NAPSNet Daily Report 16 July, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 16 July, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 16, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. US-ROK Defense Talks

The Associated Press (“US, S. KOREA DISCUSS STRATEGY FOR TALKS WITH N. KOREA,” Seoul, 07/16/99) reported that US envoy Charles Kartman discussed joint strategy with ROK official Park Kun-woo on Friday ahead of the sixth four-party talks in Geneva early next month. Kartman will also to meet with ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young and ROK chief presidential adviser for national security Hwang Won-tak.

2. US Spy Ships in Western Pacific

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “MISSILE WATCH,” 07/16/99, Pg. 7) reported that, according to unnamed US officials, the US Defense Department has sent two intelligence-gathering ships to the western Pacific to spy on possible DPRK and PRC missile tests. The US military’s newest spy ship USNS Invincible, code named Cobra Gemini, was sent last month to waters near Korea to monitor the anticipated flight test of the DPRK’s Taepodong-2 missile. USNS Invincible is an ocean surveillance vessel outfitted with a new intelligence- gathering system developed specifically to monitor the electronic signals from short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic test missiles. The USNS Invincible uses special eavesdropping equipment that is mounted on top of the ship and that also can be placed on trucks. A second spy ship, the USNS Observation Island, is also on missile-detection duty in the western Pacific. The ship, code named Cobra Judy, is watching the central PRC for the expected flight test of a new DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missile. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 16.]

3. US Citizen in DPRK

The Associated Press (“NKOREA TO RELEASE AMERICAN,” Washington, 07/16/99) reported that Richard McGrath, spokesman for US Senator Robert Torricelli, said that Karen Han, a US citizen taken into custody a month ago in the DPRK, will be released within three days. McGrath said that word of Han’s imminent release was passed to Torricelli by DPRK representative to the United Nations.

4. PRC-Taiwan Talks

The Associated Press (John Leicester, “CHINA MAY CANCEL VISIT TO TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/16/99) reported that the PRC’s official China Daily quoted PRC adviser on Taiwan affairs Zhang Kehui as saying that the PRC may cancel the visit to Taiwan this fall of Wang Daohan, the PRC’s top negotiator for Taiwan. Zhang stated, “the time will not be ripe for Wang to visit” Taiwan until his Taiwanese counterpart, Koo Chen-fu, “clarifies the definition of cross- Straits talks as ‘bilateral talks between two states’.” China Daily also quoted another PRC official, He Biao, as saying that “the remarks made by Lee and Koo have placed obstacles in the way of Wang’s visit,” as well as future contacts between the two semiofficial bodies that the PRC and Taiwan use as channels of communication.

5. Alleged PRC Military Movements

Reuters (“HK PAPER SAYS CHINA MAY OCCUPY OUTER TAIWAN ISLANDS,” Hong Kong, 07/16/99) reported that Hong Kong Economic Times newspaper said on Friday that the PRC might occupy one or two of Taiwan’s outer islands if Taiwan showed signs of pursuing independence. Quoting an unnamed source in Beijing, the Economic Times said that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen was likely to issue a formal warning before the PRC army launched any “brief military contact,” which could include seizing one or two islands. The Economic Times added, “The mainland has changed its policy with regards to the issue and will not use threats like ‘missile drills’ but may use stronger measures like ‘brief military contact’.” Another Hong Kong paper, the Sing Tao Daily, said that the PRC military movements had been detected in coastal areas facing Taiwan, adding that some civilian aviation had been disrupted on Thursday to allow military flights to take place. However, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Kung Fan-ting said, “I have not heard anything about this.” Kung added that the Taiwanese Military sources did not detect any threatening military movements on the PRC.

6. Taiwanese Stand on PRC

The Wall Street Journal (Leslie Chang and Matt Forney, “LEE’S BEIJING STANCE FINDS LITTLE SUPPORT,” 07/16/99) reported that, according to analysts in the PRC, the PRC is not the only country that was infuriated by Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s statement. Ding Xinghao, president of the Shanghai Association of American Studies, said, “The world has seen that Lee Teng-hui is a troublemaker. From the Western point of view, they have just gotten over Kosovo and they don’t want to have a new fire just as an old one is being put out.” Xu Shiquan, head of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said that many in the PRC believe that Taiwan’s change of policy was timed to exploit foundering US-PRC relations by seizing more space for itself. Xu said, “Taiwan may have seen the low point of U.S.-China relations as an opportunity to raise their ideas about a two- state formulation. I think this will prove to be a miscalculation.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 16.]

