NAPSNet Daily Report 25 July, 1997

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 25 July, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 25, 1997, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-25-july-1997/

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US Seeks Southeast Asian Support for KEDO

The Associated Press (“U.S. SEEKS SE ASIA AID FOR N. KOREA,” Kuala Lumpur, 7/25/97) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Friday that the US will ask Southeast Asian nations to contribute “tens of millions” of dollars to help support the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organization (KEDO) as it proceeds with construction of two new nuclear reactors in the DPRK under the terms of the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework. “We want to see increased participation by other countries in KEDO,” Albright told reporters as she prepared for a meeting with leaders from Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, the European Union and other nations at the ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference in Kuala Lumpur July 27-29. Presently, the ROK has agreed to pay most of the US$5 billion tab to build the 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors, and Japan has been the only other Asian nation to contribute any significant financial help, US officials said. The US itself has been criticized for contributing too little to the nuclear program — US$22 million in 1996 and a budgeted US$25 million this year. The European Union has committed to US$20 million a year. Other KEDO members include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Argentina and Chile. Officials did not disclose exactly how much it would ask ASEAN members to contribute to the DPRK nuclear plant project, saying only that the program is crucial for the stability of all Asia and that Albright will be looking for a five-year commitment.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in July 25 remarks while en route to Kuala Lumpur for the July 27-29 ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference (“ALBRIGHT 7/25 REMARKS EN ROUTE TO KUALA LUMPUR,” USIA Transcript, 7/25/97), replied to a question concerning the current state of affairs on the Korean peninsula. Albright stated: “There are a number of encouraging signs in terms of North Korea. I am hopeful that they will come to the Four-Party talks and have no reason to believe at this time that they will not. In terms of the food aid, Catherine Bertini of the World Food Program has in fact, today, made a very clear statement about the fact that there is starvation in North Korea and that is the reason that we are providing food aid. I do not want to characterize, the way that you did, their approach. They have starving people and we believe its important for us to provide food through the World Food Program. We are the lead donor on it. We believe it is important to do for humanitarian reasons. Also, the private trip that Senator Nunn and former Ambassador Laney took, they have reported on h

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In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US Seeks Southeast Asian Support for KEDO

The Associated Press (“U.S. SEEKS SE ASIA AID FOR N. KOREA,” Kuala Lumpur, 7/25/97) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US Seeks Southeast Asian Support for KEDO

The Associated Press (“U.S. SEEKS SE ASIA AID FOR N. KOREA,” Kuala Lumpur, 7/25/97) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Friday that the US will ask Southeast Asian nations to contribute “tens of millions” of dollars to help support the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organization (KEDO) as it proceeds with construction of two new nuclear reactors in the DPRK under the terms of the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework. “We want to see increased participation by other countries in KEDO,” Albright told reporters as she prepared for a meeting with leaders from Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, the European Union and other nations at the ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference in Kuala Lumpur July 27-29. Presently, the ROK has agreed to pay most of the US$5 billion tab to build the 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors, and Japan has been the only other Asian nation to contribute any significant financial help, US officials said. The US itself has been criticized for contributing too little to the nuclear program — US$22 million in 1996 and a budgeted US$25 million this year. The European Union has committed to US$20 million a year. Other KEDO members include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Argentina and Chile. Officials did not disclose exactly how much it would ask ASEAN members to contribute to the DPRK nuclear plant project, saying only that the program is crucial for the stability of all Asia and that Albright will be looking for a five-year commitment.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in July 25 remarks while en route to Kuala Lumpur for the July 27-29 ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference (“ALBRIGHT 7/25 REMARKS EN ROUTE TO KUALA LUMPUR,” USIA Transcript, 7/25/97), replied to a question concerning the current state of affairs on the Korean peninsula. Albright stated: “There are a number of encouraging signs in terms of North Korea. I am hopeful that they will come to the Four-Party talks and have no reason to believe at this time that they will not. In terms of the food aid, Catherine Bertini of the World Food Program has in fact, today, made a very clear statement about the fact that there is starvation in North Korea and that is the reason that we are providing food aid. I do not want to characterize, the way that you did, their approach. They have starving people and we believe its important for us to provide food through the World Food Program. We are the lead donor on it. We believe it is important to do for humanitarian reasons. Also, the private trip that Senator Nunn and former Ambassador Laney took, they have reported on h

