NAPSNet Daily Report 14 December, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 December, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 14, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russia Federation

I. United States

1. DPRK Famine

Agence France Presse (“FAMINE IN NKOREA EASING, BUT CRISIS ONGOING, UN SAYS,” Beijing, 12/14/99) and the Associated Press (Elaine Kurtenbach, “ECONOMIC WOES THREATEN NORTH KOREA,” Beijing, 12/14/99) reported that David Morton, resident UN coordinator for the DPRK, said Tuesday that the DPRK will continue to face a grain shortfall of some 1.3 million tons next year. He added that the people face another harsh winter with very little heating in homes, schools and hospitals. Morton said, “the crisis peaked in the years between 1995 and 1997 and things have improved since with better harvests in 1998 and 1999 … but by no means is the crisis over.” Morton also said that the nutritional situation of the DPRK remained “fragile,” and any type of natural disaster could wipe out gains that have been made in the last few years. Morton did not speculate on how long it would take the DPRK to become self-sufficient in grain.

2. Japan Lifts DPRK Sanctions

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN LIFTS SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 12/14/99), Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “JAPAN TO LIFT SANCTIONS AGAINST N.KOREA,” Tokyo, 12/14/99) and the Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS LIFTED,” Tokyo, 12/14/99) reported that the Japanese government announced Tuesday that it would lift sanctions against the DPRK. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki told a news conference, “the government has decided to lift the sanctions on food aid and to resume diplomatic normalization talks. We think it’s a good opportunity for Japan and North Korea to start a dialogue. This is part of our hope that Japan and North Korea can eventually have normal relations.” Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sadaaki Numata cautioned that Japan would not immediately begin sending food to the DPRK. Numata said that Japan would wait to decide what steps to take after it has met with the DPRK in initial talks. Lee Hyuk, an official in charge of relations with Japan at the ROK Foreign Ministry, stated, “we welcome and support the Japanese decision. It ties in with our government policy of promoting engagement with North Korea.” [Ed. note: The Associated Press article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 14, 1999.]

3. Light-Water Reactor Project

Reuters (“FINAL DEAL ON N.KOREA REACTORS TO BE SIGNED ON,” Seoul, 12/14/99) and Agence France Presse (“TOP US OFFICIALS TO ARRIVE IN S. KOREA TO SIGN LANDMARK REACTOR DEAL,” Seoul, 12/14/99) reported that ROK officials said on Tuesday that the contract finalizing the construction of nuclear reactors for the DPRK will be signed on Wednesday. US Special Envoy Charles Kartman is scheduled to be among representatives of 12 nations at a signing ceremony between the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and the ROK-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). An official with the ROK Office of Planning for Light Water Reactor Project said, “representatives from KEDO and KEPCO will sign the turn-key contract at 11 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Wednesday.”

4. Korean War Massacre

Associated Press (Sang Hun-choe, “U.S., S. KOREA DISCUSS NO GUN RI,” Seoul, 12/14/99) reported that an 11- member delegation led by US Army Inspector General Lieutenant General Michael Ackerman met their ROK counterparts on Tuesday to coordinate separate investigations of the July 1950 incident at Nogun-ri. Ackerman said after the meeting, “we will come up with all the facts surrounding what occurred at No Gun Ri.” Colonel Kim Yong- gil, spokesman for the ROK investigation, said that US officials promised that more than 1 million documents will be examined. Tuesday’s meeting was the second of its kind. Both sides agreed to hold their third meeting in the US in February. US Army Secretary Louis Caldera planned to travel to Seoul on January 10-11, 2000, with a panel overseeing the investigation. Both sides hope to finish their investigations by mid-2000.

5. PRC Reaction to US Spy Case

Agence France Presse (“CHINA DENOUNCES US SPYING CHARGES AS ‘LIES’,” Beijing, 12/14/99) and Reuters (Jeremy Page, “CHINA DENIES STEALING U.S. SECRETS, WARY ON LEE,” Beijing, 12/14/99) reported that the PRC accused the US of lying about the conditions surrounding the arrest of Chinese-American Wen Ho Lee in connection with investigations into the leaking of US nuclear weapons secrets to the PRC. PRC foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “some people in the US cling stubbornly to cold war mentality and fabricate lies on China’s so-called theft of nuclear technology from the US with ulterior motives in an attempt to defame China and undermine China-US relations. Facts have proven their attempt will never succeed.” Zhang also added that the accusations were carefully thought out and “intended to defame China and compromise Sino-US relations.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Times (“POP CONCERT IN P’YANG PUT OFF INDEFINITELY,” Seoul, 12/13/99) reported that an ROK Unification Ministry official said on December 12 that a pop concert slated for December 16 in Pyongyang was put off indefinitely because the DPRK refused to issue invitations to ROK participants. Originally, an ROK delegation, including top singers and television camera crew, was set to leave for Pyongyang on December 13, but the SN21 Enterprise, an ROK agency, failed to secure invitations during its recent meeting with its DPRK counterpart, the Asia- Pacific Peace Committee. As the agency already offered US$300,000 to the DPRK, it is expected to further launch negotiations to realize the concert, the official said. The official said that she had no knowledge on what exactly prompted the DPRK to refuse the issuance of entry visas to ROK civilians.

2. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (“S. KOREA, U.S. TO HOLD SECOND NOGUN-RI MEETING,” Seoul, 12/14/99) and The Korea Times (“US INVESTIGATIVE TEAM ARRIVES FOR TALKS OVER WARTIME KILLINGS,” Seoul, 12/13/99) reported that ROK and US military officials held a second working-level meeting on Tuesday regarding the joint probe into the alleged killing of civilians by US soldiers in the early weeks of the Korean War. ROK Defense Ministry officials said on December 13 that the ROK and US teams, each comprising 11 members, would review and share information on earlier probes into the killing at Nogun-ri. The officials said that they would also discuss plans for further investigation and other related issues. The US team, led by Army Inspector General Lieutenant General Michael Ackerman, arrived in the ROK on December 13.

III. Russia Federation

1. RF President’s Visit to the PRC

Nezavisimaia Gazeta’s Dmitry Gornostayev (“YELTSIN REMINDED CLINTON AND THE WORLD: RUSSIA IS STILL A NUCLEAR POWER,” Moscow, 1, 12/10/99) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin in an informal visit to the PRC on Thursday criticized US President Bill Clinton’s statements on Russian moves in Chechnya. Yeltsin said that Clinton “obviously, for a second, a minute, half a minute forgot what Russia is, that Russia possesses a full arsenal of nuclear weapons, and therefore decided to show his muscle.” Yeltsin added that the RF and the PRC agreed that “a multipolar world is the basis for everything” and that “we will dictate to the world how to live, not just [Clinton] alone.” Nezavisimaia Gazeta’s author speculated, that probably “in the United States and Western Europe they are not happy that with their own hands they are molding out of Russians and Chinese a common enemy for themselves, an enemy potentially no less powerful than the Euro-Atlantic empire with its huge internal contradictions of not just an economic nature alone…. Leaders of those Eastern giants in their philosophic concepts are somewhat different from Western politicians and do not consider it shameful to rattle their nuclear weapons…. Of course, the Chinese will not rush to our embrace with abandonment … but today China is one of few states fully understanding us and making a rapprochement with us quite naturally, because the West, for its part, understands only strength.”

Izvestia’s Georgy Bovt (“‘HI!’ FROM THE HEAVENLY EMPIRE TO CLINTON,” Moscow, 1, 12/10/99) reported that Yeltsin’s hosts in the PRC supported him in many respects. The article noted, “Beijing has got its own ‘Chechens’: Uighurs and Tibetans. Beijing has for a long time had its difficult dispute with the West on human rights and the admissible degree of intervention in internal affairs of a sovereign country…. In all those disputes China has long since learned to use its own ‘power arguments,’ first of all the multibillion deficit of the US in trade with the PRC and the attractiveness of investment in the flourishing Chinese economy. As of today that is essentially the main ‘nuclear weapon’ of Beijing.” RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that the signing in Beijing of RF-PRC protocols that finally removed all controversy concerning the more than 4,200 kilometer-long Eastern border means that “in fact there are no problems” between the two countries. The RF and the PRC unanimously reject the US-dominated “unipolar world.” A military alliance is impossible, but joint opposition to US Theater Missile Defense plans is quite feasible. Military technical cooperation is promising as well, “thanks to the fact that the present military strategic balance between the two countries … allows leaving for the future the question of the long term prospects of strengthening of the military might of our neighbor with a one billion population.”

Sovetskaya Rossia (“THE MEETING IS OVER,” Beijing, 3, 12/11/99) reported that during the RF-PRC informal summit in Beijing the parties condemned US attempts to breach the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty as a threat to strategic stability. Although the US was not mentioned, the criticism of “the attempts to create a national anti-missile system by a party that signed that treaty” left no doubts about who was intended. The PRC supported the RF on Chechnya, while the RF supported the PRC on Taiwan. According to RF Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Yakushkin, for Yeltsin it is very important to have “the idea of a multipolar world well-established and developed in Russia” at the end of his RF Presidency.

