NAPSNet Daily Report 15 May, 1997

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 15 May, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, 1997, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-15-may-1997/

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. US Military Leader’s Views of DPRK Threat

General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech at the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University May 14 (“SHALIKASHVILI 5/14 SPEECH AT CHINA DEFENSE UNIVERSITY,” USIA Transcript, 5/14/97), said that the DPRK currently poses the greatest threat to US interests in East Asia. Shalikashvili stated, “It is fair to ask: what specific threats do the United States and our friends and allies see in the Asia-Pacific region? First, and most threatening, is the unpredictable regime in Pyongyang, which poses a major threat to peace on the Korean peninsula and in the surrounding area. This threat is magnified by the regime’s current economic problems and its apparent inability to feed its population. This is a sad situation. Today, the security situation on the Korean peninsula is worse than it was 25 years ago, when I served there as a military planner.” Shalikashvili continued, “Let me add that we continue to welcome China’s active participation in the four power talks and its bilateral efforts to help reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. And we appreciate China’s efforts to help us keep nuclear weapons off of the Korean peninsula.” Shalikashvili also cited as threatening the “nuclear, chemical, and missile technology proliferation both in the region and coming from the region,” and the “significant territorial disputes concerning Japan’s Nor

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. US Military Leader’s Views of DPRK Threat

General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech at the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University May 14 (“SHALIKASHVILI 5/14 SPEECH AT CHINA DEFENSE UNIVERSITY,” USIA Transcript, 5/14/97), said that the DPRK currently poses the greatest threat to US interests in East Asia. Shalikashvili stated, “It is fair to ask: what specific threats do the United States and our friends and allies see in the Asia-Pacific region? First, and most threatening, is the unpredictable regime in Pyongyang, which poses a major threat to peace on the Korean peninsula and in the surrounding area. This threat is magnified by the regime’s current economic problems and its apparent inability to feed its population. This is a sad situation. Today, the security situation on the Korean peninsula is worse than it was 25 years ago, when I served there as a military planner.” Shalikashvili continued, “Let me add that we continue to welcome China’s active participation in the four power talks and its bilateral efforts to help reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. And we appreciate China’s efforts to help us keep nuclear weapons off of the Korean peninsula.” Shalikashvili also cited as threatening the “nuclear, chemical, and missile technology proliferation both in the region and coming from the region,” and the “significant territorial disputes concerning Japan’s Nor

I. United States

1. US Military Leader’s Views of DPRK Threat

General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a speech at the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University May 14 (“SHALIKASHVILI 5/14 SPEECH AT CHINA DEFENSE UNIVERSITY,” USIA Transcript, 5/14/97), said that the DPRK currently poses the greatest threat to US interests in East Asia. Shalikashvili stated, “It is fair to ask: what specific threats do the United States and our friends and allies see in the Asia-Pacific region? First, and most threatening, is the unpredictable regime in Pyongyang, which poses a major threat to peace on the Korean peninsula and in the surrounding area. This threat is magnified by the regime’s current economic problems and its apparent inability to feed its population. This is a sad situation. Today, the security situation on the Korean peninsula is worse than it was 25 years ago, when I served there as a military planner.” Shalikashvili continued, “Let me add that we continue to welcome China’s active participation in the four power talks and its bilateral efforts to help reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. And we appreciate China’s efforts to help us keep nuclear weapons off of the Korean peninsula.” Shalikashvili also cited as threatening the “nuclear, chemical, and missile technology proliferation both in the region and coming from the region,” and the “significant territorial disputes concerning Japan’s Northern Territories, as well as islands in the South China Sea.” “And finally, drug trafficking and the ever-present potential for terrorism are both cause for concern,” Shalikashvili said.

