NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 16, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-16-april-1999/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Alleged DPRK Nuclear Weapons

Agence France-Press (“NORTH KOREA REPORTEDLY HAS FIVE NUCLEAR BOMBS,” Tokyo, 04/16/99) reported that Kim Duk-hong, aide to DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop, said in an interview published by the Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun on Friday that the DPRK has at least five nuclear weapons developed with help from Russia and Pakistan. Kim stated, “The DPRK has complete capability of developing nuclear bombs, missiles and satellites.” Kim said that Hwang was told in 1996 by the Workers’ Party Secretary in charge of military supply, Jong Pyong-ho, that the DPRK had obtained uranium from Pakistan to develop nuclear bombs. Kim added, “I heard that (Jong) also said the country has already possessed five nuclear bombs based on plutonium.” He said that the DPRK started developing nuclear bombs in the 1960s with technical assistance from Russian scientists. He also said, “Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, various kinds of things were shipped from Russia. We can naturally think plutonium was one of them. A number of Russian technicians had been staying at apartments of the defense agency.” Kim stated, “I heard that the nuclear development facilities were constructed several tens of meters underground, so they are not be detected by inspections.”

2. Thailand-ROK Relations

The Associated Press (“THAI PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 04/16/99) reported that ROK officials said Friday that Thailand Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai will visit Seoul on April 25 on a three-day trip later this month to enhance economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries. A news release from ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s office said that Chuan and Kim will meet on April 26 to discuss trade and cooperation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other regional forums. The news release did not mention whether the two would discuss the situation of former DPRK diplomat Hong Sung-kyong, but ROK Foreign Ministry officials said that the subject could come up.

3. ROK Plane Crash in PRC

The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, “CHINA SEEKS CLUES IN PLANE CRASH,” Shanghai, 04/16/99) reported that investigators from the PRC Civil Aviation Administration on Friday were still searching for the flight data recorders of the Korean Air cargo jet that crashed on Thursday. Wan Mingming, a spokeswoman for the Shanghai city government, said that two of the 35 people injured on the ground in Thursday’s crash died, bringing the total to nine people killed. She added that six of the remaining 33 survivors were in serious condition. A construction foreman named Ding who saw the crash stated, “There was no fire or explosion. It came down” gradually.

4. Sakhalin Oil Exports to Northeast Asia

Dow Jones Newswires (Mika Watanabe, “JAPAN’S OIL REFINERS LOOK TO WELCOME SAKHALIN VITYAZ CRUDE,” Tokyo, 04/16/99) reported that Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., an international consortium developing the Sakhalin-2 project, is set to begin producing oil in July from the offshore Piltun-Astokhskoye field. The company has begun marketing the crude to potential buyers in Japan, the ROK, and Taiwan. Hiromichi Yagi, assistant marketing manager at Mitsui’s Sakhalin Development Division, stated, “We have so far received positive reaction from Japanese buyers, even though their final decisions will largely rest on the contract prices.”

5. PRC Premier’s US Visit

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “CHINA SAYS IT’S OFFICIAL: ZHU’S VISIT TO U.S. WAS A SUCCESS, Beijing, 04/16/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi on Thursday called the visit of PRC Premier Zhu Rongji to the US “constructive and fruitful.” Jin Canrong, a researcher specializing in US politics at the government-sponsored Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, stated, “Our expectations were low, but the general feeling is that the trip was successful.”

6. PRC Premier’s Canadian Visit

The Associated Press (“CHINESE PREMIER ZHU ARRIVES IN CANADIAN CAPITAL FOR TALKS,” Ottawa, 04/16/99) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji arrived in Canada on Wednesday for high-level talks and a state dinner. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said that he planned to discuss human rights and North Atlantic Treaty Organization attacks on Yugoslavia when the two meet on Friday. At St. John’s, Newfoundland, Mayor Andy Wells allowed a local group to fly the Tibetan flag at city hall to protest the PRC’s human-rights record. Thubten Samdup of the Canada Tibet Committee stated, “I wonder if Jean Chretien, after a just a month in a Chinese prison, would still consider trade with China more important than broken bodies of political prisoners.”

7. Indian Missile Test

The Associated Press (“INDIA TESTS SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE,” New Delhi, 04/16/99) reported that India carried out two tests of Trishul surface-to-air missiles on Friday. Both tests were successful and hit the target dropped by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

8. UN Reaction to South Asian Missile Tests

Reuters (“U.N. CONCERNED ABOUT INDIA, PAKISTAN MISSILE TESTS,” United Nations, 04/15/99) reported that UN Security Council President Alain Dejammet of France said that council members expressed concern Thursday at the test-firing of ballistic missiles by India and Pakistan. Dejammet stated, “They call on both countries to demonstrate maximum restraint.” He added that the members “encourage India and Pakistan to continue their dialogue in the spirit of the Lahore Agreement.” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a statement issued through a spokesman, said that he “feels strongly that the recent tests by India and Pakistan of medium-range missiles, as well as actions by other countries in the area of ballistic missile development and missile defenses, have underscored the need for multilaterally negotiated norms against the development of such weapons.” He added, “International agreements on such norms would substantially improve prospects for future progress on existing bilateral and multilateral disarmament and arms control treaties.”

II. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Draft Economic Law

Korean Central Broadcasting Network (“SPA SESSION ON ADOPTING NATIONAL ECONOMY LAW,” Pyongyang, 04/08/99) quoted Supreme People’s Assembly Vice President Yang Hyong-sop as commenting on the law on the planning of the national economy. Yang stated, “Based on his deep insight into the demands and developments of reality, the great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il began to enact the law on the planning of the people’s economy for the first time in our country’s history, and he personally guided the whole process of drafting and completing the law.” Yang said that Kim Il-sung developed a planned economy according to the growing economy of the DPRK, and that Kim Jong-il further developed the juche-based planned economy. He argued that when “renegades of socialism” criticized the planned socialist economy and praised capitalist economies, Kim Jong-il rebutted and presented ways to properly implement a planned economy, explaining that the state’s central control and management of the economy is key to a successful planned economy. Yang added, “The law on planning of the national economy clearly stipulates, above all, that our country’s economy is a planned economy based on the socialist ownership of the means of production.”

The Korean Central News Agency (“SECOND-DAY SITTING OF 2ND SESSION OF 10TH SPA,” Pyongyang, 04/08/99) reported that delegates to the second-day of the second session of the 10th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) of the DPRK on April 8 discussed the state budget. The delegates reportedly said that “The state budget for 1999 is a revolutionary and dynamic one which can financially guarantee the heroic struggle of the Korean people and People’s Army to bring about a great change in building a powerful nation by speeding up the second grand chollima march…. They underscored the need to increase the political, military and economic might of the country by successfully implementing the state budget for this year.” The article said, “The law presented to the SPA for consideration is a juche-based law which fixes by law the achievements made in the planning work in the past and which fully represents the party’s policy on planning and a Korean-style revolutionary law on the plan which reflects the invariable will of the workers’ party, state and people of Korea that have maintained the principle of planned management in socialist economic construction.”

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

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.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


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