I. United States

1. US Seeks Southeast Asian Support for KEDO

The Associated Press (“U.S. SEEKS SE ASIA AID FOR N. KOREA,” Kuala Lumpur, 7/25/97) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Friday that the US will ask Southeast Asian nations to contribute “tens of millions” of dollars to help support the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organization (KEDO) as it proceeds with construction of two new nuclear reactors in the DPRK under the terms of the 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework. “We want to see increased participation by other countries in KEDO,” Albright told reporters as she prepared for a meeting with leaders from Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, the European Union and other nations at the ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference in Kuala Lumpur July 27-29. Presently, the ROK has agreed to pay most of the US$5 billion tab to build the 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors, and Japan has been the only other Asian nation to contribute any significant financial help, US officials said. The US itself has been criticized for contributing too little to the nuclear program — US$22 million in 1996 and a budgeted US$25 million this year. The European Union has committed to US$20 million a year. Other KEDO members include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Argentina and Chile. Officials did not disclose exactly how much it would ask ASEAN members to contribute to the DPRK nuclear plant project, saying only that the program is crucial for the stability of all Asia and that Albright will be looking for a five-year commitment.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in July 25 remarks while en route to Kuala Lumpur for the July 27-29 ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference (“ALBRIGHT 7/25 REMARKS EN ROUTE TO KUALA LUMPUR,” USIA Transcript, 7/25/97), replied to a question concerning the current state of affairs on the Korean peninsula. Albright stated: “There are a number of encouraging signs in terms of North Korea. I am hopeful that they will come to the Four-Party talks and have no reason to believe at this time that they will not. In terms of the food aid, Catherine Bertini of the World Food Program has in fact, today, made a very clear statement about the fact that there is starvation in North Korea and that is the reason that we are providing food aid. I do not want to characterize, the way that you did, their approach. They have starving people and we believe its important for us to provide food through the World Food Program. We are the lead donor on it. We believe it is important to do for humanitarian reasons. Also, the private trip that Senator Nunn and former Ambassador Laney took, they have reported on having good and useful talks. I will be talking with them myself when I get back. I have just read cable traffic on it. I understand they had good talks. We have moved back and forth a lot in terms of our hopes of their participation in talks, but as I said, I am hopeful and I have no reason to believe that they will not participate. One of the subjects that will come up during the meetings will be KEDO and our belief that the Framework Agreement there has been a very important one. We will want to see increased participation by other countries in KEDO.”

2. New ROK Red Cross Food Aid to DPRK

The Associated Press (“SKOREA AGREES TO SEND FOOD NORTH,” Beijing, 7/25/97) reported that the ROK on Friday agreed to send 50,000 tons of corn to the DPRK, its second massive food shipment to the North in three months, despite the DPRK’s refusal to let ROK donors specify which individuals, such as relatives, receive the donated food. In the three days of talks in Beijing between the two countries’ Red Cross representatives, the ROK had sought this allowance in order to boost support for the controversial shipments. Nevertheless, the negotiators needed just 10 minutes Friday to reach the final agreement, following lengthy talks Wednesday and Thursday. Lee Byong-woong, secretary-general of the ROK Red Cross, said that the new aid, in the form of corn bought from the PRC, should cost about US$10 million and will be delivered in five shipments between July and September. Meanwhile, Choe Gyung Rin, secretary-general of the DPRK Red Cross, warned that the current drought, at the height of the growing season, is worsening his country’s food shortages. “This kind of situation really affects considerably the general food production for this year,” Choe said. Choe expressed gratitude to the ROK government and private donors, but pointedly noted that the amount was smaller than donations from other countries. “Although this quantity is not so significant, I still believe this food will help,” he said. Johan Schaar, regional representative for the International Federation of Red Cross Societies, which is monitoring the shipments, said that the corn will feed 740,000 North Koreans, or about 3 percent of the population, between July and November.

