NAPSNet Daily Report 16 January, 2001

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il Visit to PRC
2. Cross-strait Relations
3. PRC-Russian Treaty
4. Sino-US Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK Joins Missile Control
2. DPRK Defectors in the PRC
3. Inter-Korean Project
4. Kim Jong-il’ s Visit to PRC Suspected
5. ROK Policy on DPRK defectors

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il Visit to PRC

Agence France Presse (“NKOREAN LEADER IN SHANGHAI ON SECOND SECRET VISIT TO CHINA,” Shanghai, 1/16/01) and Associated Press (Joe McDonald, “NKOREA LEADER ON SECRET CHINA VISIT,” Shanghai, 1/16/01) reported that an official at Shanghai’s foreign ministry confirmed to AFP that DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il was visiting Shanghai on Tuesday in his second secret trip to the PRC within 12 months. ROK media reports said that Kim was in the city, but declined to give any details about the visit. A PRC border official at Dandong, on the DPRK border, said Kim’s train passed through the frontier at on January 15 (2200 GMT, January 14). The ROK Yonhap News Agency said Kim would visit Shanghai’s financial district in Pudong and would later head to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone near Hong Kong during a six-day visit. A spokesman for the PRC foreign ministry said he could not confirm or deny that Kim was in the PRC. The ROK Hangook Ilbo newspaper said Kim would meet with both PRC President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji during this trip. The paper said his promise to visit Seoul along with the issue of relations between the DPRK and the new Bush administration in the US would be on the agenda. The trip was seen by analysts as an attempt to seek PRC approval and guidance ahead of the inter-Korean summit.

2. Cross-strait Relations

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN ILL-PREPARED FOR CHINA’S ANY ‘FIRST STRIKE’,” Taipei, 1/14/01) reported that the Taiwan-based China Times said on January 14 that Taiwan is ill-prepared for a military first strike by the PRC. The paper quoted a military source as saying, “Taiwan’s air and naval bases, radar stations, and other major military facilities were weak in the capability of resisting bombing.” The source said the conclusion was delivered by a US military mission which wrapped up a fact- finding trip in Taiwan on January 13. To evaluate the island’s ability to resist a PRC “first strike,” the mission visited Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen Island, Chiashan and Chienan air bases in eastern Taiwan, Tsoying naval base in southern Taiwan, and the air force command. A US military officer within the delegation was quoted as saying that Taiwanese forces were equipped with outdated communications and command facilities. However, the officer said Taiwan’s fighting capability could be more than doubled if there was a dramatic structural adjustment, enhancement of military personnel quality, and integration of military software. The report also warned of the increasing PRC military capacity in other areas, such as cyberspace, command and control center strikes, psychological attacks, and covert operations.

3. PRC-Russian Treaty

New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “POWER OF U.S. DRAWS CHINA AND RUSSIA TO AMITY PACT,” Beijing, 1/14/00) reported that the PRC and Russia are working on a treaty proclaiming friendship, reflecting the intensity of their concerns about US global power and especially about the proposal for a national missile defense. However, Chinese and Western scholars and diplomats said there is no sign that the PRC and Russia plan to enter a genuine alliance, with mutual pledges of aid in time of war. Both countries have also privately reassured US officials that they still seek close ties with the US. David Shambaugh, a political expert at George Washington University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, said, “When two major powers share an identical view that the United States is the biggest threat to global security and their own security, of course the United States has to be concerned.” Shambaugh said the treaty under negotiation is likely to be “hollow rhetoric.” Scholars said the contents of the treaty have not been disclosed, but beyond a general statement of shared goals, possible subjects may include arms sales, economic ties, cooperation in space and their shared border. A document may be signed later this year when PRC President Jiang Zemin visits Moscow. Scholars said that one goal in the PRC may be to make it harder for Russia to cut a separate deal with the US over missile defenses. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 16, 2001.]

