NAPSNet Daily Report 14 October, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 October, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 14, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-14-october-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US Policy toward DPRK

The Associated Press (David Briscoe, “HOUSE GOP PUSHING N. KOREA POLICY,” Washington, 10/14/99) reported that the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee held hearings on US policy toward the DPRK. Representative Christopher Cox, Republican-California, stated, “U.S. policy is conducting a one-sided love affair with the regime in North Korea.” Cox claimed that the two light-water reactors being built in the DPRK will produce enough spent nuclear fuel to produce 100 nuclear bombs a year. However, US Policy Coordinator William Perry said that for the DPRK to do so would require a huge processing facility not permitted under the 1994 Agreed Framework. Representative Dana Rohrbacher, Republican-California, called US policy toward the DPRK “the screwiest policy I have every seen with one of the weirdest regimes on the face of the earth.” Representative Joe Knollenberg, Republican-Michigan, cited a report by the General Accounting Office as saying that a system to monitor use of heavy oil sent to the DPRK has failed several times. Wendy Sherman, US State Department counselor, said that US officials believe that the bulk of food aid sent to the DPRK is getting to the children for whom it is intended, citing the marked improvement in children’s health reported by relief groups. Sherman said that the State Department was investigating reports that DPRK embassies are financing themselves by selling illegal drugs. She also said that US officials are “watching closely” activity by several hundred DPRK military personnel in Congo, but she said there is “no reason to believe North Korea is mining uranium in the Congo.”

The Wall Street Journal (Eduardo Lachica, “U.S. UNVEILS NORTH KOREA STRATEGY, PREPARES TO APPOINT NEW EMISSARY,” Washington, 10/14/99) reported that former US Defense Secretary William Perry said Tuesday that he will no end his coordination US policy toward the DPRK after a DPRK emissary visits Washington in the near future. Perry stated, “From that point on I expect to be an adviser and consultant to the government on this question.” Perry said that he expects his successor to be a sitting government official selected by US President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. US State Department counselor Wendy Sherman is widely regarded to be a leading candidate for the job.

2. DPRK Reaction to CTBT Defeat

Reuters (Bill Tarrant, “N.KOREA TO KEEP NUCLEAR RESTRAINT AMID TREATY WOES,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that analysts said on Thursday that the US Senate’s rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) should not have much of an impact on the DPRK’s nuclear policy. Park Young-ho of the Korea Institute for National Unification stated, “I think North Korea’s nuclear program has been controlled under the Agreed Framework.” Park added, “I don’t think this U.S. Congress decision will have any significant impact on North Korea’s intentions in its nuclear development program.” Leon Sigal, author of “Disarming Strangers,” argued, “North Korea’s interest is in changing its relationship with the United States, so they don’t want to undermine the Agreed Framework.” He added, “But politics does matter in these things. The political pressure of having lots of countries saying North Korea should not have nuclear weapons is very important.”

3. Environmental Impact of DPRK Famine

The South China Morning Post (Roger Dean Du Mars, “FORESTS STRIPPED IN EXCHANGE FOR FOOD,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that Cho Sung-min, Secretary-General of the ROK organization Forest of Peace, said that DPRK citizens living near the Tumen River have been illegally cutting down trees and exchanging the lumber for food. Cho warned, “Two million hectares of deforested land in North Korea has created a huge crisis that will take 17 years to put right.” He said that the DPRK has increased its lumber exports to the PRC and other countries by 28 times. The DPRK exported four million tons of lumber in 1996, compared with 140,000 tons in 1990. Cho said that Forest of Peace met the DPRK’s National Department for Environmental Protection on September 22. He stated, “The North Koreans said they planned to plant 65 million trees, but this is an impossible task. I hope the United Nations Development Program and Friends of the Earth will also get involved.”

