NAPSNet Daily Report 23 August, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 23 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 23, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-23-august-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. ROK-PRC Talks

Reuters (“CHINA SAYS HOPES KOREAN PENINSULA NUCLEAR-FREE,” Beijing, 08/23/99) reported that ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae held talks with PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian in Beijing on Monday. Chi stated, “China sincerely hopes that the situation [on the Korean Peninsula] will ease and the peninsula will be a nuclear-free region and finally realize a lasting peace and stability.” Chi also said the current trend was toward a multipolar world and that it was wrong to enhance military alignment and attempt to establish a single-pole world.

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “CHINA, SOUTH KOREA TO DISCUSS PEACE,” Seoul, 08/21/99) reported that analysts said that the PRC believes that the DPRK’s missile program is giving Japan and the US an excuse to increase their military ties. Hwang Byung-moon, a professor at the ROK’s Korean National Defense University, stated, “China hardly wants tension rising in the region.” Hwang added, “China’s Korea policy can be summarized as ‘no crisis, no unification.’ It will continue to urge both Koreas to refrain from provocative actions. It will play both sides off the other to maintain the status quo.”

2. ROK-Japan Talks

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “SKOREA, NKOREA IN MISSILE DISPUTE,” Seoul, 08/23/99) and Reuters (“JAPAN, S.KOREA SEE HOPEFUL SIGNS FROM N.KOREA,” Tokyo, 08/23/99) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young on Monday held talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura in Tokyo. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official stated, “The two ministers shared the view that the two countries should pay close attention to the fact that North Korea has recently shown signs that it is willing engage in dialogue. The two sides confirmed the need to ascertain North Korea’s intentions.” Also on Monday, ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won left for a weeklong visit to the US, which will include talks with former US Defense Secretary William Perry.

3. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “RAIN ON ‘SUNSHINE’ POLICY,” Seoul, 08/23/99, A10) reported that analysts said that if the DPRK decided to test-fire a ballistic missile, it would destroy the ROK’s “sunshine” policy. Ruling party Assemblyman Jay K. Yoo stated, “The [Mt. Kumgang] tours would have to stop. All of the aid must be halted if they fire again.” Yoo, however, argued that the DPRK’s recent rhetoric reflects a thaw in relations. He stated, “They have stopped saying that South Korea is a puppet of the United States. There have been lots of successes of ‘sunshine.’ Besides, we’ve done confrontation and strong measures in the past; it didn’t help much.” Lee Jung-hoon, an analyst at Yonsei University, stated, “We are on our knees with a bundle of money, saying, ‘Please take it.’ And North Korea is taking it with one hand and slapping us with the other.” Lee Hoi-chang, head of the ROK’s main opposition Grand National Party, termed the sunshine policy “naive and impractical.” Lee stated, “So far, it has had no effect at all.” An unnamed ROK presidential aide stated, “We are going to have harsh criticism from society and from our own people, but we have to stick to the engagement policy. There is no other way.” Lho Kyong-soo, a professor of international politics at Seoul National University, stated, “Sunshine was supposed to be a two-way avenue, but they have not reciprocated.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 23.]

4. US Congressional Trip to DPRK

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, “LAWMAKER EYES IMPROVED N. KOREA TIES,” Washington, 08/20/99) reported that US Representative Tony Hall, Democrat-Ohio, said Friday that the DPRK has indicated a new willingness to negotiate about missile tests. Hall stated, “The opportunity is there. I see a lot of good signs.” He added, “We now have a golden opportunity to make some progress, and we should take advantage of it.” Hall will make his fifth trip in five years to the DPRK August 26-29. Hall said that while the purpose of the trip will be primarily humanitarian, he also will use the opportunity to explain to DPRK officials the importance of abandoning efforts to test a ballistic missile. Hall said that a launch “would create tremendous problems” for the DPRK if it hopes to expand trade with the rest of the world.

