NAPSNet Daily Report 19 September, 2000

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 19 September, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 19, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-19-september-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks
2. IAEA Inspection of KEDO Reactors
3. US-ROK Military Relations
4. DPRK Relations with New Zealand
5. Cross-Strait Relations
6. Effects of Sino-Russian Relations on the US
7. US-ROK Policy on DPRK
8. US Military Strategy in Asia
II. People’s Republic of China 1. PRC Perspective on DPRK-ROK Relations
2. DPRK-ROK Defense Ministers’ Talks
3. Kim Jong-il’s Visit to ROK
4. PRC-Russian Relations
5. PRC View on NMD
6. PRC’s Religious Issue

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

Reuters (“U.S.-NORTH KOREA TALKS SET,” Washington, 9/18/00) reported that t a US official said on September 18 that the DPRK and the US will discuss the DPRK’s missile and nuclear programs and its place on a US list of state sponsors of terrorism in New York this month, negotiating all three subjects at the same forum for the first time. The announcement is expected to be made officially on Tuesday. The official said talks are scheduled to last until September 29 but they could go on longer. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 19, 2000.]

2. IAEA Inspection of KEDO Reactors

Japan Times (“IAEA TO DISCUSS NUCLEAR REACTORS IN NORTH KOREA,” Vienna, 9/18/00) reported that a five-day general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opened on September 18. IAEA participants are expected to seek DPRK’s approval to send a team to the country to inspect the site of two nuclear power reactors being built there by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The international consortium was established under an October 1994 agreement between the DPRK and the US which stipulates that the DPRK accept an inspection deemed necessary by the IAEA before the main parts of the light-water nuclear reactors are set up. IAEA Director General Mohamed el Baradei expressed hope at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors last week that the DPRK “will soon be ready to commence active cooperation with the agency.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 19, 2000.]

3. US-ROK Military Relations

Aviation Week & Space Technology (Robert Wall, “KOREA DETENTE NO BAR TO MILITARY BUYS,” Washington, 9/18/00, P.38) reported that the ROK appears to be sustaining its large military procurement program in spite of the apparent easing of tension between the ROK and the DPRK. US aerospace industry officials note that rather than a weakening in commitment, they have seen the ROK defense ministry accelerate a number of programs. The ROK recently decided to accelerate the purchase of an airborne early warning system. According to the ROK defense ministry, the buy has been moved up two years to 2002. Another industry official said the attack helicopter program is also being accelerated a year. Glenn Baek, research associate at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “It’s not at all surprising. There is still that lingering fear of North Korean intentions.” Market analysts agree. One analyst said that most of the weapons systems the ROK is looking to buy are not focused exclusively on the DPRK, but have more strategic applications to defend against a possible PRC or Japanese threat. One official said that with long-term strategic concerns in mind, the ROK has established a small panel of military experts to review what its military needs might be in a post-unification environment. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 19, 2000.]

Agence France Presse (“KOREAN THAW PUTS PRESSURE ON US MILITARY TIES,” Seoul, 9/19/00) reported that the ROK and the US embarked on intense security talks Tuesday as their military alliance faces new pressures from the reconciliation between the two Koreas. US Defense Secretary William Cohen, accompanied by top military officials, was to fly into Seoul late Tuesday. ROK military officials said they hope the US-ROK security conference from Wednesday will allay any US concerns over the rapid change in inter-Korean relations. A US military official said, “Today’s session was called to coordinate policy ahead of the annual US-South Korea security conference and ensuing inter- Korean military talks.”

4. DPRK Relations with New Zealand

Agence France Presse (“NEW ZEALAND OFFICIALS DUE IN NORTH KOREA FOR TALKS ON TIES,” Wellington, 9/19/00) reported that officials said a delegation of New Zealand officials was due to arrive in the DPRK Tuesday to discuss launching ties between the two countries. Foreign Minister Phil Goff said in a statement Tuesday that the “small delegation” was being led by the foreign ministry’s director of its North Asia division Tony Browne, and would visit the DPRK for four days. Goff said, “The international community needs to encourage this process. We continue to have major concerns in relation to North Korea, including its stance on missile development and human rights. However, along with most of the international community we believe that we can achieve more by engagement than by isolating North Korea.”

