NAPSNet Daily Report 12 January, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Launch Site
2. Kazakhstan MiG Sales to DPRK
3. Korean War Massacre
4. PRC Human Rights
II. Republic of Korea 1. PRC Defense Chief to Visit ROK
2. Kazakhstan MiG Sales to DPRK
3. DPRK Missile Development
4. DPRK-ROK Military Balance
5. ROK Missile Development
6. Korean War Massacre
7. Mt. Kumkang Tour
8. ROK Exports to DPRK
9. DPRK View on Capitalist System
III. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK Immigrants in PRC
2. DPRK-Italian Normalization
3. Korean War Massacre
4. ROK Military Expenditures
5. ROK Prime Minister Nomination
6. PRC-US Relations
7. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
8. Cross-Strait Economic Relations

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Launch Site

Agence France Presse (“SATELLITE PHOTOS SHOW NORTH KOREAN LAUNCH SITE TO BE PRIMITIVE,” Washington, 1/12/00) reported that six satellite photos of the DPRK launch site in Nodong taken privately by the commercial satellite firm Space Imaging on November 1 showed the site to be little more than a bare-bones launch pad off an unpaved country road. The photos included an image of the launch pad and support gantry for the Taepodong missile and were posted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) (http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/facility/nodong.htm). FAS said in a statement, “it is fittingly paradoxical that tens of billions of dollars should have been spent, and a range of national policies have been reoriented, on account of this distressing modest and underwhelming missile test facility.” According to FAS’s analysis, other photos show a building to assemble missiles, another that appears to house a range control facility, and a support area with at least four single story buildings. FAS said, “the most noteworthy features of the Nodong facility are those that are entirely absent: paved roads, propellant storage, and staff housing that would be needed to support an extensive test facility. The modest ambitions of the North Korean test program are clearly revealed by the scale and nature of the Nodong test facility, which is surely the antithesis to Cape Canaveral. [The facility] gives every evidence of consisting of a temporary encampment to which crews might repair from time to time to test their handiwork. There is a complete absence of any manner of industrial support or other test facilities, and the bare-bones test infrastructure is connected by no more than a spidery network of unpaved trails.” US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon responded, “we’ve always known that North Korea has primitive facilities, that it is far behind us technologically, but that it devotes an enormous amount of money, energy and manpower to developing weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. So I’m not sure that the fact that the launch facility is primitive makes the missiles any less threatening.”

Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA WARNS AGAINST UNDER-ESTIMATING N.KOREA’S MISSILE THREAT,” Seoul, 1/12/00) reported that ROK intelligence sources warned Wednesday that the DPRK missile threat should not be underestimated even if the its launch facilities are deemed to be primitive. An anonymous source well-informed in DPRK affairs said, “South Korea’s intelligence analysis is different from some US media reports which downplay the North’s missile threats. We must not underevaluate the North’s missile capability. There is no exaggeration in such a position of ours.” US intelligence officials said that the debate over the DPRK’s real missile capability might originate from “different preconceived notions” of the situation between Western states and the DPRK. Another intelligence source said, “when thinking of manufacturing trains, westerners may think of a large-scale factory churning out units one by one. But it may not work that way in North Korea. Westerners with such preconceptions would surely be disappointed if they saw North Korea churning out train units in its small and shoddy iron foundries. But that’s the way it is in the North.” Former US Ambassador to the ROK Donald Gregg told the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday, “we are not worried about North Korea with one or two small missiles that might hit the woods in Alaska. It’s not a massive capacity.”

2. Kazakhstan MiG Sales to DPRK

Reuters (“PROBE GOVERNMENT ROLE IN MIG SALE, KAZAKH MPS URGE,” Astana, 1/12/00) reported that the Kazakhstan parliament’s deputies demanded on Wednesday that the government investigate whether the alleged organizers of the sale of MiG-21 fighter planes to the DPRK last year were acting with government permission. Kazakh parliament deputy Serik Abdrakhmanov said, “it is clear from Mr Yertayev’s lawyer’s speech that he was carrying out a government resolution. As the resolution has not been annulled it must still be in force…. The sale of arms (to the DPRK) has been recognized as illegal so the resolution too must be illegal.” Abdrakhmanov also said that Yertayev could not be prosecuted if he had been carrying out a government resolution for the Defense Ministry.