Sovetskaya Rossia’s Leonid Nikolayev (“YELTSIN-SHOW: BEIJING PERFORMANCE,” Moscow, 3, 12/11/99) reported that “any normal Russian … gets a kind of a split mind-set,” when listening to RF President Boris Yeltsin’s “escapades against American hegemonism.” On the one hand, his words in the PRC and the visit itself meet the national interests of the RF. On the other hand, it is important how and especially by whom that was said. “Yeltsin plays the role of a paper dragon designed to pump up his successor [RF Premier] Putin’s pre-election rating in Russia, which is dead-tired of the American dictate…. None other but Yeltsin himself is fully responsible for the breakdown of Russia’s national security, and the nuclear weapons with which he ‘frightened’ Americans in Beijing are the remnants of the yet-not-completely destroyed armed might of the Soviet Union hated by Yeltsin…. [US President Bill] Clinton commenting on Yeltsin’s thunder and lightning from Beijing displayed a smile similar to that shown by Americans when they discuss a senile uncle’s behavior.”

2. RF-PRC Military Cooperation

Segodnya’s Yekaterina Kats (“AN IMITATION OF COOPERATION,” Moscow, 5, 12/10/99) reported that during the RF-PRC informal summit in Beijing, it was announced that the parties sighed a contract for the RF to sell to the PRC several dozen RF-made Su-30MKI multifunctional combat aircraft, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons after some modifications. The price is close to US$1 billion. In fact the contract was signed a week before, but the announcement was made during the summit, as there is little for the two parties to boast about in terms of economic cooperation. The plans to sell surplus electric power from RF Far Eastern power plants to the PRC and to deliver RF oil are both in doubt. According to PRC sources, the amount of the bilateral trade this year is US$6.12 billion, with the PRC being the RF’s fifth largest trade partner, and the RF being the PRC’s eighth. It is hard to talk about strategic partnership on the basis of just one aircraft delivery contract, Segodnya’s author concluded.

Izvestia’s Georgy Bovt (“‘HI!’ FROM THE HEAVENLY EMPIRE TO CLINTON,” Moscow, 1, 12/10/99) reported that, according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 1991-1997 the PRC spent US$6 billion on RF arms. In recent years the RF has gotten US$1 billion per year from arms deliveries to the PRC, accounting for one-fifth of the bilateral trade. In 1992 the PRC bought 26 Su-27 fighters. In 1995-1996 it bought an additional 48 Su-27 fighters for US$1.7 billion. In 1996 the PRC bought an RF license to produce 200 Su-27SK in five years with no right to re-export to the third countries for US$2.5 billion. In November of 1994 it bought four “Varshavyanka” (“Kilo” in NATO classification) diesel electric submarines for US$1 billion. That same year the PRC bought six S-300 air-defense missile complexes. In November of 1997, an RF-PRC contract was signed to deliver more than US$1 billion worth of RF arms, including two “Sovremenniy” [“Modern”] class destroyers. In June of 1999 in Moscow a general contract was signed for PRC servicemen to study in RF higher military education institutes.

3. RF Foreign Minister to Visit Japan

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (“FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT TOKYO,” Moscow, 1, 12/8/99) reported that RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will visit Japan January 25-26, 2000. The decision was reached during RF- Japanese consultations on December 6-7 in Tokyo between the respective deputy foreign ministers. At the consultations the necessity of a further activation of ties and contacts in the area of the Southern Kurils was stressed. The RF official appreciated Japan’s “balanced and realistic approach to the situation in Chechnya,” RF Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said. One of the purposes of the RF Foreign Minister’s visit will be to prepare RF President Boris Yeltsin’s visit to Tokyo in spring of 2000.

4. RF Naval Aircraft for India

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (“‘MAPO’ TO EQUIP ‘ADMIRAL GORSHKOV’,” Moscow, 1, 12/10-16/99 #48(171)) reported that “MAPO” Military Industrial Complex won a contract to equip the “Admiral Gorshkov” aircraft carrier with MiG-29K deck-based aircraft. The ship is to be delivered to India. Altogether India plans to use up to 60 MiGKs on board the ship.

5. RF Arms Exports to East Asia

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye’s Vadim Solovyov (“A DOMESTIC PHENOMENON,” Moscow, 1, 4, 12/10- 16/99 #48(171)) reported that “the first days of December were marked by a literally unstoppable aspiration of Russian defense producers to break though to armament markets of the Asia Pacific region,” as testified by the LIMA 99 international airspace and naval exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia. The RF “Rosvo’oruzheniye” state arms trade company demonstrated products of 34 RF defense enterprises. Of 107 exhibits displayed, 15 percent were RF-made. Su-30K and Su-30KI multipurpose aircraft were displayed, and for the first time the RF showed its Su-25 – Su-25UBK two-seater attack plane tested during the hostilities in Chechnya. The exhibition hosts were interested in RF-made Buk-M-1-2 air defense missile complex, which is the only system in the world capable of hitting no only air targets, but ships as well. The RF exhibits also included new “Amur” diesel electric submarines, modernized “Kilo” submarines, “Molniya” [Lightning”] missile boats, “Murena” hovercraft landing boats, and “Gepard” [Cheetah] frigates built with Stealth-type technology. Eastern Asian markets for weapons are expected to grow substantially in the next 10-15 years.

