NAPSNet Daily Report 18 May, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 18 May, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 18, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-18-may-1999/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. Inspection of Underground Site

Reuters (“US INSPECTORS THOUGHT TO HAVE LANDED IN N.KOREA,” Seoul, 05/18/99) reported that an unnamed US spokesman said that a team of US technical experts departed Japan on Tuesday morning aboard a military aircraft bound for Pyongyang to inspect the underground construction site in Kumchangri. He said that the aircraft should have landed in Pyongyang by mid-afternoon. The 15-member team was expected to stay in the DPRK for about a week.

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “N.KOREA SEARCHES MAY COME UP EMPTY,” Seoul, 05/18/99) and the International Herald Tribune (Don Kirk, “DUAL PURPOSE IN U.S. TRIP TO PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 05/18/99) reported that many ROK officials, including President Kim Dae-jung, do not expect US inspectors to find anything at the underground site at Kumchangri. Chun Hyon-joon, senior research fellow at the Korean Institute of National Unification, stated, “The cave is vacant. There’s nothing there. It’s only a bargaining chip for the North.” Paek Hak-sun, an analyst at the Sejong Research Institute, said Tuesday, “Allowing the inspection itself indicates that the facility is not nuclear-related. If it were a nuclear facility, North Korea would not have opened it to US inspectors.” He added that, if the inspection allays suspicion over the facility, it would ease an anti-DPRK mood in the US Congress. Yun Duk-min, a DPRK expert at the Institute of Foreign Affairs, argued, “The mission is useful because it helps to contain North Korea’s proliferation program. It has stopped a certain pattern of behavior in North Korea.” Choi Won-ki, DPRK expert at the Unification Research Institute of the Joongang Ilbo newspaper, stated, “The most important thing is they set a precedent for future inspections. Agreement on detail of inspection is more important than anything else. Maybe there will be more inspections of other sites.” Choi Jin-wook at the Korea Institute of National Unification argued, “North Korea’s position has been softer since [the agreement] basically because of the US attitude. The US gave a very strong signal that there’s no concession, they have to look at the site. North Korea took it very seriously. That’s a major factor.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 18.]

2. Food Aid for DPRK

The US Department of Agriculture issued the following press release (“UNITED STATES TO PROVIDE 400,000 TONS OF FOOD TO NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 05/17/99): “Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced today that the United States has agreed to donate 400,000 tons of food to North Korea. The food will be distributed through the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP). ‘Based on reports we have received, the situation in North Korea is desperate. Children and adults are severely malnourished, and the United States clearly has a role to play to help out in this humanitarian effort,’ Glickman said. ‘We have a tremendous surplus of commodities in this country and we are pleased to be a reliable supplier of food. Our efforts help not only the hungry in North Korea, but also American farmers who are suffering from a farm crisis here at home.’ The United States will provide food in response to a WFP appeal for humanitarian food assistance to address the severe food shortages in North Korea. In April, the WFP made an appeal for 585,000 tons of humanitarian food assistance to feed targeted vulnerable groups including children and the elderly in North Korea. The appeal covers the period of July 1999 through June 2000. Other donor countries are expected to help meet the remaining need. J. Brian Atwood, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said, ‘We continue to believe that North Korea faces a major humanitarian emergency. The production shortfall below minimum requirements is believed to be approximately 1.5 million tons this crop year. A recent study by UNICEF, the WFP and European Union indicates malnutrition among children has been a problem for several years, resulting in stunting among more than 62 percent of children. The North Koreans themselves acknowledge increased death rates resulting from the shortage of food. This additional food aid will help support the vulnerable populations.’ The donated commodities will be provided under USDA’s section 416(b) program and USAID’s Title II program under P.L. 480. USDA and USAID will develop the specific mix of commodities in consultation with the WFP and the government of North Korea. The food assistance announced today is in addition to earlier U.S. pledges of food assistance for North Korea.”

