NAPSNet Daily Report 13 January, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 13 January, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 13, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Announcements

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “COHEN DENIES N.KOREA AT CRISIS POINT,” Tokyo, 01/13/99) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen said Wednesday that tension with the DPRK had not reached a crisis level but the issue should be resolved as soon as possible. Cohen stated, “any talk of crisis has really been generated by others, not by us. There is no March crisis, or April crisis, or any other crisis.” He added, “We are not contemplating attacking North Korea. We believe that our best efforts must continue to be put forward to try and resolve the situation in a peaceful, responsible way.” Cohen said that he and Japanese Defense Minister Hosei Norota agreed to keep pressure on the DPRK to allow US inspections of an underground construction site. He stated, “I would think it is in [the DPRK’s] interests as well as the interests of all concerned that the issue be resolved as soon as possible, that the inspections – and I say that in plural – be allowed to go forward.” He said that he hoped that US-DPRK talks scheduled to begin in Geneva on Saturday could solve the impasse.

2. DPRK Diplomatic Strategy

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “NK DEFECTOR: NORTH DESIRES RELATIONSHIP WITH WASHINGTON, TOKYO BEFORE ENGAGING SOUTH,” Seoul, 01/14/99) reported that DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop, in an interview with the Japanese magazine Bungei Shunju published Sunday, said that the DPRK will not accept the ROK’s policy of engagement before establishing relations with Japan and the US. Hwang said that DPRK leaders want to establish a relationship with Japan in hopes of obtaining reparations for the Japanese colonization of Korea. He added that the DPRK also wants to establish a rapport with the US because DPRK leaders feel they will not be able to settle the Japanese reparations issue without an understanding with the US. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 13.]

3. US-ROK Defense Talks

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “DEFENSE CHIEF VISITS S. KOREA,” Seoul, 01/14/99, 1) reported that US Secretary of Defense William Cohen was scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Thursday to attend the annual Security Consultative Meeting with his ROK counterpart, Defense Minister Chun Yong-taek, and to meet with US military officials and troops. General Henry Shelton, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, was to arrive on Wednesday to confer with his counterpart, General Kim Jin-ho, in Thursday’s ROK-US Military Committee Meeting. Cohen also will call on ROK President Kim Dae-jung, and will meet with ROK Foreign Ministry officials, US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, and military leaders during his three-day visit. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 13.]

4. US-Japanese Defense Talks

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “COHEN MEETS JAPAN DEFENSE CHIEF ON NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 01/13/99) and Dow Jones Newswires (“U.S. COHEN, JAPAN LEADERS REAFFIRM TEAMWORK ON N. KOREA-KYODO,” Tokyo, 01/13/99) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen on Wednesday met Japanese defense chief Hosei Norota on the security threat posed by the DPRK. Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported that the two agreed to continue cooperation among the US, Japan, and the ROK to prevent the DPRK from acquiring nuclear weapons and to stop its missile development. An unnamed Japanese defense official said that they also reaffirmed their commitment to engaging DPRK through the Agreed Framework and the four-party peace talks. The two also discussed the new US-Japan joint defense guidelines and the future of US forces on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Norota vowed “maximum efforts” to have legislation for implementing the new defense guidelines passed in the upcoming ordinary Diet session, the defense official said. Cohen will meet Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Thursday before flying to the ROK.

5. US Military Bases on Okinawa

Pacific Stars And Stripes (David Allen and Chiyomi Sumida, “FUTENMA’S FATE,” Naha, 01/14/99, 3) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Hosei Norota met with Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine on Tuesday to discuss replacing the US Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma with an alternate facility. After the meeting, Norota said he would consider any proposal that Inamine has to offer. He stated, “The government is fully aware that Governor Inamine was elected on the promise to break the Futenma deadlock. Therefore, we would never ignore local intentions on this matter.” He added, “Okinawa is not merely one of the 47 prefectures. We believe Okinawa requires special consideration. We believe Japan consists of 46 prefectures and Okinawa.” Norota argued, “To fulfill the obligation of the security treaty, the presence of U.S. military on Okinawa is vitally important. However, the concentration of military bases on Okinawa is disproportionately high, causing a significant impact on the life of the people of Okinawa.” He said, “I understand that a project team would be formed in February or March to intensively discuss and study the move. I told the governor that if the team’s decision will move Okinawa toward a more favorable direction, the government is ready to support it wholeheartedly.” During his election campaign, Inamine proposed building an airport in northern Okinawa that could be used jointly by the Marines and civilian aircraft. Since his election another alternative, an airport built on reclaimed land just off Okinawa’s Katsuren Peninsula, has been proposed. US Defense Secretary William Cohen said that the US is studying Inamine’s proposal for a dual- use airport to determine if it meets US requirements.

