NAPSNet Daily Report 18 October, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Development

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA CITES SELF-DEFENSE MISSILES,” Tokyo, 10/17/99) and Pacific Stars and Stripes (Jim Lea, “NK SAYS FOAL EAGLE IS REASON FOR MISSILES,” Osan, 10/19/99, 3) reported that the DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun on Sunday pointed to the planned joint US-ROK military exercises as its reason for developing missiles. The paper said, “Our missile development is self-defense measures to protect ourselves from continued menace of the United States and belongs to our sovereignty.” It added, “The United States also is making a joint military exercise called ‘Foal Eagle’ and also strengthening its military and war-training instigation in the Korean peninsula and its neighboring areas.” It accused the US of merely making gestures toward the DPRK “on the surface,” and warned that a breakout of war was “merely a matter of time.” It stated, “A large invading military force of United States, Japan and South Korea is aiming our republic by assembling it in the Korean peninsula and its neighboring areas.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 18.]

2. Korean War Massacre

The Associated Press (“S. KOREANS PROTEST ALLEGED KILLINGS,” Seoul, 10/16/99) reported that about 1,000 students in Seoul blocked traffic on Saturday by marching along a main downtown boulevard and distributing leaflets to protest the alleged killings of civilians by US forces during the Korean War. Police did not intervene and no clashes were reported during the protest rally and march. The protest was organized by the ROK’s largest student group, Hanchongryon. The protesters also reiterated their demands that the US withdraw its troops from the Korean peninsula and that the ROK abolish its National Security Law.

3. Bombing of PRC Embassy

The South China Morning Post (Simon Macklin, “NATO BOMBED EMBASSY ‘FOR SENDING SIGNALS’,” 10/18/99) reported that the British newspaper Observer said Sunday that NATO removed the PRC Embassy in Belgrade from a list of prohibited targets because it was operating as a rebroadcasting station for the Yugoslav army. The article quoted US and European military sources as saying that the signals gave the embassy an electronic profile that made it a valid target. The signals had previously been broadcast from Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s house, but disappeared for 24 hours when the house was bombed on April 23. When they reappeared, they were coming from the embassy. The newspaper said that it had confirmed the report with three NATO officers: a flight controller in Naples, an intelligence officer monitoring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia, and a senior headquarters officer in Brussels. It speculated that PRC authorities had possibly agreed to help Milosevic in return for information about the US Stealth bomber after one of the planes crashed in Kosovo.

The Associated Press (“NATO DENIES DELIBERATE EMBASSY HIT,” London, 10/17/99) and Reuters (“BRITAIN DENIES CHINESE EMBASSY BOMBED DELIBERATELY,” London, 10/17/99) reported that NATO, British, and US officials on Sunday denied a report that NATO deliberately bombed the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea stated, “The tragic mistake was caused by human error.” Shea said that NATO had heard nothing to change its conclusions since US investigations “made crystal clear there was no deliberate attack.” British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said he knew of “not a single shred of evidence to support this rather wild story.” He stated, “The idea that the United States has been sitting on a good explanation for all these months but sought not to share it is, I’m afraid, a delusion. It was a tragic error. That is the reality of the situation.” US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated, “We have spoken to the Chinese about it many times. I have sent delegations there to deal with them. I myself have spoken to the foreign minister. It is simply not true. Now what the Chinese were doing at that embassy clearly, there is information that they were carrying on intelligence activities, but … – and I want to make this absolutely clear – that that story is wrong.”