3. ROK Labor Unrest

The Associated Press (“KOREAN WORKERS CLASH WITH POLICE, BUT STRIKE ENDS,” Seoul, 05/15/99) reported that hundreds of striking metal workers and students fought with police on Saturday in the second straight day of violent protests. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) declared an end to the four-day strike as of Monday. KCTU head Lee Gap-yong, stated, “For now, we will concentrate our efforts on bringing the government to talks with labor.”

4. ROK Economy

Dow Jones Newswires (“OECD SEES S. KOREA GDP UP 4.5% IN 1999, UP 4.3% IN 2000,” Seoul, 05/18/99) reported that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report Tuesday that the ROK’s gross domestic product should grow by up to 4.5 percent in 1999 and 4.3 percent in 2000. The OECD said that a technical rebound based on inventory adjustment should lead to substantial output gains this year and some narrowing of the ROK’s current-account surplus. The report added, “A sustained expansion in 2000 and beyond will require a stronger recovery of private consumption and investment, which hinges on progress in restructuring the financial and corporate sectors.” It said that unemployment should remain at around 7.5 percent. It stated that the biggest risk to growth in the ROK this year is the potential depreciation of other major Asian currencies.

5. Asian Financial Crisis

Dow Jones Newswires (James T. Areddy, “OECD IS MORE UPBEAT ON ASIAN GROWTH, BUT HAS CONCERNS ABOUT CHINA’S REFORMS,” Hong Kong, 05/18/99) reported that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Tuesday that domestic and external stimulus measures have combined to stabilize several Asian economies and create conditions for their recovery. The report added that reform efforts will become increasingly necessary to ensure a sustained recovery and to make up for waning stimulus measures. It stated, “While conditions appear to be stabilizing in emerging Asia, recovery in most of the economies affected by the crisis will only gather pace next year, and in China growth is projected to slow somewhat although it will remain high.”

The Associated Press (Marcos Calo Medina, “IMF CHIEF PRAISES PROGRESS IN ASIA,” Hong Kong, 05/17/99) reported that Michel Camdessus, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Monday that the worst of Asia’s financial crisis appears to be over. Camdessus stated, “The worst of this crisis is over, but there is still a very heavy agenda of reforms.” He added that markets should be ready for a possible slowdown in the US economy or inflationary pressures there, even though no one is sure yet whether that is about to happen.

6. Japanese Economy

The Los Angeles Times (Mark Magnier, “SUN MAY BE SETTING ON JAPAN’S FISCAL DOMINANCE OVER ASIA,” Tokyo, 05/16/99) reported that economists and financial analysts said that Asia’s dependence on Japan as the engine of economic growth is weakening. The article pointed out that Asian nations such as the ROK and Indonesia have shown signs of recovery from the economic crisis despite continuing recession in Japan. Makoto Ebina, chief economist with Fuji Research Institute, stated, “Today, it’s no longer the case that Japan will lead Asia out. Japan is not contributing these days, but it’s not hurting.” Analysts said that Japanese investments abroad, domestic consumption, and overseas tourism are now less important for other Asian countries. Frederick Au, Hong Kong-based senior vice president of State Street Bank of Boston, stated, “I think the whole relationship, while it has not totally disappeared, has far less influence.” Neil Saker, head of East Asia research with SG Securities Singapore, stated, “Japan’s been languishing for the past seven years and the U.S. growing. The U.S. is now far more important as an export market.”

7. Japanese Involvement in Peace-Keeping Operations

Reuters (“JAPANESE POLICE LOOK AT SECURITY IN EAST TIMOR,” Dili, 05/15/99) reported that a Japanese delegation arrived in East Timor on Saturday to assess the situation ahead of a UN peace-keeping operation. The group included police officers to look at a possible Japanese role in a UN team of unarmed police advisers to monitor security and help prepare for an August 8 vote on independence for the Indonesian territory. Delegation head Sumio Tarui stated, “The Japanese government is considering very seriously how to support the process of the United Nations.” Indonesia has asked Japan, the US, Great Britain, Australia, the Philippines, and Germany to send police ahead of the vote, but Japan has not yet decided if it will agree.