The Associated Press (“U.S. GENERAL CITES N. KOREA THREAT,” Beijing, 5/14/97) and Reuters (“N.KOREA MAIN THREAT, US OFFICER WARNS CHINA,” Beijing, 5/14/97) reported on the comments by General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University on May 14, describing the DPRK as the top threat to US interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The reports cited analysts’ assessments that Beijing remains Pyongyang’s most important ally despite the cooling of ties since the PRC established diplomatic relations with the ROK in 1992. The reports noted that Shalikashvili’s four-day visit to the PRC, which began Monday, was the first by a Joint Chiefs chairman since 1983. Both Washington and Beijing have stressed the need for more exchanges between senior military leaders to reduce tensions between the countries.

2. US and PRC Military Leaders Interact

General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a speech at the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University May 14 (“SHALIKASHVILI 5/14 SPEECH AT CHINA DEFENSE UNIVERSITY,” USIA Transcript, 5/14/97) that the US supports the development of the PRC and is not seeking to contain it from becoming a great power. “In the information age, at the dawn of the 21st century, our security and prosperity, and your security and prosperity are inextricably linked,” Shalikashvili said. He continued, “I am told that there are some people here in China, who believe that the United States seeks to contain China. Nothing could be further from the truth. Containment would have to include severe political, economic, and military policies, none of which are in evidence in our policy toward China. Our interests can only be served, in the words of Secretary of State Madeline Albright, ‘by a China that is neither threatening nor threatened.'” “The mutual interests of China and the United States demand better understanding, clearer communications, greater confidence, and deeper cooperation,” Shalikashvili said. “And military-to-military contacts must be an essential part of all that.” Addressing a frequent source of US-PRC friction, Shalikashvili said, “On the issue of Taiwan, the United States remains committed to our policy of One China, as defined in the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations-Act, the U.S. law on this issue. … But we are all also concerned with the peace and stability of the region and in the surrounding international waters. I would he remiss if I did not add here that last March we were concerned by the harsh rhetoric and some of the military actions in that area, that may have had unpredictable consequences.”

Reuters (“STOP ARMS SALE TO TAIWAN, CHINA TELLS U.S. GENERAL,” Beijing, 5/14/97) reported that PRC People’s Liberation Army General Zhang Wannian told visiting General John Shalikashvili, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the US should stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan. “The Chinese side hopes the US side … will stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan to prevent bad effects on relations between the two countries and their militaries,” the PRC’s official news agency quoted Zhang as telling Shalikashvili. Zhang, a vice chairman of the ruling Communist Party’s powerful Central Military Commission, said the two sides should be far-sighted and keep their common interests in mind, and should “handle the Taiwan problem appropriately … to maintain the trend of improving ties,” the news agency said. The US has sold F-16 jet fighters, missiles and other weapons to Taiwan in recent years in the wake of the island’s decision to embrace democratic reforms. Sino-US relations soured when Taiwan’s President Lee Teng-hui made a landmark private trip to the US in June 1995, and further deteriorated in March 1996 when the PRC staged war games and missile tests on the eve of Taiwan’s first presidential elections and the US responded by sending two aircraft carrier battlegroups into nearby waters.

3. DPRK-US MIA Talks

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA, U.S. TALK ON MIAS,” Seoul, 5/15/97) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Thursday that the US and the DPRK have agreed to resume joint excavations of the remains of US soldiers missing since the 1950-53 Korean War. There will be three excavations this year and the two sides will continue meeting to discuss further searches, KCNA said. The US will compensate the DPRK for staff, equipment and facilities used for site surveys and joint excavations, it added. The KCNA report said the agreement came during talks in New York earlier this month. The agreement appeared to have been reached in informal meetings held after the first six days of official MIA talks ended without agreement last weekend. The US had refused a DPRK request for a one- or two-day extension of the talks, but informal contacts were held earlier this week, during which both sides agreed to resume joint excavations, the ROK’s Yonhap TV reported. The all-news cable network said the US will announce details of its agreement with the DPRK on Friday.

United Press International (“U.S., N. KOREA AGREE ON MIA SEARCH,” Washington, 5/15/97) reported that a US Defense Department official confirmed that the US and the DPRK reached agreements to conduct three searches this year for the remains of servicemen missing from the 1950-53 Korean War and to give US researchers access to archives in Pyongyang that could help in future searches. The official said the operations could yield the remains of as many as 4,000 of the estimated 8,100 troops missing from the conflict. Washington will pay Pyongyang US$105,500 for each of the three search operations to cover costs. The official called the agreements “significant breakthroughs.” However, the DPRK did not agree to let US investigators talk to four Americans who defected shortly after the war, but did agree to keep discussing the matter.

