NAPSNet Daily Report 19 July, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 19 July, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 19, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Detained US Citizen in DPRK

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA TO DEPORT DETAINED US WOMAN,” Seoul, 07/19/99) and Reuters (“N.KOREA SAYS TO DEPORT DETAINED U.S. WOMAN,” Seoul, 07/19/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that Karen Han, a US citizen taken into custody a month ago in the DPRK, will be deported on Tuesday. KCNA said that although Han was arrested on June 17 for a “gross violation” of a DPRK legal order, the DPRK decided to “leniently pardon and deport her in consideration of her frank admission of her misconduct.”

2. DPRK Ship in India

The Associated Press (“CREW OF NORTH KOREAN SHIP ARRESTED,” New Delhi, 07/17/99) reported that, according to the newspaper Indian Express, Indian authorities have arrested Captain Hun Taemin and Chief Officer Kim Sol-ik of a DPRK ship that was detained last month for allegedly carrying equipment to manufacture missiles to Pakistan.

3. PRC-US Cooperation on Taiwan Policy

The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, “CHINA MAY USE FORCE AGAINST TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/19/99) and the Washington Post (John Pomfret, “BEIJING WARNS TAIWAN AGAIN,” Beijing, 07/19/99, A13) reported that, according to the PRC’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, PRC President Jiang Zemin and US President Clinton had a phone conversation on Sunday. Jiang told Clinton that the PRC would not rule out using force to crush independence activism in Taiwan. While saying that the PRC government is committed to peaceful reunification with Taiwan, Jiang added that it “will never sit idle if some people engage in Taiwan independence and foreign forces interfere in China’s reunification cause.” Jiang also warned Clinton that “anti-China forces” in the US should not be allowed to succeed in supporting any bid by Taiwan to declare formal independence from the PRC. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 17.]

The Associated Press (“CLINTON SPEAKS WITH CHINA PRESIDENT,” Washington, 07/19/99) reported that, according to US White House spokesman David Leavy, US President Clinton spoke with PRC President Jiang Zemin for a half hour. Leavy said that Clinton assured Jiang in a telephone call that the US is committed to its “one China” policy despite Taiwan’s hints at moving toward independence. According to Leavy, Clinton reiterated US policy with regard to the PRC and Taiwan and the two leaders also discussed an array of US-PRC issues. Leavy said, “He hoped both sides could maintain a dialogue, and the cross-straits issues could be resolved peacefully.”

4. Alleged PRC Military Exercises

Reuters (Paul Eckert, “CHINA HOLDS ‘MOBILIZATION DRILLS’ OFF TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/17/99) reported that, according to the Hong Kong daily Wen Wei Po, the PRC has held “wartime mobilization drills” in its province facing Taiwan amid a row over the island’s political status. The report said that PRC seamen gathered for the drills, conducted by the Nanjing Military Region off Quanzhou in southeastern Fujian province, and sang, “We will liberate Taiwan.” According to the newspaper, the 12-hour exercise on Friday involved more than 100 civilian vessels preparing for rapid mobilization during wartime. It also said that Su Jing, PRC Deputy Chief of Staff of the Nanjing military region that includes Fujian, watched the drill in the area about 160 km (100 miles) from Taiwan.

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN TRIES TO CALM FEARS ON CHINA FUROR,” Taipei, 07/19/99) and the Los Angeles Times (“TAIWAN DISMISSES REPORTS OF CHINESE MILITARY ACTION,” Taipei, 07/19/99) reported that Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Kung Fan-din on Sunday dismissed reports that the PRC had stepped up military exercises. Kung said that no unusual activity by PRC forces has been seen since Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui made his comments on July 9. However, Kung said that the Taiwan military “doesn’t rule out” the possibility that the PRC might expand already planned exercises to put Taiwan under “military pressure.”

5. Taiwan Policy toward PRC

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, “TAIWAN MAY EYE EXIT FROM CHINA FEUD,” Taipei, 07/17/99) reported that Secretary General Chou Chi-hiang of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said on Saturday that, in response to the PRC’s demand, SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu was preparing an explanation of Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s statement. Chou said that the PRC should not have had such a fierce reaction before hearing from Koo.

