NAPSNet Daily Report 18 January, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Activities in the Congo
2. ROK Rocket Development
3. PRC Defense Minister’s ROK Visit
4. Taiwan Elections
5. Cross-Straits Relations
6. PRC-Russian Defense Talks
7. US-Japan Military Relations
8. US Anti-Missile Test
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Activities in the Congo
2. Alleged Japanese Technology Transfers to DPRK
3. Japanese Aid to DPRK
4. ROK Aid to DPRK
5. DPRK Nationals in PRC
6. PRC Defense Minister’s ROK Visit
7. DPRK 100 won bill

I. United States

1. DPRK Activities in the Congo

The London Sunday Telegraph (Christina Lamb, “ALARM OVER NORTH KOREA’S SECRET DEAL FOR CONGO URANIUM,” 1/16/00) reported that US and South African intelligence sources fear that Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, may have given the DPRK access to the country’s largest uranium mine as payment for supplying troops and training Congolese. The director of a British mining company in the Congo told The Telegraph that his workers had seen DPRK soldiers in Shinkolobwe, a mining town 100 miles north of the capital, which provided uranium for the Hiroshima bomb. Richard Cornwall of the South African Institute for Security Studies stated, “We know that there have been North Koreans in that area and they are definitely training government forces, but whether they are soldiers or miners we do not know and we can only speculate what they are getting in exchange.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 18, 2000.]

2. ROK Rocket Development

The New York Times (Calvin Sims, “SOUTH KOREA PLANS TO BEGIN ROCKET PROGRAM,” Seoul, 1/15/00) reported that the ROK government plans within the next five years to develop a rocket capable of carrying satellites into orbit at a cost that space agency officials estimate at US$500 million to US$1 billion, although independent experts said that the cost could run as high as several billion dollars. The ROK said that the project will be sufficiently financed, and that the rocket technology would not be suitable for military purposes. ROK space agency officials said that they hope to build a world-class space program that would one-day work with the US and other countries on projects like a reusable space shuttle and an international space station. Although little is known about ROK’s rocket technology, some satellite experts believe that the ROK could produce its own satellite-launching vehicles. Security experts and Western officials expressed concern that the technology that the ROK hopes to develop could also be used to make long-range ballistic missiles. A US government official who monitors missiles and weapons of mass destruction said, “this type of satellite rocket technology is transferable to military applications, and other countries in the region are certainly going to view South Korea’s program through this prism. One of the reasons we are not fully pleased about countries starting up space launch programs that are not economically viable is that they could export the launching vehicle to someone else who has no intention of using it for satellites.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 18, 2000.]

3. PRC Defense Minister’s ROK Visit

Agence France Presse (“CHINESE DEFENSE CHIEF DUE IN S.KOREA WEDNESDAY FOR FIVE-DAY VISIT,” Seoul, 1/18/00) reported that ROK defense officials on Tuesday described PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian’s five- day visit which begins January 19 as having a “historic meaning” which will add momentum to the development of military ties. Cha Young-Koo, director general of the ministry’s policy planning bureau, told AFP, “from now on, military cooperation between Seoul and Beijing will be further deepened and broadened.” The Korea Times said Tuesday, “it is particularly heartening to see efforts being made to develop military ties, as China can make a bigger contribution than any other country to easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. The unprecedented visit … should contribute greatly in the long run to cementing peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia as a whole.” The defense ministers are expected to discuss ways of expanding military cooperation and exchanges, including the issue of regularizing the defense chiefs’ talks.

4. Taiwan Elections

Reuters (“CHINA ISSUES PRE-ELECTION WARNING TO TAIWAN,” Beijing, 1/18/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Tuesday warned Taiwan’s future president against declaring independence. Zhu told reporters, “no matter who becomes Taiwan’s leader, it should benefit the development of relations between the two sides and China’s peaceful reunification. It must not lead to a split or Taiwan independence.” Zhu also said, “the Chinese government and people will never tolerate any split or Taiwan independence.”

5. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN LEADER DEFENDS CONTROVERSIAL STATEHOOD CLAIM DESPITE US WARNING,” Taipei, 1/16/00) reported that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui said in a meeting with visiting US senators Tim Hutchinson, Susan Collins, and Michael Enzi on January 16 that Taiwan is an independent state that designates parity and freedom as preconditions for reunification with the PRC. Lee recalled that Taiwan and the PRC had defined the content of “one-China” differently for a long time, “but with the growing Chinese communist influence in the international community, ‘one-China’ has been mistakenly regarded as ‘the People’s Republic of China.’ This is by no means acceptable to us. The Chinese communist authorities must have a clear picture of Taiwan’s history and the ideas of the people here (over the cross-strait relationship).”

The South China Morning Post (Daniel Kwan, “CROSS-STRAIT TALKS BACK ON ‘ONLY WHEN ISLAND TREATED AS EQUAL’,” Taipei, 1/18/00) reported that Su Chi of the Taiwanese Mainland Affairs Council said on January 17 that cross-strait dialogue can only return to normal if the PRC stops harassing Taiwan and treats the island as an equal. Su confirmed the United Daily News report that said that Taiwan would allow foreign vessels to shuttle between Taichung, Taiwan and Meizhou, PRC, after the presidential elections in March, so that Taiwanese pilgrims could pay respect to Matsu – the Goddess of the Sea – on Fujian’s Meizhou island. Su said that the proposal had not been formally approved and the Taiwanese Government had yet to receive applications from commercial operators to operate such routes.

6. PRC-Russian Defense Talks

Reuters (“RUSSIA, CHINA BOOST DEFENSE TIES, BLAST U.S. ON ABM,” Moscow, 1/18/00) reported that a Russian military spokesman said that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian and Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev signed a memorandum on January 17 to boost military ties. They also discussed the PRC’s request to buy more than 30 advanced Sukhoi-30 fighters worth US$2 billion from Russia. The spokesman said, “the two sides found points of accord on the issue and further negotiations will be held at the level of appropriate ministerial departments.” Sergeyev and Chi also criticized US plans to alter the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

7. US-Japan Military Relations

The Asian Wall Street Journal carried an opinion article by Robyn Lim, professor of international relations at Hiroshima Shudo University, Japan, and James E. Auer, director of the US-Japan center at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee (“THE MYTH OF JAPANESE MILITARISM,” 1/18/00) which said that Japan’s increased military role is a reaction to both PRC assertiveness and US inattention to Japanese security concerns. The authors argued, “Japan need not become a major military power with offensive capabilities, but it must show a willingness to share risk with America in defense of common security goals.” They added, “The Clinton administration, focused on economics, has not paid enough heed to Japan’s growing worries about China, which Japan cannot articulate publicly.” They also said that the US has not paid enough attention to the “growing” missile threat to Japan from the DPRK and the PRC. They stated, “Japan’s reaction to Washington’s neglect of its security concerns represents hedging rather than militarism. Its uncharacteristically rapid decision to procure military intelligence satellites of its own would not have occurred without America’s inadequate reaction to the North Korean missile launch.” They added, “If Japan were to declare its right to exercise collective self-defense … it could contribute meaningfully to regional security without developing power- projection capabilities that would rattle the region.” They concluded, “Only on the basis of a reinvigorated alliance between Japan and the U.S. can the two countries hope to manage the rise of China. Beijing needs to get the message that while it is entitled to its place in the sun, unacceptable behavior will incur costs. In that way, Japan and the U.S. can pursue peace through deterrence.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 18, 2000.]