United Press International (“S.KOREA RED CROSS UPS NORTH FOOD AID,” Seoul, 7/25/97) reported that the ROK Red Cross offices in Seoul confirmed that the ROK will send an additional 50,000 tons of corn to the DPRK by the end of September. The report said that the Red Cross officials meeting in Beijing had agreed that the DPRK would, within 20 days of delivery, provide reports to the ROK on what aid gets distributed, where it goes and who receives it. The ROK government’s Unification Ministry said the DPRK Red Cross officials plan to hand over the reports at Panmunjom. [Ed. note: See also “New ROK Red Cross Food Aid to DPRK” in the ROK section, below.]

3. DPRK Famine Situation

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA FARING WELL IN FOOD CRISIS,” Washington, 7/25/97) reported that Dr. Milton Amayun, a physician specializing in humanitarian emergencies and part of a team just returned from a one-week visit to the DPRK, said Friday that many children in the DPRK are suffering from damaging malnutrition. “Everywhere we went we saw groups of schoolchildren who showed signs of stunted growth,” he said in an interview. “This is a sure sign of chronic malnutrition.” “In the United States, these kids would be put into intensive care units,” Amayun added. The team was sent to the DPRK by World Vision, a US relief and development organization, to assess especially the nutritional needs of children. The team conducted systematic measurements of dozens of children in orphanages in five southern provinces, and found that 60 percent were either severely or moderately undernourished. Amayun also said, however, that despite its food shortages the DPRK has avoided widespread starvation because its centralized communist system is coping relatively well with the crisis. “They mean to survive this crisis,” Amayun said. “I don’t think the country will collapse because of it.”

4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (“PENTAGON TO SELL TAIWAN HELICOPTERS,” Washington, 7/24/97) reported that the US Defense Department notified the US Congress on Thursday that it plans to sell 21 attack helicopters to Taiwan. The Defense Department said Taiwan has requested to buy AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters of the kind flown by the U.S. Marine Corps, plus spare parts, technical and logistical support, test equipment and training, comprising a package valued at US$479 million. In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Taiwan will use the attack helicopters to conduct military exercises for “self defense and military preparedness,” and that the deal would not affect the military balance in Asia. In the past, such arms sales have often drawn sharp criticism from the PRC, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and objects to any sales of advanced weapons to the island. The US agreed in 1982 to limit and eventually phase out arms sales to Taiwan, home to the Nationalists who fled the Chinese mainland in 1949.

II. Republic of Korea

1. New ROK Red Cross Food Aid to DPRK

The ROK’s Korean Red Cross agreed to send 50,000 tons of corn to the DPRK by the end of October. At Thursday’s meeting in Beijing, ROK delegates agreed that the shipment would primarily be comprised of whole grain corn, in addition to some flour, cooking oil, and pre-cooked noodles. The ROK delegates’ request to open a land route through Panmunjom for the delivery was denied by the DPRK, while the DPRK’s request to include rice in the second shipment was rejected because of ROK public opinion that the rice may be diverted to the military. Though the DPRK also requested medicine, clothing, agricultural machinery, and fertilizers, the ROK agreed only to provide medicine and clothing saying that because the planting season has already passed, machinery and fertilizer would be of no use. Both sides agreed to discuss the possibility of further shipments after the results of the DPRK’s fall harvest are known. (Chosun Ilbo, “RED CROSS TO SEND 50,000 TONS OF CORN TO DPRK,” 07/25/97) [Ed. note: See also “New ROK Red Cross Food Aid to DPRK” in the US section, above.]