The Wall Street Journal (“TAIWAN OFFICIAL SAYS HE IS OPEN TO A POLITICAL DIALOGUE WITH CHINA,” 07/19/99) reported that Su Chi, chairman of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said that Taiwan President Lee Teng- hui’s change in PRC policy is a “tactical move” by Taiwan to prepare itself to talk with the PRC about unification and political issues. Su said, “We are in the process of building the social and economic foundation. Unification has to come after the PRC becomes a democracy, otherwise why should the people of Taiwan embrace a communist system when everybody else is rejecting it?” Su said that Taiwan’s PRC policy itself has not changed. Su said, “The only change is this was done to prepare ourselves for the new stage of political dialogue. It’s just crazy, nobody cares about it, and we have to fight for ourselves. Nobody cares about our needs, and everybody tries to distort our desires.”

6. Analysts View on PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Washington Post carried an analytical article by David Shambaugh, Director of the China Policy program at George Washington University (“TWO CHINAS, BUT ONLY ONE ANSWER,” 07/18/99, B1) which argued that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s statement formally abandoning the “one China” principle is a dangerous provocation at a sensitive time. According to Shambaugh, who is also a non-resident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution, “There is no real alternative for Taiwan but to negotiate its future within a ‘one China’ framework…. [A] ‘two Chinas’ formula is not a viable option, no matter how appealing the right of self-determination might be.” Shambaugh also noted that the current strains in PRC-Taiwan relations offer the opportunity for the US and the PRC to bridge their recent differences and begin to rebuild their relationship. Shambaugh said that the US should make it clear to Taiwan that it still endorses the “one China” principle and that differences must be settled peacefully through direct negotiations between the two sides. He said, “This is not a favor to Beijing or an affront to Taipei. These are core American interests and consistent U.S. policy since the 1972 Shanghai joint communique.” Shambaugh concluded, “The policy task will be to manage–and hopefully narrow–the differences, while collaborating where possible.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 17.]

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “CHINA HAS FEW MILITARY OPTIONS ON TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/19/99) reported that analysts said that the PRC military has few real options to prevent Taiwan’s thoughts of independence. Robert Karniol, Asia correspondent of Jane’s Defense Weekly in Bangkok, said that the seizure of an outlying island was arguably the most probable and realistic scenario. Karniol said, “It has always been on the list of options that are tossed about. It’ll send a chilling message to Taipei. It’s generally thought that the Chinese don’t have the military capability to go toe-to-toe with Taiwan. But the PLA will be able to narrow that and perhaps have a parity within the next five to 10 years.” An unnamed Hong Kong-based Western military analyst said, “I don’t see any realistic scenarios where the use of nuclear weapons is conceivable unless the very survival of the Beijing regime is at stake. If the Chinese have decided that (Taiwan president) Lee Teng-hui has crossed the line in terms of the independence issue, then they’re backed against a wall and it is not an empty threat. It seems that Lee has not crossed that line, so Beijing does rattle its saber and show its teeth, but beyond that there is not much more than it can do.”

7. PRC-US WTO Talks

The Associated Press (John Leicester, “U.S. WANTS MORE CHINA TRADE TALKS,” Beijing, 07/19/99) reported that, according to a US Embassy official in Beijing, US undersecretary of commerce David Aaron will try to persuade the PRC government next week to resume World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. The official said that Aaron will also discuss a range of commercial issues, including hoped-for sales of US nuclear power plant technology. The PRC’s chief World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiator Long Yongtu on Monday said that entry into the WTO would not force the PRC to open its markets all at once. Long stated, “As with other countries, the opening of China’s market, including absorbing foreign capital and imports, is a step-by-step process with conditions. Many people don’t understand what’s happening with the negotiations. They haven’t solidly researched the basics of the WTO. This has led to some misgivings.”

8. Weapons Proliferation

The Associated Press (John Diamond, “CIA: EXPORT CONTROLS SLOW WEAPONS,” Washington, 07/17/99) and the Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “ROGUE NATIONS RELY ON CHINA FOR ARMS PARTS,” 07/17/99, Pg. 1) reported that a semiannual CIA report on developments in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) concluded that the PRC, Russia, and the DPRK are “key suppliers” of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missile systems to other states. The report said, “During the reporting period, Chinese entities provided a variety of missile-related items and assistance to several countries of proliferation concern.” The report also stated that Russian “entities” continued to supply missile-related technology to Iran and other nations. The CIA report said because Western nations tightened controls over goods that could be used for WMD, countries seeking those arms obtained technology and materials from Russia, the PRC, the DPRK, and Eastern Europe. However, the report also said that the PRC improved controls over military-related exports to nations seeking dangerous weapons, although Russia “showed uneven progress” in halting its weapons exports and the DPRK has no constraints on its sales of ballistic missiles and related technology. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 17.]

