NAPSNet Daily Report 24 May, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 24 May, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 24, 1999,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Perry’s Visit to DPRK

The United States Information Agency (James Rubin, “PERRY TO ASSESS, NOT NEGOTIATE, US RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 05/21/99) reported that US State Department spokesman James Rubin said that special US envoy to the DPRK William Perry will be going to the DPRK next week to assess US relations with the DPRK, not to negotiate with DPRK officials. Rubin said, “He will be exploring what their views are so that, as he completes his assessment of North Korea policy and American policy toward North Korea, and discusses that with the Japanese and the South Koreans, then he can present the President and the Secretary of State the most comprehensive view of what is possible, what it not possible, and what is worth pursuing.” Perry will explore whether the Agreed Framework can be made more comprehensive to include inspections of more suspected DPRK nuclear weapons producing sites. Rubin said that Perry will meet with top DPRK officials, and hopes to also meet with Kim Jong-il. He added that after the Pyongyang visit, the US delegation will stop in Seoul for another round of talks with ROK and Japanese officials May 28-29.

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA REPORTS U.S. ENVOY TO VISIT,” Seoul, 05/22/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency confirmed on Saturday that former Defense Secretary William Perry will visit the DPRK. It did not say whether Perry will meet with Kim Jong-il. KCNA stated, “During the visit, the envoy will exchange with the North Korean side opinions on issues concerning the relations between the two countries.”

The San Jose Mercury News (Michael Zielenziger, “PERRY SET TO MAKE HISTORIC VISIT TO NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 05/23/99) and the Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “U.S. ENVOYS SEEK TO EASE TENSIONS WITH N. KOREA VISIT,” 05/24/99, Pg. 22) reported that an unnamed administration official said that William Perry will deliver a letter from US President Bill Clinton when he visits the DPRK May 25-28. He will also discuss “pathways to the future” with DPRK officials. Arriving in Tokyo on Sunday, Perry emphasized that his mission is to create a unified response among Japan, the ROK and the US. Perry stated, “My delegation’s discussions with our allies will focus on coordinating our respective approaches to North Korea as we seek ways to achieve a lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.” [The Washington Post article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 24.]

2. US-Japan-ROK Policy Coordination on DPRK

The United States Information Agency carried the following statement (“JOINT STATEMENT BY WILLIAM J. PERRY, U.S. NORTH KOREA POLICY COORDINATOR ROK SENIOR PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARY LIM DONG-WON AND JAPANESE MOFA DIRECTOR GENERAL KATO RYOZO,” Tokyo, USIA Text, 05/24/99): “During our consultations, we reviewed our coordinated approach toward the DPRK and discussed ways to further enhance it. The three sides agreed that our approach should continue to be closely coordinated and that it is important that both our respective and collective views are clearly understood by Pyongyang. We also discussed the current status of the review of our North Korea policy. In doing so, we have again confirmed the close and cooperative relations we enjoy as allies. In advance of the U.S. delegation’s departure for Pyongyang, the message that we agreed Dr. Perry will convey to the DPRK was coordinated among the three delegations. We agreed that this visit will provide a valuable opportunity to assess DPRK views first-hand. We are hopeful that Dr. Perry’s meetings in Pyongyang will produce useful insights as the review of our approach toward the DPRK moves towards a conclusion.”

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “U.S., ALLIES STRESS COORDINATION ON N.KOREA,” Tokyo, 05/24/99) reported that Japanese officials said Monday that while Japan is ready to improve its relations with the DPRK, key obstacles still remain. US presidential envoy William Perry and officials from Japan were believed to have discussed Japan’s concerns in a meeting in Tokyo ahead of Perry’s three-day trip to Pyongyang. Earlier Monday, Japan’s top government spokesman Hiromu Nonaka suggested that Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi would ask Perry to convey Japan’s message to DPRK leaders that Japan was willing to improve its ties with the DPRK. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official declined to verify this, but said, “Policy coordinator Perry will carry to Pyongyang a message adjusted by the three countries.” He added that Japan’s interests were fully reflected in Perry’s report.

3. Inspection of Underground Site

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING,” Washington, USIA text, 05/21/99) said that the US inspection team at Kumchangri is continuing its work. Rubin also said that the inspectors will stay as long as necessary to satisfy themselves that the work has been completed and that they have the necessary access to the facility and to continue their work. Rubin confirmed that there has been no time limit set, and that the team will make the decision when to leave. Although the communication has not been perfect between the team and the State Department, it has been learned that the US team has been receiving the necessary cooperation in conducting the investigation.

