NAPSNet Daily Report 22 September, 1999

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Test Ban

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “PERRY: NORTH KOREA TO SUSPEND TESTS,” Seoul, 09/22/99) and Reuters (Jean Yoon, “US ENVOY SEES N.KOREA ANNOUNCING MISSILE BAN SOON,” Seoul, 09/22/99) reported that US presidential adviser William Perry said Wednesday that the US was expecting an announcement in the coming weeks from the DPRK on the suspension of its missile program. Perry stated, “We hope and expect, in weeks ahead, North Korea will make a definite statement about the stature of missile tests.” He argued, “Much more work has to be done, but this is the first step … toward the removal of the threat and danger of war on the Korean Peninsula, and toward normal relations among the countries in the region.” He added, however, “If North Korea demonstrates by its actions that it’s not prepared to move down this peaceful path, in particular if they were to go ahead with a long-range missile test, then the U.S. will reverse its actions, the president has announced.”

2. Perry’s Visit to ROK

The Associated Press (“US PERRY MEETS S KOREA’S PRESIDENT KIM TO DISCUSS N KOREA,” Seoul, 09/22/99) reported that former US Defense Secretary William Perry on Wednesday discussed DPRK policy with ROK President Kim Dae-jung. ROK officials said that Perry and Kim discussed how to follow up on the Berlin talks to ensure that the DPRK will abandon its nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs in return for improved ties and economic benefits. Perry also planned to meet with Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young and Unification Minister Lim Dong-won on Wednesday.

3. DPRK Human Rights

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “U.S. BROADENS AGENDA WITH N. KOREA,” Washington, 09/22/99) reported that US officials said that they hope that as US-DPRK contacts expand, the topic of human rights can be addressed. Representative Joseph Pitts, Republican-Pennsylvania, called the DPRK human rights record “absolutely deplorable.” Pitts stated, “Now that the president has decided to engage them, I think we can bring some pressure to bear on them.” Defense Forum Foundation president Suzanne Scholte said that her organization sent documentation on DPRK human rights some months ago to former US Defense Secretary William Perry but never received a response.

4. ROK-DPRK Cultural Exchange

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA CIRCUS TO PERFORM IN SEOUL,” Seoul, 09/22/99) reported that the ROK government on Wednesday approved plans by Kaemyong Production, an ROK entertainment group, to invite a DPRK circus troupe to perform in the ROK in November. Kaemyong said that the 50-member DPRK troupe will perform 40 times in Seoul and several provincial cities beginning November 14. Kaemyong will pay US$500,000 for the program.

5. Taiwan Earthquake

The Associated Press (“S KOREA SENDS RESCUE TEAM TO TAIWAN,” Seoul, 09/22/99) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said that the ROK on Wednesday sent a 16-member search-and-rescue team to Taiwan to help with earthquake relief. Also Wednesday, Samsung group said it was sending a separate team of six rescue experts, eight medical staff, and three specially trained dogs to Taiwan.

6. US Policy toward PRC

The Los Angeles Times carried an analytical article (Tom Plate, “HAWK PLUS DOVE MAKES UNPERSUASIVE POLICY,” 09/22/99) which said that the Rand Corporation has issued a new report that advocates a third way in US policy between engagement and containment of the PRC, which it calls “congagement.” The article said that while the US public would probably regard such a policy as striking a fair balance, “Many in Asia, not just in China, will parse this provocative report as part of the slow drift of America away from cooperation and toward confrontation.” The author argued, “A public relations policy of congagement, however thoughtfully laid out, can only serve to assure U.S. public opinion that U.S. policy is in fact on an even keel. As a serious foreign policy prescription, congagement … is just not imaginative or dynamic enough to meet the millennial challenge of America’s most difficult bilateral relationship.” He concluded, “The truth is, if the U.S. and China fail to get their bilateral relationship right, peace and prosperity in Asia is inconceivable. For the drift toward some kind of military confrontation with China will seem all the more inescapable.”

