NAPSNet Daily Report 22 November, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 22 November, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 22, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Foreign Investment

New York Times (Calvin Sims, “NORTH KOREA OPENS A DOOR, BUT NOT NECESSARILY ITS MIND-SET,” Seoul, 11/21/99) reported that the DPRK has been receiving inquiries from foreign companies, investors and trade groups seeking to do business there since it agreed to freeze its long- range missile tests in exchange for the US lifting economic sanctions. The inquiries have led to several highly publicized trade missions to the DPRK but few, if any, foreign firms are expected to actually set up their business there. President of Euro-Asian Business Consultancy Limited, Anthony Michell said, “a lot of investors will come to Pyongyang on a trade mission and take one look at the way North Korea operates, and they will never come back.”

2. DPRK Massacre Investigation

Washington Post (“N. KOREA PROPOSES JOINT MASSACRE INQUIRY,” Seoul, 11/21/99, 36) reported that the DPRK proposed on November 20 that it form a joint team with the ROK to investigate allegations that US soldiers killed hundreds of civilians during the Korean War. The DPRK said it sent the proposal to ROK civil organizations saying it would prefer to deal with them rather than the ROK government. The ROK civil said they had yet to receive it.

3. US-ROK Missile Talks

Reuters (“S.KOREA-US MISSILE TALKS SEE PROGRESS BUT NO DEAL,” Seoul, 11/21/99) reported that the ROK and the US ended talks on November 20 without an agreement about ROK’s desire to develop longer range rockets. The US Embassy in the ROK said in a statement, “The discussions on the ROK missile issue were productive and concrete, bringing the U.S. and ROK positions closer together. Some differences remain, however, which the U.S. hopes will be resolved as soon as possible.” The ROK did not issue a separate statement, but a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the US statement included the ROK position.

4. PRC Spaceflight

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “CHINA TAKES A GIANT LEAP CLOSER TO MANNED SPACEFLIGHT,” Beijing, 11/22/99), The Washington Post (Michael Laris, “CHINESE TEST CRAFT FOR MANNED ORBITS,” Beijing, 11/22/99, A01), and Agence France Presse (“CHINA TRUMPETS TEST FLIGHT OF MANNED SPACE PROGRAM,” Beijing, 11/22/99) reported that the PRC announced its first successful launching and recovery of an unmanned spacecraft called the Shenzhou, or Magic Vessel, on November 21. According to the New China News Agency, the capsule was hoisted on top of a Long March rocket with four external engines at the base and fired into orbit at 6:30AM on November 20 from a pad in the northwestern province of Gansu. The craft completed 14 orbits at an altitude of about 186 miles, received a signal from a ship to slow down, arced toward earth and parachuted to a landing zone in Inner Mongolia at 3:41 AM. The spaceflight was kept secret until its successful conclusion. An anonymous program chief said the development of a manned space program will promote “the country’s comprehensive national strength, promote the development of science and technology, enhance national prestige, and boost the nation’s sense of pride and cohesiveness.” The official added that more unmanned test flights would be conducted before astronauts were sent into space.

Associated Press (John Leicester, “CHINA SAYS SPACE TECHNOLOGY WILL LET IT BEAT U.S. DEFENSES,” Beijing, 11/22/99) reported that PRC military expert Song Yichang told the state-run China Business Times that the same low-power propulsion technology used to adjust a spacecraft’s orbit in flight could also be used to alter the path of offensive missiles, helping them evade proposed US Theater Missile Defense (TMD) and National Missile Defense (NMD). The newspaper said the PRC development of low-momentum rocket propulsion “is equivalent to having a trump card to counter TMD and NMD. We can use this technology to change trajectories in flight, making missiles do a little dance and evade opponents’ attacks.” The newspaper also said “With low-power space rocket technology, it will be hard for the opposite side to control the cost and difficulty of defending against Chinese missiles. Even though the opposite side has TMD, it will have to sit down and negotiate with you.” The newspaper did not explain whether or how information from Shenzhou’s flight could be used to make defense-evading PRC missiles, but it said a manned space flight could provide “a large amount of practical data” on low-power rocket propulsion technology.