4. Kim Dae-jung’s Russia Visit

The International Herald Tribune (Don Kirk, “KIM TO DISCUSS KOREAN PEACE, AND RUSSIAN SUBMARINES, ON MOSCOW TRIP,” Seoul, 05/24/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will go to Moscow on Thursday, where he plans to meet with President Boris Yeltsin. According to Park Young-ho, senior research fellow at the Korean Institute of National Unification, Kim wants to finish his summit diplomacy with the four surrounding powers and also resolve the issue of the Russian debt. Park added that the trouble with Russia’s offer of submarines to pay its debts to the ROK is that ROK navy does not like the deal and fears that the government will make an agreement on political terms. ROK Brigadier General Chan Yung-koo stated, “Russian submarines have many problems.” He cited the need for Russian logistical support for refitting and repairs as one of the problems. Chan noted that the ROK does not have any submarines of the type offered by the Russians, and that the US could also oppose the idea. Lee Sang-chul, an official on the president’s staff, said that the government has not yet decided what to do about the debts, “But in the political area, we hope to get support from the Russian side” for Kim’s sunshine policy. Russian Ambassador to the ROK Yevgeni Afanasiev stated, “We are ready to take part in the four-plus or inevitably a multiple dialogue.” He called for a “very urgent multiple-dialogue structure surrounding the Korean Peninsula,” which would go beyond the four-party talks. He said that while the four-party talks focus on a peace treaty to replace the Armistice Agreement, the multiple-party talks would discuss economic and security issues. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 24.]

5. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

Reuters (“TESTING OF UNKNOWN KOREA WAR DEAD COULD TAKE YEARS,” Honolulu, 05/23/99) and the Associated Press (Anne Gearan, “KOREAN WAR REMAINS TO BE EXHUMED,” Washington, 05/22/99) reported that the US Defense Department is preparing to use newly approved DNA testing to try to identify remains of unidentified US soldiers from the Korean War. The Department announced Friday that about 70 sets of remains may be disinterred at the National Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii. Gene Castagnetti, director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, said Saturday that it could be several years before newly approved DNA testing identifies anyone.

6. US Naval Port Visits to Hong Kong

The Washington Post (Michael Laris and Steven Mufson, “END OF PORT CALLS HURTS CHINA TIES HONG KONG VISITS REDUCED ‘MISTRUST’,” 05/22/99, Page A13) and the Associated Press (“NEW U.S. PACIFIC COMMANDER DISCUSSES CHINA, OTHER ASIA ISSUES, Singapore, 05/22/99) reported that military analysts said that the PRC’s suspension last week of port visits to Hong Kong by US Navy ships would not affect Navy operations. Admiral Dennis C. Blair, who became commander in chief of the US Pacific Command on February 20, stated, “It’s simply an inconvenience.” Michel Oksenberg, a specialist in US-PRC relations at Stanford University, stated, “This is a regrettable decision on [the PRC’s] part because the military-to-military relationship with China is among our most important relations. It is an essential vehicle for attempting to reduce the mistrust between the two sides…. I think this kind of a step by the Chinese is self-damaging.” US State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said, “We regret that these mutually beneficial port calls, which bring economic benefit to Hong Kong as well as shore leave benefits to U.S. Navy personnel, are unable to take place at this time.” Analysts said that the US will divert its ships to Singapore or the Philippines for rest and recreation on the way to the Persian Gulf.

7. PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Associated Press (“CHINA DAILY EDITORIAL LABELS TAIWAN’S LEE “ANTI-CHINESE”, Beijing, 05/24/99) reported that an editorial in the China Daily said that Taiwan’s President Lee Teng-hui harbors an “anti- Chinese mentality ” that is the driving force behind a quest to break apart China. The editorial was prompted by Lee’s recent suggestion that PRC government divide China into several independent regions. Titled “Lee’s Daydream,” the unsigned editorial accuses Lee of seeking permanent independence for Taiwan and siding with Japan and the US to contain the PRC’s growing influence in the region. The commentary said that Lee wants to “dismember China entirely.” It also cited Lee’s advocacy of Taiwan’s joining international organizations and a US-led regional missile defense system as proof of his separatist agenda.

