NAPSNet Daily Report 21 December, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 21 December, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 21, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-21-december-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Talks

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN, NORTH KOREA MOVE TO RE-LAUNCH RAPPROCHEMENT TALKS,” Beijing, 12/21/99), the Associated Press (Elaine Kurtenbach, “N. KOREA, JAPAN MULL REPAIRING TIES,” Beijing, 12/21/99), and Reuters (Lee Chyen Yee, “FOCUS-JAPAN, NORTH KOREA MADE HEADWAY ON TIES,” Beijing, 12/21/99) reported that Japanese and DPRK senior foreign ministry officials met on Tuesday for two hours to arrange the date, venue, level of chief delegates and agenda for full-dress rapprochement talks. A Japanese delegation source said that the officials stated their basic positions and were scheduled to meet again on December 22 to work out the details. Earlier in the day at a separate Red Cross meeting, Japan signed an agreement with the DPRK on “humanitarian” cooperation focused on food aid and the alleged abductions of Japanese civilians. According to a joint statement on the agreement, the DPRK will investigate the suspected kidnap victims in exchange for the promise on food aid. A senior Japanese Red Cross official said that Japan has handed a list of the alleged kidnap victims to the DPRK, but the DPRK has only agreed to look for those on the list as “missing people.” The statement said that Japan’s Red Cross will propose to the Japanese government to “start food assistance at the earliest possible time from a humanitarian point of view. The Japanese government for its part has decided to consider the question of food assistance.”

2. Light-Water Reactor Project

Reuters (“N. KOREA NUKE PLANT PROGRESS HINGES ON DISCLOSURE,” Singapore, 12/21/99) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday that it will withhold major components needed to build two DPRK reactors if the DPRK government fails to fully disclose all nuclear material produced in the DPRK prior to the freeze in 1994. IAEA director-general Mohammad el-Baradei said, “they will not get the major components before we are satisfied that we have come to a conclusion or come to closure of the past program.” Baradei said the IAEA had not made progress on this issue of verifying the history of the DPRK’s nuclear program and the pace of the construction of the reactors would depend on the DPRK’s level of cooperation. Baradei also said the IAEA had an inspector on the ground in the DPRK to ensure it complied with the 1994 freeze agreement and was so far satisfied.

3. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

USA Today (Barbara Slavin, “KOREAN MIA TALKS,” 12/21/99, 8) reported that the US Defense Department broke off talks with the DPRK about recovering additional remains of more than 8,000 US soldiers still listed as missing from the Korean War because of the DPRK’s demand for a factory to make clothing for all 5 million DPRK children. Bob Jones, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for POW/MIA affairs, said the DPRK request is “totally inappropriate.” DPRK Lieutenant General Ri Chan-bok raised the request again with Jones in Berlin last week. Frank Metersky of the Chosin Few, a group representing veterans from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, said that US veterans’ organizations are also protesting what they see as “an attempt at diplomatic blackmail.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 21, 1999.]

4. Korean Forced Labor in World War II

Associated Press (“JAPAN REJECTS MONEY FOR S. KOREANS,” Tokyo, 12/21/99) reported that the Kyodo News agency said the Tokyo High Court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit filed by 189 people living in and around Kwangju demanding compensation of up to US$490,000 per person for the ROK nationals forced to work for the Japanese military during World War II. The court said that only the legislature has the power to decide how the government should compensate war victims. The plaintiffs are appealing to the Supreme Court.

5. Japanese Military Spending

Agence France-Presse (“BUDGET RISE SOUGHT TO COVER MISSILE SHIELD,” Tokyo, 12/21/99) reported that according to the December 20 draft budget for Japan’s financial year 2000, spending on the Japanese Self-Defense Agency will go up 0.1 per cent to 4.94 thousand billion yen – the first rise in three years. The increased spending comes partly at the expense of funding for US forces stationed in Japan. Spending on a joint committee to oversee a reduction in US forces’ presence on the southern island of Okinawa will also go up. The Kyodo news agency said that 29.4 billion yen will be earmarked for measures “including the procurement of a missile boat to deal with intrusions of suspicious ships into Japanese territorial waters.” The draft also incorporates two billion yen to promote Japan-US research on a ballistic missile defense system in 2000. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 21, 1999.]

6. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

Agence France Presse (“CHINA’S DRUMBEATING ON TAIWAN SIGN OF WORRY,” Beijing, 12/21/99) reported that analysts said that the PRC’s renewed demand for reunification with Taiwan during this week’s handover of Macao reflects concern among the PRC leadership about Taiwan’s developing democracy and the upcoming presidential election in March. Cheng Ruisheng, senior adviser of the Institute of International Relations in Beijing, said, “Lee Teng-hui (Taiwan’s president) will be gone. We don’t know who the new leader will be, but China wants the new leader, regardless of who he’s going to be, to open up talks with the Chinese government on reunification.” Cheng said he sees a growing sense of urgency in the way the PRC government sees the Taiwan issue. Cheng also said, “the Chinese government has been too patient in the past. They set no deadline for reunifying with Taiwan. But this issue can’t drag on forever. You can see Lee Teng-hui has already abused China’s patience by calling for statehood for Taiwan.” Analysts said that the PRC is concerned that the Taiwanese presidential candidates will use calls for independence and anti-China sentiments to rally support for themselves. Bob Broadfoot, managing director of the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy in Hong Kong, said, “the move towards democratization of Taiwan will complicate reunification, if and when it happens. As long as you have a dictator and an authoritarian regime, you can replace it and say the people like it. But if you have elections, you can’t do that.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK View of Sunshine Policy

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “NORTH KOREAN OFFICIALS RECOGNIZE EFFECT OF SEOUL’S ENGAGEMENT POLICY, REPORT SAYS,” Seoul, 12/21/99) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “NK ACKNOWLEDGES ‘SUNSHINE POLICY’,” Seoul, 12/20/99) reported that some DPRK officials have reacted favorably to the ROK’s “sunshine policy.” DPRK officials have admitted that ROK President Kim Dae-jung “has already done a lot to break away from the anti-Pyongyang policies pursued by his predecessors,” said a recent report on the DPRK, a joint effort of the US-based Monterey Institute of International Studies and Russia’s Institute for Contemporary International Problems. The report said, “North Korean diplomats explained in an ‘off-the-record’ debate that the most valuable thing for Pyongyang is South Korea’s encouraging foreign governments to promote dialogue and forge ties with the North.” It also quoted a DPRK scholar as saying, “with the help of the present South Korean administration, we’ve significantly expanded our relations with a number of countries.” The DPRK delegation said, however, that the DPRK will not acknowledge its satisfaction with the ROK government publicly as this would have a negative impact inside the DPRK and could be exploited by the country’s enemies. [Ed. note: This report was distributed as DPRK Report #21 on December 20.]

2. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N. KOREA PESSIMISTIC ABOUT RESUMING TALKS,” Seoul, 12/21/99) reported that ROK officials said on December 20 that the DPRK has ruled out chances for resuming high-level talks with the ROK before the end of the year, citing the “insincere attitude” of the ROK government. The DPRK government newspaper Tongil Sinbo said in the November 27 edition, “in February, we proposed inter-Korean talks involving officials from the governments, political parties and civic organizations of both sides. As the proposal has been ignored for 10 months, the prospects for dialogue in the remainder of the year are not bright.” The DPRK was referring to its proposal for “epoch-making” talks in Pyongyang in the second half of 1999. “As the South Korean government has refused to accept the preconditions, however, the proposal has gone nowhere,” the newspaper said.

3. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM EXPECTS SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN RELATIONS WITH N.K. NEXT YEAR,” Seoul, 12/20/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on December 19 that he expects relations between the ROK and the DPRK to improve significantly next year. “We can’t say that there has been significant change in inter-Korean relations, but can say that there have been some signs of change,” Kim said in a television program that was broadcast by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) on December 20. Kim said, “we don’t, however, know yet whether the inter-Korean relations would make a significant change or a retreat. But judging from the present situation, it is true that there is a higher possibility that there would be further (positive) changes. I see that next year, there may be a change greater than we expect.”

4. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (“CHARITY GROUP TO SEND EGGS, CLOTHES TO N.K.,” Seoul, 12/21/99) reported that an ROK private charity organization said that it would send five million eggs, 10,000 pairs of jeans, 5,000 sweaters, 54,000 cans of cola and 4,800 bottles of carrot juice, worth a total of 980 million won (US$852,000), to the DPRK on Tuesday. The Movement for the Mutual Assistance of Our Compatriots said that the eggs were bought with funds jointly collected by the National Livestock Cooperatives Federation and the trade union of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation. Manufacturers donated the clothes and beverages. A spokesman for the movement said that a ship carrying the donation will depart from Inchon on Tuesday to bring the goods to the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee. Three officials will ride the ship bound for the DPRK’s western port of Nampo. NLCF Chairman Shin Koo-bum and the movement’s Secretary General Lee Yong-sun will visit Pyongyang late this month to discuss cooperation in livestock and distribution of the relief goods.