5. DPRK-Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation

The Los Angeles Times (Dexter Filkins, “N. KOREA AID TO PAKISTAN RAISES NUCLEAR FEARS,” Islamabad, 08/23/99) reported that Pakistani officials said that last summer’s murder of Kim Sa-nae, the wife of a DPRK diplomat, happened when a neighbor’s cook accidentally fired a shotgun he had borrowed from a guard. Other unnamed officials, however, said that Kim was probably killed by the DPRK government because she was revealing secrets about the DPRK missile and nuclear programs or because she was planning to defect. Joseph Bermudez, a DPRK expert in New York, stated, “Considering their past behavior, it doesn’t seem beyond the North Koreans to kill one of their own.” Western experts said that Kim’s husband, Kang Thae-yun, in 1997 brokered a deal with an unidentified Russian company to bring “maraging steel,” a key component of missile bodies and nosecones, to Pakistan and the DPRK. Kang is also suspected of arranging the delivery of DPRK missile components to Egypt. According to diplomatic sources, Kang was the local director of the DPRK Mining Development Trading Corp., which US officials believe is a front company for DPRK arms sales. Diplomatic sources said that at the time of Kim’s death, DPRK planes were delivering missile components to Pakistan twice a month, but the flights stopped in May last year. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the head of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, stated, “I spoke with our intelligence agencies, and they said it was an accident. You Americans always try to put the blame on us.” Khan added that he thought that the DPRK was probably capable of developing a nuclear bomb on their own, and that his government would never turn over nuclear secrets. Khan stated, “Putting nuclear weapons in someone else’s hands could be quite disastrous.” Henry Sokolski, an arms control expert in Washington, stated, “North Korea has missiles and wants the bomb. Pakistan has the bomb, wants North Korea’s missiles and doesn’t have any money. That’s a prescription for trouble.” An anonymous US official stated, “It’s highly probable that North Koreans are in” Pakistan nuclear laboratories.

6. ROK Missile Purchase

Reuters (“SKOREA TO BUY $100 MILLION ISRAELI MISSILES-NORTH,” Seoul, 08/21/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Saturday that the ROK planned to purchase US$100 million worth of missiles from Israel. KCNA quoted an unspecified report as saying, “The South Korean authorities are scheming to purchase Popeye air-to-surface missiles worth 100 million dollars from Israel.” ROK Defense Ministry spokesman Shin Han-woo neither confirmed nor denied the KCNA report, saying, “We simply don’t have any information related to the report.”

7. DPRK War Warnings

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA: 2ND KOREAN WAR UNAVOIDABLE,” Tokyo, 08/22/99) and Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “WAR ‘UNAVOIDABLE,’ NK NEWSPAPER SAYS,” Osan Air Base, 08/24/99, 3) reported that an editorial in the DPRK’s Rodong Shinmun newspaper said Sunday that military exercises between the US and the ROK demonstrate the two countries’ rising militarism. The editorial stated, “The United States and South Korea are in a belligerent relationship. A second Korean War has become unavoidable.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 23.]

8. Repatriation of DPRK Remains

The Associated Press (“U.N. TO HAND OVER BODY TO N. KOREA,” Seoul, 08/23/99) reported that the UN Command said Monday that it will return the body of a DPRK soldier swept into ROK territory by floods early this month. Officials from both sides will meet on Wednesday to return the body in Panmunjom.

9. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press (“EDITH M. LEDERER UN: N. KOREA FAMINE EASING,” United Nations, 08/21/99) reported that Catherine Bertini, head of the UN World Food Program, said that the DPRK famine is easing, but the situation remains fragile. Bertini stated, “The base of that improvement has been the international aid that’s come in, and if that aid stops or is lessened, it would pull the bottom out of any small recoveries that have happened so far.” She said that during her most recent visit to the DPRK, there were some corn fields that looked reasonably good, and there was a new emphasis on growing potatoes. She added, “There are also a fair amount more sources of protein than there were two years ago because there are a lot more small animals – dogs, which are food there, goats, pigs, sheep, rabbits and ducks.” She added that the cakes made by the DPRK as a substitute food source are now 30 percent maize flour, which provides some nutrition, but the rest is still filler such as cucumber leaves, pumpkin leaves, the outside leaves of cabbage, or corn cobs. She also said that WFP is barred from 40 counties because the government says there are sensitive military installations there, “So there’s a whole population of people we can’t reach.” Regarding the number of deaths from the famine, Bertini stated, “Nobody knows. It’s bad. People have died – no question about it. But the debate about how many died in the famine is not as important as getting in a maximum amount of life-sustaining food and medicine so that more deaths from starvation do not occur.”

