NAPSNet Daily Report 18 November, 1997

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 18 November, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 18, 1997, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-18-november-1997/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Four-Party Peace Talks

Reuters (“N.KOREA SEEMS SET FOR 4-PARTY TALKS IN GENEVA,” Washington, 11/17/97), the Associated Press (Harry Dunphy, “TALKS ON KOREA PEACE SET FOR FRIDAY,” Washington, 11/17/97), the New York Times (Tim Weiner “NORTH KOREA CALLED READY FOR TALKS,” Washington, 11/18/97), and the Chicago Tribune (William Neikirk, “ADMINISTRATION HOPEFUL NORTH KOREA WILL PROCEED WITH PEACE TALKS,” Washington, 11/18/97) reported that an anonymous senior US State Department official said in a briefing Monday that a preparatory meeting for four-party peace talks on the Korean Peninsula will be held on Friday at Columbia University. The high-level talks themselves are likely to begin in Geneva in the first half of next month, the official said. He added, “It will be a pretty significant thing that all four countries at a senior level are going to go to Geneva and actually begin what will be a very long and extended set of talks about peace on the Korean Peninsula. We are taking that famous first step in a journey of a thousand miles.” The official stated, “We have gotten very close on some generalized language for an agenda in which the North Korean side agreed to drop their demands” for the withdrawal of US troops from the ROK and a separate peace with the US. He said that the very act of talking about peace talks has reduced tensions on the Korean peninsula, and that further formal negotiations will help “create the framework of confidence that makes such a political move meaningful.” He continued, “The North Koreans, who have the most sealed society in the world, have very little experience in this kind of diplomatic intercourse. The process is a means to bring them into a more normal way to encounter us.”

2. DPRK Famine

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) released a statement (“STATEMENT ON USG TEAM’S VISIT TO NORTH KOREA,” USIA Text, 11/17/97) on the recent visit of a US Government team to the DPRK to assess the food situation there. The statement said: “A U.S. Government assessment team traveled to North Korea from October 25 to November 4, 1997. The team’s visit improved USG understanding of the food crisis in North Korea and provided significant additional access and information on the current food situation. Most importantly, the team found significant evidence that U.S. and other donor humanitarian assistance has made a difference in the lives of the North Korean people, particularly children six and under. The team traveled through North Korea and examined assistance needs and the transparency of aid distribution. The visit was a step forward in the process of assuring greater transparency in monitoring food aid distribution, although more can be done. Even though the team did visit several sites that were not previously open to international relief workers, we regret that there are still some areas of the DPRK that are not currently accessible and therefore we do not have a complete picture of the food crisis. The team visited sites in Pyongyang, North and South Pyongan Provinces, North Hamgyong Province, and Kangwon Province. The team also visited Ryangang Province, a province which had never before been visited by the World Food Program.”

3. DPRK-PRC Economic Cooperation

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (Pichayaporn Utumporn, “THAILAND LOXLEY IN CHINA-N.KOREA FIBER-OPTIC PACT -OFFCLS,” Bangkok, 11/18/97) reported that Jingjai Hanchanlash, First Senior Vice President of the Thailand telecommunications firm Loxley PCL, said that North East Asia Telephone and Telecommunications Company, a DPRK-based subsidiary of Loxley, is set to sign a contract with the PRC government on December 2 for a fiber-optic telephone network. Jingjai said the contract will allow the company to link the DPRK’s Rajin-Sonbong free-trade zone with Jilin in the PRC.

4. ROK National Security Law

United Press International (“S.KOREA WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ANTI-STATE ACTS,” Seoul, 11/18/97) reported that Cho Eung-jo, an ROK university student, was arrested Tuesday by government agents for meeting DPRK citizens and praising the DPRK while attending the 14th World Youth Festival in Cuba in late July. Agents from the National Security Planning Agency arrested her at Seoul’s Kimpo Airport after she arrived from Berlin and charged her with violating the National Security Law. Cho went to Cuba as a member of the university student union Hanchongnyon.

5. ROK Contributions to US Political Campaigns

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article (Robert Parry, “THE GOP’S OWN ASIAN CONNECTION: REV. MOON,” Washington, 11/16/97) which said that while much attention has been focused on the Democratic Party’s campaign contributions from Asian donors, the Republican Party’s relationship with the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his ROK-based Unification Church “has gone virtually unmentioned.” The article stated, “Over the past quarter-century, the 77-year-old Moon has given the U.S. conservative movement sums estimated in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.” Moon finances the conservative Washington Times, one of the capital’s two daily newspapers. The article noted, “he also has invested heavily in building the right’s political infrastructure, from direct-mail outlets to video-production houses, from think tanks to academic centers.” The article said that Moon’s organization recently funneled US$3.5 million to US Christian right leader Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University through “one of Moon’s front groups, the Women’s Federation for World Peace.” The article also stated that Moon’s Insight magazine in 1991 granted a US$5-million contract to Direct Mail Communications, which later did political mailings for conservative causes. In the late 1970s, a congressional investigation tied Moon’s Unification Church to the “Koreagate” influence-buying scheme directed by the ROK’s intelligence service. Moon’s legal representative, Peter Ross, declined to discuss the source of Moon’s money, saying, “Each year, the church retains an independent accounting firm to do a national audit and produce an annual financial statement.” The article said, however, that recent court records in Massachusetts and New York reveal that US$1 million was carried into the US by visiting Unification Church members. According to the sworn affidavit of Nansook Moon, the estranged wife of Moon’s son, Hyo Jin, some of the money was diverted to buy cocaine and “other personal extravagances,” the article said.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Threatens ROK

The DPRK yesterday threatened to blow up the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) building and kill its writers for producing a drama on DPRK life. Radio Pyongyang accused KBS in a commentary of “causing conflict and promoting confrontation, division and war” between ROK and DPRK citizens. The serial drama depicts life in the DPRK ranging from the corruption of party and government officials to the poverty of the people. (Korea Herald, “NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO BLOW UP KBS,” 11/18/97)

2. KEDO Conference

The executive council of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) will convene in Washington November 26 to determine the cost of the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors for the DPRK, an ROK government official said Monday. The ROK, the US, and Japan will first hold consultations on the matter November 24-25 in Washington. The construction of the two nuclear reactors is likely to cost US$5 billion-US$5.3 billion. Once the project cost is fixed, the three countries will begin full-scale negotiations on how to share it, the official said. (Korea Herald, “KEDO COUNCIL TO CONVENE NOVEMBER 26,” 11/18/97)

3. ROK Participation in UN

ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman Lee Kyu-hyung said that ROK Ambassador to Britain Choi Dong-jin on Monday was elected president of the International Maritime Organization, an umbrella organization of the United Nations for issues related to maritime safety and environmental protection. Ambassador Choi is the first ROK citizen to be elected president of a UN umbrella organization. (Korea Herald, “AMB. CHOI DONG-JIN ELECTED IMO PRESIDENT,” 11/18/97)

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.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

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

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

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom.shin@anu.edu.au
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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