NAPSNet Daily Report 22 July, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 22 July, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 22, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-22-july-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test

The New York Times (Calvin Sims, “NORTH KOREA, IGNORING WARNINGS, PROCEEDS WITH PLANS TO TEST-FIRE MISSILE,” Seoul, 07/22/99) reported that, according to diplomatic and security officials, the DPRK is proceeding with plans to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile this summer. A western security official said, “At this time all our intelligence indicates that North Korea will go through with a second missile test. That’s really unfortunate because we will be forced to respond, to send a message that this behavior cannot be tolerated.” However, western diplomats in the ROK did not rule out a diplomatic solution. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 22.]

2. DPRK Artillery Deployment

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “NK BEEFS UP MILITARY ON YELLOW SEA COAST,” Osan, 07/23/99, Pg. 3) reported that, according to the ROK’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, the DPRK bolstered its forces on its west coast at a naval base near the site of the recent naval confrontation. The Chosun Ilbo quoted an unidentified “intelligence source” as saying that the DPRK had been moving 240mm rocket launchers to a naval base near the western end of the Demilitarized Zone since April, but after the exchange of gunfire in June it also began moving 170mm artillery pieces. Chosun Ilbo said that the weapons have a range of about 45 miles, which puts Seoul’s northern outskirts within striking distance. The newspaper added that 20 tanks and artillery companies have been deployed along the Pyongyang- Kaesong highway. Yu Young-suk, a spokesman for the ROK Defense Ministry, declined to comment on the report and said the ministry officials had not seen it. Lee Ferguson, US Forces Korea (USFK) spokeswoman, said that the DPRK “has a very formidable force that is forward deployed. It is one of the reasons that we watch very closely to make sure we are prepared for any contingency. However, we do not comment on intelligence information.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 22.]

3. Light-Water Reactor Project

Inside The Pentagon (“HOUSE AMENDMENT PLACES CONDITIONS ON NUCLEAR AID TO NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 07/22/99) reported that the US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved an amendment that predicates US aid to the DPRK’s two light-water reactors on whether the DPRK is abiding by proliferation constraints. The amendment, cosponsored by US International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman, Republican-New York, and US Representative Edward Markey, Democrat-Massachusetts, called on the US president to certify that arms control experts consider the DPRK in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Gilman and Markey wrote, “The purpose of the Gilman-Markey amendment … is to remove any hope the North Koreans may have that they can get away with less than full compliance with their obligations under the 1994 agreement with the United States.” Gilman and Markey said that they do not intend to rewrite the 1994 deal or prevent it from being implemented. Instead, the legislation “merely requires North Korea to live up to its obligations under the agreement before it receives nuclear reactors worth US$5 billion.”

4. DPRK Ex-Vice Premier Dies

The Associated Press (“EX-N. KOREAN VICE PREMIER KIM DIES,” Seoul, 07/22/99) reported that, according to the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), former DPRK vice premier Kim Pyong-sik passed away. KCNA said that a state funeral committee, led by DPRK Premier Hong Song-nam, was formed after Kim died on Wednesday of an “incurable disease.” A native of the ROK, Kim played a leading role in forming a pro-DPRK residents’ group in Japan in the 1950s. In 1972, he moved to the DPRK to serve in various government and party posts. After serving as a vice premier for five years, Kim retired from active politics in 1998 to serve in an advisory post in the DPRK Korean Socialist Party. Kim was 80.

5. Japanese Policy toward DPRK

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “JAPAN TRIES STOPPING MISSILE TEST,” Tokyo, 07/22/99) and Reuters (“JAPAN FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS N.KOREA ON MISSILE,” Tokyo, 07/22/99) reported that, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Akitaka Saiki, a missile launch by the DPRK would jeopardize US$1 billion that Japan has pledged to help build two nuclear reactors in the DPRK. Saiki said, “Various measures … including economic sanctions are under consideration. We can’t tell you which measures will be taken at this point.” Meanwhile, some analysts said that the DPRK’s economy might suffer more if remittances by ethnic Koreans living in Japan are blocked by the Japanese government. Kyokazu Koshida of the Asia-Pacific Research Center in Tokyo, said, “The North Korean economy might go into a panic. It’s a huge amount – that would have a profound impact.” Chungon So, of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, said, “They say our sending money is like an illegal act, but it’s not. It’s trade and humanitarian aid. It’s very unjust to incite people’s fears.”

