NAPSNet Daily Report 24 February, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 24 February, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 24, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-24-february-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Alleged Egypt-DPRK Missile Cooperation
2. ROK Ruling Coalition
3. PRC White Paper on Taiwan
4. US Troops in Japan
5. Japanese Defense Posture
II. Republic of Korea 1. US-DPRK Peace Treaty
2. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

I. United States

1. Alleged Egypt-DPRK Missile Cooperation

Jane’s Defence Weekly (Steve Rodan, “ISRAEL, USA CLAIM EGYPTIAN MISSILE LINKS WITH N KOREA,” Tel Aviv, 2/23/00) reported that US and Israeli intelligence sources alleged that Western and US technology obtained by Egyptian government-owned companies is being sent to the DPRK and adapted and returned as advanced missile components for Egypt’s medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) program. Egypt refused to abide by the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which bans the export of missiles with a range of more than 300km and a 500kg warhead. An unnamed US State Department official said, “the companies were found to have sent dual-use items banned by the MTCR to North Korea.” A senior congressional analyst said that cooperation between Egypt and the DPRK, which began in the late 1970s, has increased over the past two years. The analyst said, “we are watching Egyptian companies make all sorts of requests for technology and components and subsystems for its missile program and transferring them to North Korea. Egypt has cooperated with North Korea in missile development and is reportedly able to produce a version of the ‘Scud B’ missile.” The analyst said that the US intelligence community is concerned that technology sent by Egypt has been employed in the DPRK’s Taepodong long-range missile program. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 24, 2000.]

2. ROK Ruling Coalition

Agence France Presse (“S.KOREAN PRESIDENT IN POLITICAL WHIRLWIND AS RULING COALITION ENDS,” Seoul, 2/24/00), and The Associated Press (Kyong- hwa Seok, “S. KOREAN COALITION PARTNERS SPLIT,” Seoul, 2/24/00) reported that the ROK’s United Liberal Democrat (ULD) party ended its coalition partnership with ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) on Thursday. ULD president Lee Han-dong said, “as of now, we completely give up our role within the ruling coalition and are being reborn as an opposition party. There will be no further cooperation with the MDP in running the coalition government and in running for the upcoming polls.” Lee also said that ULD members in Kim’s government, including Prime Minister Park Tae-joon, should either stay in or return to the party. MDP spokesman Chung Dong-young said that his party still hoped there would be “productive competition” with the ULD in the elections.

3. PRC White Paper on Taiwan

Agence France Presse (“CHINA TO INCREASE PRESSURE ON TAWAIN FOR TALKS: ANALYSTS,” Beijing, 2/23/00) reported that analysts warned Taiwan on Thursday to expect increasing pressure from the PRC to enter formal reunification talks. Joseph Cheng, professor of politics at City University of Hong Kong, said, “I can see further pressure on Taiwan to induce them to the negotiating table. The United States will appeal to both sides to talk, but the message will be intended more for Taiwan consumption.” Cheng said that the PRC did not want to damage relations with the US, but it will have calculated the price of the White Paper and be prepared to pay it. He continued, “there are other factors to be considered. Chinese leaders believe a message has to be sent to Taiwan and to the domestic audience. It cannot afford to do nothing.” Jean- Pierre Cabestan, director of the Centre d’Etudes Francais sur la Chine Contemporaire in Hong Kong, said, “there is a gradual, steady move towards independence in Taiwan and the more time flies, the more unworkable it is to negotiate. Beijing is trying to stop this drifting away…. And the other goal is to show the Americans they’re really serious about this.” Analysts said that as soon as the Taiwan elections are over, the PRC will table a negotiating proposal consisting of the same sort of “carrots and sticks” included in the White Paper.

US Department of State Office of International Information Programs released a briefing by State Department Spokesman Jamie Rubin for February 23, 2000, who said that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Deputy National Security Advisor Jim Steinberg met with PRC’s Ambassador Li Zhaoxing. Rubin said that Talbott told Li that the US was concerned about the tone of the PRC’s White Paper on Taiwan and was troubled by its indication of a plan to use force. Regarding the PRC Embassy spokesman’s argument that the White Paper offered certain flexibility toward Taiwan, Rubin said, “there were some parts that were not troublesome. There were some parts that included and expressed clearly China’s interest in a peaceful resolution of the cross-strait issue in obtaining reunification through a cross-strait dialogue, and those parts were not counter-productive. But I don’t think we can dismiss the existence of this new language simply because there were other parts that were constructive.” Rubin also stated that the US administration has not changed its position to oppose the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act.