The Associated Press (John Leicester, “CHINA MAY CANCEL VISIT TO TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/16/99) reported that Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokesman Chen Ming-chen said on Friday that the government will soon send a delegation to the US to better explain Taiwan’s stand to political leaders and the public. He said that details have yet to be finalized.

7. US Views on PRC-Taiwan Relations

US State Department Spokesman James P. Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING,” Washington, USIA Text, 07/15/99) said that he does not see that the PRC announcement of neutron bomb technology is connected to the Taiwan incident. Rubin said, “They’ve been responding regularly to aspects of the Cox Committee Report. We have an abiding interest that any resolution be peaceful. We encourage the two sides to engage in a substantive, cross-Strait dialogue. We also, in the Taiwan Relations Act, provide that it is our policy to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States. That is our policy on any use of force. As far as Taiwan making any declarations, I think I’ve been quite clear that we have a one-China policy and we don’t support Taiwan independence.”

The New York Times (Seth Faison, “IS CHINA WAVING A BOMB AT TAIWAN?” Beijing, 07/16/99) reported that the PRC’s announcement that it has neutron bomb technology may signal its decision to keep to a relatively restrained response to developments in Taiwan. A former US Clinton Administration official who is visiting Beijing stated, “Beijing learned from the last time, in 1996. They know it’s counterproductive to launch missiles.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 16.]

The Washington Times (“‘SOVEREIGN’ TAIWAN,” Washington, 07/16/99) reported that US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms said on Thursday that he agreed with Taiwan President Lee Teng-Hui that Taiwan is a sovereign state. Helms said, “President Lee simply stated the obvious. Taiwan is part of China, but it is not part of [communist] China.” Helms said he was “dismayed by the Clinton administration’s decision to side, once again, with the Chinese Communists, rather than our democratic allies on Taiwan.”

8. Alleged PRC Espionage

The Associated Press (Kevin Galvin, “WHITE HOUSE PLAYS DOWN BOMB REPORT,” Washington, 07/16/99) reported that US administration officials said that the PRC’s announcement of neutron bomb technology confirms the Cox Committee’s Report on the alleged PRC espionage. US Senator Richard Shelby, Republican-Alabama, said, “The timing of China’s announcement could be perceived as saber rattling.” US Senator Bob Kerrey, Democrat-Nebraska, called PRC’s announcement “quite serious.” Kerry said, “It is an escalation of the proliferation problem. It means they are now moving in the wrong direction. This is not in the world’s best interests.” US House International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman, Republican-New York, said the PRC announcement was “sort of a clouded threat to Taiwan at this point.” Gilman said that the announcement sends a “clear signal to the administration and they should recognize that this engagement with China is not doing what it should be doing.” US Representative Christopher Cox said that the announcement suggested nothing that would take away from the findings that the PRC “acquired weapons information through espionage, including specifically information about the neutron bomb.” US Defense Secretary William Cohen said that from a security standpoint, the US was more concerned about non-nuclear nations gaining nuclear technology.

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “CHINA’S SPIES,” Washington, 07/16/99, Pg. 7) reported that a book on PRC espionage by Jane’s Information Group will reveal that the Russian security service FSB in May thwarted a plot by PRC agents to smuggle key technology from Russia’s Su-27 aircraft. The technology is embargoed under the Russia-PRC agreement that allows the PRC to eventually build the fighter-bomber domestically. The book, “China’s Intelligence and Internal Security Forces,” also will reveal that the mistress of former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was suspected of being a PRC intelligence agent after they began an affair during a 1988 visit to the PRC. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 16.]

9. Bombing of PRC Embassy

The Associated Press (“U.S.-CHINA EMBASSY TALKS ADJOURNED,” Beijing, 07/16/99) reported that, according to US representative David Andrews, two days of talks on US compensation for NATO’s bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia ended on Friday without a settlement. Andrews said that discussions covered compensation for the deaths of three PRC journalists in the May 7 bombing, injuries to twenty PRC diplomats, and damage to the embassy building. The US side also asked the PRC for compensation for damage to US diplomatic offices in Beijing in violent protests after the bombing. Andrews added that the talks “made progress on these sensitive and complex issues.” The talks will resume later this month.