4. DPRK Famine Situation

The Associated Press (“SEOUL: N.KOREA MILITARY RUNS FARMS,” Seoul, 5/15/97) reported that the ROK Agency for National Security Planning said Thursday that the DPRK military has taken over management of the country’s collective farms in an attempt to improve food production. The move was seen by Seoul officials as indicating the urgency that the Pyongyang government attaches to its food problem. The ROK spy agency quoted the recent DPRK defectors who arrived in the ROK by boat on Tuesday as saying that the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has ordered his 1.1-million-member Peoples Armed Forces to assume responsibility for this year’s harvests. The agency also quoted the defectors as saying that the DPRK has extended the terms of mandatory military service for all men 18 years of age or older from ten years to thirteen. On Sunday, the DPRK’s official radio said the country’s military was given the order to ensure a bumper harvest this year. However, Han Sung-yol, a DPRK UN diplomat in New York, said in an interview published today that his country cannot expect a good harvest this year. “The basic structure of farming has been destroyed by big floods, so the harvest would be very bad this year, too,” he said in an interview with the ROK’s Hankyoreh Shinmun. Han also said the DPRK would join the proposed four-party peace talks if it is given 1-1.5 million tons of food a year. The US and ROK refuse to commit to direct food aid before the DPRK accepts the peace talks proposal.

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“1997 S. KOREA PORT WORKERS REFUSE TO LOAD RELIEF GOODS FOR NORTH,” Seoul, 5/15/97) reported that longshoremen at Inchon, the ROK’s second-largest port, said Thursday they would refuse to load relief goods for the DPRK. A statement adopted unanimously by 3,100 unionized stevedores accused the communist North of preparing to launch war against the capitalist South despite its food problem. Most of the US$3.5 million worth of grain and other aid the ROK’s Red Cross has shipped to the DPRK has gone through Inchon, which is west of Seoul.

Reuters (“UN FINDS ‘SILENT DISASTER’ IN HUNGRY NORTH KOREA,” Geneva, 5/14/97) reported that UN relief officials just returned from the DPRK said Wednesday the country was desperately in need of food and reported severe malnutrition among children. “It’s a silent disaster, an incipient famine,” said Anthony Hewett, the UN children’s agency representative in Bangkok, who traveled in the DPRK last week with the UNICEF resident officer in Pyongyang, Runar Soerensen. Hewett contrasted relative Western neglect of the DPRK to the speedy response to last weekend’s earthquake in Iran. UN and aid officials have been warning for months of a famine in the making in the DPRK, but the UN World Food Program, which estimates that the DPRK needs 1.3 million tons of food to meet its basic needs in 1997, has so far received only US$38 million of the US$96 million amount of its latest appeal, itself enough to satisfy only 200,000 tons of this need. “There were people within the epicenter of the quake of Iran within 24 hours. I was staggered by the speed,” said Hewlett. “Here, in North Korea, people hear one thing, they see our photos, then someone else says it’s not a problem. Not knowing what to think, they don’t do anything. … One side says there will have to be peace talks before we give food, the other side says you have to give food before we have peace talks — back and forth, back and forth.” Hewett said his mission found severe malnutrition among children he visited at nurseries, kindergartens and hospitals in southeastern Kangwon province. However, they found no evidence of starvation deaths, cannibalism or military food rampages reported by some refugees and travelers, he said. UNICEF said the DPRK reported in April that 15.6 percent of some 2.08 million children below the age of five were suffering from malnutrition, but that its own survey in Huichon city, north of Pyongyang, found 50 percent of some 8,860 children registered in nurseries and kindergartens were malnourished.

