NAPSNet Daily Report 12 December, 1997

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 December, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 12, 1997,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

IV. Russian Federation

V. Announcements

I. United States

1. ROK Financial Crisis

The New York Times (“Timothy L. O’Brien with Andrew Pollack, ” KOREA SITUATION DETERIORATES, RAISING SPECTER OF A DEFAULT,” 12/12/97), the Wall Street Journal (“KOREA MUST RENEGOTIATE BAILOUT OR RISK DEFAULT, ECONOMISTS SAY,” 12/12/97), and the Washington Times (Ben Barber, “FEAR RISES OVER ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS,” 12/12/97) reported that the ROK’s Korea Development Bank decided Thursday to delay the sale of bonds, which it had hoped to use to help pay foreign debt coming due within the next few weeks. With the won falling rapidly against the US dollar, many bankers and economists believe that the ROK must either renegotiate the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-led bailout or risk large-scale defaults on international loans. One anonymous source stated, “The market response reflects a response to bad, but true, news and the IMF program.” Meanwhile, opposition presidential candidate Kim Dae-jung on Friday morning promised that he would stand by the IMF agreement if elected.

The Washington Post (Paul Blustein, “KOREA DRAWS CRITICISM IN QUEST FOR CASH,” 12/12/97, G01) reported that ROK Finance Minister Lim Chang-yuel said that he was hopeful that some of the participants in the US$60 billion bailout of the ROK economy may provide immediate injections of US dollars and other foreign currencies that the ROK needs to pay its foreign debts in the next several weeks. Lim added that although putting the country under IMF supervision “has been a bitter pill for the proud Korean people to swallow,” the government will follow through on its promises to the fund, even after a the presidential election next Thursday. He said the ROK’s holdings of currency reserves is at the dangerously low level of US$10 billion. Chung Duk-koo, deputy finance minister for international affairs, was quoted in wire service reports as saying that Japan has responded favorably to the idea. However, an unnamed International Monetary Fund (IMF) official stated, “If they implement the [IMF] program and get on with it, they should have enough cash.”

2. Security Effects of ROK Financial Crisis

The Wall Street Journal (Robert S. Greenberger and Thomas E. Ricks, “FINANCIAL CRISIS IN SEOUL ISN’T SEEN AS A MAJOR THREAT TO U.S. SECURITY,” Washington, 12/12/97) reported that US analysts believe that the DPRK is unlikely to see the ROK’s economic problems as an opportunity for provocation or for launching an attack. Larry Niksch, a specialist in Asian affairs at the Congressional Research Service, stated, “I don’t think things are going to get so bad there as to create risks for American soldiers.” He did say, however, that ROK student organizations, labor unions, and some activist Christian groups are likely to blame the US for the economic problems. Former US ambassador to the ROK Richard Walker said that he believes the ROK economy is fundamentally sound and thus the financial crisis should not have a destabilizing effect. A US Defense Department spokesman said that as of Thursday the US had not raised the alert status of US troops in the ROK. However, former US ambassador to the ROK James Lilley warned that the DPRK “will take advantage of this thing. It won’t necessarily be with 10,000 artillery pieces opening up on Seoul.”

3. Aid for DPRK

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“U.N. AGENCY COMMITS $28.9M TO HELP NORTH KOREA PRODUCE FOOD,” Rome, 12/12/97) reported that the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development on Friday announced a US$28.9 million project to help the DPRK grow more grain and raise more livestock. The loan was the UN agency’s second project for the DPRK in a year.

4. US-PRC Defense Talks

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “PENTAGON TALKS MAY LEAD TO MORE U.S.-CHINA MILITARY COOPERATION, JOINT EXERCISES,” 12/12/97, A12) reported that PRC and US military officers were scheduled to brief each other Friday on humanitarian relief missions and search-and-rescue operations as part of two days of high-level meetings at the Pentagon headed by Walter Slocombe, the US undersecretary of defense for policy, and Lieutenant General Xiong Guangkai, the deputy chief of the general staff for the PRC People’s Liberation Army and the chief of army intelligence. A Defense Department official said that the two met Thursday for three hours on the first day of Xiong’s visit. Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon stated, “These talks are designed to increase understanding, to increase transparency. They’re based on the very simple premise that the world’s most powerful nation and the world’s most populous nation have to be able to deal with each other in an adult, mature way both in areas where they agree and areas where they disagree.” Bacon said that the talks are to cover three major topics: global and regional defense issues, a schedule for defense contacts in 1998, and the humanitarian operations briefings. US officials have said they want to begin joint military exercises for search and rescue and information- sharing with the PRC because, if the DPRK collapses and millions of refugees cross into the PRC and the ROK, they will need to know how the PRC intends to respond.