6. William Cohen’s Asia Visit

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Richard Roesler, “OKINAWA TO FIGURE IN COHEN TALKS,” Tokyo, 07/23/99, Pg. 2) reported that, according to a senior US Defense Department official, US Secretary of Defense William Cohen will discuss US bases in Okinawa and a Japanese satellite plan during his visit to the Pacific. Cohen will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, Japanese Defense Minister Hosei Norota, US General John Tilelli in the ROK, and a variety of senior Japanese and ROK government, foreign affairs, and defense officials. The official said, “We will be reviewing the status of diplomatic efforts toward North Korea, we’ll review the security situation on the Korean peninsula, and also talk, obviously, about our ongoing attempts to re-engage diplomatically with China. We view these (discussions) as normal, but extremely important, consultations about critical security and political developments that are under way in the region.” According to the official, there are also a number of routine issues slated for discussion, including Japan’s efforts to develop defense-related satellites. Cohen also plans to discuss US bases in Okinawa, “to continue steps to ease the burden of the forward-basing of U.S. forces on Japanese local communities.” The US embassy in Japan and US Forces Japan said on Thursday that they do not yet know whether Cohen will meet with troops on this visit. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 22.]

7. Nuclear Shipment to Japan The Associated Press (“PLUTONIUM BOAT SETS SAIL FOR JAPAN,” Cherbourg, France, 07/21/99) reported that the British ship Pacific Teal left France on Wednesday carrying a cargo of plutonium en route for Japan. The cargo was reprocessed from spent Japanese nuclear fuel at a state-run plant at La Havre, near Cherbourg. Greenpeace issued a statement that said that Greenpeace boat MV Sirius was ordered to leave French territorial waters while protesting the departure. The Pacific Teal was to join up with another British ship, the Pacific Pintail, also carrying plutonium to Japan.

8. Japanese Flag and Anthem

Reuters (“FLAG, ANTHEM BILL PASSED BY JAPAN’S LOWER HOUSE,” Tokyo, 07/22/99) reported that a bill to grant legal status to Japan’s national “Hinomaru” flag and anthem “Kimigayo” was passed on Thursday by the Japanese Lower House of parliament. The bill will go to the Japanese Upper House, with final passage likely before the current parliament session ends on August 13. The “Hinomaru” flag and the anthem currently have no legal or constitutional status as national symbols.

9. Taiwanese Stand on PRC Policy

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “TAIWAN TO CHINA: ACCEPT IT,” Taipei, 07/22/99) reported that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui said on Thursday that the PRC must gradually come to terms with his affirmation of Taiwan’s statehood. Lee said that his recent controversial statement was intended to inject “positive and friendly meaning” into dealings between the sides, even though he understood the PRC would find it “hard to accept at first.” Lee said, “If they can sit down and think coolly about this, they ought to gradually be able to accept it.”

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “TAIWAN RETURNS TO ‘ONE CHINA’ POLICY,” Beijing, 07/21/99, A20) and the Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “TAIPEI TWEAKS ITS CHINA STANCE,” Taipei, 07/21/99) reported that Taiwan government spokesman Chen Chien-jen said that Taiwan’s cabinet had debated for days about the Chinese and English phrasing of Taiwan’s policy shift and had dropped some of the more controversial wording. He said that Taiwan’s formulation that relations with the PRC are now on the basis of “special state-to-state” relations reflects shared Chinese traditions. Chen said, “We don’t want to do anything to create confusion or misunderstanding. We think special state-to-state relations is good enough.” Chen also said that Taiwan has no plans to amend its constitution to reflect its stance. Chen stressed that Taiwan still wants PRC Envoy to Taiwan Wang Daohan to visit Taiwan, but he insisted that the PRC and Taiwan negotiate with each other on the same footing. Chen added that if the PRC accepts this condition, Taiwan would be willing to begin talks on political issues. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 22.]