5. ROK Foreign Minister to Visit US

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“BURNS STATEMENT ON VISIT OF ROK’S CHONG-HA YOO,” USIA Transcript, 5/15/97) announced Wednesday that ROK Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha will visit Washington DC from May 22 to May 24. Yoo will meet with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Friday, May 23. Following is the text of the announcement: “Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chong-Ha Yoo and Mrs. Yoo will pay an official visit to Washington, D.C. from Thursday, May 22, to Saturday, May 24. During his visit, Foreign Minister Yoo will meet with Secretary Albright on May 23 and with other senior U.S. Government Officials to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Four Party peace proposal, and other matters of mutual interest. These discussions are part of a series of consultations regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Secretary Albright last met with Foreign Minister Yoo during her visit to the Republic of Korea in February. This is Foreign Minister Yoo’s first visit to the United States since he became Foreign Minister in November 1996.”

Reuters (“S. KOREA FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT US,” Washington, 5/15/97) reported the US announcement of the upcoming visit to the US by ROK Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha. The report noted that the meeting comes as diplomatic activity between the DPRK on the one hand, and the US and ROK on the other, has turned disappointing. “It’s not a situation where things have broken off (but) we haven’t made the kind of progress that we’d like to make,” one US official said.

6. ROK Foreign Minister to Visit PRC

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“S. KOREA, CHINA TO DISCUSS BILATERAL ISSUES,” Beijing, 5/15/97) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry said Thursday that ROK Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha will go to Beijing Sunday for three days of talks. Yoo will discuss bilateral issues with his PRC counterpart, Qian Qichen, said Shen Guofang, a Qian spokesman. Beijing and Seoul have “very good” and “extensive” relations that take in economic, trade and political affairs, cooperation at the UN and “safeguarding stability on the Korean peninsula,” Shen said. Yoo and Qian consulted in February to defuse tensions after high-ranking DPRK official Hwang Jang-yop sought asylum in Seoul’s consulate in Beijing. The PRC has become increasingly entangled in the rift between the two Koreas.

7. Okinawa Protest

The Associated Press (“OKINAWANS PROTEST U.S. PRESENCE,” Naha, Japan, 5/15/97) reported that on Thursday thousands of Okinawa residents marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the return of the islands to Japanese authority with protests against the prevalent US bases that serve as a hard-to-miss reminder of the islands’ former rulers. Anti-military marches organized by labor unions, left-leaning political groups and landowners were held across Okinawa, where nearly 30,000 U.S. troops are deployed. Riot police were stationed to protect the bases from overzealous demonstrators, but the protests were peaceful. “We want the Americans and the Japanese government to respect the wishes of the Okinawan people,” Sueko Akanime, 32, said outside Kadena Air Base. “That’s why many of us are here today.” Tensions between the US troops and Okinawans — common throughout the postwar years — have been especially high since a 12-year-old schoolgirl was raped by three US servicemen two years ago. The US took control of Okinawa after a fierce battle over the islands in the closing days of World War II, and did not return the islands to Japanese sovereignty until 1972, twenty years after ending its occupation of the rest of Japan. Okinawa flourished for centuries as a semi-independent kingdom until it was assimilated by Japan in the late 1800s.

8. Disarmament Diplomatic Activity

Reuters (“US SEEKS GLOBAL BAN ON MINES, FISSILE MATERIAL,” Geneva, 5/15/97) reported that at Thursday’s opening of the UN Conference on Disarmament’s second session of 1997, the US representative, John Holum, called for speedy negotiations to conclude global bans on landmines and production of fissile material used for making nuclear bombs, saying both issues were ripe for resolution. However, Holum, director of the US arms control and disarmament agency, rejected a push by non-aligned states led by India to negotiate global nuclear disarmament, advocating instead a step-by-step approach. Holum said the future credibility of the Geneva body, where global treaties banning chemical weapons and underground nuclear blasts were clinched in recent years, would depend heavily on how it handled a ban of anti-personnel landmines and a fissile “cut-off” treaty. “The Conference on Disarmament has the capacity to succeed in both these vital negotiations,” he said. “Let us negotiate both treaties that are now ready for action.” Some key diplomats said they saw hope of launching negotiations on a landmine ban by June. The weapons are blamed for killing 25,000 people a year, mainly in developing countries, and maiming even more.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Threat

