NAPSNet Daily Report 21 February, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 21 February, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 21, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-21-february-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-Japan Summit
2. Alleged PRC Aid to Iraq
3. Russia-PRC Talks
II. Republic of Korea 1. US Korean Policy
III. Russian Federation 1. DPRK-ROK Summit
2. DPRK Leader’s Birthday
3. RF-ROK Summit
4. RF-PRC Military Cooperation
5. RF-PRC Economic Cooperation
6. RF Migration from PRC
7. RF-Taiwan Relations
8. RF-US-Taiwan Nuclear Waste Deal
9. Alleged RF Violation of Japanese Airspace
10. Japanese Political Situation
11. RF Arms Exports
12. Alleged RF Proliferation

I. United States

1. US-Japan Summit

Reuters (“U.S.-JAPAN SUMMIT POSTPONED, OPPORTUNITY LOST,” Tokyo, 2/21/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said Wednesday that he would delay a visit to the US to meet US President George W. Bush. Mori said that an early March visit was difficult as it would conflict with the expected passage of next year’s budget through parliament’s Lower House. Japanese media said that Japan and the US had hoped to arrange a summit meeting on the first weekend in March, before a March 7 meeting between Bush and ROK President Kim Dae-jung. Analysts said that a summit was needed to discuss not only the accident, but the future of the bilateral relationship. Takehiko Yamamoto, a political science professor at Waseda University, said, “We’re at a turning point in how to manage US-Japan relations.”

2. Alleged PRC Aid to Iraq

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Thomas E. Ricks, “US TO PROTEST CHINA’S AID ON IRAQ’S ANTI- AIRCRAFT SYSTEM,” 2/21/01) reported that US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said in an interview on Tuesday that the US plans to protest PRC assistance to Iraqi anti-aircraft systems and to urge the PRC to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding sanctions on Iraq. Rice said, “We’re concerned about the apparent involvement of the Chinese with fiber-optics. Under the sanctions regime, there appears to be a problem.” Bush administration officials suggested that the PRC aid to Iraq appeared to breach UN sanctions, but stopped short of directly accusing the PRC of violations. US State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher said Tuesday, “Obviously we’re very concerned about reports that Chinese have provided assistance to the Iraqis regarding their air defense network. We’ve asked the Chinese government to look into this matter. We’re awaiting their response. We’ve had consultations with the Chinese regarding the importance of compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions.” One US expert who has held extensive talks with top PRC officials in recent months said, “Chinese disarmament experts … have always made clear their willingness to engage in lateral escalation or proliferation to send messages of unhappiness, including over Taiwan. It is essentially the stratagem of a comparatively weak state like China…. Another way to look at it is that [it] gives China a way to put a fishhook in the Americans’ skin and pull on it until we agree to talk about issues that bother Beijing. This way the Chinese patch up relations with Saddam [Hussein], who represents another limiting force on global American power in China’s view. The PLA may also benefit from learning how to harden air defenses for its own systems, including opposite Taiwan.” Bush administration insiders differed on whether the PRC aid to the Iraqi anti-aircraft system would make Bush more likely to decide to sell high-tech Aegis warships to Taiwan. One Asian expert in the administration said that while the PRC help to Iraq would be a concern, “I don’t think it would be linked to Taiwan arms sales.” However, another official noted that the aid to Iraq would influence the tone of the discussion within the US government in the coming weeks and almost certainly would boost congressional support of any arms sales to Taiwan. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 21, 2001.]

Reuters (“CLAIMS CHINA AIDING IRAQ A DIVERSION, SAYS BEIJING,” Beijing, 2/21/01) reported that the PRC said on Wednesday that reports that PRC workers were helping Iraq repair air defenses in violation of UN sanctions were an attempt to divert opinion from US and British strikes against Iraq. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “We made our stance clear: That any effort to mislead the public and divert public attention is futile. There is nothing more to add.”

Reuters (“IRAQ DENIES CHINESE HELP TO IMPROVE AIR DEFENSE,” Baghdad, 2/21/01) reported that Iraq on Wednesday dismissed reports that PRC workers are helping Iraq install new underground fiber-optic cables to improve Iraq’s air defense. The official Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted Under Secretary of Communications and Transport Jameel Ibrahim as saying, “There are no Chinese experts working on the Iraqi communications or any foreign experts and this can be verified by the Chinese government.” A senior US defense official confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday that initial reports by the Washington Post were true. However, Ibrahim said, “All the contracts for communications signed by Iraq under all the phases of the oil-for-food program are still on hold … the contracts cover all civil communications means including fiber-optic. These systems have nothing to do with air defense systems or any military installations.”