4. PRC Unrestricted Warfare Plans

The London Sunday Telegraph (David Harrison and Damien McElroy, “CHINA’S MILITARY PLOTS ‘DIRTY WAR’ AGAINST THE WEST,” 10/17/99, 1) reported that senior members of the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army have recently published a series of books and newspaper articles advocating terrorism, biochemical warfare, environmental damage, and computer viruses in case of war with the West. The officers maintain that the PRC must use such tactics because it cannot hope to match the West’s military power. Colonel Qiao Liang, the author of one of the books, wrote in a full-page newspaper article, “All strong countries make rules, while all rising ones break them and exploit loopholes. Barbarians always rise by breaking the rules of civilized and developed countries, which is what human history is all about.” The authors of a book entitled Unrestricted War said that such a war “surpasses all boundaries and restrictions. It takes non-military forms and military forms, and creates a war on many fronts. It is the war of the future.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 18.]

5. PRC Y2K Readiness

The Associated Press (“CHINA SAYS WEAPONS READY FOR Y2K,” Beijing, 10/17/99) reported that the PRC’s Business Weekly said Sunday that the PRC State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said in a report that computers at the PRC’s weapons and nuclear plants will be free of the millennium bug on New Year’s Day. The report stated, “We can ensure all facilities in the country’s defense sector will be safe and reliable on Jan. 1, 2000.” Last week Lawrence Gershwin, the US Central Intelligence Agency’s national intelligence officer for science and technology, said that the PRC is one of the countries likely to suffer the greatest Y2K-related disruptions.

6. PRC Aid to Taiwan

The Associated Press (“CHINA URGES TAIWAN TO ACCEPT EARTHQUAKE AID,” Beijing, 10/16/99) reported that the PRC’s top Taiwan affairs offices in a statement on Saturday urged Taiwan to allow the PRC government to send experts and aid for the recent earthquake. The statement accused some Taiwanese of distorting facts and spreading rumors in order to weaken ties across the Taiwan Straits. It said, “Blood is thicker than water. No matter what the Taiwan authorities do in the future, the motherland will provide whatever assistance it can to our Taiwan compatriots.”

7. Japanese View of CTBT

Reuters (“JAPAN PM URGES CLINTON TO PUSH TEST BAN TREATY,” Tokyo, 10/18/99) reported that Japanese government spokesman Mikio Aoki said Monday that Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi sent a letter to US President Bill Clinton urging him to do whatever possible to achieve quick ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Obuchi was quoted as saying, “Prompt implementation of the treaty is extremely important to ensure nuclear non-proliferation and promote nuclear disarmament.”

The Associated Press (“JAPAN WORRIED BY TREATY’S DEFEAT,” Washington, 10/16/99) reported that Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ichita Yamamoto met with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Friday and registered his government’s concern over the Senate’s rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). He urged the administration to continue its efforts to persuade Congress to ratify the CTBT, which he called “an important mechanism in the history of arms control.” Albright said that the US takes Japan’s concerns seriously and remains committed to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. She stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that America will ultimately do the right thing and ratify the CTBT.”

8. US Bases on Okinawa

US State Department Spokesman James Foley (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, OCTOBER 15,” USIA Transcript, 10/15/99) said that the US welcomed the results of a vote by the Okinawan Prefectural Congress to move forward on the relocation of Futenma air base. Foley stated, “we look forward to early resolution of the issue which, as you know, is an internal Japanese issue, which we believe will be benefit to both the Japanese and Americans.” He added, “in terms of how quickly this can be translated into the examination of options and the selection of a site is something that probably the Japanese officials are better placed to address.”

9. Pakistan Troop Pullback

The Associated Press (Kathy Gannon, “PAKISTAN TROOPS RETREAT FROM BORDER,” Islamabad, 10/18/99) and Reuters (Scott McDonald, “PAKISTAN STARTS PULLBACK, COMMONWEALTH ACTS,” Islamabad, 10/18/99) reported that Pakistan began pulling troops away from its border with India on Monday following General Pervez Musharraf promise on Sunday of a “unilateral military de-escalation.” Pakistani officials said that the troops were being pulled back only from the international border and not from the Line of Control dividing Kashmir. Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raminder Singh Jassal said in a statement, “It is imperative that Pakistan should cease its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India.” Brijesh Mishra, a top security aid to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, stated, “Tension was not on the international border. It was on the Line of Control.”