5. Cross-Strait Relations

Reuters (“CHINA SIDESTEPS TAIWAN’S OFFER, JOURNAL SLAMS CHEN,” Beijing, 9/19/00) reported that the PRC on Tuesday sidestepped Taiwan’s newest call for talks. In response to Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s call for talks, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said, “The key is upholding the one-China principle.” Sun said any formal reply to Chen’s weekend offer would come from PRC’s Taiwan Affairs Office, which has remained silent so far. However, he said, “We have consistently called for increasing exchanges under the one-China principle and the three direct links was our idea.” A magazine published by the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), PRC’s top negotiating body with the island, criticized Chen’s recent statements on reunification as threatening to bring “unmanageable danger” to Taiwan. The magazine said Chen had chosen a “dangerous option” by saying last month that reunification was not Taiwan’s sole choice. It also said, “The claim that reunification is not the only option means that Taiwan independence is also one of the options, which may bring about unmanageable danger.” The ARATS article accused Chen of preventing Taiwan firms from investing in the mainland, and blocking direct trade, mail and transport services across the straits. Taiwan firms have more than US$40 billion invested on the PRC. It also accused Chen of delaying the stationing of mainland journalists in Taiwan and sabotaging inter-city exchanges between Taiwan’s Kaohsiung and the mainland’s eastern port of Xiamen.

6. Effects of Sino-Russian Relations on the US

Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article by Paula J. Dobriansky, vice president and Washington director of the Council on Foreign Relations, (“BE WARY WHEN THE BEAR SIDES WITH A DRAGON,” 9/18/00) which said a new Sino-Russian international partnership has emerged but few people in the US seem interested or concerned. Dobriansky noted that while the PRC and Russia do not see eye to eye on all issues, they do share several key strategic concerns which should be watched. She said, “Both resent US global dominance and are displeased with what they see as a growing U.S.-led international consensus in favor of humanitarian interventions. Additionally, China and Russia are strongly opposed to U.S. ballistic missile defense efforts, believing that any defense deployment would buttress Washington’s international prowess and make it an even more formidable, hegemonic power.” Dobriansky also pointed about that the PRC views Russia as perhaps the only reliable and relatively low-cost arms supplier while Russia’s willingness to arm them is further proof that it views the alliance with the PRC as a net long-term strategic asset. Essentially, she continues, “the two countries have enough common interests to produce a genuine, albeit limited, strategic partnership.” Dobriansky added that this new partnership between Russia and the PRC “can cause much global mischief.” She wrote, “Sino- Russian efforts can complicate our nonproliferation efforts, exacerbate regional problems in Europe and Asia and make the U.N. Security Council less willing to support U.S. initiatives. More fundamentally, this alliance provides impetus to other countries to oppose U.S. policies.” Dorbriansky noted that while some impetus for the Sino-Russian rapprochement was “fostered by objective shifts in the balance of power, the U.S. has done little to shape or influence these developments. We have neither sought to convince Moscow or Beijing that their anti-U.S. inspired strategic partnership was unnecessary, nor have we tried to make them pay a price for it.” Consequently, she concluded, “for the first time since the Sino-Soviet military clashes of the late 1960s, two of Eurasia’s major military powers stand united in opposition to the United States, ready to counter most of Washington’s international endeavors.” [Ed. note: This opinion article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 19, 2000.]

7. US-ROK Policy on DPRK

Agence France Presse (“US AND SOUTH KOREA COORDINATE POLICY ON NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 9/19/00) reported that official said US and ROK officials held talks on September 18 to coordinate policy on the DPRK ahead of a first meeting between defense ministers from the two Koreas. A US military official said, “The session was called to coordinate policy ahead of an annual US-South Korea security conference and ensuing inter-Korean military talks.” The meeting was attended by ROK Defense Minister Cho Sung-Tae, ROK Vice Foreign Minister Bank Ki-Moon, US ambassador Stephen Bosworth and General Thomas A. Schwartz, commander-in-chief of the 37,000 US forces in the ROK. Meanwhile, Robert Einhorn, US assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation, met his ROK counterpart, Song Min-Soon, Tuesday for a second day of talks on ROK’s missile arsenal.