2. ROK-Japan Fishing Jurisdiction Dispute

The ROK National Assembly condemned the Japanese government’s illegal seizure of ROK fishing boats and urged prompt correction and an apology by the Japanese government. It also accepted a resolution on the “Japanese Seizure of Fishing Boats” which states that the ROK cannot accept the straight baseline set solely by the Japanese. The resolution said the seizure of boats and detention is an illegal act that violates the ROK-Japan Fishery Agreement. In addition, the statement pointed out Japan’s failure to follow international law since the Japanese baseline was based on several points which do not conform to international law. (Chosun Ilbo, “NATIONAL ASSEMBLY REJECTS JAPANESE STRAIGHT BASE LINE,” 07/25/97) [Ed. note: See also “Japan-ROK Fishing Jurisdiction Dispute” in the Japan section, below.]

3. ROK-Russia Relations

At the end of their afternoon meeting yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and ROK Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha announced that they had agreed on a visit by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to the ROK. “We have agreed that it is important that the two countries maintain dialogue at the highest level, and have agreed to prepare for President Yeltsin’s visit to Seoul at a relevant time,” said the two ministers in a joint statement. In the comprehensive statement, outlining a broad array of exchanges between the two countries, Primakov relayed the Russian stance on the situation on the Korean peninsula. “The two sides agree that until a new peace system is established on the peninsula, the current cease-fire treaty should be maintained for a democratic and peaceful unification of the two Koreas,” the statement said. Primakov also conveyed Russia’s eased stance toward the proposed four-party talks in early August. If the preliminary meeting proceeds with few problems, experts are forecasting that the full session of the talks, which will discuss replacement of the current cease-fire agreement with a peace treaty, will take place in September. The Russian side proposed that it host an international conference on the Korean Peninsula parallel to the four-way talks. During their meeting, Yoo and Primakov tackled other immediate issues such as further cooperation in investigation into the murder of a ROK diplomat, Choi Dok-keun, in Vladivostok and repatriation of ethnic Koreans residing in Sakhalin. Yoo reportedly urged speedier and strengthened cooperation on the repatriation of the first-generation Russian-Koreans, most of whom were forced to become laborers by colonial Japan when it invaded the PRC and Russia. The two ministers sealed four agreements including those on installing a hot-line between the ROK and Russia, exchange of embassy compounds in Seoul and Moscow, and compensation for the site of the 19th century Russian legation in Seoul. Primakov, who arrived Wednesday for a four-day visit at the invitation of Minister Yoo also met with ROK President Kim Young-sam earlier in the day. His delegation will visit Cheju Island before leaving Saturday to Kuala Lumpur to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum. (Korea Herald, “ROK, RUSSIA ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT ON PENINSULA ISSUES,” 07/25/97)

4. ROK Lawmakers Debate Hwang’s Testimony

ROK legislators focused on DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop’s recent news conference and the ROK’s food aid to the DPRK at the National Assembly yesterday. Ruling and opposition party lawmakers revealed conflicting views on Hwang’s remarks on the DPRK situation and his alleged file containing the names of pro-DPRK factions in the ROK. Members of the ruling New ROK Party (NKP) urged the nation to concentrate on national security, citing Hwang’s remarks that the DPRK is ready to provoke a war. However, leaders of the National Congress for New Politics (NCNP), the main opposition party, expressed concern about the possibility that the ruling camp may exploit its investigation of Hwang to its own advantage before the presidential election. Representative Lee Sang-hyun of the ruling NKP called for government measures aimed at bracing for a war on the Korean Peninsula: “We have to stop believing that war will not break out on here. It is time to check and rebuild our emergency facilities in place in case of war.” The NKP’s Song Hoon-seok stressed the need for supra-partisan approaches toward preparations for possible provocation by the DPRK. “It is regrettable that the political parties have different views on Hwang’s testimony about the possibility of a military attack by the DPRK,” he said. While lawmakers of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD), the second opposition party, sided with the NKP in expressing deep concern about a possible war, lawmakers of the NCNP did not rule out the possibility that the Seoul government may use the investigation of Hwang for political purposes. Representative Chung Dong-young claimed that the government is stalling in its investigation of Hwang’s remarks about pro-DPRK forces in the ROK on purpose in order to use the final report in the run up to the December presidential election. “Democracy will be under threat if a security-oriented atmosphere emerges ahead of the election,” said Representative Chung. The rival lawmakers also differed over the ROK’s food aid to the DPRK. Ruling party legislators said the government should support the aid to the DPRK only when transparency of its distribution of food to its people is secured. Opposition lawmakers, however, urged the government to expand food aid to the DPRK and allow civic and religious groups to send aid directly to the DPRK. (Korea Herald, “LAWMAKERS DISAGREE ON DPRK ISSUES; OPPOSITION SUSPICIOUS OF RULING PARTY’S USE OF INVESTIGATIONS OF HWANG,” 07/25/97)