8. US Anti-Missile Test

Gannett News Service (John Omicinski, “SCIENTISTS TO ATTEMPT A STRIKE ON A SIMULATED ENEMY MISSILE,” Washington, 1/18/00) reported that a Raytheon-built 140-pound “kill vehicle,” operating without explosives and aiming for a head-on crash was to seek out a re-entry vehicle to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, aboard a Minuteman rocket between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday. If all went as planned, Hawaii surface radar units and space-based sensors would detect the missile as it rises over the West Coast and signal the Joint National Test Facility in Colorado. A few minutes later, a “kill vehicle” would launch from the Kwajalein Missile Range, 4,300 miles from California.

The Christian Science Monitor (Justin Brown, “‘STAR WARS’ SHIELD THREATENS TREATIES,” Washington, 1/18/00, 2) reported that if successful, Tuesday’s anti-missile text would be the US Department of Defense’s second successful intercept in its development of a national missile-defense system. A US Department of Defense official said that a successful intercept means that it will likely recommend to President Clinton in June that the NMD be deployed. Spurgeon Keeny, the director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, stated, “for a substantial time this would end the reductions of strategic offensive forces [in Russia].” Charles Ferguson of the American Federation of Scientists argued, “North Korea is an absurd reason to make such a high-risk decision. No other country in the world shares the fear that North Korea is an imminent nuclear threat.” Li Bin, a Chinese physicist and nonproliferation expert, said, “even a very small national missile defense would be a threat to Chinese retaliatory ability.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 18, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Activities in the Congo

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yol, “NK IMPORTS URANIUM FROM CONGO; DAILY TELEGRAPH,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Sunday said that the DPRK is secretly acquiring uranium for its nuclear weapons development in exchange for providing military training for Congolese soldiers. The newspaper said that the DPRK had been training Congolese forces for the last several months by sending its troops to Congo. Intelligence officers from the ROK and the US fear that the President of Congo, Laurent Kabila, might have given the rights to access to the largest uranium mine in Congo in return as payment for the military training. One head of a British mining company in Congo said that his staff members have observed DPRK soldiers at Shinkolobwe, a mining town about 100 miles north of Kinshasa, the capital of Congo. Richard Cornwall, a researcher at the South African Institute for Security Studies, said that he knew that DPRK troops were training Congolese, but has was not sure whether they were training soldiers or miners and could only guess on what the DPRK was receiving in return.

2. Alleged Japanese Technology Transfers to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Park Jeong-hoon, “NK ACQUIRES HI-TECH PARTS FROM JAPAN,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that Japanese authorities are investigating the possible acquisition by the DPRK from Japan of a central part of an anti-tank rocket launcher, according to a report from the Japanese newspaper Sankei on Sunday. The newspaper said that Japanese investigators are investigating the Sunbeam Company (closed in 1998), which had allegedly exported anti- tank rocket launchers. Similar devices were found among the recoveries of a DPRK submarine that was sunk by the ROK Navy on the sea of Kangneung, or East Sea, in September 1996. The Sunbeam Company in 1995 exported 3,100 sets of PRG-7 sights to Iran Electronics Industry without a license from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The paper said that Japanese investigators found that the sights of PRG-7 retrieved from sunken DPRK submarine were very similar to the ones manufactured by Sunbeam. The paper said that the Japanese authorities are checking the feasibility of the DPRK acquiring military goods from other “rogue” countries like Iran.

3. Japanese Aid to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yul, “100,000 TONS OF RICE SENT TO NK FROM JAPAN,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that the Japanese news agency Jiji Press reported on Saturday that Japan might have sent 100,000 tons of rice to the DPRK in March 1999. Quoting Japanese foreign affairs ministry officials, Jiji reported that regardless of whether progress was made on the alleged kidnapping of Japanese civilians by the DPRK, Japan is believed to have supplied 100,000 tons of rice to the DPRK through international organizations such as the World Food Program. The report also said that in order to sustain a dialogue, it was necessary for Japan to provide rice to the DPRK. It also added that Japan would give the DPRK rice directly if it can help Japan solve the kidnapping cases.

4. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SEOUL PUSHES ORGANIZERS OF INTER-KOREAN PROJECTS TO PAY IN GOODS INSTEAD OF CASH,” Seoul, 01/18/00) and Joongang Ilbo (“COMMODITIES INSTEAD OF MONEY FOR NK,” Seoul, 01/16/00) reported that, addressing concerns that the DPRK is diverting funds earned through inter-Korean business ventures, the ROK government will pressure businesses to pay their DPRK partners in goods rather than hard cash, officials said. Although the new principle is not compulsory for private firms, the ministry is set to promote it by introducing an incentive system. “The government has yet to decide how strict it would become in restricting cash payments, and will make decisions on a case by case basis,” a senior ministry official said. He noted that there would be no bans on inter-Korean projects for payment reasons, particularly when they are considered of crucial importance.

5. DPRK Nationals in PRC

The Korea Herald (“GROUP DEMANDS DEFECTORS BE GIVEN REFUGEE STATUS,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that an organization representing people who fled from the DPRK before and during the Korean War (1950-53) on Monday asked international organizations to use their influence to ensure that DPRK defectors are recognized as refugees. In a statement, the Central Association of Residents from Five North Korean Provinces also called for the ROK government and political parties to make additional diplomatic approaches to the PRC and Russia to protect escapees from the DPRK. Later in the day, representatives of the group staged a protest rally in front of the PRC Embassy in Myongdong, downtown Seoul.

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha-won, “FOREIGN MINSTER APOLOGIZES FOR 7 DEPORTATION,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that in a statement on Tuesday, ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn apologized on behalf of the government for the repatriation of the 7 DPRK refugees from the PRC. “Although we attempted to help them through various diplomatic efforts, we failed to deliver what the people wanted. As a representative of MOFAT, I deeply apologize,” said Minister Lee. At a press conference, he officially recognized the diplomatic failure of the government in respect to the 7 DPRK refugees, explaining that the refugees have been returned to the DPRK due to the tense and difficult environment of the concerned countries. “The government will not forget the safety of the 7 refugees although they have been forced to return to the north. We will do everything we can to protect them from harm in North Korea,” said Minister Lee. To achieve this, Lee said he would use the diplomatic missions in Pyongyang as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha-won, “UNHCR PROTESTS CHINA ON NK DEFECTORS DEPORTATION,” Seoul, 01/16/00) reported that Sadako Ogata of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), announced on Thursday that UNHCR has protested to the PRC government about the latter’s deportation of 7 DPRK defectors. She said that the UNHCR is very concerned with the PRC government’s decision to send the defectors, even after they were recognized as refugees in accordance with the 1951 refugee agreement, and made protest that the PRC government violated this agreement and other basic human rights principles. Ogata said that UNHCR pleaded with the PRC government and the Russian government and pointed out that the two countries were members of the treaty, which states that a refugee cannot be forcibly expelled to an area where danger and persecution exists. Ogata also urged the DPRK to treat the 7 defectors humanely.

6. PRC Defense Minister’s ROK Visit

The Korea Times (“CHINESE DEFENSE HEAD TO VISIT TO SEOUL TODAY,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian was to arrive in the ROK on Tuesday for a five-day visit at the invitation of his ROK counterpart Cho Seong-tae. Chi, who will be accompanied by 15 high-ranking military personnel, was to visit President Kim Dae-jung immediately after his arrival to convey PRC President Jiang Zemin’s best regards.

7. DPRK 100 won bill

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.KOREANS AVOID USING 100-WON BILLS,” Seoul, 01/18/00) reported that ROK National Intelligence Service said in a report on Monday that DPRK citizens are hesitant to use 100-won bills, the highest denomination banknote in the DPRK. The banknotes are equivalent to most DPRK citizens’ monthly salaries, which range from 80 won to 100 won. They bear a portrait of its late founder, Kim Il-sung, the NIS report said, adding that any damage to the bills might cause political problems. Taking every care not to damage the bills, most DPRK citizens put them in specially-made cloth bags and wear them as necklaces, wiping them with wet towels and ironing them before use, the report said.

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
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Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
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