NAPSNet Daily Report 12 October, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Military

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA KEEPS BEEFING UP MILITARY,” Seoul, 10/12/99) and Reuters, (“NORTH KOREA CHEMICAL WEAPONS UP FIVEFOLD – SEOUL,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry’s 1999 White Paper said Tuesday that the DPRK is strengthening its military with missiles and biochemical weapons. The report added, however, “The strength of our military is numerically inferior to that of North Korea, but given the power of the combined (ROK) Korea-U.S. forces, we are superior in certain fields in terms of quality.” It said that the DPRK is believed to be spending more than 30 percent of its budget this year on its military, although the DPRK’s official figure has military spending for 1999 at US$1.36 billion, or 14.5 percent of its budget of US$9.39 billion. The report said that in the past year, the DPRK has activated a new missile division and is building five new tactical missile-launching bases, including four along the border with the ROK and one near the border with the PRC. It added that the DPRK navy increased the number of its submarines from 60 to 90 in the past year. It cited a 1997 joint US-ROK study as saying that the DPRK has stockpiled up to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, and is also capable of waging biochemical warfare. It stated, “If North Korea launched missiles with biological and chemical warheads, they could reach as far as the southernmost cities of Pusan and Mokpo. ” It warned, “Emboldened by its enhanced military power, North Korea may risk small-scale regional provocations.”

2. Monitoring of DPRK Food Aid

The New York Times (Barbara Crossette, “U.S. STUDY FINDS LACK OF CONTROL IN U.N. FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA,” United Nations, 10/12/99) reported that a report issued last week by the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) contended that the World Food Program (WFP) estimates that 90 percent of DPRK institutions that receive food aid have not been visited. It added that WFP monitors had “rarely been allowed to observe the actual distribution of food to beneficiaries.” The report stated, “U.S. policy is that no food aid will be provided to North Korea if it cannot be adequately monitored.” Trevor Rowe, a spokesman for the WFP, said, “for us, there is nothing new in this report.” He noted that while there had always been questions about access to DPRK people and institutions, access for WFP programs had in fact expanded considerably in recent years.

3. DPRK-Congo Military Cooperation

The London Times (Michael Dynes, “NORTH KOREA TRAINS KABILA TROOPS,” Johannesburg, 10/12/99) reported that DPRK troops have been seen in the streets of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they are said to be training forces loyal to President Laurent Kabila. There have also been reports of sightings of DPRK military personnel in Shinkolobwe, a uranium mining town 100 miles northwest of the capital. Unnamed US intelligence officials expressed fear that Kabila may have given the DPRK access to the Shinkolobwe mine in exchange for military assistance against Congolese rebels. Hanneline De Beers, a researcher at South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies, stated, “We have had reports of sightings of North Koreans in Congo for more than a month. But it is not clear whether they are providing personal security for President Kabila, training his fighters, or working at the uranium mine.” She added that the Shinkolobwe mine is flooded, noting, “It could take up to five years to put it right.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 12.]

4. DPRK Satellite Broadcasts

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA BEGINS USING SATELLITE TV,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Tuesday that Korean Central TV began its first satellite TV broadcasts on Sunday, the 54th anniversary of the ruling Workers Party of Korea. KCNA said that the satellite broadcasts will run from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. They can be viewed in Asia and most of Europe and Africa. Central TV started a trial run in early July, after it began leasing a satellite facility from a Thai communications company.

5. Japanese Nuclear Accident

The Associated Press (Shihoko Goto, “JAPANESE NUCLEAR OFFICIAL FAULTS OPERATORS FOR ACCIDENT,” Tokyo, 10/12/99) reported that Kaoru Mamiya, director-general of the Japanese Science and Technology Agency’s nuclear safety bureau, said Tuesday that the Tokaimura nuclear accident was more the fault of the private operator’s failure to follow official regulations than of lax government oversight. Mamiya stated, “It is impossible for the government to look into every detail. So long as humans are involved, mistakes are inevitable. So companies must have plans to rectify the situation when a mistake does occur.” He added, “An accident was unthinkable. We couldn’t imagine how a mistake could have occurred. So initially, we couldn’t understand why there was an accident.” He acknowledged, however, “Existing nuclear safety regulations have been inadequate. The reasons for this should be revealed with investigation. It may be that we will have to review the legal framework of nuclear regulation.” He said that a group of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency was scheduled to start inspecting the uranium processing plant Wednesday and meet with government officials.