Agence France Presse (“WASHINGTON TO ALLOW LEE VISIT TO U.S., SAID TAIWAN FOREIGN MINISTER,” Taipei, 2/21/01) reported that Taiwan Foreign Minister Tien Hung-mao said on Wednesday that the US had hinted that it would not stop the island’s former president Lee Teng-hui from visiting the US, despite protests by the PRC. Tien said, “Over the past few months, we have been repeatedly told by Washington that Lee is simply a civilian, and that they don’t have any law to prohibit him from visiting the United States.”

3. Russia-PRC Talks

Reuters (“RUSSIA, CHINA DISCUSS MISSILE SHIELD, SUMMIT PLAN,” Moscow, 2/21/01) reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Russia and the PRC on Tuesday discussed coordinated opposition to a mooted US missile defense shield and plans for a summit this year. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov talked on the telephone to PRC Foreign Affairs Minister Tang Jiaxuan about the countries’ shared commitment to the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), on the same day that Russia discussed fears with visiting NATO Secretary General George Robertson that the planned US shield could wreck the pact. The statement said, “(Both) sides confirmed the firmness of their positions towards preserving and strengthening the 1972 ABM agreement as the cornerstone for supporting global strategic stability. Worries were expressed in connection with U.S. plans to develop a national anti- ballistic missile (system). They agreed that Russia and China will more closely coordinate their positions regarding START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)-ABM.” The statement said that the two countries also placed major importance on a planned trip by PRC president Jiang Zemin to Russia this year. The statement said that the ministers also condemned last week’s bombing of targets south of Baghdad by US and British planes as harmful to efforts to reestablish cooperation between the United Nations and Iraq.

Agence France Presse (“RUSSIA, CHINA HIGHLIGHT JOINT SECURITY CONCERNS,” Moscow, 2/21/01) reported that Russian and PRC defense officials highlighted common interests and concerns over international security on Wednesday as PRC General Zhang Wannian, vice-chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission, and Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev held talks on Wednesday. Zhang said that the PRC and Russia had “common positions on Kosovo and the anti-missile defense problem.” The ITAR-TASS reported him as saying, “The strategic partnership and interaction of our two countries is moving forward successfully.” Sergeyev said that close relations with the PRC were “one of the main priorities of Russian policy.” He added that Russia understands “the importance of cooperation with China not only for bilateral relations but also for international security.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Korean Policy

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “U.S. EXPERTS ON KOREAN AFFAIRS VISIT SEOUL TO DISCUSS N. KOREA,” 2/21/01) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that many US experts in Korean affairs are rushing to visit the ROK to study the possible changes in inter-Korean relations following the inauguration of the US President George W. Bush administration. The experts plan to attend various seminars on relations between the ROK and the new US administration and meet ROK officials to discuss issues on the DPRK this week. One of the prominent US visitors is Stanley Roth, former US assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, who arrive in Seoul on Wednesday. Edwin Feulner, president of the US Heritage Foundation, Douglas Paal, head of the private Asia-Pacific Policy Center (AAPC), and Professor Robert Scalapino of the University of California at Berkeley were among the other experts in Seoul to attend a seminar on the Bush administration’s policy on the Korean Peninsula slated to open Wednesday. An ROK ministry official said that some of the US visitors would meet ROK officials, including Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn, to exchange views on US President George W. Bush’s Korea policy. The private US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) plans to dispatch a task force team to the ROK early next week reportedly to draw up its report on the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 21, 2001.]

III. Russian Federation

1. DPRK-ROK Summit Izvestia (“VISIT POSTPONED,” Moscow, 7, 02/15/01) reported that the ROK Presidential Press Service said that reports that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il would visit the ROK early this week were not true, because ROK President Kim Dae-jung was going to be on an official visit to US at that time, and that actually it might take place on February 23.