4. Korean War Massacres

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, Charles J. Hanley, and Martha Mendoza, “INCIDENTS OF KOREAN REFUGEES KILLED,” 10/14/99) reported that on August 3, 1950, US troops blew up the bridges over the Naktong River, killing hundreds of Korean refugees. Former Lieutenant Edward L. Daily estimated that at least 200 died in one such incident. Daily and veteran Robert G. Russell said they found about 10 disguised DPRK soldiers among the dead. US veterans recalled that at another bridge, soldiers fired over the heads of the refugees and tried to warn them the bridge would be blown up. Two veterans, ex-engineer Leon L. Denis and Rudolph Giannelli, said that hundreds of civilians were killed, while a third, Joseph M. Ipock, said he could see only 30 or 40 refugees from his vantage point. Kim Bok-jong, a Korean who said he was 200 yards from the bridge, out of view around a hill, remembered that “people rushed back toward us and said many people died when the Americans blew up the bridge.” Kim added that many people drowned when they tried to swim the river after the bridge was destroyed. Four 1st Cavalry Division veterans said that the day before the bridge blowings, five DPRK soldiers disguised in white appeared in front of the US line of retreat and were either captured or killed. Veteran Eugene Hesselman said that because it was believed that the soldiers came from among the refugees, “we got orders to eliminate them (the refugees). And we mowed them all down. The Army wouldn’t take chances.” Hesselman said that he does not recall that infiltrators were found among the victims. Several 1st Cavalry Division veterans recounted that about a week earlier, mortar fire was directed at possibly a few hundred refugees moving down a railroad track about 100 miles southeast of Seoul. Veteran James McClure stated, “The colonel contacted mortar and decided to kill them instead of allowing them through the line.” Veteran Henry Matthias of Baltimore said that he believes about 70 refugees were killed in that incident. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 14.]

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “SEOUL PROMISES TO INVESTIGATE DEATHS,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman Chang Chul-kyun pledged Thursday that the government would investigate new witness reports that US soldiers killed hundreds of Korean refugees during the Korean War. Chang stated, “It will take time, but all those cases will be duly investigated, and the truth will be revealed in the process of South Korean and U.S. investigations.” He said that investigators will first look into the No Gun Ri case, adding, “We cannot handle several cases at the same time. But we will not ignore any cases, either.”

5. Japanese Nuclear Accident

The Associated Press (“INTL ATOMIC AGENCY IN JAPAN TO PROBE NUCLEAR ACCIDENT,” Tokyo, 10/14/99) reported that three officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met with Japanese officials on Thursday to gather more information about the nuclear accident at Tokaimura. Officials at the Japanese Science and Technology Agency said that the IAEA officials will visit the site of the accident on Friday. Also Thursday, the World Health Organization said in a statement that there is no longer any risk of radiation exposure to local residents.

6. US Military Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (“CHINESE LAWMAKER WARNS US ON MILITARY SALES TO TAIWAN,” Washington, 10/14/99) reported that Zeng Jianhui, chairman of the PRC’s National People’s Congress, warned Thursday that a proposal in Congress to expand military sales to Taiwan would aggravate PRC-Taiwanese tensions and hurt chances for peaceful reunification. Zeng also said that he strongly opposes inclusion of Taiwan in any US theater missile defense system.

7. PRC Ratification of CTBT

Reuters (Andrew Browne, “CHINA VOWS FULL SPEED AHEAD ON NUCLEAR PACT,” Beijing, 10/14/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Thursday that the PRC would maintain its moratorium on nuclear testing despite the US Senate’s rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Zhang stated, “We will accelerate the process and exert our efforts for the early entry into force of the CTBT.” She added, “China deeply regrets that the U.S. Senate voted to reject the ratification of CTBT.” She noted, “The United States, as one of the 44 countries whose ratification is required for the enforcement of the treaty, has great influence on bringing the pact into force.” Unnamed diplomats said that the PRC’s immediate concern was a nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, and that the DPRK’s nuclear capability was also troubling.

8. Pakistan Military Coup

The Wall Street Journal (Thomas E. Ricks, “U.S. LACKS FIRM LEVERAGE OVER PAKISTAN FOLLOWING YEARS OF VARIOUS SANCTIONS,” Washington, 10/14/99) reported that a US official said Wednesday that US President Bill Clinton will probably cancel his visit to Pakistan early next year, because it would be perceived as legitimizing the military takeover. Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force strategist, stated, “Based upon 15 years of war- gaming scenarios of conflict in the subcontinent, I don’t think there’s anything we can do — and I think there’s a chance that trying to do something could be destabilizing.” Professor Tahir-Kheli, director of South Asian studies at Johns Hopkins University, said that the coup is unlikely to lead to increased tensions between Pakistan and India, noting, “The Pakistani army has its hands full already” with the domestic situation. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 14.]

9. Russian Military Sales to India

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA LAUNCHES NEW SUBMARINE FOR INDIAN NAVY,” Moscow, 10/14/99) reported that the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday launched an advanced submarine constructed for the Indian navy. It was the 10th such submarine constructed for India. The vessel is expected to be delivered to India in the middle of next year.

