NAPSNet Daily Report 12 November, 1997

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 November, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 12, 1997, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-12-november-1997/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Defector

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“HIGH-RANKING N.KOREAN DEFECTOR PREDICTS MILITARY REVOLT,” Seoul, 11/12/97) reported that Hwang Jang-yop, the highest-ranking DPRK defector to the ROK, predicted Wednesday that the DPRK regime will be overthrown in “several years” by the military. “It is inevitable that the military will rise up,” Hwang said in a speech to an ROK presidential advisory group. He added, “More than half the workers at military supply plants are sitting idle. Even elite troops are stealing goods. It is easy to predict what the other, less-privileged soldiers will do.” Hwang also said that while the DPRK public has become increasingly discontented with the government, the common people cannot organize an effective opposition.

2. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“JAPAN, N. KOREA SHOW ENTHUSIASM IN IMPROVING TIES,” Seoul, 11/12/97) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said that ruling party officials from both Japan and the DPRK expressed enthusiasm Wednesday for normalizing diplomatic ties. The report quoted Kim Yang-gon, director of the Workers Party’s Central Committee, as saying, “If we openheartedly exchange opinions independently and with our own views … it will bear a good fruit.” Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s general council, responded that he expected Japan and the DPRK to build good relations as “close and near countries.”

3. PRC-Japan Fishery Agreement

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “CHINESE PREMIER MEETS JAPANESE PM,” Tokyo, 11/11/97) reported that anonymous Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said that PRC Premier Li Peng and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on Tuesday oversaw the signing of a fisheries agreement for the East China Sea. The fisheries treaty, signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi and PRC Ambassador Xu Dunxin, replaces a 1975 bilateral fisheries treaty that became outdated when both countries ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea last year. It sets up a temporary zone in a disputed part of the East China Sea that the two sides will jointly control, while delaying a decision on how to demarcate each country’s respective 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. However, the agreement does not address the dispute over competing claims to a chain of East China Sea islands, known as the Diaoyus in the PRC and the Senkakus in Japan.

4. PRC-Taiwan Relations

Reuters (Lawrence Chung, “CHINA APPEARS TO HAVE BACKED DOWN A BIT,” Taipei, 11/12/97) reported that the PRC’s Xinhua news agency said Tuesday that the PRC government would welcome a visit by Koo Chen-fu, chairman of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation. The report quoted a spokesman for the PRC Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) as saying that Koo should meet with his PRC counterpart, ARATS President Wang Daohan. Analysts said that the announcement reflected a concession to Taiwanese demands that the talks between Koo and Wang should be resumed. [Ed. note: See “PRC-Taiwan Relations” in the US Section of the November 7 Daily Report.] On Wednesday, Koo described the statement welcoming his visit as a “friendly response” from the PRC and said that if talks were “back on the track, things would get better.”

5. US-PRC Nuclear Cooperation

The Washington Post carried an opinion article by US Representative Lee Hamilton, D-IN, (“WE MUSTN’T MOVE THE BAR ON CHINA NOW,” 11/12/97, A23) which responded to an earlier Washington Post opinion article by three US Congressmen. [Ed. note: See “US-PRC Summit Meeting” in the US Section of the October 29 Daily Report.] While agreeing with the previous article that “China’s nonproliferation behavior over the years has been troubling,” the author argued that “China has taken important steps in recent years to join most of the rest of the world in the effort to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.” The article pointed out that, in addition to joining several international agreements on nuclear nonproliferation, the PRC has also pledged not to engage in any new bilateral nuclear cooperation projects with Iran and to phase out existing projects. Although describing PRC behavior in non-nuclear areas as “far from satisfactory,” the author argued that “the laws governing certification under the 1985 nuclear agreement pertain only to Chinese performance in the nuclear nonproliferation area.” He added, “If we were now to condition certification on additional steps on chemical weapons and missiles, the Chinese would — with good reason — see this as unfairly raising the bar in the midst of negotiations. More seriously, we might jeopardize the important progress China has made in recent years.” He also argued that the US “can deny export licenses for U.S. goods and technology — at any point — if China reverts to unacceptable behavior.”