10. PRC Reaction to Taiwanese PRC Policy

Reuters (Michael Kramer, “CHINA SPURNS SOFTER RHETORIC FROM TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/22/99) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on Thursday said that a change in Taipei’s rhetoric could not cover its separatist intentions. Zhang stated, “No matter how Taiwan authorities disguise or explain this terminology, its essence emphasizes state-to-state relations. We consider this a thorough rejection of the internationally recognized one-China policy and a serious provocation. Our dispute with Taiwan authorities is not a matter of wanting democracy or not, but a question of preserving sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “TAIPEI TWEAKS ITS CHINA STANCE,” Taipei, 07/21/99) reported that Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported on Thursday that the PRC is considering a “quasi- military” response to Taiwan that might be more severe than its missile tests off the Taiwanese coast in 1995-96. South China Morning Post quoted unidentified Beijing sources as saying that the current PRC-Taiwan crisis will dominate the agenda early next month when the PRC’s leaders gather for an annual summit in Beidaihe.

11. US Views on PRC-Taiwan Relations

US President Bill Clinton (Wendy S. Ross, “CLINTON CAUTIONS TAIWAN, CHINA TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES PEACEFULLY,” USIA Text, Washington, 07/21/99) said that the US “would view with the gravest concern” if the PRC and Taiwan were to abandon efforts to resolve their differences peacefully. Clinton stated, “I think we need to stay with one China. I think we need to stay with the dialogue, and I think that no one should contemplate force here. The pillars of the policy are still the right ones. The one-China policy is right. The cross-strait dialogue is right. The peaceful approach is right, and neither side, in my judgment, should depart from any of those elements. I believe that they want to stay on a path to prosperity and dialogue. And we have dispatched people today, as the morning press reports, to do what we can to press that case to all sides. This is something that we don’t want to see escalate.” Clinton added that a US Defense Department mission to Taiwan to assess its air defense needs was delayed because he did not think “this was the best time to do something which might excite either one side or the other and imply that a military solution is an acceptable alternative. If you really think about what’s at stake here it would be unthinkable.”

Reuters (Michael Kramer, “CHINA SPURNS SOFTER RHETORIC FROM TAIWAN,” Beijing, 07/22/99) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Stanley Roth arrived in Beijing on Thursday for consultations with PRC officials on the Taiwan issue. US emissary Richard Bush arrived in Taipei on Thursday and said he planned to meet with senior Taiwan officials to exchange views on cross-strait relations and to promote mutual understanding. Bush said, “One thing I must emphasize here is the friendship between the United States and Taiwan.”

12. US-PRC Relations

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING,” USIA Text, Washington, 07/21/99) said that US Secretary of State Madeline Albright and PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan might talk about the bombing of PRC Embassy in Belgrade when they meet at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF). Rubin said, “The reality is that U.S.-China relations have been through a rough patch following the tragic accident; that we haven’t been able to resume all the aspects of our relationship the way we would like to. We’ve apologized; we’ve expressed our regret; we have offered compensation; we’re talking about compensation; we’ve provided a report. So we would like to move on, but it’s up to China to make that decision. That ball is in their court to decide whether the various aspects of our relationship, which we believe are beneficial to both sides should be resumed — whether that’s the WTO. As you know, David Aaron, an Undersecretary for Commerce is traveling…. We would like to pursue continued discussions on that. There are important non-proliferation issues, human rights issues, other trade matters. So we would like to resume a full breadth of the relationship, which we think is in China’s interest, as well as the United States’ interest. But they have to make that decision.”

13. Bombing of PRC Embassy

The Associated Press (John Diamond, “CHINESE EMBASSY OK ON CIA MAPS,” Washington, 07/22/99) reported that, according to CIA director George Tenet, the CIA has found maps showing the correct location of the PRC embassy in Belgrade that NATO bombed on May 7. Testifying before a US House committee on Thursday, Tenet said that some CIA employees were aware of the correct location of the PRC Embassy but they were not part of the target planning process. Tenet said, “We have subsequently found maps which show the correct current location of the Chinese Embassy although there are others, including some produced after 1996 by the Yugoslav government, which do not. Some of our employees knew the location of the Chinese Embassy. None of these individuals were consulted as the target was selected and reviewed.” US Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre said that despite Tenet’s testimony, he considered that the bombing error was primarily the US Defense Department’s responsibility, not the CIA’s. In particular, Hamre said that the process of developing “no strike” lists with information about schools, hospitals, embassies, and other facilities to be avoided, is clearly flawed. Hamre said, “The system is inadequate because it is currently dependent on databases which are not adequately updated. It is clear that no one wanted to attack the Chinese Embassy. What is embarrassing to me is that no one knew where the Chinese Embassy really was.”