10. Indian Adherence to CTBT

The Associated Press (“INDIA MAY GET BREATHING SPACE ON SIGNING NUCLEAR TREATY,” New Delhi, 10/14/99) reported that Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh on Thursday reiterated India’s commitment to signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) despite the coup in Pakistan. Singh stated, “I don’t seen any relationship. India’s policies are not centered on Pakistan.” He added, “We all welcome any step that moves toward total disarmament.”

11. US Rejection of CTBT

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, “SENATE REJECTS NUKE TEST BAN TREATY,” Washington, 10/13/99), and The New York Times (Eric Schmitt, “SENATE KILLS TEST BAN TREATY IN CRUSHING LOSS FOR CLINTON,” Washington, 10/14/99) reported that the US Senate on Wednesday voted 48 to 51 against ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. US President Bill Clinton stated, “Never before has a serious treaty involving nuclear weapons been handled in such a reckless and ultimately partisan way. This was a political deal, and I hope it will get the treatment from the American people it richly deserves.” Supporters of the treaty, however, obtained a parliamentary ruling that the rejection did not kill the treaty per se, so that it could be considered again at a later time. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that the US has no plan to conduct nuclear weapons tests despite the vote and would discourage other nations from testing. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 14.]

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “FOR U.S., FALLOUT WILL BE FADING INFLUENCE,” 10/14/99, A01) reported that arms control experts said that the US Senate’s defeat of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) will cause long-term damage to the US role in global arms control. Rebecca Johnson, editor of Disarmament Diplomacy, stated, “The initial impact will be catastrophic in terms of the U.S. ability to be taken seriously in international efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. The signal the rest of world gets is that the United States prefers to engage in playground partisan politics rather than working with its allies on collective efforts at international security.” Thomas Graham, a former arms control negotiator who is now president of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security, stated, “Most of the world agreed never to acquire nuclear weapons, and the five nuclear states agreed [in return] to pursue disarmament negotiations aimed at the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons.” He added that non-nuclear nations “looked at the test ban treaty as the litmus test of the sincerity of nuclear weapons states living up to their half of the bargain.” One unnamed European diplomat stated, “I think the effect will be disastrous both psychologically and substantively.” An unnamed US ambassador in Europe argued, “This is not just a dangerous signal, it is a declaration of our own stupidity.” Alexander Pikayev, an arms control specialist at the Carnegie Endowment Moscow Center, stated, “If the United States ratified the treaty, I am sure [Russian President Boris] Yeltsin would have submitted it for ratification, but now it is shelved, so it is not clear when, and whether, that happens.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 14.]

12. Reactions to CTBT Rejection

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, “RUSSIA CONCERNED BY US SENATE NUCLEAR VOTE,” Moscow, 10/14/99) reported that Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said on Thursday that Russia was seriously concerned by the US Senate’s rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Rakhmanin stated, “This decision is a serious blow to the entire system of agreements in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.” He added, “There is a definite trend visible in recent times in U.S. actions and it causes deep alarm. Apart from the failure to ratify the CTBT, there is the adoption of a law on a national anti-missile defense system and a new threat of sanctions in the area of export controls and a number of other steps which are destabilizing the foundations of international relations.”

The Associated Press (Shihoko Goto, “ASIA DISMAYED BY U.S. TREATY VOTE,” Tokyo, 10/14/99) reported that Asian leaders on Thursday expressed concern over the US Senate’s rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono stated, “The adverse effects are inestimable, and it is of extreme concern. We had hoped for the U.S.’s leadership in nuclear disarmament and in preventing nuclear proliferation.” Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon said, “This is an enormous blow to all our efforts to make the world a safer place to live in.” The ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement, “Since CTBT is an important treaty that forms the basis of a nuclear nonproliferation structure, we hope that the United States, which has been leading such international efforts, would continue to play its role.” Australian Environment Minister Robert Hill, however, noted, “As the world’s one remaining superpower, (the United States) sees itself as having a special global responsibility in this regard, and the congressmen and women are obviously concerned by anything that they feel might weaken the U.S. in that role and responsibility.”