6. Japanese Coalition Government

Reuters (Eiichiro Tokumoto, “JAPAN AGREES TO NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT,” Tokyo, 01/13/99) reported that Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition Liberal Party agreed on Wednesday to form a coalition. The coalition will be formalized on Thursday when Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi carries out a minor cabinet reshuffle that was likely to bring at least one Liberal Party member into his government. LDP Secretary-General Yoshiro Mori stated, “Our cooperative relationship will at last formally start from (Wednesday) tonight.” Media reports said that Obuchi made a phone call to Liberal Party leader Ichiro Ozawa urging him to join the new cabinet soon after negotiators from the two sides reached an agreement, but Ozawa declined Obuchi’s offer. The two parties agreed that Japan’s Self Defense Forces would be able to participate in UN peacekeeping operations that did not entail the use of force, such as direct participation in combat or shipment of goods to battle zones. They also agreed that the cabinet would decide on a case- by-case basis whether Japanese forces would take part in activities that were not directly linked to the use of force. However, the two parties failed to agree on the details of upcoming bills designed to implement updated guidelines for defense cooperation with the US, but will continue discussions on the issue. The Liberal Party pledged to support the passage of the key bills. Under the present party standings, the LDP has 263 seats in the 500-seat Lower House and 104 in the 252-seat Upper House. The Liberals have 35 seats in the lower chamber and 12 in the upper chamber.

7. PRC Views of Theater Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Laura Myers, “CHINA WARNS U.S. ABOUT MISSILES,” Washington, 01/12/99) reported that Sha Zukang, director general of the PRC Foreign Ministry’s arms control and disarmament division, on Tuesday warned the US against working with Japan or Taiwan on anti-missile defense systems. Sha, speaking to a nonproliferation conference sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, stated, “This would have a negative impact on regional and global stability.” He argued, “Other countries will be forced to develop more advanced missiles. This will be in nobody’s interests…. We wish the United States was taking a more cautious and responsible attitude.” He warned that if Taiwan develops a missile defense system in the future, it could lead to fresh trouble in the Taiwan Straits. Sha said that missile development must be halted worldwide to reduce the risk that nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons will be used, although he said that would be better accomplished not by controlling exports, but by expanding existing arms control treaties.

8. US Missile Defense

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “PRESIDENT BACKS OFF MISSILE DEFENSE PLAN,” 01/13/99, 3) reported that anonymous US Defense Department officials said that President Bill Clinton has backed away from a major announcement in his State of the Union message on funding the first components of a deployed national missile defense system. The announcement was scrapped after the Russian Duma withdrew its consideration of the START II strategic arms treaty to protest the US strikes on Iraq. The officials said that the president now is not expected to raise the missile defense funding issue in public because it could further diminish the prospects of START II being ratified. According to the officials, the administration had planned to announce that it would begin buying hardware for the national missile defense system, such as large tracking and detection radars and other equipment that takes more than three years to build. US Defense Department spokesman Colonel Richard Bridges said that decisions about the missile defense funding are still being made and any comments would be premature. According to the officials, problems with the current program have forced a delay in the deployment decision until late next year or in 2001, but more flight tests of the DPRK’s Taepodong missile could speed up a decision.

