NAPSNet Daily Report 21 July, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 21 July, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 21, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-21-july-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Program
2. ROK-DPRK Talks
3. G8 View of DPRK
4. US Military in Okinawa
5. US Missile Defense at G8
6. US Missile Defense at ARF
7. PRC Military Power
8. Taiwan Military
II. Japan 1. Japanese Aid to DPRK
2. Inter-Korean Summit Meeting
3. Japanese-ROK Relations
4. Japan’s Stance toward US NMD
5. Japanese-US Base Issue

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Program

Agence France-Presse (“U.S. WILLING TO CUT NORTH KOREA A DEAL,” Washington, 7/21/00) reported that the US Defense Department said on July 20 that it is prepared to explore ways to get the DPRK into space if the DPRK abandons development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon rejected the idea of making rocket boosters available, but he suggested that the US would consider launching satellites for the DPRK. Bacon said, “We do think that developing space-launch capability is frequently a way to move toward ICBM capability. So we are in favor of helping countries get into space without developing that capability. We would be willing to explore further with North Korea ways to help them meet their space needs short of having them develop their own missile program.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 21, 2000.]

2. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Associated Press (“FOREIGN MINISTERS OF KOREAS TO MEET,” Seoul, 7/21/00) reported that ROK officials said on Friday that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Jong-binn will meet with his DPRK counterpart, Paek Nam- sun, on July 26 in Bangkok, Thailand, while the two are attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum. (ARF). Foreign ministers of the two Koreas have never held officials talks before. A DPRK delegation led by a Cabinet-level minister was expected to hold talks with ROK officials in Seoul next week to discuss easing military tensions and economic cooperation. Choi Young-jin, a chief policy coordinator at the ROK Foreign Ministry, said that Paek and Lee will discuss “cooperation in the international arena” while in Bangkok. Paek will also meet Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono in Bangkok on July 26 in the highest-level talks ever between the two nations. The two will discuss resuming talks to try to normalize diplomatic ties.

3. G8 View of DPRK

Reuters (“G8 LAUDS CONSTRUCTIVE N.KOREA STANCE, WANTS MORE,” Okinawa, 7/21/00) reported that the Group of Eight (G8) praised the DPRK on Friday for freezing ballistic missile tests but urged it to go further to address concerns over weapons proliferation and human rights. In a statement released at the end of the first day of their annual summit, the G8 warmly welcomed last month’s inter-Korean summit. The statement said, “We fully support the positive developments set in train by the meeting, and encourage the South-North dialogue to continue and advance further.” Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said, “If it is for us to find a way to launch for them some equipment that they can use peacefully, there’s no big problem in my book.” The G8 welcomed the DPRK’s “constructive attitude” in reconfirming its missile-launch moratorium, calling it a positive step. The G8 said, “We call on North Korea to continue such efforts. In this context, we look forward to a constructive response to international concerns over security, non-proliferation, humanitarian and human rights issues.”

4. US Military in Okinawa

The Los Angeles Times (Edwin Chen, “CLINTON, IN JAPAN FOR G-8 SUMMIT, VOWS TO CUT U.S. ‘FOOTPRINT’ ON OKINAWA,” Itoman, 7/21/00) reported that US President Clinton said on Friday that the US military intends to further reduce its impact on Okinawa. Noting that the US five years ago began to consolidate US bases in Japan, Clinton said, “We will keep all our commitments, and we will do what we can to reduce our footprint on this island. We take seriously our responsibility to be good neighbors, and it is unacceptable to the United States when we do not meet that responsibility.” Clinton acknowledged that Okinawa has played a vital role in the postwar peace. He said, “I know that the people of Okinawa did not ask to play this role, hosting more than 50 percent of American forces in Japan on less than 1 percent of its land mass.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 21, 2000.]

5. US Missile Defense at G8

The London Times (Michael Evans, “STAR WARS DISPUTE HANGS OVER G8 AGENDA,” 7/21/00) reported that controversial issues not on the official agenda of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Okinawa, particularly the proposed US national missile defense (NMD) system, could undermine the Japanese Government’s determination to guarantee a successful meeting. US President Bill Clinton is due to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Clinton and other Western leaders will be anxiously trying to clarify the DPRK’s offer in discussions with Putin. In pre-summit talks, the Japanese Government made clear to delegates that it wanted to avoid issues that might upset relations between the G8 leaders. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said on July 20 that missile defense was not marked for discussion at the summit. Clinton is likely to try to avoid an open debate on the issue, since he knows that he will be faced with an increasingly skeptical European leaders who fear that if he goes ahead with an anti-missile deployment, it could cause lasting damage to international arms control agreements.

