NAPSNet Daily Report 22 October, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK Vessels in ROK Waters

The Associated Press (“N KOREA VESSELS WITH 14 PEOPLE FOUND IN S KOREAN WATERS,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff officials said that a DPRK tow boat and a barge with a total of 14 people on board were found in ROK waters near the western sea border on Friday and towed to a nearby island. Colonel Hwang Dong-kyu, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated, “It’s likely that the vessels strayed into South Korean waters after developing engine trouble, because the North Koreans were requesting repatriation to the North.” The vessels were spotted about 1,600 meters northeast westernmost island of Paiknyung, in a military zone off-limits to civilian boats.

2. DPRK Negotiating Tactics

The Asian Wall Street Journal (Barry Wain, “NORTH KOREA’S NEGOTIATING STYLE,” Hong Kong, 10/21/99) reported that Scott Snyder, program officer and Korea specialist with the US Institute of Peace, has recently completed a study of the DPRK’s negotiating strategy. Snyder argued that, while the DPRK is willing to use threats to get concessions, it cannot afford to walk away from the negotiating table, as it needs the benefits of the agreements it reaches. He stated, “In essence, the argument developed in my study is that the mixed approach – carrots and sticks – is really the best way to go. You have to have inducements, but at the same time you must be willing to back up those inducements with a very firm stance that denies alternatives.” He argued that the DPRK’s negotiating techniques and objectives conform to a consistent and predictable pattern. In the post-Cold War era, the DPRK has “no choice but to pursue negotiations to gain the resources” necessary to survive. He added, “If they don’t have an incentive to comply with the desired behavior, then it’s simply not going to happen.” Snyder also said that the record shows that the DPRK keeps its agreements, although it interprets its obligations as narrowly as possible and probes to see how determined the other side is to enforce implementation.

3. Israeli Weapons Sales to PRC

The Associated Press (“ISRAEL INDUSTRY MAY UPGRADE CHINESE AIRCRAFT – NEWSPAPER,” Jerusalem, 10/21/99) reported that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said Thursday that Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) suggested to visiting PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian that IAI upgrade the PRC Air Force’s MiG 21 aircraft. Chi had inspected advanced weapons systems at IAI on Wednesday, and praised Israel for its highly advanced technology.

4. US Policy toward South Asia

The Washington Times (Ben Barber, U.S. TILTS TOWARD BETTERING RELATIONS WITH PAKISTAN,” 10/21/99) reported that analysts said that following India’s election and the Pakistani military coup, the US government is tilting strongly towards India. An anonymous US official stated, “In the past, we had a lot of common goals and worked closely with Pakistan — not so with India.” The official said that US President Bill Clinton is expected to visit India and Bangladesh in February, but he will likely not visit Pakistan. He added, “Our relations with India have become a lot warmer in the period following the Kargil crisis.” James Clad, Asian Studies professor at Georgetown University, stated, “The tilt towards India should have happened at the end of the Cold War, but a lot of old habits on both sides prevented close accommodation and the Pakistanis were able to get U.S. policy to still treat the two countries with parity.” He added, “Pakistan was loyal in the Cold War, and loyalty matters. But speaking of India and Pakistan in the same breath foreclosed opportunities. Now the disproportionate power and opportunity of India has become clear.”

5. US-Russian Arms Control Talks

The Associated Press (Greg Myre, “RUSSIA WARNS U.S. ON ARMS CONTROL,” Moscow, 10/22/99) and Reuters (Michael Steen, “MOSCOW: ARMS TALKS WITH U.S. LOSE SENSE WITHOUT ABM,” Moscow, 10/22/99) reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry Russia said in a statement on Friday that talks with the US on strategic arms cuts would become pointless if the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty were altered. The statement said, “The further reduction of strategic nuclear weapons is only possible with the proviso that the ABM treaty remains intact. ABM has a pivotal importance for all processes of disarmament and if this treaty is violated, all negotiations on strategic nuclear weapons will lose their point.”

