NAPSNet Daily Report 24 September, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 24 September, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 24, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-24-september-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

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1. DPRK Missile Test

The Associated Press (John Diamond, “NORTH KOREAN MISSILE SURPRISED U.S.,” Washington, 09/23/98) reported that CIA Director George Tenet and Army Lieutenant General Patrick Hughes, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday in a classified briefing that they were surprised by the DPRK’s test-firing of a three-stage rocket. Senator Chuck Robb, D-Va., said after the briefing, “The fact that [the DPRK] had a third-stage capability was not predicted by the intelligence community, and they are doing a reassessment.” Senator Bob Smith, R-N.H., said, “The drift of the concern is they’re more advanced than we thought they were. The performance of this thing came as a surprise. This is a serious matter that has to be addressed.” Senator Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., said that one worry is that the DPRK may try to develop a missile launch capability from boats that could be positioned close to US territory. An anonymous US intelligence official stated, “Everyone knows that North Korea is a very difficult intelligence target. It’s difficult to get a good picture of what’s going on there, given the nature of the regime.”

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2. US Policy toward DPRK

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “BAKER FAULTS CLINTON POLICIES,” Washington, 09/23/98) reported that former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III told a luncheon gathering on Wednesday that US policy toward the DPRK has been an “abject failure.” Baker said that the 1994 US-DPRK agreement “depended on trusting the North Koreans. And now we’ve seen what has happened. They are lobbing missiles over Japanese air space and sending submarines to South Korea. The framework agreement is about to fall apart.” Baker added that the DPRK regime was built on force and understands only strength and resolve.

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3. ROK-Japanese Relations

The Associated Press (“REPORT: JAPAN TO APOLOGIZE TO KOREA,” Tokyo, 09/24/98) reported that Kyodo News on Thursday cited an anonymous Japanese Foreign Ministry official as saying that Japan plans to apologize for its colonial rule of Korea during a visit next month by ROK President Kim Dae-jung. The official said, however, that the expression of remorse will not go beyond a similar statement three years ago by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

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4. Russian MIAs from Korean War

The US Department of Defense issued a Memorandum for Correspondents (“AMERICANS, RUSSIANS TO DISCUSS KOREAN WAR MIG SHOOTDOWNS,” Washington, USIA Text, 09/23/98) which said that five US Air Force fighter pilots from the Korean War will meet with Russian officials Thursday to share information on US shootdowns of MiG aircraft. The meeting was arranged through the US-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. Russian members of the Commission requested assistance in resolving cases of Russian airmen missing in action from the Korean War.

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5. PRC-Taiwan Talks

The Associated Press (Renee Schoof, “TAIWAN, CHINA AGREE ON VISIT,” Beijing, 09/24/98) reported that Taiwan and China on Thursday agreed on plans for a visit by Koo Chen-fu, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), to the PRC next month. Koo will first travel to Shanghai to meet his counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Director Wang Daohan. He will then go to Beijing and meet with PRC President Jiang Zemin, Vice Premier Qian Qichen, and Chen Yunlin, the director of the government’s Taiwan Affairs Office. Koo’s trip is being characterized as a visit with opportunities to chat rather than formal talks. Shi Hwei-yow, secretary-general of SEF, said that “more cooperation” was needed to settle the question of holding full-fledged political talks. Tang Shubei, vice director of ARATS, reiterated the need for political talks, but added, “We still hope everyone can find a method to pursue cross-strait relations.”

The Washington Post (Michael Laris, “CHINA, TAIWAN AGREE TO REOPEN DIALOGUE NEGOTIATORS DISPUTE AGENDA PRIORITIES,” Beijing, 09/24/98, A33) reported that David Shambaugh, director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University, said that the PRC has quietly offered two important initiatives over the last six months that suggest the possibility of making significant concessions to Taiwan. Shambaugh said that Wang Daohan, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, has said that the PRC would be willing to discuss domestic political changes if Taiwan were willing to agree to a “one-China formula” for reunification. For example, according to Shambaugh, Wang has said that that the PRC would be willing to drop the words “People’s Republic” and just call itself China; would consider a new flag; and would change the national anthem. In conversations with foreigners, Wang has also said that the PRC could accept “shared sovereignty” with Taiwan as long as Taiwan agrees to be part of a single China. Shambaugh stated, “The PRC is [putting forth] the best offering to Taiwan in 50 years. If Taiwan rebuffs it, they may not ever see it again. The PRC is leading with a carrot, and if the carrot is not taken, a stick can follow.” Another anonymous source confirmed that Wang had made statements in recent months about “shared sovereignty,” but said that official policy on the primacy of the PRC government has not been altered.

