NAPSNet Daily Report 12 July, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test

The Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, “N. KOREA SAID MAY FIRE TEST- MISSILE,” Beijing, 07/12/99) and Reuters (“U.S. SENATOR SAYS N.KOREA INTENT ON MISSILE TEST,” Beijing, 07/12/99) reported that, according to US Senator Robert Torricelli, who recently visited the DPRK, the DPRK appears intent on test-firing a new long-range missile this summer. Torricelli stated, “Despite the illogic and the enormous setback that I believe will ensue, the North Koreans may indeed proceed with the firing of a multi-stage rocket this summer.” Torricelli also said that he was “discouraged” after talks on missiles with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gywe-gwan. He said, “My impression is that beyond defending their right to engage in these tests, I believe they have the intention of doing so.” Torricelli said that another DPRK rocket launch “would be an act of extraordinary consequence.” Torricelli also said he failed to win freedom for Karen Han, a US businesswoman jailed last month. However, he said, the DPRK did promise that Swedish diplomats would be allowed to visit her next week. Torricelli said that the DPRK’s food situation was “bad but it has improved.” He said withdrawing food aid would be counterproductive, neither undoing the DPRK nor furthering US interests.

The Associated Press (“N. KOREAN MISSILE TEST WOULD BRING ECON SANCTIONS,” Seoul, 07/12/99) and Reuters (“NKOREA MISSILE TEST WOULD HURT AID,” Seoul, 07/12/99) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young said that if the DPRK test-fires a new long-range missile, the international community could cut off food aid. In an interview with the ROK newspaper Munhwa Ilbo, Hong stated, “All kinds of support would be impossible, except for the minimum quantity of aid given on a humanitarian basis.” Hong said that he believed from a technical point of view, the DPRK was ready to launch its new Taepodong-2 missile whenever it wanted. Hong said, “It’s not a technical issue but a matter of making a political decision.” Hong added that if the DPRK went ahead with a second launch, the ROK, the US, and Japan “would focus on imposing serious economic pain on the North.” Hong said that Japan could decide to ban remittances of funds to the DPRK by ethnic Koreans living in Japan, and the ROK could end ship cruises to Mt. Kumkang. Hong said that the DPRK received between US$500 and US$600 million for the first six months of this year in aid, including food, oil and fertilizer and remittances from the Mt. Kumkang tour. Hong also said that a report by US presidential envoy William Perry would address the serious consequences that the DPRK could face if it provoked “negative actions,” which included launching missiles and developing weapons of mass destruction. Hong added that the ROK and the US have verbally agreed to develop missiles with a 300 km (186 miles) range.

The Associated Press (Thomas Wagner, “MISSILES IN N.KOREA MAKE ASIA TENSE,” Tokyo, 07/11/99) reported that some analysts said that tensions between the PRC and other countries is a bigger concern than the DPRK’s missile program. William Hopkinson, the head of the international security program at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London, said, “North Korea is so isolated that it may once again be trying to show that it is walking tall in the world. But the thing to remember is that a handful of not very accurate missiles doesn’t change the military balance overnight. The influence is far more political than military.”

2. Armistice Agreement

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “N. KOREA ASKS FOR UPDATED ARMISTICE AGREEMENT,” Osan, 07/14/99) and Reuters (“N.KOREA URGES U.S. TO RENEW ARMISTICE AGREEMENT,” Seoul, 07/11/99) reported that the DPRK urged the US on Sunday to renew the Korean War armistice pact, saying that the recent naval clash between the two Koreas would never have happened if an updated agreement had been in place. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the DPRK newspaper Rodong Shinmun as saying, “We have already advanced a landmark overture on establishing a new peace mechanism between the DPRK and the United States to replace the outworn and defunct armistice agreement. If the US had responded to the DPRK’s proposal, such an armed conflict would not have occurred. If the state of fragile cease-fire develops into a war any moment, the United States will be wholly responsible for this.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 12.]

