NAPSNet Daily Report 14 April, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 April, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 14, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-14-april-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit Talks
2. ROK Election
3. Kim Il-sung’s Birthday
4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
5. Cross-Straits Relations
6. Alleged PRC Missile Sales to Libya
7. START II Ratification
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK on Inter-Korean Summit
2. DPRK-ROK Liaison Office
3. Japanese Analysis of DPRK Regime
4. DPRK-ROK Preparatory Talks
III. Japan 1. Japanese Reaction to ROK-DPRK Talks
2. Japanese Analysis of DPRK Regime
3. Japanese-DPRK Relations
4. Japanese Reaction to ROK Election
5. Japanese-Russian Relations
6. US Nuclear Weapons in Japan

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit Talks

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN LEADER FACES CHALLENGE TO NORTH KOREA POLICY,” Seoul, 4/14/00) reported that analysts said on Friday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung may face a backlash over his policy of detente with the DPRK after the opposition emerged on top in elections. Yoon Tae-young of the Institute of East and West Studies, said, “there is concern his North Korea policy will face a tough challenge from the opposition, but he will be able to handle it thanks to support at home and abroad.” However, political science professor Lee Chung-min of Yonsei University, said, “despite its strong showing, the opposition will find it difficult to oppose the ‘sunshine policy,’ which is backed by South Korean allies.” LG Securities Company’s Hwang Chang-joong was more confident, predicting the president would try to take even bolder steps to ease tension on the volatile Korean peninsula. Hwang said, “I don’t think the election outcome will translate into serious obstacles to President Kim’s governance.”

The Washington Times published an editorial (“NORTH MEETS SOUTH,” 4/14/00) which said that the inter-Korean summit scheduled for June 12-14 was a success of ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s sunshine policy and is both a political and substantive triumph. However, it said, “as with anything that involves North Korea, though, there are many reasons to be skeptical about its potential for success.” Citing various occasions when the DPRK made confrontational statements without provocation, the editor said, “rhetorically, the North Korean regime is one of the most belligerent on earth. In dealing with such a volatile regime, it is difficult to anticipate just how a summit meeting would end, or even if the North would ultimately allow it to occur. South Korea must be careful, therefore, to balance its sunshine policy wisely.” Therefore, the editor concluded, “Mr. Kim [Dae-jung] should approach this opportunity cautiously. He should deliver aid to North Korea piecemeal, and only in response to material concessions. There’s no telling how the North would respond if it gets too much sunshine too soon. [Ed. note: This editorial was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 14, 2000.]

2. ROK Election

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “S.KOREA SEEKS NEW COALITION PARTNER,” Seoul, 4/14/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung faces the difficult task of forming a coalition after failing to win a plurality of parliamentary seats in the ROK general elections. However, Kim’s key policies of economic reform and promoting contacts with the DPRK are not expected to be derailed by the setback for the ruling Millennium Democratic Party. Analysts said that even if Kim renewed an alliance with the United Liberal Democrats and formed a coalition with the independents, it would still fall one seat short of a majority in the parliament. As a result, analysts said, the ruling party could face difficulty in pushing through some reform bills. The leading newspaper Chosun Ilbo said in an editorial, “the new parliament, controlled by the opposition, will work as a strong restraining force for the ruling party.” Paik Seung-ki, a political science professor at Kyongwon University, said, “certainly, there will be tough days ahead for the Kim Dae-jung government.”

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT RISKS LAME DUCK STATUS,” Seoul, 4/14/00) and The New York Times (Howard W. French, “LEADER’S PARTY GAINS SEATS IN SOUTH KOREAN VOTE, AS DO RIVALS,” Seoul, 4/14/00) reported that analysts said Friday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung risks being a lame duck if he fails to get a working majority in parliament or to come to terms with the opposition. Analysts said that Kim will have to manage a careful balancing act to push through further economic reform and pursue his so-called sunshine policy of engaging the DPRK in dialogue. Kyunghee University political science professor Shin Jung-hyun said, “President Kim will have to tread a thin line to secure cooperation from the GNP (Grand National Party) in pushing through his agenda. The elections brought a two-party system like that of the United States closer to this country and flexibility is required in this kind of a political system to avoid a deadlock.” Kim Jae-hong, editorial writer of the daily Dong-A newspaper, said, “there is a high possibility that the MDP (Millennium Democratic Party) will seek to restore alliance with the ULD (United Liberal Democrats).” The ULD said it would wield its casting vote in parliament. A ULD spokesman said after the elections, “we will do our role in arbitrating and brokering any confrontation between the two parties.” The presidential Blue House said that Kim Dae-jung planned to make a proposal next week for discussions with opposition parties on inter-Korean relations, economic recovery and smooth governance. ROK presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said, “we expect nonpartisan cooperation in overcoming economic hardships and improving inter-Korean relations.”