6. US Missile Defense at ARF

Agence France Presse (“CHINA TO PUT US ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE ON AGENDA AT ASEAN,” Beijing, 7/21/00) reported that the PRC foreign ministry said on Friday that the PRC will make sure US plans to establish an anti-missile defense will be put on the agenda when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) meets later this month. An anonymous official said, “As far as I am concerned, ARF needs to send a political message about this issue.” PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan will raise the US anti-missile defense plans in plenary meetings of the forum, which will meet from July 26-28 next week. According to the official, Tang may also discuss the issue during one-on-one talks with his counterparts from other participating nations. The PRC foreign ministry official said on Friday that one of the negative trends in the Asia-Pacific region was for some unidentified countries to maintain a “cold-war” mentality. The official said that although most of the countries claiming parts of the hotly-contested South China Sea will be present at the ARF meeting, the PRC will not take the initiative to bring up the topic. However, the official said, if the issue was raised by others, the PRC will be willing to discuss it.

7. PRC Military Power

Aerospace Daily (Marc Selinger, “HEARING HIGHLIGHTS GROWING CHINESE MILITARY POWER,” 7/20/00) reported that US House Armed Services Committee Chairman Floyd Spence (R-S.C.) said on July 19 that the PRC is conducting an “impressive” modernization of its military, and several experts told the panel that the US should field new weapons to defend its interests in East Asia. A report released by Spence’s committee cited the PRC’s plans to increase the number of short-range ballistic missiles based opposite Taiwan from 200 to 650 by 2005. The report also noted that the PRC is developing two new intercontinental ballistic missiles, the DF-31 and the DF-41. Spence said, “China’s military threats against Taiwan – and its buildup of ballistic missiles arrayed against Taiwan – should be taken seriously. Likewise, I believe it would be a dangerous mistake to discount as mere rhetoric China’s nuclear threats against the United States should we come to Taiwan’s defense in any conflict.” Spence said he is troubled by the PRC’s growing ties with Russia. He also said that Russia was supplying the PRC with fighter aircraft, ships, submarines, cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles and is reportedly helping the PRC develop lasers and other weapons. Jamestown Foundation Senior Fellow Richard Fisher said the PRC’s military is giving much attention to acquiring and developing high-technology weapons, such as stealth aircraft, anti-stealth radar, radio frequency weapons, information warfare and unmanned vehicles. Fisher said that the US should proceed with building national and theater missile defenses and should supply Taiwan with the HARM anti-radar missiles and other weapons that the Clinton Administration has declined to sell it. He said that Taiwan also will need “new solutions,” such as laser-based defense systems and advanced reconnaissance systems like the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. Brookings Institution senior fellow Bates Gill said that providing Taiwan with a land-based missile defense is “entirely appropriate,” though sales of “more capable missile defenses should await further study of their diplomatic and military-technical implications.” Gill said that he believes the PRC is in the “very early stages” of integrating its new weapons into its military. Fisher, however, said that the PRC’s military could succeed without such integration by using its new weapons “sequentially.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 21, 2000.]

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “INSIDE THE RING: PLA ON TAIWAN,” 7/21/00) reported that US Defense Department PRC experts believed that the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) does not want to see a resolution of the current Taiwan Strait crisis. Keeping tensions at a low boil gives the PLA’s top generals the basis to argue inside the Central Military Commission for more resources for the PRC’s military buildup. A resolution of the crisis would mean the PRC’s military might lose the rationale for the buildup. The PRC military buildup includes changes to both the hardware and software elements of its forces. The PLA is working on new “asymmetrical” warfare weapons to maximize their effectiveness in a possible conflict with high-technology enemy forces like the US. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 21, 2000.]

8. Taiwan Military

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN PUTS FOUR WARSHIPS INTO SERVICE TO GUARD AGAINST CHINA,” Taiwan’s Tsoying Naval Base, 7/21/00) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian called for a deterrent force to check any military invasion by the PRC. Chen presided over a ceremony to install four warships — a 13,700-ton used dock landing ship (LSD) Taiwan acquired from the US, and three 500-ton patrol boats to the Taiwanese navy. Chen said, “Deterring war is the primary task for soldiers. To achieve the mission, they need strong combat power. Strengthening the navy’s combat readiness is meant to prevent war and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. In the face of China’s threat, we must be backed by a deterrent force if we are to achieve the sacred mission of defending Taiwan.”