10. Pakistan Nuclear Weapons

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, “U.S. NOT ALARMED BY PAKISTAN COUP,” Washington, 10/16/99) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said that the US military considers Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharraf as capable of controlling the country’s nuclear weapons. Bacon stated, “From what we know about Musharraf and his government, in the most fundamental respects we expect them to be careful stewards of their weaponry.” An anonymous senior US defense official said that the US government feels confident in the leadership and competence of Musharraf and those around him. The official added that there was no apparent reason to worry about nuclear control.

11. US-Russian ABM Talks

The Associated Press (Sonya Ross, “U.S., RUSSIA REVIEW NUCLEAR TREATY,” Washington, 10/18/99), Reuters (Caren Bohan, “U.S. OFFERS HELP ON RUSSIA RADAR SITE – NEWSPAPERS,” Washington, 10/18/99), the Los Angeles Times (Art Pine, “U.S. OFFERS RUSSIA PROPOSAL TO RENEGOTIATE MISSILE PACT,” Washington, 10/18/99) The Washington Times (Joyce Howard Price, “ABM TREATY CHANGES PUSHED,” 10/18/99, 1), and the New York Times (Michael R. Gordon, “U.S. SEEKING TO RENEGOTIATE A LANDMARK MISSILE TREATY,” Moscow, 10/17/99, 1) reported that US negotiators have proposed that the US help Russia finish a major radar installation near Irkutsk, Siberia in exchange for Russian agreement on alterations in the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Sunday, “We are very concerned about the development of missile technology, nuclear weapons, by the rogue states and consider that to be a threat to us and to the Russians. They are obviously concerned, as are we, about what the future holds…. We want to work together on dealing with what this major threat is from the rogue states.” However Spurgeon Keeny, president and executive director of the Arms Control Association, argued, “Such a minimal treaty adjustment directed solely at North Korea or the so-called rogue states, an essentially nonexistent threat, doesn’t make sense. The Russians and Chinese cannot believe the U.S. is so terrified of their token capability. This would cost millions and millions of dollars and jeopardize all arms control.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 18.]

Reuters (“COHEN SAYS DISCUSSING PROJECTS WITH RUSSIA,” Sigonella Naval Air Station, Italy, 10/18/99) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen said Monday that the US does not yet have definite plans on defense cooperation projects with Russia. Cohen stated, “I can’t go into specifics because we have been discussing a range of activities with the Russians. We’re looking for ways in which we can cooperate with them, but there have been no definitive proposals.”

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA FEARS US PLANS COULD LEAD TO NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE,” Moscow, 10/18/99) reported that Andrei Nikolayev, a member of the lower house of the Russian Duma, warned that US desires to change the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty could lead to a new arms race. Nikolayev stated, “Such actions, far from helping to cut nuclear arsenals, can trigger their buildup and draw new participants into this process.” Military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer warned, “The U.S. approach might destabilize the international situation and call into question all existing arms treaties between the two countries.”

12. Russian View of CTBT

Reuters (“RUSSIA SEES SERIOUS PROBLEM FROM U.S. NUCLEAR VOTE,” Moscow, 10/17/99) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Saturday that the US failure to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) would cause a serious problem for future weapons talks. The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that Ivanov and Albright both underlined their adherence to the aims of the treaty and pledged to work to bring it into force as soon as possible.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Military’s Influence in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Choi Dong-moo, “NK MILITARY INCREASES INFLUENCE,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that in material given to the ROK National Assembly’s Intelligence Inspection Committee last Friday, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) revealed that the DPRK military is consolidating its hold on top positions within the hierarchy of the DPRK. Deputy head of the People’s Party’s Defense Command, Cho Myong-rok, was confirmed to have taken the number three spot in the government. The NIS said that since July 1996, the second anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s death, high-ranking military officers, bodyguard commander Lee Eul-sul, and chief of staff Kim Yonug-choon have been appointed to the politburo. The moves are interpreted as a reflection of Kim Jong-il’s emphasis on the military within the DPRK’s power structure. The DPRK’s number two man Park Sung- chul and number four Kim Young-ju–Kim Jong-il’s younger brother–were both removed from the politburo in June, while Kae Young-tae is also likely to be purged.