9. Arms Control

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article by Robert F. Ellsworth, Vice President of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Former Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Michael M. May, Co-director of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and Director Emeritus of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (“AN OVERREACHING U.S. SPURS FEARS WORLDWIDE,” 07/18/99). The article argued that the current Taiwan crisis draws attention to the fact that, in recent years, the US has changed its military posture worldwide from one of defense and deterrence to one of enlargement and offense. The authors said, “The new U.S. strategy is a dynamic one that is increasingly oriented toward fundamental change around the world and backed by military force.” They argued that this strategy forces the PRC and Russia to make difficult choices between their vital national interests and their need for good relations with the US. They said that this strategy also enhanced the value of nuclear weapons in the eyes of PRC and Russia, “because such weapons are the most reliable deterrent against overwhelming U.S. conventional and technological superiority.” The authors wrote, “Given the U.S. expansionist policy, pledges of no-first- use of nuclear weapons cannot be taken by either Russia or the NATO alliance.” They argued that the US must accept definite, geographical limits to US military reach and must work by agreement with the powers concerned when police actions are needed elsewhere. They concluded, “For a nation with a powerful, conventionally invulnerable maritime and air power, in an era of nuclear and other extremely destructive weaponry, working out an international consensus on unilateral military reach is the right strategy.”

10. Nuclear Shipment to Japan

Reuters (“JAPAN PLUTONIUM SHIPMENTS WORRY ASIA,” Hong Kong, 07/19/99) reported that, according to the environmental group Greenpeace on Sunday, shipments of weapons-grade plutonium bound for Japan from Europe may aggravate diplomatic and military tensions in East Asia. Executive director of Greenpeace Japan Sanae Shida said, “With tensions simmering among its neighbors, how can Japan consider sailing this controversial shipment of plutonium through the region? Japan has long sought to become a world leader in nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful conflict resolution. Now its actions may threaten its words.” Greenpeace also urged the PRC, Taiwan, the DPRK, and the ROK to exercise restraint and caution. Two ships carrying the plutonium are due to leave Britain and France within the next few weeks.

11. Kashmir Conflict

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “INDIA SECURES KASHMIR BATTLE ZONES,” Mushkoh Valley, 07/18/99) reported that the Indian army on Sunday announced that two months of fighting with Pakistani-based militants had ended. The Indian army said it had reclaimed three of four battle zones along the cease-fire line in the disputed Kashmir region and said its soldiers would reoccupy the fourth zone, the Mushkoh Valley, by Monday. On Sunday, the Pakistani People’s Party criticized Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said that he had “humiliated and dishonored” the nation and undermined its security by starting “a war which was not politically possible.” The party called on Sharif to resign.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Test

Chosun Ilbo (Park Doo-shik, “NK MOVES MISSILE TO LAUNCH SITE,” Washington, 07/18/99) reported that a Washington Times report on July 16 said that the DPRK has moved its Taepodong-2 missile to a launch site in the east coast. The Times revealed that the US Department of Defense dispatched two spy ships, the “Cobra Gemini” and the “Invincible” to the East Pacific to track the movements of the DPRK missile program. Japanese Defence Agency Director-General Hosei Norota said at a seminar held by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Saturday that the Taepodong-2 missile had a range of 6,000km, meaning it could reach parts of the US, including Alaska and Guam. Norota added that some experts are saying a third missile has been developed. Japan’s Jiji Press previously reported that the DPRK was designing a Taepodong-3 with an increased range up to 8,000km.

The Korea Times (“ROK, JAPAN, US TO MEET OVER N.KOREAN MISSILE DEVELOPMENT,” Seoul, 07/18/99) reported that Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun said on Sunday that Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-Young, and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will hold talks in Singapore around July 26 to discuss the DPRK’s missile development. The report said that the talks will be held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum. They are expected to exchange views on ways to prevent the DPRK’s ballistic missile test and possible countermeasures if a missile is launched, the report said. It will be the second time heads of foreign affairs from the three countries meet over the missile threat since they held a talk in New York in September last year, it said.

