NAPSNet Daily Report 23 July, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 23 July, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 23, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-23-july-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK MIA Search
2. DPRK Refugees in PRC
3. PRC View of US-Russian Talks
4. US Ambassador to PRC
5. PRC Information Warfare
6. US Military Sales to Taiwan
7. Japanese Prime Minister’s Shrine Visit
II. Republic of Korea 1. ASEAN Regional Forum
2. DPRK-US Talks
3. DPRK Computer Network
4. ROK Purchase of US Weapons
5. DPRK Parade

I. United States

1. US-DPRK MIA Search

The Associated Press (“SEARCH BEGINS FOR REMAINS IN NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 7/21/01) reported that US Defense Department officials said on July 22 that its investigators are beginning a search for the remains of hundreds of US servicemen killed in the Chosin Reservoir area of North Korea in 1950. The search, which began on July 21, is the first in the Chosin Reservoir area since the Korean War ended in 1953. The area was the scene of fierce battles in November-December 1950, when the 1st Marine Division was overwhelmed by a surprise PRC army assault and was forced to withdraw under fire. Larry Greer, a US Defense Department spokesman, said that a team from the US Army’s Central Identification Laboratory in Hawai’i arrived in the DPRK on July 21. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 23, 2001.]

2. DPRK Refugees in PRC

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “CHINA STEPS UP REPATRIATION OF NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES,” Beijing, 7/23/01) reported that, according to a report released Monday by the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, the PRC has launched a campaign of forced repatriation of DPRK refugees. The organization expressed “grave concern” about what will happen to the refugees when they return home. The report said that posters had appeared along the border between the PRC and the DPRK exhorting Chinese to turn in DPRK refugees and warned of steep fines for harboring a refugee. The report, citing refugees’ accounts, said that those sent back to the DPRK faced reprisals ranging “from interrogation, reeducation and imprisonment to capital punishment.” The report said that the repatriation campaign reached its climax after a DPRK family of seven sought refuge at the UN High Commission for Refugees’ Beijing office last month. It is not known how many people have been repatriated since the campaign began in May, but the group estimated that it is in the thousands.

3. PRC View of US-Russian Talks

Agence France Presse (“CHINA CAUTIOUS ON US-RUSSIAN NUCLEAR REDUCTION AGREEMENT,” Beijing, 7/23/01) reported that the PRC expressed caution Monday over a newly forged US-Russian agreement to cut nuclear weapons and maintained that any nuclear arms reductions must safeguard the current “global strategic stability.” US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on July 22 to tie negotiations on nuclear arms reductions to US missile defense plans. A PRC foreign ministry spokesman said, “We have noted the concerned reports but do not understand the detailed situation. China’s principled position is that it supports the US and Russia’s large-scale reductions of nuclear stockpiles on the condition that the global strategic stability is ensured.”

4. US Ambassador to PRC

Agence France Presse (“NEW US AMBASSADOR TO CHINA ARRIVES IN BEIJING,” Beijing, 7/23/01) and The Associated Press (“NEW U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA PROMISES CLOSER RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES,” Beijing, 7/23/01) reported that newly appointed US Ambassador to the PRC Clark Randt arrived on July 20 in Beijing and pledged to work closely with the PRC government. Randt said, “I pledge my best efforts to bring us closer together, to listen carefully and to try to understand China, her aspirations and concerns. We both need a positive, cooperative and constructive relationship.” US embassy officials said that Randt is expected to hand his credentials to the PRC government soon. On Monday, the PRC’s official People’s Daily carried an editorial apparently timed for Randt’s arrival that called the Taiwan issue “the core issue in Sino-US relations” and that warned the US against backing an independent Taiwan.

