NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 16, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-16-april-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-ROK Military Exercises
2. US Reconnaissance Flights in South China Sea
3. PRC View of US Policy
4. US-PRC Relations
5. Israeli Arms Sales to PRC
6. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
7. Taiwanese View of PRC Missile Threat
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK Legislators to Visit DPRK
2. ASEAN Regional Forum
3. Swiss-DPRK Relations
4. New US Envoy on Korean Affairs
5. DPRK Foreign Policy
6. Powell Visit to ROK

I. United States

1. US-ROK Military Exercises

Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “SKOREA WARNED ABOUT U.S. WAR GAMES,” Seoul, 4/16/01) reported that the DPRK on Monday warned the ROK not to join the US in a military exercise this month, saying that such an act would betray their historic agreement to pursue peace and eventual reunification. However, the DPRK Foreign Ministry also said that it was as ready for dialogue as for war, indicating that it has not abandoned the reconciliation process. ROK defense officials said they would go ahead with the weeklong war games, which start on April 20. An anonymous spokesman at the ROK office of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs stated, “It’s common North Korean propaganda. We are not too concerned about it.” The annual exercise involves 10,000 troops who conduct mostly computer simulation tests. Some of the 37,000 US soldiers stationed in the ROK, as well as US troops from bases in Japan, Hawaii and the US mainland, will participate. Seo Joo-seok, an analyst at the ROK state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, said that the DPRK announcement was “a signal that further delays in inter-Korean dialogue can be expected.”

2. US Reconnaissance Flights in South China Sea

The Washington Post (Thomas E. Ricks, “CARRIER MAY MOVE TO S. CHINA SEA,” 4/16/01) and Reuters (“US CARRIER TO PROTECT SPY FLIGHTS OFF CHINA,” Washington, 4/16/01) reported that US Navy officials said on Sunday that a US aircraft carrier may be moved to a position in the South China Sea where it could launch fighter jets to protect US reconnaissance flights off the PRC coast when those flights resume. Officials said that the flights may resume as early as April 19 in international airspace about 50 miles off the PRC coast. The PRC on Sunday again rejected the US contention that a PRC fighter pilot was responsible for the crash that killed him. Wang Zhen, the PRC ambassador to Venezuela, where PRC President Jiang Zemin was making the last stop of a Latin American tour, said, “They must assume their responsibility. They crashed into us, our pilot is dead and the family of this poor pilot is crying every day. Who is responsible? The U.S.” US Admiral Dennis C. Blair, US military commander for the Pacific, last week suggested three possible courses of action to the Bush administration. An official said last night that options included sending the Kitty Hawk on a slow, northward track through the South China Sea; tell it to linger farther south of the Philippines; or keeping it on its planned course toward Guam. The ship currently is continuing toward Guam. Blair did not recommend that the F-14s and F/A- 18 fighters actually escort the US reconnaissance planes, another official emphasized. The official said, “Our view is that the flights are so benign that they don’t need escorts.” [Ed. note: The Washington Post article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 16, 2001.]

3. PRC View of US Policy

Newsweek (Melinda Liu, Kevin Platt, and Barbara Koh, “BEIJING GETS READY FOR A NEW FIGHT,” 04/25/01) reported that US officials fear that hard- liners have taken over in the PRC, while PRC officials believe that the US military hawks are now running policy. When the Hainan spy plane crisis happened, PRC Foreign Ministry diplomats – all civilians – found themselves confronted by three US military men, retired and active, Secretary of State Colin Powell, military attache Brigadier General Neal Sealock, and Ambassador and retired four-star Admiral Joseph Prueher. Now PRC President Jiang Zemin and the PRC’s top officials believe they have to talk tough when the two sides meet on April 18. A defense adviser to the PRC leaders said that in this week’s talks, “the worst outcome would be for the US to refuse to stop the surveillance flights and for China to respond by saying it will shoot down any U.S. spy planes that fly close to its borders.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 16, 2001.]