The Associated Press (“N KOREA SHOULDN’T GET FOOD AID: CONTENDER FOR FAO CHIEF,” Tokyo, 08/23/99) reported that Juan Carlos Vignaud, Argentine Ambassador to Sweden and a candidate to head the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said Monday that the DPRK should not be given food aid until it stops spending money on weapons. Vignaud stated, “You should easily understand that a country that may be utilizing resources for the proliferation of weaponry may not be entitled to request international aid for solving the problem of food.” He added, “We should try to invite North Korea to invest all the resources they have for respecting what we consider to be primary human rights.” Vignaud is the only candidate challenging incumbent FAO chief Jacques Diouf of Senegal.

10. Japanese Compensation for Korean Veterans

The Associated Press (“JAPAN MULLS COMPENSATION FOR S KOREANS WHO SERVED IN ARMY,” Tokyo, 08/23/99) reported that Masakatsu Okabe, an official at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office, said Monday that the government is considering creating a special law to compensate ROK citizens who served as soldiers or laborers for Japan’s military during World War II. Japan’s Asahi newspaper reported Monday that Japan is considering a one-time payment in the name of either “condolence” or “sympathy” money to about 2,000 to 3,000 Koreans living in Japan. According to Health Ministry figures, about 240,000 soldiers from the Korean Peninsula worked for the Japanese army during World War II. Some 20,000 were confirmed killed by the war’s end in 1945.

11. US Policy toward Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal (Helene Cooper, “DEFENDING TAIWAN: HOW FAR WOULD WASHINGTON GO?” Washington, 08/23/99) and The Los Angeles Times (Henry Chu, Jim Mann, “CHINA WAGING WAR OF WORDS ON TAIWAN,” Beijing, 08/23/99) reported that critics said that the US government could be sending mixed signals to the PRC about the US willingness to defend Taiwan in case of a PRC attack. Robert Kagan, a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, stated, “It’s far easier to deter than to undo.” Kagan argued, “We should be saying, ‘Don’t even try it.’ You make it clear in words, and in positioning of military assets, that you will not tolerate it.” Kagan added, “The logic of strategic ambiguity is, if you say you’re going to come to their defense no matter what, aren’t you encouraging Taiwan to declare independence? For Republican presidential candidates, this is the kind of thing that exposes inherent contradictions.” One unnamed US official stated, “When the president ordered two aircraft carrier battle groups into the region, that happened at a time when you had a substantial portion of the Taiwan Strait closed.” The PRC “had splashed several missiles and declared a war footing. This was intimidation on a very large scale.” One unnamed senior White House official stated, “U.S. policy is aimed overwhelmingly at trying to reduce to zero the chances that the situation will ever get to that point.” Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, a presidential candidate, said in a recent statement, “Strategic ambiguity will not serve United States interests or values in the current crisis. We must be very clear with Beijing. The United States will do what it must to help defend freedom and stability in Asia.” However, Nancy Bernkopf Tucker of Georgetown University stated, “The principle today is the same. If you say you will protect Taiwan under any circumstances, you may encourage the independence forces on Taiwan to declare independence. If, on the other hand, you say you won’t defend Taiwan, you may invite China to act…. [Ambiguity] keeps each side from taking extreme action.” Chas W. Freeman Jr., a former US official in Beijing, said the current crisis could force the US to “decide … whether we’re bluffing or serious” about defending Taiwan. Freeman stated, “U.S. policy for 30 years has been intended to avoid putting us in a position where we have to answer the question of whether we will go to war over Taiwan or not. That policy may be failing.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 23.]