8. US Military Strategy in Asia

US Department of Defense released a News Briefing of Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen (Aboard USS Germantown, Sembawang Pier, Singapore, 9/17/00) which said US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen promoted US proposals to complement bilateral relations with greater multilateral activities involving the US and Asian countries. Cohen said, “We believe that the Asia- Pacific regional initiative that we have spoken of will be beneficial to all countries in the region [because] the greater the participation, the greater the exchanges, the greater the interoperability, then the chances for having successful humanitarian missions and peacekeeping missions will increase.” Cohen emphasized that enhanced multilateral exercises in Asia would not translate as any diminution or reduction in the bilateral relationship that the US has with any of the nations in the region. He also stressed that the US wants to ensure that the PRC does not interpret the push for multilateral exercises as a strategy for isolating that country, and said that the US has invited the PRC to participate in these multilateral activities. Cohen said, “The Chinese government has made it clear that they would like to have a better relationship with the United States on a military-to-military basis. To the extent that we have a stronger and more positive military-to-military relationship with China, I think that also enhances the strength of the countries in the region with our bilateral relationships, and it makes it more comfortable for all parties concerned to start to look to ways in which there can be greater cooperation.”

II. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC Perspective on DPRK-ROK Relations

The International Studies (Yu Shaohua, “SITUATION ON KOREAN PENINSULA AFTER THE SOUTH-NORTH SUMMIT,” No. 5, 2000) published an article focusing on three issues – the changing DPRK, ROK’s choice in implementing the June Summit Declaration, and policy adjustment of powers. Yu said the DPRK’s changing foreign policy toward neighboring powers and to the ROK since late 1999 is DPRK’s long-term strategic alternative rather than a temporary relief measure. He emphasized that any change in the DPRK’s policy is based on the principles of security and equality. Yu argued that besides being a relatively weaker country than its neighbors, the DPRK will continue to view US’s military deployment in ROK, US-Japan-ROK security cooperation, and the joint military exercises aiming at DPRK as the biggest threat to its security. As long as DPRK feels the threat, it will maintain its military alert and will not declare to give up its missile program. Regarding equity, Yu said one of the obstacles to DRPK-ROK unification is the over-unbalanced power between the two countries. With ROK’s further integration into the international community and economic development after the end of the Cold War, the power gap between the DPRK and ROK has been further expanded. Yu noted that the equality principle played a key role in facilitating the summit. Yu said that it was based on this equality consideration that the DPRK agreed to hold summit talks to try to reduce the powers unsymmetrical intervention and seek an independent way with the ROK to solve this issue. Yu predicted that in the process of implementing the Joint Declaration, the DPRK will seek equal negotiation and dialogue with ROK based on its independent principle and maximize its economic assistance and cooperation to shorten the gap with the ROK to avoid being in a subordinated position.

2. DPRK-ROK Defense Ministers’ Talks

Xinhua News Agency (Gao Haorong, “DPRK, ROK WILL HOLD DEFENSE MINISTERS’ TALKS,” Seoul, 09/15/00) and China Daily (“DPRK, ROK DEFENCE CHIEFS TO MEET,” Seoul, 09/18/00, P10) reported that the DPRK and the ROK have agreed to hold the first talks between their defense ministers that could lead to a further thaw in relations of the two sides. The ROK Defense Ministry spokesperson said, “The historic meeting between defense ministers of the two sides will take place on September 25-26 in the Cheju Island. Cheju was selected as the venue because both countries realized they did not have enough time to complete arrangements for talks in a third country.” However, the ROK declined to reveal its agenda for the talks. According to analysts, the two sides were expected to discuss collaboration in removing hundreds of thousands of landmines planted in the demilitarized zone in order to re-link an inter-Korea railway. In a letter sent to the DPRK on September 15 by the ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae, the ROK proposed to discuss military issues relevant to the construction of Kyongui railway and other issues of common interests like military hot line, military confidence building and easing tension on the Peninsula.