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6. Pakistani Adherence to CTBT

Reuters (Paul Taylor, “PAKISTAN TO SIGN NUCLEAR TEST BAN, TALK TO INDIA,” United Nations, 09/23/98), the Washington Post (John M. Goshko, “PAKISTAN MAY SIGN NUCLEAR TEST BAN,” United Nations, 09/24/98, A27) and the New York Times (Barbara Crossette, “PAKISTAN PLEDGES A-BOMB TEST BAN IF SANCTIONS END,” United Nations, 09/24/98) reported that Pakistan Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that his country was prepared to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) before the review conference on the treaty scheduled in September 1999. However, he added, “Pakistan’s adherence to the treaty will take place only in conditions free from coercion or pressure.” He also said that Pakistan’s adherence to the treaty is dependent on India also signing. He stated, “There is no reason why the two countries cannot adhere to the CTBT. In a nuclearized South Asia, CTBT would have relevance if India and Pakistan are both parties to the treaty.” He added, “It must be well understood that if India were to resume nuclear testing, Pakistan will review its position, and in case we have adhered to the CTBT, invoke the supreme interest clause.” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated, “The government of Pakistan is to be commended for heeding the concern of the international community.” Annan noted that once Pakistan signed the CTBT, 42 of the 44 states with nuclear power would have signed, with the only exceptions being India and the DPRK.

Reuters (“U.S. ENCOURAGED BY PAKISTAN NUCLEAR OFFER,” Washington, 09/24/98) reported that White House spokesman Mike McCurry said on Thursday that the US welcomes Pakistan’s offer to sign a nuclear test ban treaty. McCurry stated, “We’re very pleased by the statement that the government of Pakistan has now made with respect to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.”

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7. Indian Adherence to CTBT

Reuters (“INDIA WILLING TO SIGN N-TEST BAN WITHIN YEAR,” United Nations, 09/24/98) reported that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told the UN General Assembly on Thursday that India was prepared to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty within one year. Vajpayee stated, “We are prepared to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion, so that the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is not delayed beyond September 1999.” He added that India was already observing the treaty’s basic obligation since it announced a voluntary moratorium after its five nuclear tests in May. He said India expected that other countries would adhere to the treaty unconditionally.

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8. US South Asian Sanctions

Dow Jones Newswires (Denny Kurien, “U.S. SEEN CLOSER TO LIFTING SANCTIONS ON INDIA, PAKISTAN,” New Delhi, 09/24/98) reported that Richard Haass, foreign policy expert and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, said Thursday that it is becoming increasingly possible that the US Congress could soon give President Bill Clinton the power to lift economic sanctions on India and Pakistan. Haass stated, “In the last few days pieces are beginning to fall in place. I am optimistic that we have begun to get there.” He added that the US has important engagements in India and Pakistan and should not sacrifice its interests for unrealistic options. He said that “It is simply not practical” to hope for a nuclear-free South Asia, adding that the US should instead try to prevent further proliferation on the part of India or Pakistan.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Satellite Launch

Joongang Ilbo (“DPRK PLANNED THE 2ND AND 3RD LAUNCHES,” Seoul, 09/24/98) reported that a source close to diplomatic affairs revealed that DPRK had planned a second and third missile launch on September 5 and 9, in case the first one failed. He said, “It is true that intelligence agencies in the US and Japan predicted that DPRK was ready to launch a second missile.” He added, “North Korean policy makers prepared the launch to commemorate the opening day of their Supreme People’s Assembly and the 50th anniversary of their government’s establishment. They forecast that the Kwangmyungsung 1 satellite they launched would orbit the earth for two years.” The source, who recently returned from a visit to DPRK, stated, “For North Koreans, the satellite is a gift for Kim Jong-il’s inauguration. Some, proudly, said that they will launch reconnaissance satellites soon.” He commented, “They said that the satellite launch is only one of three cards which would surprise the world. So I feel the North is planning further surprising news.”