6. RF View of US Anti-Missile Defense

Izvestia (“AMERICANS ARE BLUFFING WHEN TALKING ABOUT THE ANTI- MISSILE DEFENSE,” Moscow, 3, 12/10/99) took an interview with RF Strategic Missile Force (SMF) Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, who mentioned the SMF had drafted 12 options for the future, with the worst case scenario involving US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. That would imply “freezing of work on drafting of START- 3 and START-4 treaties, and finally rejection of mutual inspections of sites and notifications about missile launches. In practice [that would mean] a return to the Cold War.” If the “complex and fragile architecture of agreements” is broken, “the number of states possessing nuclear weapons will grow.” Concerning US plans to create its national anti- missile defense, he said: “I think the Americans are bluffing when they attach such great importance to Anti-Missile Defense. Even the most dense system of anti-missile defense existing will not be difficult to overcome with 100-200 nuclear charges, especially with modern nuclear arsenals. And today both we and the US have got 3.5 thousand nuclear charges each…. We should continue negotiations. START-2 could reduce nuclear weapons bilaterally to 1-1.5 thousand units for each…. As in the next 10-15 years nuclear weapons will remain a factor deterring growth of military conflicts, the only right way is the way of negotiations.”

7. RF Ratification of START-II

Sovetskaya Rossia (“CONGRATULATING UNCLE SAM WITH CHRISTMAS,” Moscow, 12, 12/11/99) reported that RF Defense Minister Marshal Igor Sergeyev and “Foreign Ministry officials” undertook yet another attempt “to push” the START-2 nuclear arms reduction treaty through the RF State Duma. The RF Communist Party faction and its allies opposed it, because “Americans cannot be trusted. They cheated in big and small things concerning the implementation of previous treaties…. After the things they committed in the Balkans there can be no doubts that they will trample upon the new ‘disarmament’ treaty the same way Hitler trampled upon the [Soviet-German] Non- Aggression Treaty in 1941…. Yet there is no evil without good. If the START-2 decision is voted on, then on December 13 the electorate will get absolutely true information regarding who of the State Duma deputies are genuine patriots, and who of them just use patriotic robes as a camouflage to hide an American Stars-and- Stripes jacket.”

8. RF Nuclear Stockpile

Nezavisimaia Gazeta’s Sergey Sokut (“THE NUMBER OF ‘TOPOL-M’ IS TO DOUBLE,” Moscow, 2, 12/10/99) reported that “today the second missile regiment armed with ‘Topol-M’ ICBMs is to come to combat duty at a Strategic Missile Force (SMF) division deployed in Tatishchevo of Saratov Region.” Thus the total number of that type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in service with the SMF will reach 20. Besides the “Topol-M” ICBMs, the SMF Strike force includes 180 RS-20 heavy missiles, 160 RS-19s, 46 RS-22s (10 silo-based and 36 railroad- based) and 360 “Topol” missiles. According to 1999 inspections, despite the present economic situation, the SMF’s readiness is “unique,” as at any given moment no less than 95 percent of the missiles can be launched immediately. Its space support is 100 percent financed. SMF Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Yakovlev said that the SMF had undergone tests for possible Y2K bug effects. According to him, breaches are impossible, as the system of combat control does not function in real-time terms, but calculates time on the principle of second-meter. Yakovlev favors the ratification of START-2, but added that the strategic planners had drafted 12 variants of force development according to the situation. The worst case scenario envisages US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the consequent adoption of adequate response measures by the RF.

9. RF Nuclear Naval Force

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye’s Valery Aleksin (“MISSILE- CARRIES WILL GO TO THE SEA,” Moscow, 1, 12/10-16/99 #48(171)) reported that in November “Zvyozdochka” [“Little Star”] shipyard completed four-year repair work on the K-51 strategic missile-carrying submarine of project 667. It is presently undergoing navigation tests in the White Sea. It will come into service with the Northern Fleet in late December. Additional financing of the RF Navy under the latest RF governmental decisions will also allow substantial acceleration of the delayed repair work on the heavy missile-carrying submarine of project 941 at the State center of Atomic Submarine Shipbuilding. In nine years its main armament complexes have been replaced and modernized. It is expected to come into service with the Northern Fleet in early 2001.

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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia


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