The Associated Press (“TEST BAN TREATY WORK WILL CONTINUE, VOWS CTBT,” Vienna, 10/14/99) reported that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty said in a statement on Thursday that it would continue its work despite the US Senate’s rejection of the CTBT. The statement said, “We, in the provisional technical secretariat, will continue to build up the global verification regime, which will take several more years. We hope that during this time, the United States will see its way to ratifying the CTBT.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM URGES JAPAN TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung has again urged Japan to improve bilateral relations with the DPRK. In an interview with Japan’s Kyodo News Service, Kim said, “I welcome Japan’s free contacts with North Korea and normalization of diplomatic ties.” Kim said that he also wants the US and European nations to improve relations with the DPRK. Kim also said that he welcomes a visit to the ROK by Workers’ Party secretary Kim Yong- sun, who concurrently serves as chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, an organ handling inter-Korean affairs. He stated, “Of course, we are willing to respond to a visit at the government level if North Korea wants such a thing.” Kyodo said that President Kim reiterated his readiness to help the DPRK improve agricultural productivity and build up its infrastructure if it agreed to hold government-level talks with the ROK. The President said that he could not predict when the two Koreas would resume talks, but the governments will have to face each other eventually as economic cooperation between the two sides grows.

2. ROK Estimation of DPRK Military

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “NORTH KOREA CREATES NEW MISSILE DIVISION,” Seoul, 10/12/99), The Korea Times (“N. KOREA DEPLOYS 10 MORE SUBS,” Seoul, 10/12/99) and The Korea Times (“N.KOREA CAPABLE OF MAKING ‘SIGNIFICANT NUMBER’ OF NUKE WEAPONS,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that the DPRK created a new missile division last year, according to an almanac produced by the ROK Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday. The DPRK merged the Rodong 1 missile battalion with other missile divisions to form a new division. The almanac also stated that the DPRK has been trying to develop additional missile fortresses in three areas since late 1998. The DPRK’s navy has also enlarged the number of its submarines, from 40 vessels to 90 with 7,000 midshipmen. In addition, the DPRK is concentrating on developing the capability to produce biochemical weapons at 8 factories in secret.

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “NK UPS FIGHTING POWER; DEFENSE PAPER,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that the DPRK has increased its reserve of chemical weapons from 1,000 to 2,500-5,000 tons, boosted its manpower by 10,000 men, created a missile division, and added 10 shark-class submarines to its fleet this year, according to the ROK National Defense White Paper 1999, released on Tuesday. The paper said that the DPRK has reduced its land forces by 3,000, but boosted its navy and air force by 6,000, and 7,000 men, respectively. It was also learned that the DPRK possesses 10 types of biological weapons. including anthrax. The paper further said the Daepodong 1 and 2 missiles have a range of 2,500 km and 2,700 km, respectively, greater than what had been speculated earlier. The US army has a new nuclear strategy designed as a defense against countries using chemical and biological weapons. US$4.74 billion has been budgeted for the new plan in which the US army in the ROK will be a main focus. The ROK military has also committed to spending W350 billion over 5 years, to produce defensive equipment against chemical and biological warfare. The paper also reported that the ROK military reduced its forces by 2 brigades, but added 50 new K-1 main battle tanks and 50 new K-200 armored carriers to its forces. Artillery supplies were also boosted by 350 for a total of 5,200 weapons, including the new 155mm self-propelled guns. The paper also mentioned that the US army is equipped with 140 M1A1 main battle tanks, 170 M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 30 155mm self-propelled guns, 30 MLRS, and 70 AH-64 Apache helicopters. The US Air Force has about 70 F-16s, 20 A-10s, and an unspecified number of U2s.

3. DPRK Food Situation

Joongang Ilbo (“FAO DISPATCHES FOOD SPECIALIST TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sent a food specialist to the DPRK on October 8 to assess its food situation. A source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) said on October 12, “A food specialist visited North Korea and will investigate this year’s grain production and the prospect of food supply and demand in 2000 until October 25.” He noted that the visit was smaller in scale than the World Food Program (WFP)’s joint investigation team which usually consisted of 4 to 5 experts, and thus it is difficult to predict whether the exact food situation could be gauged. It is thought that the FAO and WFP will collate their information and publish a joint report on the food situation in the DPRK in around mid-November.

4. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

The Korea Herald (“HYUNDAI TO START SITE SURVEY IN N. KOREA,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry said that Hyundai Group and Korea Land Corp. (KLC) officials will visit the DPRK on Saturday to survey the site for the planned construction of a large industrial park. “Sixteen Hyundai officials and six KLC officials will enter the North via Beijing. They will try to select the site most suited for the industrial complex among three candidate sites proposed by North Korea along the southwestern coast,” a ministry official said. In a related development, working-level Hyundai officials started consultations with their DPRK counterparts Thursday in Beijing on the construction of an 11,788-seat sports complex, the Unification Ministry said.

