NAPSNet Daily Report 14 July, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Talks
2. Reunions of Separated Families
3. US-ROK Missile Talks
4. US-PRC Relations
5. PRC View of Missile Defense
6. Taiwan Independence
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-US Relations
2. Family Reunion
3. ROK President to Visit Japan
III. Japan 1. Japanese-DPRK Relations
2. DPRK Drought
3. Japanese-Russian Relations

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Talks

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN SEEKS NORTH KOREA TALKS AT ASIAN SECURITY FORUM,” Tokyo, 7/14/00) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said on Friday that he was seeking a resumption of stalled rapprochement talks with the DPRK. According to Jiji Press news agency, Mori said, “Although it has not been officially decided, a resumption of Japan-North Korea talks is what our country is looking for.” Mori also said that the July 27 meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF) would provide a good opportunity for discussion. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakawaga said a meeting with the DPRK on the sidelines of the ARF meeting was being investigated. Nakawaga said, “The stance of the government has been that we want to resume as early as possible the Japan-North Korean normalization talks. There has been no change to that stance. If there is such an opportunity, the foreign minister and the foreign ministry will make efforts as we receive information through reports that they also have a positive attitude.” Japan is sending Foreign Minister Yohei Kono to the regional gathering while DPRK will be represented by Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on July 11 that the two countries were likely to hold talks in late August, and that Japan would send food aid to the DPRK ahead of the meeting.

2. Reunions of Separated Families

The Associated Press (“S.KOREA NARROWS FAMILY REUNIONS,” Seoul, 7/14/00) reported that the ROK Red Cross came up with a list on Friday of 200 candidates who may be reunited with their relatives in the DPRK. The ROK will hand over its list to the DPRK, which will in turn hand over a separate list of 200 DPRK residents to the ROK on July 16. After both sides identify those whose families are dead or cannot be found, the number will be narrowed to 100 each. Names of the selected ROK residents will be released late this month.

3. US-ROK Missile Talks

Agence France Presse (“US, S.KOREA MISSILE-RANGE EXTENSION DEAL BY YEAR END,” Seoul, 7/14/00) reported that after informal talks with the US team, an ROK foreign ministry official said that the US and the ROK will reach an agreement which will put most of the DPRK within range of the ROK’s missiles by the end of the year. The official said, “Both sides agreed to reach a full accord within several months with progress being made today. It means the deal will come out by the end of this year.” Song Bong-heon, an ROK ministry official responsible for missile issues, said prior to Friday’s talks that he expected the US and the ROK to agree on a deal at the next round of formal discussions between the two sides. No date or venue has been yet arranged for the proposed meeting.

4. US-PRC Relations

The Christian Science Monitor (Kevin Platt, “WHY CHINA VIEWS US AS ITS MILITARY RIVAL IN ASIA,” Beijing, 7/14/00) reported that there have been some signs of progress during US Secretary William Cohen’s meetings with PRC officials this week, but defense experts said that the US and the PRC are much more likely to become rivals than allies in the coming years. Peter Rodman, a defense analyst at the Washington-based Nixon Center, said, “The rivalry between the two is already emerging.” He added that with a defense budget one-fifth the size that of the US, the PRC army is still decades behind US forces, but it is already taking shots at the US security presence in Asia, citing the PRC’s stepped-up threats this year to use military means to reunify with Taiwan. PRC arms control and defense officials often say that US proposals to build an anti-nuclear shield could spark a arms race, and that a smaller shield for Taiwan would force the mainland to increase its missile forces. However, Rodman said, “there already is an arms race, and it started with China’s missile build-up opposite Taiwan.” Other defense experts said that the PRC’s threat to boost its nuclear stockpile in response to NMD might also be a smoke screen. June Dreyer, an expert on the PRC military at the University of Miami, said, “China is already expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal. China wants to use the threat of a nuclear strike against San Francisco or Los Angeles as a deterrent to the US helping Taiwan.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 14, 2000.]

The Wall Street Journal (Eduardo Lachica, “US PANEL SAYS CHINA AND RUSSIA ARE KEY NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS,” Washington, 7/14/00) reported that the Commission on America’s National Interests, a foreign-policy think tank, said that dealing effectively with the PRC and Russia is among the most vital US national security concerns. It set those objectives as “conditions that are strictly necessary to safeguard and enhance Americans’ survival and well-being in a free and secure nation.” The commission, whose work was supported by the Washington- based Nixon Center, the California think tank Rand Corporation, and Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, released its study this week. The commission rejected the US Clinton administration’s notion of the PRC as a prospective strategic partner and described it instead as “America’s major potential strategic adversary in East Asia.” The report said, “Rather than try to build a strategic partnership, which implies an intimacy and common purpose that does not yet exist, Washington and Beijing should concentrate on the more modest goals of managing differences while making the most of [opportunities for] converging interests and potential cooperation.” It also cautioned that US ties with the PRC “cannot take precedence over U.S. alliances with Japan, South Korea or Australia.”

