NAPSNet Daily Report 12 December, 2000

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Inter-Korean Talks
2. ROK-DPRK Relations
3. DPRK-UK Relations
4. Japan-PRC Talks
5. PRC Missile Test
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Talks
2. Nobel Peace Prize
3. DPRK View of Nobel Prize
4. Nogunri Incident
III. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK-ROK Military Talks
2. ROK View on Japanese Military
3. PRC-Japanese Relations
4. PRC Diplomacy
5. PRC Military Development
6. PRC-Russian Cooperation
IV. Announcements 1. AFSC Job Opening
2. Korea Roundtable

I. United States

1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “KOREA NEGOTIATORS MEET ON RELATIONS,” Seoul, 12/12/00) reported that high-level government negotiators from the ROK and the DPRK met in Pyongyang on Tuesday. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu told his DPRK counterpart Chon Gum-jin that there was a perception in his country that the DPRK was not improving relations as quickly as promised. Chon responded, “If you want to argue on that, I will remind you that the North has made more sacrifices.” Both sides will enter full-dress negotiations on December 13. Park said that this week’s talks, the fourth since September, will review progress made so far and discuss cooperation in 2001. ROK officials said that their major concern is helping reunite more separated family members on the two sides. They also want a permanent meeting place along the border for separated family members. ROK officials also will try to set the date for a promised return visit to Seoul by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. The ROK unification minister said that a new agreement expected during Kim Jong-il’s visit would aim to ease military tension between the Koreas.

2. ROK-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse (C.W. Lim, “NORTH KOREA BLASTS SOUTH OVER ‘ANTI-UNIFICATION’ FORCES,” Seoul, 12/11/00) reported that the DPRK criticized the ROK military on December 11. Hours after ROK President Kim Dae-jung was presented the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the DPRK blasted the ROK for hampering progress in the inter-Korean peace process. It insisted that this week’s ministerial talks were threatened by “anti-unification elements” who regard the DPRK as the ROK’s main enemy. The accusation, aired repeatedly by the DPRK’s two main state radio stations, came in a statement issued by the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of Fatherland, a state organization in charge of inter-Korean affairs. The statement said, “South Korea must know that progress will not be made in (inter- Korean relations) without removing anti-unification elements prepossessed with a craze for war.” The DPRK also strongly denounced an ROK defense ministry white paper released last week that said that the DPRK was still the “main enemy.”

3. DPRK-UK Relations

Agence France Presse (“BRITAIN OPENS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA,” London, 12/12/00) reported that Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement that Britain and the DPRK on Tuesday established diplomatic relations “with immediate effect.” The statement said, “Both sides agreed that the establishment of diplomatic relations would enable the UK and the DPRK to develop their bilateral links more effectively; and would provide greater opportunities for exchanges on issues of mutual interest and concern.”

4. Japan-PRC Talks

Kyodo news agency (“JAPAN, CHINA RECONFIRM NEED TO BUILD BILATERAL TIES,” Tokyo, 12/12/00) reported that a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and former PRC Ambassador to Japan Xu Dunxin agreed Tuesday that the two countries should keep building on already good bilateral ties. They also expressed satisfaction that defense exchanges have become activated. Xu, vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the ninth National People’s Congress, said, “The relationship between Japan and China has been developing well, but exchanges in the defense area were a bit behind.” Kono told Xu, “The security of a country has many aspects and diplomacy is a very important one. Good bilateral relationships are the best security for any country.” Kono said that security cooperation among Japan, the PRC, and the ROK has begun moving, along with existing cooperation in the political and economic fields, as mutual visits by warships between Japan and the PRC and between the PRC and the ROK are planned for next year. The foreign minister expressed hope that the DPRK will eventually be able to take part in cooperative ties among Northeast Asian countries, saying that to do so would “increase the level of security” in the region. Kono also asked for the PRC for continued support for Japan’s efforts to normalize diplomatic ties with the DPRK. Xu said that the PRC is watching attentively the developments in the talks between Japan and the DPRK on normalizing relations, and added that he hopes the negotiations proceed smoothly.