5. Mt. Kumgang Tour

The Korea Herald (“SENIORS BORN IN N.K. TO TOUR MT. KUMGANG,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that ROK officials said on Wednesday that one hundred senior citizens who were born in the DPRK were to leave for Mt. Kumgang Thursday for a four-day cruise tour, under a program sponsored by the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC). “The elderly, mostly aged over 65, are those who have family members left in the North but are too poor to join the tours,” a KNRC spokesman said. The event is part of the KNRC’s efforts to help separated families visit their hometowns, he said. The participants are scheduled to hold joint memorial rites for their ancestors at tourist sites, the spokesman added.

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, “NK REJECTS US ENVOY’S JOINING KUMKANG TOUR,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that a source at the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Tuesday that the DPRK expressed disapproval of US Ambassador Steven Bosworth’s plan to take part in the Kumkang Mountains Tours. The same source speculated that the DPRK may believe that the US Ambassador in the ROK is a political figure sent to the ROK by the US. However, Ambassador Bosworth has expressed a strong wish to join the tour, the official said.

6. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “CHILDREN’S SOCCER GAME BETWEEN SOUTH-NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that a friendly soccer game between children from the ROK and the DPRK will be held in the DPRK in March 2000. Park Seh-jik. chairman of the 2002 FIFA Korea World Cup Organizing Committee (KOWOC), on Tuesday said, “We will send the elementary school pupils from north Kyongsang province who succeed in the November preliminaries to the exchange game in North Korea. We have already received an affirmative answer from the government to our invitation for the game.” Park added that the organization will bear all US$16,000 in costs for the game and that similar exchanges should be planned for the future.

7. British-DPRK Relations

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “BRITAIN TO LAUNCH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINING IN N.KOREA,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that British Deputy Under Secretary John Shepherd said on Tuesday that Britain is ready to project its own ray of “sunshine” toward the DPRK to support ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s engagement policy and contribute to opening the DPRK to the international community. Shepherd made the remarks in a speech on the theme of “Britain and Asia: the value of partnership in the 21st century” at the Institute of Foreign Affairs-National Security (IFANS) in southern Seoul. In one example, negotiations between Britain and the DPRK are underway to discuss the launching of an English language teaching program in the DPRK, he said. “The UK is committed to working together with Korea to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and in the wider world. We give full and active support to President Kim’s engagement policy, support KEDO (Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization), and provide humanitarian aid to the DPRK bilaterally and through the EU (European Union),” he said. He went on to say, “We are soon to start pilot ELT (English Language Training) for the DPRK, our own ray of sunshine.” A British Embassy official said that Britain was considering sending two or three English teachers to the DPRK for the program. He added that inviting DPRK citizens to Britain is also a “possibility” under consideration, in the case that the first- phase program in Pyongyang makes progress.

8. DPRK Refugees in PRC

The Korea Herald (Jacob Adelman, “TOP U.N. OFFICIAL SAYS N.K. REFUGEES SITUATION SERIOUS,” Seoul, 10/14/99), Chosun Ilbo (Moon Gap-shik, “NK DEFORESTATION IN SERIOUS STATE,” Seoul, 10/13/99), The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “ROBINSON TO ADDRESS NK REFUGEES IN CHINA WITH UNHCR,” Seoul, 10/13/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim Sung-yong, “NGOS AND UNHCR TO STUDY NK REFUGEE PROBLEM,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson said on Wednesday that DPRK escapees in the PRC who are sent home face serious consequences. “It is most important that we recognize that if they are forced to return, their situation is extremely serious,” Robinson said at a press conference in downtown Seoul’s Lotte Hotel. She said that she would be learning more about the problems facing DPRK citizens who fled to the PRC during her visit to Seoul. The number of DPRK escapees in the PRC range from the ROK government’s estimate of 10,000 to 30,000 to some civic groups’ count of up to 300,000. The PRC government disregarded civic groups’ calls in September not to send the escapees home, where they would face harsh punishments, saying that the matter lay strictly between the PRC and the DPRK. Robinson said that she will discuss the escapees with non-governmental organization groups while in Seoul and with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata in the coming weeks. She also said the escapees’ situation “touches on” UN conventions that protect refugees from returning to countries where they would face severe penalties for having left.