The Washington Post carried an opinion article by Peter W. Rodman, director of national security programs at the Nixon Center (“TOO LITTLE TALK ON TAIWAN,” 08/23/99, 17) which said that the policy of “strategic ambiguity” is the “riskiest course” for tensions in the Taiwan Straits. The author argued, “Our deterrence of a military attack by Beijing must be unambiguous and unconditional. If Beijing uses force, the geopolitical consequences for the United States in the Asia/Pacific region are the same no matter how the crisis originated.” He added, “China’s growing power casts a shadow over the region; its use of force on any pretext sends shock waves.” Rodman argued, “China should not miscalculate: There will be an American reaction, whose nature will depend on what move Beijing makes.” He added, “Taiwan, in turn, needs to understand that gratuitous, unilateral pronouncements that stir up a crisis are, among other things, a disservice to the great power it counts upon to bail it out. The latest declarations seem not to be serious policy, but short-sighted domestic politics.” He also stated, “If our concern is to moderate Taipei’s behavior, how can this be done without authoritative high-level communication?” He concluded, “Without any prejudice to America’s understandings with China under the 1972, 1979 and 1982 U.S.-China communiques, the more crisis-prone environment that now exists with respect to Taiwan suggests that better communication all around would be a common interest of Washington, Taipei and Beijing.”

12. PRC Threat to Taiwan

The Los Angeles Times (Henry Chu, Jim Mann, “CHINA WAGING WAR OF WORDS ON TAIWAN,” Beijing, 08/23/99) reported that analysts are skeptical of the PRC government’s threats against Taiwan. James R. Lilley, former US ambassador to the PRC, stated, “We’re seeing a shadow play. What’s going on now is right out of ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms.'” An anonymous Chinese defense analyst said that PRC President Jiang Zemin recently asked top military leaders if there is some weapon or capability that would ultimately guarantee success in reacquiring Taiwan. The analyst stated, “The PLA regretfully answered, ‘Sorry, no, there isn’t.'” June Teufel Dreyer, a political scientist at the University of Miami, stated, “Bottom line: This is not the right time for China to attack Taiwan. Meanwhile, of course, some scare tactics need to be carried on.” She added, “The military folks, being well aware of the risks they face, tend to include quite a few people who don’t want war–yet. The idea is always that a couple of years down the road, given more time to train, a couple more squadrons of planes and a few more submarines, then they will be ready.”

13. Taiwan Presidential Election

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN PARTY PICKS PRESIDENT CHOICE,” Taipei, 08/21/99) reported that delegates of Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party voted Saturday to support Vice President Lien Chan as their presidential candidate in next year’s elections. Running unopposed, Lien won 96 percent of the 2,071 votes cast. 109 delegates abstained, while 76 others voted for James Soong, who plans to run as an independent. Votes for Soong were declared invalid. Nationalist Party Secretary General John Chang stated, “The poll … indicates our members are still united behind the party. We are very pleased.” Delegate Sun Ta-chien, a Soong supporter, stated, “This was but a melodrama put up by the Nationalists to legitimize the nomination.”

Reuters (“PRO-INDEPENDENCE PARTY CANDIDATE ADVOCATES NUCLEAR WEAPONS,” Taipei, 08/22/99) reported that the Taiwan Independence Party on Sunday nominated its chairman Cheng Pang-cheng to run for the March 2000 presidential election. In his acceptance speech, Cheng stated, “Aside from strengthening people’s readiness for war, Taiwan has no other option but to develop nuclear weapons in order to ensure national independence and security.” Under Taiwan law, all candidates must have 250,000 signatures of support before they can stand in presidential elections, and analysts said it was not certain whether Cheng’s party could garner enough signatures.

14. Russia-PRC Summit Talks

The Associated Press (Vladimir Isachenkov, “YELTSIN PREPARES FOR ASIA SUMMIT,” Moscow, 08/23/99) reported that Russian President Boris Yeltsin will meet PRC President Jiang Zemin at Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek on Tuesday. The two-day summit is aimed at increasing stability and cooperation along the PRC’s border with Russia and three Central Asian nations. It will be the fourth PRC-Russian summit since April 1996.