III. Russian Federation

1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (“REACTORS WILL BE BUILT IN THE DPRK,” Moscow, 6, 12/16/99) reported that representatives from Japan, the ROK, the European Union and the US on December 15 signed an agreement on delivery of nuclear reactors to the DPRK. The reactors will be built within the next nine years. The meeting took place within the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, embraced 20 countries, and is designed to build two 1000-megawatt nuclear reactors in the DPRK in exchange for its promise to freeze its nuclear program. The project is estimated at US$4.6 billion, with the ROK paying US$3.2 billion, Japan paying US$1 billion, the US paying US$115 million, and the EU paying US$80 million.

2. DPRK-Japan Talks

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (“PYONGYANG-TOKYO CONTACTS,” Moscow, 6, 12/21/99) reported that representatives of the DPRK and Japan resumed normalization talks in Beijing. Red Cross officials from both sides considered “humanitarian” issues, including Japanese food assistance to the DPRK. The task of diplomats from both sides is “to work out a framework for possible talks on establishment of diplomatic relations.”

3. RF-Japanese Relations

Izvestia (Vasiliy Golovnin “MOSCOW MADE ME AN ANTI-SOVIETIST,” Tokyo, 1, 4, 12/16/99) reported on an interview with Minoru Tamba, Japan’s new Ambassador to the RF. Concerning difficulties in RF-Japanese relations, Tamba said he saw “no reasons for pessimism. We still have got a year and the governments of the two countries should exert efforts to carry out the task set concerning territorial dispute to be settled and peace treaty to be signed between them. There are mutual strategic interests between Japan and Russia and of no less importance is the fact that our countries follow the common path of democracy and market economy. We must help Russia, because that obviously in the interests of Japan…. Never before in Tokyo there has been a government that treated Russia as well as the present one. Now Japan is the only country in the world that provides Moscow with credits on a bilateral basis, without any strings attached and to the amount of US$1.5 billion.” Tamba said that during the time of the USSR, diplomats from the two countries “quarreled from morning till evening…. Now we ceased to argue because we have understood that our positions are close on almost all issues, especially in the sphere of preservation of peace and security. That concerns, in particular, the situation in East Asia. Japan believes that the present arrangement for talks on peace settlement in Korean Peninsula with participation of the two Korean states, the US and China cannot bring about a solution to the problem. We suggest expanding that group of countries by including Russia and Japan. It seems to us that Moscow supports this idea.” In regards to the RF and Asia, Tamba said, “I’d like to stress: we invite you to Asia. Without Japan, without other Asian countries Russia will not be able to develop huge spaces of Siberia and its Far East, including by the way Kuril Isles as well…. It’s difficult for you to move West–NATO is there. In the South you are constrained by the zone of Islam proliferation. Therefore, do go to the Far East, move to the Pacific.”

4. RF Military Sales to PRC

Izvestia (“RUSSIA HAS BUILT A DESTROYER FOR CHINA,” Moscow, 3, 12/21/99) reported that the first project 956E destroyer built for export to the PRC order will be transferred to the PRC Navy on December 25. The ceremony will take place at the Severnaya verf [Northern Shipyard] plant in Saint Petersburg. On that day, the PRC flag will be hoisted and border and customs controls will be arranged on board the ship, signifying the new PRC jurisdiction. The destroyer will be manned by PRC crew and is expected to start its trip to the PRC on December 27. According to the contract realization timetable, the RF-made supersonic anti-ship 3M-80E Moskit [Mosquito] missiles, which are the main strike armament of the ship, will be delivered in 2000. Deliveries of Moskit missiles for two other 956E destroyers ordered by the PRC will be done in two shipments in April and October of 2000.

