NAPSNet Daily Report 17 November, 1997

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 17 November, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 17, 1997,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

IV. Announcement

I. United States

1. US Spying on DPRK

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“N. KOREA DEMANDS U.S. APOLOGY FOR ALLEGED WIRETAPPING,” Seoul, 11/17/97) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency on Monday accused the US Central Intelligence Agency of tapping the telephone of a senior DPRK embassy official in Vienna and demanded an apology. [Ed. note: See “US Spying on DPRK” in the US Section of the November 6 Daily Report.] The agency stated, “The U.S. should make an official apology to the DPRK as regards the recent crime and immediately punish by law the eavesdropper.” It added, “The recent wiretapping spoils DPRK confidence in the U.S. and casts a shadow over the efforts to improve the DPRK-U.S. relations.”

2. DPRK Membership in Asian Development Bank

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“ASIA DEVT BANK/SATO -2: LITTLE MOVE ON N. KOREAN MEMBERSHIP,” Tokyo, 11/17/97) reported that Mitsuo Sato, president of the Asia Development Bank, said Monday that it will likely take more time and efforts to reach an agreement on the DPRK’s membership in the bank. “All the member countries must agree when considering a new membership, and it is still hard to build consensus on this issue,” Sato said. The PRC and the ROK reportedly have informally backed DPRK membership, but Japan still appears reluctant to allow the DPRK to join. Membership would enable the DPRK to borrow super-low-rate soft loans.

3. ROK Aid to DPRK

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“S.KOREA TO SHIP $1.2M OF CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT TO N.KOREA,” Seoul, 11/17/97) reported that ROK officials said Monday that the ROK will donate US$1.2 million worth of construction equipment to help rehabilitate DPRK coastal regions hit by tidal waves earlier this year. A Cambodian-registered ship carrying the equipment was scheduled to leave Inchon port west of Seoul late Monday and arrive in the DPRK’s western port of Nampo a day later. The donation is part of the US$10 million in cash pledged by the ROK to the UN to help ease the DPRK’s food shortage. Meanwhile, the DPRK notified the ROK by telephone Monday that it has completed distribution of 53,000 tons of grains donated by the ROK in September. The DPRK Red Cross also renewed an earlier proposal that Red Cross officials of the two Koreas meet in Beijing soon to discuss additional ROK food aid to the DPRK.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Japanese Food Aid to DPRK

The PRC news agency Shinhwa, based in Pyongyang, reported that Japanese politicians from the ruling tripartite alliance who are visiting the DPRK issued a communique Saturday urging the Japanese government to resume normalization talks and renew food aid to the DPRK. The statement said that the members of the parties will do their best to expedite the ninth working level talks between Japan and the DPRK on normalization of relations. The three-party delegation said that after a visit to flooded areas, they recognized the urgency of providing food to the DPRK and will recommend that the Japanese government resume food aid through international organizations. (Chosun Ilbo, “JAPANESE PARTIES URGE RENEWED FOOD AID TO NK,” 11/17/97)

2. ROK Submarine Project

France and Germany, teamed with the ROK’s Hyundai and Daewoo, are vying to win a 2-trillion-won submarine project for the ROK Navy. France last week sent a team of engineers and sales managers from DCN, a state-run warship producer, to Seoul to meet ROK Defense Ministry, Navy, and Agency for Defense Development officials. The delegation’s arrival came amid a report that the Defense Ministry may select the Daewoo-HDW (Germany) team as contractors to build six 1,500-ton submarines by the year 2002. Daewoo is building 1,200-ton submarines in the first-stage project that requires nine 209-class submarines by 2001. The last three of the nine 209-class submarines will be equipped with Harpoon missiles. (Korea Herald, “FRENCH, GERMAN COMPANIES VIE FOR 1,500-TON SUB PROJECT HERE,” 11/17/97)