3. US Aircraft Carrier in ROK

Reuters (“AIRCRAFT CARRIER ARRIVES IN SKOREA AMID TENSION,” Aboard The Constellation, ROK, 07/11/99) reported that a US battle group sailed into the ROK’s southwestern port of Pusan on Sunday. Led by the aircraft carrier USS Constellation, the battle group’s five-day visit to Pusan is its first port of call since leaving San Diego last month on a routine six-month deployment which ends in the Persian Gulf. The Constellation’s commanding officer, US Captain Don Bullard, said the carrier was temporarily in the area to cover the absence of the USS Kitty Hawk, which was in the Gulf. Bullard stated, “We provide awesome striking power from sea if need be. We are prepared to do that at any time (in this region), although I hope it won’t be needed.”

4. DPRK Missile Sales to Pakistan

Reuters (“INDIA SAYS N.KOREA SHIP HAD MISSILE PARTS,” New Delhi, 07/10/99) and London Daily Telegraph (Julian West, “PAKISTAN ARMS LINK TO NORTH KOREA HARDENS ATTITUDES OVER KASHMIR,” New Delhi, 07/11/99, Pg. 1) reported that India said on Saturday that investigations into a DPRK ship detained last week at the port of Kandla showed that it was carrying equipment for the production of missiles suspected to be intended for Pakistan. Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raminder Singh Jassal stated, “During examination of cargo on board it was found to contain 148 boxes declared as machines and water refining equipment. Subsequent examination of these boxes established that the equipment was in fact for production of tactical surface-to-surface missiles with a range in excess of 300 km.” Jassal said that the DPRK authorities had agreed to cooperate in the investigation. Jassal added, “Our apprehensions are that this cargo was meant for Pakistan.”

London Daily Telegraph (Julian West, “PAKISTAN ARMS LINK TO NORTH KOREA HARDENS ATTITUDES OVER KASHMIR,” New Delhi, 07/11/99, Pg. 1) reported that tensions between India and Pakistan have intensified after Indian customs agents seized components shipped from the DPRK, which they claim were destined for Pakistan’s missile program. A Western analyst said, “We’ve known of North Korea’s trade with Pakistan for the past few years. But now India believes it has found the smoking gun.”

5. Bombing of PRC Embassy

The Wall Street Journal (Matt Forney, “TOKYO BACKS CHINESE MEMBERSHIP IN WTO AS PREMIERS’ TALKS END,” Beijing, 07/12/99) reported that the PRC has agreed to receive a US State Department delegation to Beijing this week to discuss payments for the people injured and killed in the NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade.

6. PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN REDEFINES CHINA RELATIONS,” Taipei, 07/10/99) reported that Taiwan’s president Lee Teng-hui, in an interview on German radio Deutche Welle, defined Taiwan’s relations with the PRC as “special nation-to-nation relations.” Lee stated, “Since we made our constitutional reforms in 1991, we have redefined cross (Taiwan) Strait relations as nation-to-nation, or at least as special nation-to-nation relations. Under such special nation-to-nation relations, there is no longer any need to declare Taiwanese independence.” Lee also said that the PRC “has totally ignored historical and legal facts” in claiming Taiwan as a renegade province. Lee urged the PRC to “proceed with democratic reforms at an early date to create better conditions for democratic reunification” with Taiwan.

The Associated Press (“CHINA CRITICIZES TAIWANESE LEADER,” Beijing, 07/11/99) reported that the PRC criticized Taiwan’s president Lee Teng- hui as a separatist and a liar Sunday in response to Lee’s comments on German radio station Deutche Welle. A PRC spokesman for the Taiwan affairs office said, “By distorting relations between the two sides as ‘country-to-country’ relations, Lee Teng-hui has once again showed he persistently and deliberately wants to split China’s territorial integrity. Lee is colluding with ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and traveling further down the road of splitting the motherland.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 12.]

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN HOPES FOR MORE CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS WITH CHINA,” Taipei, 07/12/99) reported that Su Chi, chairman of the Taiwan government Mainland Affairs Council, on Monday played down Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s remarks. Su said that terming the two sides’ relations as “state-to-state” or “two states in one country” was meant to create better relations by encouraging the PRC to take “a new attitude” toward Taiwan. Su also said that Lee made the comments because the PRC has gone to extremes to isolate Taiwan diplomatically under a “one-China policy.” Su’s remarks followed his explanation on Sunday that Lee routinely refers to the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, as an “independent, sovereign nation,” and that the latest formulation was “no big change.” Su added that the new characterization does not mean Taiwan has given up its pursuit of eventual reunification with the mainland.

