NAPSNet Daily Report 21 September, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA WANTS LIFT ON ALL SANCTIONS,” Seoul. 09/21/99) and Reuters (“N.KOREA URGES U.S. TO EASE SANCTIONS FURTHER,” Tokyo, 09/21/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Tuesday welcomed a US decision to ease sanctions against the DPRK. KCNA stated, “It is a good development, though it is not comprehensive and came belatedly. The United States should show good faith by lifting the remaining sanctions against the DPRK so as to make it a comprehensive and substantial measure.” It added, “Furthermore, if the U.S. is truly willing to totally drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK and improve relations with the DPRK, it should withdraw its forces from South Korea, sign a peace agreement with the DPRK and thus root out the military threat to the DPRK.” It stated, “The DPRK will watch how the United States will practically implement the measure for lifting a series of sanctions announced by it this time.”

2. US-DPRK Agricultural Trade

Reuters (“NO FARM SALES TO N.KOREA SEEN IN NEAR FUTURE-USDA,” Washington, 09/20/99) reported that US Agriculture Department General Sales Manager Richard Fritz said Monday that the easing of US sanctions on the DPRK is not expected to lead to agricultural sales soon. Fritz added, “It removes one more impediment to trade. It does open up the opportunity for sales should the economy improve there.”

3. ROK Missile Development

Reuters (“S.KOREA TO EXPLAIN TO BIDDERS ITS MISSILE PROJECT,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said it will brief bidders on Tuesday on requirements for the ROK’s next-generation missile program. The ministry said in a statement that Raytheon of the US, Eurosam of France, and Rosvoorouzhenie of Russia will be invited to an open briefing to share the program’s procurement schedule and required military capabilities. The ministry has said it planned to invest two trillion won (US$1.7 billion) in the project code-named SAM-X. The new surface-to-air missile system would replace existing old Nike missiles and would protect key military installations and the Seoul area from DPRK missiles.

4. Earthquake in Taiwan

Reuters (Stephanie Nebehay, “FOREIGN RESCUERS GO TO TAIWAN AS U.N. SEEKS OK,” Geneva, 09/21/99) reported that Fabrizio Gentiloni, deputy director of the UN’s disaster response branch in Geneva, said that the UN was held back from participating in earthquake relief efforts in Taiwan because it does not recognize Taiwan and needed the PRC’s approval. Gentiloni said that PRC diplomats in New York were to discuss the issue of a UN role with Sergio Vieira de Mello, undersecretary-general in charge of humanitarian affairs, later Tuesday. He stated, “This is a sensitive issue. We would rather do it in a way that does not disturb the environment between the two parties, China and Taiwan.” He added, “A UN team is prepared to coordinate those teams on the ground. As a humanitarian department we are ready to deploy and assist. We are awaiting the formal position from the Beijing authorities.” UN officials said that approval from the PRC would also enable more countries to respond to Taiwan’s appeal, as many have legislation requiring an official government request.

The Associated Press (“CHINA PROMISES TO HELP TAIWAN,” Beijing, 09/21/99) reported that the PRC’s official Xinhua News Agency quoted PRC President Jiang Zemin as offering condolences to Taiwanese earthquake victims. Jiang said that the earthquake “hurt the hearts of people on the mainland as the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are as closely linked as flesh and blood.” The PRC Red Cross announced that it would provide the equivalent of US$100,000 in disaster aid and more than US$60,000 worth of relief supplies. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said at a briefing that the PRC would provide “all assistance within our capability” and was contacting Taiwan officials to arrange it.