3. Kim Il-sung’s Birthday

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY OF DEAD ETERNAL PRESIDENT,” Seoul, 4/14/00) reported that the official DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that a national meeting was held at the 6,000-seat theater of the April 25 House of Culture on the eve of “Sun’s Day,” the birthday of the late Kim Il- sung. The celebrations praised the late Kim and his son and present DPRK leader, Kim Jong-il. KCNA said that the armed forces held a ceremony on April 13 at the plaza of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang to pay respects to “Generalissimo Kim Il-sung.” Present at the ceremony were Vice Marshal Jo, who also heads the general political department of the Korean People’s Army, Vice Marshal Kim Yong-chun, chief of the army’s general staff, Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Vice Marshal Kim Il-chol and other vice marshals and military commanders.

4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “WARSHIP SALE COULD FUEL CHINA TENSIONS,” 4/14/00) reported that US arms sales to Taiwan have become a highly politicized issue which could fuel tensions between the US and the PRC. Douglas Paal, president of the Asia Pacific Policy Center, said, “the administration is trying to find a straddle not to anger Beijing, please Congress and do what is right for Taiwan.” The US National Security Council opposes selling major new weapons to Taiwan, but the US Defense Department is sympathetic to Taiwan’s requests and the State Department is said to be divided. A US Defense Department official said, “we’re going to have an interagency wrangle between what is militarily useful and what is politically not self-defeating.” Richard Bush, head of the American Institute in Taiwan, which handles US relations with Taiwan, argued that the decision whether or not to sell weapons to Taiwan should be based on a straightforward assessment of the threats facing Taiwan and that Taiwan should “not regard arms sales as symbols of American support.” A Clinton administration report on the PRC-Taiwan military balance was due March 1 under an amendment to last year’s defense authorization bill, but the administration still has not produced it. Some US House of Representatives members want to issue a subpoena for the document. Instead of selling Aegis destroyers, the US could provide smaller ships with the so-called evolved advanced combat system, also known as “Aegis minus” or “Aegis lite.” The US could also provide radar components that might later form part of a regional shield against missiles. Another option could be ordering Aegis destroyers for the US Pacific fleet, which could send the vessels toward Taiwan in a crisis. Or the United States could sell other weapons — such as the latest Patriot missiles, P-3 Orion antisubmarine planes, long-range radar or air-to-air missiles — to help Taiwan meet the threat posed by the PRC’s growing Navy and its missile buildup in Fujian province. James Mulvenon, a Rand Corporation expert on the PRC military, said, “there are a lot of unflashy, unsexy things we could do to help Taiwan ride out a ballistic missile attack.” A critic of the Aegis sale, a foreign policy adviser to congressional Democrats, doubts that Taiwan’s Navy has the expertise to use the Aegis well. He added that the warships cannot be delivered for five years and, thus, are “not a near-term solution for anything.” Opponents of the sale also believe that conservative members of Congress and Taiwanese lobbyists have exaggerated the threat from the PRC’s military buildup. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 14, 2000.]

5. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT WARNS OF ‘IRRATIONAL’ MOVES FROM CHINA,” Taipei, 4/14/00) reported that Taiwan’s vice president-elect Annette Lu warned on Friday of possible “irrational” strategic moves by the PRC after the May 20 presidential inauguration and called on world leaders to adopt preventive diplomacy. On April 12, the official PRC Xinhua news agency again branded Lu a “lunatic” and a “traitor,” after previously labeling her as the “scum of the nation,” for stressing Taiwan’s sovereignty. Lu said, “there is a hidden worry — China might be conducting some kind of strategic and tactical deployment when everybody is waiting for breakthroughs in president Chen Shui-bian’s inaugural speech. Their ruthless onslaught on me could also be a veil for their deployment, since China knows very well the content of a mere speech cannot meet their demands.” Lu added, “I hope world leaders can adopt preventive diplomacy by expressing their deep concerns for cross-strait peace and ask Beijing not to underestimate the grave consequences of any rash moves.”

