NAPSNet Daily Report 12 November, 1999

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

II. Japan

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

Reuters (Bill Tarrant, “N.KOREA TO RENEW TALKS WITH U.S.” Seoul, 11/12/99) reported that U.S. special envoy Charles Kartman will hold talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan in Berlin on November 15 to improve ties. A US diplomat said they do not expect any big breakthrough from the talks, but the US wants firmer commitments from the DRPK about restraining its missile and nuclear programs while the DPRK is interested in benefiting from an easing of sanctions and moving toward normalizing ties.

2. US-ROK Missile Talks

Reuters (“US, SKOREA TO DISCUSS SEOUL MISSILE PLAN NEXT WEEK,” Seoul, 11/12/99) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said on Friday that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn will hold talks with Song Min-soon, director-general of the North American Affairs Bureau of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on November 18-20. The US and the ROK have a 20-year old agreement that limits the ROK’s ability to deploy long-range missiles, but media reports have said that the US might be willing to extend slightly the permitted range. An official in the ministry’s North American Affairs department said that the ROK wanted to expand the range beyond the current range of 180 kilometers (108 miles) but declined to say by how much.

3. Korean War Massacre

Associated Press (“KOREAN SURVIVORS TELL PENTAGON OF MASS KILLINGS AT NO GUN RI,” Sang-Hun Choe, Washington, 11/12/99) reported that four No Gun Ri survivors came to the US Defense Department on Friday for a meeting with Army and Defense Department officials. They were greeted at the steps of the Pentagon’s Mall Entrance by the Army inspector general, Lieutenant General Michael Ackerman; Patrick T. Henry, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs; and Charles Cragin, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The director of the US National Council of Churches, Victor W.C. Hsu, said that US Defense Department officials would mainly listen to the testimonies of the survivors and get an update on the progress of an Army investigation ordered by US President Bill Clinton.

4. US Theater Missile Defense

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “ADMIRAL CALLS FOR PACIFIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM,” Honolulu, 11/12/99, 1) reported that Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of the US Pacific Command, said that the US should deploy regional missile defenses to protect US troops and allies in the Pacific from missile attacks. Blair stated, “We’ve already had American men and women killed by Scuds, the almost 40 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard who were killed by a Scud in Saudi Arabia. So I think we need a theater missile defense to protect the troops that we have deployed within range of North Korean Scuds and No Dongs right now.” Blair also said that the US should help Taiwan build missile defenses. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird News Service for November 12.]

5. PRC-Israeli Arms Deal

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “U.S. OPPOSES ISRAEL-CHINA MILITARY DEAL,” 11/12/99, 1) and the New York Times (Steven Lee Myers, “U.S. SEEKS TO CURB ISRAELI ARMS SALES TO CHINA,” 10/11/99, 1) reported that US President Bill Clinton said Thursday that the US opposes Israel’s plan to sell advanced military radar planes to the PRC. Clinton stated, “We have raised it with them because whenever any of our friends sells sophisticated equipment that might be American in origin, that is inconsistent with the terms under which the transfer was made, then we raise that.” He added, however, “Before I can tell you what I’m going to do about it, we have to be absolutely sure what the facts are.” Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said that the sale is expected to go ahead despite US objections. He added that no one in the Clinton administration “is saying that U.S. technology is involved in this project.” He stated, “Israel strictly abides by its legal and contractual obligations to the United States in this matter. No U.S. military technology is involved.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird News Service for November 12.]