2. DPRK Satellite Broadcast

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “PUBLIC ACCESS TO N.K. BROADCASTS DENIED,” Seoul, 10/18/99) and The Korea Times (“DIRECT ACCESS TO NK TV PROGRAMS TO BE BANNED,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that a top ROK official said that general viewers will not be permitted direct access to the DPRK’s satellite broadcasts for the time being. “The government will not let everyone see the North Korean broadcasts,” ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won said at the parliamentary inspection session on Saturday. “We are considering opening up North Korean satellite broadcasting to general viewers but only gradually, because most of the programs are propagandistic,” Lim added. A ministry spokesman said that Lim’s remarks do not necessarily mean that the government will completely ban people from watching the DPRK’s satellite broadcasts. “People will be able to see the North’s satellite TV programs through major South Korean television networks,” said Shin Eon-sang, the ministry spokesman, noting that their direct access to the DPRK’s satellite broadcasts will be decided in accordance with developments in inter-Korean relations.

3. Agreed Framework

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “AGREED FRAMEWORK EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING N.K.’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM,” Seoul, 10/18/99) reported that five years ago Sunday, the US and the DPRK reached a landmark agreement designed to prevent the DPRK from becoming a nuclear power. As it turned out later, the article said, the so-called Agreed Framework designed in Geneva was the critical device without which the Korean Peninsula might have been thrown into the danger of another all-out war. ROK officials and analysts largely share the view that the agreement has also served as an effective tool to discourage the DPRK from pushing for an ambitious nuclear program. “Although there have been many ups and downs in maintaining the framework, Washington and Pyongyang appear to have faithfully implemented their key commitments,” an ROK government official said. According to reports, the DPRK has recently finished sealing 8,000 spent fuel rods in the nuclear reactor in Yongbyon as promised. Unlike the implementation of its promise on the nuclear program, however, the DPRK has failed to observe other agreements it made with the US in Geneva, including the opening of liaison offices at both capitals. The DPRK has been reluctant to carry out the agreement for fear of possible “contamination” of its people by capitalism. “Nevertheless, the Agreed Framework has been upheld well because the North, above all, has been suspending its nuclear development project,” said an official at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Still, the article said, the Agreed Framework hardly appears free from the threat of being discarded, given that the DPRK refuses to join international treaties to ban nuclear testing and prevent nuclear proliferation. It is against this backdrop that William Perry recently suggested that the Geneva agreement should be supplemented because of its limitations.

4. ROK on DPRK Refugees

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “GOVERNMENT OFFICIALLY OPENS DOORS TO NK REFUGEES,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won announced on October 16 the government’s plan to accept all DPRK defectors who have been staying in other countries. To do so, the ROK government will actively cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as well as the governments of foreign countries where DPRK escapees are staying. In the ROK National Assembly’s probe of the Unification Ministry, Lim said that as hundreds of defectors from the DPRK want to come to the ROK, the government will provide every opportunity for them. The minister’s remarks are the first time the government has publicly stated it will resolve the DPRK refugee problem through direct diplomatic negotiations with foreign countries and official contacts with international organizations such as the UNHCR.