5. PRC Information Warfare

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “BEIJING’S STRATEGY TARGETS TAIWAN’S INFORMATION NETWORKS,” Taipei, 7/23/01) reported that Taiwan Air Force Lieutenant General Abe C. Lin, director of the Defense Ministry information and electronic warfare directorate, said that the PRC is developing a variety of information warfare and electronic combat weapons in preparation for a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the PRC military is moving ahead with development of information warfare capabilities and appears to have orchestrated recent computer attacks on Taiwan. Lin said that the weapons include: electromagnetic pulse missile warheads that can disrupt the electronics of weapons systems; computer viruses that can be unleashed against both military and civilian computer networks; “Trojan horse” computer programs, planted in networks, that appear as useful programs but covertly unleash destructive software; and spies planted within the military and government who could sabotage computer networks in wartime. A second Taiwanese senior defense official said that the PRC is also developing microwave electronic weapons to disrupt military electronics. The official said, “The first wave of a Chinese military attack on Taiwan would be a major information warfare strike.” The PRC military announced in 1999 that it planned to develop a large-scale information warfare component that would be equal in stature to its army, navy and air force. Lin said that Taiwan is working on its own information warfare attack capabilities, but declined to discuss any details. He added, “One element of China’s combat readiness is to prevent U.S. troops from entering the Taiwan Strait and the boundary area. So they are developing different types of electronic warfare weapons to destroy the information grid, not only in Taiwanese weapons platforms, but in U.S. weapons platforms as well, just in case the United States tries to deploy their weapons in this area.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 23, 2001.]

6. US Military Sales to Taiwan

Agence France Presse (“US TO SELL TAIWAN MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS,” Taipei, 7/21/01) reported that Taiwan’s China Times said in a dispatch from Washington on July 21 that the US Defense Department will sell Taiwan the Joint Tactical Information Distribution Systems (JTIDS) worth US$725 million as part of the island’s efforts to modernize its forces. JTIDS will be used to enhance communication links between Taiwan’s defense command and its fighters and warships. The paper said that the Defense Department has notified the US Congress of the move and that the arms sales were likely to be approved barring any significant opposition. Taiwan’s vice defense minister, Air Force Lieutenant- General Fu Wei-ku, praised the arms sale, saying, “With the equipment, the armed forces can be put together. It is also important in that it would enable the Taiwan military to use the same language and tool of the allies.” The paper said that JTIDS, currently being used by the US military, would enable “Taiwan troops to take joint actions with the US forces should a war break out in the strait.”

7. Japanese Prime Minister’s Shrine Visit

The Associated Press (“S. KOREA CRITICIZES JAPAN SHRINE VISIT,” Seoul, 7/22/01) reported that the ROK warned on July 22 that its relations with Japan would be damaged if Japan’s prime minister goes ahead with plans to visit a controversial shrine honoring the country’s war dead. ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo said, “Japan knows that we, along with China, strongly oppose the planned visit to the shrine and the problems it will entail.” Han said he that will discuss the issue, along with another diplomatic dispute over a new Japanese history textbook, when he meets his Japanese counterpart Makiko Tanaka on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi this week.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ASEAN Regional Forum

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, “SEOUL TO SEEK SUPPORT FOR INTER- KOREAN TALKS IN ARF,” Seoul, 07/23/01) reported that the ROK will urge Asian nations to support its efforts to rehabilitate the inter-Korean peace process during a series of regional conferences in Hanoi this week, ROK officials said Sunday. Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo will participate in three multilateral talks involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its dialogue partners such as the PRC, Japan, the US, the European Union and Russia. The meetings are scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday. Inter-Korean relations will be one of key issues at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) scheduled to open Wednesday. The meeting will draw top foreign policymakers from 23 countries, including the 10 members of ASEAN. Despite the last-minute cancellation by DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun, both ROK and US officials hope to have some kind of dialogue with the three-member DPRK delegation, which will be led by Ho Jong, a deputy minister-level ambassador. US Secretary of State Colin Powell also hinted Friday that there could be US-DPRK contacts in the Vietnamese capital.

2. DPRK-US Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “N.K.-U.S. NEGOTIATIONS WILL CONTINUE, POWELL SAYS,” Seoul, 07/23/01) reported that the US will continue to open channels for dialogue with the DPRK, confirmed a diplomat in Washington, hinting at possibilities of contact between US and DPRK representatives at the upcoming 8th Asean Regional Forum (ARF). US Secretary of the State Colin Powell in last Friday’s press briefing that he would meet with DPRK representatives on the sidelines of the meeting despite an earlier announcement from the DPRK that it would not send its Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun to the meeting. Powell in such case would be meeting with DPRK Ambassador-at-large Ho Jong (55) who would take Paek’s place to lead the its delegation. The DPRK’s delegation plans to stay in Vietnam from July 24-27. Ho is also likely to meet with ROK Foreign Affairs Minister Han Seung-soo and exchange opinions on the overall situation of inter-Korean relations. Powell, citing the Bush administration’s policy to resume talks with the DPRK, added there are still channels going on between the US and the DPRK in New York.