The DPRK Nodong-1 missile has a longer-than-expected range and is capable of reaching the Japanese capital of Tokyo, a Japanese newspaper said Tuesday. US military sources in Washington told the conservative Sankei Shimbun that the missile was capable of hitting targets up to 1,300 kilometers (806 miles) away, 300 kilometers (186 miles) more than previously thought. The sources said the latest estimate was based on pictures recently obtained by a US spy satellite which showed the engine and the fuel tank of the missile. With such a range, the missile would be able to hit northeastern part of Hokkaido and entire Okinawa prefecture as well as Tokyo, which were previously thought to be out of range. The Nodong-1 can in theory be fitted with nuclear or chemical warheads, though it is unclear if the DPRK possesses nuclear arms. The satellite pictures also showed missiles had already been deployed in the DPRK northeast, facing the Sea of Japan, the newspaper said. Japan’s Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda said in April the Japanese government had received information that the DPRK had recently deployed Nodong-1 missiles. Pyongyang planned to test-fire the missile over the Sea of Japan in October last year but gave up after being dissuaded by the US. The Nodong-1 has been test-fired once in 1993 over the Sea of Japan. (Korea Times, “N.KOREAN MISSILE CAPABLE OF HITTING TOKYO,” 05/14/97)

2. Japan’s Position on DPRK Aid

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda on Monday turned away a request from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for humanitarian food aid to the famine-hit DPRK. In reaffirming Japan’s official position, Ikeda told Annan that suspicions about the abduction of Japanese nationals and drug smuggling by North Koreans have kept Tokyo cautious about providing such aid, Japanese officials said. Earlier this month, the Tokyo government officially categorized the case of a 13-year-old girl who went missing two decades ago as a suspected kidnapping by DPRK agents. The decision raises the number of suspected DPRK kidnappings in the 1970s and 1980s to seven cases involving 10 Japanese nationals. The Japanese believe the kidnap victims may have been used to train DPRK agents to pose as Japanese in operations abroad. Although the DPRK has categorically denied the allegations, Japan has cited the reported kidnappings as one of the reasons for its reluctance to extend food aid to the DPRK. Last week, two pro-Pyongyang ethnic Koreans were formally charged with smuggling 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of amphetamines on a freighter bound for Japan from the DPRK. Japan is the second largest contributor to the United Nation’s budget after the US. (Korea Times, “IKEDA SPURNS UN CHIEF’S PLEA FOR AID TO NK,” 05/14/97)

3. DPRK Boat Defectors

“I escaped from the North to guarantee freedom for me and my family,” declared 48-years-old An Son-guk, captain of a tiny wooden boat he and thirteen other DPRK defectors used to enter the ROK Tuesday. An said his voyage began seven years ago when he first listened to ROK radio broadcasts, and the promises of the bountiful land had never left his mind. The chance to realize his dream came, An said, when his engineer Kim Won-hyong, a next door neighbor, purchased the wooden boat in the PRC, using US$5,5000 of the US$20,000 dollars sent to him by his twin brother living in the US. Ironically, Kim bought the boat in compliance with a DPRK state-sponsored campaign to bring hard currency into the country. According to the authorities, Kim took the boat from the PRC to the DPRK border town of Sinuiju on May 4, bringing with him supplies sufficient to sustain the escapees’ two families, totaling fourteen people, for up to ten days, the maximum period he had thought required to make the voyage. On May 9 Kim left Sinuiju for Tongchon-ri, where An and the two men’s families came aboard. The group hoped to avoid suspicions by DPRK authorities by notifying the authorities of their plan to go to the PRC for fishing operations. Disguised as fishermen, they departed on May 11, aiming for the PRC and then veering southeast through rough seas toward the ROK. Their boat joined a group of PRC fishing boats 5.7 miles southwest of Paekryong Islands at in the afternoon of May 12. The ROK Navy frigate Puchon was ordered to the area and picked the boat up after confirming the group’s intention to defect. Commander So Sam-sik, skipper of the Puchon, said in an interview with ROK Defense Ministry correspondents, “The boat tried to scamper as we approached northward but then approached us after confirming we were ROK Navy.” (Korea Times, “NK DEFECTORS FINANCED BY RELATIVES IN US,” 05/14/97)