5. PRC Missile Test

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA RUNS 2ND TEST OF LONG-RANGE MISSILE,” 12/12/00) reported that an anonymous US Defense Department official said that the PRC conducted the second flight test of the DF-31 missile in early November and is preparing for a third test in the next few weeks. One US Defense Department official familiar with reports of the test said, “This test and plans for the next one show they are moving ahead with their road- mobile long-range missile program.” The test took place during a three-day visit to the PRC by General Henry H. Shelton, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, November 3-5. Defense analysts said that the timing of the test during Shelton’s trip appeared to be a deliberate political signal to the US. Some analysts also said that the closeness of the missile test to the US presidential election was a signal to the next US president of the PRC’s opposition to US missile defense deployment. The flight test was carried out from the Wuzhai Missile and Space Center, some 250 miles north of Beijing. The test was conducted within PRC territory and involved several decoy warheads. Officials said that US intelligence reports indicated that the missile test was successful. Michael Pillsbury, a former Reagan administration defense specialist on the PRC, stated, “This is another warning shot in the political campaign China has sponsored over the past two years against deployment of a U.S. national missile defense.” Richard Fisher, a PRC military specialist with the Jamestown Foundation, added that the latest DF-31 test is part of a propaganda campaign aimed at influencing US policy-makers against deploying a missile defense. Fischer said, “China is making maximum military-political use of its new nuclear missile capability. The tests themselves are being used to target American decision makers as well as to target Taiwan’s leadership to signal both that China’s new missiles are intended to deter American support for Taiwan.” Fisher predicts that the new DF-31 will become operational “in the very near future.” [Ed. note: This article was included as a top story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 12, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “2 KOREAS TO DISCUSS ALL ISSUES AT HIGH-LEVEL TALKS: PYONGYANG SEEN TO CRITICIZE SEOUL’S ‘MAIN ENEMY’ CONCEPT,” Seoul, 12/13/00) reported that the ROK’s chief delegate to the inter-Korean ministerial talks beginning Tuesday said that the DPRK was expected to take issue with the recent ROK Defense Ministry report that said that the DPRK is still the ROK main enemy. “At the talks, North Korea will raise any issue it wants to discuss and so will the South,” said Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu, who was to lead a 38-member delegation to Pyongyang for the four-day meeting. Park was responding to the DPRK official media’s reports earlier in the day that the DPRK might scuttle the inter-Korean rapprochement process unless the ROK abandons its “primary enemy” concept. The DPRK’s Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) said, “Such moves by the South’s authorities are not only a clear violation of the spirit of the June 15 Joint Communique but also unforgivable acts driving inter-Korean relations into confrontations.” These latest attacks by the DPRK’s official mouthpiece somewhat overshadow the prospects for tangible outcomes from the minister-level talks, observers said.

2. Nobel Peace Prize

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM USES NOBEL FAME TO DRAW ATTENTION TO PLIGHT IN N. KOREA,” Oslo, 12/13/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung appealed to the international community to help the DPRK resolve its food shortage problems and revive its devastated economy. Kim issued the appeal in a special live interview with CNN hours after he received the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize Sunday and also in a series of Nobel prize-related events and meetings with Norwegian leaders on Monday. Kim said that the DPRK is showing “enthusiasm” towards reducing tensions and promoting various exchanges and cooperation with the ROK. In a special CNN interview program, Kim said that famine in the DPRK is the most urgent problem, and the ROK and the international community should help the DPRK not only save the lives of its people but also reform its agricultural sector.

3. DPRK View of Nobel Prize

The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, “NK CONGRATULATES KIM ON NOBEL PRIZE INDIRECTLY,” Seoul, 12/13/00) reported that the DPRK has given no official word on the Nobel Peace Prize, but it may have conveyed a message indirectly to President Kim or through a private channel. Such was confirmed Sunday by President Kim at a press conference in Oslo where he said, “I only heard indirect words of congratulation.” The message is likely to have been passed on to Kim by ROK citizens who visited the DPRK recently, or by the DPRK delegation that came to Seoul for the latest round of family reunions. The Nobel prize, however, is not very well known in the DPRK, experts pointed out. According to them, there has been no official mention of the prize itself in the DPRK press, and only a few high-ranking government officials or diplomats and scholars know of the prize. According to the Korea Encyclopedia published in 1997 in the DPRK, an explanation of the prize including the history is available, but in the end it is written “recently some Nobel Prizes are used by the imperialists,” which shows the DPRK’s uneasiness with some of the recipients of the prize, possibly in the economics and peace categories.

