NAPSNet Daily Report 13 January, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 13 January, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 13, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-13-january-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Refugees in PRC
2. ROK Cabinet Changes
3. Korean War Massacre
4. Taiwan Missile Deployment
5. US-PRC Relations
6. PRC-Russian Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Launch Site
2. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War
3. Korean War Massacre
4. DPRK Refugees in PRC
5. ROK-DPRK Agricultural Cooperation
6. Alleged DPRK Counterfeiting
7. DPRK New Year’s Celebration
8. ROK’s Re-evaluation of Kim Il-sung

I. United States

1. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Reuters (“S.KOREA SAYS CHINA RETURNS N.KOREA DEFECTOR FAMILY,” Seoul, 1/13/00) reported that the ROK foreign affairs and trade ministry said that PRC Ambassador Wu Daewei confirmed on Thursday that the PRC has sent back a family of seven DPRK Nationals who were caught crossing into Russia. The ministry said that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young expressed deep regrets over the deportation.

Reuters (“UN PROTESTS OVER CHINA’S DEPORTATION OF N KOREANS,” Geneva, 1/13/00) reported that UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Sadako Ogata said in a statement on Thursday that the UN in a January 12 letter protested to the PRC after it deported seven DPRK Nationals caught crossing into Russia. The UNHCR said that the seven family members had been deported despite receiving refugee status from the agency last month and could face reprisals in DPRK. Ogata said, “we are gravely concerned by the Chinese decision to deport people whom UNHCR has recognized as refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention” and urged DPRK authorities to treat the seven humanely.

2. ROK Cabinet Changes

Associated Press (Paul Shin, “S. KOREA MINISTERS REPLACED,” Seoul, 1/13/00) and Agence France Presse (“S. KOREA GETS NEW REFORMIST PM, FINANCE MINISTER,” Seoul, 1/13/00) reported that the ROK president on Thursday removed Hong Soon-young as ROK foreign minister and replaced him with Lee Joung-binn, a former ambassador to Russia. The ROK state-run Yonhap news agency and KBS-TV speculated that Hong’s dismissal was due to his suspected responsibility for the fate of seven DPRK Nationals who escaped their country to seek food and were deported back to the DPRK this week. ROK President Kim Dae-jung also brought in Park Tae-joon, an economic expert, as the new finance minister, seen as a sign of his determination to continue economic reforms.

3. Korean War Massacre

Associated Press (“N. KOREA ACCUSES U.S. OF COVER-UP,” Seoul, 1/13/00) reported that, commenting on statements by US Army Secretary Louis Caldera, the DPRK accused the US on Thursday of trying to cover up alleged mass killings of refugees by US soldiers during the Korean War. The official DPRK ruling Workers’ Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said in a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency, “Uncle Sam’s jargon is the height of impudence. The U.S. imperialists should clearly know that the more they try to conceal the crimes fully exposed to the world, the more they reveal their true colors as wicked aggressors and murderers.”

4. Taiwan Missile Deployment

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN PUTS IN US MISSILES,” Taipei, 1/13/00) reported that the Taiwanese United Evening News newspaper said that the Taiwanese military recently deployed US-made Chaparral missiles in the disputed South China Sea to boost its air defense capability in the area. The paper quoted military sources as saying, “the military units stationed on Tungsha Island have been quietly armed with Chaparral missiles for low-altitude defense there.” The sources said that the missiles could be used against “either low-flying bombers or airborne commandos.” The report also said that Tungsha was also claimed by the PRC and is “the sole islet to be equipped with missiles in that region.” Tungsha is 240 nautical miles southwest of Taiwan’s southern port city of Kaohsiung and is home to a runway built by Taiwan. The Taiwan Defense Ministry said it would not comment on any report “regarding military deployment and operation of weapons.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 13.]

5. US-PRC Relations

Reuters (“CHINA RAILS AT U.S. ON MISSILES, RIGHTS, CANAL,” Beijing, 1/13/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Thursday criticized the US over defense and human rights issues and urged US President Bill Clinton to stick to a deal on the PRC’s entry to the World Trade Organization. Zhu condemned a US plan to construct an anti-missile defense system and a US proposal to table a resolution critical of the PRC at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva in March. Zhu said that the anti-missile defense system violated the 1972 Anti- ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) treaty between the US and the then Soviet Union, adding, “the U.S. decision is contrary to the trend of the times and not conducive to international arms control and disarmament efforts. It will have a broad and profoundly negative effect on international and regional strategic balance and stability. China expresses its serious concern at this.”

6. PRC-Russian Relations

Agence France Presse (“JIANG AND YELTSIN VOW TO CONTINUE SINO-RUSSIAN FRIENDLY RELATIONS,” Beijing, 1/13/00) reported that the PRC’s official Xinhua news agency said that former Russian president Boris Yeltsin and PRC President Jiang Zemin in a telephone conversation on Thursday affirmed their desire to further Sino-Russian relations. Jiang had sent a letter to Yeltsin expressing regret at his abrupt resignation and optimism about working with his successor, Vladimir Putin. Yeltsin was quoted by the Chinese Central Television Station as saying, “both sides have established a strategic and cooperative partnership with mutual trust, equality and mutual support as characteristics. Our friendly relations will benefit the people of both countries.” Jiang said, “I would like to establish a personal friendship and working relationship with Putin and make concerted efforts to propel the healthy and continuing development of our two countries’ relations.” Jiang agreed with Yeltsin that the Sino-Russian strategic partnership was good for the process of building a multipolar world, “so I will work hard together with Putin to continue the course we’ve developed.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Launch Site

The Korea Times (“SATELLITE PHOTOS SHOW N.KOREAN LAUNCH SITE TO BE PRIMITIVE,” Seoul, 01/13/00) reported that satellite photos which showed a DPRK launch site to consist of little more than a bare-bones launch pad off an unpaved country road stirred a debate in the ROK over whether the DPRK missile threat had been hyped. The photos of the site in Nodong were taken privately by the commercial satellite firm Space Imaging on November 1, 1999 and posted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) (http://www.fas.org), an organization that advocates disarmament. FAS said in a statement, “it is fittingly paradoxical that tens of billions of dollars should have been spent, and a range of national policies have been reoriented, on account of this distressing modest and underwhelming missile test facility.” The group of six satellite photos includes an image of the launch pad and support gantry for the Taepodong missile. According to FAS analysis, other photos show a building to assemble missiles, another that appears to house a range control facility and a support area with at least four single story buildings.

2. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “NK DEMANDS COMPENSATION FOR ATROCITIES,” Seoul, 01/12/00) reported that the DPRK on Tuesday, during negotiations on the repatriation of the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War, asked the US for 4 million pieces of children’s clothing and shoes as compensation for “atrocities” committed by US soldiers during the Korean War. The US turned down the DPRK’s demand, stating that it was not in line with issues being handled in the negotiations. The US and the DPRK have held up to two negotiations a year since 1996 on the issue of returning US soldier’s remains, but this is the first time that the DPRK has raised the issue of compensation for the US role in the Korean War.

3. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, U.S. DOWNPLAY DIFFERENCES OVER PROBES INTO FURTHER MASSACRE ALLEGATIONS,” Seoul, 01/13/00) reported that the ROK and the US came forward on January 12 to contain the controversy triggered by the US Army chief’s negative remarks on expanding their investigations to cover alleged massacres other than the No Gun Ri case. The US Embassy in the ROK said that the US is not completely ruling out the possibility of conducting probes into other allegations. The embassy’s response came a day after US Army Secretary Louis Caldera said that it was impossible to go back and examine every incident in which innocent lives were lost. Another embassy official noted that Caldera’s remarks did not necessarily mean that the US would not launch probes into other allegations. The official said, “what he [Caldera] intended to say is that the U.S. government cannot investigate all of the allegations because some of them lack specifics.” An ROK official said that 37 cases of suspected mass killings have been reported to the government’s fact-finding team so far. Officials at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also said that the two governments’ resolve to investigate other apparent massacres after the completion of the probe into the No Gun Ri case remains unchanged.

4. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-bum, “CHINA TO GIVE HUMANITARIAN TREATMENT TO NK 7,” Seoul, 01/12/00) reported that the PRC government announced on January 12 that it will not regard the seven DPRK defectors who were sent to the PRC through Russia as refugees, but would treat them according to the international law and humanitarian grounds. Zhu Bangzao, the spokesperson for the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated on the news that the PRC government will not consider them refugees, since they crossed the DPRK-PRC border for the same reason as any other DPRK escapees.

5. ROK-DPRK Agricultural Cooperation

The Korea Herald (“‘CORN DOCTOR’ TO VISIT NORTH KOREA JAN. 25,” Seoul, 01/13/00) reported that the International Corn Foundation (ICF) said on January 12 that co-representative Kim Soon-kwon, known as the “corn doctor,” will make a weeklong visit to the DPRK beginning January 25. An ICF official stated, “Kim will leave Seoul January 24 for Beijing with three Catholic priests from the Taegu Diocese and will enter the famine-stricken country the next day.” The delegation was invited by the DPRK Academy of Agricultural Sciences. During his stay, Kim will discuss with academy officials the DPRK’s plans to improve the planting of corn seeds this year.

6. Alleged DPRK Counterfeiting

The Korea Herald (“N.K.’S STATE MINT PRODUCES FAKE GREENBACKS, DEFECTOR SAYS,” Seoul, 01/13/00) reported that a DPRK defector said on January 12 that the DPRK’s state-run minting company has been printing counterfeit US dollars since 1981 for money laundering in the PRC, Russia and other countries. The 44-year old defector, identified only as Lee, said that The Pyongyang Trademark Printing Corporation also prints DPRK Won and “money tickets” that can be exchanged for foreign currency. Lee said that he was a former first lieutenant and worked for the DPRK Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the printing company. He defected to the ROK in 1996 while working for the Irkutsk, Russian branch of Taedonggang Trading Company

7. DPRK New Year’s Celebration

The Korea Herald (“N. KOREANS FORCED TO STUDY NEW YEAR’S STATEMENT,” Seoul, 01/13/00) reported that the DPRK government has forced its citizens to study its New Year’s statement by rebroadcasting it for several days. The DPRK’s Central Broadcasting Station has broadcast the statement daily in the form of a joint editorial by the Rodong Shinmun and the dailies of the People’s Army and the Youth Vanguard. DPRK defectors said that the statement is read incessantly every year so that the masses are able to learn it thoroughly.

8. ROK’s Re-evaluation of Kim Il-sung

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “NEW UNIFICATION MINISTRY PUBLICATION CALLS KIM IL-SUNG INDEPENDENCE FIGHTER,” Seoul, 01/13/00) reported that an ROK government publication describing Kim Il-sung as an independence fighter who rebelled against Japanese colonial rule touched off a controversy about changes in ROK’s official position on the Communist leader. It is the first time that the government has recognized, intentionally or unintentionally, Kim’s record as a freedom fighter. A Unification Ministry publication carrying profiles of leading DPRK figures stated, “Kim Il-sung organized the Choson Association of Independence Fighters in 1936 and attacked the Japanese army at Pochonbo and Chungpyong-ri, South Hamgyong Province, in 1937.” The story also revealed that Kim was a ranking officer in an anti-Japanese army based in northeastern PRC.

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

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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