NAPSNet Daily Report 18 February, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 18 February, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 18, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-18-february-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-PRC Talks
2. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-Australia Relations
2. DPRK Policy on Family Reunions
3. DPRK-ROK Summit Talks
4. DPRK-Iran Missile Development
5. US Sanctions on DPRK
III. Japan 1. DPRK-Iran Joint Missile Development
2. Japan’s Maritime Security Policy
3. Japanese-US Defense Relations
4. PRC’s Opposition to TMD
5. DPRK-Australia Relations

I. United States

1. US-PRC Talks

Agence France Presse (“US CONCERNED OVER CHINESE MISSILE BUILD-UP NEAR TAIWAN,” 2/18/00) and Reuters (“THORNY ISSUES LINGER AFTER U.S., CHINA TALKS,” Beijing, 2/18/00) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott met PRC Lieutenant General Xiong Guangkai for a breakfast meeting on Friday and visited the PRC Foreign Ministry afterwards. US officials said that Talbott expressed concern about the PRC’s missile buildup near Taiwan. The officials said that the PRC was critical of US plans for a National Missile Defense System (NMD) and a Theater Missile Defense System (TMD) for East Asia. Talbott held talks with PRC Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and met separately with Vice Premier Qian Qichen, Lieutenant General Xiong Guangkai and General Zhang Wannian. One US official said that during the talks earlier on Friday, “the US expressed concern over the build up of Chinese missiles in Fujian (province), but did so by stressing that US arms sales to Taiwan were driven by Taiwan’s defensive needs.” The official said that the talks did not touch on Taiwan’s upcoming March 18 presidential election but that the US and PRC officials did discuss “how to create a good climate across the Taiwan Strait.” The officials refrained from detailing the PRC’s stance during the talks, but did say that “the Chinese have deep misgivings and very firm opposition” to the US plans for NMD and TMD.

The Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, “US URGES CHINA RESTRAINT IN TAIWAN,” Beijing, 2/18/00) reported that anonymous US officials said Friday that the US urged the PRC to show restraint as the Taiwanese presidential elections near. The official said that the US suggested that the PRC regard Taiwan’s post-election period with “some uncertainty that requires the highest possible degree of restraint, caution, prudence on everybody’s part.” The US delegation, headed by US Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, told the PRC that showing restraint would diminish the need for US weapons sales to Taiwan. One US official said the PRC official displayed “a very sophisticated understanding” of the Taiwanese election and were “really scrutinizing it very closely.” The PRC’s Xinhua News Agency reported that Qian told Talbott that the US should respect its treaty obligations and recognize that Taiwan “is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-U.S. relations.” US officials also said the talks helped normalize relations after the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia.

2. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Washington File (Judy Aita, “U.S. ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES TO BACK TEST BAN TREATY,” New York, 2/17/00) reported that John Holum, US Clinton Administration adviser for arms control and international security, said on February 16 that the administration is committed to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and has embarked on a plan to build a consensus in the US Senate that will lead to its ratification. Holum spoke at the Foreign Policy Association in New York City. Holum said the administration does not expect the CTBT to face a Senate vote in 2000, but hopes “to make real progress on correcting misperceptions” that arose during the Senate debate in late 1999 and explain “how the CTBT supports our larger national security strategy.” He said that he believes that the US will eventually ratify the CTBT “and see it enter into force. As President Clinton said, ‘the Senate has taken us on a detour, but America eventually always returns to the main road and we will do so again.'” Holum also said that the administration has established an interagency CTBT Task Force with the diplomatic, military, scientific, and technical experts to answer questions and help build support for ratification. Holum added, “President Clinton has made clear that the United States remains committed to the Comprehensive Test Ban. We will support the international monitoring system and continue urging other countries to ratify.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-Australia Relations