II. Japan

1. Japanese Aid to DPRK

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN TO SEND ADDITIONAL RICE AID TO DPRK,” 07/19/2000) reported that the Japanese government began working on additional rice aid to the DPRK on July 18 in reciprocation with the agreement between Japan and the DPRK to have the first-ever foreign ministerial meeting on July 26. The amount of rice aid would likely be 150,000 tons, increased from the previous amount of 100,000 tons last March. The aid would be sent through the World Food Planning again from a humanitarian point of view. For that reason, the Japanese government is considering rice aid to the DPRK even before the possible full resumption of normalization talks between the two countries in August. Japan’s aid this time would be the fifth of its kind since 1995.

2. Inter-Korean Summit Meeting

The Asahi Shimbun (“KIM DAE-JUNG TELLS KIM JONG-IL NOT TO WORRY ABOUT US-JAPANESE-ROK COOPERATION,” 07/21/2000) reported that according to Japanese governmental sources on July 20, people close to ROK President Kim Dae-jung revealed to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori that Kim told DPRK leader Kim Jong-il not to worry about the US, Japan, and the ROK. Kim Dae-jung said, “Don’t worry so much about what the US, Japan and the ROK do in cooperation with one another. Why don’t you cooperate with the PRC and Russia, instead?”

3. Japanese-ROK Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Chiharu Mori, “KIM JONG-PIL APPOINTED HEAD OF ROK-JAPANESE POLICY- MAKERS’ ASSOCIATION,” 07/21/2000) reported that former ROK Prime Minster Kim Jong-pil was appointed new head of the Association of ROK-Japanese Policy-Makers on July 20. Kim was head of the group from 1976 to 1979. Eight people were appointed vice chairmen, including Pak Sang-chon from the ruling Democratic Party and ROK Soccer League Chairman Jong Mung-jun. Opposition Hannara Party member Yu Hwung-soo was appointed Secretary General. Kim said, “For the sake of the development of inter-Korean relations, we also have to have closer cooperation with the US and Japan.” Kim said that the association’s agenda was ROK-Japanese economic cooperation and realization of participation of Korean residents in Japan in local elections.

4. Japan’s Stance toward US NMD

The Daily Yomiuri (“GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT US NMD PLAN,” 07/20/2000) reported that according to governmental sources on July 19, the Japanese government decided to show some understanding toward the US-led National Missile Defense (NMD) initiative because Japan shared US concerns for nuclear proliferation. Japan had withheld the NMD plan because the issue was expected to be a focus of discussions during the upcoming Group of 8 (G8) summit meeting in Okinawa. The Japanese government would declare its policy change during the summit. Government sources said, “The Japanese government will inform Clinton and other G-8 leaders that it understands the United States’ view that proliferation of ballistic missiles is a serious threat to its national security.” The government will also call for an early settlement of talks between the US and Russia concerning amendments to the Treaty on Anti- Ballistic Missile Systems concluded between the two powers. Japan is also participating in a joint policy initiative with the US and the ROK to deter the development and launching of missiles by the DPRK.

5. Japanese-US Base Issue

The Daily Yomiuri (“JAPAN, US COME TO TERMS ON HOST-NATION BUDGET,” 07/20/2000) reported that the Japanese and US governments came to a basic agreement on July 19 that the US would pay about 2 – 3 billion yen in private utility costs for US servicemen and their families. The two countries also agreed that they would keep intact the current basic framework of the special accord that sets out the terms of the host-nation budget. The special accord currently stipulates that Japan pays for Japanese working at US base facilities and related areas, electricity, heating and water used at US base facilities and related areas, relocation of military training grounds of US forces that are carried out upon Japan’s request. These expenditures will total as much as 157 billion yen for fiscal 2000.

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “HUMAN CHAIN SURROUNDS KADENA BASE,” 07/21/2000) reported that some 27,000 citizens from Okinawa and the mainland formed a human chain around the US Kadena Air Base in Okinawa on July 20 to protest the presence of the US military. The base, which occupies 20.5 square kilometers of land in the cities of Kadena, Okinawa and Chatan, is the largest US air base in Asia, and 84 percent of land in Kadena is part of the base. Organizing committee representative Tokushin Yamauchi said that he wants to make world leaders and citizens understand the “excessive” and “unfair” burden that Okinawa bears. Although Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine was not present at the event, former Governor Masahide Ota joined the human chain. Ota said that while many Okinawans welcome the G-8 summit, others see it as simply an attempt to smooth the scheduled transfer of the Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, central Okinawa, to Nago. At the end of the demonstration, organizers issued a statement, urging the G-8 nations’ leaders to discuss ways to establish security without a military presence.

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