III. Japan

1. Japan-ROK Fishing Jurisdiction Dispute

The Japanese government decided that during the upcoming Japan-ROK Foreign Ministerial Meeting, it will propose to shelve demarcation of exclusive economic zones in order to first solve the fishery dispute. The government will reportedly nullify the existing Japan-ROK Fisheries Pact if the ROK rejects the proposal. The Japanese media pointed out that the government’s tough stance may further stiffen the ROK’s position. In addition, both the government and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) already agreed that the ROK should not link the issue of exclusive economic zone to the fishery negotiations and that the ROK should clarify when to sign the new fisheries pact. (The Sankei Shimbun, “JAPANESE GOVERNMENT SAYS IT MAY NULLIFY JAPAN-ROK FISHERIES PACT IF NEGOTIATIONS FAIL,” 1, 7/20/97)

The LDP, the Social Democratic Party, and the New Party Sakigake agreed on July 23 to urge the government to nullify the existing Japan-ROK Fishery Pact if the upcoming Japan-ROK Foreign Ministerial meeting does not result in a resolution. Annulment of the pact reportedly would take place one year after an official announcement is made. The three ruling parties confirmed that a decision must be made pending the outcome of the meeting and Prime Minister Hashimoto’s September visit to the PRC. The LDP’s Policy Research Council Chairman Taku Yamazaki told reporters, “When we said ‘decision,’ we meant cancellation of the talks and nullification of the pact…Talks with the PRC have almost reached an agreement, but the result of talks with the ROK is still unforeseeable.” (The Yomiuri Shimbun, “RULING-PARTIES AGREED TO NULLIFY JAPAN-ROK FISHERIES PACT,” 3, 7/24/97) [Ed. note: See also “ROK-Japan Fishing Jurisdiction Dispute” in the ROK section, above.]

2. Japan-DPRK Relations

Sources in the Japanese government and the LDP revealed that the Japanese government will urge the DPRK to allow Japanese women married to North Koreans to visit Japan as soon as possible. Given the DPRK’s positive stance toward Japan’s request during unofficial talks in Beijing, the first group of approximately 10 wives may visit Japan in August. In addition, both Japan and the DPRK already agreed to realize the visit through Red Cross channels and also agreed that Japan is financially responsible for the visit. Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto told reporters that he will upgrade the present section chief-level discussions to deputy vice ministerial level talks. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, “JAPANESE GOVERNMENT TO ASK DPRK TO ALLOW JAPANESE WIVES’ VISITS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE,” 2, 7/24/97)

3. Japan-US Defense Relations

LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato revealed during his July 22 meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Pickering that both Japan and the US should confirm with the PRC that “the areas surrounding Japan” stated in the recent interim report on the review of Japan-US defense guidelines does not include the Taiwan Strait. Kato also told reporters that the PRC is not yet persuaded that Japan and the US do not support Taiwan’s independence from the PRC. Prior to his meeting with Pickering, Kato also told US Secretary of Defense William Cohen that if the three ruling parties fail to agree on the issue of emergency legislation, the LDP may ask for opposition parties’ cooperation. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, “LDP SECRETARY GENERAL EMPHASIZES THAT TAIWAN STRAIT IS NOT INCLUDED IN ON-GOING REVIEW OF JAPAN-US DEFENSE COOPERATION GUIDELINES,” 2, 7/23/97) [Ed. note: See also “US, Japan Seek to Assuage PRC on Expanded Defense” in the July 24 Daily Report.]

