NAPSNet Daily Report 14 May, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 May, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-14-may-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. EU-DPRK Diplomatic Ties
2. US Food Aid to DPRK
3. US-DPRK Talks at ASEAN
4. Commentary on Agreed Framework
5. PRC-DPRK Missile Defense Talks
6. US-PRC Missile Defense Talks
7. Cross-Strait Relations
8. Simulated Cross-Strait Wargames
9. US Grants Taiwan President Transit Visa
10. Japan in US Global Security Strategy

I. United States

1. EU-DPRK Diplomatic Ties

Agence France Presse (“EU DECIDES TO ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 5/14/01) reported that the EU representative office in the ROK announced on Monday that the European Union (EU) decided to establish formal diplomatic relations with the DPRK. The office said in a brief statement, “The European Commission, in consultation with the member states of the European Union, has decided to establish diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). It is hoped that this will facilitate the European Community’s efforts in support of reconciliation in the Korean peninsula, and in particular in support of economic reform and easing of the acute food and health problems.”

Agence France Presse (“EU HOPES N.KOREA ANNOUNCEMENT WILL SPEED UP RIGHTS DIALOGUE,” Brussels, 5/14/01) reported that the European Commission said Monday that it hopes its decision to establish diplomatic ties with the DPRK will prompt an early start to a dialogue on human rights. EU External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten said Monday’s announcement was in response to a letter from DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun last September 7 which proposed diplomatic relations. Patten said, “What will happen now, as ever, is that we will discuss the modalities” with the DPRK authorities. Leading the EU side to those discussions will be Percy Westerlund, the European Commission official responsible for relations with the DPRK. Informed sources said the first talks would likely take place in Brussels. Patten added, “The announcement is a reflection of the modestly successful visit we made to Pyongyang [earlier this month.] I hope that it leads to an early beginning to the dialogue on human rights.” He also said that the ties should also help make it easier for European relief agencies to operate within the DPRK, as well as open the way for two proposed EU technical missions. Writing to Paek on Monday, Patten said he looked forward to seeing him again “soon,” possibly at an Asian Regional Forum meeting in Hanoi at the end of July.

2. US Food Aid to DPRK

USA Today (“STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS AID TO N. KOREA WILL CONTINUE,” 5/14/01) reported that US State Department officials said it will donate 100,000 tons of food to the United Nations’ World Food Program for distribution in the DPRK despite the nation’s sales of missile technology to Iran and other rogue nations. US State Department spokeswoman Susan Pittman said the aid is “consistent with our long-standing policy of giving assistance to meet humanitarian needs.” Two weeks ago, the US State Department put the DPRK on its list of countries that sponsor terrorism, which prevents it from getting direct US economic aid. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 14, 2001.]

3. US-DPRK Talks at ASEAN

Agence France Presse (“NO PLANS FOR NORTH KOREA-US TALKS AT ASEAN MEET: DIPLOMAT,” Hanoi, 5/14/01) reported that a diplomatic source said Monday that there were no plans for a trilateral meeting between DPRK, the US, and the ROK at an ASEAN Regional Forum here later this week. Speculation had risen that the first talks between the DPRK and the US since the election of George W. Bush to the White House four months ago could take place on the sidelines of the ASEAN meet. The source said, “I think that (speculation of a trilateral meeting) is the product of an over- active imagination.”