7. US Policy towards PRC and Taiwan

The Associated Press (David Briscoe, “U.S. CALLS FOR CHINA-TAIWAN DIALOGUE,” Washington, 07/12/99) reported that US State Department spokesman James Foley urged the PRC and Taiwan to hold substantive talks. Foley stated, “The United States has an abiding interest and concern that any such resolution be a peaceful one. And to that end the United States urges both sides to engage in meaningful, substantive dialogue.” Foley declined any direct comment on Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s statement and said that US policy toward the PRC and Taiwan has not changed.

8. Taiwan Domestic Elections

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, “TAIWAN OPPOSITION PICKS CANDIDATE,” Taipei, 07/10/99) reported that Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the main opposition party, nominated former Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian to run for presidency. Chen stated, “Democracy is to allow political parties to take turns to rule. This is our historical mission and we must succeed at it. Taiwanese have freedom of speech, but we have yet to be free from fears.” Accepting the DPP nomination, Chen pledged to strive for peace, stability and mutual trust between Taiwan and the PRC as long as Taiwan’s national dignity is not sacrificed.

9. Taiwanese Comfort Women

The Associated Press (“TAIWANESE SEX SLAVES TO SUE JAPAN,” Taipei, 07/11/99) reported that a group of lawyers for Taiwanese women forced to serve as sex slaves to Japanese soldiers during World War II are going to sue for compensation and an apology in Tokyo. A spokesman for the group, Wang Ching-feng, said that the group was to bring a complaint on Monday before the Tokyo District Court from nine women demanding an apology and US$82,000 each for their suffering. Wang also said that five of the plaintiffs will travel with the lawyers to Tokyo.

10. Japanese Nuclear Accident

The Associated Press (“JAPANESE NUCLEAR REACTOR SHUT DOWN AFTER RADIOACTIVE WATER LEAK,” Tokyo, 07/12/99) reported that, according to Japan Atomic Power Company’s spokesman Yoshikazu Murabe, engineers shut down a No.2 nuclear reactor in western Japan on Monday morning after monitoring equipment showed it was leaking radioactive water. Murabe said that there was no danger of radioactivity escaping into the outside environment. Murabe said that the cause of the leak was not yet known.

11. Deutch Security Report

The Wall Street Journal (Eduardo Lachica, “DEUTCH REPORT SAYS BORROWERS POSE A NATIONAL-SECURITY RISK,” Washington, 07/12/99) reported that the John M. Deutch Commission’s security report said that there may be national-security risks in letting foreign borrowers raise money in US capital markets. The Deutch commission report cited a Cox Committee finding that the PRC may be tapping US capital markets for both military and commercial purposes, and the commission is calling for better intelligence on what foreign borrowers might do with capital raised in the US. According to the Deutch commission report, as US securities issues are not subject to a national-security review, in certain instances “investors are unlikely to know that they may be assisting in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

12. Russian Military Exercise

The New York Times (Michael R. Gordon, “MANEUVERS SHOW RUSSIAN RELIANCE ON NUCLEAR ARMS,” Moscow, 07/10/99) reported that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said on Friday that Russia’s military carried out mock nuclear strikes in an exercise last month. According to the script for the military exercise, which was disclosed on Friday, Russia came under attack by an unspecified Western foe, which used non-nuclear forces. Sergeyev stated, “The exercise tested one of the provisions of Russia’s military doctrine concerning a possible use of nuclear weapons when all other measures are exhausted. We did pursue such an option. All measures were exhausted. Our defenses proved to be ineffective. An enemy continued to push into Russia. And that’s when the decision to use nuclear weapons was made.” Bruce Blair, a specialist on Russian nuclear capabilities at the Brookings Institution, said, “Russia’s military believes that it must rely more than ever on the first use of nuclear weapons. It is part psychological and partly a planning assumption.”

13. Kashmir Conflict

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “PAKISTAN SHELLS INDIAN HIGHWAY,” Kargil, 07/12/99) reported that a day after promising India that it would halt the border fighting in Kashmir, Pakistan bombed an Indian highway and shelled two regions where Muslim militants had been pulling back toward the Line of Control. Although Indian officials denied Pakistan’s claim that a formal cease-fire was in effect, the Indian army said it was under orders not to fire at retreating forces, but to retaliate if fired upon.

