NAPSNet Daily Report 13 September, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 13 September, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 13, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-13-september-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Agreement

Reuters (Steve Holland, “U.S. MAY EASE SOME NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS,” Auckland, 09/13/99), The Washington Post (William Drozdiak, “N. KOREAN PLEDGE EASES FEARS OF MISSILE TEST,” Berlin, 09/13/99, A01), The New York Times (Philip Shenon, “NORTH KOREA AGREES TO END MISSILE TESTING IN EXCHANGE FOR ECONOMIC AID,” Washington, 09/13/99) and the Los Angeles Times (Tyler Marshall, Edwin Chen, “N. KOREA MISSILE TEST SEEN AS UNLIKELY IN WAKE OF PACT,” Washington, 09/13/99) reported that US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said Monday that the DPRK has agreed to observe at least a temporary freeze on testing long-range ballistic missiles. Berger stated, “This is an important initial step for addressing our concerns about North Korea’s missile program. For our part we are considering a number of measures to ease economic sanctions.” He added, “It is now our understanding and expectation the North Koreans will refrain from testing any long-range missiles for the duration of our negotiations to improve relations.” Berger said he would make a recommendation to Clinton soon on what sanctions ought to be eased and that officials would look at basic commercial trade sanctions that apply to ordinary goods and investment and that could not have a dual military use. He added that if the DPRK did test a missile, “Obviously we would be going down a different path.” An unnamed senior US official stated, “There has been a strong concern about an imminent test. I think it is safe to say that we do not have that concern any longer.” US officials said that the DPRK continued to press its demands for a complete lifting of economic sanctions. An unnamed senior US administration official stated, “They have some strong expectations but so do we. The fact that these talks went more smoothly than ever before offers hope for a further reduction in tensions and some real movement toward a better relationship in the future.” Another official stated, however, “They could be back in business with the missiles in a hurry. This is one positive step in what has proved to be a long, frustrating process.” An ROK official suggested that further US-DPRK talks might take place later this month, perhaps between DPRK First Deputy Foreign Minister Kang Suk-chu and US State Department counselor Wendy Sherman. Another senior ROK official said the timing and staffing of any future meeting had not been decided. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 13.]

The Associated Press (“ALBRIGHT WANTS END TO SOME US SANCTIONS ON N KOREA,” Washington, 09/13/99) reported that US State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said Monday that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will recommend shortly to US President Bill Clinton that he lift restrictions on trade in some “non- sensitive goods,” on some investments and certain financial transactions to the DPRK. An anonymous senior US official said that this could clear the way for transfer of funds between family members in the US and in the DPRK and for commercial vessels to carry goods to the DPRK.

The US Embassy in Berlin issued the following Press Statement (“US-DPRK PRESS STATEMENT,” Berlin, 09/12/99). “US and DPRK delegations, headed by Ambassador Charles Kartman and Vice Minister Kim Gye Gwan, respectively, met in Berlin from 7-12 September 1999 to discuss bilateral relations and other issues of mutual concern. The discussions, a continuation of high-level talks the two sides have held on a regular basis, took place in a constructive and businesslike atmosphere. The two sides held productive discussions on pending issues, including the sanctions and missile issues. Each side came to a deeper understanding of the other’s concerns and each acknowledged the need to continue taking steps that address these concerns. The two sides agreed to continue these efforts and agreed that, in the interim, each would endeavor to preserve a positive atmosphere conducive to improved bilateral relations and to peace and security in Northeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.”

2. ROK Reaction to US-DPRK Agreement

Reuters (“SKOREA KIM SAYS WELCOMES NKOREA STANCE ON TALKS,” Seoul, 09/12/99) reported that the ROK presidential office in a statement issued late on Sunday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Auckland welcomed the result of the US-DPRK talks in Berlin. The statement said, “We will do our best to make the agreement reached in the Berlin talks happen. We view this result as a show of sincerity by the North.”