14. Power Cut in Russian Military

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING,” USIA Text, Washington, 07/21/99) said that there was a cut-off of electrical power to Russian military units in the Far East because the military is in arrears in its payment to the local utility company. Rubin said, “We have no reason to believe that nuclear forces were affected by the blackout. The Russian Government continues to assure us that it maintains complete command and control of its nuclear forces, and we have no reason to doubt those assurances.”

15. Kashmir Conflict

Reuters (“MUSLIM REBELS MISS DEADLINE FOR KASHMIR PULLOUT,” New Delhi, 07/22/99) reported that, since dozens of Pakistani guerrillas defied an agreement to withdraw on Wednesday, India renewed artillery fire in three areas of northern Kashmir’s Kargil sector. Bakht Zameen, leader of Pakistani Al-Badar, said, “The mujahedeen are still there and are operating according to their guerrilla plans.” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday said, “We demand that India undo its violations of the Line of Control it committed in 1972, 1984, and 1998 to restore trust.” He also said UN military observers in Kashmir could verify the Indian violations. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 22.]

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “KASHMIR PEAK DISPUTE CONTINUES,” Mushkoh Valley, 07/22/99) reported that, according to Indian officers, many Islamic guerrillas have re-emerged on the Indian part of the Line of Control. One officer said, “It is not war now. It is all about the realignment of the Line of Control.”

The Associated Press (Neelesh Misra, “PAKISTAN SHELLS KASHMIR TOWN,” Kargil, 07/21/99) reported that Pakistani shells struck the largest town in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday. The bombardment targeted an army headquarters and civilian areas. India has said it will talk to Pakistan only after the guerrillas completely withdraw and Pakistan affirms it will respect the Line of Control in the future. However, Ashok Singhal, head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, said, “This is not the right time for a dialogue with Pakistan when so many lives have been lost. Pakistan should be taught a lesson.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Development

The Korea Herald (“N.K.’S TAEPODONG II MISSILE SIMILAR TO CHINA’S CSS-3, MILITARY SOURCES SAY,” Seoul, 07/22/99) reported that ROK military sources said on Wednesday that the first-stage rocket of the DPRK’s Taepodong II long-range ballistic missile is similar to that of the CSS-3 missile of the PRC. Accordingly, the DPRK will adopt the CSS-3’s first-stage rocket and the second-stage rocket of the Rodong I missile as the first- and second-stage rockets of Taepodong II, respectively, the sources said. In particular, the Rodong I’s second-stage rocket was already adopted as the first-stage rocket of the Taepodong I fired in Musudan-ri, North Hamkyong Province, on August 31 last year. The Taepodong II is expected to use the liquid fuel of nitrogen and hydrogen also used by the CSS-3, the sources added. The DPRK’s new missile is judged to be able to fly farther and faster than the Taepodong I because the first-stage rocket consists of four engines. The DPRK is building a launching site for the Taepodong II test launch 2 km from Musudan-ri.

2. DPRK-UNC Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Bae Myung-chol, “UNC TALKS WITH NK MAKE LITTLE HEADWAY,” Seoul, 07/21/99), The Korea Herald (“AT TALKS, NORTH KOREA REPEATS SEA BORDER CLAIM,” Seoul, 07/22/99) and Joongang Ilbo (“UNC-NK BORDER TALKS END WITH NO AGREEMENT AGAIN,” Seoul, 07/22/99) reported that the general level talks between the United Nations Command (UNC) and the DPRK, held at the truce village of Panmunjom at 10:12 on Wednesday morning, finished without any modifications or progress toward a set agenda. The DPRK requested the withdrawal of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and suggested setting a new maritime limit line according to the Truce Accord and international law. It also asked the UNC to accept 5 requests, issued at the previous meeting July 2, including the punishment of key personnel involved and compensation for damage from the naval engagement off the west coast. In responding to the requests, the UNC clarified that it could not accept the requests and that the NLL was currently non-negotiable, as it has been in effect for 46 years through bilateral recognition. Four UNC and three DPRK generals attended the talks.