5. Japanese Election

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, “JAPAN’S OBUCHI WINS RE-ELECTION,” Tokyo, 09/21/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi was re-elected Tuesday as head of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Obuchi received 350 votes, while former party Secretary-General Koichi Kato got 113 votes, and former Construction Minister Taku Yamasaki had 51. The vote combined the ballots from the 371 ruling party lawmakers, cast at party headquarters, with ballots sent in by mail by the rank-and-file party membership. Every 10,000 votes of the party members are equal in weight to one legislator’s vote.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “U.S., N. KOREA TO MEET LATER THIS MONTH ON FOLLOW-UP MEASURES TO MISSILE ACCORD,” Seoul, 09/21/99) reported that ROK officials said on Monday that Charles Kartman, US special envoy for Korea, and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan will likely meet in Beijing later this month to discuss follow-up measures to their recent agreement on the missile issue. The Kartman-Kim talks will delve into specific measures designed to make the agreement they reached in the Berlin meeting two weeks ago a reality, they said. “Kartman and Kim are expected to discuss when to hold higher-level talks between the two countries for the improvement of bilateral relations,” said an official at the ROK Ministry of Unification, speaking on condition of anonymity. Along with the Kartman-Kim talks, the two countries are also planning to hold an expert-level meeting in the US next month to discuss the DPRK’s missile development and exports, the official said. This series of bilateral talks led ROK analysts to speculate that there might have been a “grand deal” between the US and the DPRK in their missile talks in Berlin. “The two sides might have discussed the package peace proposal called for by the Perry report during the missile talks,” said Yu Suk-ryul, a professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security. “The North’s acceptance of a series of talks with the United States enables one to assume that it is agreeing on the Perry proposal in principle,” Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young said. Diplomatic observers said that the DPRK’s acceptance of the peace proposal means that it is also ready to improve relations with the ROK and Japan. “It may be against this backdrop that President Kim Dae-jung expressed confidence in removing the Cold War legacy on the Korean Peninsula,” said an analyst.

2. PRC’s Role on DPRK Missile Test

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, “CHINA DISSUADES NK FROM FIRING MISSILE,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung revealed on Sunday that the PRC has played a crucial role in dissuading the DPRK from firing another missile. In a luncheon with his predecessors at Chong Wa Dae, Kim also said that the successful conclusion of the recent high-level US-DPRK talks in Berlin obviously prompted the DPRK not to launch a missile. Kim noted, however, that the PRC has exercised its influence in encouraging the DPRK to strike a deal with the US on the missile issue. From the PRC’s perspective, Kim said, the DPRK’s firing of another missile might give an excuse to the ultra-rightists or advocates of militarism in Japan to accelerate the rearmament of their country.

3. US View on Berlin Talks

The Korea Times (“US EASING OF SANCTIONS ON N.KOREA WAS KEY FOR SECURITY: BERGER,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that the White House on Sunday defended the US deal with the DPRK. “The North Koreans have a long-range missile program, which could pose a fundamental threat to the region and to the United States,” warned White House National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press. “If they proceed with testing … you will have a new arms race in missiles in Asia. We now have essentially a de facto moratorium on that program…. In exchange for that, we have eased some basic commercial sanctions on sale of commercial goods,” Berger said. “So, in effect, they get Coca-Cola and we get a temporary ban on their missile program.”

4. ROK Missile Development

The Korea Times (“SEOUL SET TO STEP UP AIR DEFENSE, DESTROYER PLANS,” Seoul, 09/20/99) and The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “U.S., RUSSIA, FRANCE COMPETE FOR SEOUL’S MISSILE PROGRAM,” Seoul, 09/21/99) reported that the ROK is launching next-generation air defense and destroyer programs to step up its air defense posture and naval capabilities. Procurement officials at the ROK Defense Ministry were to organize an open briefing session on Tuesday, inviting three foreign defense contractors chosen to bid for the “SAM-X” program. The three contractors bidding for the program are Raytheon of the US, which produces the Patriot; Eurosam of France, which makes the SAMP-T; and Rosvoorouzhenie of Russia, which manufactures the S-300. “The choice of a successful bidder is due to be made after next July and the actual purchase of the air defense system is set for 2003,” a Defense Ministry official said. The 2 trillion won SAM (surface-to-air missile)-X program is intended to replace the ROK’s existing Nike missiles with a sophisticated air defense system to protect the Seoul metropolitan area and major military facilities from DPRK air and missile threats. Under the program, the ROK plans to buy 48 launch pads plus surface-to-air missiles. Required capabilities show a range of at least 60 kilometers for missiles targeting attacking fighters and 20 kilometers for missiles intercepting missiles. At present, only the US bases in Osan, Kunsan, and Suwon are protected by the Patriot System and there is no protection for ROK military facilities or government offices.

5. KEDO Meeting

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “KEDO TO HOLD EXPERTS’ MEETING IN N.K. Sept. 25,” Seoul, 09/21/99) reported that an ROK government source said on Monday that high-level experts from the ROK, Japan and the US will hold a meeting in Pyongyang on Saturday to discuss pending issues concerning the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors in the DPRK with officials from the DPRK. “The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) has recently agreed with North Korean authorities to visit Pyongyang to consult on various working-level issues related with the reactor construction,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. About 30 delegates from three countries, including government officials, experts and representatives of the main contractor, the Korea Electric Power Corporation, will visit the DPRK for the high-level meeting of experts, the first one since they met together in February. The participants will focus their discussion on how to implement various agreements – including a telecommunications accord – made since KEDO started work to establish sites for the twin-type reactors in Shinpo, South Hamgyung Province, August 19, 1997, officials said.

6. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “HYUNDAI’S PYONGYANG GYMNASIUM CONSTRUCTION APPROVED,” Seoul, 09/20/99) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “HYUNDAI, NK TO HOLD BASKETBALL GAMES IN SEOUL, PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that the ROK government finally gave its stamp of approval on September 20 for the construction of the Pyongyang Gymnasium and the goodwill basketball matches proposed by Hyundai Asan Company. The gymnasium, which will accommodate 12,335 people, will be built by the latter half of 2001 and the ROK engineers and architects will stay in Pyongyang during the construction. A doubleheader, featuring men and women’s basketball teams from Hyundai and the DPRK, will be held in Pyongyang on September 28 and 29 and return matches will be held in Seoul next March. Hyundai and the DPRK government also agreed to extend the goodwill matches to include volleyball, ping-pong, wrestling, and taekwondo from the latter half of next year.

7. DPRK Defector

The Korea Times (“N.KOREA MUST BE ‘SMASHED,’ HUNTED DISSIDENT SAYS FROM HIDEOUT,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that Ahn Chol, the fugitive DPRK defector who videotaped DPRK children scavenging through garbage, warned against giving foreign aid to the DPRK, saying it would only prop up the DPRK regime. Ahn was interviewed this week by Newsweek magazine in his hideout in northern PRC. Giving aid to DPRK President Kim Jong-il “would only intensify the North’s military build-up,” Ahn said in the weekly magazine’s latest edition, due out Monday. “The North Korean government has to be smashed,” he said. “There should be an end to that dictatorship. I felt strongly that it was my mission to bring back a film to show the rest of the world how the DPRK really looks,” Ahn told the magazine. Ahn has been hunted by both DPRK and PRC authorities since last year, when he released a videotape showing starving street children searching for food in the garbage at two DPRK open-air markets. He had sneaked from the PRC back into his country to film the deteriorating conditions there. “I cannot express with words how scared I was” while walking through the markets carrying a small bag with a hole in it for a camera. “I felt as though the police and the security agents were following me and constantly watching me. I could almost hear the beating of my own heart.”

8. ROK Peacekeeping Force for East Timor

The Korea Herald (“ADVANCE TEAM VISITS AUSTRALIA, E. TIMOR,” Seoul, 09/21/99) reported that ROK officials said on Monday that two ROK Defense Ministry fact-finders have left for Australia and East Timor to collect information before the ROK peace troops are sent to East Timor. After they return Saturday, another 12-member military team will visit East Timor in preparation for the deployment of a ROK peace force. Brigade General Kim Tae- young, deputy director for policy and planning, and Colonel Kim Yong-hoo, chief of the logistics cooperation department at the Defense Ministry, left Seoul on Sunday for Canberra. They will consult with the Australian military on the ROK troops’ area of operations, chain of command and other issues, a ministry official said. Brigadeir General Kim and Colonel Kim will then visit Dili, the capital of East Timor, to get information about the situation in the violence-ravaged territory and meet Indonesian military leaders to explain to them the ROK peace force’s role before returning to Seoul on Saturday.

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “SEOUL OFFICIALS DEFEND DECISION TO SEND COMBAT TROOPS TO E. TIMOR,” Seoul, 09/21/99) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “SEOUL SENDS TROOPS AT REQUEST OF JAKARTA,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that senior ROK administration officials on Monday tried to ease concerns that ROK’s decision to send combat troops to East Timor may harm political and economic ties with Indonesia. “The Indonesian government does not feel bad about Korea’s decision to join the peacekeeping force in East Timor,” presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said. Both the United Nations and the Indonesian government have expressed their appreciation for the ROK’s participation in the peacekeeping operation in East Timor, Park added. Another senior Chong Wa Dae aide said that the ROK is one of the Asian countries whose troops the Indonesian government favors in the East Timor peacekeeping forces. Park, speaking in his daily press briefing, said that even an Indonesian military commander expressed his gratitude for ROK’s “prompt” decision to join the multinational force. “He volunteered that the Indonesian military will provide active cooperation regarding on-the-spot inspection of Korea’s advance team,” the spokesman said.