4. US-PRC Relations

Reuters (“U.S. SHOULDN’T RETALIATE AGAINST CHINA, SENATORS SAY,” Washington, 4/16/01) reported that several Senate Democrats and Republicans said on Sunday that the US should not let the spy plane showdown with the PRC influence decisions on trade with the PRC or selling arms to Taiwan. US Senator Chuck Hagel (Republican-Nebraska) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “Unless the Chinese really complicate things in some way–which they might do–I’m not sure that it’s in the best interests of this country to start cutting off trade relationships with China. So I would right now vote to maintain favored nation status.” Dozens of lawmakers have backed a House of Representatives measure to revoke the decision by US Congress seven months ago to grant permanent normal trade relations, or PNTR, to the PRC. US Representative Henry Hyde, an Illinois Republican and chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said that the US should demand the prompt return of the plane. However, Senator Tim Hutchinson, an Arkansas Republican who opposes permanent normal trade relations, said on “Fox News Sunday” that he did not think the US Senate was contemplating scrapping PNTR, “even under these circumstances.” Hutchinson and US Senator Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat, said on the Fox program the US should not make the return of the plane a precondition for future talks. Most senators interviewed on Sunday morning talk shows agreed that the spy plane dispute had damaged US-PRC relations but not necessarily permanently. They said that the US should focus on its own interests–not retaliation–in future policy decisions on the PRC. US Senator Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the US should use the April 18 meeting in Beijing to emphasize long-term goals. Kyl said on CNN’s “Late Edition,” “The first priority should be to send a very strong signal to China that it cannot continue to engage in belligerent activity … and expect to have the kind of relationship with us that we had thought that they wanted to have.”

The Washington Times (Joyce Howard Price, “SENATORS CALL FOR ‘RETRIBUTION’ AGAINST CHINA,” 4/16/01) reported that US Senators of both parties said Sunday that the US needs to take a tougher stance in its future relations with the PRC, and that it must demand return of the damaged EP-3E surveillance plane that the PRC still has in its possession and invoke various punishments. US Senator Robert G. Torricelli, New Jersey Democrat and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “Relations cannot continue on the current basis…. There’s got to be retribution. China has questioned our credibility as a power. That cannot stand. The burden is on George Bush to make that clear.” US Senatpr Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, said on CNN’s “Late Edition,” “Trade alone does not define our relationship. There are significant national security concerns and human rights concerns.” He suggested a variety of other possible punishments for the PRC including having US President George W. Bush cancel his planned trip to the PRC in October and selling Taiwan much of the sophisticated weaponry it says it needs to protect itself against possible attacks from the PRC. Other US Senators made appearances at a variety of other news talk shows in the past two days. Former Secretary of Defense for the Nixon administration James Schlesinger said on “Face the Nation” that he suspects that the PRC military lied to the country’s civilian leaders about what actually happened in the April 1 incident. Schlesinger said, “If the military proceeds in China without the support of the civilian leadership, we have problems. And it is plain from this episode that the military has more authority than we would like, and that authority is being exercised in the run-up to the choosing of the leadership next year.” Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who appeared on Fox, said he thinks it is “very probable the military delayed” resolution of the standoff “by 48 to 72 hours” as a result of a “rather bellicose statement” that the PRC defense minister made the previous weekend. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 16, 2001.]

5. Israeli Arms Sales to PRC

The Washington Times (Dan Ephron, “ISRAELI ARMS LINKED TO CHINESE PLANE,” Jerusalem, 4/16/01) reported that according to Israeli analysts who examined video footage released by the US Defense Department, the PRC fighter that collided with a US surveillance plane two weeks ago was equipped to carry Israeli-made air-to-air missiles. The accusation was made in two Israeli newspapers on Sunday. The Israeli analysts said that the video clearly shows the plane carrying two Python 3 missiles, and added that Israel had been selling that type of missile to the PRC since the late 1980s. They said the plane probably would have been carrying the missiles on the day of the crash, though no pictures of the plane on April 1 were released. Several Israeli officials voiced concern over the idea that Israeli military hardware could have been used by a third party against the US. One Israeli defense official said, “We’re not happy about it. It’s a delicate situation.” However, military analyst Danny Shalom, a specialist on Israeli air force weapons systems, said, “When it comes to older generation hardware, like this missile, the United States is generally willing to let Israel transfer weapons to China.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 16, 2001.]

6. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The New York Times (Michael R. Gordon, “DISPUTE GROWS OVER PROVIDING ARMS TO TAIWAN,” Shanghai, 4/15/01) reported that the PRC warned the US that a sale of advanced weapons to Taiwan would endanger relations that have already been strained by the spy-plane collision. Sha Zukang, the senior official in charge of arms control for the PRC Foreign Ministry, said in an interview this week, “Arms sales to Taiwan are the biggest issue in our relations with the US. If the United States does not behave well, it may destroy our relations.” Regarding the US President George W. Bush administration, Sha said, “With the Russians, with the Koreans, with the Palestinians, with the Kyoto protocols, right now with this kind of incident and the bombing of Iraq, my gosh, we really don’t know what they are up to now. They create such a mess. I don’t see that this is a responsible way to do the job…. We have been told seasoned experienced people will come.” Regarding the PRC strategy toward US arms sales to Taiwan, Shen Dingli, the deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said, “China chooses to build up its armed forces to deter Taiwan’s drift toward independence. I believe that as long as Taiwan will not openly seek independence, it is in the mainland’s interest not to use force to achieve national unification.” However, Andrew Yang, one of Taiwan’s leading political analysts, said, “Beijing tried to send a message. They played hardball and think they won a victory. But tactically and strategically they have miscalculated.” Wei Yung, a professor of political science at National Chiao Tung University in Taipei, Taiwan, said, “Some want to use the ties with the US to continue to resist reunification. Others want American support for leverage to get a better deal with the mainland on unification or integration.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 16, 2001.]