6. Nuclear Disarmament

The Washington Post carried an opinion article (Bruce Blair, Harold Feiveson and Frank von Hippel, “REDOUBLING NUCLEAR WEAPONS REDUCTION,” 11/12/97, A23) which called on US President Bill Clinton to initiate “a process of reciprocal unilateral actions” on nuclear disarmament with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The actions would include removing to storage the 500 warheads carried by US MX missiles; opening the safety switches inside the silos of the 500 Minuteman III missiles so that they could not be launched before maintenance crews revisited each silo; deactivating the eight US ballistic-missile submarines that would otherwise be retired over the next 10 years under START II and START III agreements; and putting in storage half of the warheads carried by each of the 10 remaining submarines. The article argued that such actions would “allow Russia to take its nuclear missiles off their accident-prone launch-on-warning posture.” The authors said that the US will have to take the first step because the survival of most of Russia’s missile warheads currently depends on launching them at the first sign of enemy attack. The article added, “The number of invulnerable Russian warheads deployed at sea or on land-mobile missiles deployed away from their bases has fallen to about 200. In contrast, the United States keeps missiles carrying more than 2,000 warheads on submarines at sea at all times.” The authors said that after adopting these measures, the US would still have an invulnerable deterrent force of about 600 warheads at sea. The article continued, “In response to these U.S. initiatives, we would expect Yeltsin to order immediate deactivation of the silo-based missiles slated for elimination under the START II Treaty…. We would also expect him to order the removal of the warheads from Russia’s rail-based missiles and deactivation of the 15 or so Russian ballistic-missile submarines that will be retired over the next 10 years under START II and START III.” The authors concluded, “Without in any way weakening deterrence, these initiatives would substantially reduce the risk of an accidental nuclear catastrophe.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Four-party Peace Talks

Japan’s Asahi newspaper reported Tuesday that a working level meeting among the ROK, the DPRK, the US and the PRC to discuss the resumption of preliminary four-party peace talks convened on Monday in New York. Quoting a US Department of State official, Asahi also added that the DPRK demonstrated enthusiasm for the proposed peace talks. The meeting was the first since last September and the first since Kim Jong-il assumed the position of DPRK Worker’s Party secretary general. (Hankyoreh Shinmun, “OFFICIALS CONVENE FOR FOUR PARTY TALKS,” 11/12/97)

2. ROK Aid to DPRK

The ROK will soon resume sending Red Cross aid to the DPRK without waiting for the DPRK to guarantee the transparency of food distribution, an unnamed ROK official said Tuesday. Unification-related ministers reached the agreement to continue relief efforts in a meeting Tuesday morning, which was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister and Unification Minister Kwon O-kie. (Korea Herald, “SEOUL TO GO AHEAD WITH AID SHIPMENTS TO NORTH,” 11/12/97)

3. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks

Japan’s Kyodo News reported that a delegation of members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its parliamentary allies flew into Pyongyang Tuesday for a three-day visit to prepare for the resumption of talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic ties. The Japanese delegation will meet Kim Yong-sun, a secretary of the ruling Workers Party of Korea and Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam. Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the general council of the LDP, heads the Japanese mission. (Korea Times, “JAPAN MISSION IN NK FOR NORMALIZING TIES,” 11/12/97)

4. US Congressional Action on PRC

The PRC expressed “strong displeasure” Tuesday against the approval by the US House of Representatives of increased Chinese-language broadcasts into the PRC by Radio Free Asia. The House of Representatives proposal stipulates a US$50 million budget for Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. (Korea Times, “BEIJING BLASTS US CONGRESS PROPOSALS AS HOSTILE TO PRC,” 11/12/97)

5. Land Mine Removal

The Yong-do ward office in Pusan announced Tuesday that it will start efforts to remove some twenty to thirty thousand M14 anti-personnel land mines from the Chungri mountain area on the island of Yong-do. The mines were laid in 1956 by US forces to protect a missile unit stationed there at the time, but were never removed when the battery was relocated. The land mines have been blamed for many accidents on the island, which is easily accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The US firm International Technology said following a recent survey that it will be possible to remove the land mines. (Chosun Ilbo, “MINE REMOVAL TO START IN PUSAN AREA,” 11/12/97)

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.

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@anu.edu.au
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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