NAPSNet Daily Report 22 November, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 22 November, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 22, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-22-november-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-PRC Missile Accord
2. Indian View of PRC Missile Sales
3. PRC Space Program
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Military Talks
2. US Delegation to DPRK
3. ROK Policy toward DPRK
4. ROK-Russian Military Cooperation
5. US-ROK SOFA Talks
III. Japan 1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks
2. DPRK Food Situation
3. Japanese-US Issue of Host Nation Support
4. Japanese Domestic Politics

I. United States

1. US-PRC Missile Accord

The New York Times (Jane Perlez, “CHINA TO HALT SALES OF THE TECHNOLOGY TO LAUNCH ARMS,” Washington, 11/22/00) reported that US officials expressed caution regarding the PRC’s pledge to stop selling missile parts or the equipment needed for missile production to countries developing nuclear weapons. One senior official involved with the talks between US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin said, “This looks good on paper. What we’ll have to watch is implementation.” Officials said that the most promising aspect of the accord was the PRC’s commitment to adopt an export-control list which would require Chinese companies to get licenses to export “equipment, materials and technology that can be directly used in missiles, as well as missile-related dual-use items.” However, the PRC failed to specify what penalty companies would suffer if they exported without licenses. It was also unclear how thoroughly the export-control list would be in compliance with the Missile Technology Control Regime. In light of the PRC’s past record, the agreement signed on November 21 was greeted with some skepticism. US Senator Fred Thompson, Republican of Tennessee, said, “Once again, the Clinton administration appears to be rewarding China for promises made instead of promises kept.” A Democratic staff aide said that the “jury was still out,” but the agreement appeared, for the first time, to rule out any kind of PRC assistance for missile programs in other countries. At a US State Department briefing, a senior official was asked if the administration was letting the PRC off the hook. In reply, the official argued that having made the “legal determination” that the PRC had indeed exported missiles, exports that required sanctions, the administration then chose to waive the penalties. The official said, “The purpose of the law after all is not to impose penalties. The purpose is to encourage better nonproliferation behavior.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 22, 2000.]

2. Indian View of PRC Missile Sales

Reuters (“INDIA HOPES CHINA WILL HONOUR ARMS CONTROL PLEDGE,” New Delhi, 11/22/00) reported that India noted the PRC’s pledge to halt arms technology exports on Wednesday. The India foreign ministry said in a statement, “India has, several times in the past, voiced its grave concern about missile proliferation and the adverse impact that this has on the security environment in our region. Such missile proliferation has unfortunately, in recent years, continued despite assurances to the contrary. We hope that effective implementation of the agreed measures would mark a step in the right direction. It is our expectation that this process of proliferation … will be halted and we shall, after due assessment, not have any grounds for complaint in future.”

3. PRC Space Program

The Associated Press (Martin Fackler, “CHINA OFFERS LOOK AT SPACE PROGRAM,” Beijing, 11/22/00) reported that the PRC released a policy paper on Wednesday that calls for boosting commercial launch services with more powerful rockets and putting a man in orbit by the decade’s end. The policy paper is the first official overview of the PRC’s emerging space program ever released to the public. The paper also reaffirmed the importance that the PRC places on its space program, both as a prestige booster and to help it catch up with foreign technology. Despite the PRC’s high hopes for manned spaceflight, the new policy paper offered few details on its future, other than to call it a goal to be met in this decade. The policy paper made no mention of difficulties in building a global tracking network needed to support such a flight.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Military Talks

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “N.K. DELAYS MILITARY TALKS BY ONE WEEK,” Seoul, 11/22/00) and The Korea Times (“NK OFFERS MILITARY TALKS NOV. 28,” Seoul, 11/22/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that the DPRK on Tuesday suggested that working-level inter-Korean military talks be held next Tuesday, a week later than its original offer. The DPRK, however, agreed to the ROK’s proposal to hold a liaison officers’ meeting Wednesday at the Peace House on the southern side of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to discuss the preparations for the working-level talks, which will mainly deal with the reconnection of the inter-Korean railway. A Defense Ministry spokesman said, “After consultations with relevant government agencies, we will decide on the dates of the talks this afternoon. We are likely to accept the North’s counterproposal.”