4. Commentary on Agreed Framework

Asian Wall Street Journal published an opinion article by Victor Gilinsky, former US nuclear regulatory commissioner and Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (“ENFORCE PYONGYANG’S NUCLEAR PLEDGE,” 5/14/01) which said that the US Bush administration cannot put off the verification of the DPRK’s compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). The authors argue that, “Insisting on starting the verification process now is critical to sound relations with Pyongyang and the only sure way to reduce North Korea’s potential for mass destruction.” To induce the DPRK to stay in the NPT, and to freeze their indigenous plutonium production plants, the US promised them two large power reactors (called light water reactors, or LWRs). The US allowed the DPRK to postponed its full compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) until such time as a “significant portion” of the LWRs had been completed. The question now, the authors wrote, is “how long should the U.S. continue construction of the LWRs without any sign of Pyongyang’s compliance with the IAEA?” The DPRK can not get “key” nuclear components until it complies and these parts comprise perhaps 15 percent of the total. The organization in charge of the project now estimates the project will reach this point in 36 months. Gilinsky and Sokolski note that thirty-six months also turns out to be the lowest IAEA estimate for how long it will take to assess the DPRK compliance. However, this process can only take place with the DPRK’s cooperation. So far, the authors continued, the DPRK has not cooperated and no one thinks it will really open up so how should the US and its allies respond? The obvious answer, they wrote, is to pause the reactors’ construction. The authors also noted that it appears that US allies think that when there is immense pressure, the US will compromise on the verification process rather than risk further antagonizing the DPRK. That, Gilinsky and Sokolski wrote, is certainly what the DPRK is counting on. If the US does, they continued, “it will teach North Korea (and Iraq and Iran and others) the wrong lesson.” Moreover, the authors concluded, “if the US continues construction despite the North’s noncompliance, it will have a much harder time getting South Korea and Japan to go along with enforcement later. Pressure may be building to cut a missile deal with Pyongyang. But no one should expect North Korea to abide by it unless the Bush administration insists that they stick to their deal on nuclear materials first. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 14, 2001.]

5. PRC-DPRK Missile Defense Talks

Agence France Presse (“CHINA-NORTH KOREA SET TO CONFRONT US ON MISSILE DEFENCE AT ASEAN FORUM,” Hanoi, 5/14/01) reported that diplomats said Monday that the PRC and the DPRK were expected to confront the US over its planned missile defense system when officials meet in Vietnam for an ASEAN Regional Forum this week. One diplomatic source said, “The issues cover a vast area and any country can raise any issue. I think China and North Korea will raise the missile defence and of course other countries will raise it too.” Another diplomat said, “It won’t surprise me. I’m expecting the Chinese and the North Koreans to raise the missile issue.”

6. US-PRC Missile Defense Talks

Agence France Presse (“US ENVOY ARRIVES IN BEIJING FOR TRICKY TALKS ON MISSILE DEFENCE,” Beijing, 5/14/01) and Reuters (Paul Eckert, “ENVOY IN CHINA FOR TOUGH MISSILE SHIELD TALKS,” Beijing, 5/14/01) reported that a senior US envoy arrived in the PRC on Monday for talks to explain contentious plans for an anti-missile defense shield after promising to take seriously China’s strident opposition to the system. James Kelly, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs, arrived at the Beijing airport late Monday. He is expected to hold talks on Tuesday morning with PRC officials. Speaking in Singapore before his departure, Kelly said, “Part of the dialogue we will be having with China will be to perhaps allay these concerns that they’ve expressed about something much grander than what we have in mind.” He said discussions with the PRC would be different from those with Russia because the PRC was not a signatory to the ABM treaty. Kelly said, “We’re there to listen to their concerns and to the extent that we can respond to those concerns. We are not about reducing stability we’re about preserving strategic stability in Asia and around the world.” However, analysts expect little consensus to emerge from his visit. Wu Guoguang, an expert on Sino-US relations at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said, “China and the United States won’t move any closer. They could have some pretty severe negotiations over the issue, but it won’t be easy for either side to reach any kind of consensus.” Shen Dingli, a professor at the Center for American Studies at Shanghai’s Fudan University, said, “The United States wants to hurt China’s national security. It wants to dominate the world without fear of retaliation.” Shen added that if the defense shield becomes a reality, the best PRC response would be to build more missiles. He said, “Missiles are cheaper than a missile defense system. The United States will only have a fixed number of missile interceptors.” It has also been noted by the PRC leadership that Japan, the ROK and India were briefed on NMD by Richard Armitage, who is deputy secretary of state and one step up the ladder. A western diplomat said, “The Chinese see it as another foreign snub.”