3. POW Repatriation

The World Veterans Federation (WVF) Saturday called on the DPRK to repatriate all ROK and UN prisoners of war and missing in action who have been detained in the DPRK since the 1950-53 Korean War. At a resolution adopted at the end of a week-long general assembly in Seoul, the world vets group also urged the DPRK to “respond in a faithful manner” to the demand. Thousands of ROK and a small number of UN soldiers are believed to have been detained in the DPRK since the Korean War. The resolution also said that the WVF was convinced that the establishment of peace in the Korean Peninsula will make a major contribution to the reinforcement of peace and security in the world. In another resolution, the WVF also argued that the Korean Peninsula should remain as an exception to the global ban on anti-personnel land mines, considering the unique security situation there. The WVF resolution will be submitted to the December Ottawa Convention in which a treaty on the global ban of anti-personnel land mines is expected to be signed. (Korea Herald, “WVF CALLS FOR POWS REPATRIATION,” 11/17/97)

III. Russian Federation

1. DPRK Public Executions

Segodnya (“THIEVES FACE FIRING SQUADS,” Moscow, 4, 11/13/97) and Sovetskaya Rossia (“THESE DAYS … TOKYO,” Moscow, 7, 11/13/97) reported that Japan’s Kyodo Tsushin news agency quoted a high ranking ROK official as saying that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il gave an order to publicly execute by firing squad all those caught stealing industrial materials at DPRK enterprises. Such thefts have greatly increased in numbers recently. The practice of public executions in the DPRK was first reported several days ago by some PRC tourists who upon their return home told the media that in mid-September in Pyongyang a crowd of 30,000 saw firing squads execute “a big party functionary accused of deviations in the Governmental agrarian policy and 17 other people, some of whom were accused of illegally making large personal fortunes.” [Ed. note: See “DPRK Public Execution” in the ROK Section of the November 6 Daily Report.]

2. RF-PRC Summit

Segodnya’s Andrey Smirnov (“DIPLOMACY IN HOME SLIPPERS,” Moscow, 1, 3, 11/11/97) reported that, prior to an official state dinner at the People’s Assemblies House in Beijing, Boris Yeltsin quite unexpectedly was found meeting with PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin at the latter’s home at the former Imperial Residence. The two reportedly discussed the RF-PRC border demarcation. Although the relevant final document was signed in Beijing, the unresolved issue of two disputed isles on the Amur river was not mentioned in it. The RF delegation also lacked any representatives of the Primorskiy Area, where many authorities object to RF territorial concessions to the PRC. However, Aleksandr Shokhin, the leader of the Our Home Is Russia faction at the RF State Duma, who accompanied Yeltsin, said the demarcation agreement would be approved by the Duma.

Sovetskaya Rossia (“THESE DAYS … BEIJING,” Moscow, 3, 11/11/97) reported that the leaders of the RF and the PRC signed a joint statement in Beijing saying that all issues concerning demarcation of the Eastern part of the RF-PRC border have been solved. The 4200 kilometers long border is now clearly marked on the land for the first time.

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Dmitriy Kosyrev and Aleksandr Petrov (“A DAY OF SAD SMILES IN BEIJING,” Moscow, 1, 2, 11/11/97) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin said, regarding the 5th RF-PRC summit in Beijing, “The formula of our relations, which is to remain the same, is a strategic partnership on the level of personal confidence in each other between the PRC Chairman and the RF President.”

3. US-PRC Relations

Sovetskaya Rossia’s Vasiliy Safronchuk (“SURVEY … WASHINGTON- TOKYO AXIS AND MOSCOW-BEIJING AXIS,” Moscow, 1, 11/11/97) reported that, “Russia and China are interested in lessening the US influence and they stand for a multipolar world. It is clear that the Washington-Tokyo military political axis can be effectively countered only by the Moscow-Beijing axis. But, as testified by the results of Jiang Zemin’s recent visit to the US, for Beijing its relations with the US are of greater priority at this stage. Boris Yeltsin could hardly manage to change this situation in a two-day visit to Beijing. China’s leadership soberly assesses the existing power balance. It justly believes that the present pro-Western ruling regime in Russia cannot be a trustworthy ally in a confrontation with the US. Only a Russia revived on socialist principles and a union of the former Soviet republics restored on a new basis could become a reliable ally to the PRC.”