10. PRC Aid to Mongolia

The Associated Press (“CHINA PLEDGES AID TO MONGOLIA,” Ulan Bator, 07/15/99) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin on Thursday visited Mongolia. During the three-day visit, Jiang and Mongolian President Natsagiin Bagabandi were expected to discuss building a possible gas pipeline and high-voltage power line from the PRC to Russia. Jiang also oversaw the signing of an agreement for US$3.5 million in technical aid and a cooperation pact to fight forest and grassland fires in border areas of Mongolia. A third document updated a 1990 health pact to let patients from both countries visit hospitals across the border. The PRC wants Mongolian support for the PRC’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), of which Mongolia is a member.

11. ASEAN Forum

The Associated Press (“ASEAN SEEN CHANGING STRUCTURE OF ANNUAL MINISTERS’ TALKS,” Singapore, 07/16/99) reported that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is changing the structure of its annual foreign ministers’ meeting this year in a bid to make talks more candid and direct. Bilahari Kausikan, deputy secretary at Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said that the changes “are intended to move away from meetings that have tended to lean toward the ritualistic. The foreign ministers will have the opportunity to discuss, very candidly and realistically, long-term issues and challenges facing ASEAN.” Kausikan added that at the security-oriented ASEAN Regional Forum this year, members will discuss territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the standoff between the PRC and Taiwan, and the two Koreas.

12. Pakistan Nuclear Technology

The Associated Press (“MILITANT GROUP WANTS PAKISTAN TO SHARE NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY,” Peshawar, Pakistan, 07/16/99) reported that Syed Munawar Hassan, secretary general of a fundamental Islamic group Jamat Islami Pakistan, on Friday urged Pakistan to transfer and sell nuclear technology to other Muslim countries. Hussan said that transferring and selling nuclear technology would end Pakistan’s dependence on loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Hassan stated, “Pakistan should provide the nuclear technology to all interested Islamic countries, including Libya and Iran.” He also opposed cuts in Pakistan’s defense budget, calling it an indication that the country’s armed forces will be downsized.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Policy to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kang Hyo-sang, “US WARNS NK ON MISSILE TEST,” Washington, 07/14/99) reported that the US Department of State announced on Wednesday that it had sent a strong warning message to the DPRK, which has increased movements around a missile facility there for two consecutive days. The message explained that very serious consequences would follow if the DPRK went ahead with missile tests. A diplomatic source in Washington explained that it is a very exceptional case for the State Department to use such strong expressions publicly. The US is known to have a countermeasure prepared for the launching of missiles by the DPRK following William Perry’s visit there at the end of May. The spokesman avoided describing just what the very serious consequences were; however, it is common knowledge among diplomatic experts that the term “very serious consequences” limits diplomatic and economic retaliation and would exclude military measures.

2. ROK and Japan’s Policy to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Park Jung-hoon, “KOREA AND JAPAN TO USE DIPLOMACY ON NK TEST,” Seoul, 07/14/99) reported that the ROK and Japan on Wednesday agreed at the second convention on policy at the Japanese Foreign Office to emphasize diplomatic cooperation with the PRC and other Asian countries to obstruct the DPRK’s second test firing of a long range missile. The ROK side said it would continue its tolerance policy toward the DPRK, while ensuring firm security. Japan confirmed that in the event of a second test it would freeze US$1 billion in financial support to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO).

3. Cohen’s Visit to ROK and Japan

Chosun Ilbo (Park Jung-hoon, “COHEN TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN,” Seoul, 07/14/99) reported that an official of the Japanese Foreign Office said on Wednesday that US Secretary of Defense William Cohen will visit the ROK and Japan at the end of the month to discuss missile issues concerning the DPRK. During his visit to Japan on July 28, Cohen will hold talks with Gomura Masahiko, head of Foreign Affairs, and Nurota Hosei, Minister of National Defense, and will then fly to the ROK. A Tokyo foreign news source commented that the visit was probably to cement solidarity against a reported scheduled second DPRK missile test.