3. Japanese Reaction to US-DPRK Agreement

Reuters (“JAPAN UNSURE NKOREA ABANDONS MISSILE LAUNCH PLANS,” Auckland, 09/12/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Monday welcomed the outcome of talks in Berlin between US and DPRK officials. Obuchi stated, “I see it as a step towards North Korea freezing a missile launch, but I don’t think of the agreement as a sign that the North has abandoned a launch completely.”

4. US-Japan-ROK Meeting

Reuters (Steve Holland, “U.S., S.KOREA, JAPAN URGE NORTH AGAINST TEST,” Auckland, 09/12/99) reported that US President Bill Clinton, speaking ahead of a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and ROK President Kim Dae-jung, urged the DPRK to give up weapons development. Clinton stated, “The people of North Korea need food and opportunities. They need engagement with the South and the chance for a brighter future. They do not need new weaponry that threaten the security of the region and the world.” Clinton said his talks with Kim and Obuchi were to discuss “our common interest in stability and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula” and to try to persuade the DPKR not to test-fire a long-range missile. In a joint statement released after the meeting, the three said they would work to improve relations with the DPRK provided that it “takes steps to reduce tensions and establish lasting peace on the Korean peninsula and beyond.” Obuchi said the three agreed that they would keep in close contact and cooperate with each other on DPRK issues. “It was productive that we were able to reconfirm that we will maintain close contact.” White House National Security Adviser Sandy Berger stated, “The three leaders indicated that if there was a manifestation by the North Koreans that they would not proceed with testing, that some form of easing of the sanctions might be appropriate.”

5. DPRK Defectors in PRC

The Associated Press (“CHINA PROBES SOUTH KOREAN PASTORS,” Seoul, 09/11/99) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the PRC was questioning two ROK pastors and a businessman about allegations of “illegal missionary activities.” ROK news media quoted unidentified intelligence sources as saying that pastors Chon Yong-su and Park Moon-shik and business executive Kan Jin-hyong were accused of helping DPRK citizens to defect to the ROK. Ministry officials could not confirm the reports, but they said the ROK asked the PRC to allow its citizens to receive consular services and to conduct a fair investigation. They said that PRC authorities detained the three on August 21 in Changchun, northeast China.

6. ROK National Security Law

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “SOUTH KOREA SECURITY LAW OPPOSED,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that the ROK National Security Law is likely to be a key issue in the period leading up to elections in April for the ROK National Assembly. Kim Yong-gap, an opposition legislator, said Friday, “We need this law as long as North Korea pursues its daydream of unifying the Korean peninsula under communist rule.” However, Nam Kyu-sun of Mingahyup, the ROK’s largest human rights group, said she wants Kim to revise the law, then repeal it by the end of his term in early 2003. Nam stated, “Our country, our society can live without it.”

7. PRC-US Summit

The Associated Press (Terence Hunt, “CLINTON, JIANG DIFFER ON TAIWAN,” Auckland, 09/11/99) and the Washington Post (Clay Chandler and John F. Harris, “CLINTON, JIANG MEET IN EFFORT TO EASE TENSE RELATIONS,” Auckland, 09/12/99, A27) reported that US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin agreed on Saturday to resume trade talks. Jiang said that the PRC reserves the right to use force to stop a move toward independence by Taiwan. Clinton expressed sympathy with the PRC’s irritation at Taiwan but warned that the PRC would face “grave consequences” if force were used. US National Security Advisor Berger said that Clinton said that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui “had made things more difficult for both China and the United States” and reafffirmed the US adherence to the “one-China” policy. Berger stated, “Jiang ended this by saying, ‘You know I’m not someone who likes war but 1.2 billion Chinese people are concerned about what has happened in Taiwan.'”

