NAPSNet Daily Report 13 June, 1997

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 13 June, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 13, 1997, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-13-june-1997/

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Announcement

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97) stated that talks between the US and the DPRK on missile proliferation began on Wednesday and were scheduled to continue through Friday. The US delegation is being led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Bob Einhorn. “I am not going to be providing an assessment of how the talks are going. We will do that at the end of the talks,” Burns said. In response to a subsequent question regarding whether the talks include the issue of DPRK chemical weapon development, Burns said, “These are proliferation talks, so they encompass both ballistic missile and any kind of concerns that we would have with other proliferation activities, fissile material, anything that came into play.”

2. ROK Stinger Missile Purchase from US

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97), in response to a question concerning ROK denials of US statements that the ROK has agreed to purchase US$307 million worth of Stinger missiles from the US, stated, “If, in fact, the South Koreans say that, well, … we would just have one bit of advice for the South Koreans. American products are obviously superior.” Burns added, “We are a good friend to South Korea, and the South Koreans know that. We are the best friend that South Korea has. We are always there to help defend South Korea. So we attach particular importance to the sale of the Stingers, a lot of importance.”

US Defense Department Deputy Spokesman Mike Doubleday (“PENTAGON SPOKESMAN’S REGULAR BRIEFING,”

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In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Announcement

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97) stated that talks between the US and the DPRK on missile proliferation began on Wednesday and were scheduled to continue through Friday. The U

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Announcement

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97) stated that talks between the US and the DPRK on missile proliferation began on Wednesday and were scheduled to continue through Friday. The US delegation is being led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Bob Einhorn. “I am not going to be providing an assessment of how the talks are going. We will do that at the end of the talks,” Burns said. In response to a subsequent question regarding whether the talks include the issue of DPRK chemical weapon development, Burns said, “These are proliferation talks, so they encompass both ballistic missile and any kind of concerns that we would have with other proliferation activities, fissile material, anything that came into play.”

2. ROK Stinger Missile Purchase from US

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97), in response to a question concerning ROK denials of US statements that the ROK has agreed to purchase US$307 million worth of Stinger missiles from the US, stated, “If, in fact, the South Koreans say that, well, … we would just have one bit of advice for the South Koreans. American products are obviously superior.” Burns added, “We are a good friend to South Korea, and the South Koreans know that. We are the best friend that South Korea has. We are always there to help defend South Korea. So we attach particular importance to the sale of the Stingers, a lot of importance.”

US Defense Department Deputy Spokesman Mike Doubleday (“PENTAGON SPOKESMAN’S REGULAR BRIEFING,”

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97) stated that talks between the US and the DPRK on missile proliferation began on Wednesday and were scheduled to continue through Friday. The US delegation is being led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Bob Einhorn. “I am not going to be providing an assessment of how the talks are going. We will do that at the end of the talks,” Burns said. In response to a subsequent question regarding whether the talks include the issue of DPRK chemical weapon development, Burns said, “These are proliferation talks, so they encompass both ballistic missile and any kind of concerns that we would have with other proliferation activities, fissile material, anything that came into play.”

2. ROK Stinger Missile Purchase from US

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 12,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97), in response to a question concerning ROK denials of US statements that the ROK has agreed to purchase US$307 million worth of Stinger missiles from the US, stated, “If, in fact, the South Koreans say that, well, … we would just have one bit of advice for the South Koreans. American products are obviously superior.” Burns added, “We are a good friend to South Korea, and the South Koreans know that. We are the best friend that South Korea has. We are always there to help defend South Korea. So we attach particular importance to the sale of the Stingers, a lot of importance.”

US Defense Department Deputy Spokesman Mike Doubleday (“PENTAGON SPOKESMAN’S REGULAR BRIEFING,” USIA Transcript, 6/13/97), in response to a question concerning why the US would want to sell Stinger missiles to the ROK when the US maintains great air superiority over the DPRK, stated, “Obviously they feel a need or we wouldn’t have agreed to sell it to them. And they would not have asked for them.”