2. DPRK Artillery Deployment

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “NK STRENGTHENS FORCES ON WEST COAST,” Seoul, 07/18/99) reported that, according to an unnamed intelligence source, the DPRK has deployed 170mm self-propelled guns with a 50km to 70km range and 240mm rocket launchers along the west coast near the Demilitarized Zone. He said that the DPRK had been moving the rocket launchers to a naval base there since April, but after the exchange of gunfire in July it also began moving the heavy artillery pieces into the area. The DPRK has also newly deployed 20 or so tank and artillery companies along the Pyongyang- Kaesong highway.

3. ROK-US Joint Drill

The Korea Herald (“ROK, U.S. FORCES CONDUCT AMPHIBIOUS LANDING DRILL,” Seoul, 07/17/99) reported that ROK military officials said on Friday that ROK and US troops on Friday began a four-day combined amphibious landing drill on the east coast near Pohang. A combined task force of nearly 1,500 ROK and US sailors and marines are participating in the amphibious operation, which features landing craft, various amphibious assault vehicles, and UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters. ROK and US troops conduct the amphibious drill twice or three times a year. The participating ROK forces are from the 1st ROK Marine Division, Pohang, while the majority of the US units are based in Okinawa. One of the highlights of the operation, a coordinated surface and airborne assault, is scheduled for Saturday at Toksori beach, just north of Pohang.

4. Remains of US Soldiers in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “THIRD MIA TEAM TO GO TO NK,” Seoul, 07/16/99), Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik “UN ARMY REMAINS TEAM HEADED FOR NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/16/99), The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “N.K. REFUSES TO RETURN WAR REMAINS,” Seoul, 07/17/1999), and The Korea Times (“NK SHOWS NO RESPONSE TO UNC CALL FOR DELIVERING REMAINS,” Seoul, 07/16/99) reported that it was announced Friday that the third US excavation team to retrieve the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War, will go to the DPRK as planned at the end of this month, despite the fact that the DPRK is refusing to hand over soldiers remains discovered last month to UN officials. The remains of four bodies were found last May and June by the second excavation team in Oonsan-kun, which is about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. After agreeing in 1996 to joint operations for the identification and removal of the remains of US soldiers killed during the Korean War, the DPRK had handed over one body in 1996, six in 1997, and 22 in 1998.

5. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N. KOREA ACCUSES NIS OF CAUSING DEATH OF CATTLE,” Seoul, 07/19/99) reported that the DPRK recently claimed that almost half of the 699 cattle donated by the Hyundai Group and a Korean- American group had died or are expected to do so soon. Officials also denounced the ROK’s intelligence agency for causing the deaths. A spokesman for the DPRK National Reconciliation Council (NRC) was quoted as saying on Friday, “According to experts caring for the cattle, 246 of first 500 cattle given by Hyundai died along with 39 others sent by a civic group.” The spokesman said in a statement reported by Radio Pyongyang that the autopsy undertaken by veterinary and quarantine authorities showed there was vinyl rope, vinyl sheeting, magnets, fragments of glass, large nails and other things in the dead cattle’s stomachs. Calling the ROK’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) as a “vicious den of savages,” which it alleged manipulated the deaths of the animals, the NRC reiterated its demand that the ROK disband the state intelligence agency. The radio broadcast also asserted that the NIS had a spy among tourists on a tour of a scenic mountain, referring to Min Young-mi. “These facts prove that although the South ostensibly calls for reconciliation and non-governmental cooperation, they are actually inciting antagonism and aggravating confrontation between the two sides,” the statement said.

6. DPRK-ROK Disease Control Cooperation

The Korea Times (“SEOUL SEEKS TO JOIN HANDS WITH PYONGYANG IN ANTI- MALARIA CAMPAIGN,” Seoul, 07/18/99) reported that the ROK is hoping to join with the DPRK to fight against the spread of malaria. An ROK government official said on Saturday that the ROK has proposed, through the World Health Organization, that the DPRK participate in the drive to eliminate the infectious disease. He said that without a joint inter- Korean campaign, malaria cannot be eliminated on the Korean Peninsula. He noted that since many malaria victims live at places near the Demiltarized Zone (DMZ), he surmised that in the DPRK, there are also patients suffering from malaria. If the DPRK accepts the ROK proposal, a joint inter-Korean preventive drive will be conducted. He predicted that the DPRK will respond to the ROK’s call if frozen inter-Korean ties thaw. The official noted that the two Koreas have previously conducted a joint project to exterminate flies deadly to pines thriving in the Mt. Kumgang (Diamond Mountain) region. It was widely reported that malaria had disappeared from the ROK in the 1970s, but a malaria patient was reported in 1993. The number of patients infected with the disease rose to 20 in 1994, 107 in 1995, 356 in 1996, 1,724 in 1997 and 3,932 in 1998. For the first five months of this year, 290 patients were reported, a rise of 28 percent over the same period last year.