15. Indian Nuclear Development

Reuters (Sanjeev Miglani, “INDIA EYES AN AMBITIOUS NUCLEAR ARSENAL,” New Delhi, 08/22/99) reported that analysts said on Sunday that India’s draft nuclear doctrine envisions a larger and more complex arsenal than expected. Kanti Bajpai, a professor of security studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, stated, “Quite frankly, I am taken aback. The scope seems to be much larger and ambitious than a lot of us thought.” Bajpai stated, “The general impression created since May 1998 was it would be a minimalized and relaxed approach. But this doctrine spells out the classical deterrent posture with a triad structure and emphasis on rapid retaliation.” Columnist C. Rammanohar Reddy wrote in the Hindu newspaper, “If the draft doctrine becomes a reality, then not only will nuclear weaponization impose a crippling financial burden on the economy, we will also be contributing to make South Asia one of the most dangerous places to live in.” Reddy argued in his article, entitled “Mindless Militarisation,” that the costs of nuclearization could be anything between 500 to 600 billion rupees (US$12-US$14 billion) over the next decade.

16. US Missile Defense

Defense Week (John Donnelly, “THAAD INTERCEPTS WERE UNREALISTIC, TOP TESTER SAYS,” 08/23/99, 1) reported that Philip Coyle, the director of operational test and evaluation for the US Defense Department, said that the two recent successful intercepts of test targets by the Army Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system were “tightly scripted” events that were not “operationally realistic.” In a written statement last Wednesday, Coyle said that while THAAD had made progress, the tests used a THAAD missile other than the one that would be bought, the targets were shorter range than the system might really face, and the test conditions were contrived. He said that a new THAAD missile that is to be built in the next few years should first prove itself in more realistic scenarios before Lockheed Martin Corporation is awarded a contract covering the whole development phase. Bob Koster, acting director of Theater Missile Defense Systems Acquisition for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), said that it would be “premature” to say whether BMDO agrees with Coyle or not. Koster stated, “We are trying to assess what’s the best way to go forward. It’s going to take a while to get consensus within the department.” Army Brigadier General Daniel Montgomery, the officer in charge of acquiring air and missile defense systems, said Friday, “We have done what we need to do to take this missile to the next stage of development. I am comfortable with the design changes we will make in it based on what we’ve learned in these flight tests.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 23.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Policy toward DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yul, “LANDMARK U.S. OFFER TO LIFT NK TRADE SANCTIONS,” Seoul, 08/22/99) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “LIFTING OF U.S. SANCTIONS ON N.K. TO COME GRADUALLY AT BEST,” Seoul, 08/23/99) reported that the US has told the DPRK that the US will lift virtually all economic sanctions on the DPRK if it promises not to make any more test launches of its Taepodong II missile. According to an ROK government official on Sunday, conciliatory measures offered by the US include the removal of the DPRK from its list of hostile trade countries. The same official said the US had made the offer to the DPRK in talks between the two countries that took place earlier this month in Geneva.

2. ROK-US-Japan Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Dae-yul, “KOREA, US AND JAPAN TO HOLD SUMMIT TALKS,” Seoul, 08/22/99), and Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “KOREA, U.S. AND JAPAN TO HOLD SUMMIT TALK,” Seoul, 08/20/99) reported that leaders of the ROK, the US, and Japan will hold three-way summit talks in Auckland, New Zealand this September, it was reported on Friday. It will be the first summit meeting of all three leaders. ROK President Kim Dae- jung, US President Bill Clinton, and Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo will meet on September 11 before participating in the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit conference from September 12, according to an ROK government official. The three leaders will exchange opinions about security issues in Northeast Asia and express their concerns on DPRK’s ballistic missile development. They will also discuss the roll of each country in Asia-Pacific economic development.

3. ROK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (“SEOUL DISCUSSES N. KOREAN MISSILE THREAT WITH TOKYO,” Seoul, 08/23/99) reported that ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hong Soon-young on Sunday held a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura to address the threat of another missile launch by the DPRK. The two foreign ministers agreed on strong political and diplomatic countermeasures if the DPRK goes ahead with the launch despite the international protest. Hong persuaded Japan not to abandon the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) framework regardless of the DPRK’s missile threat. The foreign ministers of the two countries also discussed trade issues, including an investment pact, and details of the ministerial talks slated for October in Cheju.