The Korea Herald (Chang Jae-soon, “ACTIVISTS CALL FOR LEGAL REFUGEE STATUS FOR N.K. ESCAPEES IN CHINA,” Seoul, 10/14/99) and The Korea Times (“INT’L PANEL TO HELP NK REFUGEES IN CHINA,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that DPRK escapees in the PRC who have fled starvation in their own country should be treated as refugees in accordance with international law, participants in a workshop on the human rights of the escapees asserted on Wednesday. “Chinese authorities treat about 100,000 North Korean refugees as mere border transgressors and repatriate them to the Communist country where they’ll obviously receive harsh punishments,” said Kim Sang-chul, a lawyer who heads the institution organizing the workshop, the Commission to Help DPRK Refugees. Kim said that his group obtained witness reports that many DPRK citizens are beaten, starved, tortured or even executed when they are repatriated. Calling for more interest from the international community in the human rights of DPRK refugees, Kim demanded that the UN appoint a special inspector to shed light on the reality of the refugees and give them refugee status as stipulated by international law. Son Chu-whan, a former culture-information minister who was attending the workshop, also asserted, “It’s the duty of the international society to protect the human rights of the North Korean refugees, regardless of the international relationships that such help may affect.” Son said that emergency accommodation camps for fleeing DPRK escapees should be set up in regions of the PRC and Russia that border the DPRK.

9. Ethnic Koreans in PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Hang-su, “LAW ON ETHNIC KOREANS IN CHINA EASED,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that first generation ethnic Koreans in the PRC who can prove they moved there before the establishment of the ROK will soon have the right to ROK citizenship. This is one of the many new changes in what is being called the “First Supplementary Measure” of the “Law for Overseas Koreans.” The “First Supplementary Measure” also eases visa application requirements for Koreans who are citizens of the PRC. Those who prove their first generation status may come to the ROK without the invitation of a sponsor. The new law was at first widely opposed on the grounds that it gave different legal advantages to ethnic Koreans according to country of citizenship. In addition, the law was potentially unconstitutional for several reasons, including failing to grant automatic citizenship to Koreans displaced by Japanese imperialism, war, or national division. According to the constitution, the DPRK is communist-occupied territory of the ROK and as such, DPRK citizens are citizens of the ROK. Others are implied to have the same rights in certain cases. Whether the revision, set to be implemented gradually, will be spared constitutional debate remains to be seen, since the new version of the law still limits naturalization of first generation ethnic Koreans in the PRC only.

10. DPRK Comments on Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (“N.K. SAYS NOGUN-RI PROBE TO REVEAL U.S. CRIMES,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that the DPRK called on Tuesday for a complete investigation into the so-called “Nogun-ri” massacre and the punishment of the killers involved, saying it is the first step in disclosing all the “savage” acts committed in Korea by the US over the past 50 years. “The world’s news media, including the U.S. and Japanese ones, are showing keen attention to the U.S. soldiers’ brutal slaughters,” said a DPRK state radio station, KCBS, quoting the National Democratic Front (NDF), which the DPRK claims is a pro-Communist organization active in the ROK. “To dig out the massacre should not be limited for the specific incident but considered as a start for fighting against all the misdeeds by the United States in the South,” it added.

11. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Herald (“PENTAGON TO FORM PANEL TO PROBE INTO NOGUN-RI KILLINGS,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that the US Department of Defense will form an advisory group for a planned investigation into the alleged killings of ROK civilians by American soldiers early in the 1950-53 Korean War. ROK Defense Ministry officials said on Wednesday that US Secretary of Defense William Cohen, in a telephone conversation with his ROK counterpart Tuesday night, said that the five-member panel, composed of experts in Korean affairs, will advise the US Department of the Army’s investigation into the killings. Cohen was also quoted as saying that after the ROK and the US bring to light all the facts about the killings, both countries will discuss the settlement of the case. ROK ministry officials said that they will consult US authorities on details of the planned investigation into the killing at the coming Security Consultative Meeting, slated for Washington on November 23. The ROK Defense Ministry will launch its own investigation soon, officials said.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL, WASHINGTON AGREE TO LAUNCH INVESTIGATION INTO NOGUN-RI CASE,” Seoul, 10/14/99), The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “KOREA, US AGREE ON JOINT MASSACRE PROBE,” Seoul, 10/12/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “JOINT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE NOGUEN-RI,” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that the ROK and the US on Wednesday agreed to launch a probe into the so-called “Nogun-ri massacre” case, and later consider taking follow-up measures, including compensation for the victims, officials said. The two governments also agreed to discuss how to cooperate in their investigations at their annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) scheduled for next month. Those agreements came during a meeting between ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-tae and US Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth. Later in the day, Roth met with Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young to coordinate their governments’ position regarding investigations into the alleged mass killings of ROK civilians. They also concurred to perfectly share information related to documents their governments have and the outcomes of their planned interviews of ex-US GIs and Korean survivors, the officials said. Roth was known to have taken a negative stance on a joint probe into the alleged massacre, as proposed by the ROK government. Upon arrival in Seoul for a three-day visit Tuesday night, Roth said that the ROK and the US will conduct a “parallel investigation” into the Nogun-ri case under bilaterally close cooperation.