South China Morning Post (Jason Blatt, “TAIWAN NOT PART OF PRC, SAYS CHEN,” Taipei, 4/14/00) reported that Taiwan president-elect Chen Shui-bian said on April 13 that he would not declare independence but could not accept the island as a “province” or “part of the People’s Republic of China.” During a satellite link-up with US lawmakers, Chen said, “I would like to put to rest any concerns you might have about my views on Taiwan independence. As in the campaign, I would like to make very clear that I will not declare independence as long as the mainland does not attack. It is my hope that during my administration, we will be able to establish a new relationship with the mainland.” He also promised not to revise the constitution to include the “two states” theory, not to hold a referendum on the island’s future, and not to change the island’s national title. He also said that he wanted to open negotiations with the PRC as soon as possible but could not accept the PRC’s “one China” principle as the precept behind all talks if the mainland insisted that “one China” meant that Taiwan was a province of, or a part of, the People’s Republic of China. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 14, 2000.]

6. Alleged PRC Missile Sales to Libya

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “U.S. WARNS BEIJING ON SUPPORTING LIBYA,” 04/14/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright told the US Congress on Thursday that the US is concerned about PRC assistance to Libya’s long-range missile program and has told the PRC not to support it. PRC Embassy spokesman Zhang Yuanyuan said, “I don’t really want to make any comment on U.S. intelligence, given what the CIA has just said about trying to locate a target in Yugoslavia,” referring to the bombing of the PRC embassy in Belgrade last year. As for cooperation with Libya, he said that “our two countries have diplomatic relations” and “also have cooperative programs.” However, Zhang said he was “not aware of the [missile] cooperation that China is alleged to have with Libya.” US State Department spokesman James Rubin said later that the US government notified the PRC government about reports of the cooperation with the Libyan missile program. Rubin said the US “will continue to work with China to bring its policies better in line with international norms.” [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 14, 2000.]

The Washington Times (Ben Barber, “ISRAEL DOESN’T WANT U.S. IRE OVER CHINA,” 4/14/00) reported that Israel’s ambassador to the US David Ivry said on April 13 that maintaining good relations with the US would be paramount in his country’s consideration of US requests that it cancel a US$2 billion deal to sell airborne military radar to the PRC. PRC President Jiang Zemin was in Israel this week to discuss, among other things, the sale of at least one and as many as eight aircraft with sophisticated airborne radar similar to the US AWACS system. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 14, 2000.]

7. START II Ratification

The Christian Science Monitor (Fred Weir, “RUSSIA RATIFIES TREATY AS NEW ARMS RACE LOOMS,” Moscow, 4/14/00) reported that experts said that Russia’s Kremlin wants START II ratified before president-elect Vladimir Putin leaves for Great Britain on April 16, his first foreign visit as Russia’s leader. Putin is expected to gather enough votes from his Unity Party, the Yabloko party and the Union of Right Wing Forces to pass the measure. However, Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent defense expert in Moscow, said, “there is absolutely no sense in ratifying START II at this stage. That treaty is dead on arrival.” Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said the treaty “will completely destroy Russia’s national security, and cost a third of our national wealth just to implement it.” Sergei Rogov, director of the Institute of Canada-USA Studies in Moscow said, “the problem is that START II has been delayed for so long it is no longer the treaty we need. Ratifying it now is just an expression of goodwill that can do little to counter the danger that the whole framework of nuclear-arms control could be coming apart.” Vladimir Baranovsky, an expert with the Institute of International Relations in Moscow, said, “if the US breaks out of the ABM accord, START II will obviously become null and void. Russia cannot afford to match the US, either financially or technologically, by building its own missile defense. So it would have to deploy much larger numbers of nuclear missiles. A whole new arms race would begin.” Vladimir Volkov, a Communist member of the Duma, said, “the United States is aiming for world hegemony, and this necessarily means destroying the arms-control system as it exists. If we ratify START II now, they will only make us look like fools in a few months when Clinton announces his antimissile plan.” An anonymous aide to a member of the Duma foreign affairs committee said that parliamentary leaders have decided to pass a separate resolution today, linking Russian compliance with START II to continued US adherence to the ABM Treaty. Analysts said the Kremlin’s strategy in pressing the Duma to pass START II is to ensure that US officials have no excuse to revoke the ABM Treaty. Felgenhauer said, “the arms-control process is a major source of Russian prestige, and we want to keep it going. But there are practical considerations as well. We simply cannot afford, in straight economic terms, to maintain our nuclear missile forces even at the START II level. They will continue to shrink whether there is agreement or not.” However, Rogov added, “there is a serious danger that START II will collapse almost immediately. That may lead to dramatic new frictions between Russia and the United States.” [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 14, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK on Inter-Korean Summit