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION TO VISIT N. KOREA WITH $3 MIL. AID PLAN,” Seoul, 02/18/00), Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha-won, “AUSTRALIA GIVES FOOD AID TO NK,” Seoul, 02/17/00), The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “AUSTRALIA TO HOLD TALKS WITH NK ON EMBASSY REOPENING,” Seoul, 02/17/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “AUSTRALIAN MINISTER VISITS NORTH KOREA AFTER 25 YEARS,” Seoul, 02/17/00) reported that ROK officials said on February 17 that an Australian delegation will visit the DPRK next week with a US$3 million-aid plan to discuss reestablishing ties which have been suspended for the past 25 years. The two sides will participate in talks on reopening their embassies in each other’s capitals. In a statement issued on February 16, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that his government would provide US$3 million to the DPRK to help alleviate “the serious and complex” humanitarian crisis. Downer said the four-member Australian delegation, headed by Colin Heseltine, first assistant secretary at the Foreign Ministry’s North Asia division, will also discuss help for the DPRK’s agricultural industry and its participation in the Sydney Olympics.

2. DPRK Policy on Family Reunions

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. PROPOSES CURBING DEFECTIONS IN EXCHANGE FOR FAMILY REUNIONS,” Seoul, 02/18/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kweon-hyeon, “KEEPING NK INVESTMENT IN THE FAMILY” Seoul, 02/17/00) reported that a top unification policymaker said on February 17 that the DPRK has asked for the ROK’s aid in deterring the further defection of DPRK citizens to the ROK, and will reciprocate by allowing more separated family members to meet secretly. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said, “North Korea recently indicated it would allow the separated families to meet each other, provided we guarantee not to attempt to bring Northern relatives (to the South).” Parks said that in order to better anticipate these DPRK policy shifts, the ROK government plans to expand inter-Korean economic exchanges and cooperation, while trying to create an environment that will help the DPRK become a more active participant in the international community.

3. DPRK-ROK Summit Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Choo Yong-joong, “GNP CLAIMS NK SEEKING MONEY FOR SUMMIT” Seoul, 02/17/00) reported that the ROK opposition Grand National Party (GNP) stated on February 17 that the DPRK is demanding US$400 million for a summit meeting with leaders of the ROK. Party leader Lee Sa-chul said that as there were no tangible results from the sunshine policy and the government was desperately seeking a way to hold a meeting before the elections. Lee added that an informed intelligence source told him of the demand for cash. A Chong Wa Dae official commented that he did not know why the GNP was making this claim and so had no comment on it.

4. DPRK-Iran Missile Development

The Korea Times (“N.KOREA, IRAN JOINTLY DEVELOP MISSILE: REPORT” Seoul, 02/17/00) reported that a Japanese daily said on February 17 that the DPRK and Iran are jointly developing an advanced version of a PRC cruise missile sold to Tehran in the mid-1990s. The Sankei Shimbun quoted Western military sources as saying that the missile is based on the PRC’s C-802 cruise missile, which has a range of 120 kilometers (74 miles). In the mid-1990s, the PRC began selling C-802 missiles to Iran before freezing exports in 1996 when the US demanded a halt saying such arms transfers could destabilize the Middle East, the daily said. Then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashivili warned PRC Defense Minister General Chi Haotian in December 1996 that arms exports would increase destabilizing factors in the region. The report said, “Iran expected to purchase 150 C-802 missiles from China but only received a half of them because of the arms suspension. What is more, these missiles were not equipped with advanced missile systems and the system Iran possessed then was so outdated that it needed to acquire the latest missile system.” The report said that the main purpose of the joint development was to upgrade the missile’s accuracy.

5. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Korea Times (“N.KOREAN STAMP BARRED FROM US STAMP SHOW” Seoul, 02/17/00) reported that an international stamp dealer who planned to sell rare postage stamps for the DPRK government at a collectors’ show has been told by the US government that he cannot conduct business for the DPRK. According to the Treasury Department, selling DPRK stamps in the US is illegal under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

III. Japan

1. DPRK-Iran Joint Missile Development

The Sankei Shimbun (“DPRK AND IRAN ENGAGED IN JOINT MISSILE DEVELOPMENT,” 02/17/2000) reported that according to a western military source on February 16, the DPRK and Iran have been jointly developing missiles based on the PRC’s C802 cruise missile with the target range of 120 km. The report said that although the PRC exported C802 missiles to Iran, US criticism made the PRC freeze exports. However, the report said, Iran shifted to the DPRK for missile imports. According to western military sources, Iran exported C802 missiles to the DPRK in April or May 1999, and joint development between the DPRK and Iran aims to improve the missile system. The report said that although the DPRK has exported Scud B and Scud C missiles to earn foreign currency and oil, joint development with Iran suggests that main motivation for the DPRK’s exports is to improve its missile capabilities.

2. Japan’s Maritime Security Policy

The Sankei Shimbun (“JAPAN, PRC, AND ROK TO COOPERATE WITH THREE OTHER MALACCA COASTAL COUNTRIES IN DEALING WITH PIRATES,” 02/17/2000) reported that the Japanese government decided on February 16 to cooperate with the PRC, the ROK, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in preventing piracy in the Southeast Asian region. According to the Japanese government’s plan, Japan, the PRC, and the ROK, all of which depend on the Malacca Strait for vital sea-lanes of communications, would provide coastal patrols to the region with support from the other three coastal countries. The Japanese government will propose this plan at various international conferences slated for early next month in Singapore.

3. Japanese-US Defense Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (“US OFFICIALS CONCERNED OVER ‘SYMPATHY BUDGET’ CUT PLAN,” 02/17/2000) reported that a US government delegation of four high-ranking officials in charge of diplomatic and security affairs, including Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Walter Slocombe, Deputy Presidential Assistant for National Security Affairs James Steinberg, and Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Ralston, on February 16 expressed strong concern over Japan’s move to seek cuts in the host-nation budget for US military forces stationed in Japan. The concern was expressed during talks in Tokyo with Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, Defense Agency Director General Tsutomu Kawara and high-ranking Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officials. During a breakfast meeting with LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shizuka Kamei and other senior party officials, Talbott said that a reduction in Japan’s host-nation support was unreasonable and that the stationing of US military personnel in Japan was not an act of “charity.” Kamei responded, “of course, Japan will shoulder its share of the costs in accordance with a special agreement on the host-nation support budget. We are not begging for mercy and will bear what we have to bear.”

4. PRC’s Opposition to TMD

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Saki Ouchi, “PRC PROPOSES SPACE MILITARY BAN TREATY TO COUNTER TMD,” Geneva, 02/18/2000) reported that the PRC government proposed at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on February 17 that weapons deployment in space be banned. The report said that the PRC’s proposal aims to “contain” the US-led theater missile defense (TMD) initiative. The proposal was accompanied with the PRC’s condition that unless negotiations for this new treaty started soon, negotiations for the cut-off treaty would be delayed. The report said that US representative Robert Grey rejected the proposal and the Geneva Conference on Disarmament is now more likely to be deadlocked. Japan is also ready to reject the proposal. India and other non-aligned nations support the PRC proposal in principle and Russia expressed its support for the proposal.

5. DPRK-Australia Relations

The Sankei Shimbun (Shinsuke Sano, “NO RUSH FOR DPRK-AUSTRALIA NORMALIZATION,” Sydney, 02/18/2000) reported that an Australian foreign ministry source said on February 17 that Australia would not urge normalization with the DPRK at talks on February 22 in Pyongyang. However, the official did say that Australia would ask the DPRK to reform its economy and engage in dialogue with the ROK. The official also said that the Australian government would discuss regional and global security, DPRK-Australia bilateral relations, and the DPRK’s domestic issues at the talks. The official said the Australian government will also ask the DPRK to abandon its missile test. The report added that Australia contributed AU$2 million last year and has so far contributed AU$14.8 million to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization and AU$20 million to food aid to the DPRK.

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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
Asian 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

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

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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