8. Japanese Atrocities in World War II

The Associated Press (“PUBLISHER CANCELS JAPANESE ‘RAPE OF NANKING’ BOOK,” Tokyo, 05/18/99) reported that Japan’s Kashiwashobo Publishing Company said Tuesday that it has canceled plans for a Japanese translation of US author Iris Chang’s “The Rape of Nanking,” which details Japanese World War II atrocities in China. Chang rejected proposed modifications to answer Japanese critics of her book, and the publisher threatened to cancel publication if Chang did not consent to the simultaneous release of “The Nanking Massacre and the Japanese: How to read ‘The Rape of Nanking,'” a Japanese book which challenges her evidence. Instead of Chang’s book, the company said it now plans to publish another book that questions Japanese historians who call the Rape of Nanking a fabrication. Hiraku Haga, a senior editor at Kashiwashobo, said in a statement, “The fundamental cause of the cancellation was that the original book depended heavily on prejudice and misunderstandings and the author’s personal bias.” Chang said on Tuesday that the publisher’s refusal to release her book “has left me saddened and deeply disappointed.” Her US publisher, Basic Books, said that it would begin looking for another Japanese publisher. Basic Book’s John Donatich said in a statement, “The Rape of Nanking is a fine book with important research and impassioned conviction, deserving publication in Japan.”

9. Taiwanese Military Purchases

Agence France-Presse (“NAVAL BASE EXPANSION TO HOUSE NEW DESTROYERS,” 05/18/99) reported that Taiwan’s Independence Evening Post said Monday that Taiwan’s military authorities have approved plans to expand the island’s largest naval base at Tsoying harbor for the acquisition of US-built Aegis destroyers. The expansion would cost an estimated NT$30 billion. After 10 years, the harbor would be 20 meters deeper and have up to four more piers to house vessels with more than 8,000-ton capacity. The paper said, “The plans indicate the navy is already working on the purchase of Aegis class destroyers although the US has not agreed to the arms sales.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 18.]

10. US-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (“FORMER U.S. ENVOY CRITICIZES CHINA,” Taipei, 05/18/99) reported that Winston Lord, former US ambassador to the PRC, on Tuesday accused the PRC of exploiting the NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia to fan anti-US sentiment. Lord said that he believed the Chinese had “every right to grieve and to protest” over the bombing. He called the incident “the single most stupid intelligence mistake I’ve seen in my entire career,” adding that the US should fire some officials in addition to offering the PRC apologies. He added, however, “the Beijing government has exploited the NATO blunder in an extremely provocative, irresponsible and dangerous manner” by describing the bombing as a “criminal, deliberate” attack and by assisting the protesters. He said that he does not believe the US should make concessions to the PRC to mend relations, and he urged the PRC to make more political reforms. Lord stated, “China will either become freer and richer, or repressive and poor. It will not be repressive and richer.”

The London Daily Telegraph (David Rennie and Ben Fenton, “WASHINGTON TELLS CHINA TO BACK OFF OR RISK COLD WAR,” Beijing and Washington, 05/18/99) reported that US Senator John McCain, Republican-Arizona, warned that PRC’s reaction to the NATO bombing of its embassy risks pushing the US and the PRC toward a new Cold War. McCain stated, “They have got to start showing some maturity here and right now, otherwise we are going to end up in confrontation which is in the interests of neither country.” Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll of the Center for Defense Information stated, “There is a demonization of China going on here. I’m not sure who is doing it, but these leaks [of spying allegations] are orchestrated to show China as the yellow peril again. I do not believe that this is either a good idea in the long term nor is it going to help us reach a proper resolution of the situation in Kosovo.” In Beijing, an unnamed Western official stated, “There are signs that the [PRC] policy of engagement with the outside world is under pressure, but we just don’t know.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 18.]

11. PRC Views of Balkan Conflict

The Associated Press (“CHINA: NATO AIRSTRIKES A DISASTER,” Beijing, 05/18/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Tuesday that NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia have killed 1,200 civilians and left 600,000 people homeless. He said that the war has created “the worst humanitarian disaster since World War II.” Zhu said that the RPC demanded that the bombing stop immediately, that Yugoslavia’s sovereignty be respected, and that the “just rights of all ethnic groups” in the region be protected. Zhu also said that the PRC has no plans to resume military exchanges with the US anytime soon and has not altered its demands on the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia.