Reuters (“CHINA MEDIA HAIL U.S. SUMMIT, WITHHOLD COMMENTARY,” Beijing, 09/12/99) reported that official PRC newspaper reports on PRC President Jiang Zemin’s meeting on Saturday with US President Bill Clinton issued no commentary on the summit or on bilateral ties, repeating the government’s characterization of the talks as “constructive and positive.” The People’s Daily highlighted statements by Jiang and Clinton stressing their desire to normalize ties and the agreement to resume World Trade Organization (WTO) talks frozen after the bombing of the PRC embassy in Belgrade. The paper also repeated Jiang’s condemnation of Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s insistence on “special state-to-state relations” and the PRC’s refusal to renounce the use of force. Both the People’s Daily and the China Daily gave prominence to Clinton’s remark that Lee’s remarks had created difficulties for both the PRC and the US. They did not report Clinton’s warning of “grave consequences” if the PRC were to use military force against Taiwan.

8. Taiwanese Statehood Policy

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN WON’T RETRACT STATE REMARK,” Taipei, 09/12/99) reported that the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry said Sunday that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s will not be retracted. The ministry said in a statement, “Special state-to-state relations” was merely “an objective description of the state of relations and has been embraced by the vast majority of Taiwanese. This reflects reality, so there is no question of retracting or not retracting.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 13.]

9. PRC-Taiwan Spying Row

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “CHINA EXECUTES GENERAL FOR SPYING FOR TAIWAN,” Beijing, 09/13/99) reported that unnamed military sources said Monday that the PRC has court-martialed and executed a general and a colonel for selling state secrets to Taiwan for at least US$1.6 million. They said retired Major General Liu Liankun was executed by lethal injection in Beijing in August. The sources said that Liu, a former director of the General Logistics Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), had been passing on secrets to Taiwan for about five years. He was accused of selling secrets to Taiwan intelligence on PLA war games and missile tests near Taiwan in 1996 and the deployment of troops and weapons. Once source stated, “This is the biggest spying scandal since the founding of the People’s Republic. Taiwan knows how much equipment we have. No wonder Taiwan wasn’t too worried during the 1996 military exercises.” Senior Colonel Shao Zhengzhong was also court-martialed in the same case and executed, the sources said. In a separate case last month, a PRC appeals court confirmed a life sentence on government official Xi Shiguo for spying for Taiwan in the southern island province of Hainan. The court rejected the appeal of co-defendant Hsiung Tien-chun, a Taiwan citizen.

10. US Technology Transfer to PRC

The Associated Press (Dan Robrish, “CO. SOLD MISSILE HOW-TO TO CHINA,” Philadelphia, 09/13/99) reported that Orbit/FR, headquartered in Horsham, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Monday to illegally giving the PRC technology that could help improve the accuracy of missiles. The company was was fined US$600,000 and could be banned from exporting products for up to 10 years. Charges against at least one company official are likely to follow. Orbit/FR had agreed to a US$1 million deal with Chinese North Industries Corporation, a military systems manufacturer for the PRC army, to sell software and equipment designed to measure the effectiveness of antennas placed in the nose cones of missiles. The system was capable of measuring accuracy within 10 feet over a distance of 10 miles. No money changed hands, and the technology that the PRC received is not fully operational.

11. Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

Reuters (Jonathan Wright, “U.S. TELLS RUSSIA OF NEED TO AMEND ABM TREATY,” Auckland, 09/11/99) reported that an unnamed senior US official said on Saturday that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Friday why the US wants to amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM). The official said, “The Secretary (Albright) reviewed our thinking on this…. She sketched out our initial views on the nature of the threat.” The official added, “There are reservations (in Russia), there are very strong concerns about amending the ABM treaty.”

12. US-Russian Defense Talks

The Associated Press (“US, RUSSIAN DEFENSE CHIEFS DISCUSS MILITARY RELATIONS,” Moscow, 09/13/99) reported that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev told visiting US Defense Secretary William Cohen on Monday that Russia wants to improve military relations with the US. Sergeyev said that improving US-Russian defense relations “is important not only for our two countries, but for the rest of the world as well.” Cohen said that the US will have a hard time persuading Russia to revise the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, but the two sides should eventually be able to reach agreement. He stated, “I would expect that this would take quite a few more discussions, but I believe that if we approach this in a constructive fashion, we can in fact provide for some modifications that would take into account Russian concerns and U.S. concerns.”