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“1997 S. KOREA DENIES U.S. PRESSURE IN MISSILE PURCHASE DECISION,” Seoul, 6/13/97) reported that the ROK on Friday denied that the US was pressuring it to buy US-made Stinger missiles. The denial followed criticisms in the ROK that US State Department statements Thursday asserting the superiority of US technology constituted inordinate diplomatic pressure on the ROK. The US Defense Department announced on Tuesday that the ROK had agreed to purchase US$307 million worth of Stingers, but the ROK subsequently said the announcement was premature because the French Mistral and the British Starburst missiles were also still being considered. [Ed. note: See the related item in the ROK section, below.]

3. US Food Aid to DPRK

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 11,” USIA Transcript, 6/12/97) stated that the US has no knowledge of any impending new request from the UN World Food Program for additional food aid to the DPRK. Burns also said, “let me just say on that issue — I know there’s been various press reporting about this — our food aid goes to young children below the age of six. It does not go to the North Korean military.” Burns subsequently added, “Our food aid goes to young kids who are absolutely affected by the severe food shortages in North Korea. We have great confidence in the World Food Program and its ability to account for the way that the food is delivered, how the money is spent, and who is actually consuming this food. Now, there is no question that the North Korean military probably gets the lion’s share of the food produced in North Korea. That is one of the problems in a communist society. They are not producing enough food, and they are not allocating it efficiently. That is why they need international help. They ought to change their system. But until they change their system, we think it is important for all countries to respond on a humanitarian basis to the civilians who need the food. We will not countenance our food, any of our food, being directed or diverted to the North Korean military.”

4. ROK Food Aid to DPRK

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“N. KOREA GETS 1ST FOOD DELIVERY UNDER S. KOREA AID PACT,” Seoul, 6/12/97) reported that on Thursday a PRC train carried 1,200 tons of powdered corn into the DPRK, where ROK Red Cross officials handed the food over to government authorities. Three ROK Red Cross officials were on the train when it crossed the PRC-DPRK border. Until now, ROK aid had been delivered by international aid organizations. The corn was the first allotment of 50,000 tons of food, enough to feed 600,000 North Koreans for six months, that the ROK plans to deliver by the end of July. The United Nations estimates 4.7 million North Koreans – a fifth of the population – risk starvation in 1997 without massive outside aid.

United Press International (“S.KOREANS DONATE MORE FOOD TO N.KOREA,” Seoul, 6/13/97) reported that seven ROK civilian organizations have announced plans to donate US$4.5 million in the form of 30,000 ton of corn to the DPRK. The latest commitment is in addition to the existing ROK Red Cross commitment of 50,000 tons of grain. Kim Dong-kyu, spokesman for the Korean Sharing Movement, said Friday that donor representatives will contact the ROK Red Cross to discuss details of the program. The six other non-governmental organizations include Roman Catholic, Christian, and Buddhist groups, labor unions and a regional citizens’ group.

5. DPRK-ROK Naval Gunfight

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“U.N. COMMAND PROTESTS N. KOREA’S JUNE 5 INTRUSION, GUNFIRE,” Seoul, 6/13/97) reported that the US-led UN Command has protested the sea border intrusion in which a DPRK patrol ship exchanged fire with a ROK gunboat. The UNC said Friday that it delivered a letter to the DPRK on Wednesday through the Panmunjom meeting point in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas. The UNC said that the letter warned the DPRK not to repeat similar incidents that could trigger serious armed clashes, but that the DPRK liaison officer at Panmunjom refused to admit any wrongdoing. [Ed. note: See the related item in the ROK section, below.]