DPRK authorities released a picture of its “Bright Star-1” satellite in the September 14 edition of party organ, Rodong Shinmun. ROK scientists said that the photograph is similar to the PRC’s “East Red Star-1” satellite, which was launched April 23, 1970. This satellite is 173 kg and was launched off a three-stage rocket. The DPRK’s satellite appears much smaller than the PRC’s and apparently has four antennae and solar panels. (Chosun Ilbo, “NK RELEASES PHOTOGRAPH OF SATELLITE,” 09/24/98)

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2. DPRK-US Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“DPRK REPEATEDLY REQUESTS PEACE AGREEMENT WITH THE US,” Seoul, 09/24/98) reported that the DPRK has repeatedly requested the US to conclude a peace agreement and withdraw all US Forces from the ROK. The DPRK said, “Both sides should confirm a non-aggression pact between the North and the South and thoroughly fulfill peace.” Rodong Shinmun, the DPRK Worker’s Party paper, reported, “We should form a new peace system to mitigate the tension on the Korean peninsula and nullify the danger of war.” Regarding US Forces in Korea, it commented, “The US has no reason to maintain its army in Korea after the non-aggression pact between the North and the South is signed.” This paper continued, “The U.S. should abandon its hostile policy against us and conclude a peace agreement with us.”

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3. Four-Party Peace Talks

Korea Herald (“SPECIAL ENVOY TO FOUR PARTY TALKS APPOINTED,” Seoul, 09/25/98) reported that Park Kun-woo, former ROK vice foreign minister, was appointed chief ROK delegate to the four-party peace talks for the Korean Peninsula. The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said Thursday that Park, now ambassador-at-large, would deal exclusively with the four- party talks as the ROK special envoy. The next four party peace talks attended by the ROK, the DPRK, the PRC, and the US are expected to be held in Geneva around October 20, the ministry said. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1963, Park has served as vice foreign minister from 1994-95 and as ROK Ambassador to the US from 1995 till April of this year.

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4. US Aid for DPRK

The US State Department announced Tuesday that it has decided to give 300,000 tons of wheat in food aid by the end of the year to the DPRK. In his announcement, department spokesman James Rubin said that the US government decided to approve the humanitarian food aid to support the children, women, and senior citizens of the country. (Chosun Ilbo, “US APPROVES FOOD AID TO NK,” 09/24/98)

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5. Alleged DPRK Spies

The National Security Planning Agency (NSPA) announced that it had arrested three DPRK spies, including two who had posed as a couple, Lee Sang-jin and Kim Young-bok. The three had been staying in Austria, but went to the DPRK and were trained as agents. Lee and Kim had been staying in Vienna since 1990 and had visited Pyongyang twice in 1993 when they joined the Workers’ Party and received US$53,200 and Japanese Yen 400,000. They visited the ROK seven times and reported back on radar facilities at Chonam, imports and exports of heavy machinery, and activist groups. (Chosun Ilbo, “NSPA CATCHES NK SPIES,” 09/25/98)

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6. ROK-Japan Fisheries Pact

Negotiations between the ROK and Japan over a new fisheries pact were finally settled Thursday in Tokyo. According to press reports and officials at the ROK embassy in Japan, officials of the two governments agreed that the boundary of each country’s fishing area will be located at 135.30 degrees east longitude, a line which sits between the boundary that each country lobbied for. In earlier disputes, the ROK had been claiming 136 degrees as the fishing boundary, while Japan had maintained that it was at 135 degrees. They also agreed that the ROK and Japan would hold their catches at the same levels for three to five years. Catch limits will initially be set at 230,000 ton a year for the ROK and 100,000 ton for Japan, but these will be reduced to a few dozen thousand tons in several years for both countries. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the new fisheries pact will be signed when President Kim Dae-jung visits Japan early next month. (Chosun Ilbo, “KOREA-JAPAN FISHERIES NEGOTIATIONS SETTLED,” 09/25/98)

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Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

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

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
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


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