8. Bombing of PRC Embassy

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA SEES BOMBING AS DELIBERATE,” 05/24/99, Pg. 1) reported that a classified report based on National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence data sent to senior Defense Department officials last week revealed that PRC intelligence viewed the bombing of the PRC embassy as part of a NATO “conspiracy” to involve the PRC in the war. The PRC intelligence agency based its judgment on the damage caused by the bombs. The three US Joint Direct Attack Munitions, satellite-guided bombs known as JDAMs, caused the most damage to the embassy’s security communications room and the defense attache’s office, said officials familiar with the NSA report. One official said that the PRC is “convinced it was intentional.” According to the US officials, the PRC government instructed its embassy personnel to search the bombed-out building for fragments of the missiles that hit the building and to send any JDAM fragments to Beijing as soon as possible. US State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said on Friday that the US government’s investigation of the bombing that the PRC government had requested is nearly complete. He stated, “We will be presenting the findings of our investigation into the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade to the People’s Republic of China,” he said. [Ed. Note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 24.]

The Associated Press (“ANTI-NATO FEELINGS AT CHINA EXHIBIT,” Beijing, 05/22/99) reported that an exhibition of photos chronicling NATO’s May 7 attack on the PRC Embassy and the damage wrought by the NATO alliance’s continuing air campaign against Yugoslavia opened Friday at the National Art Museum in central Beijing. Lu Yansong, a correspondent for the People’s Daily newspaper, who was the only journalist in the embassy to survive the attack, took the photos. Images at the exhibition portrayed the Chinese and Yugoslav people as common victims of NATO aggression. The exhibit included photos of the bodies of the three Chinese reporters killed in the embassy bombing and pictures of grieving relatives.

9. PRC Views of Balkan War

The Associated Press (“CHINA TELLS GREECE NATO BOMBS MUST STOP BEFORE UN VOTES,” Beijing, 05/24/99) reported that the PRC demanded on Monday that NATO forces stop bombing Yugoslavia before the UN Security Council opens discussions on a political solution to the Kosovo crisis. The PRC’s official Xinhua News Agency said that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou that the PRC would not go along with any UN discussions before the bombing ends. Papandreou said shortly before leaving Beijing, “They were very, very clear on the fact that they would not be able to vote for a U.N. resolution if the bombing did not stop.” However, Papandreou also said that the PRC wants to play a constructive role in resolving the conflict.

10. Alleged the PRC Espionage

The Los Angeles Times (Bob Drogin, “HOUSE REPORT ON SPYING LEANS TOWARD DIRE SIDE,” Washington, 05/24/99) reported that two senior US Energy Department officials gave a Senate committee last week conflicting evaluations of the damage to national security from alleged PRC espionage. Notra Trulock, now acting deputy director of intelligence at the Energy Department, testified Thursday that the PRC’s theft of nuclear secrets “is on a parallel with the Manhattan Project compromises.” However, Edward J. Curran, director of counterintelligence at the Energy Department, stated, “We all agree that there was a breach. I think it’s yet to be determined the degree of that breach.” He added, “As far as I know, there is no information available that we have to say this information is in their hands.”

11. US-Russian Nonproliferation Cooperation

The Washington Post (David Hoffman, “ARMS CONTROL DAMAGED BY WAR U.S.-RUSSIA TENSIONS,” Moscow, 05/23/99, Page A01) reported that Russia’s anger over the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia jeopardizes the chance that the Russian Duma’s will ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) and other arms control measures. Sergei Rogov, director of the USA/Canada Institute, said that unless US relations with Russia are repaired, “What will happen in the next two years is the total collapse of arms control.” Joseph Cirincione director of the Non- Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, stated, “We may be looking at the end of bilateral, negotiated arms control. This is not too radical to contemplate. It is possible [US President Bill] Clinton will leave office without ever negotiating and signing a strategic arms reduction agreement.” William C. Potter, director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, stated, “All of the principal nonproliferation regimes are under siege. Without a concerted effort in Washington and Moscow to revive cooperation of the past, the regimes run the risk of major defections and collapse.” He added that the relationship between Russia and the US on nonproliferation is “greatly weakened and may soon collapse altogether.” Alexander Pikayev, an arms control and nonproliferation specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argued, “It’s clear [START II] cannot be ratified.” He added that the Duma may also hold up ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Pikayev stated, “There is a general negative attitude in the Duma toward all arms control and nonproliferation, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is seen by some as a way of diminishing Russia’s nuclear might.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 24.]