5. South Africa to Recognize PRC

Reuters (“SOUTH AFRICA TO RECOGNIZE CHINA ON DEC. 28,” Taipei, 12/12/97) reported that a South African embassy spokeswoman in Taipei said Friday that South Africa would switch diplomatic ties to the PRC from Taiwan on December 28. The switch will reduce the number of countries that recognize the Republic of China on Taiwan rather than the People’s Republic of China to 29. Officials of the Taiwan government confirmed the switch, saying that Taiwan would sever ties with South Africa on that date.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Presidential Election

ROK opposition candidate Kim Dae-jung yesterday suggested he will take a more flexible approach to the DPRK if elected president. He said he will help the DPRK improve its ties with the US and Japan on the condition that inter-Korea relations see corresponding progress. The improved ties with the US and Japan will eventually help pull the DPRK out of isolation, he said. He added that a sudden collapse of the DPRK is not desirable for the ROK. “The economic burden will be too heavy for us to shoulder.” Suggesting that there are three courses the DPRK can take– collapse, provocation, and moving on a path towards reform and openness–Kim said that the ROK should lead its brethren out of isolation and into the international community. To help the DPRK survive an economic breakdown, he proposed linking massive food aid to the DPRK’s sincere participation in the four-way peace talks. (Korea Herald, “INTERVIEW WITH CANDIDATES; KIM DAE JUNG TO TAKE MORE FLEXIBLE APPROACH TOWARD NORTH KOREA,” 12/12/97)

2. US Troops in ROK

The ROK Defense Ministry is considering changing the method of paying its share of the expenses of US troops in the ROK in an effort to reduce its US dollar expenditures. A ministry official said Thursday, “With the won being devalued by half amid the ongoing economic crisis, the ministry, a key dollar spender among the government agencies, has to minimize its spending of US dollars with one of the most conspicuous dollar guzzlers, the payment of expenses to keep the US military presence here.” It appears, however, that the ROK ministry will pay the US$399 million agreed with the US as its share for next year. In 1995, the two countries agreed to a 10 percent annual increase of Korea’s portion in the burden-sharing of maintaining the US troops here from 1996-1998. Accordingly the ROK paid US$330 million in 1996 and US$363 million this year. The ROK’s share is about 30 percent of the total cost. Backing up this assessment, ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-jin indicated his willingness to pay next year as agreed during the recent ROK-US Security Consultation Meeting (SCM) in Washington. He was quoted as saying in a press conference with his US counterpart, William Cohen, at the end of the SCM, “We will be bearing a fair burden in terms of budget sharing (in hosting the US troops).” He said that there are many options under consideration to reduce the ROK’s financial burden of hosting the US troops. It may ask to reduce its portion of troop maintenance costs to below the present level or to pay a significant portion of its share in won instead of in dollars. (Korea Times, “KOREA MAY HAVE TO LESSEN SHARE OF HOSTING US TROOPS,” 12/12/97)

3. ROK Financial Crisis

ROK President Kim Young-sam on Thursday apologized to the nation for the economic turmoil and vowed to implement the accord that the ROK signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without delay. In a live televised speech, Kim said he would fully cooperate with the president-elect to ensure restoration of economic stability as well as national security and to protect the daily livelihood of the people. He also pledged that the government will protect all deposits at financial companies under all circumstances, in an apparent attempt to calm public uneasiness over the safety of bank deposits. Kim said Korea will fully and faithfully honor the IMF accord. “The priority of the state will be to restore international confidence in our country by establishing a cooperative system of state administration.” Kim’s remark is seen as a warning to the presidential candidates who seek to win voters by pledging to renegotiate the IMF terms. (Korea Times, “PRESIDENT KIM VOWS TO IMPLEMENT IMF ACCORD WITHOUT FAIL,” 12/12/97)