5. ROK Forum on DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “FORUM ON NK INAUGURATED,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that politicians, academics, entrepreneurs, and religious leaders with experience dealing with DPRK issues formed a DPRK Forum on Saturday. The 12 members are politicians Lee Dong-bok (ULD), Park Kwan- yong (GNP), Kim Keun-tae (NCNP); academics Kim Hak-jun (President of Inchon Univ.), Professor Lee Young-sun and Professor Choi Pyong-kil (Yonsei Univ.); government research institutes’ Professor Yoo Seok-ryeol (Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security), and Park Yong-kyu (Korea Institute for National Unification); and Park Jong-hwa (General affairs manager of the Korean Presbyterian Church) , Cho Chang-gul (Chairman of Hansaem), Seo Tae-seok (former executive vice president for Information of the National Defense Ministry), and Professor Kim Seok- chul (Architecture Department of Venice University). Duing Saturday’s inaugural meeting, the party agreed on 3 main topics: to be aware of the DPRK’s situation by accepting various opinions – conservative, moderate, and progressive; to suggest realistic DPRK policies and political counterproposals that can actualize a peaceful unification; and to hold monthly open forums or seminars to represent the people’s voice on determining the main issues and on how to conduct the DPRK-ROK Talks. The Forum will provide balanced and accurate analyses, suggesting various views of the unification problem and the DPRK’s current affairs, to foster greater understanding of the government’s DPRK policies.

6. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yeol, “BOSWORTH INDICATES EXPANDED NOGUEN-RI PROBE,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that the US government’s general approach of the Nogun-ri investigations is based on finding out the truth and seeking complete clarity, emphasized US Ambassador to the ROK Steven Bosworth during an interview with the Chosun Ilbo last Friday. The Ambassador, however, said that it was too early to discuss the matter of compensation. Ambassador Bosworth said that the investigation may result in a lamentable conclusion. He added that the US does not wish to appear to be avoiding any responsibility, but it was important to judge the case within the context of the time in which the Nogun-ri case occurred. Regarding claims that arose after the Associated Press’s initial report, that similar cases occurred in addition to Nogun-ri, Ambassador Bosworth stated that there will be investigations on those cases since there is some credibility to the claims.

Chosun Ilbo (Cho Jung-shik, “NOGEUN-RI INVESTIGATION TO START MONDAY,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that Chung Hae-ju, head of the ROK government’s Nogun-ri working group, announced at a news conference on Friday that he would commence his inquiry into the incident on Monday and start taking the testimony of survivors later on in the week. He said that his team would cooperate with the US investigation, fully sharing information, and would make a joint analysis and announcement at its conclusion. Under the working group is a seventeen-member investigation team comprising police and local government officials, headed up by a policy coordinator from the Ministry of National Defense (MND). Chung said that witness statements and analyses would be jointly assessed with the US and team members may travel to the US to corroborate statements by ex-US servicemen. He added that a Bilateral Coordinating Group (BCG) would be responsible for joint-aspects of the investigation, and that an independent civilian advisory group of historians, military experts, lawyers and former diplomats would also be formed. With regard to other incidents Chung said it would cover these claims and allegations after finishing with the Nogun-ri inquiry.

7. ROK Participation in East Timor Peacekeeping

The Korea Herald (“SOUTH KOREAN TROOPS ARRIVE IN E. TIMOR,” Dili, 10/18/99) and The Korea Times (“S.KOREAN TROOPS ARRIVE IN EAST TIMOR,” Seoul, 10/17/99) reported that the first contingent of ROK troops arrived in East Timor on Saturday as the buildup of troops in the UN-mandated International Force in East Timor continued. The 160 ROK soldiers, who arrived in the eastern city of Baucau from northern Australia, will operate around the Los Palos area. A battalion of ROK soldiers will progressively arrive over the next few days and eventually take over security responsibility for that part of East Timor, Interfet spokesman Colonel Mark Kelly said. In addition representatives from Mozambique visited the headquarters of the Australian-led Interfet on Friday and appear almost certain to join the peacekeeping mission, Kelly said. Filipino and Thai troops are also stationed in the eastern regions of East Timor, well away from the border with Indonesia-ruled West Timor, where Australian, British Gurkha and New Zealand troops are involved in a 3,000-strong operation to quell armed militia activity.

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Timothy L. Savage: 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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