13. US-Russia Y2K Cooperation

Reuters (“U.S., RUSSIA SIGN DEAL ON JOINT Y2K MISSILE CENTER,” Moscow, 09/13/99) and the Los Angeles Times (Elizabeth Shogren, “U.S., RUSSIA TO JOINTLY STAFF MISSILE CENTER,” Washington, 09/11/99, 1) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen and Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev signed an agreement on Monday for their military officers jointly to staff a center in Colorado to watch for any false warnings of missile attacks due to year-2000 computer bugs. Cohen said in a statement that the center at US Space Command headquarters at Colorado Springs “will reduce the chance that a turn-of-the-millennium computer error will create an end-of-the-year security incident.” He stated, “The agreement that we just signed will allow our militaries to do something that was impossible to imagine just a decade ago — sit together and monitor sensitive early warning data about possible missile launches.” The statement quoted Sergeyev as saying that the “Center for Strategic Stability and Y2K” was a key step forward in cooperation between the two countries. An unnamed senior Defense Department official stated, “It’s not because we think we’re … teetering on the edge of a potential false launch or anything of the sort. And at this time of Y2K transition, were there to be some sort of problem, it would certainly be useful to have our people in direct contact and direct communication with one another.” Spurgeon Keeny, president of the Arms Control Association, stated, “This clearly is a useful thing to do. It’s a confidence-building measure running up to [January 1] and a possible safety net if something goes wrong.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 13.]

14. Indian Elections

The Associated Press (Ashok Sharma, “INDIAN PARLIAMENTARY VOTE HALF-DONE,” New Delhi, 09/12/99) reported that newspaper and television reports said that the coalition led by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee moved ahead in India’s parliamentary election on Sunday. According to an exit poll by a private television station, the coalition was set to gain 17 seats. The opposition Congress Party and its partners were likely to lose 13 seats. Voting also will be held on September 18, 25 and October 3 and ballots will be counted a few days later.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “AGREEMENT ON N.K. MISSILE PLAN SEEMS IMMINENT,” Seoul, 09/13/99), Chosun Ilbo (Park Du-shik, “US AGREES TO LIFT NK OFF SANCTIONS LIST,” Seoul, 09/12/99), The Korea Times (“US, NK REPORT PROGRESS IN BERLIN TALKS,” Seoul, 09/12/99) and Joongang Ilbo (“U.S., NK EXTEND MISSILE TALKS IN BERLIN,” Seoul, 09/12/99) reported that ROK analysts and officials said that the US and the DPRK may be nearing an agreement on suspending the DPRK’s missile program on Sunday, with both sides indicating some progress in their extended talks in Berlin. Such views are based on reports from the German capital that DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan said on Saturday that there was some progress in negotiations over the DPRK’s missile programs, they said. Kim also indicated that the US accepted the DPRK’s demands and that he was satisfied with Saturday’s negotiations and confirmed the US’ “good faith.” “We would like to respond to the United States with credibility. We are studying how and what,” Kim was quoted as saying. The two sides extended the missile talks, which were originally scheduled to end Saturday, and held negotiations through Sunday. “The extension is seen as a process of putting final touches on their agreement,” said an ROK official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on condition of anonymity.

2. ROK-US-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “S. KOREA, U.S., JAPAN LEADERS URGE N.K. TO ACCEPT PEACE DEAL,” Auckland, 09/13/99), Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “KIM ADDRESSES NK PACKAGE PLAN AT APEC FORUM,” Seoul, 09/11/99), The Korea Times (“ROK, US, JAPAN LOOK TO IMPROVE TIES WITH NK,” Seoul, 09/12/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “LEADERS URGE NK TO RESPOND TO PERRY’S PLAN,” Seoul, 09/12/99) reported that the leaders of the ROK, the US, and Japan jointly urged the DPRK on Sunday to accept the new peace proposal being offered by the three countries in exchange for the DPRK’s promise to halt its missile and nuclear programs and adopt an open-door policy. The three leaders also agreed to urge the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to take group action, including adoption of a statement on the turmoil in East Timor. ROK President Kim Dae-jung, US President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi met at the Stamford Plaza Hotel hours before joining the other leaders of APEC for the regional forum’s two-day annual summit. “The three leaders confirmed that they are prepared to undertake measures to improve their respective relations with North Korea,” the statement said. It stated the three countries’ readiness to offer economic and diplomatic incentives on the condition that the DPRK addresses the concerns of the three countries and takes steps to reduce tensions and establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.