4. Nogunri Incident

The Korea Herald (“NOGUN-RI ADVISORY GROUP TO VISIT WASHINGTON DEC.13,” 12/12/00) reported that ROK officials said that the ROK government sent its advisory group on the alleged mass killings of Koreans by US troops to Washington on Tuesday. Oh Young-ho, director-general for National Security and Foreign Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, said, “A group of six advisors will visit the United States December 13-17 to deliver Koreans’ sentiments and the positions of the victims’ families.” One of the advisors, Paik Sun-yup, said that their visit was “aimed at benefiting the Korean side as much as possible” in drawing a final conclusion to the case. He added, “We are somewhat worried, however, as we do not know our schedule there nor have we been informed about officials we would likely meet in the United States, even as of today.” ROK observers said that US slowness in promoting the meetings demonstrated that the two sides still held widely different views of the incident. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 12, 2000.]

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-ROK Military Talks

People’s Daily (Wang Linchang, “DPRK, ROK HELD SECOND MILITARY TALKS,” Seoul, 12/06/00, P6) reported that DPRK and ROK military representatives held their second military affair talks in the “Peace Home,” south part of Panmunjom. Both sides exchanged views and reached some consensus on issues concerning railway repairing and roads construction in the demilitarized zone. Both agreed that accidental conflicts might occur among military and construction people in the demilitarized zone. To prevent such accidents, the two delegations exchanged their respective proposed drafts of “Common Regulations in the Demilitarized Zone” for discussion. They also agreed on establishing emergency liaison mechanisms to deal with accidental military conflict and emergency situations. The two sides basically reached consensus on the line dividing the ROK and DPRK managerial areas.

2. ROK View on Japanese Military

People’s Daily (Gao Haorong, “ROK MEDIA WARNS AGAINST JAPANESE REMILITARIZATION,” Seoul, 12/10/00, P2) reported that the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency carried a commentary on December 9 that Japan’s recent military build-up discloses its intention to change its self-defense military posture, which will inevitably cause great concern among its neighbors. The commentary said that the Japanese Defense Agency will, from next year, purchase destroyers that can carry helicopters, airplanes that can be refueled in the air, and other weapons. It reflects, it commented, Japanese intention to be a military power rather than only an economic power.

3. PRC-Japanese Relations

The Hong Kong-based magazine China Review (Gao Haikuan, “OBSTACLES LYING BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN,” No. 35) published an article on PRC-Japanese relations. The writer, Gao Haikuan, is the Director of the Chinese Peace and Development Research Center based in Beijing. To establish in the new millennium a stable PRC- Japanese relationship, he wrote, the two Asian countries should find out the problems and obstacles. He attributed the problems to such factors as the changing Japanese strategic position, the US-Japan alliance, and historic problems. Gao argued that the decade-long high-speed development of the PRC after the end of the Cold War is the main driving factor for Japan’s changing its strategy. During the past 10 years, the PRC did not collapse or become westernized as the West had expected. Instead, it gained enormous economic achievements and political importance, which, he thought, affected Japan’s perception of the PRC. Currently, he said, Japan is implementing a contradictory strategy toward the PRC. On the one hand, Japan values highly a stable and friendly relationship with the PRC. On the other hand, it considers the PRC as a potential competitor and threat. Gao pointed out that the threat is not necessarily a security threat, but also a threat in other fields like energy, population, environment and food. Gao argued that stable, equal and balanced triangular relations are the keys to both the PRC-Japanese relationship and the Japan-US relationship. However, he pointed out that the current US-Japan alliance framework will inevitably bring instability to PRC-Japanese relations. Concerning the historic problem, Gao stressed that the question now is not that the PRC keeps fussing over this issue, but that a minor group of Japanese keep trying to reverse the verdict of history. The writer finally concluded that the paramount precondition for friendly bilateral relations is to have objective and correct knowledge about the other side and a reasonable strategic position.

4. PRC Diplomacy

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “NATION NEVER POSED A THREAT TO NEIGHBORS,” 12/08/00, P1) reported that the PRC reiterated its good-neighbor policy in response to an article “Japan and India Should Join Hands to Deal With China” carried by the Indian magazine “News Behind the News.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue said on December 7 that facts have and will continue to prove that the PRC’s development has never posed a threat to any other country. “On the contrary, China’s development is conducive to the peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large,” added Zhang. It is the PRC’s unswerving policy to develop friendly relations and cooperation with all countries in the world on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, said Zhang, noting that for years the friendly relations and cooperation between the PRC and its neighboring countries have been consistently enhanced. She criticized the Indian magazine for concocting a “China threat” hypothesis in an attempt to damage the friendly relations between the PRC and its neighboring countries.