3. Korean War Massacre

Agence France Presse (“PENTAGON’S PROBE INTO KOREAN WAR MASSACRE COULD BE WIDENED,” Seoul, 1/12/00) reported that Gerald McLoughlin the spokesman for the US embassy in the ROK, said Wednesday that the US Defense Department investigation into the alleged No Gun Ri massacre could be expanded to include other reported killings. McLoughlin said, “the United States is not ruling out further investigations. The US investigation is currently focusing on the No Gun Ri incident and thoroughly reviewing the facts. After the No Gun Ri review is completed, we will assess reports and allegations of other incidents and determine what response may be appropriate.”

4. PRC Human Rights

The Office of International Information Programs carried the following statement from US Department of State spokesman James P. Rubin (“UNITED STATES TO SPONSOR A CHINA RESOLUTION AT THE 56th SESSION OF UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,” 1/11/00). “The United States will introduce a resolution on China’s human rights practices at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, when it meets in Geneva in March. The decision to go forward with a resolution at the Commission is based on the fact that the Government of China’s human rights record has continued to deteriorate. Over the past year, the Government of China intensified its crackdown on political dissent, initiated a campaign to suppress the Falun Gong, and intensified controls on unregistered churches and on the political and religious expression of ethnic minority groups, especially Tibetans. Controls on the media and Internet have also been tightened. These actions are contrary to internationally-recognized human rights standards, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China has signed. China has neither ratified this covenant nor taken significant, concrete steps to bring its human rights practices into compliance with it or other human rights instruments. The United Nations Commission for Human Rights, the world’s preeminent international forum on human rights, is the appropriate venue for members of the United Nations to discuss human rights issues. Our goal in sponsoring a China resolution is to foster increased respect for human rights in China.”

The Associated Press (“CHINA INDIGNANT AT U.S. DECISION,” Beijing, 1/12/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao demanded Wednesday that the US “immediately correct its wrong decision” to introduce resolutions criticizing the PRC at the UN Commission on Human Rights. Zhu said in remarks carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, “the U.S. is in no position to point its finger at other countries over human rights.” Zhu said the US would be grossly interfering in the PRC’s internal affairs and that “the Chinese government and people hereby express their strong indignation and firm opposition to the U.S. move.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. PRC Defense Chief to Visit ROK

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “CHINESE DEFENSE CHIEF TO VISIT SEOUL FOR FIRST TIME,” Seoul, 01/12/00), Chosun Ilbo (“CHINESE DEFENCE MINISTER TO VISIT SEOUL,” Seoul, 01/11/00) and The Korea Times (“CHINESE DEFENSE HEAD TO VISIT SEOUL,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on January 11 that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian will come to Seoul on January 19 for a five-day official visit at the invitation of ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae. The ministry said that the meeting will mark the first official visit to the ROK by a PRC defense chief since the two countries fought on opposite sides in the Korean War. Chi will lead a seventeen-member PRC military delegation and was scheduled to make a courtesy call on ROK President Kim Dae-jung to deliver a message from PRC President Jiang Zemin. The ministry said that the PRC defense minister is slated on January 20 to meet with his ROK counterpart to exchange opinions on ways to promote military cooperation and exchanges between the two countries. After the ministerial talks, Chi is scheduled to meet with Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young and visit the Suwon factory of Samsung Electronics Company. During his stay, Chi is also slated to visit naval and air force bases, the ministry said. Cha Young-koo, director general of the ministry’s policy planning bureau, said that Chi’s visit to the ROK would greatly help expand the two nation’s military cooperation and exchanges, which he said have remained “inactive” compared with the economic and cultural sectors.

2. Kazakhstan MiG Sales to DPRK

The Korea Times (“FINAL ARGUMENTS BEGIN AGAINST GENERAL ACCUSED OF SELLING 40 MIGS TO N.KOREA,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that a court began hearing final arguments on January 10 in the case against the chief of staff of Kazakhstan’s armed forces, who is accused of illegally selling 40 MiG fighter jets to the DPRK. General Bakhytzhan Yertayev and another defendant said that the Kazakh Defense Ministry and national security agency had cleared the US$8 million sale. The scandal broke in March 1999 when a Russian cargo plane stopped in Azerbaijan and airport officials discovered that the hold was full of disassembled, Soviet-made MiG-21 fighter aircraft. The crew said that the cargo was bound for the DPRK.

