NAPSNet Daily Report 12 June, 1998

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 June, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 12, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-12-june-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

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1. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Washington Post (Thomas W. Lippman, “KIM PUSHES COOPERATION FOR N. KOREA,” 06/12/98, A20) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said Thursday that the ROK and the US are in complete agreement on the subject of engagement of the DPRK in principle. He added that while the allies have some differences over tactics, “We can resolve them.” Kim pointed to the recent US engagement with Vietnam, saying, “You lost the war, but now through diplomacy and economic development you have made Vietnam almost a pro-American country.” During his address to a joint session of Congress, Kim stated, “We are going to promote cooperation … under the principle of separation of politics and economics. We want America’s support in this effort. Both our nations need to be more confident, coordinated and composed in our relations with North Korea.” An unnamed senior US official said that US President Bill Clinton brought up the subject of DPRK sanctions during talks with Kim. According to the official, Clinton promised to support Kim’s effort to engage the DPRK, but expressed reservations about unilateral gestures. The official stated, “Our relationship and our history prove that once you do something with the North Koreans, they will pocket it and there’s no reciprocity.” Joel Wit, a former US negotiator with the DPRK now at the Henry L. Stimson Center, stated, “It’s almost like a role reversal. We have become like previous South Korean administrations, where they didn’t want to do anything with the North. Now the new South Korean government wants to change . . . and we are stuck in the past.”

The Washington Times (Ben Barber, “SANCTIONS LIKELY TO BE EASED AGAINST N. KOREA,” 06/12/98) reported that, according to officials of both countries, US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and ROK Foreign Minister Park Chung-soo agreed in principle that the US will ease economic sanctions against the DPRK. An unnamed US State Department official said that Albright and Park “agreed to establish a U.S.-Republic of Korea working group next month to carefully examine how the United States might support President Kim’s policies regarding North Korea. It is understood that the primary focus of those consultations will be on U.S. sanctions. Further details concerning the working group are yet to be decided.” In Seoul, an ROK foreign ministry official was quoted as saying that the two sides “have in principle agreed that the U.S. would ease sanctions against North Korea. But we don’t know to what degree, how it will be done and all other details. That will have to be discussed.” The article said that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman and Kwon Jong-rak, director-general of the ROK ministry’s US affairs bureau, are expected to represent their respective countries at the talks.

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2. ROK Food Aid for DPRK

The Associated Press (“HYUNDAI OWNER TO VISIT N. KOREA,” Seoul, 06/12/98) and Reuters (Jane Lee, “S. KOREA TYCOON TO DELIVER CATTLE TO N. KOREA,” Seoul, 06/12/98) reported that Chung Ju-yung, owner of the Hyundai group, plans to visit the DPRK next week with 500 head of cattle. The ROK unification ministry said Friday that both the ROK and DPRK governments have approved Chung’s visit. The ministry said that Chung and the cattle would leave for the DPRK on Tuesday morning through Panmunjom and would return to the ROK on June 23 the same way. Ministry spokesman Hong Heung-joo stated, “The government hopes this visit through Panmunjom will provide an opportunity to advance South-North relations a step further.” He said that Chung would visit his hometown and discuss economic cooperation, including a tourism project of Kumkang Mountain. According to Hyundai officials, half of the 500 cattle are cows and some of them are pregnant. Lee Doo-won, a professor of economics at Yonsei University, stated, “Previously, there have been many deals which have fallen apart due to conflicting interests between private business, North Korea and South Korea. So, for 500 cows and Chairman Chung to pass through Panmunjom shows a significant change, and if such patterns of cooperation pick up we will enter a higher dimension in relations.”

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3. Multilateral Military Exercises

The US Defense Department (“JUNE 12 DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT ON 1998 RIMPAC EXERCISES,” USIA Transcript, 06/12/98) announced Friday that Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the ROK, and the US, will participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) training operations from July 6 through August 6, 1998. The Department stated, “RIMPAC is designed to enhance the tactical capabilities of participating units in major aspects of maritime operations at sea. RIMPAC 98 is the sixteenth in a series of Pacific naval exercises, which began in 1971 as an annual exercise and became a biannual exercise in 1974. This year’s exercise involves a wide variety of naval combatants: an aircraft carrier, submarines, amphibious forces, and tactical aircraft. Following the tactical phase of the exercise off Hawaii, units will transit to Pearl Harbor for port visits and exercise debriefs.”