Joongang Ilbo (“NK FOREIGN MINISTER WELCOMES SUMMIT,” Seoul, 04/13/00) reported that the DPRK welcomed the inter-Korean summit. Yonhap News Agency quoted DPRK Foreign Minister Paik Nam-sun as saying on April 12, “I hope the planned summit between Pyongyang and Seoul will bring the countries one step closer to increased prosperity and reunification. However, it is too early to talk about post-summit relations for the two Koreas.”

2. DPRK-ROK Liaison Office

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “LIAISON OFFICES LIKELY TO OPEN IN SEOUL AND PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 04/13/00) reported that liaison offices in the DPRK and the ROK will likely be established following the summit meeting between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in June. The move could bring the countries one step closer to realizing reconciliation and reunification. A foreign policy expert said, “the establishment of liaison offices in the capital cities of both countries shows a willingness to restore ties, on equal, diplomatic footing.”

3. Japanese Analysis of DPRK Regime

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-youl, “NK STABLE UNDER KIM JONG-IL: JAPANESE GOVERNMENT,” Tokyo, 04/13/00) reported that the Yomiuri newspaper reported on April 13 that the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s influence over his country remains firm. In the year 2000 Diplomatic Blue Book, the Foreign Affairs Ministry wrote that despite food shortages and the economic recession that continue to trouble the DPRK, no anti-establishment trend was observed. The Blue Book, which concluded that the current regime is stable under Kim Jong-il, was reported to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party at its diplomatic relations joint meeting. The Ministry also commented on the DPRK’s military power stating that “the total military manpower is 1.1 million, mainly in the army, and there is a high possibility that the North has already deployed the Rodong missile. The North is working to extend the range of its ballistic missiles.” According to the report, the DPRK is currently working on double-cropping and seeking methods to increase potato production to improve its economy, yet the shortage of foreign currency and energy still causes serious food shortage problems.

4. DPRK-ROK Preparatory Talks

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “S-N SUMMIT PREPARATORY TALKS TO KICK OFF NEXT WEEK,” Seoul, 04/13/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Lee Yong-jong, “PRE-TALK MEETING AT PANMUNJON THIS MONTH,” Seoul, 04/13/00) reported that Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young said on April 12 that full-scale preparatory talks for the planned inter-Korean summit will begin next week. The ROK will propose on April 18 to the DPRK that the two Koreas hold a working-level meeting to prepare for the summit between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il from June 12-14. Park said that the ROK would suggest that a minister-level figure head the preparatory talks. The spokesman said, however, that the date and venue for the preparatory talk would be finalized after consultation with the DPRK. Park said, “At the preparatory talks, the two sides will discuss the size of the delegation, protocol, the summit agenda, security, telecommunications and methods of making press releases.” Chief presidential secretary Han Kwang-ok and his staff have started pooling advice and opinions from all strata of society so that the voice of the people will be fully reflected in the June summit.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Reaction to ROK-DPRK Talks

The Nikkei Shimbun (“JAPANESE GOVERNMENT WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT OF ROK-DPRK TALKS,” 04/10/2000) reported that the Japanese government welcomed the ROK announcement of the inter-Korean summit. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said on April 10, “we welcome (the announcement), and we will fully support it…. If the meeting were realized, this would be first-ever and would be of epoch-making significance…. This is part of President Kim Dae-jung’s sunshine policy, and I do hope this will facilitate North-South talks and soften the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.” Japanese Cabinet Chief Secretary Mikio Aoki also said, “I hope this will also pose very positive effects on Japanese-DPRK relations.”