US Department of State Office of International Programs (Susan Ellis, “CHINA TAIWAN THREATS SEEN AS REGIONAL SECURITY RISK,” Washington, 2/23/00) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said that any use of force by the PRC against Taiwan would be seen by the US “as a threat to the security in the South China Sea area and in Asia generally … and the administration would consult with Congress over the appropriate response.”

4. US Troops in Japan

US Department of State Office of International Programs (Susan Ellis, “CHINA TAIWAN THREATS SEEN AS REGIONAL SECURITY RISK,” Washington, 2/23/00) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said that the issue of relocating the US Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma in Okinawa should be dealt with by Japan. However, he said, “We’ve made it very clear that we don’t believe there should be a limit on security. The reason we have forces in Japan is to provide security to Japan and throughout the Asia Pacific region. And we don’t believe that anybody can be certain that security threats will go away in 15 years.” Bacon also said that US Secretary of Defense William Cohen will travel to in Japan in March, and visit the PRC later in the year.

5. Japanese Defense Posture

Defense News (Philip Finnegan, “ONE ON ONE: TSUTOMU KAWARA” 2/28/00, P.62) reported that Tsutomu Kawara, Japanese Minister Of State For Defense, said that Japan’s worsening economy is causing Japan to reduce host-nation support payments for US troops in Japan. Asked about the potential for Japan to work with other countries such as the ROK and Taiwan on a broader theater missile defense (TMD) system, Kawara stated, “a central tenet in our diplomacy is that our defense is exclusively defensive. This, therefore, does not include the countries in our region. Our focus must be on removing various security threats to Japan. We cannot go about involving our neighbors.” Kawara said that Japan’s budget for year 2000 includes funds for the type-90 tank, destroyers and support fighters, and a fund for research on weapons of mass destruction to develop defense equipment. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for February 24, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. US-DPRK Peace Treaty

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “PERRY’S REMARKS ON U.S.-N.K. PEACE PACT SPURS CONTROVERSY IN S. KOREA,” Seoul, 02/24/00) reported that ROK officials and analysts said on February 23 that remarks attributed to US Defense Secretary Willam Perry on the possibility of concluding a US-DPRK peace treaty are stirring controversy in the ROK. Perry was quoted on February 18 in an address on Radio Free Asia as saying, “if North Korea gives up its nuclear and long-range missile programs, the United States will enhance bilateral ties, sign a peace agreement, and normalize diplomatic relations with the North.” Analysts in the ROK noted that if Perry’s remarks prove to be true, they run counter to a previous agreement made by the ROK and the US, which specified that any treaty replacing the current armistice on the Korean Peninsula should be signed by the ROK and the DPRK. However, the DPRK has asserted that only a peace pact signed by the US can be a genuine substitute for the current truce. Trying to play down Perry’s comments, ROK officials said that he must have used the term “peace agreement” in a totally different sense than is understood by the DPRK. A Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry official said, “he might have used the word ‘agreement’ only as a step to improve relations between the United States and North Korea.”

2. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Times (“INTER-KOREAN CLASSIC CONCERT PLANNED,” Seoul, 02/24/00) reported that an ROK agency is seeking to organize a classical music festival in the DPRK on April 5 with world famous soprano Sumi Jo and other musicians. The CaN (Culture and Art) Korea Incorporated president, Bae Kyung-whan, said that the group plans to hold the 2000 International Peace Concert at Pyongyang’s Pyonghwa Theater. The agency is also exploring the possibility of inviting a DPRK orchestra to the ROK on April 8. Bae said that the Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gum Nanse and composed of European and Asian musicians, will be invited to Pyongyang for the concert. A corresponding performance will be also held in Seoul, probably at Chamsil Stadium, with the Pyongyang National Philharmonic Orchestra touring in the ROK. Violinist Sarah Chang, pianist Wonny Song, cellist Jian Wang, baritone Jan-Hendrik Rootering, tenor Karl Daymond, soprano Grace Bumbry, and mezzo soprano Olga Borodina have also been invited to the concert.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

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

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
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

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

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.