6. Global Landmine Ban Diplomacy

Reuters (Stephanie Nebehay, “WEST TRIES TO MOVE AHEAD WITH LANDMINE BAN,” Geneva, 6/12/97) reported that Western countries, eager to start work on a global landmines ban in the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament, tried unsuccessfully Thursday to bring any objectors out into the open. Finland, supported by Australia, Britain, France and the US, called on any members opposed to moving ahead on a ban to declare so publicly. The request was designed to embarrass non-aligned states that have been accused of obstructing progress. But after more than three hours of debate, Mexico objected to the Conference president formally putting the Finnish question, effectively blocking the body from taking a consensus decision. Non-aligned countries say top priority should be given to concrete steps toward total nuclear disarmament, and that only then would they be ready to work on issues such as landmines.

7. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Debated

The USIA (“INDIAN AND PAKISTANI AMBASSADORS EXPLAIN CTBT POSITIONS,” Washington, 6/13/97) reported that India’s ambassador to the United States, Prakash Shah, defended his country’s decision not to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty last year, telling a June 10 non-proliferation conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment that the CTBT “did not take into account the concerns of India.” Shah made clear that India has not changed its position not to support the treaty unless the text includes a time-frame for complete disarmament. Shah also pointed to certain treaty loopholes that he said would allow for continued nuclear testing, and suggested that the five declared nuclear weapons states — the US, Russia, France, Britain and the PRC — had deliberately limited the scope of the agreement in order to maintain a monopoly on nuclear weapons. Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, speaking on the same panel, said his country will not sign the CTBT until its “concerns about its neighbor are put to rest.” Akram also said that Pakistan is not entirely happy with the treaty, noting specifically that it is not completely comprehensive and does not include plans for a worldwide nuclear disarmament. The treaty, which would ban nuclear testing throughout the world, will enter into force once 44 nuclear-capable states have ratified it. Among these must be the five declared nuclear states and the three threshold states — India, Pakistan and Israel.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK View of DPRK Prospects

Kwon O-kie, deputy prime minister and minister of national unification, said Thursday that a defectors’ settlement center, which will be able to house 100 defectors at a time for social and vocational training, will soon be constructed at a site in Kyonggi Province. Kwon repeated his forecast made earlier in the week to a group of local governments chiefs that about 100 defectors are expected before the end of this year. On other topics, Kwon said this year’s DPRK food crisis is being eased by the estimated total of 800,000 tons of international food aid, including the 50,000 tons given by the ROK Red Cross that will arrive by August. However, “the North Korean economy keeps contracting. Only about 20 percent of its factories are in operation. Its trade volume in 1996 dwindled to $1.9 billion from $4.7 in 1995,” Kwon said. Kwon indicated that drastic reform or outside assistance are the only ways the DPRK’s economy will be able to rebound to a self-sufficiency level. “But the Kim Jong-il’s regime is holding on with the minimum of control needed to rule the country, and therefore we are not likely to see a breakdown or a sudden collapse,” Kwon said. (Korea Herald, “SEOUL TO BUILD TWO NEW CENTERS FOR NORTH KOREA DEFECTORS,” 06/13/97)

2. ROK Stinger Missile Purchase from US

The ROK Defense Ministry Thursday denied a news report that the ROK has decided to import US-made Stinger portable surface-to-air missiles. “We have not yet selected the supplier and are still reviewing,” a ministry official in Seoul said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said three types of shoulder-fired short-range missiles are currently under review: France’s Mistral, the United Kingdoms’ Starburst and the US Stinger. The official’s statements were in response to the Pentagon’s announced plans Tuesday to sell 1,065 Stinger missiles plus launchers and support equipment to the ROK. “We have only requested that the US producer submit price and other materials about Stinger missiles,” the official said. “Because the three missile models meet our demands, what is important now is purchase terms, including price and technology transfer,” the official added. The Defense Ministry plans to make a final decision by the end of July on a deal worth more than US$300 million. In the late 1980s, South Korea imported more than 1,000 French-made Mistral missiles, but it does not own Stingers, which are being used by US troops stationed in the ROK. The portable missiles that the ROK plans to buy are for defense against low-altitude DPRK aircraft, such as the AN-2 and attack helicopters. (Korea Herald, “SEOUL HAS NOT YET DECIDED TO BUY STINGER MISSILES: DEFENSE MINISTRY,” 06/13/97)

