NAPSNet Daily Report 22 December, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 22 December, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 22, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. Japan-DPRK Talks

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN, NORTH KOREA AGREE TO MORE TALKS TO IMPROVE TIES,” Beijing, 12/22/99), Reuters (Lee Chyen Yee, “JAPAN, N.KOREA TO MEET AGAIN ON NORMALIZATION,” Beijing, 12/22/99), and the Associated Press (Elaine Kurtenbach, “N. KOREA, JAPAN TO CONTINUE TALKS,” Beijing, 12/22/99) reported that Japan and the DPRK agreed on Wednesday to meet again early next year, possibly in January or February, for talks to improve relations. A Japanese official said, “we had pointed and candid discussions over practical matters. The atmosphere was very cordial and friendly. We have stated each other’s positions in a comprehensive way. It was a very good start.” The official also said that Japan raised concerns about the DPRK nuclear arms and missile program, “but it was just in a broad context of issues.”

2. Body of DPRK Soldier Found in Japan

The Associated Press (“N. KOREAN SOLDIER’S BODY FOUND,” Tokyo, 12/22/99) reported that Japanese state police in Ishikawa Prefecture said Wednesday that a body of a woman apparently in her 20s and believed to be a DPRK soldier was found on December 21 washed up on the shores of Totsuka, about 190 miles southwest of Tokyo. An autopsy showed that she had been dead for about four months. The woman was wearing a military uniform and had a notebook that identified her as a member of the DPRK ruling party. Police said they have found seven such corpses over the past year. Although officials have offered no explanation for the deaths, speculation in Japan has focused on attempted defection or espionage.

3. PRC Military Buildup

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA BUILDING AIR-DEFENSE SITE,” 12/22/99) reported that according to defense officials, a US spy satellite photographed the PRC construction of a surface-to-air missile base near the coastal city of Zhangzhou, about 175 miles due west of Taiwan. The exact type of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to be deployed at the base is not known; however, US Defense Department intelligence agencies believe the site will have either Russian-design SA-10s or the PRC’s indigenous CSA-1s. One official familiar with missile-construction said, “they will be operational in the spring.” The SAMs at Zhangzhou are seen as part of efforts to defend a major air base for the People’s Liberation Army, which has been flying its warplanes close to the line of separation that runs down the middle of the Taiwan Strait. The officials also said the PRC recently completed the deployment of 24 H-5 fighter bombers and six F-7 jets to Zhangzhou as part of the increased flights over the Taiwan Strait.

4. US Policy toward PRC, Russia

Reuters (“CLINTON SAYS STABLE RUSSIA, CHINA ARE PRIORITIES,” London, 12/22/99) reported that US President Bill Clinton wrote in his contribution to the “The Challenges to Global Security,” a feature in Jane’s Defense Weekly published on Wednesday, that weaving Russia and the PRC into the global community is a priority for the US and its allies in the new millennium. Clinton pledged that the US and its military would enter the new millennium willing and able to help deal with threats to international peace. Clinton also said that the world faced different dangers in the next century and pointed out the risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of “terrorists, international criminals or rogue states that may not be deterred by the certainty of retaliation.” Clinton said that one of the priorities for the US and allies is to “weave” Russia and the PRC into the global community as stable, open and prosperous states that embrace the rule of law.

5. US-Russia Missile Talks

Reuters (“NO BREAKTHROUGH IN RUSSIA-US MISSILE TALKS,” Moscow, 12/22/99) reported that the Interfax news agency on Wednesday cited unnamed diplomatic sources as saying that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott in Moscow failed to make progress in talks with Russian officials over US plans to build an anti-missile defense shield and amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying that the Russian position was, “If the basic foundations are changed as the Americans suggest, the treaty would lose its point.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“JEAN AND COLA HEAD NORTH,” Seoul, 12/21/99) reported that the Korean Sharing Movement announced on December 21 that it has sent commodities including eggs, jeans, and cola to the DPRK from Inchon Port. The supplies, worth approximately US$884,000, will be delivered to the DPRK’s Asia Pacific Peace Committee (APPC) on the afternoon of December 22. The civil organization plans to send a total of 20 million eggs to the DPRK, one for each DPRK citizen. The APPC will distribute the products to homes for children and the elderly.

2. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “N.KOREAN BASKETBALL TEAM TO ARRIVE IN SEOUL TODAY,” Seoul, 12/21/99) reported that a 62-member DPRK delegation led by a vice minister-level official will arrive in Seoul on December 21 for a four-day visit aimed at holding friendly basketball games with ROK teams and possibly to tour Hyundai’s industrial facilities. Song Ho-gyong, vice chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, is due in Seoul with 61 other DPRK players and staff for two days of basketball games slated for December 23-24. ROK officials said that there were no plans at present to arrange official contacts with Song, but hinted at the possibility that Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik might attend a dinner on December 21, hosted by Hyundai. A Unification Ministry official said that the itinerary was not finalized because Hyundai needed to hold more talks with the visiting DPRK officials. The official said, “North Korea wants to limit the scope of this event to sports exchanges, while Hyundai is seeking to show North Koreans as much as possible with the aim of facilitating its future North Korean projects,” therefore, it is likely that the DPRK delegation will visit Hyundai’s industrial facilities near Seoul. The DPRK team is scheduled to leave Seoul on December 25. The delegation will consist of 38 basketball players, 14 circus troupe members, two television crew members, and eight officials of the committee.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-Japanese Relations

People’s Daily (Li Mingjiang and Wang Feng, “DPRK, JAPAN START PRELIMINARY TALKS ON NORMALIZATION,” Beijing, 12/22/99, 4) reported that the DPRK and Japan started preliminary normalization talks at the Japanese embassy in Beijing on the afternoon of December 21. According to information, the report said, the Japanese delegation is led by Anami Koreshige, director general of the Asian Affairs Division of Japanese Foreign Ministry, and the DPRK delegation by Oh Woollok, director general of the 14th Bureau of the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “JAPAN, DPRK REACH AGREEMENT,” 12/22/99, A1) reported that Red Cross officials from Japan and the DPRK signed an agreement on “humanitarian” cooperation on December 21 after three days of talks. The two sides agreed to resume home visits by next spring for Japanese citizens married to DPRK spouses who are not permitted to leave the country. A joint statement said that the Japanese Red Cross Society will urge the Japanese Government to undertake a food assistance program as early as possible for “humanitarian” reasons. It also stated that the DPRK Red Cross has decided to ask DPRK authorities to “make a through investigation about missing Japanese people about whom the Japanese side has made inquiries.” Both sides agreed to work together to discover the fate of Koreans who disappeared during the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. The agreement was signed by Ho Hae-ryong, vice chairman of the DPRK Red Cross, and Tadateru Konoe, vice-president of the Japanese Red Cross Society, at the DPRK Embassy in Beijing.

2. Compensation for Embassy Bombing

People’s Liberation Army Daily (“CHINA, US REACH AGREEMENT ON COMPENSATION FOR BOMBING EMBASSY,” Beijing, 12/17/99, P1) and China Daily (Hu Qihua, “US TO PAY FOR BOMBING EMBASSY,” 12/17/99, 1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on December 16 that the PRC and the US Government reached an agreement on December 16 on the compensation for the US bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia. According to the agreement, the US government will pay US$28 million to the PRC for property loss and damage while the PRC has agreed to pay US$2.87 million for damages done to US diplomatic missions in the PRC. However, PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said the PRC was not paying the US for the same reason the US is paying the PRC. Zhang said on December 16 that “the agreement reached between China and the US is good for the improvement and development of China-US relations. We hope the US recognizes the negative impact of the bombing on China-US relations and makes concrete efforts for the improvement and development of bilateral relations.” Zhu pointed out that the bombing caused heavy casualties, severe loss and damage to the embassy premises. He said that it was a gross violation of the universally recognized international law and the fundamental norms governing international relations. Zhu emphasized that the embassy bombing was a serious wrongful act and the US Government must shoulder responsibility, including rapid, full and effective compensation. He reiterated that the US government should do a through investigation into the bombing, severely punish the perpetrators and give a satisfactory explanation to the PRC Government as soon as possible.

3. Wen Ho Lee Case

China Daily (“LEE SUES US FOR PRIVACY INVASION,” Washington, 12/22/99, P1) reported that Wen Ho Lee, a physicist charged with 59 counts of mishandling secret data at a US nuclear weapons research lab, filed a lawsuit on December 20 against the US the Justice Department, the FBI and the Energy Department. Lee is charging the agencies with violating the Privacy Act that led to his portrayal as a spy for the PRC. The civil lawsuit was filed in the Federal Court in Washington by Wen Ho Lee and his wife Sylvia. The lawsuit sought an unspecified amount of monetary damages. According to the report, Brian Sun, an attorney for Lee, said the lawsuit was aimed at finding out who leaked information such as Lee’s employment history, personal financial transactions and the supposed results of lie-detector tests, and hold them accountable. Sun said that the leaks were aimed at creating a negative public image of Lee and diverting attention away from security failings at the government’s nuclear research labs.