7. PRC Entrance to WTO

Reuters (“U.S. CONGRESSIONAL LEADER SEES NO WTO DEAL FOR CHINA,” Washington, 09/21/99) reported that Representative Dick Armey of Texas, Republican majority leader in the US House of Representatives, said Tuesday that there was little chance that the PRC would win congressional support for its bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) this year. As part of any WTO trade pact between the US and the PRC, Congress must grant the PRC permanent normal trade relations (NTR) status. Armey stated, “I don’t think it’s possible to get permanent NTR. Even (US lawmakers) that have a long-term commitment to freedom of trade, they’re saying; ‘I don’t want to go home and face the anger of my constituents if I vote for this.'” Armey said Congress could take up and possibly support PRC trade legislation next year.

8. Japanese Atrocities in World War II

The Associated Press (“COURT: JAPAN NEED NOT COMPENSATE CHINESE WAR VICTIMS,” Tokyo, 09/22/99) reported that a Tokyo court ruled Wednesday that the Japanese government is not responsible for compensating a group of Chinese who claim to be the victims of Japanese atrocities during World War II. Chief Judge Ko Ito said in the decision that despite the harm that Japan inflicted on the Chinese people during the war, the court does not acknowledge the right of a foreign individual to seek compensation for war damages from Japan. Harumi Watanabe, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that the plaintiffs will appeal.

9. US Nuclear Agency

The Associated Press (H. Josef Hebert, “SENATE READY TO OK NEW NUKE AGENCY,” Washington, 09/22/99) reported that the US Congress appears ready to create a new National Nuclear Security Administration within the Energy Department. While the new agency would not be totally independent, it would insulate the department’s nuclear weapons programs and consolidate authority over the government’s three nuclear weapons labs. The measure was scheduled to come to a final vote in the Senate Wednesday after passing the House of Representatives last week by a 375-45 margin.

10. Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

The Associated Press (“US ABM PACT PLANS MOTIVATED BY COMMERCE -RUSSIAN OFFICIAL,” Moscow, 09/22/99) reported that the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets on Wednesday quoted Vladimir Lukin, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Duma, as saying that the US government’s desire to modify the Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty is motivated by business, not by military necessity. Lukin stated, “We are not speaking of the real needs of the American defenses, but of the distribution of large defense contracts, which the cross-Atlantic military industry dreams of.” He added, “From our side, we will be able to overcome U.S. space defense systems or begin installing multiple warheads on the Topol” intercontinental ballistic missile.

II. Republic of Korea

[Ed. note: The ROK Section will not be issued on Thursday, September 23 or Friday, September 24, due to the Korean holiday. The ROK Section will return on Monday, September 27.]

1. US-DPRK Economic Exchange

The Korea Times (Kwon Dae-yeol, “U.S. FIRMS NEED SOUTH KOREAN HELP TO ENTER NK: BOSWORTH,” Seoul, 09/21/99) reported that US Ambassador to the ROK Stephen Bosworth said on Tuesday that the US plans to follow up its recent decision to lift sanctions against the DPRK. US envoy Charles Kartman will meet with DPRK Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kae-kwon. Bosworth disclosed the plan at a meeting of a Korean-American business association in Seoul. Echoing earlier statements made by both ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hong soon-young and American Chamber of Commerce head Jeffrey Jones, Bosworth said that US firms wanting to do business in the DPRK would be turning to ROK companies to form join ventures. The ambassador said that as in the past, the US government would not make any moves in its dealings with the DPRK without first consulting with the ROK government.

2. DPRK Defectors in ROK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “DEFECTORS TO GREET CHUSOK HOLIDAY WITH DEEP CONCERN ABOUT FAMILY STILL IN NORTH KOREA,” Ansung, 09/22/99) reported that eighteen DPRK defectors are facing their first Chusok holiday in the ROK, deeply concerned about their family members, who may be suffering in the DPRK due to their “renegade” sons, daughters or sisters and brothers. “It is really painful for us to think of our families, particularly our aged parents,” said Cho Sung-moon, who fled his homeland in March. “Some have parents who died of hunger with others not even knowing whether their parents are still alive in North Korea.” If people from the ROK and DPRK could exchange freely, Cho said, he would first of all offer a cup of wine and give a big bow to his father and mother, and then pay homage to his ancestors’ grave, as most Koreans do at Chusok, which falls on Friday. Instead, the 18 inmates of Hanawon, the state-run facility set up to help DPRK defectors adapt to ROK society, are planning joint memorial rites and a visit to ROK citizens’ homes nearby their facility.