3. ROK-Japan Fishing Dispute

The ROK and Japan Friday remained at odds in their negotiations to revise a 1965 bilateral fishery accord, with Japan renewing its threat to scrap the agreement if the two countries fail to work out an amendment pact by July 20, according to a ROK Foreign Ministry official who participated in the negotiations. July 20 will mark the first anniversary of Japan’s declaration of its 200 nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and the Japanese delegation has said that domestic pressure in Japan has been mounting to the extent that Japan will disregard the fishery accord with the ROK unless agreement is reached by that date, the official said. During yesterday’s negotiations, which were the third round of fishery talks this year, the ROK side stuck to its position that rewriting the fishery agreement should be done in tandem with the drawing of the ROK and Japanese EEZs, and that the ROK cannot accept July 20 as the deadline for the fishery talks. The official was cautious in predicting that Tokyo will not go so far as to scrap the fishery agreement, which could cause severe diplomatic trouble with Seoul. In the face of Japanese fishermen’s growing discontent over the alleged depletion of marine resources in Japanese waters by Korean fishing boats, Japan has pushed for an early conclusion of a new fishing accord with the ROK. But overlapping claims to the Tokto islets in the sea between the ROK and Japan have stalled the bilateral fishery talks as well as the separate negotiations on EEZ demarcation. Japan has proposed setting up “joint management fishing waters” around the Tokto islets, now occupied by a ROK maritime police contingent, while the ROK’s position is that the drawing of the EEZ should precede the revision of the existing fishery accord. (Korea Herald, “KOREA, JAPAN SPLIT ON FISHING PACT; TOKYO THREATENS TO ABANDON TREATY,” 06/14/97)

4. DPRK-ROK Naval Gunfight

The UN Command in Seoul sent a protest message to the DPRK Wednesday regarding the gunfight between a DPRK patrol boat and three ROK boats in the West Sea last Thursday. The protest message was delivered to the DPRK at a liaison officers’ meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom, a UNC spokesman said yesterday. In the message, the UNC said the firing by the DPRK boat, which intruded into the southern waters, “created a potentially dangerous situation.” “You should take measures to prevent a recurrence of such incident,” the UNC message said. (Korea Herald, “LOCAL NEWS BREIFS; UNC IN SEOUL SENDS PROTEST MESSAGE TO NORTH KOREA,” 06/14/97)

III. Japan

1. Report on Japan-US Defense Cooperation

The Asahi Shimbun (“PRC FEARS TAIWAN MAY BE INCLUDED IN THE REGIONS SURROUNDING JAPAN,” Beijing, 2, 6/9/97) reported that the PRC government strongly fears that the regions “surrounding” Japan, as stipulated in the recent interim report on the ongoing review of Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines, may include Taiwan. The Asahi report quoted a PRC researcher as pointing out that such a reference might conflict with the 1978 Japan-PRC peace treaty, which excludes Taiwan as within the “far-eastern” region. The report also pointed out that the PRC may view the reference as foreign intervention into the PRC’s domestic affairs and that it will be difficult for both Japan and the US to convince the PRC to agree to the new Japan-US defense cooperation.

The Nikkei Shimbun (“PRC CONCERNS ABOUT SCOPE OF NEW JAPAN-US DEFENSE COOPERATION GUIDELINES,” Beijing, 2, 6/10/97) reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry and Defense Agency officials in Beijing June 8 gave a formal explanation on the interim report on the review of Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines to the PRC governmental officials. In response, the PRC side said that the explanation helped promote mutual understanding and transparency, but expressed concern that the report is unclear on what countries the review of the guidelines particularly refers to as the areas surrounding Japan. The Japanese side, in turn, only said that no specific country is targeted and that the review work was urged by the Gulf War and the DPRK’s suspected nuclear program.