The Wall Street Journal carried an editorial (“MISSILE DEFENSE CONSENSUS,” 01/13/99) which said that a consensus appears to be emerging on the need for a US missile defense. However, it argued that US President Bill Clinton’s pledge of an additional US$7 billion for the project “is more a tactical political move than the act of a true believer. What better way to counteract charges that his Administration transferred missile technology to China than to position himself as a proponent of NMD, or national missile defense?” The article blamed the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty for preventing the US from exploring the possibility of improving theater missile to provide “a rough national defense.” It added, “In short, it’s impossible to deploy an effective national missile defense and remain a party to the treaty. The U.S. has two options: Walk away from the treaty, declaring it as defunct as the Soviet Union, as one school of legal thought argues. Or exercise its option to withdraw, under the six-month procedure laid out in Article XV.” It concluded, “President Clinton has said he won’t make a decision on whether to deploy a national missile defense until 2000 at the earliest. If the ABM Treaty is still around by then, as Mr. Clinton surely hopes to ensure, every GOP candidate for President ought to be willing to promise that he will renounce it on the first day of his Presidency.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Agreed Framework

Korea Times (“US ANALYSTS LOOK AT POSSIBILITY OF NEW DEAL WITH NORTH KOREA,” 01/13/99) reported that, with the US Congress reluctant to continue funding the Agreed Framework with the DPRK and growing uncertainty over its future, government and private analysts are examining alternatives for stopping an arms race on the Korean Peninsula. Some see signs that the DPRK may be angling for a new deal as well, which would include an end to US sanctions in exchange for a halt to missile tests. “Pyongyang may be deliberately alarming us by manipulating what the intelligence community is seeing and hearing in order to get us to negotiate in earnest,” said Lee Sigal, an analyst with the Social Sciences Research Council. Sigal noted that the DPRK has offered to negotiate an end to missile testing. He said the DPRK wants political normalization with the US. Sigal joined National Security Council official Gary Samore and Mitchell R. Reiss of the Korean Peninsula Development Organization on a panel at the annual two-day Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, which ended Tuesday. Also attending was national security adviser Sandy Berger, who said that dealing with the world’s “most isolated, opaque nation” requires a delicate balance of action and diplomacy. In his speech, Berger noted that the Clinton administration would continue to work with Japan, the ROK, the PRC and other countries to dissuade the DPRK from developing nuclear weapons and missiles. Berger also said that overall US policy toward the Korean peninsula was being examined to develop a long-range strategy beyond the current agreement with the DPRK.

2. ROK-US Security Talks

Korea Times (“ROK, US DEFENSE CONFAB OPENS TODAY,” 01/13/99) reported that the top defense officials of the ROK and the US will hold a two-day military security meeting in Seoul starting Wednesday to coordinate their response to the DPRK’s missile development and alleged nuclear development programs, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. At the 30th annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) scheduled for Thursday, ROK Defense Minister Chun Yong-taek and his US counterpart William Cohen are expected to reaffirm their joint posture against unsettling developments. They will also discuss the major change in the DPRK’s power hierarchy and increasing bilateral cooperation in the defense industry and logistics, among other issues. In the 20th ROK-US Military Committee Meeting (MCM) on Wednesday, officials from both the ministry and the US Forces Korea (USFK) said that General Kim Jin-ho, chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and his US counterpart General Henry Shelton would jointly assess the DPRK military threat and discuss ways of enhancing the two countries’ combined readiness, particularly against the DPRK’s missile and chemical-biological warfare threats. According to ROK and US officials, the two will conduct a joint assessment of the steps previously taken at the 13th MCM permanent session on July 13, 1998 as the result of the DPRK infiltration involving a Yugo-class submarine and armed agents. The officials said that also on the agenda are ways to further ROK-US combined readiness against limited-scale provocations and full-scale war by the DPRK and the operation plan of the Combined Psychological Operations Task Force.