3. ROK Peacekeeping Force to East Timor

The Korea Herald (Shin Young-bae, “INDONESIA POSITIVELY EVALUATES KOREA’S DISPATCH OF COMBAT TROOPS TO EAST TIMOR,” Seoul, 09/22/99) reported that Indonesian Ambassador to the ROK Jauhari Nataatmaja on Tuesday gave high marks to the ROK government’s decision to send combat troops to East Timor as part of UN peacekeeping efforts. “We feel positively about the Korean government’s decision to participate in the peacekeeping force under the U.N.’s flag to East Timor,” Nataatmaja said in an interview with The Korea Herald. As for the ROK’s plan to dispatch combat troops, as opposed to support troops, the ambassador said that Indonesia has put no conditions on the composition of the force, adding that the peacekeepers could be immediately deployed. He also dismissed mounting concerns in the ROK that relations between the ROK and Indonesia would be aggravated if ROK soldiers were killed in the region. “The possibility of the clash between the militia and the U.N. peacekeeping force should not be exaggerated,” Nataatmaja said. This is, he said, because the Indonesian government’s decision to receive the U.N. peacekeeping force (PKF) means that it has to respect the PKF. The ambassador also denied allegations that the Indonesian government has secretly supported the militias who oppose the independence of East Timor from Indonesia. “In fact, there are many views, especially on the Western side, that have the tendency to corner Indonesia. We object to the lack of balance in the reports on Indonesia in the context of the East Timor question,” he said. “Nothing is cleared in view of the fact that the conflicts in East Timor involves the East Timorese themselves, who are divided in pro-integration and pro-independence groups.”

III. People’s Republic of China

1. US-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“US TO EASE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON DPRK,” Washington, 9/18/99, A8) reported that US President Bill Clinton was preparing to announce a relaxation of trade and investment sanctions on the DPRK, following its agreement to refrain from further ballistic missile testing, the White House said on September 17. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said it would involve “trade and investment rather than something sweeping and broad.” Clinton’s move grows out of a tentative agreement reached in Berlin last week between the US and the DPRK, the report said.

People’s Daily (Wang Linchang, “ROK WELCOMES US DECISION,” Seoul, 9/19/99, A3) reported that an ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement on September 18 that the ROK government welcomes the US decision to partly ease its sanctions on the DPRK. The ROK hopes that this decision will play a positive role to the development of ROK-DPRK relations, the spokesman said.

People’s Daily (Zhang Li, “DPRK WELCOMES EASING OF US SANCTIONS,” Pyongyang, 9/22/99, A6) reported that the Korean Central News Agency published a commentary on September 21 welcoming the partial easing of US economic sanctions against the DPRK. It said that the DPRK would make a corresponding response to the essential trend of the US aiming to drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK and to improve DPRK-US relations. The commentary said that the US decision to partly ease sanctions on the DPRK was a good development, though it was not comprehensive and came late. The commentary urged the US to show good faith by lifting the remaining sanctions. It also emphasized that if the US had the intention to improve DPRK-US relations, it must withdraw troops in the ROK, sign a peace agreement with the DPRK, and fundamentally eliminate its military threat toward the DPRK.