5. PRC Entry into G8

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN MAY INVITE CHINESE PRESIDENT TO G8 SUMMIT,” Tokyo, 11/21/99) reported that Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun said on November 20 that Japan may invite PRC President Jiang Zemin to a summit of the Group of Eight (G8) to be held in Okinawa. Takenori Kanzaki, head of the New Komeito party and a member of the ruling coalition government, left for the PRC on November 21 for a four-day visit to meet Jiang and other top PRC officials. The article also quoted a party official as saying that Japanese officials will use the talks with Jiang to sound out the possibility of Jiang’s participation in the summit. A senior official of the Japanese party quoted by the daily said, “We need President Jiang’s attendance in order to design the Okinawa summit to secure peace in northeast Asia.” The New Komeito party said Jiang would be given guest status for the visit, but if Jiang could not visit Okinawa during the G8 summit, Japan may then seek his appearance in Okinawa by holding a “Northeast Asian Summit” on the island next year. A Japanese foreign ministry source was quoted as saying, “Although there are various ideas, we have not started full discussions yet.”

6. US-PRC Relations

Los Angeles Times (Mark Magnier, “U.S. SEEKS THAW IN SINO SECURITY TIES,” Beijing, 11/20/99) and The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, “U.S. DELEGATION IN CHINA DISCUSSES MILITARY TIES,” Beijing, 11/21/99) reported that a delegation led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Kurt Campbell arrived in the PRC on the evening of November 19 for two days of talks with PRC military officials. Ken Allen, senior associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center said, “there’ve been lulls up and down [in military relations] over the past 20 years. But this is among the worst.” Experts said that if Campbell is met by someone of higher rank, like the chief of staff, defense minister or even the PRC premier, this will signal PRC’s eagerness to improve military ties. If the PRC greets Campbell with an emissary of equal or lower rank, it will send a proportionately weaker signal. A second important sign may be detected in the decisions reached on the pace and agenda of future meetings.

7. Taiwan Missile Purchase

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN ‘SHOPPING FOR MISSILE SYSTEMS’,” 11/22/99) and Associated Press (“TAIWAN SEEKING U.S. DEFENSIVE ARMS, NEWSPAPER REPORTS,” Taipei, 11/22/99) reported that the China Times said a senior Taiwanese military delegation flew to the US last week and began talks with US authorities on arms procurement. A Taiwan newspaper report said on November 21 that Taiwan is to propose buying guided-missile destroyers, anti-missile systems and submarines during those talks. The paper said, “the two major items on the Taiwan group’s shopping list are Aegis destroyers and updated Patriot anti-missile weaponry,” adding that the US would respond to the request in the spring. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry would not comment on the military mission to the US. A ministry spokesman said, “how to ensure security has emerged as the Defense Ministry’s priority as the Chinese communists keep devoting their efforts to military modernization and increasing their threat to us. We sent people to Washington to discuss our defense, and they also offered us defense weapons in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act.”

8. US-RF Relations

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, “YELTSIN WANTS TEST BAN RATIFIED AS PRIORITY,” Moscow, 11/22/99) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin announced on Monday that he wanted parliament to ratify a nuclear test ban treaty as a priority, but it seems unlikely deputies will feel the same urgency while ties with the US are strained. Parliamentary head of the Our Home is Russia party Vladimir Ryzhkov stated, “I’m absolutely convinced this document has no chance whatsoever of being ratified in the present Duma. It’s to do with the geo-political situation in the world. The Americans are behaving like a bull in a china shop.” He said that apart from failing to ratify the test ban accord and putting pressure on Russia over Chechnya, the US wanted to violate another pact, the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty. Ryzhkov stated, “As long as the United States sticks to its clearly unfriendly policy toward Russia, no Duma is ever going to ratify that (test ban) treaty.” An RF statement said the treaty would not damage Russia’s defenses or security and “if these national interests are placed under threat, the Russian Federation can use its right to leave the treaty.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “U.S., NORTH KOREA FAIL TO AGREE ON HIGH-LEVEL TALKS,” Seoul, 11/22/99) and The Korea Times (“US-N.KOREA TALKS END IN BERLIN,” Seoul, 11/21/99) reported that the US and the DPRK ended negotiations in Berlin on November 20 without agreement. “It will likely be difficult to see the high-level talks before the end of the year,” said an official at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul. The official said that the US and the DPRK are expected to hold one more round of talks in the middle of next month to set the schedule and agenda for the high-level meeting. Emerging from the meeting in Berlin, the DPRK chief delegate said that topics discussed over the past week had focused on improving bilateral relations and laying the groundwork for future high-level talks. “Expectations were expressed that both sides will continue negotiations to prepare for the high-level talks,” Kim Gye-gwan said, adding that the Berlin talks were serious and constructive. An ROK diplomatic source said that the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the high-level talks because of differences over what should be on the agenda at the proposed meeting. He said that the DPRK had demanded that the high-level talks deal with US promises to lift more economic sanctions against the DPRK and not launch an unprovoked military strike against it. The US wanted to include measures aimed at freezing DPRK’s missile and nuclear programs on the agenda, according to the source.