6. US-Philippines Military Cooperation

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Ed Offley, “U.S. ARMED FORCES REVIVE COOPERATION WITH PHILIPPINES,” 10/11/99) reported that the US and the Philippines are reviving their military partnership. Colonel Danilo Francis, the Philippines defense attache in Washington, stated, “For a time, everything turned sour,” following the Philippines refusal to renew US basing rights in the early 1990s. Francis said that the withdrawal of US troops has sharply hurt the armed forces of the Philippines, as the subsequent US cancellation of foreign military sales of surplus weapons and equipment damaged the Philippines’ military modernization plan. A senior military official at the US Pacific Command said that the freeze in military contacts also is detrimental because the US and the Philippines have retained a formal mutual defense treaty despite the troop withdrawal. Since the Philippine Senate on May 27 formally ratified a “visiting forces agreement” for the US military, the US has increased military-to-military contacts. On October 3, US Defense Secretary William Cohen announced that the first major military exercise in the Philippines in a decade will begin in late January. Cohen stated, “As we plan and conduct exercises that are in our mutual interests, we will develop a stronger security partnership between our sovereign nations.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 12.]

7. Pakistani Military Coup

Reuters (“PAKISTANI PM APPEARS TO BE UNDER HOUSE ARREST -CNN,” London, 10/12/99), and the Associated Press (“PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT ‘DISMISSED,’ ARMY-CONTROLLED TV REPORTS,” Islamabad, 10/12/99) reported that Pakistani troops took over state-run television and radio stations throughout the country on Tuesday, closed major airports and announced that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government had been removed. The coup followed Sharif’s dismissal of Army Chief of Staff General Pervaiz Musharraf. Sharif fired Musharraf while the latter was on a visit to Sri Lanka. Musharraf flew back to Pakistan and was met by a large contingent of soldiers at the airport in Karachi.

The Associated Press (“U.S. EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER PAKISTAN,” Washington, 10/12/99) and Reuters (“U.S. SAYS WATCHING PAKISTAN SITUATION CLOSELY,” Washington, 10/12/99) reported that David Leavy, spokesman for the US National Security Council, said Tuesday that the US was watching events in Pakistan closely following reports of a military coup. State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said, “We believe the constitution should be respected,” adding that the situation was too fluid to speculate on the meaning a “genuine political crisis.” He stated, “If there has been a coup, we would obviously seek the earliest possible restoration of democracy in Pakistan.” He added that a military coup also would make it impossible for the US “to carry on business as usual in Pakistan.”

The Associated Press (“INDIA ON ALERT, VOICES CONCERN OVER PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENTS,” New Delhi, 10/12/99) reported that an anonymous senior officer in the northern Indian command in Kashmir said that the army had been placed on a state of high alert on the border with Pakistan following reports of a military coup there. Ashok Tandon, spokesman for Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said that India’s Cabinet Committee on Security would meet Wednesday immediately after Vajpayee is sworn in to another term of office. Vajpayee met for about an hour Tuesday with Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, Home Minister L.K. Advani, and National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra.

8. South Asian Nuclear Weapons

Newsweek (“A NEW THREAT IN SOUTH ASIA,” 10/18/99) reported that unnamed senior US officials now believe that India and Pakistan have begun weaponizing their nuclear capabilities. The officials said that Pakistan has already placed a nuclear warhead on some of its missiles, and India is responding in kind. One unnamed official said that last summer’s Kashmir conflict came close to erupting into a full-scale war that “likely have gone nuclear.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 12.]