6. US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, “ALASKA TARGETED FOR DEFENSE SYSTEM,” Washington, 10/22/99) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Thursday that the department wants Alaska to be the location for missile interceptors if US President Bill Clinton chooses to deploy a national missile defense system. Bacon said that the question of location is one of several elements of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty that would have to be revised if the US went ahead with construction of a system. He stated, “For a variety of reasons – mainly to achieve complete coverage of the United States – we’ve decided that we have to move that site to Alaska. So the first thing we’re proposing is to be able to move that site.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-US Joint Military Exercise

The Korea Herald (“ROK-U.S. JOINT EXERCISE SLATED FOR OCT. 26-NOV. 5,” Seoul, 10/22/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the annual ROK-US combined rear-area field training exercise, Foal Eagle, will be conducted from Tuesday to November 5, with the participation of more than 330,000 ROK and US forces. The US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, and some 35,000 US and 300,000 ROK troops will join the drill, which will be held at a variety of locations throughout the ROK, a ministry spokesman said. Foal Eagle ’99 is designed to test rear-area-protection operations and major command, control and communications systems, he said, adding that most of the exercise will be held south of Seoul. The exercise includes an amphibious landing by ROK and US Marines near Pohang on the east coast November 1, two river-crossing drills in the Yoju-Ichon area October 31 and November 4, and an air-base protection drill near Taegu next Tuesday to Thursday. Timed with Foal Eagle, ROK forces will conduct a separate rear-area-defense drill, the “Hwarang Exercise,” in Pusan and surrounding South Kyongsang Province from next Monday to Friday. In addition to some 30,000 ROK soldiers, reservists, policemen and civil servants will participate in Hwarang ’99, which will be controlled by the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Ministry said.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “COOPERATION FUND TO BE OFFERED,” Seoul, 10/21/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “50 percent CAPITAL LOANS AT 6 PERCENT INTEREST FOR NK INVESTORS,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that the ROK government has decided to help fund medium-sized conglomerates which wish to assist DPRK companies in the form of mutual exchanges between the two Koreas. It held a meeting on Thursday presided by Unification Minister Lim Dong-won and agreed on the regulations concerning DPRK assistance. Any medium-sized companies that want to aid the DPRK from now on can borrow money from the government at an annual interest rate of 6 percent of the total project amount. A source from the ministry said, “Since the South-North Korean fund was established in 1990, the government has restricted assistance to North Korea by civil institutes, but this situation will change in the future in order to further cooperation between the 2 countries.”

3. ROK Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “1,000 FREE BIKES FOR NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/20/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, “ICF TO SUPPLY BIKES TO NK,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that the International Corn Foundation will offer 1,000 free bicycles to the DPRK next month. A source from the foundation stated on Wednesday, “We have finished producing 1,000 made-in-China NINGBO bikes and will start delivering them by train at Shinuiju, North Korea.” The cost for the bikes’ production was US$40,000, which was donated by ROK charity sponsors. The bikes will be used to assist DPRK farmers in planting and distributing corn.

4. ROK’s View on DPRK Reform

The Korea Times (“NK HAS NO OPTION BUT TO ADOPT CHINA-STYLE REFORM,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung has said that the DPRK has no option but to adopt PRC-style economic reform to revive its economy. “I think North Korea should realize that if they don’t open up, their economy will not revive,” Kim said in an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday. Kim said that he thinks DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is “pragmatic” in light of the methods he employed in getting economic support from the world recently. He said that there is no assurance that the recent US-DPRK deal on the lifting of US sanctions will help lead to an ROK-DPRK dialogue.

5. DPRK Airspace Opens

Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, “LOCAL AIRLINERS TO SAVE $14 MILLION ANNUALLY AFTER NK OPENS AIRSPACE,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that local airliners are looking to save an annual US$14 million as the DPRK recently opened its flight information region (FIR) in Pyongyang to them. Chief Shin Dong-chun of the Central Tracking Station in the Ministry of Construction and Transportation said Thursday, in a seminar on ‘Aerospace International Law’, that it now takes 20 to 34 minutes less to fly from Seoul to the US, as the DPRK authorities have opened FIR space to airliners from western countries. The chief also said that flying times from Seoul to Vladivostok and Havaropsk have dropped by 47 minutes. He explained that the DPRK authorities receive between US$250 and US$761 per airplane from western airline companies in return for opening FIR space to them. Mr. Shin added that the average number of flights over the DPRK’s FIR by Korean Air and Asiana Airline airplanes amounted to 35 per month from January through to August this year.