4. RF-Japan Relations

Segodnya (“FOREIGN MINISTERS OF RUSSIA AND JAPAN TO DISCUSS THE KRASNOYARSK SUMMIT RESULTS,” Moscow, 3, 11/12/97) reported that RF Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov and Japan’s Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi were to discuss the informal RF- Japan summit’s results in Tokyo on November 12-14. According to RF Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gennadiy Tarasov, the ministers were to discuss “the means of implementation of the agreements reached,” in particular those concerning “trade and economic cooperation.” They were also to discuss the agenda for future bilateral political contacts.

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“RUSSO-JAPANESE FORUM,” Moscow, 4, 11/14/97) and Segodnya (“RUSSIA AND JAPAN CREATE A NEW BODY TO PREPARE THE PEACE TREATY,” Moscow, 3, 11/14/97) reported that the foreign ministers of the RF and Japan agreed in Tokyo to create a “forum” to serve as a framework for negotiations aimed at the conclusion of an RF-Japan peace treaty. The foreign ministers will run the forum. The first session, presided over by deputy foreign ministers, is to be held in Moscow next January. The foreign ministers themselves will meet next April.

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Andrey Ilyashenko (“MOSCOW AND TOKYO CREATED A PEACE TREATY GROUP,” Moscow, 1, 11/15/97) and Izvestia’s Vasiliy Golovnin (“AN UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT DID NOT HAMPER PRIMAKOV IN JAPAN,” Moscow, 3, 11/15/97) reported that RF Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov proposed to include not only diplomats but representatives of other official bodies as well into the RF-Japan peace treaty preparation group. The Japanese party so far has not given any reply to the proposal. Also during the talks, the two sides confirmed a decision to sign an RF-Japan bilateral agreement on fishing in the area of the Southern Kurils.

5. RF Territorial Settlements

Sovetskaya Rossia (“THESE DAYS … TOKYO,” Moscow, 3, 11/11/97) quoted Japan’s Kyodo Tsushin news agency as saying that the RF-PRC border demarcation, and particularly the decision to carry out joint economic activities on some isles on the Amur River, could serve as a model for solving the RF-Japan dispute over the Southern Kurils.

6. RF Membership in APEC

Segodnya (“THE ISSUE OF RUSSIA’S APEC MEMBERSHIP TO BE DISCUSSED IN VANCOUVER,” Moscow, 4, 11/13/97) quoted Canada’s Foreign Trade Minister Serjio Marouqui as telling a Japanese newspaper that the admission of the RF to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be discussed later this month in Vancouver at an informal meeting of the leaders of the “countries and territories” which are members of APEC. At his recent summit with RF President Boris Yeltsin, Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto spoke in favor of such a decision. The Canadian Minister said Canada would also support Russian membership.

7. RF-Japan Radioactive Waste Program

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (“IN BRIEF … RUSSIA,” Moscow, 3, 11/14-20/97 #42, 69) reported that liquid radioactive waste reprocessing equipment was brought to a nuclear submarine repair plant in the RF Far East. The equipment is capable of reprocessing 7000 cubic meters of waste from the active zones of nuclear submarine reactors. The event represents the first step in the implementation of the joint RF- Japanese liquid radioactive waste utilization program in the RF Far East. Altogether there are several tankers with several thousand tons of the waste, and 40 decommissioned nuclear submarines with 40 to 70 nuclear reactors to be dismantled.

8. PRC-Japan Relations

Kommersant daily (“LI PENG’S VISIT TO JAPAN,” Moscow, 5, 11/12/97) reported that PRC State Council Premier Li Peng came on an official visit to Japan. He was to discuss such issues as the PRC-Japan territorial dispute, Taiwan, and the recently adopted US-Japanese defense cooperation guidelines.

IV. Announcement

1. Global Landmine Ban Conference

The National Association of Korean Americans invites you to a panel discussion on: “Towards a Landmine Ban: Implications for the U.S. and Asia,” with Robert Muller (President, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation) and Brigadier General Larry Dodgen (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Missions) on Friday, November 21, 6:00-7:30PM at Asia Society, 725 Park Ave.(70th St.), New York City.

For further information, please contact : John Kim (212) 679-3482

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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
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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