5. PRC View of Missile Defense

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “CHINA THREATENS ARMS CONTROL COLLAPSE,” Beijing, 7/14/00) reported that Sha Zukang, the PRC’s director general of the Foreign Ministry’s department of arms control and disarmament, stressed that sale of US technology to Taiwan for a theatre missile defense system (TMD) would “lead to serious confrontation” because it would be tantamount to restoring a military alliance between Taiwan and the US. Sha said, “This is of supreme national interest. It will be defended at any cost.” Sha predicted that if US President Clinton or his successor goes ahead with plans to implement a National Missile Defense (NMD), the decision would backfire and create enormous security headaches for the US. Sha added, “Instead of enhancing your security, your security policy will be further compromised. The United States will play the role of a fire brigade. Rushing from one place to another to extinguish fires.” Asked if the PRC would reconsider its commitment to nuclear disarmament and a halt to sensitive weapons sales, he responded: “To say the least, our enthusiasm and our participation in all of those regimes, particularly in cooperating with the United States, our mood, let me say, would be severely dampened.” When asked if a decision to deploy missile defenses would also affect the PRC’s existing arms control treaties, Sha said, “It is too early to say what we will do. All I can say is that China will do everything possible to ensure its security, and the measures it will take will be in proportion to the success” of NMD. Sha also said that exporting TMD technology specifically to Taiwan would also constitute a belligerent act on the part of the US. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 14, 2000.]

Knight Ridder News Service (Michael Dorgan, “COHEN DENIES U.S. PLOT TO THWART CHINA,” Beijing, 7/14/00) reported that visiting US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen denied that US pressure on Israel to cancel a military sale to the PRC was part of a US effort to block the PRC’s emergence as a world power. Many PRC officials worry that although the US speaks of engaging the PRC, its real aim is to thwart the country’s rapidly expanding economic, political and military influence. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 14, 2000.]

6. Taiwan Independence

Reuters (“TAIWAN P ARTY SAYS OPEN TO DROPPING INDEPENDENCE,” Kaosiung, 7/14/00) reported that Frank Hsieh, mayor of Kaosiung, Taiwan’s second largest city, and recently elected chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said that he is open to the possibility of dropping a call for a separate state if PRC leaders promise not to attack the island. Hsieh said Thursday, “Ultimately, we want to ensure Taiwan’s survival and development. We are not seeking independence for the sake of independence.” Hsieh said that he did not have a set position on revising the pro-independence clause in the party’s constitution but that he believed that if the clause was removed, then the PRC should show goodwill by renouncing the use of force. He also said that as a ruling party, the DPP needed to adopt the mainstream view in society –even if it means compromising its longstanding belief. He said, “The DPP had hoped to sever a linkage between Taiwan and China and clearly assert Taiwan’s sovereignty. But it’s time for a rational assessment–Is it better to straighten things out by cutting such links or is it better to keep it? They say the DPP should scrap the pro-independence platform to show goodwill. Likewise, we say the Communists should renounce the use of force to show goodwill. The two issues should be discussed at the same time.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Relations

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “NK MOVES TO UPGRADE LEVEL OF CONTACT WITH US,” Seoul, 07/14/00) reported that a meeting between US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun may be realized in Thailand late this month on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum. An ROK official said, “If the Albright-Paek meeting is convened, it would help set the foundation for the next stage of contact between them, such as the proposed visit by a high-ranking North Korean official to Washington.” A Korean-American journalist, who had an exclusive interview with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on June 30 cited Kim as saying that he would soon send DPRK Workers’ Party secretary Kim Yong-sun and a senior military officer to the US.

2. Family Reunion

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “RED CROSS SELECTS 200 FAMILY MEMBERS TO VISIT PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 07/15/00) reported that the ROK National Red Cross (KNRC) on Friday completed the selection of 200 candidates for next month’s reunions with divided family members in Pyongyang. A KNRC official said “We will send the list of 200 people to North Korea Sunday for confirmation of the whereabouts of their families there.” The DPRK will also send the ROK the same number of candidates that day. The final number of candidates, however, will be 100. Those candidates will visit Pyongyang August 15-18, according to the results of confirmation and other criteria set by a special panel. A KNRC official said, “The 300 people who failed to be included in the final 100 out of the initial 400 candidates will likely be given favors if the two governments manage to put the ‘reunion houses’ idea into action.” Of the people on the list, 81 percent are over 70 years old and 30 percent are natives of Hwanghae Province, now part of the DPRK. Reunions will take place August 16 and 17, but the DPRK citizens will likely not be granted permission to stay at their Southern relatives’ homes.