3. DPRK Missile

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “NORTH KOREAN PICTURE RENEWS DEBATE OVER EXISTENCE OF TAEPODONG II MISSILE,” Seoul, 09/13/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Park Jong-hoon, “NK RELEASES VIDEO IMAGES OF DAEPODONG MISSILE,” Seoul, 09/11/99) reported that DPRK’s state television recently broadcast a picture of its mid-range Taepodong I missile, the kind it test-fired August 31, 1998. The picture of Taepodong I was aired September 5 as part of a program by the DPRK’s Korean Central Television to celebrate the first anniversary of Kim Jong-il as the DPRK’s official top leader. Japanese media, in releasing the picture on Friday, said that it was the first time the DPRK provided a picture that clearly shows the structure of its missiles, including the engine and exhaust pipes. It also may back up the assertion that the DPRK has developed the ballistic missile through its own technology, citing the appearance of a big, single engine instead of four smaller engines bundled into one as in the case of Russian Scud missiles, the prototype of Taepodong, they said.

4. ROK-PRC Summit

The Korea Times (“KIM LAUDS JIANG’S EFFORTS TO PROMOTE S-N DIALOGUEIT,” Seoul, 09/12/99) and The Korea Times (“KIM-JIANG SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON CHINA’S ROLE IN S-N PEACE,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung praised PRC President Jiang Zemin for his efforts to promote inter-Korean dialogue in a summit on Saturday. Kim also took note that the PRC has exercised its influence to dissuade the DPRK from launching another ballistic missile and to ensure peace on the Korean peninsula. According to ROK presidential spokesman Park Joon-young, Kim told Jiang that he highly appreciates the PRC leader’s recommendation that the DPRK respond to the ROK’s call for dialogue when met Kim Young-nam, standing chairman of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly. The two leaders, in a 30-minute meeting at the Sheraton Hotel, reaffirmed their pledge to develop and strengthen ROK-PRC relations, the spokesman said. Kim expressed hope that Prime Minister Zhu Rongji would visit the ROK soon. Kim called on Jiang to take a leading role in ensuring a peaceful settlement on the East Timor issue.

5. PRC Position on DPRK Missile Test

The Korea Times (“CHINA URGES RESTRAINT OVER N.KOREA,” Seoul, 09/12/99) reported that the PRC urged restraint on Sunday over fears about the DPRK’s ballistic missile program, warning the development of a US anti- missile system would harm stability in the region. “All the relevant parties should do more things that are conducive to peace and stability in the Korean peninsula,” PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, when asked about the missile fears. He was speaking on the sidelines of a major Asia-Pacific economic summit in Auckland.