6. PRC-WTO Talks

Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, “U.S., CHINESE NEGOTIATORS REPORTEDLY FAIL TO REACH TRADE DEAL,” Beijing, 11/12/99) and Dow Jones Newswires (“China’s Hope to Join WTO Fades After Meetings Break Off Abruptly,” Bejing, 11/12/99) reported that an anonymous diplomat said that PRC Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng held an 80-minute meeting with US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, but failed to reach agreement on the PRC’s ascension to the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was unclear whether there would be more talks before Barshefsky leaves Beijing. The spokesman for Barshefsky, Tom Tripp said, “there is nothing positive to report at this time” and there were no plans for further talks right now, but he did not rule out that possibility. A spokesman for the PRC Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation said that talks were unlikely to resume overnight, and it was unclear whether there would be any Saturday.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Foreign Policy

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “NORTH KOREA CHANGES DIPLOMATIC TACTICS AS RELATIONS WITH U.S. IMPROVE,” Seoul, 11/12/99) reported that recent diplomatic efforts by the DPRK seem to be contrary to its foreign policy, which has mainly focused on improving relations with the US. ROK analysts and officials do not believe that the DPRK’s move represents a shift in its foreign policy. Instead, they said, the DPRK may be changing its diplomatic tactics. “The North seems to be promoting multilateral diplomacy,” said Prof. Yu Suk-ryul of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS), an ROK government think tank. He continued, “it is a different approach compared with the brinkmanship diplomacy it had engaged in with nuclear or missile threats.” Yu stated, “the North may be seeking economic benefits through expanded cooperation with foreign countries.” According to a government report released in October, the DPRK has sent as many as 43 delegations overseas as of September. “It can be regarded as an attempt to diversify its diplomatic channels rather than a change in its basic foreign policy,” said an anonymous official at the Ministry of Unification. “Basically, the change is seen as a part of its efforts to ease its economic difficulties by attracting more food aid from European countries, the Philippines and Australia,” the Unification Ministry official said. Another official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade added, “The North Korean leadership appears to judge that its governing system is now stabilized to some extent.” “The North’s active diplomacy stems from its judgment that mutual threats were somehow reduced by paving the way for an improvement of relations with the United States at the Berlin talks in September,” said Kim Yongho, a research fellow at the Korean Institute for National Unification (KINU). Kim forecast that the DPRK would seek economic and political gains through “balancing diplomacy” in the rivalry between the US and the PRC. The analysts agreed that if diplomatic relations between the DPRK and the US and Japan are normalized, the DPRK will find it difficult to continue relying on “missile or nuclear diplomacy.”

2. UN Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (“U.N. SENT 840,000 TONS OF WHEAT, CORN TO N.K. OVER 10- MONTH PERIOD,” Seoul, 11/12/99) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry and ROK relief aid groups said that the United Nations sent 840,802 tons of food assistance to the DPRK between November 1998 and September 1999. The amount comprised 481,119 tons of wheat, 166,360 tons of corn, 110,918 tons of rice, 50,470 tons of wheat flour, 19,401 tons of beans, 9,235 tons of edible oil and 3,299 tons of other food.

3. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Park Joong-hyun, “NO GUN RI SURVIVORS MEET FORMER US SERVICEMEN,” Ohio, 11/11/99) reported that the first symbolic encounter was made on November 11 at the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, Ohio between representatives of the No Gun Ri survivors and three former US soldiers, one of whom was ordered to open fire on the refugees as they sheltered under a railway arch in No Gun Ri during the Korean War. The party gathered together to hold a joint mass in memory of the victims of No Gun Ri. Chung Eun-yong, the No Gun Ri committee’s chairman, said in a statement that he hoped the case would be thoroughly investigated and help bring true reconciliation between the No Gun Ri victims and those responsible for the incident. At 4:00pm, Chung and the other No Gun Ri victims spoke with the American media and told their experiences of the incident.