2. ROK-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“INVESTMENT IN DPRK APPROVED,” Seoul, 9/22/99, A6) reported that the ROK approved on September 20 a US$34 million investment plan to build a stadium in the DPRK. The ROK conglomerate Hyundai Group will build the sports facility in Pyongyang, the ROK Unification Ministry said in a statement. “The government hopes this project will help activate inter-Korea exchanges in sports and build trust and reconciliation between South and North (Korea),” it said. To finance the inter-Korean construction of the 12,335-seat stadium, Hyundai will invest US$34.2 million while the DPRK will invest US$23.3 million, it said. The two sides will hold matches to celebrate a ground-breaking ceremony to build the stadium, Hyundai officials said, adding that Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju- yung will visit Pyongyang to attend the ceremony. Hyundai’s basketball players, to be accompanied by broadcasting officials, are to fly to Pyongyang next Monday for the matches, and Hyundai engineers will follow suit for the stadium construction. The ROK approval of the joint projects came one day after Hwang Won-tak, a top security adviser to ROK President Kim Dae-jung, vowed to help the DPRK improve ties with the outside world. “From now on, the South will support the North’s bid to improve diplomatic ties with Western countries,” Hwang said.

3. Japan-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“JAPAN MAY LIFT SANCTION ON DPRK,” Tokyo, 9/20/99, A11) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said on September 19 that Japan may lift sanctions on the DPRK if the DPRK’s freeze on missile test-firing becomes “more certain.” “We support it as a step forward for improving relations between the US and the DPRK,” Jiji Press and Japan Broadcasting Corp quoted Obuchi as saying of the easing of US sanctions against the DPRK. “Our country strongly hopes the DPRK’s freeze on a missile launch will become more certain. If so, it will be possible that our country would lift measures imposed since the missile launch in August last year,” he told reporters.

4. PRC View on US Lifting of DPRK Sanctions

People’s Daily (Ma Shikun and Zhang Yong, “US HAS TO LIFT SANCTIONS AGAINST DPRK,” Washington, 9/21/99, A6) carried a commentary analyzing the reasons for the US lifting of sanctions on the DPRK. The article said that due to considerations of two issues the US decided recently to partly ease its sanctions against the DPRK. The short-term goal is to get in return the DPRK’s commitment not to test long-range missiles, the article said. Talking about the long-term purpose of the US, the article pointed out that it seemed that US President Bill Clinton accepted former Defense Secretary William Perry’s suggestion that negotiation will be more effective than confrontation to “contain the DPRK.” Media in Washington believe that lifting sanctions against the DPRK is the most important gesture that the US has taken since the Korean War and it is conducive to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the commentary said. People hope that taking the easing of sanctions as a starting point, the US-DPRK relationship will be gradually improved, said the article. However, it pointed out, facts show that the lifting of sanctions is more symbolic. The normalization of US-DPRK relations is a way beset with difficulties, according to the article. US sanctions against DPRK, which started in 1950, brought about difficulties to the DPRK but did not completely accomplish their aims. So, the US administration had to decide to partly lift its sanctions against the DPRK, the article said. It concluded that the US government’s decision is equal to declaring the bankruptcy of its sanction policy towards the DPRK.

5. Taiwan Earthquake

People’s Daily (“MAGNITUDE 7.6 QUAKE JOLTS TAIWAN,” Beijing, 9/22/99, A1) reported that a magnitude 7.6 earthquake jolted the southwestern part of Hualien on Taiwan at 1:47 am (Beijing time) on September 21. The earthquake caused heavy casualties and large economic loss, the report said. According to the statistics from related departments of Taiwan, by 22:00 on September 21, there were 1,674 dead, 3,924 injured, 2,650 trapped and 219 missing. The report said the seismic wave also traveled to Fujian, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces.

China Daily (“JIANG EXTENDS CONDOLENCES, PLEDGES FULL ASSISTANCE,” 9/22/99, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin, who also serves as general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, has extended condolences to victims of a devastating earthquake that rocked Taiwan early on September 21. Jiang said the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are as inseparable as flesh and blood and that residents of the PRC are deeply concerned that their compatriots in Taiwan are suffering. Jiang said that the PRC Government is ready to offer any possible assistance to alleviate the quake-caused losses. The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) extended their condolences to Taiwan’s quake victims in a message to their Taiwan counterparts this morning, the report said. Wang Daohan, president of ARATS, on September 21 extended condolences to victims of the earthquake. In an interview with Xinhua in Shanghai, Wang said that he was “shocked and grieved” to learn that the devastating quake has inflicted deaths and heavy property losses on Taiwan compatriots, and caused power blackout in Taipei and fires in parts of the quake-hit areas. He expressed his wish that the quake victims could overcome the difficulties caused by the disaster and rebuild their homes as soon as possible. RCSC has pledged to provide emergency assistance, including US$100,000 in relief funds and 500,000 yuan worth of relief materials, to Taiwan’s earthquake victims. The PRC Government will appreciate any assistance provided by international non-governmental organizations or other countries to the province, the report said. The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of China issued an urgent directive on September 21 asking its local branches to express sympathy and solicitude for Taiwan compatriots on the mainland, whose relatives in Taiwan suffered casualties and property damage in the devastating earthquake. The office also urged its branches to coordinate with local governments in helping those Taiwan compatriots in the PRC who want to go home.