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “NOGUN-RI CASE SHOULD NOT HAMPER ROK-US TIES,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on Tuesday that the alleged massacre of refugees in Nogun-ri by US servicemen during the Korean War should not hamper long-standing ROK-US ties. In a Cabinet meeting at Chong Wa Dae, Kim instructed the Cabinet to conduct a thorough probe into the case in a fair and transparent way. “An impartial and transparent investigation will clear away any potential public misunderstandings,” Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young quoted Kim as saying. “As far as the Nogun-ri issue is concerned, things should be handled in such a way as not to worsen the bilateral ties between Seoul and Washington,” Kim said.

The Korea Herald (“PRESIDENT RECEIVES LETTER ON NOGUN-RI CASE FROM COHEN,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung has received a letter from US Defense Secretary William Cohen saying that the US will conduct a thorough probe into the Nogun-ri massacre, Chong Wa Dae said. “U.S. Defense Secretary Cohen stressed in his letter Tuesday that his government will thoroughly probe the case with the close cooperation of the South Korean government,” a Chong Wa Dae official said. The US government will get to the truth behind the case no matter what the investigation’s results are and thus leave no doubt in the minds of the Korean people on the incident, Cohen said in the letter.

12. Status of Forces Agreement

The Korea Times (“US FORCES KOREA TO BE OBLIGED TO RESTORE POLLUTED ENVIRONMENT,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that the ROK Environment Ministry said on Tuesday that it will require through the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that US Forces Korea restore the polluted environment around one of its bases under ROK laws. The ministry’s plan comes following an oil leak accident at a military base in Eiwang on the outskirts of Seoul in March last year. The ministry said that ROK government officials and US forces have agreed to conduct joint sampling tests to identify the density of residual oil on the soil near the US military installation. “Based on the results of the tests, we will ask the U.S. forces to take additional measures to remove the residual oil,” a ministry official said. “We are determined to insert a clause mandating U.S. forces to restore the polluted environment in the revised SOFA in accordance with domestic environment-related laws,” a ministry official said.

13. Amnesty Sought for ROK in US

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED FOR RELEASE OF KOREAN AMERICAN,” Seoul, 10/14/99) reported that an ROK civic group on Wednesday urged the ROK government work actively for the release of a Korean-American jailed in a US prison on spy charges. “We feel disappointed and ashamed that the government is turning a deaf ear to the fate of Robert Kim, who was jailed for trying to help South Korea,” said the group, the Robert Kim Commission. The group was commenting on an ROK Foreign Ministry response to Kim’s open letter sent to the ROK government. Organizers of the civic group, inaugurated in 1997, are currently collecting signatures for a petition asking for Kim’s release at the Olympic Stadium, where an international NGO conference is being held. Kim and his supporters claim that the secrets he handed over to the ROK military attache were about the movement of DPRK submarines. The US should have shared such information with a close ally like the ROK, Kim has said in his own defense. A volunteer said that “we have sent petitions to President Kim Dae-jung and U.S. President Bill Clinton, but there’s been no answer. We are suspicious of the United States’ intentions behind Kim’s arrest, and are dumbfounded by Seoul’s indifference.” ROK Representative Kim Sung-gon of the National Congress for New Politics is Robert Kim’s younger brother.

Chosun Ilbo (“AM I A SPY FOR SOUTH KOREA?” Seoul, 10/13/99) reported that Robert Kim, who was sentenced to 9 years in a US prison for passing classified military information to an ROK intelligence officer, sent an open letter to the Chosun Ilbo appealing to the ROK government to help in clearing his name.