III. People’s Republic of China

1. Four-Party Talks

PRC Deputy Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, who headed the delegation to the first session of four-party talks regarding the Korean Peninsula in Geneva, said on Wednesday that the significance of the meeting was that it successfully started a negotiation mechanism of the resolution of Korean Peninsula issue. Regarding the PRC’s role in the talks, Tang said that the PRC is willing to closely cooperate with the other three parties and play an active role in promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The PRC will make efforts to do everything possible that would be beneficial to stability on the Korean Peninsula. Asked about the principles for future negotiations, Tang said that there were two principles formed during the talks. The first is that all issues of concern to the parties could be discussed. Secondly, all participants should be flexible in negotiations. (Jie Fang Daily, “TANG JIAXUAN TALKS ON FOUR-PARTY TALKS,” Geneva, 12/12/97, p. 4)

A commentary in People’s Daily (“THE FIRST STEP FOR PEACE REGIME,” 12/12/97, p. 6) said that the success of the first session of the four-party talks is an important step in the peace process for the Korean Peninsula. It marks the formal start of the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and conforms to all parties’ interests. Maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is the basic principle of the PRC’s policy toward the Korean Peninsula. The PRC has consistently played an important role in pushing forward the talks and promoting the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. As the chair of the second session of four- party talks, the PRC will continue to exert its constructive influence in the future.

2. Regional Cooperation in Northeast Asia

An article in the monthly Contemporary International Relations (“REGIONAL COOPERATION ISSUE IN NORTHEAST ASIA,” Ji Zhiye, No. 11, 97, pp. 23-27) said that the establishment of a regional cooperation mechanism in Northeast Asia is not only necessary but also feasible. The author said that whether the region of Northeast Asia can become one of the most developed areas in the next century largely depends on whether it can create a secure and peaceful development environment. This environment should not be safeguarded by a superpower. It should rely on the mutual confidence and common efforts of the countries in this area. At present, various interests are promoting the cooperation among countries in the area. As two major powers in this area, the PRC and Russia should do more to contribute to cooperation, because only these two countries can hold comprehensive dialogues with all countries in this area. The proposal of cooperation in Northeast Asia also will meet some difficulties. Firstly, countries in this area have not paid enough attention to this kind of cooperation. Secondly, this kind of regional cooperation will exert a negative influence on US interests and status in this area. And finally, the funds which the PRC, Russia, the DPRK, and Mongolia can provide for regional cooperation will be limited. However, the author argued that regional cooperation will overcome the obstacles and continue on the right track.

3. DPRK Policy Trends

Yu Meihua published an article in the semimonthly World Affairs (“KIM JONG-IL’S INAUGURATION AND THE TENDENCY OF HIS POLICY,” No. 22, 97, pp. 12-13), analyzing the trends of DPRK policy in the Kim Jong-il era. While carrying out Kim Il-sung’s policies, Kim Jong-il will develop and enrich his father’s theories and thought so as to adapt to the situation after the cold war. In politics, the DPRK will insist on Korean-style socialism, emphasize self- determination and national character in revolution and construction, and oppose Westernization, pluralism, and the multiparty system. Regarding the economy, the DPRK will gradually increase its capability of self-reliance. It will transfer its priorities from heavy industry to agriculture, light industry, and trade, and will increase its economic cooperation with other countries. In foreign policy, the DPRK will persist in its diplomatic tone of self-determination, friendship and peace, but its concrete policies will tend to be more flexible. It will continue to carry out multilateral diplomacy with major powers on the periphery. The current stress in the DPRK’s foreign policy is to improve its relationship with the US, and thus it will also develop its relations with Japan. On the issue of reunification, the DPRK will stick to the principles of self-determination, peaceful reunification, and national union. It will pursue coexistence and co-prosperity in competition and cooperation with the ROK. Regarding the military, the DPRK will enhance its defense. The DPRK will continue to demand the replacement of the armistice with a peace agreement and the withdrawal of US troops from the ROK in the four-party talks. However, the DPRK will take more flexible positions on concrete issues.

4. PRC-Russian Relations

An essay in the Semimonthly World Outlook (“RELATIVE STATUS OF POLITICAL, SECURITY AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION IN PRC-RUSSIAN RELATIONS,” No. 21, 97, pp. 10-11) discussed the different roles of politics, security, and economic cooperation in PRC-Russian relations. The article said that the PRC and Russia can understand each other’s efforts to maintain domestic stability and territorial integration. Their mutual understanding and common belief that the world should be multipolar provided a foundation for them to carry out political cooperation. This political cooperation is the basis of the strategic partnership between the PRC and Russia. The security and military cooperation between the PRC and Russia is an important part of their strategic and cooperative partnership. In the security field, how to resolve the border problems was the prior concern of the two countries. PRC-Russian cooperation on military technology conforms to their current and long-term interests, and also provides an effective support to the development of the PRC- Russian partnership. Economic cooperation between the PRC and Russia has not been as active as the cooperation in the other two areas, but it has great potential as long as there is an effective mechanism to manage it.