2. DPRK Leader’s Birthday

Ekaterina Vykhukholeva of Izvestia (“NATION’S COMPUTER,” Moscow, 1, 02/16/01) reported, “The DPRK today solemnly celebrates its beloved leader Kim Jong-il’s birthday.” She added, “from now on the nation’s father will personally command the North Korean Internet, as well as mobile phone and paging communications.” The DPRK Government has forbidden cellular phones, pagers and the Internet. Because prior to that Internet was neither permitted, nor banned, some semi-legal providers had been operating in the DPRK for several years. Yet, DPRK has not fallen out from virtual space. Kim Jong-il himself is known to love cyberspace surfing. His most advanced computer is switched into the WWW via a maximum speed channel.

Gennadiy Charodeyev of Izvestia (“THE LODE-STAR IS SHINING,” Moscow, 8, 02/17/01) reported that the DPRK celebrated its leader Kim Jong-il’s 59th birthday on February 16. Officially he was born in an anti-Japanese guerilla camp, yet unofficial version claims the event took place in a village of Vyatskoye 70 kilometers from Khabarovsk, USSR. Izvestia’s author narrated Kim Jong-il’s brief biography, mentioning his more than 120 foreign and DPRK awards and titles. He admitted that he had stopped smoking, but did not abstain from wine. Izvestia’s author described mass manifestations and other birthday-related events in DPRK, including visits to Pyongyang by “foreign compatriots” from the PRC, Japan, the RF and other countries.

3. RF-ROK Summit

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Mikhailov (“KOREAN THEOREM,” Moscow, 2, 02/21/01) reported that a central issue to be discussed during RF President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the ROK next week were to be the subject of payments of debts owed by the USSR. “In the same way as in Germany and Austria, Moscow wants to propose a non-standard option…. Sources in the South Korean Government assert that a conversion scheme might consist of implementation of joint investment projects in North Korea.” The USSR borrowed US$1.7 billion from the ROK in 1989-1991.

4. RF-PRC Military Cooperation

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Chudodeyev (“STRATEGIC SECRETS OF ‘BROTHERS FOREVER’,” Moscow, 4, 02/20/01) quoted RF Vice Premier Ilya Klebanov as saying that the 8th session of RF-PRC Intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation to begin Tuesday in Moscow was to discuss “the whole range of issues” concerning aviation, navy and land armaments. The PRC reportedly is thinking about buying four RF-made early warning A-50 planes, air defense complexes and some other types of weapons. In the first half of 2001, the RF will deliver over 20 SU-30MMK planes to the PRC. Klebanov however denied rumors that the RF could sell nuclear-powered submarines to the PRC, saying, “that is not planned.” In the opinion of Segodnya’s author, a new stage can be seen in RF-PRC relations, as RF diplomats make it clear that the new basic RF-PRC treaty may be signed as early as during PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin’s visit to Moscow this spring.

5. RF-PRC Economic Cooperation

Segodnya (“A RUSSIAN DELEGATION GOES TO CHINA TO STUDY THE EXPERIENCE OF REFORMS,” Moscow, 5, 02/15/01) reported that RF Economic Development and Trade Minister Herman Gref was to pay a visit to the PRC on February 19 to study PRC’s reform experiences and discuss bilateral cooperation issues. He will head a delegation of RF ministers, department heads and parliament members. There are plans for him to visit Shanghai.

6. RF Migration from PRC

Argumenty i fakty’s Svetlana Kolchik and Valentin Ruban (“HOW WE SHOULD LIVE ALONGSIDE WITH THE CHINESE,” Moscow, 8, February, 2001, #7(1060)) reported on the situation of PRC citizens of various categories in the RF. Experts’ assessments of their numbers vary from 200,000 to 5 million. Some claim, that “without control over the matter the ‘yellow’ migration will become Russia’s main geopolitical headache in the 21st century.” “A strange village” non-existent in RF-made maps and populated by more than a hundred people from the PRC who have been living there for several years is mentioned, and “nobody knows how many more such settlements are there ” in the RF Far East and Siberia. Yet, in late 19th century Russian authorities specially invited Chinese to settle near the Amur River, gave them land and even exempted from tax for 20 years. By the early 20th century Chinese and Koreans accounted for 20 percent of the population of Khabarovsk, Vladivostok and other cities. At present RF farmers and businessmen are eager to hire PRC citizens to do jobs considered “unworthy” by the locals. There are 7 million RF citizens in the RF Far East, while there are 200 million people living in several border provinces of the PRC, and 25 million of those are unemployed. Yet the RF has got no clear-cut migration policy. In addition to illegal migration, another result is that with official RF-PRC trade in 1999 being US$5.7 billion, the semi-legal “shuttle” trade reached US$20 billion annually.