Dow Jones Newswires (Mark Drajem, “PAKISTAN’S SHARIF: ECONOMIC SELF- RELIANCE COMES FIRST,” Islamabad, 07/12/99) reported that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that becoming economically self- sufficient is more important than fighting a battle with India. Referring to the Muslim guerrillas operating across the Line of Control, Sharif added, “I am thankful to mujahedden that they accepted our appeal. I have reached a conclusion that for the larger national interest it is necessary that Pakistan should be made a giant economic power and achieving the goal of self reliance should be our priority.” Sharif also called for a resumption of the talks he held earlier this year with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Sharif added that unless the international community works with the countries to solve the differences in Kashmir, a similar conflict could emerge again soon. Sharif also said that the decision to withdraw troops was not based on “a hasty decision, nervousness or pressure.” Sharif said, “More courage is required to avoid war than to start one. Only people who believe in collective suicide can start nuclear war.”

The Washington Times (“INDIA, PAKISTAN AGREE ON PLAN FOR KASHMIR,” Mushkoh Valley, 07/12/99) and The New York Times (Barry Bearak, “INDIA AND PAKISTAN ANNOUNCE WITHDRAWAL OF FIGHTERS IN KASHMIR” Islamabad, 07/12/99, Pg.1) reported that military commanders from India and Pakistan agreed on Sunday on a plan to end the fighting in India-controlled Kashmir. The plan calls for a withdrawal of Islamic guerrillas from the region and an end to Indian air strikes, artillery fire and ground assaults in Kashmir’s Himalayan peaks. India said there was a complete cease-fire and that Indian infantry soldiers had made no movements in the Kargil region of Kashmir. Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz on Sunday night said that guerrillas were pulling back as well. Aziz said, “Gradually, the disengagement will be complete in the entire area.” An aide to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that the withdrawal would be complete within a week. US White House spokesman Barry Toiv said that he could not confirm whether guerrillas were withdrawing but said the US would welcome such a move. Toiv also said that the meeting that had led to the agreement on Sunday was “the kind of bilateral meeting that [Mr. Clinton] urged.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 12.]

14. India-US Relations

The Associated Press (“INDIA-U.S. TIES SEEN IMPROVING AFTER KASHMIR PULLOUT,” Bombay, 07/12/99) reported that US President Bill Clinton’s message to Pakistan to withdraw forces from Kashmir has improved relations between the US and India. Indian Power Minister P. Kumaramangalam said, “The way in which the United States has come out openly against injustice and perfidy … the U.S. president denouncing the intrusion has turned the apple cart.” Kumaramangalam said that improved economic cooperation between the US and India was the next step. He said, “With the end of the Kargil conflict in sight, I see a stronger relationship developing.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Test

