NAPSNet Daily Report 14 February, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK, Russian Views on TMD
2. PRC Naval Development
3. PRC Participation in G8
4. Taiwan Elections
II. Republic of Korea 1. US Sanctions on DPRK
2. DPRK View of US
3. PRC Aid to DPRK
4. ROK-DPRK Relations
5. DPRK-ROK Red Cross Meeting
6. Birthday Gift to DPRK Leader

I. United States

1. DPRK, Russian Views on TMD

Agence France Presse (“MOSCOW, PYONGYANG IN COOPERATION AGAINST US MISSILES: NKOREAN MINISTER,” Seoul, 2/13/00) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said on February 12 that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and his DPRK counterpart, Paek Nam-sun, during their talks last week called for cooperation against US and Japanese efforts to set up a theater missile defense (TMD) system. Paek said, “the foreign ministers of the two countries expressed deep concern over the US and Japan’s efforts to set up ‘theatre missile defense’ system. Both sides shared the view that the moves to escalate tensions are a source of upsetting strategic balance, increasing the danger of war and sparking a new arms race in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world and acknowledged the need for the countries concerned to cope with them with concerted efforts.” Paek said that Ivanov understood the “primary and fundamental” actions needed to diffuse inter-Korean tensions are the pullout of US troops, the dismantling of its military installations in the ROK, and the conclusion of a peace accord between the DPRK and the US. Paek said that the DPRK clarified its position that it would “strongly retaliate against any move to discriminate against it in the issue of satellite and missile launch that belongs to the sovereignty of an independent state.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 14, 2000.]

2. PRC Naval Development

Agence France Presse (“CHINA TO GET SECOND RUSSIAN DESTROYER THIS YEAR,” Beijing, 2/14/00) reported that the Beijing Youth Daily said that the PRC will take delivery of a second Russian Sovremenny-class destroyer later this year. The report said that the two destroyers will be mainly responsible for “patrolling China’s coast” and are armed with modern anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine weapons capabilities. Western military sources in the PRC said that the two destroyers, along with the PRC’s fleet of Russian-made fighter jets and a hoped for purchase of a joint Israeli-Russian Advance Warning and Control System (AWACS), could be useful in implementing a naval blockade of Taiwan. However, the analysts said that the PRC military will need to master the technology of these modern weapons and adequately coordinate joint air and naval operations.

3. PRC Participation in G8

Agence France Presse (“US COULD AGREE TO CHINA PARTICIPATING IN G8 AS OBSERVER,” Tokyo, 2/13/00) reported that Thomas Pickering, undersecretary for political affairs at the US State Department, told the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on February 13 that the US could accept the PRC’s participation as an observer at a Group of Eight (G8) summit this year. Pickering said that an official expansion of the G8 framework was a different issue from the PRC’s possible participation at the summit. Japan’s Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said on February 12, “I would like to find a way to reflect China’s say in the summit as it is a major country in Asia.”

4. Taiwan Elections

Reuters (“U.S. OFFICIALS HEAD FOR CHINA AS TAIWAN PREPARES TO VOTE,” Beijing, 2/14/00) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and senior White House and military officials will arrive in the PRC on February 16 after two days of talks in Japan. Western diplomats said that Talbott’s visit gives the US a chance to urge the PRC to restrain its actions during Taiwan’s March 18 presidential election and avert an episode in the Taiwan Strait similar to the one before Taiwan’s 1996 elections.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Korea Times (“WASHINGTON COULD REMOVE N.KOREA FROM TERRORIST LIST,” Seoul, 02/11/00) reported that the US said on Thursday that it would consider removing the DPRK from its list of countries supporting terrorism, thereby opening it up to increased US aid, if it were to take the necessary steps. “For example, if North Korea and the United States resume our dialogue on counterterrorism, and they were to take the additional steps that we think are necessary, they are a country that could be removed from the list,” state department spokesman James Rubin said. “One of the things that we would be wanting to do — we’ve been prepared to do this for some time — is to sit down and explain the additional steps necessary and hopefully those steps will be taken.” Rubin said. “Obviously we would need to have the kind of assurances that there is not going to be the state sponsorship of terrorist acts on a repeated basis and evidence or steps that we consider sufficient to justify their lack of linkages to such groups,” he said.