4. ROK-DPRK Y2K Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “SOUTH AND NORTH TO COOPERATE ON Y2K IN AVIATION,” Seoul, 07/15/99) and The Korea Times (“SEOUL, P’YANG SIGN ACCORD ON Y2K AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL,” Seoul, 07/15/99) reported that the ROK and the DPRK reached an agreement on air traffic control in preparation for any possible Y2K problems. The ROK Ministry of Construction and Transportation announced on Thursday that delegates from the two Koreas on July 12 signed the contract at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s ninth Air Transport Committee of Asia and the Pacific. According to the agreement, effective from 11:00 pm on December 31, the ROK and the DPRK will advance notification times for airplanes scheduled to pass through one another’s territorial air space to 30 minutes before arrival, up from the current 20 minutes. Both countries will cooperate in search and rescue operations and emergency situations and announce to aviation organizations throughout the world in the event that telecommunications between the ROK and the DPRK are blocked. The ministry also plans to conduct Y2K simulations at domestic airline facilities next month. Flights to airports not ready for the Y2K problem among 79 airports in 28 countries will be suspended, the ministry said.

5. DPRK Satellite Broadcasts

Chosun Ilbo (Park Jae-hun, “NK STARTS SATELLITE BROADCASTS,” Tokyo, 07/15/99) reported that, according to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri on Thursday, the DPRK started satellite broadcasting overseas in early July using the Thai satellite Thaicom 3 owned by Sinawat. The daily said that the DPRK’s national TV service signed a contract with Sinawat in April to broadcast entertainment. The transmissions are non-encoded and can be viewed in parts of Europe as well as Asia. Thai military officials expressed that a country on the verge of starvation should spend such a huge amount of money on the project, and privately wondered if there were military applications, such as missile guidance. Sinawat assured them that the satellite has no GPS equipment and can only be used for commercial purposes.

III. Japan

1. Japanese DPRK Policy

The Daily Yomiuri (“GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING STEPS IN CASE OF MISSILE LAUNCH,” 07/16/99) reported that sources close to the government revealed on July 15 that the Japanese government is considering a ban on remittances to the DPRK, a freeze on funding to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), and restrictions on exports to the DPRK if the DPRK launches another Taepodong missile. The government believes that the demonstration of Japan’s resolve to respond more strongly in the event of the launching of another missile would make the DPRK think twice before conducting such a launch. The government intends to coordinate its plan with the US and the ROK, under which a ban on remittances through financial institutions would be effected by making it obligatory to obtain the approval of the Finance Ministry and the International Trade and Industry Ministry beforehand. According to the report, the remittances would include payments and settlements of trade accounts with companies, groups and individuals in the DPRK. The measure would be based on the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law, and the government would halt the flow of money to the DPRK if the respective ministers did not approve the remittances. The same measure would be taken against DPRK companies, groups and individuals in other countries. The foreign exchange law and an export trade control order would allow government to obligate exporters to seek approval from MITI when exporting certain items to the DPRK. According to the ministries, remittances from Japan to the DPRK amounted to 2.86 billion yen in fiscal 1996, and the total amount of exports–mainly electrical and transport equipment–was worth 22.78 billion yen in fiscal 1998.

2. Japan-ROK Security Talks

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN AND ROK AGREED ON COOPERATION AMONG JAPAN, ROK AND US TOWARD DPRK MISSILE LAUNCH,” 07/14/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (“JAPAN, ROK OFFICIALS MEET,” 07/15/99) reported that Japanese and ROK foreign affairs and defense officials met at the Foreign Ministry in Japan on July 14 and agreed that the two countries, along with the US, would strengthen cooperation to discourage the DPRK from launching another Taepodong missile. The report said that both sides agreed that Kim Jong-il still has much control of the DPRK regime. The ROK side particularly emphasized that the DPRK is improving its blitzkrieg capability and reinforcing its air defense capability. The ROK side also observed that although there is some dissatisfaction with corruption within the regime, such dissatisfaction is unlikely to be organized against the current leadership and also that the DPRK may proceed toward reform and opening up in a restricted but incremental way. The ROK also said, regarding the recent naval confrontation with the DPRK and the DPRK’s holding of an ROK woman, “We are firmly dealing with the DPRK’s provocation. At the same time, we are continuing the sunshine policy.” The report added that the two sides decided to hold another meeting in the first half of next year.