3. ROK President to Visit Japan

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “PRESIDENT KIM TO VISIT JAPAN IN AUTUMN,” Seoul, 07/15/00) reported that ROK officials said Friday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will visit Japan this autumn. An ROK Foreign Ministry official said, “We have yet to determine the level of the Presidential visit as well as its exact timetable. However, it will likely be an ‘official working visit’ and take place this Autumn.” Touching on the normalization talks between Japan and the DPRK, Kono said that the DPRK had been showing a more positive attitude toward rapprochement in the wake of last month’s inter-Korean summit. The official said that the Japanese minister appeared to be upbeat about future prospects and quoted Kono as saying, “North Korea’s improved position on rapprochement with Japan is demonstrated in a Rodong Sinmun editorial that said, ‘the gates for normalization are open.'” Touching on bilateral issues, Lee called for Japan to push to grant suffrage for ethnic Koreans in Japan to take part in local elections and conclude an investment treaty between the two countries.

III. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (“FOREIGN MINISTER TALKS WITH N. KOREA IN OFFING,” 07/14/200) reported that according to sources on July 13, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono might meet with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun in Thailand at the end of July. Sources said, “If the talks are held, the two foreign ministers are expected to confirm that both sides will do their utmost to normalize diplomatic relations… Kono would convey his support for the Seoul-Pyongyang dialogue and stress the importance of peace on the Korean Peninsula.” If the talks do take place, they will be held on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum to be held on July 26 and 27 in Bangkok. However, since there are no diplomatic ties between Japan and the DPRK, the talks would be unofficial.” The Japanese government is also considering having Kono convey a written message from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to Paek and that Kono would also brief Paek on a special declaration on the DPRK, which is to be adopted at the G-8 Summit Meeting that begins next week.

2. DPRK Drought

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“UNICEF SAYS DPRK DROUGHT SITUATION IS SERIOUS,” 07/14/2000) reported that the head of an emergency aid group from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told reporters on July 13 in Japan that the drought situation in the DPRK is serious. The agency visited the DPRK on July 2 and stayed for 8 days to watch the drought situation in the DPRK. The head of UNICEF said that the lack of water has dried the soil of farmlands in Pyongyang and that residents are suffering some skin disease presumably caused by the drought. The group’s head also said that DPRK authorities are now investigating the effects of the drought, but that no numerical data have been provided to indicate the degree of the effects. The group’s head said, “It is unclear how much damage the drought has done, but the drought may have significantly affected rice production.”

3. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (Kiyotaka Shibasaki, “PUTIN VISIT IN EARLY SEPTEMBER EYED,” 07/13/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minster Yohei Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov agreed on July 12 that Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit Japan in early September this year. Although Ivanov did not reveal a fixed date for Putin’s visit to Japan, the Japanese Foreign Ministry is now working to ensure the visit. Ivanov said, “The date (for Putin’s trip to Japan) will be reconfirmed at top-level talks (between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin) during the (July 21-23) Okinawa summit and officially announced at that meeting.” Kono and Ivanov also reiterated the need to resolve pending issues between the two countries, including a yet-to-be- signed bilateral peace treaty and the territorial dispute over the Russian-held northern territories. However, Ivanov was noncommittal about how soon Russia would seek to resolve these problems. Ivanov said, “We do not intend to turn a blind eye to pending issues, but we will try to settle them through efforts to improve neighborly and overall bilateral relations.”

The Asahi Shimbun (“PUTIN SUGGESTS POSTPOMENT OF CONCLUDING PEACE TREATY,” 07/12/2000) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin urged patience on July 11 for the issue of peace treaty negotiations between Japan and Russia. Putin said, “We should not get urged. The bottom line is that we should mutually regard our right benefits and that we should patiently strive (to solve the issue of peace treaty negotiations).” The statement indicated Putin’s suggestion for postponement in concluding a peace treaty between Japan and Russia, which was already agreed on between former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Putin also said, “I am convinced that difficulties concerning the issue of peace treaty negotiations (between Japan and Russia) would eventually be solved if we continued cooperative relations in all areas.” The Asahi Shimbun concluded that the statement also indicates that Putin now gives priority to expanding exchanges between the two countries in economic, cultural and educational areas.

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

Robert Brown: 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

Leanne Payton: lbpat1@smtp.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.