3. US Defense Secretary to visit ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Byung-sun, “COHEN TO VISIT SEOUL,” Seoul, 07/21/99) and Joongang Ilbo (Shim Shang-bok, “U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY TO VISIT SEOUL ON JULY 28,” Seoul, 07/21/99) reported that the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced on Wednesday that US Defense Secretary William Cohen will officially come to the ROK on July 28 for a three day visit. Secretary Cohen will evaluate the security situation on the Korean Peninsula related to the recent naval engagement in the West Sea and what appear to be moves for a second missile test by the DPRK. He will discuss cooperative countermeasures in talks with Defense Minister Cho Sun-tae during his stay.

4. DPRK Food Situation

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-koo, “NK FOOD SITUATION IMPROVING,” 07/21/99) reported that an ROK government official said on Wednesday that DPRK food conditions appear to have improved recently. The official said that as a consequence, military units and civilians are being mobilized to work on farms and roads in a bid to recover the economy. The official said that the DPRK had a total of 5.3 million tons of grain, which should mostly fulfill an annual demand for 5.51 million tons. The DPRK is supplying 600 grams of food per day to government leaders and soldiers and 300-350 grams of food to the general public. Previously, civilians were given only 200 grams of food a day between 1996 and 1998.

5. ASEAN Regional Forum

Chosun Ilbo (“FOREIGN MINISTER TO ATTEND ARF TALKS,” Seoul, 07/21/99) and The Korea Herald (Jun Kwan-woo, “HONG TO ATTEND ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM, FOREIGN MINISTERS’ TALKS IN SINGAPORE,” Seoul, 07/22/99) reported that it was announced on Wednesday that ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference (APMC) to be held in Singapore for three days from July 25. During the session, the ROK, the US, and Japan will call for the DPRK to refrain from conducting another missile test at trilateral foreign-minister-level talks. Pointing out that missile development has become a major threat in the area, the 22 ARF member countries are known to be seeking to make a joint statement expressing their concerns.

III. Russian Federation

1. DPRK Missile Test

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“PYONGYANG IS THREATENED WITH SANCTIONS,” Moscow, 6, 7/13/99) reported that the ROK, the US, and Japan plan to end any assistance to the DPRK if it finally tests its new “Taepodong-2” missile with 6000 kilometers range, capable of reaching the US West Coast. ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young said Monday that the DPRK had been delaying the launch only due to political considerations. This year the DPRK has got US$600 million worth of international aid in food, oil and fertilizers. If the missile is launched, the aid would be reduced to a minimum humanitarian level.

2. Kim Il-sung’s Mausoleum

Izvestia’s Gennadiy Charodeyev (“KIM IL-SUNG’S GOLDEN MAUSOLEUM,” Moscow, 4, 7/15/99) reported that, according to the South China Morning Post, the costs of maintaining the Mausoleum containing the body of the DPRK late leader Kim Il-sung are paid from the DPRK state budget and are close to US$3 million a year, including US$300,000 in wages to the 500 responsible personnel. Annually, the Mausoleum is visited by 1.5 million people, “the very same people who recently went to a demonstration in Pyongyang demanding increased food rations.” Meanwhile, with US$3 million the DPRK could import 56,000 tons of wheat or 18 tons of high-grade Thai rice.

3. RF Media on the DPRK Leader

Figury i Litsa (“THE MOST MYSTERIOUS RULER ON EARTH,” Moscow, 15, #13, July 1999 – a supplement to Nezavisimaia gazeta, 7/16/99) published a page large biographical article by Petr Akopov [no personal data specified – Ed.] about DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. Its subtitles: “Yura from Vyatskiy or Cheng from the Paektu Mountain?,” “Self- Reliance,” “Ten Years to the Top,” “The Heir,” “Strange Summer of 1944,” “Three Years of Mourning,” “Has the Leader Got a Heir?,” “A Fan of Pugachyova [a leading Soviet and Russian pop singer – Ed.],” “We Don’t Envy Anybody.” Two photos depict Kim Jong-il with Deng Xiaoping in Beijing in 1983 and Kim Jong-il as a child in the USSR with his father and mother.

4. Taiwan Policy toward PRC

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“BEIJING ‘INTIMIDATES’ TAIPEI,” Moscow, 6, 7/21/99) reported that Taiwanese “President Lee Teng-hui again demanded that the PRC recognize Taiwan’s independence,” as “a necessary prerequisite of its re- unification with China, which will be possible only on a democratic basis.” In his opinion, the PRC’s “constant threats are a serious obstacle to the rapprochement.” Meanwhile, the PRC continues military maneuvers in the Straits of Taiwan, waging a psychological warfare against Taiwan.