12. PRC Entrance to WTO

The New York Times (Seth Faison, “AS CHINA STEWS, A U.S. TRADE DEAL FALTERS,” Shanghai, 05/18/99), and the Associated Press (“CHINA HOPES FOR WTO, BUT HAS LIMITS,” Beijing, 05/17/99) reported that Chinese economists said that apparent divisions in the PRC’s leadership over the PRC’s entrance to the World Trade Organization (WTO) are likely to stiffen the PRC’s negotiating position and make agreement difficult in the coming months. PRC Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng said Monday that the PRC had not changed its basic negotiating position, but he emphasized that the PRC would join the trade organization on its own terms. Shi stated, “there is an ultimate limitation on what China can offer. We will never go beyond that limitation in making our commitment.”

13. US Technology Transfers

Defense News (Barbara Opall-Rome, “SKEPTICS SLOW COOPERATION,” Washington, 05/24/99, 4) reported that US Assistant Secretary of Defense John Hamre said that congressional opposition may delay a package of legislative proposals aimed at removing some barriers to international defense trade. Hamre stated, “The climate is skeptical right now, but I’m hoping people don’t adopt a nostalgic, outdated view of security.” Hamre said he was awaiting recommendations from experts assigned to evaluate how to adapt the US export control system to the post-Cold War world. Hamre stated, “We’re not far enough along yet to ask Congress for anything…. We’re at least a half a year away.” He added, “I’m convinced globalization isn’t a choice; it’s an inevitability. We have to deal with it.” However, an unnamed Senate aide argued, “This is not the time to come up here and propose a further weakening of U.S. national security.” He added, “I would expect it of the Commerce Department. I even expect it of [the US State Department], but I’m troubled that these so-called globalization initiatives are coming from the Pentagon.” Joel Johnson, vice president for international affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association, stated, “More people on [Capitol Hill] are beginning to differentiate between the so-called China issue and the generic export control issue. A new consensus is emerging whereby export controls need to be expeditious and not disruptive to reasonable business.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 18.]

14. US-Philippines Military Agreement

Reuters (Ruben Alabastro, “TOP PHILIPPINE CHURCHMAN SLAMS U.S. ACCORD,” Manila, 05/17/99) reported that Philippines Cardinal Jaime Sin on Monday urged the Philippine Senate to reject a proposed new Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US. Sin stated, “The (VFA), as it now stands, must be rejected.” He argued, “This is tantamount to foreign bases in our country…. It is tantamount to practically letting in nuclear arms.” He added, “The VFA reinforces one superpower in its self-appointed role of today’s international police force. That force … can be used arbitrarily. It can be used in naked self-interest.” Senate foreign relations committee chairman Blas Ople in a speech last week backed the agreement, saying, “The Chinese colossus has awakened…. (It) has not only awakened but is belching forth a stream of fire in the direction of the Philippines.” Alex Magno, political science professor at the University of the Philippines, said that the VFA “will help assuage anxieties. It symbolizes the revival of a strategic alliance and the symbolism can deliver an important signal.”

15. Pakistan Nuclear Deterrence

The Associated Press (“ARMY CHIEF: NUCLEAR DETERRENCE HAS ‘SOBERING EFFECT ON THE ENEMY’,” Islamabad, 05/15/99) reported that Pakistan Army Chief Pervaz Musharraf said Saturday that nuclear deterrence alone will not make Pakistan secure. Musharraf said that while “nuclear deterrence in the region will have a sobering effect on the enemy … conventional weapons continue to be the actual tools of war-waging, even in the nuclear era.” He added, “We must build up our conventional forces to deter the adversary’s aggressive designs.” He stated, “We are destined to fight outnumbered with an enemy much larger in size. We can blunt its superiority only through a qualitative edge in our training and dedication.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inspection of Underground Site

Korea Herald (“NK SITE INSPECTORS ARRIVE IN PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 05/18/99) reported that a group of US nuclear and arms-control experts flew into Pyongyang Tuesday to inspect a suspected underground nuclear facility in the DPRK, US Embassy officials in Seoul said. Joel Wit, deputy director for Korean affairs at the US State Department, is leading the 15-odd member US inspection team, which includes officials of the defense and energy departments. “A military plane carrying the US inspection team headed for North Korea after taking off at a US air base in Yokoda, Japan, in the morning,” said Brent Byers, deputy information officer at the embassy. However, he stopped short of elaborating on the details of the inspection team’s itinerary in DPRK. “They will stay there for as long as it takes,” he stated.