12. US Missile Defense

The New York Times (William J. Broad, ” NEW ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM TO BE TESTED THIS WEEK, 05/24/99) reported that the US Department of Defense has scheduled another test of the Theater High-Altitude Anti-Missile Defense System (THAAD) on Tuesday. US Air Force Lieutenant General Lester Lyles, director of the Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, stated, “It’s not an impossible task. We just need to make sure we take all the bugs out.” However, Joseph Cirincione, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that missile defense “makes us feel good. But it’s just the illusion of protection.” John Pike, head of space policy for the Federation of American Scientists, stated, “It’s amazing. If you talk about clean, unambiguous, hit-a-bullet-with-a- bullet kinds of tests, they still haven’t done it.” Physicist Richard Garwin said that the DPRK could load a missile with hundreds of bomblets filled with biological agents that would be impossible to hit and could be widely dispersed. Garwin stated, “We don’t have a clue about how to deal with that.” [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 24.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Perry’s Visit to DPRK

JoongAng Ilbo (“PERRY’S PIVOTAL VISIT TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 05/24/99) reported that William Perry, former US secretary of defense and current policy coordinator for the DPRK, is heading to Pyongyang for a four-day stay. There is a strong possibility that Perry will meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il this time. Perry is known to be carrying a signed letter from the US President Bill Clinton along with missives from ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. Through Perry’s visit, the ROK, the US, and Japan might have guaranteed the DPRK’s governing structure a chance to maintain the status quo.

Chosun Ilbo (“PERRY HEADS FOR PYUNGYANG,” Seoul, 05/24/99) reported that US DPRK Policy Coordinator William Perry is expected to fly out of Tokyo and head for Pyongyang on Tuesday. During his four day stay in the DPRK, Perry will meet Kim Young-nam, head of the standing committee of the Supreme People’s Council; Kim Yong- soom, head of the Asia Pacific Peace Committee; and Foreign Minister Baek Nam-soon, to explain his presidential report to be delivered next month. There is speculation that Perry will also meet with Kim Jong-il, but this has yet to be confirmed. Before leaving Tokyo, Perry met newly appointed ROK Minister for Unification Lim Dong-won and Ryojo Kato, policy director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, as he made a review of the policy draft to be conveyed to the DPRK. Perry said that the US objective is eternal peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and that to achieve this it was important to adjust the policies of the US, the ROK, and Japan. He added that if the DPRK removes its nuclear and missile threats, the three would provide material assistance.

2. DPRK-PRC Relations

Chosun Ilbo (“NK TO SEND MISSION TO CHINA,” Seoul, 05/24/99) reported that the DPRK is planning to send a large mission to the PRC headed by Kim Young-nam of the Supreme People’s Council and Foreign Minister Baek Nam-soon. The mission will arrive on June 3, according to a diplomatic source. The visit of Kim, the de facto number two in the DPRK, is the first high level exchange since 1991. Analysts say that the mission is designed to improve relations between the two countries and seek aid in dealing with the economic crisis. Sources indicate that Kim will stay in Beijing for three days and also visit Shanghai and Hangzhou.

3. ROK Cabinet Reshuffle

JoongAng Ilbo (“MASSIVE CABINET RESHUFFLING UNVEILED,” Seoul, 05/24/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung officially announced his new cabinet members on May 24 after a large-scale reshuffling. Eleven out of 17 cabinet positions were changed and three new minister-level positions were created in the first significant government shake-up this year. Kang Bong-kyun, chief economic secretary to the president, was named the new leader of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, while Prosecutor-General Kim Tae-jong was appointed the minister of justice. Aju University President Kim Duck-jung became head of the Ministry of Education, and former Kangwon Province Governor Lee Sang-yong is now the top man at the Ministry of Labor. The newly-created Department of National Administration Publicity will have Oh Hong-keun as its new vice-minister. Oh previously had served more than 20 years at JoongAng Ilbo as a reporter and editorial writer. President Kim will also replace Lee Jong-chan, chief of the National Intelligence Service, formerly the KCIA, but no successor has been chosen.

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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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