Izvestia’s Yuriy Savenkov (“TAIWAN’S PRESIDENT CHALLENGES THE ‘SINGLE CHINA’ IDEA,” Moscow, 4, 7/14/99) reported that Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui told “Deutsche Welle” radio broadcasting station of Germany that from now on Taiwan-PRC relations should be considered “state-to-state” or at least “special state-to-state” ones. The statement received no support abroad. The PRC’s Xinhua news agency called Lee “an international rebel wishing to destroy East Asian security.” The US State Department confirmed US adherence to the “one China” policy. The Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Japan respected the PRC’s position as regards its sovereignty over Taiwan and expressed hope that the parties would solve the problem peacefully. “Not only pro-Beijing, but independent Hong Kong press as well sharply condemned the statement … as only provoking a confrontation.”

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Dmitriy Skosyrev (“CHINA DEMANDS EXPLANATIONS,” Moscow, 6, 7/17/99) reported that the economic price of Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s statement proved to be high, as “a genuine panic started on the island. Its stock exchange on the total lost 12.4 percent. Some Taiwanese began looking into bomb-shelters and assessing if they are ready in case of a nuclear war. The reason is that on the island they applied to themselves a recent PRC statement that it had possessed a neutron bomb for 11 years.” Kuomintang leader James Song caused a split in the ruling party by saying he would run independently for the presidency in 2000, because the country would need a more careful and security-aware leader. The motivations for Lee’s statement are still unclear. It could have been a slip of the tongue, or a test whether under new conditions “after ‘the rape’ of Europe in the Balkans it would be possible to try to push the USA to show muscles in yet another region. It’s doubtful that such initiative made the Americans glad.” Lee has already made some explanations by saying that the “state-to-state” relations between the two capitals were just “a political reality” and that the Taiwanese Government would continue its policy toward re-unification. “Obviously, Beijing now will try to make a maximum propaganda effect of the situation and to accept those explanations, if not at once, then at a tenth attempt…. Of greatest importance is the fact that Washington is not ready for an unplanned conflict with the PRC, which in terms of its aggregate economic and military might is much bigger than Yugoslavia.”

5. PRC Views of Taiwan Policy

Izvestia’s Yuriy Savenkov (“BEIJING MAKES THE FIRST CHINESE WARNING TO TAIPEI,” Moscow, 1, 7/20/99) reported that “Beijing has started actively intimidating Taiwan.” An invasion is out of question, but 12 hours long civil defense exercises were held last weekend in seaside Fujiang Province, involving 100 non-naval vessels. Taiwanese radar detected about 20 PRC airplanes near Taiwan’s Paenhu island 80 kilometers from the mainland. Taiwanese airplanes and 6 ships went to combat positions. PRC airplanes stayed near the border for some time and then left. Taiwan’s armed forces command has drafted 13 plans to repel an external military threat. In a phone conversation with US President Bill Clinton, PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin said that the PRC stood for peaceful re-unification on the “one country – two systems” basis, but did not commit itself to renounce a use of force, because of some forces in Taiwan and in the international community wishing “to depart the island from the motherland.” Jiang stated, “we will not let that happen.” Clinton said the US still considered “China” a single country, yet a day before US State Department warned the PRC that the US would not tolerate a violent way of determining Taiwan’s future. The PRC does not even possess amphibious vessels to sent troops to Taiwan, 160 kilometers away from the mainland. A sea blockade is highly unfeasible. The PRC could occupy some small islets, “but the price of such action would be too high, and most probably Beijing will restrict itself to verbal demarches.”

Segodnya (“MAINLAND CHINESE ARE NOT AGAINST ATTACKING TAIWAN,” Moscow, 3, 7/21/99) reported that, according to an opinion poll conducted by the China Daily newspaper, 86.9 percent of PRC citizens would support a decision of the PRC Government to militarily attack Taiwan. 94.7 percent of them were “shocked” by the Taiwanese President’s recent statement favoring a state-to-state relations between the PRC and Taiwan.