2. DPRK Submarines

Chosun Ilbo (“NK SUBS USING JAPANESE TECHNOLOGY,” Seoul, 05/18/99) reported that a Japanese daily said that the DPRK semi-submersible that sunk in seas south of the ROK in December was found to have been constructed with 20 percent of its parts, including its radar, made in Japan. This was confirmed by representatives from Tokyo who had visited ROK and been shown around the vessel. Other equipment included sonar, long range communications gear, and power converters. Officials in Japan are investigating to determine whether the parts breached a law governing the sale of strategic equipment. ROK authorities recovered 762 pieces of 85 types of equipment; 70 pieces of 18 types were made in Japan.

3. Hyundai’s Remittance to DPRK

JoongAng Ilbo (“HYUNDAI TO REMIT 8 MILLION DOLLARS MONTHLY TO NK,” Seoul, 05/18/99) reported that Hyundai will remit US$8 million monthly from June to next February to the DPRK as a payment for the Kumkang Mountain tour. The amount is a reduction from the previous US$25 million per month from last November to May. Hyundai will send US$12 million monthly from next March for 5 years. As a result, the corporation will pay US$942 million dollars by early 2005, and afterwards payment will be concluded through further negotiation. The payment entitles the company to exclusive developing rights for hotels, beaches, hot springs, and golf courses.

III. Russian Federation

1. RF-ROK Relations

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“KIM DAE-JUNG WILL COME TO MOSCOW,” Moscow, 6, 5/18/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will make an official visit to the RF on May 27-30 at RF President Boris Yeltsin’s invitation. The two are to discuss RF-ROK bilateral relations. On Monday, Kim Dae-jung confirmed the ROK’s agreement for a part of the RF’s US$1.7 billion debt to the ROK to be paid back with RF-made submarines. In the past, RF-made tanks and other equipment were used for that purpose. ROK Presidential Advisor on National Security Lim Dong-won said that the issue of compatibility between US-made weapons which are prevailing in the ROK Armed Forces and RF-made weapons will also be discussed during the forthcoming visit.

2. RF-Japan Relations

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“FOREIGN MINISTRY REBUKES RUMORS,” Moscow, 1, 5/13/99) reported that the RF Foreign Ministry said that rumors that the planned visit to Moscow by Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura might be canceled or postponed “are totally groundless.” Preparations for the end-of-May visit are in full swing. The idea that the Balkan crisis could cancel the visit “is ever more absurd considering the fact that the Japanese Minister is to come to Moscow to deal with quite different matters.”

3. RF-PRC Talks in Beijing

Segodnya’s Valeria Sychyova (“A SPECIAL WIDE-RANGE REPRESENTATIVE,” Moscow, 3, 5/12/99) reported that RF Special Presidential Representative Viktor Chernomyrdin returned on May 11 from talks in Beijing with PRC President Jiang Zemin and PRC State Council Chairman Zhu Rongji. Chernomyrdin said that the visit was “planned,” even though the decision to go was taken just a few hours before the visit. Segodnya’s author speculated that the visit could indeed have been planned, but the NATO bombing of PRC Embassy in Belgrade and the resulting PRC protests against the US accelerated the event and affected the agenda. Chernomyrdin obviously sought the PRC’s support of the RF’s positions on Yugoslavia. Concerning a broader scale, Chernomyrdin’s advisor Valentin Sergeyev said that during the talks, leaders of the PRC mentioned its “strategic interaction” with the RF. The parties drew a common conclusion that the US is using NATO to try to subjugate both the European bodies and the UN, and agreed to hold an RF-PRC summit, possibly in October.