The two DPRK families who arrived in the ROK early Tuesday morning may have embarked on their voyage from the PRC, not from the DPRK as claimed. A ROK government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, noted that the group had with them a Motorola cellular phone, a pack of “This” cigarettes, and ROK brand instant noodles, and said, “As it is almost impossible to bring [such items] from China legally, relevant authorities are believed to have camouflaged their trip to make it appear that they have arrived here from North Korea.” The subterfuge would enable the escapees to circumvent the time-consuming asylum processes faced by North Koreans in the PRC who want to defect to the ROK. Other observers said that some ROK authorities may have contacted the escapees in the PRC and helped them make the voyage to the ROK. In particular, the cellular phone could have been used for communication between the North Koreans on the vessel and some “helpers” in the ROK, they said. The escapees, however, said that they bought the items in the PRC before they left the DPRK port of Sinuiju. In the past, many DPRK escapees have traveled through the PRC to Hong Kong, where authorities have been cooperative with ROK authorities. (Korea Times, “NK FAMILILES UNDER SUSPICION OF EMBARKING VOYAGE FROM CHINA,” 05/14/97)

4. Survey of DPRK Defectors in ROK

Human relations and financial difficulties are the biggest hurdles in adjusting to life in the ROK for people who have defected from the DPRK, Yonsei University’s Reunification Research Center said in a recent study. The study, composed from questionnaires answered by 131 North Koreans who have fled to the South since the Korean War, said thirteen percent of those surveyed cited “human relations” as the most difficult aspect of adjusting to life in the ROK while 11 percent answered “financial troubles.” Another 10 percent cited “adjustment to (capitalist) society” as the most difficult aspect. During the first six months after their arrival here, 13.3 percent said the stark differences of lifestyles and ways of thinking between the two Korean states posed the greatest obstacles to assimilation while 9.1 percent experienced hardships in finding employment because they did not know English and could not read Chinese characters. Also, 7.6 percent said solitude and loneliness were a primary problem in the beginning while another 7.2 percent experienced severe guilt and worry from leaving their families in the North. The defectors were also asked to speculate upon the problems DPRK youths might face upon reunification. Fifteen percent said they believe ideological differences will be most insurmountable, 14.1 percent cite the adjustment to new-found freedom, and another 10.3 percent point to cultural differences. The questionnaire included other inquiries about DPRK youths. Their greatest worries included their family backgrounds (for example, having revisionists in the family lineage or a lack of connection with party hierarchy), cited by 31.6 percent, followed by career selection and schooling (24 percent) and economic hardships (14.8 percent). As for occupations, careers in trade were most popular (27.8 percent) followed by commerce (14.1 percent). Many DPRK youths dream of becoming singers, actors, athletes or car drivers, 12.9 percent said, citing these careers as the most popular. Surprisingly, only 11.4 percent selected instructors, professors and scientists as desirable occupations. (Korea Times, “HUMAN RELATION , FINANCIAL PROBLEMS ASPECT IN SOUTH: NK DEFECTORS,” 05/14/97)

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK View of US-Japan Military Cooperation

According to Jie Fang Daily (“DPRK ACCUSED US AND JAPAN OF MILITARY COOPERATION,” Seoul, A4, 5/9/97), DPRK’s official newspaper Rodong Shinmun published an article on May 8 saying that Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto’s visit to the US was an important step to strengthen the US-Japan military alliance. The article said that, at present, the US and Japan are creating a legal and institutional regime so that they can exercise a so-called collective self-defense right. It said aggressive collaboration between the US and Japan would cause a new cold war and instability in Asia.