II. Japan

1. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Sankei Shimbun (Katsuhiro Kuroda, “DPRK’S DEMAND FOR PAY RAISE AND GENERAL ELECTRIC’S UNCOOPERATIVE ATTITUDE MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR LIGHT- WATER REACTORS TO BE CONSTRUCTED WITHIN THIS YEAR,” Seoul, 11/11/99) reported that DPRK workers’ demanded pay raises from the US General Electric Company for their work at the construction site of two light- water reactors. An ROK governmental source on November 10 said in a report that General Electric is becoming reluctant about continuing its work, making it difficult for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) light-water reactor project to be finished by the end of this year. The report also said that in a meeting between KEDO and the DPRK, held between late September and the early October, the DPRK’s stance became high-profile and the meetings got nowhere. According to the report, the DPRK took its high-profile stance because they became confident after their dealings with the US over the missile issue, and because of the DPRK’s increasing taste for foreign money. The report added that General Electric was particularly concerned that the DPRK’s tough stance has made it more difficult to deal with any accident that might happen at the sites, even though the ROK and Japan have made it clear that they will provide 92 percent of the funding for the reactors.

2. Japanese-ROK Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Koichi Akaza, “ROK FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THAT ROK DOES NOT CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT TIMING OF EMPEROR’S VISIT TO ROK,” Seoul, 11/08/99) reported that ROK Foreign and Trade Minister Hong Soo-yong said to Japanese reporters on November 8, “The ROK is always ready to welcome (the Japanese Emperor), but there should be an atmosphere in which his visit becomes even more significant and other regions also welcome him in joy…. We would not say that his visit should take place before the World Cup in 2002 or during the games. The World Cup could be a good opportunity for his visit, though.” The report added that Hong’s statement suggests that the ROK’s stance has become softer than before in terms of the Japanese Emperor’s visit to Japan.

3. PRC’s Nuclear Policy

The Asahi Shimbun (“PRC FOREIGN MINISTRY DIRECTOR STATES THAT PRC WOULD NOT RESUME NUCLEAR TEST,” 11/10/99) reported that Sha Zukang, Director of Arms Control for the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “the PRC will not resume nuclear tests even before the ratification of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty).” However, as for the date of the ratification of the treaty by the National People’s Representative Assembly, Sha said, “The PRC will discuss the date by closely observing the international environment surrounding the PRC, including the US-Japan TMD (Theater Missile Defense) joint development.” Sha also said, “(TMD) is disadvantageous to the prevention of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation…. Now that the Cold War is over, TMD is unnecessary for Japan.” In response to the view that Japan’s introduction of TMD would lead to a Japan-PRC arms race, Sha said, “The PRC would take any measures necessary, of course, but the PRC would not take part in any arms race.” The article argued that Sha’s statement indicates that the PRC aims to deter Japan and the US from developing TMD by linking the ratification of CTBT to the TMD issue.

4. US Policy Toward Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“THREE TRENDS HAVE BEEN OBSERVED IN US POLICY TOWARD JAPAN SINCE 1995,” Washington, 11/12/99) reported that Japan specialist Richard Cronin and others at the US Congressional Research Service completed a report titled “Japan-US Relations: The Agenda for the US Congress in the 1990s” on November 10. The report said that there have been three trends in viewing Japan: the view that gives priority to Japan-US alliance relations, the view that emphasizes trade relations between the two countries, and the view that ignores Japan. The report also said that these three trends have affected US policy toward Japan since 1995. The report pointed out that while the view that gives priority to the Japan-US alliance relations emphasizes the US-Japan partnership, it is also cautious about Japan’s nationalism and “Asianism” that have been rising. It continued that the view that emphasizes trade relations requests Japan’s openness in solving the Asian economic crisis, and that the view that ignores Japan gives priority to the PRC over Japan in terms of which market the US should seek.

5. Japanese Contribution to East Timor

The Daily Yomiuri (“GOVT TO DONATE 200 MIL. DOLLARS IN AID TO EAST TIMOR,” 11/12/99) reported that the Japanese government plans to provide a combined total of US$200 million through the United Nations and other organizations to help East Timor finance its transition to independence. According to the report, the US$200 million includes US$100 million for multinational military forces stationed in East Timor, US$60 million to the UN Transitional Administration for East Timor, US$30 million to refugees, and US$10 million to rebuilding the nation. The report added that the government already provided US$1 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Program for humanitarian aid to East Timor refugees.

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Asian Institute,
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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