2. US Delegation to DPRK

The Korea Herald (“U.S. UNIVERSITY DELEGATION TO VISIT N. KOREA,” Seoul, 11/22/00) reported that a delegation consisting of presidents of leading US universities, including Benjamin Ladner of American University, will visit the DPRK next March to start educational exchange programs, the Voice of America (VOA) reported Tuesday. Ladner expressed his willingness to make the trip to a DPRK delegation that visited his university on Monday. The DPRK delegation observed the school system in the western part of the US, expressing their interests in the high-tech engineering fields and short-term research exchange programs between students and teachers, the VOA reported. They also discussed the possibility of sending English teachers to Pyongyang. “Studying English in the United States by North Korean students may not be realized soon, but we will do our best for them to come to America,” the radio said, citing remarks made by an anonymous staff member at an English language institute in California.

3. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Times (Sohn Suk-joo, “DEFECTOR’S STATEMENT CREATES STIR,” Seoul, 11/22/00) reported that the ROK’s main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) on Tuesday demanded that Director Lim Dong-won of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) resign over the agency’s banning of Hwang Jang-yop, a former DPRK Workers’ Party official, from making public appearances, speeches and publications. GNP spokesman Kwon Chul-hyun said that the Lim should immediately step down for gagging Hwang because of his opposition to the government’s DPRK policy. He said in a statement that the government’s desperate effort to stifle all the critical behavior and remarks clearly shows the limitations of the government’s sunshine policy of engaging the DPRK.

4. ROK-Russian Military Cooperation

The Korea Herald (“KOREA, RUSSIA TO HOLD TALKS ON MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, DEFENSE INDUSTRY,” 11/22/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that ROK Vice Defense Minister Moon Il-sub will lead a 22-member ROK delegation to the first Joint Commission Meeting on Military Technology, Defense Industry and Logistics Cooperation between the ROK and Russia on November 23 in Seoul. Heading the 22-member Russian delegation will be G. A. Rapota, first deputy minister of industry, science and technology. A spokesman for the ROK Defense Ministry said, “At the forthcoming meeting, the two sides are expected to exchange opinions on cooperation in military technology, the defense industry and logistics.” The meeting comes one year after the ROK and Russia signed an agreement on cooperation in military technology, the defense industry and logistics in Moscow last November. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 22, 2000.]

5. US-ROK SOFA Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “TALKS ON SOFA REVISION TO OPEN THIS MONTH,” 11/22/00) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry officials said on November 21 that the ROK and the US will open another round of negotiations on the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in Seoul. Officials said that the two sides would begin week-long formal negotiations on December 1 after holding two days of experts’ talks starting November 29. Song Min-soon, director general for the North American Affairs Bureau at the ROK Foreign Ministry, and Frederick Smith, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia-Pacific affairs, will represent the two sides. There have been concerns in the ROK that unless the SOFA issue is settled under the Clinton administration, the pact revision will unlikely come in the near future. At bilateral summit talks during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Brunei last week, ROK President Kim Dae-jung urged US President Bill Clinton to resolve the SOFA revision before his term of office ends. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 22, 2000.]

III. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks

The Japan Times (“JAPAN-NORTH KOREA TALKS BROKE DOWN, SOURCES SAY,” 11/20/2000) reported that, according to sources close to the talks on November 19, the most recent round of Japanese-DPRK normalization talks last month in Beijing effectively broke down, and no plans have been made to hold another round. The report said that this assessment contrasts with a statement made by a Japanese government official after the October 30-31 meeting, who said that while no progress was made, the talks “did not end in rupture.” The report also said that Japan and the DPRK still remain deadlocked over issues such as the DPRK’s demand for an apology and compensation for Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. According to the sources, the DPRK rejected Japan’s proposal in the Beijing talks that the two sides reach an agreement modeled on the 1965 agreement in which Japan and the ROK agreed to normalize ties on the condition that Japan provide financial aid. A DPRK official reportedly stated, “Compensation is compensation. That’s different from economic support.” The Japanese government official briefing reporters in Beijing after the talks ended said that the two sides had had “very deep discussions on how to settle the past.” The DPRK delegation also criticized Japan for failing to offer to apologize for specific issues such as the use of Koreans as forced laborers in Japan as well as the use of women from the area as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers. In Beijing, Japan reportedly called for a compromise on the apology issue through, for example, drawing up a document based on a 1995 statement issued by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. Japan hopes to solve the issue by offering a similarly worded apology addressed to the DPRK people. The DPRK also refused to even discuss the issue of the 10 missing Japanese civilians whom the Japanese government believes were abducted by DPRK agents in the 1970s and 1980s. A senior official at the Japanese Foreign Ministry recently said, “All we can and have to do is to repeat what we said (through negotiations). Our (DPRK) counterparts should change their strategy and get real.”