9. Indian View of CTBT

The Washington Times (James Morrison, “INDIA NOT SCAPEGOAT,” 10/12/99) reported that Indian Ambassador to the US Naresh Chandra said that his country should not be held up as a threat to world peace by US advocates of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Chandra stated, “Some people make that allusion, but naturally we don’t agree with that.” He added, “After 1998, when we completed our tests, we announced a unilateral declaration that we would not conduct any further tests. As far as we are concerned, our policy remains the same.” Chandra argued, “What the United States does makes a difference. But the decisive factor will be the national security of the Indian people.”

10. PRC View of CTBT

The Associated Press (“CHINA TO US: RATIFY TEST BAN TREATY,” Beijing, 10/12/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Tuesday that ratification by the US is key to the future of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Zhang said that US support would “serve as an example and promote the ratification of the treaty by other countries.”

11. US Ratification of CTBT

Reuters (Christopher Wilson, “SENATE RESUMES DEBATE ON NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY,” Washington, 10/12/99) and Reuters (“CLINTON REFUSES TO GIVE UP TREATY UNTIL TERM ENDS,” Washington, 10/12/99) reported that the US Senate on Tuesday resumed debate on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said Tuesday that to accede to Senate demands that the treaty vote be postponed until after US President Bill Clinton leaves office would send a “destructive message to the rest of the world” by saying that the US is “out of the nonproliferation business until 2001 under any circumstances.” Some senators said they would press for a procedural vote on whether to postpone consideration of the treaty indefinitely.

US President Clinton (“CLINTON ASKS SENATE TO POSTPONE THE VOTE ON CTBT,” USIA Text, 10/12/99) on Monday sent the following letter to US Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Republican-Mississippi, and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Democrat-South Dakota. “Tomorrow, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. I firmly believe the Treaty is in the national interest. However, I recognize that there are a significant number of Senators who have honest disagreements. I believe that proceeding to a vote under these circumstances would severely harm the national security of the United States, damage our relationship with our allies, and undermine our historic leadership over forty years, through administrations Republican and Democratic, in reducing the nuclear threat. Accordingly, I request that you postpone consideration of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on the Senate floor.”

12. Monitoring of CTBT

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “MOSCOW, BEIJING BALK AT MONITORS,” 10/12/99, 1) reported that US government officials said that, during negotiations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Russia and the PRC refused to permit seismic monitoring near their nuclear weapons test sites. The officials said that the CTBT’s international monitoring does not include stations close to the PRC’s Lop Nor testing site, or Russia’s Novaya Zemlya. According to an unnamed intelligence official, “if Russia had been convinced to have one facility at Novaya Zemlya and China agreed to have one near Lop Nor, the level of verification would have improved greatly.” Under the treaty, Russia will have six primary seismic stations and 13 secondary stations, while the PRC will have two primary seismic posts and four secondary facilities. The US has five primary seismic monitoring facilities under the treaty, including one in Nevada, where the main US nuclear testing site is located. It will also have 11 secondary sites. Michael Pillsbury, former acting director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, stated, “Chinese officials have told me that if the Clinton administration had pushed harder they would have agreed to a primary site near the test site, but the Chinese had the impression the Clinton administration didn’t place as a high priority on treaty verification as they did on maintaining good trade relations.” A US Senate defense specialist said Russia agreed to allow more sensitive seismic monitors to be placed near Novaya Zemlya, but only if the US agreed to provide Russia with advanced computers and US nuclear weapons testing data.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