5. Bombing of PRC Embassy

Izvestia’s Vladimir Skosyrev (“THE EMBASSY IS REVENGED,” Moscow, 2, 12/17/99) reported that the US and the PRC reached an agreement on compensation for the damage inflicted by a US missile on the PRC Embassy in Belgrade during the NATO military operation in the former Yugoslavia. The US will pay the PRC US$28 million. The relatives of the dead PRC citizens have already received US$4.5 million in “humanitarian aid.” The PRC in turn will pay the US US$2.87 million for the repair of US buildings damaged during the anti-US demonstrations in Beijing following the incident in Belgrade. In addition, the PRC also insists that those responsible for the missile attack must be severely punished.

6. Macao Handover

Izvestia’s Savenkov (“RE-UNIFICATION CHINESE WAY,” Moscow, 6, 12/20/99) and the Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Aleksandr Zditovetskiy, “RE-UNIFICATION OF MACAO WITH CHINA,” Lisbon, 6, 12/21/99) reported that the rule of Macao was transferred to the PRC on December 19. A special unit of the People’s Liberation Army of the PRC entered Macao on December 20. Macao will be granted the same degree of autonomy as Hong Kong, retaining its “capitalist way of life, economic liberties and judicial system” under the late Deng Xiaoping’s formula of “one country, two systems.” The PRC believes the experience in Hong Kong and Macao will be an attractive example for Taiwan.

7. RF ICBM Test

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (Ilshat Baichurin, “THE PREMIER LAUNCHED AN ICBM,” Moscow, 3, 12/17-23/99, 49(172)) reported that the ninth test launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile “Topol-M” was held on December 14 at 11AM, at the test site in Plesetsk. RF Premier Vladimir Putin and RF Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev were present. The missile hit the target at the Kura site in Kamchatka.

8. RF Strategic Missile Force

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (Sergey Grigoryev, “RUSSIA’S MILITARY POLITICAL TRUMP CARD,” Moscow, 1, 3, 12/17-23/99, #49(172)) carried an interview with Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, Commander-in- Chief of the RF Strategic Missile Force (SMF), who commented on the new draft military doctrine of the RF. Yakovlev said, “for Russia, at least for the next several decades, there will be no alternative to nuclear deterrence. To that end it is necessary to maintain an approximate nuclear force balance between Russia and the USA in quantitative composition and fighting capacity terms at a minimum admissible level.” Yakovlev believes one of the main reasons for this absence of nuclear deterrence is the growing trend of “proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile technologies, buildup of missile troops and increase of the fire range of missile systems in the so-called Third World countries. The lack of precision and nuclear capacities there make chemical and biological weapons the most readily available and efficient type to charge the warheads with. For the first time, potentially dangerous states and alliances enjoy a decisive advantage in conventional forces over the RF.” Yakovlev continued that although the RF Strategic Nuclear Force cannot fully replace its conventional forces, “they can serve as a sure guarantee of deterrence against not only a large-scale aggression, but regional threats as well.” Vladimir Yakovlev admitted that due to financial constraints, more than 70 percent of SMF missiles are beyond their guaranteed terms of service and subject to replacement, and the same can be said about stationary control points and space devices. The number of missiles the SMF is able to produce each year has dropped from 100 in the1980s to ten. Yakovlev described some ways to neutralize those drawbacks and some probable countermeasures in case of the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Yakovlev also said, “the long-term nature of some ‘third’ countries’ plans of development of ballistic missiles of various range and aspiration to possess mass destruction weapons to equip them with create a potential danger to economic and military facilities of Russia and predetermine the urgency of the issue of development of domestic non-strategic Anti-Missile Defense.”

9. RF Parliamentary Elections

Izvestia’s Svetlana Babayeva and Konstantin Katanian (“AT THE CROSS-ROADS,” Moscow, 1, 12/21/99) reported that elections to the RF State Duma were held on December 19. According to the December 20 evening data, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation won 24.22 percent of the votes, “Yedinstvo” (“Unity” or “Bears” due to its official emblem”) won 23.37 percent, “Otechestvo – Vsya Rossiya” [“Fatherland – All Russia” with Yury Luzhkov, Moscow Mayor, and Yevgeniy Primakov, ex-Premier, as its leaders] won 12.64 percent, “Soyuz Pravykh Sil” [“Union of Right Forces” led by Yegor Gaidar, Sergey Kirienko and other “young reformers”] won 8.72 percent, “Yabloko” [“Apple” led by Grigory Yavlinskiy] won 6.13 percent and Zhirinovskiy’s Block won 6.08 percent. Final results are expected by the end of the week.

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

Gee Gee Wong: 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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