5. PRC Military Development

China Daily (“ARMY OFFICIERS BETTER EDUCATED,” 12/12/00, P2) reported that the education level of PRC People’s Liberation Army (PLA) members has improved significantly. Qian Xuesen, a Chinese rocket expert, said 13 years ago, “In the future, officers at division-levels in the PLA should have a master’s degree and a doctorate.” Now Qian’s remark is coming true. According to the latest statistics of the PLA General Political Department, the PLA has 26,000 members with either a master’s degree or doctorate. In the early 1950s, most PLA officers were taught to read and write. By the end of the 1980s, college and university graduates made up 42.3 percent of PLA officers. Currently, however, 71.8 percent of army officers have studied in institutions of higher learning. A resolution jointly made by the State Council and the Central Military Commission said that the army would rely on civilian higher learning institutions to foster officers. Since 1992, the army has recruited 46,000 university graduates from non-military academies.

6. PRC-Russian Cooperation

China Daily (“RUSSIAN P.M. CONFIRMS HOPES FOR GREATER SINO-RUSSIAN TIES,” Moscow, 12/06/00, P1) reported that when Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and PRC Vice Premier Li Lanqing met in Moscow on December 4, both sides stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation. Li was there for a 10-day official visit. Li said that PRC-Russian ties have developed very well in recent years and have advanced to a high level. The close cooperation between the PRC and Russia in political, economic, scientific and technical aspects and on major international issues is of great significance and very effective, he added. Promoting the PRC-Russian strategic partnership, established by the state heads of the two countries, Li stressed, not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the people of both countries, but also benefits regional peace and stability in the world at large. Warmly welcoming Li and his delegation, Kasyanov echoed Li’s remarks. He emphasized, “We should expand both bilateral political ties and cooperation in science, education, culture, health, sports and various other fields.”

People’s Daily (Li Deping, Ban Wei, “SINO-RUSSIAN COOPERATION EXPANDED,” Moscow, 12/07/00, P1) reported that the PRC and Russia strengthened their cooperation by inaugurating, on December 5, the China-Russia Cooperation Committee on Education, Culture, Health and Sports. This committee was inaugurated by visiting PRC Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko. Co-chairing the Committee’s first session, Li said that the founding of the Committee at the level of deputy prime ministers will help strengthen the strategic cooperation between the two countries. During the session, Li said, the two sides will strive for a better planning and institutionalization of their cooperation in these areas. He pledged that PRC would work together with Russia to push their cooperation to a new level. Matviyenko said that the Beijing summit in July between the two leaders of Russia and PRC has promoted the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation to a substantive stage. Matviyenko said that in order to enrich the content of such a partnership, the two countries should strengthen their ties not only in the political and economic spheres, but also in the fields of education, culture, health and sports.

IV. Announcements

1. AFSC Job Opening

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is seeking a Quaker International Affairs Representative(s) for East Asia, to be based in China or South Korea. The person or persons would be responsible for a program designed to encourage dialogue within East Asia (Korea, China, Japan) on peace and justice issues and to build trust across lines of political division. Activities currently involve advancing a program of exchange with North Korea, supporting a conflict resolution training program in South Korea, and promoting regional consultations focusing on peace and security, women, and environmental issues. New emphasis will be placed on developing program activities with Chinese organizations. Responsibilities also include writing analytical reports on regional developments and managing the field office. The job requires: Compatibility with, and ability to represent, the principles and positions defining AFSC’s international affairs work, especially its work in Northeast Asia; knowledge of geopolitical affairs in East Asia and the Korean peninsula and of U.S. involvement in the region; capacity to communicate effectively with people of different perspectives; and significant experience in program planning and administration, and ability to speak Chinese or Korean as well as living experience or extensive travel in East Asia. This is a senior position for an individual or a couple with an established relationship. Address letter of interest and resume by January 24, 2001, to Elizabeth Stegner, AFSC-HR, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-1479.

2. Korea Roundtable

The Institute for Strategic Reconciliation, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit, independent think tank, will be holding an “off-the-record” 8th Washington North Korea Roundtable. The topic for this year’s roundtable will be “US-DPRK Relations Assessments and Prospects.” Speakers will include David Shear, US State Department Deputy Director of the Office of Korean Affairs and Dr. Syngman Rhee, President of the Presbyterian Churches of USA. The participants in the Washington North Korea Roundtable include senior delegates from think tanks, international NGOs, UN agencies, and the business community, as well as representatives of the US government, and foreign governments. The roundtable will be held on Tuesday, December 19, 6:30 PM at the Woo Lae Oak Restaurant Conference Room. For more information, go to www.ISR2020.org.

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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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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