2. Japanese Analysis of DPRK Regime

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPRK KIM JOING-IL KEEPS FIRM GRIP ON DPRK REGIME,” 04/13/00) and the Daily Yomiuri (“KIM KEEPS GRIP ON N. KOREA,” 04/14/00) reported that according to the draft of a Japanese Foreign Ministry blue book to be published soon, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il retains a firm grip on power despite the protracted food shortages and economic difficulties facing the regime. The draft report was revealed during a joint meeting of Liberal Democratic Party foreign relations panels on April 12. The draft said that no recognizable dissident movement appears to have developed in the country. As for the nation’s military power, the report said, “its soldiers, chiefly those in its ground forces, total 1.1million. Meanwhile, the country is trying to extend the reach of its ballistic missiles and it is highly possible that Nodong missiles are currently being deployed. The country is also beset by a serious food shortage, although its agricultural sector is stepping up efforts to increase its double-cropping and potato production.” As for diplomatic issues, the report said, “The country has been diplomatically active–North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun met several foreign ministers when he attended a meeting of the UN General Assembly in September 1999.” The report also called for the creation of new regional and international frameworks among major countries, including the US, Russia and the PRC.

3. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Sankei Shimbun (“85% OF DIET MEMBERS DID NOT RESPOND TO SURVEY ON DPRK’S ALLEGED ABDUCTION OF JAPANESE CIVILIANS,” 04/09/2000) reported that the National Council on Saving Japanese Civilians Who were Abducted by North Korea, an independent organization led by Katsumi Sato, announced on April 8 its survey results on Japanese Diet members’ views on the DPRK’s alleged abduction of Japanese civilians. According to the survey, 85 percent of 745 Diet members from both the Upper and Lower Japanese House members did not respond to the survey. However, among those who responded, 70 percent believe that abduction is an unforgivable state crime. 43 percent of the respondents said that solving the abduction issue should precede food aid to the DPRK, while 42 percent believe that humanitarian aid should be separated from the abduction issue. The Council told the Diet members prior to the survey that no response would be interpreted as a sign of indifference to the abduction issue. The chairman of the Liaison Office for the Families of Abducted Japanese Civilians said, “it is disappointing that even those Diet members who come to our meetings did not even express their view.”

4. Japanese Reaction to ROK Election

The Nikkei Shimbun (“FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THAT ELECTION RESULTS WOULD NOT UNDERMINE JAPANESE-ROK RELATIONS,” 04/14/2000) reported that, regarding the results of the ROK general election on April 14, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said, “(The Millennium Democratic Party) was a minor ruling party in the first place, so there is not much difference. The ruling party itself did not lose votes. So, I don’t think the election results would affect North-South or Japanese-ROK relations.”

5. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Sankei Shimbun (“JAPANESE-RUSSIAN SUMMIT TALKS TO BE HELD ON APRIL 29 IN SAINT PETERSBURG,” 04/11/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshio Mori and Russian President Elect Alexander Putin spoke to each other over the phone on April 10 and agreed to holdinformal summit talks on April 29 in Saint Petersburg. During the summit, Mori wants to confirm the Klasnoyalsk Declaration, in which both Japan and Russia agreed to conclude a peace treaty by the end of 2000.

6. US Nuclear Weapons in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPANESE COMMUNIST PARTY CHAIRMAN REVEALS SECRET DOCUMENT ON US CARRIAGE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS INTO JAPAN,” 04/14/2000) reported that Japanese Communist Party Chairman Tetsuzo Fuwa told reporters at the Diet on April 13 that he obtained a secret agreement between Japanese and US governments that allowed US nuclear weapons to be brought into Japan. The document was titled “Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty: Discussion Record” and was produced by the US State Department and Defense Department and signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama and US Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur in January, 1960. The document said that the US should consult Japan about “important changes in the deployment of US forces in Japan, but that the passage or tentative porting of US aircraft and ships would not be included in such “changes.” Fuwa said, “this has obviously allowed the breach of Japan’s three non-nuclear principle for 40 years.” A Foreign Ministry official said, “we cannot make any comment because it is unclear who made the document and where it came from. The Japanese government has consistently denied the existence of such a secret agreement (between Japan and the US).”

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 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
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

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: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.