The Korea Herald (“CABINET TO APPROVE DISPATCH OF COMBAT TROOPS TO EAST TIMOR TODAY DESPITE GNP’S OPPOSITION,” Seoul, 09/21/99), Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, “TROOPS BILL FACES STIFF OPPOSITION,” Seoul, 09/20/99), and The Korea Times (“NCNP TO ACT ON EAST TIMOR MOTION SEPT. 28,” Seoul, 09/20/99) reported that the ROK government planned to approve the dispatch of combat troops to East Timor as part of an international peacekeeping force at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The ruling National Congress for New Politics (NCNP) plans to deal with the troop dispatch proposal at the National Assembly next Tuesday, party sources said. Hwang Won-tak, senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and security, said on Sunday that the ROK peacekeepers would be stationed in East Timor for about three months.

III. Russian Federation

1. PRC Missile Sales to Pakistan

Izvestia’s Vladimir Skosyrev (“BALLISTIC MISSILES FOR MOSLEMS,” Moscow, 4, 9/16/99) reported that according to a US intelligence report, the PRC had delivered a 402-kilometer range “M-11” missile to Pakistan. The US in the past subjected the PRC to economic sanctions for “M-11” deliveries in 1991 and 1993. This time the US might deny the PRC any access to US high technology, including that used in space research. Experts on South Asia told Izvestia’s author that the re-arming of Pakistan could pose a threat both to the East and to the West. Pakistan already possesses surface-to-surface 1500-kilometer range Ghauri-1 missiles, 2000-kilometer range Ghauri-2 missiles, and 600-kilometer range Shahin missiles. It is possible that the PRC deliveries facilitated the Pakistani missile program.

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“CHINESE MISSILES AGAIN IRRITATE THE U.S.A.,” Moscow, 6, 9/16/99) reported that the US obtained additional proof that the PRC had supplied 402-kilometer range missiles to Pakistan. The US official position is still undetermined. A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman called the US report “old rumors.”

2. PRC Anniversary

Izvestia’s Vladimir Skosyrev (“MOSCOW-BEIJING”,” Moscow, 4, 9/21/99) reported that “as different from Moscow authorities the fathers of Beijing know how to clean the capital from suspicious elements” and in preparation for the PRC 50th anniversary celebrations to take place on October 1 have already sent more than 16,000 of unregistered persons out. Just like in Moscow, the police inspect vehicles and their drivers and use dogs to sniff out possible explosives. If a person has no ID he or she is invited to buy a ticket and return to his or her home place. Moneyless people are made to work at construction sites or elsewhere to earn money for their return trip. Altogether about 20 percent of Beijing’s population stays and works there unregistered.

3. PRC Internet Development

Segodnya (“BEIJING INTENDS TO BAN FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN INTERNET,” Moscow, 3, 9/17/99) reported that the PRC plans to ban foreign investments in the Internet development. As PRC Information Minister U Jichuan said, the existing law forbids any foreign investments in the information business. According to him, the law concerns the Internet as well, therefore all breaches that have taken place recently will soon be corrected. This year alone the number of Internet users in the PRC has grown from 2 to 5 million persons.

4. RF Far East Military Exercises

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Ilya Kedrov and Sergey Sokut (“THE TARGET IS BEHIND THE PACIFIC OCEAN,” Moscow, 2, 9/17/99) reported that the Air Force and Navy of the RF were holding command-staff exercises in the Russian Far East. According to the scenario, three Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying planes from the 73rd heavy bomber division based in Ukrainka in Khabarovsk Area flew to an advanced airfield in Anadyr in Chukotka. Then they flew Eastward. One bomber operates over the neutral waters close to Alaska, while two others go the point of imitated launch of H-55 cruise missiles over the Pacific Ocean. The exercises are similar to the West-99 exercises held by the 37th Air Army in June, when Tu-95MS and Tu-160 flew over the North Atlantic, which caused “a nervous reaction” on the part of the US. A principally new element this time is that Tu-95MS are to be accompanied all the way by a modernized Su-27 fighter which will be re-fueled in the air by Il-78 tanker plane. Simultaneously naval aviation, ships and coastal missile units of the RF Pacific Fleet in cooperation with bombers of the 37th Air Army are to hold live ammo firing exercise in the area of Kamchatka. Four Tu-22M3 bombers and coastal units are to fire six cruise missiles at a virtual enemy attack aircraft carrying group. “RF Armed Forces Command considers the Long Range Aviation as a means of delivering demonstrative nuclear strikes, which are, without causing significant destruction, to show Russia’s determination to disrupt the plans of a stronger aggressor.”

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Timothy L. Savage: 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

 


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