4. Japan-Russia Relations

At a July 24 meeting of the Japanese Association of Corporate Executives, Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto revealed a new foreign doctrine for Russia, which is characterized by the three principles of trust, mutual interests, and long-term perspective. He stated that the positive atmosphere in his meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the Denver Summit laid the ground work for solving the Northern Territory issue through bilateral confidence-building measures at the higher-level, emphasizing the need for solution to the issue before 1999, when Hashimoto’s prime ministerial term ends. With regards to the principle of mutual interests, Hashimoto said that solving the territorial issue will benefit both countries. Sources from the Japanese Foreign Ministry revealed that “long-term” suggests that Japan aims to solve the territorial issue for lasting Japan-Russia relations. The media pointed out the new doctrine breaks with the conventional policy stance, in which economic cooperation is usually linked to territorial negotiations. (“The Yomiuri Shimbun, “HASHIMOTO ANNOUNCES NEW FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD RUSSIA, 1, 7/25/97, The Nikkei Shimbun, “HASHIMOTO EMPHASIZES MUTUAL INTERESTS IN JAPAN-RUSSIA RELATIONS,” 1, 7/25/97)

IV. Russian Federation

1. RF Military Exports to US, ROK

Kommersant-Daily (“VIKTOR KONDRATOV SUPPORTED YEVGENIY NAZDRATENKO”, 3, 7/25/97) reported that Lt. Gen. Viktor Kondratov, RF Presidential Representative in Primorskiy Area and Chief of the Area Directorate of RF Federal Security Service, said that the RF Government is considering the possibility of selling 100 anti-ship Moskit missiles to the US and some “Black Shark” Ka-50 combat helicopters to the ROK, Slovakia, and Syria. Because Moskit’s Mach 2 velocity and low flying altitude make it virtually invincible, its export abroad has been forbidden. Kondratov clarified that the RF would sell the missiles without electronic “noise” and homing systems so the US Navy could use them for training purposes. Neither Oleg Yefimov, Chief of Strategic Defense Programs, nor Rosvo’oruzheniy, the state-controlled arms exporting company, deny nor confirm Gen. Kondratov’s statement, adding that “one shouldn’t speak about it now [because] the situation has been changing daily.”

2. RF-US Interaction on Nuclear Safety, Energy

Izvestia (“ATOMIC ENERGY MINISTRY WANTS DOLLARS FOR URANIUM”, Moscow, 1, 7/24/97) reported that following his July 21 visit, US Secretary of Energy Federico Pena and the RF Atomic Energy Ministry released a joint statement confirming RF-US adherence to cooperate in maintaining protection of nuclear materials in accordance to the agreement between RF Atomic Energy Ministry and US Defense Department. The newspaper pointed out, however, that a certain divergence of interests exists between the RF and the US. While the US’s primary concern is the limitation of nuclear materials, the RF is interested in the US$450 million it will earn from its uranium exports. Pena said nuclear weapons non-proliferation issues and cessation of weapon-grade plutonium production in the RF were the primary goals of his visit, with promotion of foreign investments into RF energy sector being the third priority.

Kommersant-Daily (“AMERICA ENTERS RUSSIAN MARKET OF SECURITY”, 4, 7/24/97) reported that during his visit to the RF, US Secretary of Energy Pena had talks with RF top governmental officials and visited the Kurchatov nuclear research institute. Recent disagreement between the RF and the US concerning the 1993 intergovernmental agreement on RF uranium-out-of-warheads commercial deliveries to the US and relevant market prices were major topic, and a final decision is expected to be made in September by a RF-US commission co-chaired by RF Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin and US Vice President Al Gore. Another topic was US Congress criticism on the RF Atomic Energy Ministry purchase of supercomputers by the US’ Silicon Graphics. The Ministry denied that the computers will be used for nuclear weapon test simulation, but the US continues to request that they be returned.