5. Russian-Japanese Relations

An article in the weekly Outlook (Ji Zhiye, “RUSSIAN-JAPANESE RELATIONS IMPROVED,” No. 46, 97, pp. 41-42) said that the fundamental improvement of Russian-Japanese relations will still rely on the development of the international situation. According to the author, this is because Japan’s foreign policy is dependent on the US and the essential goal of Japan to improve its relations with Russia is to try new methods to resolve the territorial dispute. On the whole, the improvement of Japanese- Russian relations is conducive to the multipolar tendency of the world. Russia’s entrance into the Asia-Pacific region will change the balance of power, check US leadership in the area, and reduce the pressure from the US-Japanese alliance. However it will meet obstacles from the US. Since it is impossible for Russia to resist the US alone or through another alliance, Russia probably will actively promote the establishment of a new security regime in the Asia-Pacific area.

6. US-Japanese Defense Cooperation

Liu Yongjiang published an article in the monthly Contemporary International Relations (“WHY THE NEW US-JAPANESE DEFENSE COOPERATION GUIDELINES AROUSE CONCERNS?”, No. 11, 97, pp. 7-12). It said the new defense cooperation guidelines jointly released by the US and Japan on September 23 will cause a qualitative change of the US-Japanese alliance, which will become an “outwardly-oriented” alliance engaged mainly in areas surrounding Japan. Thus, Japan will be free from the restraint of its “defense-only” policy and the ban on “collective self-defense ” stated in its constitution. The new guidelines unveiled the strategic intention of the US and Japan to hold sway over Asia- Pacific security. Even though the two countries are deliberately vague about the “areas surrounding Japan,” the “surrounding area” in fact embraces Taiwan, so that the allies could maintain deterrence against the PRC and flexibly expand the scope of their military intervention. The new guidelines have introduced new contradictions, gone beyond some relevant provisions in the US- Japanese Security Treaty, broken through various kinds of forbidden zones, and brought about a change in the rights and duties of both the US and Japan. The involvement of Japanese Self-Defense Forces in a war through the provision of logistic support violates the spirit of its constitution. The logical starting point for launching military intervention in the areas surrounding Japan described in the new guidelines runs counter to the purpose and the principle of the UN Charter. It will violate the Japanese constitution, thus it will not work.

IV. Russian Federation

1. Four-Party Peace Talks Izvestia’s Yuriy Savenkov (“KOREANS OF THE NORTH AND OF THE SOUTH SAT AT A NEGOTIATION TABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME,” Moscow, 3, 12/11/97) reported that the representatives of the DPRK and of the ROK met at the Geneva Conference Palace for talks for the first time since the end of the Korean War. They were accompanied by the representatives of the US and the PRC acting as “intermediaries.” Optimistic experts believe that the talks will bring about a reunification of Korea, but concede that the process will take years. The DPRK representatives in Geneva again demanded that the US troops in the ROK be withdrawn. Also, on the first day of the negotiations the DPRK stated “in a harsh form” that it would not let ROK personnel building nuclear power facilities in the DPRK take part in the forthcoming ROK Presidential elections, because that might allegedly symbolize the DPRK’s acquiescence to the ROK Constitution, which considers the DPRK to be a part of the ROK. The author argued that a desire to get international humanitarian aid for its starving population was the main reason for the DPRK’s consent to hold the talks. Also the ROK’s financial crisis might have helped the DPRK to cope with its complex as a “poor relative.”