The Korea Herald (“U.S., N.K. TO MEET IN BEIJING OVER RETURN OF WAR REMAINS,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that ROK military officials said on Monday that US and DPRK officials will meet in Beijing this weekend to plan the resumption of searches for the remains of US soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War. The meeting, which will last from Friday to Sunday, will be the first to discuss the issue since the US and the DPRK agreed last week on new arrangements for the repatriation of US war remains. Six searches are planned for 1999, each of which the US has agreed to pay US$209,000 for. US Defense Department officials say that 1,000 to 3,500 sets of remains may be recoverable in the DPRK.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “SOUTH TO HELP DEVELOP NK PORTS FOR INTER-KOREA TRADE,” Seoul, 10/11/99) reported that to reinforce economic cooperation between the two Koreas, the ROK plans to provide assistance in renovating the DPRK’s ports, with Nampo Port and Haeju Port, in particular, to be developed exclusively for ROK use. An ROK high-ranking government source said on Monday that such ports would help to drastically lower material transportation costs for inter-Korea trade, which are currently about the same as for Southeast Asia.

3. Mt. Kumgang Tour

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Kwang-hoi, “KUMKANG TEST TOUR FOR FOREIGNERS STARTS,” Seoul, 10/11/99) reported that Hyundai Asan announced on Monday that it will start a test run of its Kumkang Mountain tour for foreigners. A total of 4 test tours will be operated with the first tour departing on October 23. Approximately 30 to 40 foreign residents of the ROK, mainly heads of financial and business organizations, have been invited to take part in the test tours. Hyundai Asan said that the first cruise aboard the Poong-hak will include the Deputy Head of the British Chamber of Commerce Alan Timbley, Head of United Airlines’ ROK branch Peter Torrelbaus, and Kodak Korea’s John Bay. Hyundai said that it has also extended invitations to Jeffrey Jones and Jean Jacques, Chairs of the US Chamber of Commerce and European Union Chamber of Commerce, respectively. Hyundai expects to start full-scale tours to the DPRK for foreigners beginning early next month.

4. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Choi Ku-shik, “GOVT. ORGANIZES NOGUEN-RI TEAM,” Seoul, 10/11/99) reported that the ROK government announced on Monday that it has organized a team to find the truth about the Nogeun-ri incident. The team, headed by Chung Hae-ju, head of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, will be composed of Deputy Ministers from various ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of National Defense. Kim Byoung-ho from the Prime Minister’s office said that the primary objective of the team is to find the truth about the incident. The team intends to carry out investigations jointly with the US government. Proposals have already been submitted to the US government through various channels and a response is expected later this week. The team also plans to organize a civilian’s council to ensure transparency and credibility of the investigation.

5. ROK Nuclear Accident

Chosun Ilbo (Cha Byung-hak, “CANDU REACTORS MAY HAVE TECH. DEFECTS,” Seoul, 10/11/99) reported that an ROK National Assembly audit and inspection said on Monday that a technical defect in CANDU reactor no. 3 at the Wolsung nuclear power plant may have been the cause of last week’s heavy water leakage accident. In an internal report released last August, KEPCO itself reported some problems with the CANDU reactors. The August report found corrosion in the reactor’s pressure pipes, and stated that this could lead to leaks. Similar problems were found with reactors in Canada built by the same manufacturer, prompting 7 Canadian reactors to be closed down in 1997. A total of 61 tons of heavy water has been leaked since 1983. Some experts have speculated that the leakages are likely due to a design defect that results in a corrosion of the pipes. Park Kwang-tae of the ruling National Congress for New Politics called for a full-scale review of KEPCO’s plan to purchase new CANDU-9 reactors for its Wolsung reactor nos. 5 and 6.

6. ROK-Japan Relations

The Korea Herald (“FIRST LADY LEE TO VISIT JAPAN,” Seoul, 10/11/99) reported that aides said on Monday that First Lady Lee Hee-ho would leave for Sendai, Japan Tuesday for a three-day visit. Lee will attend a ceremony marking the publication of the Japanese-language edition of her book, “A Prayer for Tomorrow,” and will make an address at a university in the Japanese city, the aides said. Lee will also hold press interviews with NHK television and other Japanese media and meet with female politicians and leaders of women’s groups in the area. She is scheduled to visit a welfare facility for the handicapped and meet a group of Korean residents and students. Aides said the first lady is making the trip to Sendai to help promote exchanges between the ROK and eastern Japan.