3. Remains of Soldiers from Korean War

Korea Herald (“US TO PAY N.K. $1.2 MIL. FOR REMAINS OF SOLDIERS,” 01/13/99) reported that the US has agreed to pay the DPRK US$1.2 million this year to recover the remains of UN soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, a military source in ROK said Tuesday. According to an anonymous source, the US paid US$600,000 to the DPRK for the expenses last year, when 22 sets of remains were returned to the UN Command (UNC) as a result of five joint US-DPRK recovery operations north of Pyongyang. The joint recovery operation started in 1996, when the US began to pay the DPRK for the excavation costs. In 1954, the DPRK sent 4,167 sets of remains of UNC soldiers. Not repatriated at the time were 2,233 UNC servicemen, including 389 Americans. The DPRK began the humanitarian return of remains in 1990 in a bid to improve ties with the US. To regularize this process, the US-led UNC and the DPRK army signed the Agreement on matters related to remains, in August 1993. Since then, all remains repatriations have been conducted under the auspices of the agreement. “The UNC hopes the improved level of cooperation between the UNC and the DPRK resulting from the agreement will continue to enhance progress on this humanitarian issue in the future,” the official said. Since 1990, 238 sets of remains have been returned from the DPRK to the UNC.

4. DPRK Defectors in ROK

Korea Times (“HOUSE TO PROBE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES,” 01/13/99) reported that the National Assembly is investigating alleged human rights abuses by secret intelligence authorities against DPRK defectors living in the ROK. According to a member of the Assembly’s Defense Committee, there is substantial evidence to support claims that the DPRK defectors were severely beaten during initial interrogations by the ROK’s joint investigation team of intelligence officials. However, officials at the intelligence agencies flatly denied the argument made by the lawmaker, saying that the DPRK defectors are simply looking to receive compensation by making groundless charges against the nation’s authorities.

5. 1968 Pueblo Incident

Chosun Ilbo (“DOCUMENTS REVEAL KOREA-US CONFLICT OVER PUEBLO,” 01/13/99) reported that after thirty-one years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) has made public the diplomatic documents concerning two major events in 1968, including the Pueblo incident on January 23 and the 31-man DPRK commando infiltration into Seoul, which occurred on January 21. The documents reveal the conflict that arose between the ROK and the US over the Pueblo case, when the US intelligence ship was seized by DPRK naval ships off Wonsan. The documents demonstrate that while the ROK wanted an aggressive, all-out response to the DPRK’s seizure of the Pueblo, the US advocated a more peaceful approach for the safety of the vessel’s crewmembers. The two nations exchanged numerous letters regarding this conflict. The ROK, in the letters, demanded future military assistance from the US in compensation for what they saw as a soft approach from the US over the incident.

6. ROK-PRC-Japan Environmental Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (“KOREA TO MONITOR ENVIRONMENT WITH CHINA AND JAPAN,” 01/13/99) reported that the ROK, the PRC, and Japan agreed to jointly cope with environmental issues facing Northeast Asia in the future by establishing an around-the-clock information network that will monitor major cases involving environment pollution in the region. Chae Jae- wook, the ROK’s Minister of Environment, and his counterparts from the PRC and Japan, Xie Zhen-hua and Genji Manabe, met on Wednesday in the ROK. At the meeting, the three ministers agreed to set up a monitoring network among the different governments, as well as private organizations and provincial governments from the three countries. The ministers issued a joint communique, stating that they have chosen several priorities for cooperation. Their agenda includes prevention of air pollution, preservation of the marine environment, preservation of eco- diversity, preparation for global warming effects, and reinforcement of a cooperative system in the field of environmental engineering.

III. Announcements

1. NATO Nuclear Policy Website

The Non-Nuclear NATO Network web site is now online with the latest information about the NATO nuclear debate. The new web site, which supports the efforts of the Non-Nuclear NATO Network to influence NATO nuclear policy, is a joint project of the Nautilus Institute, Fourth Freedom Forum, and BASIC. The URL for the new web site is:

The website contains text and/or links to news articles, op-eds, speeches, reference material, as well as treaties that relate to the current nuclear weapons debate. It will be updated on an ongoing basis as new events unfold and new documents are published. The Non-Nuclear NATO Network brings current and updated information to interested individuals in order to help facilitate the best possible and most qualified contributions to the NATO nuclear policy debate. We hope that this will help facilitate a unique discussion and exchange of the facts, and coordination of the efforts to force a change in NATO nuclear policy. The project is supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and Fourth Freedom Forum.

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:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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