Kommersant-daily’s Andrey Ivanov and Yulia Gridina (“HUNGER HAS MADE NORTH KOREA MORE COOPERATIVE,” Moscow, 4, 12/11/97) reported that the first session of DPRK-ROK talks in Geneva, though assisted by the representatives of the US and the PRC, as expected made no breakthrough in bilateral relations. But the very fact of the negotiations is considerable progress. As late as on the eve of the talks some DPRK newspapers still argued that peace on the Koreans peninsula could be best guaranteed by the DPRK signing a peace treaty directly with the US rather than with the ROK. The famine in the DPRK has been the main factor making it more cooperative, although the crisis-ridden ROK is not in the best position to render food aid. The author argued that the lack of real results in the talks so far is beneficial to the RF, which failed “to fit into … the 2+2” formula, as it might induce the negotiating parties to finally include the RF in the Korean settlement process. Yevgeniy Bazhanov, Director of the Institute for Contemporary International Problems in the RF Foreign Ministry, argued that the probability of such a turn is high. On the other hand, banishing the RF from the affairs of a region so close and so important to it would inevitably lead to counteractions that might negatively affect the whole process of Korean reconciliation.

2. DPRK-ROK Red Cross Talks

Sovetskaya Rossia (“THESE DAYS …. BEIJING,” Moscow, 7, 12/11/97) reported that the DPRK and the ROK will start talks on urgent food aid through the Red Cross channels on December 22 in Beijing.

3. ROK Presidential Campaign

Sovetskaya Rossia (“KALEIDOSCOPE …. KOREA,” Moscow, 7, 12/11/97) reported that ROK presidential candidate Lee Hoi- chang’s son Lee Su-ying had to visit a military conscription post to undergo medical tests after political rivals accused his father of protecting his two sons from military service by falsely claiming that they were underweight.

4. ROK Military Purchases

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (“IN BRIEF …. SOUTH KOREA,” Moscow, 2, 12/5-18/97 #45, 72) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry stated that it would buy 12 BO.105 helicopters worth US$110 million to be produced by Daewoo Heavy Industries from parts to be supplied by the Eurocopter concern created by Daimler Benz of Germany and Aerospacial of France. The first BO.105s will be built in 1999 and will be used for reconnaissance, air patrol, and air support to the operations of the Cobra main battle helicopters. Initially, in 1989, the Ministry planned to procure 120 light helicopters, but subsequently the number was reduced to 12. The specific decision came after a heavy rivalry in which Italian A-109 helicopter lost to the BO.105.

5. RF Nuclear Disarmament

Segodnya (“BORIS YELTSIN DECIDED IT IS TIME FOR RUSSIA TO GET RID OF ONE THIRD OF ITS NUCLEAR WARHEADS,” Moscow, 3, 12/3/97) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin on a visit to Sweden said at a press conference in Stockholm that the RF would unilaterally reduces the number of its nuclear warheads by one- third. However, Sergey Yastrzhembskiy, RF Presidential Press Secretary, clarified that Yeltsin meant a “possible proposal regarding the START-3,” and added that the idea is being discussed at the experts level. He also said that as early as the RF-US summit in Helsinki, Yeltsin suggested to US President Clinton that in the final treaty “the threshold of 2000 warheads could be lowered.” Yastrzhembskiy noted, though, that first “our parliament should ratify START-2.” [Ed. note: See “RF Nuclear Disarmament” in the US Section of the December 2 Daily Report.]

6. US Nuclear Policy

Segodnya’s Nikolai Zimin (“CLINTON’S ADMINISTRATION GAVE UP THE IDEA OF WINNING A NUCLEAR WAR,” Moscow, 1, 3, 12/9/97) reported that US President Bill Clinton signed a new US “nuclear directive” last month. Under it the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) are to “deter” a use of nuclear weapons against the US and their allies by means of “a threat of a massive and incapacitating nuclear counter-strike.” The doctrine is seen as a revolutionary change from US President Ronald Reagan’s directive of 16 years ago under which the US Armed Forces were to plan to win a nuclear war, no matter how long it might last. However, the potential adversary is the same as before. According to the Washington Post, Clinton’s new guidelines call on the armed forces “to retain the capacity to render nuclear strikes against the civil and military leadership of Russia and its nuclear stockpiles.” US Presidential Special Advisor on Defense Robert Bell stressed that, although “nowadays nuclear weapons play a smaller role,” one should not believe that they as such “have no meaning” or that they “do not mean anything to the present Administration.” Reportedly the new concept was initiated by John Shalikashvili, former Chairman, JCS, and Eugene Habiger, Commander, US Strategic Forces, both of whom warned that Reagan’s goal would be unattainable if the US nuclear stockpiles were reduced to 3 to 3.5 thousand units as stipulated by the START-2 treaty. Some sources argue that the new directive permits US military planners to widen the range of targets abroad. Allegedly, as early as the 1970s the US Defense Department developed a special plan under which the US has always retained the capacity to render a nuclear strike against “a handful” of the PRC’s nuclear weapons, its leaders’ residences, oil pipelines, and its energy system, in order prevent the PRC from attaining world domination were the two superpowers to destroy each other in a nuclear war.