6. PRC Neutron Bomb

Nezavisimaia gazeta’s Dmitriy Skosyrev (“BEIJING HAS GOT A NEUTRON BOMB,” Moscow, 6, 7/16/99) reported that, according to a PRC Governmental Spokesman, the PRC exploded its first neutron bomb 11 years ago. The number of neutron devices presently stockpiled was not revealed. The article said, “The statement is a part of the row between Beijing and Washington about the alleged Chinese thefts of US secret nuclear technologies.” Military experts believe the PRC does not possess delivery means equal to those of the US, and that that fact diminishes the value of its neutron bomb.

Segodnya’s Aleksandr Chudodeyev (“CHINA IS READY FOR A NEUTRON WAR,” Moscow, 1, 3, 6/16/99) reported that, according to a statement made by Xinhua News Agency, the PRC has the technology to produce a neutron bomb. Though the powers who possess neutron bombs (the RF, the US, France) would not admit it, this type of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) presently is the only one that can be used in case of a serious regional conflict. As different from “common” nukes, it can bring about maximum casualties with minimum demolition and minimum radioactive contamination within a limited area. The PRC’s neutron bomb, together with the emergence of Indian and Pakistani nuclear bombs, makes “the probability of a regional conflict with WMD used not so unreal.” As for the reasons why the PRC revealed its secret, Segodnya’s author speculated about two. First, the PRC possibly decided to discourage Taiwan from any shifts toward setting “state-to-state” bilateral relations. Second, “one cannot rule out that the Chinese decided to frighten the Americans and to extort a larger sum” as a compensation for the PRC Embassy bombed in Belgrade, as bilateral US-PRC talks started on July 15 in Beijing precisely on that topic. “Yet, as practice has shown, by means of nuclear missile threats Beijing has reached little in its foreign policies. It is not its style, and it has been much more successful in ping-pong parties.”

7. RF Arms Exports to PRC

Segodnya’s Pavel Felgengauer (“ARMS MARKET IS A CYNICAL MATTER,” Moscow, 3, 7/21/99) reported that “the growing China-Taiwan conflict might be a blessing to Russian arms dealers.” Since 1992 the PRC, along with India, has been the major buyer of RF-made weapons, spending about US$1 billion annually. For those US$7 billion, the PRC obtained about 70 Su-70 heavy bombers, four S-300PMU1 AA missile systems, 14 TOR-M1 AA systems, 4 “Kilo” (“Varshavyanka”) class submarines, and now is waiting for the delivery of 2 “Sovremenniy” class destroyers. Additionally, the PRC has already launched its own production of Su-70s under RF license and developed its own version of an AA system based on S-300 system technology. Till now RF arms deliveries have been hampered by “Beijing’s persistent unwillingness to spend in excess of US$1 billion per year on arms exports and the equally persistent desire of the General Staff in Moscow to slow down the sales. But this year relations between Russian and Chinese military have been rapidly improving, as relations with NATO were deteriorating.” On the other hand, the US Congress is about to adopt a bill on Taiwan’s security that might revoke all restrictions on deliveries of modern US weapons to Taiwan. “There are conditions emerging in favor of an arms race in the region…. If we do not sell, then someone else will.” Meanwhile, in an interview with Interfax News Agency, General Lieutenant Leonid Ivashov, Chief, Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation, RF Defense Ministry, noted that the RF and PRC held “similar positions” on peace and stability, pointing out that “the policy pursued by the USA and the NATO is fraught with big dangers to our peoples” and could be countered by collective efforts. He added that all RF arms delivered to the PRC were of defensive nature.

8. RF-Japanese Maritime Cooperation

Izvestia’s Aleksandr Chuikov (“JAPANESE BORDER GUARDS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR POACHES,” Moscow, 2, 7/15/99) reported that after a two-year break, RF-Japanese talks on joint efforts to combat weapon smuggling and drug trafficking were held in Moscow. This round was prompted by the March incident when two unidentified vessels intruded in Japanese territorial waters. After a long pursuit, the Japanese Maritime security Agency asked the RF border guards for cooperation, and the “Krechet” patrol ship of the RF Border Guard Service pursued the vessels for several hours till they went into DPRK territorial waters. Japan subsequently decided to continue cooperation with the RF in the field of maritime security, yet the Japanese side refused to discuss the issue of Japanese poachers. This year alone there have been about 40 cases of Japanese illegal fishing in RF territorial waters.

