NAPSNet Daily Report 20 July, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 20 July, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 20, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-20-july-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA MAY RESTART NUCLEAR PROGRAM,” Seoul, 07/18/98) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency South Korea on Saturday accused the US of failing to fulfill its obligations under the 1994 Geneva agreement. The agency stated, “If the agreement is left without any real meaning and the project is delayed, we cannot but reconsider the building of our own nuclear power industry.”

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2. US-ROK Naval Cooperation

The Associated Press (“US NAVY TO HELP SKOREA COMBAT SPIES,” 07/20/98) and United Press International (“US TO SUPPORT S KOREAN SECURITY EFFORTS,” 07/20/98) reported that the US military command in Seoul said Monday that the US Navy will send ships close to the ROK to support efforts to detect DPRK infiltrators. The decision was made last week in a meeting between General John H. Tilelli, commander of US Forces-Korea (USFK), and General Kim Jin-ho, chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff. The USFK said in a statement, “Because of the difficult challenge of detecting North Korean infiltrations and suspected ongoing attempts to send agents into South Korea, the combined South Korea-U.S. operation is considered a prudent measure.” It added that details of the operation would be kept secret.

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3. Alleged DPRK Incursion

The Associated Press (“S. KOREA ENDS N. KOREA SPY MANHUNT,” Seoul, 07/19/98) reported that officials at the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff officials said Sunday that the military had practically ended its manhunt for two DPRK spies who were believed to have infiltrated the east coast. The officials said that small-scale searches by regional land and coast guards will continue, but the massive search has stopped and a dusk-to- dawn curfew in most of the area was lifted on Saturday.

United Press International (“KANGWON PROVINCE TO SEEK COMPENSATION,” Seoul, 07/20/98) reported that Kangwon Province officials said Monday that they plan to seek compensation for commercial losses caused by the recent DPRK spy infiltration’s in the area. The officials said that a motion had already been made on losses due to the DPRK’s 1996 submarine intrusion and that they will present it to the government on Wednesday. The state-run Yonhap news agency reported Monday that sales at local restaurants and fish markets declined when the military began extensive investigations following the discovery of the body of a DPRK agent in Donghae city.

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4. Food Aid for DPRK

United Press International (“CLINTON ORDERS WHEAT PURCHASES,” Washington, 07/20/98) and Reuters (Randall Mikkelsen, “US TO BUY SURPLUS WHEAT, DONATE ABROAD,” Little Rock, 07/19/98) reported that US President Clinton on Saturday ordered the US government to buy more than US$220 million worth of wheat to distribute to countries facing food shortages, including the DPRK. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said the food would be purchased starting this week. Glickman, however, gave no definitive schedule for the food distribution, suggesting that the priority would be placed on maximizing the price effect to aid US farmers. Officials said that shipping the first 80 million bushels of wheat to the targeted countries should take three to four months.

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5. ROK-Russian Spying Row

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “RUSSIA EXPELS FIVE MORE S. KOREANS,” Seoul, 07/19/98) reported that the ROK media said Monday that five more ROK diplomats have been asked to leave Russia. The reports said that Russia has identified the five as “intelligence officials” and demanded their removal without officially declaring each persona non grata. They added that Russia has acknowledged that it has two intelligence officials assigned to its embassy in Seoul, and is asking the ROK to reciprocate by limiting its intelligence agents in Russia to the same number. The Chosun Ilbo quoted one unidentified Russian intelligence source as saying, “We hope that this will be the final step to end the dispute.” The ROK Foreign Ministry refused to confirm the reports.

Reuters (“SEOUL, MOSCOW DISCUSSING INTELLIGENCE STAFFING,” Seoul, 07/19/98) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said Monday that intelligence agencies in the ROK and Russia are talking to each other about an “appropriate balance” of personnel in each country. A ministry statement said, “Intelligence agencies of both countries will make an announcement on the on-going discussions for the appropriate balance of personnel in both countries.”

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6. ROK Labor Unrest

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “S. KOREA LABOR GROUP CALLS STRIKE,” Seoul, 07/20/98) reported that the Confederation of Korean Trade Unions said Monday that metal workers in the auto, shipbuilding, and other industries will begin an indefinite strike on Wednesday. Telephone, subway, and hospital workers will join the walkout the next day. Kim Hyong-man, a spokesman for the confederation, stated, “Our strike this week will continue indefinitely unless the government accepts our demands.” The government said that the walkouts would be illegal.

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7. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

Reuters (“TAIWAN TO RECEIVE 3RD BATCH OF U.S. FRIGATES,” Taipei, 07/20/98) reported that Taiwan defense officials said Monday that Taiwan will take delivery of a third batch of Knox-class frigates from the US to reinforce its second-generation fleet. An unnamed navy officer stated, “We expect the third batch of the Knox-class frigates to be sent here some time next year, and the newly arrived vessels should be able to help build up our second-generation fleet.” He added, “Because the Chinese Communists have not abandoned their threat to invade Taiwan and have persistently expanded their armaments, we need to build up adequate defense forces in order to safeguard ourselves.” He declined to disclose the arrival date of the anti-submarine frigates or the number of the warships Taiwan ordered. The local newspaper United Daily on Monday reported that the US had decided to sell four Knox-class frigates to Taiwan and that the military would take delivery of the ships in September. Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement that, in addition to purchasing arms from other countries, the military had drafted a program to develop major weapons in Taiwan, including long- range radar and anti-tactical ballistic missiles.