The Korea Times (“N.KOREA SET TO LAUNCH NEW MISSILE IN LATE AUGUST,” Seoul, 07/11/99) reported that the DPRK on Saturday said that it was within its rights as a soveriegn state to test-fire missiles. Yonhap News Agency meanwhile quoted ROK intelligence sources as saying that the DPRK was likely to launch a new missile, known in the West as “Taepodong- 2,” around late August on the pretext of launching a satellite. Preparations were complete for the launch at Musudan-ri, Hwadae county, in the northeastern province of Hamkyong, where the DPRK fired a long- range rocket in August last year, Yonhap said. The height of the launching pad there has been increased from 20 meters to 60 meters (198 feet), raising speculation the DPRK is preparing to launch a missile with a longer range. In light of the increased height of the launching pad, the range of the missile could be 6,000 kilometers (3,750 miles), the news agency said, quoting ROK intelligence sources. The sources said that the DPRK may mount a satellite on the rocket to fend off international condemnation. The DPRK on Saturday denounced international efforts to prevent it developing missiles as an infringement of its sovereign rights. “It belongs to our rights of sovereignty for us to develop and test missiles or not,” said the DPRK’s Chungang Bangsong (central broadcast) radio monitored in the ROK. “Therefore, there is no justification for either the puppets (ROK) or Japan to intervene,” it said, referring to a scheduled Japan-ROK meeting scheduled next week in Tokyo to discuss the launch.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL, WASHINGTON, TOKYO UNITING AGAINST N.K.’S SECOND MISSILE TEST,” Seoul, 07/12/99) reported that sources in the ROK said on Sunday that ROK, US, and Japanese officials are trying to formulate a unified diplomatic front against the DPRK’s threat to launch a second ballistic missile. Officials from the ROK and Japan are scheduled to hold talks in Tokyo on Wednesday to discuss cooperation in efforts to discourage the DPRK from going ahead with its plans, they said. A group of US defense intelligence officials visited ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae and other military leaders in Seoul on Friday to share information on the DPRK’s preparations for a missile test. US officials have said that the DPRK is still showing no sign of backing off from its preparations for the test-firing of its Taepodong-2 missile. In addition, officials in the ROK said that they expect the DPRK to test-launch the missile before the 51st anniversary of the government’s founding on September 9. ROK intelligence sources said, “North Korea is most likely to test-fire a Taepodong-2 missile around late August if it decides to do so.” Analysts believe that the DPRK’s possible second launch is planned to get the upper hand in future missile and diplomatic talks with the US, while increasing its weapons exports to third countries. ROK government sources said that the ROK, the US, and Japan are considering imposing harsh economic sanctions, including the suspension of food aid to the DPRK.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “NORTH KOREA PUTS RED LIGHT ON HYUNDAI’S VISIT,” Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that both Hyundai’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and the delegation for economic cooperation will not be able to visit the DPRK on July 12 as the DPRK refused to issue invitation letters. Analysts said that the decision is undoubtedly due to the failed talks recently held in Beijing between ROK and DPRK representatives on re-opening the Mt. Kumgang tour program. It is also the first time that Hyundai representatives failed to gain approval from the DPRK for a visit since the tour started in late 1998. Hyundai has taken reservations for the Mt. Kumgang tour from late July despite notifications that it could be canceled anytime. It had already reached an agreement with the DPRK to send the basketball teams from July 12-15 for four goodwill games. Hyundai’s 10 delegation members were to discuss the joint construction of a stadium in Pyongyang, but have not obtained approval from the DPRK. This suggests that the suspended Mt. Kumgang tour might not be resumed soon unless the DPRK changes its position.

The Korea Times (Sohn Key-young, “S-N BIZ, SPORTS SWAPS IN JEOPARDY,” Seoul, 07/11/99) reported that strained inter-Korean relations following the June 15 Naval clash off the West Sea have chilled inter-Korean business and sports exchanges. The Hyundai business group has canceled a visit to the DPRK by its professional basketball team and a business delegation. Prospects for a soccer match agreed by labor organizations of the two Koreas are also bleak because the DPRK has as yet failed to respond to a proposal from the ROK to hold preparatory talks for the event next month. The Hyundai delegation’s trip to the DPRK was canceled after the DPRK delivered the message that it would not allow the conglomerate to proceed with the visit as long as its cruise operations to Mt. Kumgang remained suspended. A Hyundai delegation now in Beijing to hold talks with DPRK officials on safety guarantees for ROK tourists on Mt. Kumgang is expected to return home this week. Meanwhile, the ROK’s Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), or Minnochong, has been pressing the DPRK to convene a meeting of organizers for the soccer match, which was scheduled to open last month. “North Korea has not responded, thus delaying the committee meeting indefinitely,” an ROK Unification Ministry official said.

3. ROK-DPRK Book Exchange

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “OVER 20,000 KOREAN BOOKS HEADING TO NK,” Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that the ROK Sharing Movement, the ROK Publishers Cooperative, and Kyongin Women’s College held a ceremony on Friday to send more than 20,000 books to the DPRK. The books left Inchon on Friday and were to arrive at the DPRK’s Nampo port on July 11 along with 300,000 notebooks contributed by Morning Glory Co. The ROK Sharing Movement agreed to exchange books between the two Koreas with the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Commission and received more than 20,000 special books from 200 publishing companies from across the nation and the ROK National Assembly Library during October and November. President Park Ki-bong of Pibong Publishing Company and Dean Kim Kil-ja of Kyongin Women’s College, who have taken charge of sending books to the DPRK, will visit Pyongyang where they hope to discuss ways to expand book exchanges.

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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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