7. Cross-Strait Relations

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN CONTINUING STATEHOOD POLICY: EX- CHINA POLICY MAKER,” Taipei, 5/14/01) reported that Su Chi, former chairman of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), told a seminar on May 13 sponsored by the leading opposition Kuomintang that he had been told by his successor Tsai Ing-wen that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government was continuing to implement the statehood policy which has enraged the PRC. Su said, “The government had said in public it would stop talk about the theory. But on a private occasion she told me (we) would continue to implement (the policy). It was a shock to me.” Tsai was the architect of the policy unveiled by the then president Lee Teng-hui in July 1999. President Chen Shui-bian from the DPP guaranteed in his inaugral speech in May 2000 that he would not write the statehood claim into the constitution. However, Su said, “What I have seen (is) that the government is working according to the script of the ‘two-state theory’. They (the DPP government) said they want full links with the mainland. They also said they would open to the mainland tourists. But these ideas come to nowhere for now. Basically this fully reflected what they think in their minds.” The DPP attacked Su for raising the issue in public, given the delicate nature of cross-strait relations. Yen Chien-fa, head of the DPP’s China affairs department said, “The issue should not have been raised before the media. As a matter of fact, in doing so, we are harming each other. This is not a simple issue and should not have been discussed in public. What do you think Beijing may think?”

8. Simulated Cross-Strait Wargames

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN DEFEATED BY CHINA IN SIMULATED WARGAMES,” Taipei, 5/14/01) reported that a report in the China Times, a Taiwanese newspaper, on Monday said simulated exercises showed PRC forces successfully invaded Taiwan after the island’s naval and air force units were knocked out. A military source the computerized wargames, conducted in March ahead of a live-fire drill, were aimed to review the defense ministry’s ongoing “Ku An” defense plan. The paper said the blue force, representing the PRC, had gained the upper hand over Taiwan’s simulated air force and naval troops and had triumphed in the computerized games by landing on Taiwan soil. The paper said the computer had calculated the capability of all new weapons owned by the two rivals. The paper said, “The result has sparked shocks and controversy. Some military officers thought the factors of the simulated wargames were not objective, but others thought the outcome is still worthy of reference.” Army officials said the scenario for the largest military drill of the year, codenamed “Han Kuang (Han Glory) 17”, had PRC forces passing the central line of the Taiwan Strait and moving towards the coast.

9. US Grants Taiwan President Transit Visa

Reuters (“U.S. WILL GIVE TAIWAN PRESIDENT A TRANSIT VISA,” Washington, 5/14/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that the US will give Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian a visa to transit on his way to Latin America later this month. Powell said in an interview with CNN, “He will be (able to transit), and no reason he shouldn’t. We will try to reassure the authorities in Beijing that there is nothing in the president’s transit that they should find disturbing or in any way modifying or changing or casting any doubt on the policy that exists between us and the People’s Republic of China.” A source at Chen’s office said last week Chen plans to watch a baseball game, tour a museum and visit Wall Street on his way to and from Latin America. The Taiwanese source described this as “a very big breakthrough.” However, the US has required that Chen not make statements or give media interviews while in transit.

10. Japan in US Global Security Strategy

Pacific Stars and Stripes (Jennifer H. Svan, “JAPAN SLOTTED TO BE CENTERPIECE IN NEW U.S. GLOBAL SECURITY STRATEGY,” Yokota Air Base, Japan, 5/12/01) reported that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced last week that Japan will become the pivotal player in the new US global security strategy. Lieutenant General Paul Hester, US Forces in Japan commander, said he expects “security with Japan to be the premier piece of our engagement in the Pacific.” However, he said, the specific effects of the new focus are difficult to predict. He added, “Until we see the full breadth of what Rumsfeld develops, and if he gets it approved through the president, you can ask the same question forever and ever and ever.” Hester also said that the impact of the changes is that Bush has “strongly indicated he believes Japan is the center of security in the Pacific.” He noted that despite the emphasis on Asia as a key region in adapting to post-Cold War challenges, there is no indication that US troops will increase or the nature of the mission will change in Japan. Hester said political and military stability are only part of the puzzle. He added, “We need to protect the growth of the world economy – the way to do that is to make the region very, very safe for investors.” Hester expects the cooperative mood between the US and Japan to continue under new Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 14, 2001.]

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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
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

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
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

 


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