3. DPRK Computer Network

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “N.K. INTRODUCES FIRST COMPUTER NETWORK SYSTEM,” Seoul, 07/23/01) reported that Kwangmyong, an IT-related search engine developed by the DPRK’s technology agency in 1997, now connects computers of over 1,300 institutions nationwide that include government agencies, universities, industrial complexes and research centers. The DPRK’s monthly magazine “Minjok 21” in its August edition published on Sunday introduced photos of the homepage, which seems to have its basis in Microsoft’s Windows system. The left-hand side showcased a database and other functions to log on and preserve files. “North Korea displayed its Kwangmyong homepage as it being the first network ever in the North,” Shin Joon-young the editor-in-chief of Minjok 21 said. “Its explorer is in Japanese because it is based on the Japanese version of Windows. The network homepage named ‘Kwangmyong’ means a ‘bright star.'”

4. ROK Purchase of US Weapons

Joongang Ilbo (Yu Yong-won, “SOUTH KOREA PURCHASED $8.9 BILLION-WORTH ARMAMENTS FROM U.S.,” Seoul, 07/22/01) reported that the ROK spent a total of US$8.97 billion for weaponry purchase from the US for past 10 years. The latest finding has it that over 5,000 transactions took place between the ROK and the US since 1991. The fact was revealed on Saturday at the seminar “National Reunification and Halt of Armament Purchase from the US” hosted by two ROK non-governmental groups (NGO)– Good Friends and People for Peace and Reunification–by military critic Kim Jong-dae, who cited a source from the National Defense Ministry. “The total cost of foreign weapons to South Korea since 1991 reached up to $12.3 billion with the U.S. brand making up 73.1 percent,” he continued. “Taking into accounts all the other follow-up military aids and royalties the actual cost is likely to be even larger.” The reason for the significant increase in consumption of US weapons lies in Joint Chief of Staff’s proposal to increase military capability under the influence of US, which has good control of the military information. “From now on the military arrangements must be designed under strict consideration of armament costs that minimizes military clash and in preparation for national reunification.”

The Korea Times (Kim Kwang-tae, “US TO DITCH KOREA’S WEAPONS INTEGRATION IF IT BUYS NON-US AIRCRAFT IN F-X PLAN,” 7/23/01) reported that the US recently said that it would not help integrate US weapons and cryptographic systems should the ROK buy non-US aircraft in its next- generation fighter program, code-named F-X. In a reply dated May 25, 2001 to an ROK Air Force inquiry via the ROK Embassy in the US, Edward W. Ross, director for Middle East Asia and North Africa at the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), said, “At this time, we can’t respond positively to your request for Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) for the integration of various US weapon systems on the Eurofighter-Typhoon, Rafale, or Su-35 fighter aircraft.” ROK military officials said that without the US help in integration, ROK Air Force fighters could not distinguish friend from foe or communicate, and would, in the worst case, end up fighting each other. One official said, “All other products except for F-15s need integration work for cryptographic systems and weapons since the existing ROK Air Force fleet is so integrated and needs to fly with U.S. fighters in the Korean theater.” Ross said in the letter that before he can approve any LOA for munitions, integration, or support packages for the Rafale or Eurofighter Typhoon, it would be necessary to address the full range of technology transfers and releasability on a weapon-by-weapon, platform- to-platform basis. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 23, 2001.]

5. DPRK Parade

Chosun Ilbo (Yu Yong-won, “NK PREPARES FOR MILITARY ANNIVERSARY PARADE NEXT YEAR,” Seoul, 07/23/01) reported that the DPRK has been preparing for a large-scale military parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Peoples Army next year, according to a government source Sunday. The source said that the DPRK was preparing a mass military parade next year, and each squad has already begun preparations. He added that it was unlikely that the parade will include high-tech military weapons such as tanks, armored cars and artillery pieces, which have not appeared in public since the mid-90s.

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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