3. DPRK Missile Development

JoongAng Ilbo (“THERE IS NO TAEPODONG II MISSILE,” 1/12/00) reported that Kim Kil-sun, a former refugee from the DPRK, commented on the DPRK’s missile development plans in an interview. Kim said, “North Korea had threatened that it would fire the Taepodong II missile – with a range of 4,500-6,000 kilometers – last year. As it had not begun to manufacture the missile when I escaped in August 1997, this means that it was developed in only one year. However this is impossible considering North Korea’s technical capacity and the short time it had, and North Korea has probably not even finished developing the Taepodong II missile yet.” Kim also added that the DPRK lacks foreign exchange, technology and accessories.

4. DPRK-ROK Military Balance

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. LAGS FAR BEHIND S. KOREA IN MILITARY POWER,” Seoul, 01/12/00) reported that an ROK expert said on January 11 that the DPRK’s military prowess has fallen far behind that of the ROK due to years of economic hardship. Professor Ham Tak-young of Kyungnam University said, “North Korea’s decrepit weapons systems and shortages in energy, machinery and other resources have drastically reduced the country’s war capability. It has fallen to a lower level now than in 1994, when the North threatened the world with its nuclear project.” Kim made these and other points in his report, “South and North Korean War Capability and Disarmament,” which was contributed to a cyber forum of the Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea (http://www.peacekorea.org). Kim said he wrote the report “in order to justify their authoritarian rules and, lately, to secure the national defense budget, our governments have exaggerated North Korea’s military threat.” Kim added that the ROK has far exceeded the DPRK in defense spending since the 1980s, and the DPRK has been poorly prepared for war, as demonstrated in their diverting soldiers to work on construction sites.

5. ROK Missile Development

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “US HALTS EXPORTS OF MISSILE PARTS TO KOREA,” 1/12/00) reported that a former US government official said that the US government has suspended exports of core missile parts to the ROK as a “leverage” in its future missile talks. The statement was partially confirmed by a senior officer of the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), a Defense Ministry-affiliated organization in charge of research and development of weapons. The ROK felt the decision has caused serious delays in the production of missiles and torpedoes and has hampered the ROK’s defense preparedness. The ADD officer said, “it has not yet been entirely confirmed. So I want to refrain from making a comment on the issue.” An ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official neither confirmed nor denied the statement. The former official said, “the issue is that the U.S. government, in order to gain the upper hand in these talks and to emphasize how they can control things, is delaying its approval on certain technologies until they get their way at the talks.” The former official also said that there are more than 10 items under export control, including the “fiber optic inertial measurement unit,” which is a key component of the guidance system of a torpedo. He also said the US has frozen the issuance of export licenses for some components of missile launch systems and others, which are crucial in the production of missile bodies and launchers. Other sources said the delay means that locally produced submarines will not be adequately armed with torpedoes. The former official pointed to the office of US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn for delaying the export licenses. The official said, “all exports that can be used in missiles must receive approval from that office.” The US embargo on exports was believed to have been put into effect in October 1999.

6. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, U.S. AGREE TO EXPEDITE PROBE OF NOGUN-RI MASSACRE CASE,” Seoul, 01/12/00), The Korea Times (Sah Dong-seok, “NOGUN-RI PROBE TO CONTINUE BEYOND MAY,” Seoul, 01/11/00), Chosun Ilbo (“US, KOREA TO SHARE INFO ON NOGEUN-RI,” Seoul, 01/11/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “SUSPICION OF INTENTIONAL KILLING LED TO NOGUN-RI PROBE: CALDERA,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that the ROK and the US agreed on January 11 to wrap up investigations into the No Gun Ri massacre. Army Secretary Louis Caldera, who leads the 18-member US delegation, said in a joint news conference held after the meeting, “both sides agreed that the review (of the probe) should be completed as expeditiously as possible without sacrificing thoroughness or accuracy.” Outside of the meeting, US and ROK civilian advisors discussed a thorough joint investigation into the incident and compensation for the victims. Caldera’s ROK counterpart, Chung Hae-joo, said that he expressed his hopes that the US will complete the probe before the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War on June 25. Chung said, “Washington pledged to make its best efforts to meet the deadline.” Caldera said that unlike the No Gun Ri incident, some other cases lack specifics. The two sides also agreed to cooperate in exchanging information and to dispatch an ROK delegation to the US in February to hear the testimony of US war veterans.