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4. US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Laura Myers “U.S. TESTS NEW DEFENSE SYSTEM LASER,” Washington, 06/12/98) reported that the US Air Force has successfully tested a laser designed for warplanes to shoot down theater ballistic missiles. Lieutenant Colonel David Harrell, director of management and operations for the program, said that the high- energy laser module was tested for the first time on June 3, and has been tested at increasing power levels at least twice this week. Harrell stated, “This is the actual operational hardware. There are skeptics out there that believe we can’t propagate a laser beam through the atmosphere. That’s just not correct.” The first test-firing of the Attack Laser Aircraft is scheduled for 2002. The laser would be used against short-and medium-range missiles but is not capable of shooting down intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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5. PRC Missile Sales to Pakistan

The Washington Post (John Mintz, “SIGNS OF CHINESE ARMS SALE DISMISSED, EX-OFFICIAL SAYS,” 06/12/98, A20) reported that Gordon Oehler, former director of the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday that the Clinton administration’s determination not to impose economic sanctions on the PRC led it to play down evidence that the PRC sold nuclear-capable M-11 missiles to Pakistan. Oehler stated, “There’s no question in my mind” that the PRC sold 34 M-11 missiles to Pakistan in November 1992. However, Oehler said, instead of accepting the intelligence agencies’ unanimous conclusions, top administration officials said they would need direct photographic proof by spy satellites in order to determine that the PRC sale to Pakistan had occurred. Government officials said that spy satellites showed M-11 missile canisters being delivered at the Sargodha air base near Lahore, but no M-11s themselves. Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, testified that administration officials have failed to act on a legal analysis by administration lawyers that a finding simply that the PRC has conspired to sell entire missiles to other nations could require imposition of sanctions. Regarding the shift of licensing authority for PRC launches of US satellites from the State Department to the Commerce Department, Milhollin argued, “the administration has surrendered one of the most important levers America has to stop Chinese missile proliferation.” An unnamed senior administration said that Clinton aides have “set the evidentiary bar very high” on PRC missile sales allegations because sanctions would gravely damage US-PRC trade. He stated, “This administration uses a combination of engagement with China, carrots and sticks, including the threat of sanctions, to encourage better behavior by China.”

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6. US-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (Laura Myers, “ENVOY: CHINA PURSUING PEACE POLICY,” Washington, 06/12/98) reported that Li Zhaoxing, the PRC ambassador to the US, said Friday that the PRC is pursuing a peaceful foreign policy. Li stated, “China presents no threat to any country, at all.” He added that recent events highlight the need for closer US-PRC consultations. Li said, “Despite the fact that the Cold War is over, the issue of the international stability has yet to be finally resolved. So two countries as important as China and America still have a common responsibility and have a lot to do together.” Regarding PRC aid to Pakistan’s missile program, Li stated, “We don’t want to see any proliferation, not only of nuclear weapons, but also of other kinds of weapons of mass destruction.”

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7. South Asian Nuclear Tests

The Associated Press (Barry Schweid, “INDIA, PAKISTAN DENIED LOANS,” London, 06/12/98) reported that the Group of 8 industrial nations on Friday decided to deny nonhumanitarian loans to India and Pakistan in retaliation for their nuclear tests. A communique approved by the eight countries also urged India and Pakistan to halt their testing programs and not to deploy nuclear weapons on their missiles, and to deal with the “root causes” of tensions between them. The eight nations also pledged themselves to “systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons.” They added, “We all, nuclear weapons states and non- nuclear weapon states alike, reiterate our determination to fulfill the commitments relating to nuclear disarmament.” A Japanese foreign ministry official said that the pledge was the result of pressure by his government.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US Sanctions on DPRK

The US media coverage of the current Korea-US summit meeting, particularly of the issue of whether or not the US will lift sanctions against the DPRK, appears to be giving the impression that President Clinton has refused President Kim’s proposal for the sanctions. For example, the New York Times reported that President Clinton “rebuffed” President Kim’s proposal, termed as a “demand” in the paper. The Associated Press also reported that the US showed “a cold response” to the proposal and major television news channels, such as CNN, carried a similar tone in their descriptions of US President Clinton’s response. The above media reports, however, differ from the interpretations by the concerned officials of both the ROK and the US. These officials believe that the interviews during which Kim’s proposal was made and explained did not cover enough details regarding the issue, failing to catch the “nuance” of the proposal. Some reports, the officials say, carried an “exaggerated interpretation” of ROK President Kim’s proposal. They additionally claim that President Kim did not use terms such as “lift” or “end” regarding the sanctions, which might lead US reporters to misunderstand that ROK President Kim proposed a full lifting of the sanctions. Also in support of the officials’ claims, it was pointed out that the US and the ROK shall convene a working-level meeting to discuss further details of the step-by-step plans to lift the sanctions. (Chosun Ilbo, “KOREA-US DIFFER ON NK SANCTION LIFT: MEDIA,” 06/12/98)

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2. ROK-US Extradition Treaty

The ROK Ministry of Justice announced Thursday that it will send a list of 350 major criminals as early as possible to the US to help locate and invalidate their passports. When the suspects’ passports are nullified their status in the US becomes void, upon which they will be arrested and extradited to the ROK. This is to occur before the passing of the Korea-US Extradition Treaty, expected to go into effect by the end of the year. Included on the list are Lee Seok-che, the former Minister of Communication and Information, Kwang Byong-ho, an arms dealer involved in a defense scandal, Park Hee-do, former commander of the first air brigade, and former National Assembly Representative Im Chun-won. (Chosun Ilbo, “GOVERNMENT TO ASK US FOR EARLY RETURN OF 350,” 06/12/98)

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
The Center for International Studies,
Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

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

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom_shin@wisenet.co.kr
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
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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