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Igor Verba (“GREAT NEIGHBOR’S CRAWLING EXPANSION,” Vladivostok, 1, 4, 02/17/01) reported on the crime situation among PRC citizens in the RF Far East. According to him, RF law-enforcers there are much more worried about white-collar criminals from the PRC than tattoo-covered Triad-members. The former actively buy real estate, control trade in metals, wood and medical herbs, arrange gambling and other types of entertainment for PRC tourists, as well as drug trafficking. The number of crimes committed by PRC citizens in the RF has been growing rapidly. Some of known criminals actually hide in the RF from PRC law-enforcement. Statistical data provided show that so far the great majority of violent crimes by PRC citizens are committed against other PRC citizens, who prefer not to turn to RF police for help.

7. RF-Taiwan Relations

Dipkurier NG Dmitriy Dmitryev (“TAIPEI: THE PROBLEM OF ‘TIED HANDS’,” Moscow, 2, 02/15/01, #3(23)) published a half-page interview with “Tian Hung-mao, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan).” In particular, Tian complained that due to “unreasonable limitations” concerning Taiwan’s international status, it could not participate in the UN and other bodies in the era of globalization. The situation is unjust, and it prevents Taiwan from fulfilling its international commitments. “We hope the international community including Russia will look at that problem in earnest,” he said. “With the exception of cooperation in economic, academic and cultural spheres, in mass media, sports and arts, for the last seven years Taiwan had its hands tied as regards promotion of big issues with Russia due to the so-called ‘one China’ principle and the policy of ‘four no’s’.” Tian provided systematized data on RF-Taiwan cooperation development. He pointed out some problems, saying that, for instance, “in the past our high-ranking governmental official were rigidly refused entry visas to Russia.” He expressed hope that now with the new leaders both in RF and Taiwan, “Russia will revise its relations with Taiwan and create a new climate beneficial to both parties on the basis of equal rights.”

8. RF-US-Taiwan Nuclear Waste Deal

Versiya’s Marina Latysheva (3, 02/20-26/01 #6(130)) reported that, while “naive Russian citizens” listen to RF State Duma debating the issue of foreign nuclear waste to be imported for re-processing, US nuclear waste, as already planned by US Energy Department, would go to the RF to be buried there through the US-Taiwan-RF route. Versiya’s author reported that “one of these days we obtained… the ‘Technical Framework to Facilitate Foreign Spent Fuel Storage and Geologic Disposal in Russia'” prepared by US Livermore National Laboratory a year ago. The document deals with US-built nuclear power-plants in Taiwan. Under international law, the US are to take back the spent fuel, but US legislation forbids that. The amount of spent fuel accumulated by now in Taiwan has reached 7.5 tons. “Transportation of Taiwanese (or more correctly American) waste is to begin in 2007. The document describes in detail the route through RF ports of Vladivostok and Vanino and then by train to “Krasnoyarsk-26” regional storage in Krasnoyarsk Area and also possibly to “Mayak” Combinat in Ozyorsk in Chelyabinsk Region. US authors of the document “open-heartedly admit that Russian laws forbid the burial of alien radioactive waste in the country’s territory, and therefore it is necessary to solve the question of changing those Russian laws. There were talks already held with our ‘interested’ persons.” According to the Social Ecological Union of the RF, the plans could not have been elaborated in such detail without RF Atomic Energy Ministry.

9. Alleged RF Violation of Japanese Airspace

Segodnya’s Oleg Odnokolenko (“RUSSIANS ARE FLYING,” Moscow, 1, 02/15/01) and Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Mikhail Khodarenok (“RUSSIA’S DEFENCE MINISTRY AND AIR FORCE DENY THE FACT OF CROSSING JAPAN’S BORDER,” Moscow, 2, 02/15/01) reported that RF Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev “resolutely rejected” a statement made by National Defense Agency of Japan alleging that last Wednesday two Tu-22 bombers and two Su-27 fighters of the RF Air Force violated Japanese air space in the vicinity of Rebun island, Hokkaido and stayed there for 3 minutes. According to information obtained from the RF Armed Forces General Staff, the RF is ready at any moment to present data confirming that Japan’s air space was not violated by RF planes. “The Russian military explain Tokyo’s nervousness by the fact that for a long time our planes have not been visiting the air path traditional for the USSR Air Force, sometimes due to the lack of fuel, sometimes due to the lack of state’s will to demonstrate its combat capacities.” A year ago there was a similar case with RF strategic planes near Britain, but then “London had to make apologies.” Anatoly Kornukov, RF Air Force Commander-in-Chief, called Japanese accusations “a nonsense and a tall tale.” Tu- 22M3 long-range bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk within the framework of strategic command-staff exercises. Nezavisimaya gaseta’s author added, though, that the RF-Japan border in the area of Kunashir straits was of a complicated enough configuration, therefore a possibility of either RF, or Japanese planes “slicing off” the border’s protrusions was always present.