6. Lee Teng-hui’s “Two States” Remarks

People’s Daily (“FIGHT LEE TENG-HUI’S SEPARATIST ATTEMPT TO THE END,” 9/18/99, A4) carried a Xinhua News Agency commentator’s article saying that the intention of the separatist forces led by Lee Teng-hui to amend the “constitution” at the “Third National Assembly” was totally crushed. “Struggles during the past two months clearly show that the central government and people will not tolerate the open provocations of the separatist forces led by Lee,” said the commentator, adding, “We have the ability and the determination to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of China, and our action is inviolable, just and forceful.” The article said that the development of the situation across the Taiwan Straits indicates that Lee Teng-hui’s separatist actions has seriously harmed the social stability on Taiwan, and has caused the worsening of across-Straits relations and tension on Taiwan Straits. As long as Lee Teng-hui does not take back his separatist “two states” remarks, the article said, the PRC government and people will deeply and continuously put up a firm fight against him.

7. Taiwan’s Entry into UN

People’s Daily (Fu Fuyuan and Zhou Dewu, “UN DENIES TAIWAN’S ENTRY,” United Nations, 9/17/99, A1) reported that the UN General Committee decided on September 15 not to consider the so-called “Taiwan’s participation at the UN” measure during the 54th session of the General Assembly. At the UN General Committee meeting, the report said, representatives from more than 40 Asian, African, and Latin American countries, and representatives from Russia and Belarus pointed out at their speeches that the UN passed Resolution 2758 in 1971 and finally resolved the issue of China’s representation. The report said that the so-called “Taiwan issue” measure violates the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and intervenes in the internal affairs of a state member. According to the report, representatives from Italy, France, Britain, and Spain also opposed placing the issue on the agenda of the 54th session of the General Assembly. The US representative for the first time in seven years reiterated the US government’s one- China policy in the speech, the report said. At a routine press briefing on September 16, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said the failure of Taiwan’s attempt to enter the UN has fully demonstrated the firm desire of most UN member nations to safeguard the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, abide by UN Resolution 2758, and adhere to the one China policy. He said that Taiwan authorities’ attempt to create “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” is in vain and dooms to failure.

8. PRC Nuclear Industry

China Daily (“BUILDING OF NEW REACTOR NEARS END,” 9/18/99, A1) reported that the PRC will finish construction of its first high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) next year in Beijing in an effort to ease the energy shortage in the new millennium. The completion of HTGR, the latest model adopted by the most advanced nuclear stations in developed countries, will make the PRC the fifth country to build the HTGR following Britain, the US, Germany, and Japan, the newspaper said, quoting sources with the Institute of Nuclear Energy of Qinghua University. The university is responsible for designing and building the project. The 10-megawatt reactor, which has been under construction since 1995, is 40 kilometers from downtown Beijing, almost at the foot of the Great Wall. Sources said that it will not be used to provide electricity to the PRC capital, but will serve as a base for testing the next generation of nuclear technologies and to train experts. Using helium as its coolant, the HTGR is a safe and effective energy source brought about by a chain fission reaction of uranium, the report said. In addition, the report said, it is one of the most effective and cheapest power generators, as its electricity-generation rate is about 45 percent, and it can be used to build a nuclear power station in a period of two years. The cost of building a HTGR is just half that required for building a water reactor, the report said.

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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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