NAPSNet Daily Report 17 July, 1998

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 17 July, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 17, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-17-july-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Japan

I. United States

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1. DPRK Missile Threat

US State Department Spokesman Jamie Rubin (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, THURSDAY, JULY 16, 1998,” USIA Transcript, 07/16/98) said that the US has wanted to resume bilateral discussions with the DPRK on ballistic missiles for some time. Rubin stated, “We are very cognizant of the threat posed by North Korea’s ballistic missiles.” He added, “The basic way we deal with that is not only to try to deter the development and, ultimately, deployment of such a missile, but also to put ourselves in a position … in the year 2000 to make a decision to deploy a nationwide [missile defense] system if necessary.” Regarding the recent report on the DPRK’s missile capabilities by a congressional panel, Rubin replied, “The American Government’s assessment of the current state of play with respect to these capabilities is not something we share in public. We continue to stand by our intelligence assessments of what the threats are; and I am not in a position to comment on specific intelligence issues.”

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2. Food Aid for DPRK

Reuters (“CANADA PLEDGES MORE FOOD FOR NORTH KOREA,” Toronto, 07/17/98) reported that Diane Marleau, Canadian Minister for International Cooperation, announced on Thursday that Canada would provide an additional US$5 million in food aid to the DPRK. The contribution brings the total amount of Canadian aid to the DPRK over US$20 million. Marleau stated, “The situation in North Korea is precarious as present food aid stocks diminish and local harvests are questionable because of unpredictable weather.”

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3. Asian Financial Crisis

Reuters (“SURVEY: THREE YEARS REQUIRED FOR ASIAN RECOVERY,” Hong Kong, 07/17/98) reported that a recent survey by executive search firm Spencer Stuart said that business executives expect Asian economies to need three years to recover from the financial crisis. The ROK seemed to be the hardest hit in all business sectors, with 69 percent of ROK executives polled saying it would take more than two years for the country to recover.

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4. US Policy toward Taiwan

The Washington Times carried an analytical article (Richard Halloran. “U.S. POLICY SHIFT ON TAIWAN GIVES BEIJING AN EDGE,” Honolulu, 07/17/98) which said that the PRC is seeking to gain an advantage from US President Bill Clinton’s recent policy statements on Taiwan. The article quoted PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang as saying, “We attach great importance to these commitments.” The author argued, “The Clinton policy has not only given a diplomatic edge to Beijing, but has caused consternation in Congress and comes as China is planning new tactics intended to intimidate Taiwan.” He added, “Until Mr. Clinton told Mr. Jiang that the United States accepts what are known as the ‘three noes,’ the United States had not committed itself on the issue of sovereignty over Taiwan.” He quoted a US National Defense University study as saying that “China plans to be the dominant power,” in a “zone of active defense” running from Indonesia and the Philippines in the south to Japan and the Russian Kamchatka peninsula in the north. The study also said that the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army plans to develop “capabilities sufficient to intimidate Taipei into accepting a political solution on Chinese terms.” The article quoted an unnamed China expert at the Pacific Command in Hawaii, as saying, “This would be an electronic version of the old ‘people’s warfare.’ They’ve never gotten rid of it.”

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5. Indian Nuclear Tests

United Press International (“INDIAN OFFICIAL: NO MORE NUCLEAR TESTS,” Beirut, 07/17/98) reported that Indian Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Nareshwar Dayal said Friday that India will not conduct any more nuclear tests. He dismissed recent reports about Indian-Israeli nuclear cooperation, saying, “We have no cooperation with Israel in the field of nuclear technology.”

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6. Nuclear Disarmament

The International Herald Tribune carried an opinion article (Ramesh Thakur and Ralph A. Cossa, “BRITAIN, INDIA AND PAKISTAN COULD START A DISARMAMENT CLUB,” Tokyo, 07/11/98) which said that the international community needs to work together to repair the damage to disarmament efforts done by the recent South Asian nuclear tests. They argued, “Nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament are two sides of the same coin. The whiff of hypocrisy in statements from those who have nuclear weapons robs their condemnation of much value in shaping the nuclear choices of India and Pakistan.” They added, “the continued possession of nuclear weapons by Britain and France seems to be driven more by national pride and a quest for status than by genuine national security concerns. A dramatic gesture by either of these states toward genuine nuclear disarmament might be able to reverse the nuclearization trend before India and Pakistan come to blows.” The authors suggested, “[British] Prime Minister Tony Blair could announce that Britain was prepared to give up its nuclear weapons, but only if India and Pakistan renounced the nuclear option and signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as non-nuclear states.” They argued that British disarmament would break the connection between permanent membership on the UN Security Council and the holding of nuclear weapons, thus accelerating the process of reforming the council. They concluded that a British offer of conditional disarmament “just might be taken up. Both India and Pakistan have ended up with a worse security environment than before the tests. Their attention and resources have been diverted from the urgent tasks of economic development. And there has been a cutback in assistance from the outside world.”

II. Japan

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1. DPRK Incursion Incident

The Sankei Shimbun (Katsuhiro Kuroda, “ROK DISMISSES THREE NAVY COMMANDERS WITHOUT DPRK APOLOGY,” Seoul, 07/17/98) reported that the US-ROK military talks on the DPRK’s incursion incidents held at Panmunjom on July 16 ended without the DPRK’s acknowledgment of the incidents and apology for them. The report pointed out that although the talks were held at the ROK’s demand and that the US wants the DPRK to officially apologize, the fact that the talks ended virtually in deadlock without deciding the date for another meeting indicates that it is still unclear whether the DPRK will actually apologize. The report also pointed out that although President Kim Dae-jung is still continuing his “sunshine policy” toward the DPRK, Unification Minister Kang In-duck’s insistence on the DPRK’s apology and decision to postpone some business projects with the DPRK may slow down the implementation of that policy. Meanwhile, the ROK government dismissed three navy commanders for poor vigilance on the coast.

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2. Japan’s Prime Ministerial Candidates

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“BOTH OBUCHI AND KAJIYAMA ANNOUNCED THEIR DECISION TO RUN FOR PRIME MINISTERIAL ELECTION,” 07/17/98) reported that on July 17 both Keizo Obuchi and Seiroku Kajiyama, former cabinet director general, announced their decision to run for the upcoming prime ministerial election among the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members. The report also said that although both of them belong to the same faction, a group of LDP members from the ex-Mitsuzuka faction is also trying hard to establish Health and Welfare Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s candidacy, and that the election may be fought among these three. The report quoted Koizumi as saying, “I’m beginning to see opportunity for victory. But no one knows what the result will be until the election is actually conducted. I think it would be better to have three candidates rather than just two. As for policy, it is necessary to think fearlessly and flexibly.”

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3. Japanese-US Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (“US ENVOY SEES NO CHANGE IN BILATERAL TIES,” 07/16/98) reported that US Ambassador to Tokyo Thomas Foley said at a meeting held at a Tokyo hotel on July 15 that the relationship between the US and Japan serves as the foundation for the US government’s policies in the Asia-Pacific region and would continue to serve this function in the next century. The report quoted Foley as saying, “The American government regards the US-Japan relationship, partnership and alliance as fundamental to our policies in the Asia-Pacific region.” He stressed that the two countries’ relationship would not change, even with the resignation of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. Foley also said, “No other country–not China nor any other country–will change that fundamental relationship in the next century.” Regarding Hashimoto’s cancellation of his visit to Washington, Foley termed it “unfortunate,” and added that “it would have been a strong occasion, I think, to reaffirm the fundamental character of the U.S.-Japan relationship.”

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:
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

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

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
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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