2. DPRK View of US

Joongang Ilbo (“N.KOREA SIGNALS FIRM STANCE AGAINST US,” Seoul, 02/13/00) reported that a report by the DPRK’s Yonhap News on February 13 warned that the DPRK may not be able to trust the US because tough conservative elements there exhibit far too much control on policies directed at the DPRK. The report said, “there are a lot of diehards within the United States which forces us to doubt the U.S.’ true intention, and in light of the continual hardline stance against us, we will respond by confronting them in the same way.” The report also said that it is not the true intention of the US to forge cooperative ties with the DPRK, but instead the US wants to oppress the DPRK and maintain an imbalance of power. The broadcaster said, “there have been no concessions in revolutionary principles made by North Korea, and we will maintain our basic ideals.”

3. PRC Aid to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, “CHINA SENDS FOOD AND COKE TO NK,” Seoul, 02/11/00) reported that the DPRK’s Central Radio announced on February 13 that the PRC sent 150,000 tons of food and 400,000 tons of coke to the DPRK on February 2. The PRC had agreed to the aid when Kim Yong-nam, the head of the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Committee, visited the PRC last year. The announcement said, “China has provided material such as food and crude oil for the past several years to North Korea which has experienced difficulties due to the imperialist’s depletion scheme and natural disasters. This is a strong encouragement to the people struggling to build a strong nation under the leadership of Kim Jong-il.”

4. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “PRESIDENT’S AIDE EXPECTS PROGRESS IN INTER-KOREA TIES,” Seoul, 02/15/00) and The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “NK SAID TO BE MOVING IN PRAGMATIC DIRECTION,” Seoul, 02/14/00) reported that Hwang Won-tak, ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s chief foreign policy and security adviser, said on Monday that he expects relations between the ROK and the DPRK to improve significantly this year. Hwang expressed guarded optimism about the possibility of an inter-Korean summit between Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. Hwang also said that his optimistic view of inter-Korean ties for this year is based on the latest developments on and around the Korean Peninsula. Hwang listed the continuous expansion of civil and economic exchanges between the two sides as further proof of an advancing inter-Korean relationship.

5. DPRK-ROK Red Cross Meeting

The Korea Times (“INTER-KOREAN RED CROSS MEETING SET FOR BEIJING,” Seoul, 02/13/00) reported that the ROK National Red Cross said on February 12 that Secretary General Park Ki-ryun of the ROK National Red Cross and his DPRK counterpart Ho Hae-ryong are expected to hold talks at a scheduled February 16 meeting of Red Cross secretaries-general from five East Asian countries in Beijing. The official said, “when the two cross paths during the meeting, they may discuss issues like reunions of divided families and the South’s provision of fertilizer to the North.” The Red Cross secretaries-general of the DPRK, the ROK, Japan, the PRC and Mongolia are expected to discuss the establishment of an Asian humanitarian aid network.

6. Birthday Gift to DPRK Leader

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, “CHUNG JU-YUNG SENDS BIRTHDAY GIFT TO KIM JONG-IL,” Seoul, 02/12/00) reported that Chung Ju-young, the honorary chairman of Hyundai Group, is believed to have sent a birthday gift to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, who will turn 58 on February 16. An official at the Ministry of Unification (MOU) said that Hyundai president Kim Un-kyu led a delegation team on February 11 from Asan to Mount Kumkang in the DPRK with Chung’s present to Kim. The gift included 3 bottles of cognac, 3 bottles of a Korean folk wine, 12 bottles of wine and 5 bottles of perfume. The official said that the gifts would be presented to the secretary-general of the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, Kang Jong- hoon.

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Asian Institute,
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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

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

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

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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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