6. DPRK Defectors in PRC

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “CHINA’S DETENTION OF 3 SOUTH KOREANS MAY STIR DIPLOMATIC ROW,” Seoul, 09/11/99), The Korea Times (“SEOUL PROTESTS BEIJING’S DETENTION OF THREE KOREANS,” Seoul, 09/10/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yul, “3 KOREANS DETAINED BY CHINESE AUTHORITIES,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that the ROK government said on Friday that the PRC detained 17 people, including two ROK pastors and a businessman, for unknown reasons. Officials at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said that they suspect the two priests were involved in offering help to DPRK defectors in PRC. The three ROK citizens are pastors Chun Young-soo, Park Moon-shik and businessman Kang Jin-hyung. ROK officials said that the ROK government is considering requesting the PRC not to deport the alleged DPRK defectors who are under custody because they are certain to face punishment if sent back to their homeland. Diplomatic observers raised the possibility that a diplomatic row between the ROK and the PRC may develop over the ROK’s involvement in the human rights issue of DPRK defectors in the PRC.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL BELATEDLY EXPRESSES REGRET OVER CHINA’S DETENTION OF KOREANS,” Seoul, 09/13/99) reported that ROK officials said on Sunday that the ROK government delivered its regrets over the PRC’s failure to properly inform the ROK of its detention of three ROK citizens over the weekend. “Our diplomats in Beijing contacted Chinese officials Friday and conveyed the regrets,” said an ROK official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The ministry’s action came after criticism was mounting that the ROK government had responded slowly to PRC authorities’ detention of the three ROK citizens. The three were arrested for unknown reasons, along with 60 people, most of them believed to be DPRK defectors, in three northeastern provinces of China on August 21. Most of the detainees were released the following day but the three ROK citizens and 14 other people have been kept in custody for interrogation. The trio, however, were learned to have engaged in “illegal missionary activities” and other acts related to supporting DPRK defectors to the ROK, the officials said on condition of anonymity. Still, the ROK Embassy in Beijing was found to have learned of their detention 16 days after the incident took place. Critics said that the embassy appeared to have refrained from protesting to the PRC over its long- term detention of the three ROK citizens in order not to provoke the PRC.

7. DPRK Spy Scandal

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “LAWYER SURRENDERS HIMSELF AS N.K. SPY,” Seoul, 09/13/99) reported that ROK intelligence officials said on Sunday that a 35-year-old lawyer in Seoul has confessed to having worked as a DPRK spy. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said that the lawyer, identified only by his family name Park, worked as a propaganda officer for an underground group. The group was formed in 1992 and led by Kim Young- hwan, who was arrested last week. Park was won over by Kim, who attended the same college as he, and was given a code-name, Kwanak-san 3, by the DPRK in October 1990, the NIS said. The NIS refused to give further details about Park and his activities. Officials said the NIS is probing into scores of other people for their possible connection to Kim, the key figure in the latest spy scandal. Kim reportedly gave financial support to a few candidates in the 1997 local elections.

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “FORMER SPY FEARS N.K. REPRISALS,” Seoul, 09/11/99) reported that ROK intelligence officials said on Friday that the DPRK has been trying to assassinate a spy who has converted from the DPRK’s ideology. The officials quoted Kim Young-hwan, 36, as saying DPRK agents began to threaten to kill him in 1995, when he expressed a critical view of DPRK’s juche, or self-reliance, ideology, which he had once followed. “Kim is still haunted by the fear that he may be assassinated by the North Koreans, and we are now protecting him,” said an ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) official who demanded anonymity.

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Hang-su, “NIS INVESTIGATES 100 IN SPY RING CASE,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) launched a major investigation Friday of 100 or so student activists of the 1980s who are now employed in many sectors of society as lawyers, judges, businessmen and politicians. The probe is based on a list of names obtained during questioning of Kim Young-hwan. Officials from the NIS were able to decipher a diskette possessed by Kim which detailed the organization of his group and listed members and their occupations. In addition, a notebook from a Won Jin-woo contained the telephone numbers of up to 100 people, scores of whom the NIS have identified.

8. ROK-DPRK Economic Exchanges

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “GOV’T REFUSES TO ALLOW COMPUTER PARTS TO GO NORTH,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that the ROK government on Friday directed Hyundai not to send computer assembly parts to the DPRK. A source from the ROK Ministry of Unification said, “Recently Hyundai asked for permission to deliver its surplus computer assembly parts to North Korea. However, we have concluded that this is inadvisable at present and have therefore refused the request. Cautionary considerations for possible usage of the equipment, such as military, have been foremost.”

9. Seminar in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR IN PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that the Central Committee of the DPRK Science Technology Federation will hold a seminar meeting on provisions processing on September 28 and 29 in Pyongyang. According to the Workers’ Daily newspaper, scientists, technicians and college students majoring in food-related subjects will participate in the event, which aims to improve the quality of provisions and increase production. Treatises on subjects such as soy sauce fermentation will be announced at the meeting, the paper added.

