) Nonaka, to show consideration to the PRC.” Takao Koyama, parliamentary vice labor minister, also held talks with Zhan Huo-sheng, chairman of the Taiwan government’s labor committee. Diplomatic sources said that the PRC people “cannot dispel doubts about Japan’s real intention, although Japan has said that ‘China is one.'”

7. Japan-PRC Student Meeting

The Japan Times (“JAPANESE, CHINESE STUDENTS TO DEBATE WARTIME HISTORY,” 08/11/99) reported that Japanese and PRC college students will meet in Tokyo for eight days starting on August 14 to exchange opinions on the war and the differences in the two nations’ interpretations of wartime history. According to the report, the PRC will send 18 graduate students from Beijing University and Qinghua University, both in Beijing, and Fudan University in Shanghai, while about 30 students from colleges in the metropolitan area will participate in the event. The students will discuss issues related to the war at a symposium on August 19. They will attend various group discussions to take on such topics as welfare and affluence. They will also visit the Japanese Defense Agency as part of their field studies. The report added that the meeting will take place at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Cultural Center in Tokyo’s Yoyogi district.

8. Japanese Flag and Anthem

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“FLAG, ANTHEM GIVEN LEGAL STATUS,” 08/08/99) reported that a bill to legally designate the Hinomaru and “Kimigayo” as the national flag and anthem respectively was passed into law Monday, with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party, Jiyuto (Liberal Party) and New Komeito. The law will go into effect on August 13. The bill was passed by 166-to-71 at a House of Councillors plenary session in the afternoon after its approval by an upper house ad hoc panel on the national flag and anthem. Twenty Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) members voted in favor of the bill, while 31 opposed it. The government drafted the national flag and anthem bill after a Hiroshima prefectural high school principal committed suicide after becoming embroiled in a dispute over the singing of “Kimigayo” at the school’s graduation ceremony. The law also stipulates the ratio of the background and the sun motif of the Hinomaru, and the words and score of “Kimigayo.” There are no provisions to make the hoisting of the Hinomaru or the singing of “Kimigayo” obligatory, as opposition parties asserted would result from the bill. However, the government did say that teachers would be required to teach students that the Hinomaru and “Kimigayo” are the national flag and anthem and that those who do not do so will be disciplined. The government also said that it interpreted “Kimigayo” as meaning the nation, which has the Emperor as the symbol of the country and the unity of the Japanese people.

9. Japanese Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy

The Asahi Shimbun (“SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AGENCY TO ORGANIZE RESEARCH ON NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION IN SEPTEMBER,” 08/09/99) reported that the Japanese Science and Technology Agency will establish a research group in September to discuss how Japan can lead efforts to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation. The agency will gather experts of nuclear issues to discuss how to counter international suspicions that Japan would develop nuclear weapons and how Japan can make clear its stance. The report added that the group will be led by Mitsuru Kurosawa, professor at Osaka University, and will include other experts of diplomacy, law, sociology and nuclear technology. The group aims to complete a policy prescriptive report with emphasis on Japan’s future role in nuclear nonproliferation, after undertaking research both in Japan and overseas.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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

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

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

 


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