3. Kim Jong-il’s Visit to ROK

China Daily (“DPRK LEADER MAY VISIT ROK NEXT YEAR,” Seoul, 09/14/00, P9) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is expected to travel to the ROK early next year. The Yonhap News Agency on September 13 quoted a government official as saying, “The South and the North have agreed to push for a follow-up summit in the South next spring considering the busy schedules of ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.” The news of the visit came on the third day of a trip to ROK by DPRK envoy Kim Yong-sun, secretary of the DPRK’s Working Party, who had been expected to discuss a visit by DPRK’s leader with ROK officials. Local media said the envoy discussed the issue with Lim Dong-won, ROK’s presidential security adviser and director of the National Intelligence Service, at Cheju island on September 12.

4. PRC-Russian Relations

Xinhua News Agency (Zeng Hu, Wu Zhiqiang, “LI PENG MEETS PUTIN,” 09/13/00) and the People’s Daily (Sun Dongmin, Yu Hongjian, “DEEPEN GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD, STRENGTHEN STRATEGIC COOPERATION,” Moscow, 09/16/00, P.3) reported that Li Peng, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People Congress of the PRC, exchanged views about bilateral relations, international, and regional issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Li said that Sino-Russian strategic partnership is moving forward, and both sides have reached wide consensus on a series of international and regional issues. He stressed that the strategic partnership is the product of the international situations after the end of the Cold War. Li added that he believed the bilateral relations, in the new millennium, will have broader prospects. Echoing Li’s high assessment of PRC- Russian relations, Putin said that Russia and the PRC are preparing for the good neighboring cooperation treaty, which are expected to be signed in 2001. Putin noted that Russia will not change the policies concerning its relations with the PRC. Putin also agreed with Li’s point on the importance of summit meeting among 5 UN Security Council members, which is helpful to improve the UN and the UNSC’s authority and strengthen the UN’s role in dealing with international affairs. Li finished his visit successfully to Moscow and will continue his visit to Russia’s key science and technology and economic center.

5. PRC View on NMD

China Daily (“AMBASSADOR: NMD THREATENS PEACE AND STABILITY,” Geneva, 09/16/00, P1) reported that during a conference on disarmament on September 15, PRC Ambassador Hu Xiaodi warned that the development and deployment of the National Missile Defense (NMD) system will undermine global stability and threaten international peace. Hu said, “Once NMD is deployed, the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (ABM Treaty) will be dead. To seek complete missile defense capable of protecting all a country’s territory is tantamount to seeking unilateral security so as to gain freedom to threaten others. As a result, the threat of nuclear war will loom again and international relations will become turbulent and unstable.” He added that NMD would seriously obstruct arms control and disarmament efforts and could lead to a new arms race. Hu said, “Non-nuclear-weapon states regard nuclear disarmament as the prime prerequisite for them honoring their commitment to stay non-nuclear. As NMD will reverse the process of nuclear disarmament, it will inevitably shake non-proliferation to its foundations.” It this way, NMD will sow mistrust and discord among countries, which will in turn adversely affect their co- operation on non-proliferation, he said, noting that as the missile defense program proceeds other countries will follow suit.

6. PRC’s Religious Issue

China Daily (“ACCUSATIONS ON RELIGION REFUTED,” Washington, 09/16/00, P1) reported that a senior PRC legislator said on September 14 that Chinese people fully enjoy freedom of religion, and accusations made by the US State Department on the situation are groundless. Zeng Jianhui, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of PRC’s National People’s Congress (NPC), made the remarks in response to a report by the US State Department which claimed there was no religious freedom for people in the country. Zeng said, “The freedom of religious beliefs is one of the basic rights of Chinese citizens provided by the Constitution and protected by law.” Zeng said that in 1949, when the PRC was founded, there were only 700,000 Christians but now the number had increased to 10 million. He noted that all five major religions in the PRC had developed over the past few years and followers could conduct religious activities which were protected by law.

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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