7. Mt. Kumkang Tour

Joongang Ilbo (“FOREIGNERS CAN VISIT MT. KUMGANG FROM MARCH,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that foreigners will be able to visit Mount Kumgang starting this March. Hyundai will also begin to run tours departing from the Pusan port in the near future. Hyundai announced on January 11 that the Hyundai Pungak cruise ship, one of the firm’s three cruise ships, will depart from Pusan port in March 2000. It is expected that the permission for foreign tourists to join the tour and the departure from Pusan will attract numerous Japanese tourists, as 600,000 Japanese tourists visit Pusan every year.

8. ROK Exports to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“N.KOREA ORDERS 25-INCH TVS,” Seoul, 01/11/00) reported that the DPRK sent a fax order to Hyundai on December 12 last year asking for 20,000 25-inch color televisions. Hyundai had already sent 30,000 20- inch TVs (worth US$4.7 million) in October 1999, but the DPRK later requested the additional televisions with a larger screen size. An official at the Ministry of Unification said, “twenty-five inch TVs are quite a large size for North Korea where most TVs have 14-inch screens.” The television sets are labeled “Mount Kumgang.” It is still not known whether Hyundai will receive payment for products such as these that are sent to the DPRK in the future.

9. DPRK View on Capitalist System

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N. KOREA JEERS AT CAPITALISTS’ UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM,” Seoul, 01/12/00) reported that the DPRK on January 11 pointed out the severe unemployment problems some “capitalist countries” faced last year, warning the situation would soon worsen. The official Radio Pyongyang said in an editorial program, “the unemployment difficulties that have plagued most capitalist nations of the world clearly demonstrate the basic structural flaws of the capitalistic system.” Unemployment surges were attributed to a host of corporate mergers and restructuring initiatives, which led to mass layoffs. The report presented jobless statistics in major capitalist countries, including the estimated 2.95 million unemployed in Japan, and said, “as many more companies are planning to trim their workforces, the prospects for the capitalist economies this year seem even more gloomy.”

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK Immigrants in PRC

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “FM: OCEAN NEIGHBOR VIOLATED FISHERMEN,” 1/12/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao promised at a press conference on January 11 that the PRC will deal with DPRK Nationals who have fled to the PRC in a humanitarian way according to international norms and Chinese laws. However, Zhu said the seven DPRK citizens who sneaked into Russia before going to the US are not refugees from the perspective of international law or according to their own reasons for crossing the border.

2. DPRK-Italian Normalization

People’s Daily (Zhao Jiaming, “DPRK SPOKESMAN: NORMALIZATION OF DPRK-ITALIAN RELATIONSHIP BENEFITS BOTH PEOPLES,” Pyongyang, 1/10/00, P6) reported that a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said on January 9 that it is natural for the DPRK and Italy to establish diplomatic relationship because it is in accord with the interests of the peoples in both countries. The spokesman said that on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit, the DPRK and Italy will continuously expand and develop their friendly cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other fields. He said that the DPRK had made efforts to establish good-neighborly and friendly relationships with Italy and other Western countries and it is the DPRK’s consistent policy to establish and develop friendly cooperation with all countries who are friendly and who respect the DPRK’s sovereignty.

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “ARMS FOR TAIWAN A BIG NO-NO,” 1/7/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman said on January 6 that the PRC welcomes Italy’s move to normalize relations with the DPRK. The spokesman said, “we believe this is in accord with the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries.” The spokesman also said the PRC has always supported the DPRK’s efforts to improve ties with the US, Japan, the European Union, and other Western countries and that such moves could help the DPRK normalize relations worldwide.

3. Korean War Massacre

China Daily (“KOREAN SURVIVOR SHARES HIS STORY,” 1/11/00, P11) reported that US Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera and an 18-member US investigating team on January 10 listen to Jung Ku-ho, 62, a survivor of an alleged massacre in No Gun Ri. The US investigative team arrived in the ROK on January 9 for a four-day visit. Caldera will meet with ROK government officials to discuss an incident at the village of No Gun Ri, where US forces are accused of gunning down civilians in July 1950.