4. PRC Embassy Bombing Repercussions

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Pavel Spirin (“CHINA WILL SOLVE PROBLEMS WITH AMERICA WITHOUT RUSSIA,” Moscow, 1, 6, 5/12/99) reported on RF Special Presidential Representative Viktor Chernomyrdin’s visit to Beijing. According to some observers, Chernomyrdin was expected to woo PRC leaders into a more reserved attitude after the NATO attack on the PRC Embassy in Belgrade and to persuade them not to vote against the Yugoslav conflict settlement proposals at the UN. After the talks, the PRC representatives said that the two countries’ positions on the Kosovo problem are similar, but only “to a larger part.” Yury Tavrovsky, a publicist, reported that possibilities of using the Kosovo model in Asia were extensively discussed at the Institute of Eurasian Studies, a think tank attached to the PRC State Council. The discussion participants noted that the key reason for the Balkan operation was the US aspiration to eliminate financial and industrial centers capable of rivaling the US in the 21st century. “US bombs and missiles primarily are aimed at the rising euro, not Milosevic…. Besides the euro, there are other currencies that symbolize economic supersystems competing with the US. In Asia those are the yen and the yuan.” A scenario in Asia could involve a declaration of Taiwan’s independence, the PRC’s “adequate response,” an activation of the machinery of the US-Japan “security treaty” which is “an Asian NATO” to “prevent humanitarian catastrophe,” and then the Yugoslav scenario is staged, especially with US bases situated nearby in Japan, the ROK and on the Pacific isles. Surely the US would hope to avoid nuclear exchanges and to wage a limited conflict with conventional weapons in which the PRC “so far is obviously at a disadvantage.” However, “China today is not Yugoslavia and not even Russia.”

Izvestia’s Boris Vinogradov (“GERMAN CHANCELLOR DID NOT EARN EVEN POLITE SMILES IN CHINA,” Moscow, 4, 5/13/99) reported on German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s visit to the PRC, which was reduced from three days to one and became a “working” one instead of official. His airplane arrived in the Beijing airport almost simultaneously with the coffins containing the remains of PRC journalists killed during the NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. Although Schroeder apologized for the incident, he failed to obtain PRC leaders’ promise not to vote against a draft UN Security Council resolution based on the recently adopted G8 7-point plan. Izvestia’s author concluded that the PRC is turning into a more reliable ally for Milosevic than the RF is.

5. RF-India Tank Deal

Izvestia’s Yury Golotyuk (“‘FLYING TANKS’ WILL LAND IN INDIA,” Moscow, 2, 5/8/99) reported that a delivery of the 3 newest RF-made T-90S gun missile tanks by air to India is scheduled for 5/18/99. They will undergo extensive desert environment tests, encompassing 2000-kilometer total running distance and 150 shots, including 10 with missiles. India apparently is not going to abandon its plan to buy 250 such tanks. One of the reasons is the deployment of 320 Ukraine-made T-80UD tanks by Pakistan. The T-90S was first displayed in Abu Dhabi in 1996. According to Izvestia, at least one regiment in Siberia and one battalion near Moscow are armed with those tanks. In the near future, the number of T-90Ss in the RF Armed Forces “is to increase sharply.”

Segodnya’s Oleg Odnokolenko (“TANKS LEARN TO FLY,” Moscow, 2, 6/5/99) reported details on the RF-India tank arrangements. In particular, the RF is ready to sell not only its T-90S tanks to India, but a license to produce them there. In the RF those tanks, as different from the predecessors, are produced exclusively from local components, with even the iron ore extracted from a mountain not far from the plant. The combat experiences of the war in Chechnya have been taken into account, and in the world today there are no means guaranteed to penetrate its armor. When it feels itself being caught in an enemy’s sights, the tank automatically emits an aerosol cloud. Its fire range is 2 kilometers longer than that of foreign ones. The tank plant situated in the Urals is ready to start producing 1500 T-90Ss annually on a very short notice.