2. DPRK Food Situation

The Asahi Shimbun (“WHERE DID FOOD GO? CIVILIAN GROUP FILMED FOOD SITUATION IN DPRK,” 11/21/2000) reported that a Japanese civilian group released a film showing the current food situation in the DPRK. The group is based in Osaka and called RENK, or the network to swiftly act for the DPRK people. The group told reporters on November 20 in Tokyo that a DPRK defector filmed the food situation in early October and that the film shows that the severe food situation has not changed since 2 years ago. Lee Young-hwa, leader of the group, stated, “It has been reported that food supply began to improve in major cities in the DPRK except for Pyongyang in August, but the situation remains the same as it was 2 yeas ago. On the one hand, (state) control (over the people) is becoming tougher, but on the other, reform is not in progress.”

3. Japanese-US Issue of Host Nation Support

The Asahi Shimbun (“NEW HOST NATION SUPPORT PACT WAS APPROVED,” 11/18/2000) reported that a Japanese Upper House Plenary Session on November 17 approved a new pact to reduce Japan’s host nation support for the stationing of the US military. The report said that the reason for the reduction is to restrain rising heating and lighting costs. The reduction is the first of its kind since Japan’s host nation support began in 1978. The new pact is a revision of the existing special agreement between Japan and the US on Japan’s support for the stationing of US forces and will reduce Japan’s payment by 3.3 billion yen.

4. Japanese Domestic Politics

The Daily Yomiuri (“LATE SESSION KILLS ANTI-MORI MOTION,” 11/22/2000) reported that a no-confidence motion against Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s Cabinet was voted down at a House of Representatives plenary session early Tuesday with a majority of the dissenting votes coming from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), New Komeito and Hoshuto (New Conservative Party). Following the rejection of the motion, which was submitted by the four major opposition parties–Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), Jiyuto (Liberal Party), the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party–a growing number of ruling coalition members believe that Mori will survive as prime minister until around the expected passage of the fiscal 2001 budget bill in March, as long as he does not make any irredeemable blunders. The no-confidence vote was conducted by open ballot starting early Tuesday. 190 votes were cast for the motion and 237 against it. 51 lawmakers were either absent or abstained from voting, while one had been ordered out of the chamber earlier. Former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato, former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Taku Yamasaki–both of whom retracted their earlier decisions to vote for the motion at the last minute–and 38 other lower house members stayed away from the voting, in violation of party policy, while two were absent for health reasons. Kato stated, “We lost today. It is mortifying that we were defeated.” Yamasaki said, “We cannot help but acknowledge that our capability to secure a sufficient number of LDP legislators on our side was not as effective as that of the mainstream factions.” Both Kato and Yamasaki denied that they made a deal with the party leadership to bring forward the LDP presidential election. Kato also said, “We failed to secure any commitment from the party leadership regarding the prime minister’s early resignation. Thus, the Mori Cabinet will remain until next summer’s House of Councilors election.” Asked about his decision to abstain from the vote instead of voting for the motion, Kato said that he failed to become convinced of the no-confidence motion’s chances of victory. At a Tuesday morning meeting, the LDP leadership agreed not to impose any penalties on Kato, Yamasaki and members of their factions who followed their leaders in staying away from the no-confidence motion. As for opposition parties, they expressed unequivocal resentment over the nullified no-confidence motion against the Mori Cabinet early Tuesday and vowed to continue to demand that Mori step down as the nation’s leader.

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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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