7. Taiwanese View of PRC Missile Threat

Agence France Presse (“BEIJING URGED TO REMOVE 300 BALLISTIC MISSILES TARGETING TAIWAN,” Taipei, 4/16/01) reported that Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu on Monday called on the PRC to remove what she said were 300 ballistic missiles deployed on the PRC coast directly across from the island. While addressing a group of world religious leaders gathered in Taipei, Lu stated, “In order to intimidate Taiwan, the Chinese communists have kept deploying missiles along the southeastern coast of the mainland. As of now as many as 300 missiles have been put in service aiming at Taiwan, far beyond the 50 missiles in 1995. According to Pentagon’s estimate, the number will surge to 800 by the year 2006.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Legislators to Visit DPRK

The Korea Herald (“SOUTH KOREAN LEGISLATORS TO VISIT N. KOREA VIA TRANS- SIBERIAN RAIL,” Seoul, 04/16/01) reported that an ROK ruling party delegation plans to visit the DPRK in May over the Trans-Siberian railroad, as a part of the programs to commemorate the first anniversary of a the inter-Korean summit, party officials said over the weekend. “The plan is symbolic but significant in many ways,” Lee Hae-chan, chief policy-maker of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, said after a meeting with President Kim Dae-jung Saturday. Lee said that the delegation would consist of several ruling party legislators.

2. ASEAN Regional Forum

The Korea Herald (“MISSILE DEFENSE EXPECTED TO BE HIGH ON ARF AGENDA,” Seoul, 04/16/01) reported that the National Missile Defense (NMD) project being pushed by the US is likely to become an issue of contention during an Asian regional security meeting in Malaysia this week, ROK officials and analysts said on Sunday. A three-day conference of the Intersessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures (ISG on CBMs), a sub-panel of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), is scheduled to open in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday. Officials said that the participants will discuss the security situation in Asia, including recent developments in inter-Korean relations, and transnational crimes. There is a possibility that some ARF member countries opposing the US NMD plan, such as the PRC, Russia and the DPRK, may raise the issue because they see it as a threat to regional security, an official said.

3. Swiss-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (“SWISS VICE FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS N.K.,” Seoul, 04/16/01) reported that the US government has reportedly designated Jack Prichard, former National Security Council assistant for Asia, as its new special envoy on the Korean Peninsula, according to diplomatic sources in Washington. Prichard will replace Charles Kartman, who was named chief of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The sources said that it is unclear whether Prichard will assume all of Kartman’s former roles as leader of negotiations with the DPRK and directing the construction of reactors in the DPRK.

4. New US Envoy on Korean Affairs

The Korea Times (Kim Hee-sung, “ROK, US DEFENSE HEADS TALK OVER TELEPHONE,” Seoul, 04/13/01) reported that ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin and his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday exchanged opinions on security cooperation over the phone. Rumsfeld called Kim to congratulate him on his recent appointment to the ministerial post and asked him to visit the US as soon as possible. The two ministers agreed to further strengthen the joint defense posture and occasionally hold phone conversations to discuss security issues.

5. DPRK Foreign Policy

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “NORTH’S DOORS AJAR DESPITE U.S. CHILL,” Seoul, 04/16/01) reported that the DPRK is speeding up steps to open up to the international community. The DPRK government is accelerating the process of forming diplomatic relations with the West and putting more effort into cooperating with international bodies. At a meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly on April 5, DPRK Prime Minister Hong Sung-nam said, “We will enhance and develop diplomacy with all friendly countries in the light of complete equality and independence as well as the principles of mutual respect and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries. We will cooperate fully with international organizations in their activities.” He emphasized the importance of developing foreign trade links to stimulate the economy.

6. Powell Visit to ROK

Joongang Ilbo (“POWELL MAY TRAVEL HERE NEXT MONTH,” Washington, 04/16/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell may visit the ROK and Japan in May, a diplomatic source said Saturday. “The Department of State is reviewing a recommendation for the secretary to visit Korea and Japan in order to review relations with traditional allies in Asia prior to the ASEAN Regional Forum to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, at the end of July,” the source said. “Because the resolution of the spy plane incident with China is still pending, the details of a trip, possibly in May, will be set after Secretary Powell returns from his visit to Europe,” the source added.

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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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