6. US Intelligence Activities near RF

Izvestia’s Andrey Nekrasov (“RUSSIA SURROUNDED BY INTELLIGENCE CIRCLE,” Moscow, 2, 5/15/99) reported that during a routine patrol mission on May 14, an anti-submarine airplane of the RF Navy in the Far East detected a US Los Angeles type multifunctional submarine collecting intelligence data some 60 miles off the RF coastline. Submarines of that type are armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, which are being used by NATO in Yugoslavia. After the submarine realized it had been detected, it left the control zone. RF Air Force and RF Missile Air Defense Headquarters told the newspaper that these days US reconnaissance airplanes “have been building up their presence in the direct proximity of the naval bases of the RF Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky. Primarily Orion type airplanes monitor Russian submarines’ movement.” Foreign intelligence activities, including those of Poland and Sweden near the Western borders of the RF, were also reported.

7. RF-US Relations

Segodnya (“RUSSIANS FOR STRENGTHENING RELATIONS WITH THE USA,” Moscow, 2, 5/8/99) reported that according to polls held by the Public Opinion Foundation, 71 percent of Russians believe the RF depends on the West “too much,” while two month prior to the conflict in Yugoslavia 75 percent thought so. More than half presently believe that RF-US relations have deteriorated over the past year, while in January the number was 33 percent. Today 59 percent are in favor of an improvement in relations, while in January the number was 63 percent.

8. RF Nuclear Doctrine

Segodnya’s Pavel Felgengauer (“A LIMITED NUCLEAR WAR? WHY NOT!” Moscow, 1, 2, 5/6/99) reported that, although the recent RF Security Council session, which dealt in particular with “non- strategic nuclear weapons,” was held in secrecy, “there are weighty reasons to suppose that the matter might concern the beginning of works on a new generation of nuclear weapons within the framework of a program long proposed by Minaton [the Ministry of Atomic Energy].” A radical modernization of both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons was proposed with the aim of “making a nuclear war principally possible.” As early as 1996, RF Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov discussed the main particulars of the program in the public press. While for many decades the Soviets tried to produce more and more powerful bombs, trying at the same time to reduce their weight, the new generation weapons are to be 1,000 times weaker than the Hiroshima bomb. The idea is to create up to 10,000 such units “to counter the NATO expansion to the East.” Also, the ICBM warheads are to be made “re-programmable” with an option to make them thousands of time weaker. In Mikhailov’s words, the goal is “to change the perception of nuclear weapons as mass destruction weapons.” The ability to deliver “pinpoint” super-low-yield nuclear strikes anywhere in the world is needed. Supposedly, use of such weapons would not provoke an immediate global nuclear war. If they did, however, the strategic warhead could be quickly “re-programmed” back to megatons. According to Mikhailov, “technically it is possible…. Minatom can solve that problem without additional nuclear tests and large expenditure.” Segodnya’s author concluded that for several years RF leaders were afraid of even a limited nuclear war, but now “the NATO strikes against Yugoslavia obviously helped Minatom to finally get an official sanction to start a practical realization of its plans.”

9. RF Missile Air Defense Complex

Izvestia (“TESTS OF THE NEWEST S-400 MISSILE AIR DEFENSE COMPLEX ARE CLOSE TO COMPLETION IN RUSSIA,” Moscow, 1, 5/18/99) reported that at Kapustin Yar testing ground the tests of the newest S-400 “Triumph” missile air defense complex are close to completion. The RF Defense Ministry disclosed that the first S-400s will arrive at the Moscow Air Force and Missile Air Defense Region for tests to be done by the troops in the fourth quarter this year. The supposed efficiency of the S-400 is 2.5 times higher than its predecessor, the S-300. Its principal feature is the ability “to efficiently destroy the previously unreachable AWACS type airplanes.” It is expected that missiles out of S-400 complex will become the main long-range weapon of RF combat airplanes.

10. RF Far Eastern Ammunition Stockpiles

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Ekaterina Grafinchikova (“THREE HUNDRED TONS OF NOBODY’S SHELLS,” Moscow, 2, 5/13/99) reported that the police in RF Primorskiy Area have encountered a number of crimes with explosives usage involved. Recently about 300 tons of unregistered artillery shells were discovered at a pier in the port of Vladivostok.

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