14. ROK Missile Accident

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “NIKE MISSILE EXPLODES OFF COURSE,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that a Nike anti-aircraft missile veered off course and exploded in midair at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon during a demonstration of the firepower of the ROK Air Force’s artillery. The demonstration was part of a 50th Anniversary commemoration of the foundation of the ROK Air Force. The explosion shattered windows in nearby shops and scattered broken parts into a residential area by Daechun Beach on the West Coast. An Air Force official said that the missile was fired 80 degrees towards Chook-do but the missile did not follow its course after its first stage rocket got separated. The missile was exploded by a self-activated device 30 seconds after it was launched.

15. ROK Import of Russian Submarines

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, “LAWMAKERS OPPOSE INTRODUCTION OF RUSSIAN SUBMARINES,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that ROK ruling and opposition lawmakers on Tuesday joined forces in condemning the envisaged introduction of Russian submarines, arguing that they would be of no help in the nation’s bid to build up its naval combat capabilities. In an ROK National Assembly Defense Committee’s inspection of the Navy, they asserted that the introduction of the Russian submarines will also bring a negative impact upon the nation’s defense industry. The nation is set to accept three medium-sized Russian submarines in return for “economic assistance loans” extended to Russia. Representative Har Kyoung-kun of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) said that the Navy will face serious problems in operating the Russian subs as it will need totally new human resources and maintenance and repair facilities. He raised the concern that the Russian subs will also result in serious problems in keeping military secrets, as Russia has already exported many subs to the DPRK, Iran, and the PRC.

16. NGO Conference in ROK

The Korea Times (Park Yun-bae, “NGOS URGED TO PLAY ROLES IN CONTROLLING WAR,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that an expert on Tuesday called on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to play a major role in checking war in the 21st century. “The main task of civil society organizations in the next century is to make a decisive contribution to controlling war and providing human security for the individual,” said Jonhathan Dean, advisor on International Security Issues Union of Concerned Scientists. At a plenary session of the 1999 Seoul International Conference of NGOs, Dean said that making armed conflict increasingly rare is essential for progress in all other areas. He pointed out that this year marks the hundredth anniversary of the Hague International Peace Conference in May 1899, the first international conference with the explicit goal of moving to world peace through practical measures. Since then, NGOs have been strengthened by the growth of democratic practices and by the development of accessible communications. “However, we have to recognize that this growth in the number and influence of civil society organizations has not yet brought greater effectiveness in contributing to the maintenance of peace.” He noted that war remains the greatest scourge of humanity, adding that more than 100 million people have died in the planet-wide wars of the first half of the 20th century. Admiral L. Ramdas, founder of a New Indian-Pakistan Movement for Peace, predicted that the PRC will emerge as a powerful contender as the other superpower in the next century. He stressed that the old “culture of war” must make way for the new “culture of peace.”

17. ROK Labor Federation to Sue IMF

The Korea Times (“LABOR FEDERATION SET TO FILE DAMAGE SUIT AGAINST IMF,” Seoul, 10/12/99) reported that an ROK group of financial unionists on Tuesday announced a plan to bring the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to court, claiming the rescue packages of the IMF caused damages to workers in the ROK. The Korean Federation of Bank and Financial Labor Unions (KFBU) said that it will file a US$480 million damages suit against the IMF in Seoul District Court on Friday. The court battle will be waged jointly by five former workers of the nation’s five troubled banks, which were liquidated under the drastic financial restructuring plans recommended by the IMF. Six other workers of bankrupt small businesses will also be named as co-complainants against the international funding organization. The 11 individual workers will demand the IMF pay them US$40 million each in compensation for the loss of their jobs due to the harsh reform measures imposed by the organization. “The IMF policy of maintaining higher interest rates has caused profit-making companies to collapse under a liquidity crisis,” the KFBU said. The labor federation also claims that extremely strict IMF policy has resulted in workers losing their jobs in the process of restructuring banks and financial institutions. Since May 20, the labor group has collected signatures from more than 300,000 people to support its cause. The KFBU is also studying a plan to file a complaint with a human rights sub- committee of the UN and other international organizations. Park Jang-woo, a lawyer appointed by the KFBU for the lawsuit, said the contention point of the court battle will be proving that policy mishaps of the IMF triggered damages to workers.

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.
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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
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage: 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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