7. Gender Equality in ROK

The Korea Herald (“U.N. REPORT RANKS KOREA 30TH IN GENDER EQUALITY APPRAISAL,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that the ROK lags behind many of its Asian neighbors in terms of equality between the sexes, a UN report showed. The ROK ranked 30th out of 174 countries in the UN-rated “Gender-Related Development Index,” and 78th in the “Gender-Empowerment Measure.” In a report delivered on Monday to the ROK National Assembly, the Presidential Commission on Women’s Affairs said that Canada ranked first in the development index, which rates gender equality in terms of education, income and average life expectancy. Norway came in second, followed by the US, Australia and Sweden. Among Asian countries, Japan made the top 10, coming in 8th place. Singapore ranked 22nd, Hong Kong 24th and the PRC 93rd. In the “Gender Empowerment Measure,” which grades on women’s political and economic activities and their participation in the policy-making process based on the number of women legislators, Norway ranked first, followed by Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Germany. Singapore came in first among Asian countries at 32nd place. Japan ranked 38th, the PRC 40th, the Philippines 40th and Thailand 64th.

8. NGO Conference in ROK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-soo, “NGO CONFERENCE PUTS PRIORITY ON PEOPLE POWER IN MILLENNIUM,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that Choue Young-seek, president of the Global Cooperation Society International and founder-chancellor of Kyung Hee University, said on Monday at the opening of the 1999 Seoul International Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations, “The 21st century will be about participatory, grass-roots democracy.” Choue stated, “The five-day conference will, by discussing 11 themes, shed light on how people can work toward [greater democracy in the next century]. In that sense, with some 80 days until the next millennium, I dare say that it has begun today.” The other convening organizations are the Executive Committee of NGOs associated with the UN Department of Information and the Conference of Nongovernmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO). The co-conveners also touched on the relationship between NGOs and governments. “The role of NGOs in relation to the government is not about distance, how close or far the two remain. It is about purpose and goals. The role of NGOs is first to advocate and second to provide and deliver services, upon which the governments in the next century will rely on more and more,” Mahfouz said. He added that, upon that logic, NGOs have been clear and transparent about their purposes and goals, and have also monitored governments to make sure that they are carrying out the promises they made to achieve these goals. After the five days of thematic sessions and workshops, the conference will adopt a Seoul Resolution. Its content will reflect the discussion coming out of the workshops and thematic meetings. The Seoul Resolution will then be submitted at the Millennium Forum, to be held at the UN General Assembly in New York next May. Meanwhile, cultural festivities will accompany the thematic sessions and workshops.

9. Anti-Corruption Forum

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “SEOUL MAYOR TO PRESENT PROGRAMS AGAINST CORRUPTION AT GLOBAL FORUM,” Seoul, 10/11/99) reported that Seoul Mayor Goh Kun left Tuesday for Durban, South Africa, to attend the 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), where he will present his city’s anti-corruption programs on Thursday as a guest speaker. At the six-day biennial global forum, which started on Monday, Goh is scheduled to speak about Seoul City’s ongoing programs to contain corruption, especially its six-month-old system called OPEN, or Online Procedure Enhancement for civil applications. The event, which has attracted some 1,400 from about 90 countries, is held by the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI). Among the participants are former South African President Nelson Mandela and its current President Thabo Mbeki, as well as World Bank President James Wolfensohn and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Praising Seoul City’s anti-corruption programs as a “model for other large cities in the world,” Peter Eigen, chairman of TI, sent an invitation to Mayor Goh last May. It marks the first time that an ROK public official has been invited by the TI to speak at a global anti-corruption forum. Goh predicted that his presentation at the IACC would greatly help improve ROK’s corruption perception index (CPI), published every September by TI. “A heightened index is sure to help boost the nation’s overall external credibility, thereby drawing lots of foreign investors,” he said.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Asian Institute,
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Timothy L. Savage: 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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