2. DPRK on ROK’s Long Range Missile Plan

The Korea Herald (“N.K. RAPS SOUTH’S MISSILE RANGE EXPANSION,” Seoul, 11/22/99) reported that the DPRK on November 20 criticized the ROK’s drive to expand its missile range as a “severe threat” to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK’s Central Broadcasting Station, referring to a statement issued a day earlier by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, claimed that the ROK has been secretly trying to expand its missile range. Quoting a recent New York Times report that a US spy satellite detected new evidence of the ROK’s missile expansion last year, the station said, “The move by the puppets in the South stems from a foul mentality that is preparing for war against the North with the help of the U.S. imperialists.”

3. DPRK-EU Relations

The Korea Herald (“NORTH KOREA, EU TO HOLD POLITICAL DIALOGUE,” Seoul, 11/22/99) reported that the DPRK and the European Union will hold talks on November 24 to discuss possible food assistance to the DPRK from European nations, alleged human rights abuse in the DPRK and other issues of bilateral concern, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Saturday. The official said the meeting in Brussels will also address the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and securing transparency in food distribution offered by the European Union.

4. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, U.S. END MISSILE TALKS WITHOUT AGREEMENT,” Seoul, 11/22/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yeol, “NO AGREEMENT ON MISSILE RANGES OVER 300KM,” Seoul, 11/21/99) reported that the ROK and the US on November 20 ended talks on upgrading ROK missile capability without producing an agreement. ROK officials, however, said that the ROK and the US, narrowed their differences on some key issues concerning how the ROK would implement an agreement on extending its missile range to 300 km. Officials at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the ROK bid to develop missiles with an even longer range that can reach all parts of the DPRK. The US Embassy in the ROK said in a statement that although “some differences remain,” the discussions on the missile issue were “productive and concrete” and they brought the US and ROK positions “closer together,” the statement said. It said that the US side hopes the remaining differences will be resolved as soon as possible. The officials said that the two sides would meet again soon to try to work out a compromise on the issue. The time and venue will be determined later, they said.

5. ROK-PRC-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “S. KOREA, CHINA, JAPAN TO HOLD SUMMIT IN MANILA,” Seoul, 11/22/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yoll, “KIM TO HOLD EXTRA SUMMIT TALKS WITH JAPAN AND CHINA,” Seoul, 11/21/99) reported that ROK officials said on November 21 that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will hold a group meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and PRC Premier Zhu Rongji in Manila, the Philippines, November 28. The group meeting will be held over breakfast on the sidelines of the meeting of the three leaders and their counterparts from ten Southeast Asian nations. The major agenda items at the three-way meeting will be the DPRK and regional security and economic issues, including the recent agreement on the PRC joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), ROK officials said. Kim plans to depart for Manila on November 20 to participate in the annual meeting of the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the three Northeast Asian nations.

6. US Contingency Plan for ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Young-won, “US REVEALS KOREA CONTINGENCY PLAN,” Honolulu, 11/20/99) reported that a US contingency plan to provide back- up for US and ROK forces on the peninsula in the event of a crisis or outbreak of fighting would see fighter aircraft reaching Korea 13 hours after the initiation of hostilities, it was reported on November 21. In addition, a carrier battle group would reach the seas off the east coast within two weeks. A high-ranking officer at the US Pacific Area Command told visiting Korean reporters that the USFK could counter any adverse developments on the peninsula faster than any other deployment, noting the it would take 40 hours and 35 days respectively to send aircraft and a battle group to the Middle East. This is the first time that the US Armed Forces have disclosed the details of its contingency planning with regard to the ROK. The US would deploy a total of 600,000 troops, five carrier battle groups and 1,200 aircraft over 3 months following the outbreak of hostilities.

7. ROK-DPRK Academic Exchange

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Su-hyun, “KOREA UNIV. TO COOPERATE WITH NK ON ACADEMIC PROJECTS,” Seoul, 11/21/99) reported that Korea University president Kim Jung-bae announced that he visited the DPRK from November 9 to 16 to meet with Park Kwan-oh, president of Kim Il Sung University. Kim said that the two educators agreed to proceed with co-research projects in non-political fields starting in the year 2000. Kim also met with researchers at the DPRK Social Science Institute and agreed to hold a joint seminar on the topic of Tangun, the mythical founder of Korea, on October 3, 2000. Korea University said that this is the first time for an ROK university president to meet with a northern counterpart. The DPRK visit was arranged when the DPRK Social Science Institute accepted a proposal suggested by Kim through the Chosun Ethnic History Institute in the PRC.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
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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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