3. Japanese Defense Policy

The Sankei Shimbun (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER OUTLINE DISCLOSED: GOVERNMENT CONCERNS DPRK’S LONGER MISSILE TARGET RANGE,” 07/13/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER TO PROPOSE SPY SATELLITES,” 07/14/99) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) disclosed an outline of this year’s white paper, which will be released later this month, with emphasis on the DPRK’s missile threat. The Daily Yomiuri said that JDA will recommend the strengthening of the country’s military intelligence-gathering capability through the introduction of military reconnaissance satellites to deal with such events as the DPRK’s launch last August of a ballistic missile. The paper will also call for increased cooperation between the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Maritime Safety Agency in dealing with such incidents as the intrusion into Japanese territorial waters by DPRK spy ships in March. The new white paper will consist of six chapters covering the international military situation, Japan’s defense policy, roles and responses of the Self-Defense Forces and measures taken by JDA, including those relating to the Japan-US security arrangements, people and defense, and reforms in the procurement of equipment and measures to deal with new types of incidents. The sixth chapter will cover the DPRK’s missile launch and territorial encroachment. The white paper will stress that in dealing with a serious situation, an emergency meeting will be held under the chairmanship of the JDA director general. The report said that the paper observes that ethnic and religious disputes have become widespread in the world, although the possibility of a major war occurring is remote. The report added that the paper will also express concern over the increase in the shipment and proliferation of weaponry and emphasize the importance of constructing an international security system.

4. Japanese-PRC Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPANESE-PRC FOREIGN MINISTERIAL TALKS ON PRC INVESTIGATION SHIPS GOT NOWHERE,” 07/10/99) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura met with PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on July 9 to discuss PRC ships that have been operating within waters claimed by Japan. Komura said to Tang, “It is regrettable (that the ships entered Japanese territorial waters), and we expect a responsible response (from the PRC government).” Tang, in response, said, “There is no agreement between the two governments on maritime borderline or exclusive economic zone. What the Japanese government see as a borderline is unilateral. The ships’ exercise is normal, and we have no reason to be complained of.”

5. Japanese-Mongolian Relations

The Nikkei Shimbun (Testufumi Takahasi, “MONGOL TO DISCOURAGE DPRK FROM MISSILE LAUNCH,” Ulan Baator, 07/10/99) and the Yomiuri Shimbun (Hiroyuki Sugiyama, “MONGOL TO USE DPRK CHANNEL TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH JAPAN,” Ulan Baator, 07/10/99) reported that after leaving Beijing on July 10, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi met with the Mongolian President and Prime Minister in Ulan Baator. The Mongolian President said to Obuchi, “We are ready to talk with the DPRK to deter it from launching another missile.” In response, Obuchi emphasized, “We need to keep warning the DPRK off missile launch by all means,” suggesting how big a role Mongolia can play in the DPRK missile issue. The Nikkei Shimbun added that Mongolia has had “traditional” relations with the DPRK and quoted a Japanese Foreign Ministry high-ranking official as saying, “Japan and the ROK see the country as one of a few countries having normal relations with the DPRK.”

6. Japanese Nuclear Accident

The Daily Yomiuri (“CRACK IN NUCLEAR POWER PIPE FOUND 14-1/2 HOURS AFTER LEAK STARTED, Fukui, 07/14/99) reported that Japan Atomic Power Co. (Genden) officials revealed on July 12 that a crack measuring eight centimeters long has been found in a pipe in the containment building of the Fukui nuclear power station’s No. 2 reactor where about 51 tons of radioactive primary cooling water leaked on July 11. The officials said workers entered the containment building at Genden’s plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, at 6:45 p.m. July 11 and found a crack in a 1.1-centimeter-thick stainless steel pipe on a heat exchanger, which is used to remove impurities from the primary cooling water and adjust its temperature. According to the report, the workers stopped the leak by closing the valve to the cracked pipe at 8:29 p.m. July 11, about 14-1/2 hours after the leak was discovered. Operations at the pressurized- water reactor have been suspended since about 7 a.m. July 11, when a massive loss of cooling water caused the temperature to rise in the containment building. About 4 millisieverts per hour of radiation was detected on the surface of the pipe, and about 2 millisieverts per hour near the pipe, meaning workers are unable to check the pipe over long periods. The annual allowable amount of radiation exposure for workers in nuclear facilities is 50 millisieverts. International Trade and Industry Minister Kaoru Yosano stated, “Such a crack should not occur under normal operating conditions… As the accident has national, as well as international, repercussions, we have to take well-planned countermeasures.” The report added that the government’s Nuclear Safety Commission pledged in an extraordinary session held on July 12 to thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, and to use the results of the investigation to devise measures aimed at preventing similar accidents in the future.

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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:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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