4. ROK Unification Minister’s Visit to US

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “UNIFICATION MINISTER LIM TO MEET PERRY DURING VISIT TO U.S.,” Seoul, 08/21/99) reported that ROK ministry officials said on Friday that ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won will meet US coordinator on the DPRK William Perry during his weeklong visit to the US next week to coordinate the two governments’ policies on the DPRK. In a meeting in San Francisco next Friday, the two officials will do a last- minute review of Perry’s report on the DPRK and discuss countermeasures against the DPRK’s suspected test-firing of an additional missile.

5. Russian Defense Minister visits ROK

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER TO VISIT,” Seoul, 08/23/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev will visit the ROK early next month in a step to boost military exchanges between the two countries. During his three-day trip, scheduled to begin September 2, Sergeyev will meet with his ROK counterpart, Cho Sung-tae, and other ROK leaders, ministry officials said. They said that Cho and Sergeyev will discuss exchanging port calls and sending ROK soldiers to Russian military institutions. During his visit to the ROK, Sergeyev also may offer to provide SU-27 fighter jets to the ROK to partially repay a US$1.8 billion debt Russia owes to the ROK, military sources said.

6. ROK Armed Forces

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “MND TO REDUCE MANPOWER,” Seoul, 08/20/99) reported that ROK Defense Ministry official revealed on Thursday that the ROK Army will gradually reduce its current 690,000 military manpower to 400,000 – 500,000 until around 2015, assuming Korean unification is achieved. The ROK Army is also increasing the percentage of officers from the present 24 percent to 30 percent so as to run the military mainly with career soldiers, and also to reduce the ratio of army soldiers from the current 81.2 percent to 71 percent and increase the ratio of naval and air force servicemen up to 29 percent.

7. Education on Unification

The Korea Times (“NEW PARADIGM FOR UNIFICATION EDUCATION PROPOSED,” Seoul, 08/22/99) reported that an ROK civic organization has urged the government to establish a new set of guidelines for educating the people on unification. The Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ) said that the existing unification education program puts focus on promoting national security rather than on narrowing the psychological gap between the minds of ROK and DPRK citizens. It said in a seminar that DPRK citizens are generally regarded here as more alien to ROK citizens than foreigners. The prime focus of the government-sponsored unification education program, according to the CCEJ, must be on promoting awareness among ROK citizens of the potentially devastating effect of another war on the nation and the Korean Peninsula as well as on efforts to realize peaceful inter-Korean unification.

8. Comfort Women

The Korea Times (“S-N JOINT SURVEY ON ‘COMFORT WOMEN’ PLANNED,” Seoul, 08/20/99) and The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SOUTH KOREAN GROUP PROPOSES JOINT PROTEST ON SEXUAL SLAVERY BY JAPANESE COLONIALISTS,” Seoul, 08/21/99) reported that an ROK organization for victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery plans to propose that the two Koreas form a joint survey team to figure out the entire picture of atrocities committed against Korean women during World War II. Chongdaehyop, or the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, filed an application on Thursday with the Unification Ministry to contact its DPRK counterpart to discuss the matter. At present, Chongdaehyop plans to hold an inter-Korean meeting in Pyongyang in October to discuss the formation of a joint survey team to be tasked to collect testimonies from the so- called “comfort women” and documents regarding Japan’s mobilization of Korean women for sexual slavery. “We hope that North Korea will react positively. We already had contacts with our North Korean counterpart in Beijing last year to exchange opinions over the formation of a joint survey team,” said a Chongdaehyop member. The data collected will be used as the basis for the organization of an “international court” to deal with war crimes regarding the Japanese military’s wartime atrocities. As it is impossible for real courts to deal with the issue, the international court, to be convened in Tokyo in December next year, will be organized in the form of a “citizens’ court,” in which comfort women will give testimony and participants will reach a verdict.

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

Lee Dong-young: UNPOL@netsgo.com
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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