10. US State Department Handbook on DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Young-won, “NK HANDBOOK RELEASED ON INTERNET,” Seoul, 09/12/99) reported that the US State Department’s 1997 handbook on the DPRK was released on the internet on Sunday and gives a detailed look at the DPRK’s military capabilities and strategies. The 430-page book says that if a second Korean War occurred the DPRK aims to occupy the ROK with in thirty days using the Kasong-Munsan, Chollon Valley and east coast highways. In addition there are four known and a presumed eighteen tunnels under the DMZ. The DPRK military is also thought to have several US made Stinger antiaircraft hand held missiles. Land forces comprise 8 infantry, 1 tank, 4 mechanized and 2 artillery corps; while the air force has 730 planes, including 10 Mig-29s and 40 Mig-23s and 300 helicopters; and 43 missile boats, 200 torpedo boats and 62 fire support ships. The DPRK has the densest antiaircraft system in the world with over 8,000 guns and missile launchers.

11. APEC Forum

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “THOUGH OVERSHADOWED BY EAST TIMOR, APEC LEADERS TACKLE ECONOMIC AGENDA,” Auckland, 09/13/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and the other 20 leaders of the Pacific Rim nations launched their annual summit on Sunday, tackling the region’s response to the Asian economic crisis and the upcoming new round of global trade talks. This year’s major agenda items include trade liberalization and facilitation, competition and regulatory reform, the upcoming multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO), e-commerce and the Y2K computer glitch problem and economic and technical cooperation. The regional leaders then held a joint meeting with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), a group of business leaders, to discuss the forum’s role in boosting the opportunities for business in the region. The advisory council proposed this year that APEC member economies elevate the standards of their financial markets, corporate governance and competition policies to the international level.

12. G-77 Ministerial Talks

The Korea Herald (“2 KOREAS TO ATTEND G-77 MINISTERIAL TALKS IN MOROCCO,” Seoul, 09/13/99) reported that both the ROK and the DPRK will participate in a ministerial meeting of developing countries opening in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday aimed at working out a development strategy in the increasingly globalized economy. An ROK government official said on Saturday that Kim Il-doo, head of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry’s Development Cooperation Department, will head the ROK delegation to the 9th G-77 ministerial meeting. The DPRK delegation will be led by Vice Trade Minister Ku Song-bok. In the Marrakech meeting, to be held as a preparatory meeting for the 10th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development slated for 2000 in Bangkok, developing countries will discuss riding the growing economic liberalization and globalization trend.

13. US Report on Missile Development

The Korea Times (“NK, IRAN, IRAQ COULD BE MISSILE THREAT TO US BY 2010,” Seoul, 09/10/99) reported that Iran, Iraq and the DPRK could test intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the US by the end of the next decade, a new US intelligence estimate made public on Thursday concluded. The National Intelligence Estimate also found that the proliferation of medium range missiles has created “an immediate, serious and growing threat to U.S. forces, interests and allies,” according to an unclassified summary of the document. The study projected that “during the next 15 years the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China and North Korea, probably from Iran and possibly from Iraq.” The report said countries seeking longer range missiles envision them not as “operational weapons of war, but primarily as strategic weapons of deterrence and coercive diplomacy.” However, it also noted that “the probability that a missile armed with a weapon of mass destruction will be used against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of the Cold War.” Short and medium range missiles in particular are seen “not only as deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war, primarily with conventional weapons, but with options for delivering biological, chemical and eventually nuclear weapons,” it said.

14. ROK Opposition Leader’s visit to US

The Korea Times (“LEE HITS GOV’T IN US TOUR,” Seoul, 09/12/99) reported that Lee Hoi-chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party of the ROK, now visiting the US, accused the President Kim Dae-jung administration of what he called a crackdown on the opposition and failure of economic and DPRK policies. In his address to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, Lee characterized Kim’s governing style as an “imperialistic” monopoly of power. “President Kim exercises unbridled influence on all decision-making, while cracking down on the opposition. Under the imperialistic leadership, even the legislature remains crippled,” he said. In the address, Lee went on to criticize the DPRK and economic policies of the administration.

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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: 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

 


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