7. ROK-Japan Policy Coordination

The Korea Times (“SEOUL, TOKYO BACK BEIJING’S ACCESSION TO WTO,” Seoul, 07/16/99) reported that the leaders of ROK and Japan on Thursday shared the view that the PRC’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is desirable. Chong Wa Dae Spokesman Park Joon-young announced that the consensus was made public on Thursday when ROK President Kim Dae-jung held a “telephone summit” for 25 minutes with Japan’s Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. Park said the two leaders also shared the view that US DPRK Policy Coordinator William Perry should make public his report outlining future US policy toward the DPRK. The spokesman said that Kim and Obuchi also reaffirmed that the three allies–the ROK, the US, and Japan–would take reciprocal action if the DPRK test-fires a missile, but they did not elaborate. Obuchi initiated the telephone conversation by calling Kim to brief him on the outcome of his recent visit to the PRC. Kim informed Obuchi of the results of his recent summit meetings with US President Clinton and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, the spokesman said. Obuchi said he won assurances from PRC President Jiang Zemin that the PRC would convey to the DPRK the allies’ concern over its potential firing of a missile. The Japanese prime minister was quoted as saying that it would be against the best interests of the DPRK to test another missile.

8. Japanese Nuclear Shipment

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “JAPAN TO REFRAIN FROM USING KOREAN ROUTE FOR NUCLEAR FUEL TRANSPORT,” Seoul, 07/17/99) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “JAPAN DROPS PLAN TO SHIP PLUTONIUM VIA KOREA STRAIT,” Seoul, 07/16/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Thursday that Japan has made it clear that it will not consider shipping nuclear fuel through waters near the Korean Strait. “Japan has recently told us that it was not considering using the Korean Strait route for transporting the mixed oxide (MOX),” said Im Hong-jae, deputy director general of the ministry’s International Economic Affairs Bureau. The ROK had expressed deep concern over the scheduled transportation of the nuclear fuel through the Korean Strait, and asked Japan to scrap the shipping plan, the official said. “In response to our request, Japan replied that the Korea Strait would not be considered as a passage route for the shipment,” Im added. The notification of the Korean position was conveyed Thursday by Oh Haeng-kyeom, director general of the bureau, who was visiting Tokyo to join a meeting of the Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation between the ROK and Japan. Oh discussed the controversial issue of MOX–a mixture of plutonium and natural uranium– with Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe, Japanese chief delegate to the meeting and the one responsible for arms control and scientific affairs at the Japanese foreign ministry. “During the discussion, Abe told Oh that his government would inform Seoul of an exact schedule of the shipment at an ‘appropriate time,'” Im said. Abe was quoted as saying that Tokyo would be attentive to the concerns of Korea, noting that MOX is harmless to the human body and that Japan has its own safety measures that meet international standards. A total of 10 tons of MOX are scheduled to be delivered to Japan from France, including 446 kg of plutonium, about 4.5 percent of the total.

9. Korean Residents in Japan

The Korea Times (“JAPAN MAY RELEASE LONG-SERVING KOREAN PRISONER,” Seoul, 07/18/99) reported that the Yonhap News Agency cited the Asahi Shinbum as reporting on Saturday that Japanese judicial authorities are considering releasing on parole a 70-year-old Korean prisoner serving a life sentence for murder. Japanese officials are moving to respond to calls from the public to grant parole to Kim Hee-ro, a Korean resident in Japan, whose crime was committed 31 years ago, Asahi said, quoting justice officials. On February 20, 1968, Kim killed two members of an organized crime ring in Shizuoka who had pressured him to pay off debts. He was captured while trying to flee after a four-day hostage-taking incident at an inn. Kim’s case was seen as an expression of deeply imbedded social discrimination against Korean residents in Japan, and ROK civic groups have been trying to obtain his release for years. In considering his release, the Japanese authorities are apparently taking into account his advanced age and the fact that Park Sam-jung, a Korean Buddhist monk, wished to take care of him. Kim, who had long served in a prison in Kumamoto, was transferred to one in Tokyo last spring, an indication that the parole process had started.

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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

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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