6. DPRK Homepage on Internet

The Korea Herald (“GOVERNMENT TO TAKE STEPS AGAINST VISITING N.K. HOMEPAGE,” Seoul, 10/22/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kyong-young, “NK WEBSITE CONTACT TO BE RESTRICTED,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that the ROK government decided on Tuesday to set up countermeasures against any unauthorized contact with the DPRK by residents in the ROK through the DPRK’s Internet homepage. The standing committee of the National Security Council called a special meeting to identify the operator and contents of a DPRK “Infobank” homepage that opened on October 10. The homepage was put on the Internet on the same day as the 51st anniversary of the DPRK’s Workers’ Party and the start of DPRK satellite broadcasts. The current Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Law allows browsing through DPRK web sites but prohibits sending e-mail or joining any DPRK groups. The site is operated by an organization whose name roughly translates into the “Pan-Pacific Korean Economic Development and Cooperation Committee.” “We do not know the nature of this committee but we presume that most of the material on the homepage will be about the economy,” an ROK Unification Ministry official said.

7. ROK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KOREA, JAPAN TO AGREE ON REGIONAL BODY ON SECURITY AT MINISTERIAL TALKS,” Seoul, 10/22/99) reported that ROK officials said on Thursday that the ROK and Japan will agree on a joint proposal to create a dialogue on regional security at their ministerial talks on Cheju Island on Saturday. “Both sides will express their commitment to pushing for the establishment of a regional dialogue body in the meeting,” said Cho Jung-pyo, director general for the Asia-Pacific Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The move follows the ROK’s proposal for the establishment of a multilateral consultative body to deal with security problems in Northeast Asia, made by Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young at a speech before the UN General Assembly last month. Cho, however, stopped short of fixing it as a regular foreign ministers’ meeting between six countries – the ROK, the DPRK, Japan, the US, the PRC and Russia – as reported earlier. Ministry officials said that the US and Russia are in favor of the proposal for the regional dialogue, while the PRC is not showing a clear-cut attitude, adding that the DPRK is reluctant to join. They also said that it has yet to be decided whether the proposed Northeast Asia security dialogue forum will be on a summit or ministerial level.

8. East Asia Vision Group

The Korea Herald (“EAST ASIA VISION GROUP TALKS STRESS REGIONAL COOPERATION,” Seoul, 10/22/99) reported that government officials, scholars and businessmen of the ROK, the PRC, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday opened a two-day meeting to discuss the launching of a regional consultative body on cooperation for the 21st century. The inaugural meeting of the East Asia Vision Group at the Shilla Hotel focused on the themes of “The Future of Cooperation in East Asia,” “Economic Cooperation in East Asia” and “Cooperation in Social, Cultural, Educational, Human Security and Political Fields,” said officials at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

9. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Youh Tae-jong, “NOGEUN-RI SURVIVORS VISIT US,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that some of the Korean survivors of the alleged massacre at Nogun-ri will fly to the US and meet with one of the machine gunners who admitted opening fire on them, it was reported on Wednesday. The National Council of Churches USA (NCC-USA) has invited the head of the Nogun-ri Massacre Committee, Jung Eun-yong, to the US on November 8, and he will meet with Edward Daily, 68, who said he had fired a machine gun at the time. Kum Cho-ja, 60, and Yang Hae-suk, 62, will accompany Jung on the reconciliation trip.

10. ROK Participation in East Timor Peacekeeping

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “TIMORESE ASK SEOUL FOR RELIEF AID,” Seoul, 10/21/99) reported that ROK Defense Ministry officials said on Thursday that residents of Lautem province, East Timor, are pleading with the ROK troops patrolling the area to provide them with relief supplies. Quoting reports from the ROK peacekeeping force stationed in Los Palos in Lautem, ministry officials said that the residents earlier this week came to the peacekeepers and said that they hoped the ROK would urgently send daily necessities, such as medicine, rice, sugar and soap. They also said that they needed tents, as the rainy season is likely to begin in November. Many of the houses in East Timor were destroyed during the recent violence, leaving the regions’ residents without shelter. “Concern is mounting among the Timorese because they can’t find much to eat in the fields and mountains during the rainy season,” a ministry official said under the condition of anonymity. “During the rainy season, epidemic diseases, such as malaria, are apt to spread quickly.” He expressed hope that ROK civic and aid groups will launch a campaign to help the people in Lautem province, of which the ROK peace force is in operational control. The Defense Ministry said that order is quickly being restored in the Lautem area and that people who fled to the mountains are returning after the 150-man advance team of the 419-member ROK peacekeeping force arrived last week. The main contingent was to arrive in Los Palos on Friday.