10. Japanese Political Situation

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Andrey Ilyashenko (“IN TOKYO THEY THINK IT IS TIME FOR MORI TO GO,” Tokyo, 6, 02/21/01) reported that partners of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan had been openly saying that Japan’s Premier Yoshiro Mori should retire. The Asahi newspaper claimed that Mori’s confidence rating had fallen to 9 percent. The retirement will possibly take place in May, when the LDP is to hold its congress. Mori’s visit to the US is under question due to the incident between the US submarine and Japanese trawler, but “possibly in Washington they have already assessed the political situation in Tokyo and are not in a hurry to hold a meeting of the newly-elected President with the doomed Premier.” As for the meeting with RF President Vladimir Putin in Irkutsk planned for March 25, Mori told the Japanese parliament that the summit was “to strengthen the leader’s friendly relations” and “to create favorable atmosphere for future dialogue,” therefore, Nezavisimaya gazeta’s author concluded, “there will be no destiny-changing decisions made … and therefore it is possible to delay the Irkutsk summit until a new Premier emerges.” On the other hand, there are no obvious contenders for the position to be vacated.

11. RF Arms Exports

Duel (“WHOM DOES THE DOMESTIC MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX WORK FOR?” February, 2001, 38(203)) reported in a set of diagrams that in 1992-1999 RF military industrial enterprises delivered 11 ships and 10 submarines to foreign navies and only 2 ships and 2 submarines to the RF Navy, 435 tanks went abroad and 31 to RF Army, 278 planes were sold abroad and 7 to RF Air Force, 98 helicopters, 22 aircraft and missile defense systems and 217 armored personnel carriers and fighting infantry vehicles were sold to foreign countries and 8, 1 and 17 respectively were sold to the RF Armed Forces. “Rosvo’oruzheniye,” “Promexport” and “Rossiyskiye tekhnologii” were used as the sources.

12. Alleged RF Proliferation

Maksim Yusin of Izvestia (“‘YOU ASSIST ROGUES,” Moscow, 8, 02/16/01) and Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Dmitriy Gornostayev (“U.S.A. YESTERDAY AGAIN ACCUSED RUSSIA,” Moscow, 1, 6, 02/16/01) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in his interview to PBS TV-channel had subjected RF to “unprecedented criticism” by alleging that “Russians actively proliferate nuclear technologies.” He claimed that the RF had been selling to Iran, the DPRK, India and other countries technologies that posed a threat to the US, but that when the US wanted to build defense against those, the RF criticized the US. Rumsfeld argued that the proposed National Missile Defense (NMD) system could protect the US against a few missiles launched by “rogue states,” but not against the huge nuclear arsenal of the RF. On February 15 General Colonel Leonid Ivashov, Chief, Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation, RF Defense Ministry, in his interview with Interfax news agency rejected the accusations, saying that “Russia has been impeccably fulfilling its international obligations,” whereas “even American allies do not believe the fairy tales about missile threats to United States on the part of the states mentioned by Rumsfeld.” He added that no meeting between the RF Defense Minister and the US Defense Secretary was planned in the near future. RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and US State Secretary Colin Powell are to have a meeting on February 24 in Cairo, Egypt.

Nezavisimaya gazeta (“IVASHOV BELIEVES U.S.A. ARE UNLEASHING AN INFORMATION WAR,” Moscow, 1, 02/17/01) reported that Leonid Ivashov, Chief, Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation, RF Defense Ministry, at a press conference in Moscow accused the US Administration of unleashing “an information war aimed to subvert Russia’s prestige.” He said “the rhetoric of representatives of the new American administration today becomes of an anti-Russian nature, and phrases of the Cold War time can be heard.”

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

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown: 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

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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