4. Sino-US Relations

Agence France Presse (“US CONSIDERED STRIKES AGAINST CHINA’S NUCLEAR FACILITIES,” Washington, 1/14/00) reported that two US researchers with the National Security Archive said on January 13 that findings from dozens of declassified White House, Central Intelligence Agency and State Department documents obtained showed that the US and Taiwan considered military action against suspected nuclear facilities in the PRC in the early 1960s in order to prevent the PRC from becoming a nuclear power. One of the researchers, Jeffrey Richelson, said, “They considered a wide variety of options including commando raids and airstrikes. Some operations were supposed to be joined with the Republic of China.” Richelson and his fellow researcher, William Burr, published their findings in the winter 2000/2001 issue of International Security, a review published by Harvard University. The researchers said that US President John F. Kennedy saw the prospect of a nuclear-armed PRC as a dangerous threat that could undermine US interests in Asia and bring instability to the region. According to Burr and Richelson, preliminary preparations for possible military action began as early as 1961. Burr said that in September 1963, the Kennedy administration hosted General Chiang Ching-kuo, son of Taiwanese nationalist ruler Chiang Kai-shek and chief of Taiwan intelligence, and “discussed some kind of paramilitary operation. A join U.S.- Taiwanese planning group was set up.” The documents indicated that the driving force behind this contingency planning was Kennedy’s national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy. However, Richelson said, “There was a lot of uncertainty and a lot of misunderstanding about what the Chinese were doing.” Besides a lack of intelligence information, Bundy ran into opposition from parts of the US government bureaucracy and the Soviet Union. After Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, the administration of president Lyndon Johnson thought about the plans for a while but soon abandoned them.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Joins Missile Control

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL TO JOIN MISSILE CONTROL REGIME IN MARCH,” Seoul, 01/16/01) reported that ROK officials said on January 15 that the ROK will join the global Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) aimed at stopping missile proliferation in March. An ROK Foreign Ministry official said, “Our entry will be approved when MTCR members hold a meeting of the Reinforced Point of Contact at the end of March in Paris.” If it joins the 32-member MTCR, the ROK would be banned from exporting parts and technology of missiles with a range of over 300 km and a warhead over 500 kg to non-member countries. Nevertheless, the ROK government has pushed for the MTCR membership as it allows the ROK to obtain missile technology freely from member states, including the Group of Seven countries, Russia and Japan.

2. DPRK Defectors in the PRC

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “AMNESTY INT’L KOREA STEPS UP PRESSURE ON CHINA ON NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS,” Seoul, 01/16/01) reported that Amnesty International Korea will drastically increase pressure on the PRC in seeking an improvement in the protection of human rights of DPRK defectors and asylum-seekers staying in the PRC. As part of its efforts, the Korean chapter of Amnesty International (AI) launched early this month a one- month campaign to send letters or faxes with protest messages to the PRC Embassy in Seoul. The Korean chapter said it called on the PRC in the letter to lift restrictions on access to the border areas with the DPRK for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), independent human rights monitors and other independent observers, agencies and organizations. It also called on the PRC to ensure that DPRK defectors enjoy full protection of their human rights and refugee rights in the PRC.

3. Inter-Korean Project

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “PYONGYANG SPEEDS UP CROSS-BORDER PROJECTS,” Seoul, 01/16/01) reported that ROK officials said on January 15 that the DPRK, which has markedly stepped up inter- Korean rapprochement efforts in the New Year, proposed on January 13, an enhancement of cooperation in the fisheries industry. A spokesman for the DPRK’s Ministry of Fisheries said, “The fisheries cooperation, if realized, will help utilize our precious marine resources for the co-prosperity of the nation (two Koreas), as it will also improve the living conditions of South Korean fishermen.” The proposal followed a string of similar proposals by the DPRK, which decided to launch its diplomatic offensive toward the ROK after holding a mass rally advocating Korean unification on January 10.

4. Kim Jong-il’ s Visit to PRC Suspected

Chosun Ilbo (“KIM JONG IL RUMORED VISITING BEIJING,” Seoul, 01/16/01) reported that DPRK sources said on January 15 that Kim Jong-il started a surprise visit to the PRC. The source said the DPRK leader arrived in Beijing by train on January 14 and is expected to meet PRC leaders to discuss important issues including economic problems, inter-Korean developments and policies to deal with the new US administration. However, officials at the ROK ministry of foreign affairs and trade said they had no information to back Kim’s visit to the PRC.

5. ROK Policy on DPRK defectors

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH’S DEFECTORS TO BE PUBLICIZED,” Seoul, 01/16/01) reported that ROK officials said on January 14 that the ROK’s main intelligence agency will make public the arrival of DPRK defectors to the ROK. Explaining that the government had previously remained discreet about the arrival of DPRK defectors so as not to provoke the communist state since the inter-Korean summit meeting last year, an official from the National Intelligence Service said that policy will be reversed. The official said, “We made the decision out of the belief that it is necessary to let the public know the reality of the North Korean regime and the situation on the defectors.” The service announced Tuesday that 10 DPRK citizens fled their homeland. Last year, 312 defected to the ROK, a sharp increase from 148 in 1999.

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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
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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