NAPSNet Daily Report 19 November, 1997

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 19 November, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 19, 1997,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Aviation Agreement

Agence France-Presse (“HISTORIC HOOKUP IN KOREA,” Seoul, 11/19/97) reported that the ROK Yonhap News Agency said that air traffic controllers from the ROK Taegu control tower and the DPRK capital of Pyongyang talked to one another Wednesday in what will now be a daily hookup. The practice conversations will continue daily until April, when the DPRK is scheduled to open its airspace to foreign civilian airline overflights. The direct communication line was the first non-hot line set up between the two governments.

2. US-Japan Military Cooperation

The DPRK Korean Central News Agency (“CONSPIRACY BETWEEN U.S. AND JAPAN FOR WAR ON KOREAN PENINSULA,” Pyongyang, 11/18/97) reported that the Japanese Mainichi Shimbun on November 14 said that a secret agreement related to the deployment of Japan-based US troops in “case of emergency” on the Korean Peninsula existed between Japan and the United States in 1960. The paper quoted a US State Department document as saying that then Assistant Secretary of State Benson told the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the agreement. The agreement reportedly defined an exception to the existing “system of prior consultation” so that US forces in Japan might make a sortie without consultation with the Japanese government in case of an “emergency” on the Korean Peninsula.

3. US Surveillance of DMZ

PRNewswire (“US ARMY USES C-PHONE H.324 TO SEND LIVE VIDEO IMAGES FROM DMZ IN KOREA,” Wilmington, NC, 11/14/97) reported that C-Phone Corporation announced that the US Army has ordered C-Phone H.324 video phone equipment at various sites along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the ROK. The equipment will be used along the DMZ for surveillance purposes. Lieutenant Colonel Mary Fuller, Product Manager of the Army Small Computer Program, said, “This technology is a real breakthrough because it allows the military to receive such high quality, live video from a foreign zone to any military point on demand.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Presidential Candidates’ on DPRK

The three main presidential candidates unanimously expressed their willingness to pursue an inter-Korean summit addressing a wide range of issues if they win the December 18 presidential election. The three candidates also showed no notable differences in their opinions on additional aid to the DPRK. On Monday, however, opposition candidate Kim Dae-jung sharply criticized the Kim Young-sam administration’s pledge to play a central role in financing the construction of two light-water reactors in the DPRK, while the other two candidates supported the current government’s policies. (Korea Times, “ALL PRESIDENT CANDIDATES PURSUE S-N SUMMIT,” 11/19/97)

2. DPRK Famine

The DPRK is not gripped by a famine but will need substantial food aid next year, according to a US government team that visited the country. Additionally, the US team maintained that the DPRK’s economic decline is the main factor in the crisis, even though the DPRK contends that natural disasters such as drought and floods are to blame, US officials said. The team revised US estimates of the shortfall in the DPRK to between 1.5 million and two million tons of grain needed to meet minimum requirements. The team, which visited the DPRK from October 25 to November 4, included diplomatic officials as well as specialists in agriculture, economics, humanitarian affairs and disease. They visited the DPRK capital and several provinces including Ryangang, where UN monitors had never previously gone. They said that they got an improved understanding of the crisis but had hoped for greater access. They found no evidence of diversion of food aid by the DPRK military. They concluded that the food shortages could not be characterized as a full-scale famine as in some African nations. (Korea Times, “NK NOT SUFFERING FROM FAMINE:US,” 11/19/97)

3. Inter-Korean Aviation Agreement

A telephone hot line linking air traffic controllers between the ROK and the DPRK opened Wednesday. The hot line, the first inter-Korean government-to-government land-based channel of communication, will enable ROK and DPRK traffic controllers to communicate on flights passing through the two Koreas’ flight information regions (FIR), beginning on April 23. (Korea Times, “INTER-KOREAN AVIATION HOTLINE OPENS BETWEEN TAEGU AND PYONGYANG,” 11/19/97)

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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
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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