III. Japan

1. Japan’s Nuclear Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“NISHIMURA QUITS OVER NUCLEAR ARMS REMARKS,” 10/21/99) and the Asahi Shimbun (“PRIME MINISTER APOLIGIZES FOR NISHIMURA’S REMARKS,” 10/21/99) reported that Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said on October 20, “I am very sorry about the situation and sincerely apologize to the public (for the controversial remarks made by Vice Defense Agency Director General Shingo Nishimura). Nishimura said in an interview by a Japanese magazine, “Countries that do not possess nuclear (weapons) are dangerous. The Diet should consider discussing the advisability of Japan arming itself with nuclear weapons.” According to the reports, other lawmakers, whether Nishimura’s Liberal Party members or others, reacted strongly to Nishimura’s statement because it was against the government’s three non-nuclear principles of not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear weapons into the country. The Yomiuri article said that Obuchi held an emergency meeting of parliamentary vice ministers in the evening and ordered them to take care with words and actions so as not to give the impression that cabinet members have different opinions on basic government policy. Obuchi expressed his determination to assume political responsibility by leading the coalition Cabinet in the implementation of its policies, saying, “I feel that it is my duty to have the Cabinet stand together to tackle impending policy matters and respond to public trust.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki also said, “The government abides by the three non-nuclear principles, and it will continue to do so in the future.” Nishimura told the Liberal Party’s leader Ichiro Ozawa at party headquarters on October 20 that he intended to resign. However, the report pointed out that because Obuchi himself chose Nishimura, Nishimura’s resignation means another setback to Obuchi, who was already smarting from the defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party in last Sunday’s Upper House by-election in the Nagano prefectural constituency.

The Daily Yomiuri (“OBUCHI LOSES NO TIME DEALING WITH FALLOUT FROM NISHIMURA,” 10/22/99) reported that despite the prime minister’s quick damage control, there are already accusations within the Liberal Democratic Party that Obuchi misjudged in appointing parliamentary vice ministers. The report cited former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato as saying to reporters, “(Obuchi) should have been more careful in making the appointment.” The report also quoted former LDP Policy Affairs Research Council Chairman Taku Yamasaki as saying, “(Obuchi) should inevitably take responsibility for what happened.”

2. Japanese-PRC Fishery Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPANESE-PRC FISHERY TALKS IN DEADLOCK AGAIN,” 10/18/99) reported that the Japanese-PRC talks toward a new fishery agreement, held on October 15 and 16 in Beijing, got nowhere because of their disagreement over conditions for fishing operations. The report said that although both sides signed a fishery agreement in May, 1998, they have not yet agreed on detailed conditions for operation area and quotas.

3. PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“JIANG ZEMIN SAYS PRC WOULD USE FORCE AGAINST THOSE WHO INTERVENE INTO TAIWAN ISSUE,” 10/21/99) reported that in an recent interview by the UK Times, PRC Prime Minister Jiang Zemin said, “Force should be used not against Taiwan Chinese but against outside forces that hinder the unification of China.” Jiang also said that the Taiwan issue is the PRC’s domestic issue and that as long as ‘the principle of one China’ is observed, the PRC is ready to talk about anything. However, Jiang added, “(The US) should stop exporting weapons to Taiwan and creating new obstacles to the Taiwan issue.”

4. Japan-US Nuclear Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (Michiro Hayashi, “US SECRETLY KEPT PARTS FOR N-WEAPONS IN JAPAN,” Washington, 10/22/99) reported that US nuclear bomb components minus their nuclear charges were secretly brought into Japan from late 1954 to 1955 and that they were moved by mid-1965 without the knowledge of the Japanese government, according to US Pentagon documents that have been recently declassified. According to the report, “History of the Custody and Deployment of Nuclear Weapons,” published in February 1978 as a top secret document, as many as 12,000 nuclear bombs were deployed in 27 countries and territories. In Okinawa Prefecture, 19 types of nuclear weapons such as bombs and ballistic and cruise missiles were deployed but referred as “non-nuclear” weapons as they comprised weapon casings capable of carrying nuclear payloads. The report quoted Robert Wampler, a researcher at the National Security Archive at George Washington University and expert on the US military presence in Japan, as saying that the existence of non-nuclear weapons in Japan showed that US bases in Japan would have supplied the US military with nuclear weapons in emergencies.

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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