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Dmitriy Gornostayev (“USA ARE CHANGING THEIR NUCLEAR POLICY,” Moscow, 1, 12/9/97) reported that, under the US President’s new “nuclear war” guidelines, the US retains the right of first use of nuclear weapons against any country that uses chemical or biological weapons against US troops. Also, while previously the US was to be prepared for a protracted nuclear war, the new guidelines call for a capacity to deliver selective nuclear strikes against an increased number of targets. Thus, the author argued, it might turn out to be an easy task for the US to prove or just to state that, for instance, Iraq used some chemical or biological weapons against a possible invasion by US troops. The RF, which possesses such weapons, remains a target for US nuclear weapons. Recalling the recent controversial statement by RF President Yeltsin in Stockholm on a future one-third reduction of the RF nuclear stockpile, the author pointed out that US President Clinton, unlike his “friend Boris Yeltsin,” still gives priority to US national interests over the global reduction of the risk of nuclear war.

7. Global Land Mine Ban Izvestia’s Lyudmila Beletskaya (“THERE WILL BE FEWER MINES ON EARTH,” Moscow, 3, 12/3/97) and Kommersant-daily’s Andrey Ivanov (“ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES WILL BE AS IF MADE OF GOLD,” Moscow, 5, 12/5/97) reported that representatives of 125 countries convened in Ottawa to sign the international convention banning the production and use of anti-personnel mines. Last week Japan and Poland expressed their wish to joint the convention. The RF sent an observer to Ottawa, but has so far refused to sign the document. The PRC, India, Israel, and Pakistan also have not signed it. The US proposal that an exclusion should be made for the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula was not accepted, therefore the US also will not join the convention presently, but will rather allocate some funds for its implementation.

Nezavisimaya gazeta (“ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES EXPORT MORATORIUM PROLONGED,” Moscow, 1, 12/3/97) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin prolonged for five more years starting from December 1 the RF’s moratorium on exports of anti-personnel mines of the types not equipped with self-destruction mechanisms and undetectable by mine-detectors. The previous moratorium had been in effect since November 21, 1994.

8. PRC Reaction to Global Land Mine Ban

Sovetskaya Rossia (“THESE DAYS …. BEIJING,” Moscow, 3, 12/6/97) reported that a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman in reply to a question regarding the PRC’s position on the international land mines ban treaty said the PRC would not give up its legitimate right to use anti-personnel mines in its own territory to protect its security interests.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (“IN BRIEF …. CHINA,” Moscow, 3, 12/5-18/97 #45, 72) reported that the PRC started “the second action” to eliminate minefields in a number of areas of the PRC adjacent to its border with Vietnam. The total length of the border area of the PRC’s Guanxi-Chuang Autonomous Region to be freed from mines is about 1000 kilometers. The removal should take about three years. The mines were planted by both the PRC and Vietnam during their March, 1979 30-day conflict, which was prompted by the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. The first action to eliminate mines was taken by the PRC in 1993, when it removed a total of 600 thousand mines of various types in some areas on its side of the border with Vietnam.

V. Announcements

1. Hunger Relief Fund for DPRK

The Hunger Relief Fund for North Korea, a project of the American Friends Service Committee, will hold its third day of volunteer work for its Double Cropping Project this Saturday, December 13, from 12:30 to 4:00 PM. The work will take place at the SHARE (Self-Help And Resource Exchange) food warehouse, 4075 Lakeside Drive, Richmond, CA. Volunteers will prepare food for distribution to the hungry in the local community while raising funds to purchase barley seed for the spring 1998 planting on DPRK farms. 100 percent of the money raised goes to DPRK hunger relief. The delivery and application of the aid will take place in early 1998 and will be overseen by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in cooperation with other non- governmental organizations working in the DPRK. For information about volunteering for the Double Cropping Project, or for more information about the Hunger Relief Fund, please contact David Malinowski at 1-415-565-0201, extension 23, or visit the website at

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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