4. Macao Hand-over

People’s Daily (Xue Jianhua, “JIANG ZEMIN MAKES IMPORTANT SPEECH,” Beijing, 12/21/99, 1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin said on December 20 at a rally in celebration of Macao’s return that “the great concept of ‘one country, two systems’ proposed by Comrade Deng Xiaoping is the sole correct guideline for solutions to the questions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and hence for achieving the complete reunification of the motherland. The successful implementation of the concept in Hong Kong has provided valuable practical experience for Macao. The Central Government will unswervingly implement the policies of ‘one country, two systems,’ ‘the Macao people administering Macao’ and a high degree of autonomy. On this joyous occasion of celebrating the return of Macao, a great event for the Chinese nation, I am sure that Taiwan compatriots will share the joyful sentiments of the people in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. All patriotic compatriots at home and abroad and all far-sighted people in the world have seen, from the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao, that the ‘one country, two systems’ policy is most appropriate and correct and is the best approach to solving the Taiwan question. To achieve a complete national reunification in accordance with the ‘one China’ principle is the shared aspiration of all the Chinese people including the Taiwan compatriots, and an inevitable historical trend which no force on earth can ever resist. It is our hope that the Taiwan authorities will not go against the tide of history, erect obstacles to the development of the cross-Straits ties, or act against the fundamental interests of the Taiwan compatriots and the entire Chinese nation. The Chinese Government and people will never tolerate any attempt to split China. We have both the determination and the ability to resolve the Taiwan question at an early date and accomplish the great cause of reunifying our motherland in accordance with the principles of `peaceful reunification’ and `one country, two systems.'”

People’s Daily (Chen Yan and Fu Xu, “PREMIER ZHU: MACAO’S RETURN `A NEW MILESTONE FOR REUNIFICATION’,” 12/21/99, 1) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said on December 20 that Macao’s return “marks a new milestone” on the road towards China’s complete reunification. Zhu made the remarks at a grand reception held in the Great Hall of the People to celebrate the return of Macao to the PRC. Zhu told an audience of over 4,000 that “the Chinese and Portuguese governments have held a successful ceremony for the transfer of government of Macao, and the Chinese government has resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Macao. The establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) has been proclaimed and Macao has returned to the embrace of the great motherland.” He described Macao’s return as “another historic event for the Chinese nation following Hong Kong’s return to China.” He stressed that the return of Macao will “facilitate the final solution of the Taiwan question, and the complete reunification of China.”

5. PRC-European Negotiations on WTO

People’s Daily (Ma Xiaoning, “CHINA-EU SUMMIT HELD IN BEIJING,” Beijing, 12/22/99, P1) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said in Beijing on December 21 that the PRC is ready to further its cooperation with the new European Commission (EC) to promote Sino-European Union (EU) relations in the 21st century. Zhu made the comment during the second China-European Union Summit meeting with Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen of Finland, who presently holds the rotating position of president of the EU, and President Romano Prodi of the EC. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern. Zhu said that he appreciated the positive measures that the EU has taken to improve relations with the PRC. Zhu said the PRC has consistently stressed the importance of relations with the EU and its members and considers this bond vital to the country’s foreign policy. He noted that the PRC has also steadfastly supported the EU’s integration and is glad to see the EU play a positive role in international affairs. Zhu pointed out that although the economic and trade cooperation between the PRC and the EU has been fruitful, the scale and extent of bilateral cooperation should be increased. He expressed hope that the EU could reduce and ultimately abolish trade restrictions on the PRC, increase high-tech exports and technology transfers, and take positive measures to encourage more European enterprises to invest in the PRC and cooperate with PRC counterparts. Lipponen and Prodi said that both the EU and the PRC are experiencing fast economic development and there is great potential and enthusiasm for economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. They also said the EU will look into further investments in the PRC and the EU wants the PRC to play a bigger role in the world economy. Lipponen and Prodi also said the EU supported the PRC’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and hopes to reach a beneficial and stable agreement with the PRC. Zhu reiterated the PRC’s principled stance on its accession to the WTO and hoped the EU would make a decision as early as possible so that the two sides can reach agreement on the matter.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia


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