2. PRC-US Military Relations

Chi Haotian, PRC Defense Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and General Fu Quanyou, Chief of Staff of the PRC People’s Liberation Army, on May 13 in Beijing met separately for lengthy talks with John Shalikashvili, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both PRC military leaders expressed willingness to strengthen exchanges and dialogue between the two armies. Shalikashvili is the highest military official to visit the PRC since 1985. Chi told him the PRC attaches great importance to its relationship with the US. The two countries should adhere to President Jiang Zemin’s four-point guidelines of increasing trust, reducing trouble, developing cooperation and never entering into confrontation, Chi said. Fu and Shalikashvili discussed Asia-Pacific security and the defense policies of each country. Fu said the Taiwan issue is the core of the Sino-US relationship and the PRC hopes the US will adhere to the three joint communiques and handle this sensitive issue carefully. Shalikashvili told Fu the US has significant political and economic interests in the Asia-pacific region and therefore it wishes to see stability and development there. He stressed that the US has no policy to contain any country, the PRC in particular. He promised the US will continue to pursue the principles of the three joint communiques and never develop official ties with Taiwan. The two also discussed further bilateral contacts on the berthing of US naval ships in Hong Kong after July 1 and on preventing ocean accidents. China Daily (“WARMING TREND MARKS MILITARY COOPERATION,” A1, 5/14/97)

3. PRC President’s Views on Regional Issues

PRC President Jiang Zemin, in an interview with Andrea Koppel, Beijing Bureau chief of the US Cable News Network (CNN), said that the PRC has always dedicated itself to promoting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. As for the temporary grain shortage in the DPRK, Jiang said that the PRC has provided as much aid to the DPRK as it possibly can. On the DPRK’s domestic political situation, Jiang said that the PRC has always adhered to a position of non-interference in others’ internal affairs. On the Sino-US relations, Jiang said that the US and the PRC will not have any conflict with each other. According to the PRC President, the so-called “China threat” has been fabricated by people with a Cold War mentality. Jiang said, “China’s military forces are purely defensive in nature,” and this year the country’s defense expenditures were less than $10 billion. Touching on the Taiwan issue, Jiang said it concerns the PRC’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the great cause of reunification, and has been the most important and the most sensitive issue in Sino-US relations. Jiang also said that the Hong Kong and Macao issues are problems left over from an earlier period of history between the PRC and the relevant countries, while the Taiwan issue is one left over from China’s civil war, and therefore is one of internal affairs. Jiang said with the successful solution of the Hong Kong and Macao issues, he believes the Taiwan issue will be solved and China’s great cause of reunification will be accomplished. While on the Hong Kong issue, Jiang said that the PRC Government would abide by the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) after the territory returns to the motherland on July 1. “As long as there is no interference from external forces, we are convinced that the ‘one country, two systems,’ ‘Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong,’ and ‘high degree of autonomy’ policies will be successfully implemented,” Jiang said. People’s Daily (“JIANG ZEMIN REMARKS ON SINO-US RELATIONS AND OTHER ISSUES,” Beijing, A1, 4/10/97) reported

4. Japan’s Constitution Revision

Jie Fang Daily published an article on May 10 saying that Japan’s “Peace Constitution” is now at risk. The article by Xie Wen said that revision of Japan’s Constitution is inevitable because at present the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party and New Frontier Party have enough seats in the Diet to do so. The leftover questions, according to the article, are when and how to revise the Constitution. Jie Fang Daily (“JAPAN’S `PEACE CONSTITUTION’ IN DANGER,” A10, 5/10/97)

5. PRC Satellite

Wei Hui Daily (“TELECOM SATELLITE LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL,” Xichang, A1, 5/13/97) reported that the Dongfanghong III communications satellite was blasted into space at 00:17 on May 12 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern Sichuan Province. The new communications satellite has 24C-band transponders and an expected life span of about eight years. The launch was accomplished using a PRC-built Long March III-A rocket. Sources said it was the 44th launch of the Long March rocket series. The Dongfanghong III communications satellite is the second of its kind launched by the PRC. The first one failed to function normally, after it was sent into orbit in November 1994 and was found to have some breakdowns in one of its key systems.

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

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

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

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Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.net
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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

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

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

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

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