Segodnya (“MINISTERS WILL BE STRICT”, Moscow, 6, 7/24/97) reported that US Secretary of Energy Pena said at a July 23 press conference that the US and the RF share a common concern about nuclear weapons possibly getting into the “wrong hands.” An agreement was signed by Pena and Yevgeniy Velikhov, Director of the Kurchatov nuclear research institute, for cooperation in the development of ecologically clean and safe technologies, in addition to the improvement of nuclear materials controls and physical safety. The agreements are relevant to a tripartite RF-US-IAEA initiative envisaging a modernization of three RF nuclear reactors in Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk, so that they can continue to produce power without producing weapon-grade plutonium. Although Pena said he was impressed by RF First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov’s “professionalism,” their discussions on foreign investments into RF energy sector were not followed by any agreements.

3. US Intelligence Focus Shift from RF to PRC

While the US Congress demanded special CIA reports on only the USSR during the Cold War, the situation has markedly changed as indicated by the US House of Representatives’ recent adoption of a resolution ordering both the CIA and the FBI to present annual reports on the PRC intelligence activities “aimed against or concerning US interests,” reported Segodnya (“FOR THE CIA ITS CHINA NOW, NOT RUSSIA”, Moscow, 4, 7/17/97). The Defense Allocations Bill earmarks US$5 million to establish a center to study Chinese armed forces under the auspices of the US National Defense University by March 1, 1998. The reports required of the US intelligence agencies are to be prepared both in public and secret forms. Some experts suggest that the resolution was prompted by a scandal with alleged indirect PRC contributions to the Democratic Party during the 1996 Presidential campaign.

4. RF-PRC Border Problems

Segodnya (“CHINA ‘OVERTOOK’ A PIECE OF RUSSIA”, Moscow, 3, 7/25/97) reported that a commission on border isles will soon be created in RF Far Eastern Khabarovsk Area. According to Khabarovsk Governor Viktor Ishayev, “river bed deformations” have been taking place for 20 years along the 32 km long area of the RF-PRC border where the isles of Tarabarov and Bolshoy Ussuriyskiy are situated. As a result, the Chinese coast region, which has been excluded from the border demarcation process under the 1991 agreement, has moved more then a kilometer closer towards Russia. PRC citizens “carry out vigorous economic activities…along part of the border and their presence has been found on Russian territory as well.” Because the geological movements might cause discord between the two nations in the future, the proposed commission will analyze the situation and make proposals aimed at prevention of such developments.

5. RF-Japan Relations

Kommersant-Daily (“JAPANESE PREMIER PROCLAIMED A NEW POLICY TOWARDS RUSSIA”, 3, 7/25/97) reported that on July 24, Japanese Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto declared his intention for building relations with the RF on the principles of trust, mutual benefits and long term prospects. According to a representative of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, it is the first time a Japanese Premier has openly made an initiative for improvement of Japan-RF relations. Regular informal Japan-RF summits will promote the new policy.

6. RF Foreign Minister Visits East Asia

Nezavisimaia gazeta (“YELTSIN AND KIM YONG-SAM CAN TALK OVER THE TELEPHONE NOW”, Moscow, 1, 7/25/97) reported that during RF Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov’s visit to the ROK, he signed a package of documents, including an agreement on the establishment of direct hotline between the Kremlin and the Blue House. Primakov stated that, although the August 5 four-party talks in New York are welcome, the RF is not going to abandon its idea of holding an international conference on Korean Peninsula settlement. “Our position satisfies Seoul because we support all forms of settlement. In case the forthcoming talks in New York are not successful, we are ready to return to the international conference idea,” he said. In addition, the accommodation of respective embassies in Moscow and Seoul also resulted in a successful conclusion. The Foreign Minister conveyed a message from RF President Yeltsin to ROK President Kim Young-sam and continued some arrangements for Yeltsin’s official visit to the ROK.