9. RF Pacific Navy’s Nuclear Waste

Segodnya (“‘ACCORDING TO THE VALID NORMS…’,” Moscow, 7, 7/21/99) published an article by Captain Grigory Pasko, a former officer of the RF Pacific Fleet, who was sentenced Tuesday to 3 years of imprisonment for “misuse of his official position” and was amnestied in the court room. In the past, Captain Pasko cooperated with Japanese TV and revealed some environmental hazards posed by the Fleet’s nuclear waste utilization practices. He spend 20 months under arrest, initially accused of “high treason” and “espionage.” According to Captain Pasko, there are more than 60 nuclear submarines written off from the RF Pacific Fleet. 10 of them were cut into three- compartment blocks. Nuclear fuel waste was removed only from 22 of them. As early as 1993 at an RF Government session it was said that as long as “the active zones” are not cut out of the submarines and not buried, the submarines would remain “real environmental bombs.” Decisions were taken, responsible persons appointed and money allocated, yet since then the Fleet has received no money at all for utilization of the submarines. The radioactive “time-bombs” are still there in several places of the RF Far Eastern coast. The Fleet received no funds to do anything except to guard them and submit reports. Actually, Captain Pasko wrote the article in 1996, but he assured Segodnya that nowadays everything remained the same as it was three yeas ago and “the Fleet still has not received the money promised.”

10. RF Military Power Cut

Izvestia’s Boris Reznik (“DEFENSE IN CANDLE-LIGHT,” Moscow, 2, 7/21/99) reported that the “Khabarovskenergo” energy producing company “for some time” totally cut off electricity deliveries to a number of Air Force and Air Defense units in the RF Far East, as a result of which “control was lost over the situation on the air border” of that region. The action was preceded by warnings, demands for the military to pay back their debts to the company, and even a picketing of the headquarters of the Far Eastern Military District. Lieutenant General Aleksei Kuznetsov, Corps Commander, 11th Air Force and Air Defense Army, whose unit is stationed in Komsomolsk-on- Amur, said that “at first darkness fell everywhere. Yes, we have reserve electricity producing sources, but very little black oil. We’ve got the strategic fuel and oil reserve, but it is forbidden to touch it.” After an urgent meeting between Army Commander General Ogoyev and Khabarovsk Area Governor Ishaev the electricity supplies were resumed, but August 5 deadline was established for the military to fully cover their debts. The 11th Army owes 140 million rubles to the energy producers. Previously such blackouts occurred on a smaller scale. The RF Strategic Purpose Missile Force Press Service in Moscow told Izvestia that, despite a high level of protection of the energy systems of Air Defense and SPMF units, “a real danger of electricity cuts as regards military facilities of special importance does exist under certain conditions.” The Press Service also said that energy producers’ claims must be re-addressed to the RF Finance Ministry, delaying money transfers.

11. RF Armed Forces

Izvestia (“RUSSIAN ARMY WILL GET NEW EQUIPMENT SAMPLES,” Moscow, 1, 7/20/99) reported that according to General Colonel Anatoly Sitnin, Chief of Armaments, RF Armed Forces, despite the present financial difficulties, the RF Armed Forces in 1999 will get 10 “Topol-M” ICBMs, a Tu-160 new strategic bomber, radar stations, a nuclear submarine, a big anti-submarine ship, a missile armed ship and a small landing ship, 100 APCs, tanks and self-propelled guns. Also 10 outer space satellites are to be procured for the Defense Ministry.

12. Laser Weapons Ban

Izvestia’s Vladimir Yermolin (“FOR LASER DISARMAMENT,” Moscow, 3, 7/16/99) reported that on July 15, the RF Foreign Ministry published a memorandum saying that the RF “intends to actively promote international efforts” to ban laser weapons. The document pointed out that the RF has already ratified an additional protocol to the Convention on banning or restricting particular types of conventional weapons that can be considered excessively destructive or indiscriminate. An official of the Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation, Yevgeny Pushkaryov, said that the reference was to “special laser means destroying human sight.” According to him, the RF neither possesses nor has ever developed such weapons. In the past, the USSR and the US raced to create laser systems to blind each other’s satellites. Presently the US, Great Britain, the PRC, Japan, and a number of other industrialized nations are able “to laser-hit human eyes.” Moreover, lasers could become a long-awaited weapons for terrorists, alongside with nuclear knapsacks. “Why spend billions to invent a new ‘hellish weapon’ with the world already full of the most sophisticated means of self-destruction?” the article said.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.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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