The Asahi Shimbun (“ROK GOVERNMENT DEMANDS JAPAN-US DEFENSE COOPERATION BE WITHIN FRAMEWORK OF JAPAN’S CONSTITUTION,” Seoul, 2, 6/9/97) quoted a ROK official as saying that the interim report on the review of Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines may contribute to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula but emphasized that the ROK government expects the activities of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to stay within the framework of Japan’s constitution.

The Nikkei Shimbun (“ROK DEMANDS FUTHER JAPAN-ROK EXCHANGE OF VIEWS,” Seoul, 2, 6/10/97) reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry official Ryozo Kato in Seoul June 10 gave a formal explanation on the interim report on the Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines to the ROK government. In response, the ROK government said that the ROK appreciates Japan’s efforts through Japan-US cooperation to promote peace and stability in the region and expects Japan’s consultation with the ROK on the review work.

2. Constitutionality of Japan-US Defense Cooperation

The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Daily Yomiuri (“GOVERNMENT SAYS LOGISTICAL SUPPORT IS CONSTITUTIONAL,” 1, 6/11/97) reported that Japanese government sources revealed June 10 the Japanese government’s basic interpretation of the recent report on Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines. Under the interpretation, the Japanese government considers extending logistical support to US military forces in Japanese territory in the event of emergencies around Japan to be fundamentally constitutional. The report also said that the government considers it unconstitutional for the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) to conduct minesweeping operations. The government’s interpretation was worked out after intensive discussions among officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Agency and the Cabinet Legislative Bureau, according to the report.

3. Japanese Food Aid to DPRK

The Sankei Shimbun (“LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (LDP) SHIFTS FOOD AID POLICY TOWARD DPRK,” 1, 6/12/97) reported that in response to the US and the ROK demand for Japan’s food aid to the DPRK, the LDP shifted its stance and decided to provide food aid in the framework of United Nations. The report pointed out that the reasons for the policy shift also include the DPRK’s informal agreement with the Japanese ruling parties that the DPRK will provide some channel to deal with the DPRK’s suspected abduction of Japanese civilians and the visits to Japan by Japanese wives residing in the DPRK. The report also quoted a senior LDP member as saying that he expects the LDP’s decision on food aid to create some Japan-DPRK diplomatic channel and that the aid would be less than the current amount of 65 million tons.

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FOOD AID TO DPRK,” 2, 6/13/97) reported that the Japanese government began June 12 more detailed discussions on food aid to the DPRK. The report said that the Japanese government’s decision to provide food aid was made in response to the appeal by the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) and that the amount of the aid will likely be some twenty to thirty thousand tons. With regard to the timing of the aid, the report quoted a Foreign Ministry source as saying that there is no reason the government should not provide food aid once the ruling parties come to some agreement. The report added that both the government and the ruling parties will continue asking the DPRK to be more specific on the visits to Japan by Japanese wives residing in the DPRK, but will not at this time press the issues of the DPRK’s suspected abduction of Japanese civilians and illegal export of drugs.

IV. Announcement

1. Publication on Korean Security

The June 3 Daily Report announced the publication of “Confidence Building on the Korean Peninsula” by the Sandia National Laboratories and the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses. Future requests for copies of this document should be directed to Patricia Dickens (pdicken@sandia.gov). Also, the report has been published in Hangul by KIDA, and interested persons can also contact Dr. Nam Man-Kwon of KIDA (mknam@home.kida.re.kr) for English or Hangul versions. Lastly, a more limited version of the report was published as a conference paper, “Confidence Building in the North Pacific: New Approaches to the Korean Peninsula in the Multilateral Context,” in the proceedings of the Canada/Korea North Pacific Arms Control Workshop, June 10-13, 1996. This paper, including graphics, is available at the following world wide web site address: www.cmc.sandia.gov/issues/papers/index.html.

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.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

Wade Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.net
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Return to the top of this Daily Report

Go to the Daily Report Archive

Return to the Nautilus Institute Home Page

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.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

Wade Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.net
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Return to the top of this Daily Report

Go to the Daily Report Archive

Return to the Nautilus Institute Home Page


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