4. ROK Military Expenditures

People’s Daily (“ROK INCREASES MILITARY EXPENDITURES TO STRENGTHEN COMBAT CAPABILITY ON SEA AND IN AIR,” 1/11/00, P6) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that the ROK will increase national defense expenditures to strengthen the combat capability of its navy and air force. It was estimated that the total expenditure of ROK national defense this year will be 5,343.7 billion won (US$4.77 billion), an increase of 2.2 per cent from last year. The report said that the ROK defense ministry will increase investment in six aspects, among which the strengthening of navy and air force’s combat capability will get 1,450 billion won.

5. ROK Prime Minister Nomination

People”s Daily (Wang Linchang, “PARK TAE-JOON APPOINTED ROK PRIME MINISTER,” Seoul, 1/12/00, P6) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on January 11 nominated Park Tae-joon as prime minister to replace Kim Jong-pil, who resigned on January 11. Park’s nomination will be submitted to the ROK National Assembly late January 11 for consideration and the nomination is expected to be approved by January 12. Park is president of the ruling coalition partner United Liberal Democrats (ULD).

6. PRC-US Relations

People’s Daily (Qian Tong, “JIANG ZEMIN MEETS US CONGRESSMEN,” Beijing, 1/11/00, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin met with a group of US congressmen, led by Matt Salmon, at the Great Hall of the People on January 10. During the meeting, Jiang said that a healthy and stable relationship between the PRC and the US would not only benefit both peoples but also improve peace, stability and development in the world. Jiang said both sides should recognize and deal with developments with great intelligence, wide vision and a strategic perspective. At present, Jiang said, the Sino-US relationship is at a pivotal phase as both good opportunities and challenges lie ahead. He expressed his belief that the ties would steadily progress as long as the three Sino-US joint communiques and those commitments made by the US side are strictly observed, and that key matters, especially the Taiwan issue, are handled properly. Jiang stressed that mutual understanding between the two countries is a must for the development of bilateral relations. Describing the bilateral agreement signed by the PRC and the US on the PRC accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a “win-win” deal, Jiang said that he hoped that the US Congress will play an active role in the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation as well as the improvement of bilateral relations in general.

People’s Daily (Ma Shikun and Zhang Yong, “CLINTON LAUNCHES ALL-OUT EFFORT FOR CHINA’S ENTRY INTO WTO,” Washington, 1/12/00, P1) reported that US President Bill Clinton launched an “all-out effort” to push the Congress to facilitate the PRC’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). At a press conference at the White House, Clinton announced that a team consisting of his international economic cabinet members and his Policy Council coordinators will launch the “all-out effort.” The team will be led by Commerce Secretary William Daley and White House deputy chief of staff Steve Ricchetti. Clinton said, “this year we face major challenges and opportunities in our relationship with China in foreign and security policy, economic policy, and trade. All those issues come together in one opportunity for the American people — what we stand to gain when China enters the World Trade Organization. But to lock in our benefits, we first must grant China permanent normal trade relations status. Bringing China into the WTO is a win-win decision.” White House officials said the White House will concentrate on rounding up Republican votes to admit the PRC into the WTO this year.

7. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “ARMS FOR TAIWAN A BIG NO-NO,” 1/7/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on January 6 that the PRC is deeply concerned about reports that US President Bill Clinton will approve large-scale sales of advanced weapons to Taiwan to sway the US general elections this year. Zhu said that the PRC government and people had always opposed the US government’s sale of advanced weapons to Taiwan and the US Government is obliged to honor the Joint Communique issued by the two governments in 1982. Zhu stressed that in order to honor the agreement, the US government should send no advanced weaponry to Taiwan.

8. Cross-Strait Economic Relations

China Daily (Su Dan, “TAIWANESE CAN INVEST HERE IN PEACE,” 1/11/00, P3) reported that according to a statement from the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council of China, the official release of the Rules on the Implementation of the Law on the Protection of Investment by Taiwan Compatriots is an important step by the central government to promote cross-Straits trade regardless of political circumstances. The protection rules cover a range of issues for Taiwan investors, from border entry procedures to their children’s education here, the report said. However, the Taiwan Affairs Office statement said, since the PRC’s Criminal Law and others already guarantee Taiwan investors’ safety, no regulations protecting Taiwan investors’ personal safety in the PRC are in the new rules.

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

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