7. ROK Air Defense Import Plans

Segodnya (“SOUTH KOREA WILL UPGRADE ITS ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS, MAYBE WITH RUSSIAN S-300”, Moscow, 4, 7/25/97) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry rejected allegations made by the Korea Herald newspaper that it had postponed until 1999 its final decision to purchase US-made Patriots or RF-made S-300s for upgrading ROK air defenses. There is an intense international competition going on over the contacts which is worth more than US$1 billion.

8. DPRK-ROK Border Skirmish

Izvestia (“THE BORDER IS CLOUDY, BUT NO HOT DAYS ARE EXPECTED”, Moscow, 3, 7/19/97) reported that the UN Command investigating the DPRK-ROK incident at the DMZ found the DPRK guilty of violating the Armistice Agreement. The ROK rendition of events was denied by DPRK representatives who claimed that the ROK patrol interfered with and wounded some DPRK servicemen who had not made any intrusions. Although that was the first case of the DPRK using artillery in border incidents, the US said that despite “the provocation” they will continue their food aid to the DPRK. The PRC expressed support for the US decision.

9. RF Military Reform Process

Izvestia (“A HOPE EMERGED THAT RUSSIA WILL HAVE A MODERN ARMY”, Moscow, 1, 2, 7/18/97) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin signed a number of decrees on July 16. In particular, he approved RF Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev’s proposals by merging the Strategic Nuclear Forces, Military Space Forces, and Anti-Missile Defense Forces into the Strategic Forces of Deterrence, merging the Anti-Aircraft Defense Forces and the Air Force together and undertaking a reorganization of Ground Forces Main Command in 1997-1998. The decrees provide for a gradual reform of the RF Armed Forces in two stages. The first stage, from 1997-2000, will involve a trimming of approximately 300,000 civilian personnel who are not directly related to combat readiness. During the second stage, from 2001-2005, the Armed Forces will be transformed into a triad of land, air-space and naval forces. Beginning in 2005, serial deliveries of new types of weapons and equipment will be started, with the renovation to be 5% annually.

Kommersant-Daily (“YELTSIN HALTED THE MULTIPLICATION OF GENERALS”, 2, 7/22/97) reported that following RF President Boris Yeltsin’s meeting with RF Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, Yeltsin announced the establishment of a ceiling on the number of generals in RF Armed Forces to be no more than 2300. Though the number of RF generals declined from 3092 to 1925 between 1992 and 1996, the number of generals serving in other ministries increased by 169 during the same period. Yeltsin approved much of the military reform, but criticized Sergeyev for “inadequate explanation” of its essence to ordinary servicemen and RF people. Yeltsin said the Defense Minister had shown him some “analytical reports by experts of the NATO and the PRC” which allegedly concluded that after the reform, the RF Armed Forces “will be on par with US, European armies and NATO troops in their combat qualities.”

Segodnya (“ROKHLIN NOT AFRAID OF THE PRESIDENT”, Moscow, 1, 7/24/97) reported that Gen. Lev Rokhlin, Chairman, Defense Committee, RF State Duma was unfazed by RF President Boris Yeltsin’s criticism and promise to “blow away the Rokhlins.” Although he understood that Yeltsin was powerful enough to “smash and blow away anybody”, Rokhlin said that he was not afraid and would continue his arrangements for establishment of the Movements for Protection of Army, Defense Industries and Defense Science.

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.

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

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom.shin@anu.edu.au
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Return to the top of this Daily Report

Go to the Daily Report Archive

Return to the Nautilus Institute Home Page

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.

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

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom.shin@anu.edu.au
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Return to the top of this Daily Report

Go to the Daily Report Archive

Return to the Nautilus Institute Home Page


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