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8. Japan-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (“TOP JAPAN, CHINA COMMUNISTS TO MEET,” Beijing, 07/19/98) reported that Tetsuzo Fuwa, the chairman of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), arrived in Beijing Sunday for talks with PRC President Jiang Zemin. Fuwa will reportedly discuss future exchanges between the parties and details of the Japan-US defense cooperation agreement updated last year. Relations between the two parties were severed in 1967 after the Chinese Communist Party condemned the JCP for refusing to accept the primacy of Mao Zedong’s interpretation of communist ideology.

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9. US-Indian Nuclear Talks

Reuters (“INDIA, U.S. TO HOLD NEXT NUCLEAR TALKS IN AUGUST,” New Delhi, 07/20/98), the Associated Press (“LONG WAY TO GO ON U.S.-INDIA NUCLEAR ISSUES: U.S. ENVOY,” New Delhi, 07/20/98) and the Los Angeles Times (Tyler Marshall, “INDIA-PAKISTAN NUCLEAR PROBLEM EASES AS U.S. OFFICIAL ARRIVES FOR TALKS,” Washington, 07/20/98) reported that senior Indian and US officials said on Monday that they had held constructive talks on nuclear disarmament and other issues but needed to continue them in a fourth round in late August in Washington. US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott stated, “We have more work ahead of us, which is why we are looking forward to more talks tomorrow and again late next month.” Indian foreign policy adviser Jaswant Singh called his talks with Talbott “constructive,” but added that few details could be discussed at this early stage. Talbott later had separate meetings with Interior Minister Lal Krishna Advani and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Talbott was due to fly to Islamabad on Tuesday to meet senior Pakistani officials and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Talbott also said that US President Bill Clinton’s proposed trip to South Asia later this year was still under review. One unnamed senior administration official said that unless Talbott receives assurances that Clinton could expect constructive dialogue on key issues in both India and Pakistan, the trip probably would be canceled.

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10. Pakistan Adherence to CTBT

Reuters (John Chalmers, “INDIA, PAKISTAN PLAY NUCLEAR POKER WITH US,” New Delhi, 07/18/98) reported that analysts said that Pakistan’s recent low- key announcement that it had given up its opposition to signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) until India does could be a first step in solving the nuclear standoff in South Asia. Some observers have speculated that when US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott visits Islamabad this week, Pakistan could agree to join the treaty. Commodore Uday Bhaskar, deputy director of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis in New Delhi, stated, “There’s some very astute poker going on to get Pakistan to sign the CTBT.”

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11. Nuclear Weapons Exports to Pakistan

The Associated Press (“MAN CONVICTED FOR NUKE PROGRAM HELP,” Stuttgart, 07/20/98) reported that Ernst Piffl, a German businessman, was convicted Monday of illegally exporting nuclear weapons equipment to Pakistan. A German state court sentenced Piffl to three years and nine months in prison and fined him US$240,000. Prosecutors said that from 1988 to 1993, Piffl exported parts for missiles and equipment for centrifuges used to process uranium.

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12. Russian-Indian Nuclear Cooperation

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA, INDIA SIGN PRELIMINARY PACT FOR NUCLEAR REACTOR SALE,” Moscow, 07/20/98) reported that the ITAR-Tass news agency said that Russia and India signed a preliminary agreement on Monday for the construction of two 1,000-megawatt light water reactors in southern India. The agency said that Monday’s agreement launches the plant’s feasibility study, and final contracts confirming the reactor sales are likely to be signed in the fall.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Allegations by DPRK Defector Hwang

Hwang Jang-yop, former secretary of the DPRK Worker’s Party who defected to the ROK last year, claimed in the August edition of the ‘Monthly Chosun’ that Professor Song Doo-yul of Humboldt University in Germany was a candidate for the DPRK politburo under the name Kim Chul-soo. Professor Song is an influential figure among leftists in the ROK through his book “Inherent Methodology,” which proposes viewing DPRK socialism from the DPRK’s viewpoint. In a security briefing entitled “Truth And Lies In North Korea,” Hwang wrote that the DPRK elected Song as a member to attract ROK students to its cause. The name of Kim Chul-soo was first heard in 1994 at Kim Il-sung’s funeral service as number twenty-three in the DPRK hierarchy, but no identification or explanation was made. Professor Song attempted to return to the ROK under the previous government but security objections would not allow this. Song said that he met Hwang twice in Pyongyang, but that Hwang’s claims are ridiculous. (Chosun Ilbo, “PROFESSOR SONG IS NK POLITBURO MEMBER: HWANG,” 07/20/98)

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2. DPRK Submarine Incident

At the UNC-DPRK meeting at Panmunjom on Thursday, representatives from the DPRK demanded an apology from the ROK over the mini-submarine incident. They said that the submarine was adrift in international waters and ROK forces, instead of rescuing the crew, capsized the submarine and sunk it, forcing the occupants to commit suicide. The DPRK insisted on the return of the submarine as well as the apology. With regard to the armed body found on the east coast, the DPRK claims that this is a fabricated incident by the ROK and that the DPRK has no connection with it at all. This reaction from the DPRK is seen as a swing towards hard-liners, from the more moderate approach taken when the bodies of the nine crew members were returned through Panmunjom and the DPRK promised not to use the incident for political purposes as propaganda. Analysts feel that the recent change is because the military appear to have taken control of this particular incident. The new mood is at loggerheads with ROK demands and a freeze in relations is expected for some time. (Chosun Ilbo, “NK DEMANDS APOLOGY OVER SUBMARINE INCIDENT,” 07/18/98)

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

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

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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