NAPSNet Daily Report 26 April, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 26 April, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 26, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-26-april-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit
2. ROK-PRC Talks
3. PRC Military Exercises
4. US-Russian Arms Control Talks
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK to Join ARF
2. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation
3. DPRK-ROK Family Reunion
4. ROK to Revise Law on DPRK
III. People’s Republic of China 1. ROK-DPRK Summit
2. DPRK-Japanese Talks
3. ROK-PRC Relations
4. PRC Position on NPT
5. PRC Ratification of CTBT
6. PRC Nuclear Energy

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit

Agence France Presse (“TWO KOREAS SET TO HOLD CRUCIAL TALKS FOR SUMMIT, MILITARY TENSION EASES,” Seoul, 4/26/00) reported that three officials led by deputy ministers from the DPRK and the ROK will meet on April 27 at Panmunjom for the second round of talks to prepare for June’s inter-Korean summit. A high-ranking ROK official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency, “we have prepared all possible scenarios and different responses.” ROK officials said that there were encouraging signs from the DPRK. The DPRK’s media have stopped broadcasting invective against the ROK and have been concentrating instead on preparing for the summit. According to the Yonhap News Agency, a high-ranking ROK official said that the DPRK has moved missiles to less threatening positions and reduced naval exercises in disputed waters in the Yellow Sea. The official said, “the Silkworm ground- to-ship missiles, which are deployed in bases near the Northern Limit Line, have been put back from a combat readiness position to a normal position.” Officials from the ROK defense ministry declined to confirm the report. The official also said that the DPRK has also moved FROG-7 rockets back from frontline bases on the western coast. He said, “some 10 patrol boats, which had staged top-speed, combat-ready maneuvers between December last year and March this year in the Yellow Sea, have been lowering the intensity of training.” The official added that the DPRK moves were seen as a gesture aimed at creating a favorable atmosphere ahead of the summit and reflected the DPRK military’s support for the summit.

2. ROK-PRC Talks

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO VISIT BEIJING AHEAD OF INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT TALKS,” Seoul, 4/26/00) reported that ROK officials said on Wednesday that ROK Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Joung-Binn will visit the PRC this week for talks on issues of mutual concern, including the inter-Korean summit in June. The ROK Foreign Ministry said that during the three-day visit, Lee will meet his PRC counterpart Tang Jiaxuan to discuss enhancing bilateral ties, the summit, and the situation in the Korean peninsula and the region. Lee will also meet PRC President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji to ask for help to ensure a successful inter-Korean summit, as well as PRC Foreign Trade and Economic Minister Shi Guangsheng and other officials.

3. PRC Military Exercises

Agence France Presse (“CHINESE ARMY MANOEUVRES PART OF MILITARY MINDGAMES: TAIWAN,” Taipei, 4/26/00) and the Associated Press (Marcos Calo Medina, “OFFICIAL: CHINA-TAIWAN WAR UNLIKELY,” Taipei, 4/26/00) reported that Lin Chon-pin, vice chairman of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), said on Wednesday that stepped-up PRC military maneuvers were aimed at cranking up psychological pressure on Taiwan. Lin urged Taiwan’s population not to panic over escalating tensions. Lin said, “they have conducted in-depth research on psychological warfare. What we have seen right now is part of the practice stemming from their research efforts.” Taiwan’s Defense Vice Minister Sun Tao-yu said that the PRC could not possibly invade the island without an excuse. Sun said, “President-elect Chen Shui-bian has demonstrated his utmost sincerity and goodwill. Under the circumstances the odds of clashes are low. The information available, including the scale of possible exercises, suggests there is not any sign of a military clash.” Sun told the public not to panic over the reports, saying that Taiwan’s military would keep a close eye on any movements by the People’s Liberation Army.

4. US-Russian Arms Control Talks

The Los Angeles Times (Tyler Marshall, “U.S., RUSSIA COMMIT TO ARMS-CONTROL TALKS,” Washington, 4/26/00) reported that senior US administration officials said that the US and Russia pledged on April 25 to push hard for new arms-control agreements during US President Bill Clinton’s final months in office. The commitments were made during a brief White House meeting between Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov. A US official said that Ivanov conveyed a message from Russian President-elect Vladimir V. Putin declaring his intention to “work hard on questions of strategic stability and arms control.” Other officials said that Clinton assured Ivanov that he is committed to preserving the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, despite US efforts to develop its National Missile Defense. Many independent arms-control specialists predict that Clinton’s negotiations on the ABM treaty will be extremely difficult. Jon Wolfstahl, an arms-control specialist at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, stated, “for the last five years, the United States has been going into discussions with Russia from a position of moral strength. It ratified START II, negotiated [the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty] and told the Russians they needed to get their act together. Well, [now] the Russian act is together. They are in a strong position at a time the United States is effectively isolated even from its European allies.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK to Join ARF

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “PYONGYANG WILLING TO JOIN ARF AFTER NORMALIZING TIES WITH MANILA,” Seoul, 04/26/00) reported that an ROK government source said on April 25 that the DPRK is ready to join the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a regional security framework, after it establishes diplomatic ties with the Philippines. The source also said that Thailand has invited DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun to visit Bangkok in time for the seventh meeting of ARF foreign ministers, which will take place there in July. To become an ARF member, the DPRK must first submit a letter of admission to the organization during a meeting of its senior officials in May. The source said, “given this time frame, it is impossible for the North to join ARF this year. But the foreign ministers could decide to approve the North’s admission when they attend the July meeting in Bangkok.” The DPRK was previously reluctant to join ARF, the only security body in the Asia-Pacific region, but has shifted its stance since the US began to engage it last year. Diplomatic observers have said that until the DPRK becomes a member, the organization will wield little clout. Most of the member countries, including the ROK, have supported the DPRK’s membership.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Si-rae, “BUSINESS VENTURES IN NORTH KOREA ON HOLD UNTIL THE SUMMIT ENDS,” Seoul, 04/26/00) reported that businesses that have economic interests in the DPRK, which include Samsung and Hyundai, will delay some of their individual ventures in the DPRK until after the inter-Korean summit in June. Hyundai Corporation announced that honorary president Chung Ju-yung is planning to visit the DPRK after the summit. Samsung Electronics also canceled its plans to hold its electronic products exhibition in the DPRK at the end of May. The entrepreneurs who came from the DPRK with the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), including Chang Chi-hyeok, president of Kohab, decided to postpone their plans to visit and to invest in the DPRK until after the summit.

3. DPRK-ROK Family Reunion

Joongang Ilbo (Shin Ye-ri, “HANVIT BANK TO START WIRING MONEY TO SEPARATED FAMILIES IN NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 04/25/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-gu, “MONEY TRANSFER TO NK ALLOWED,” Seoul, 04/25/00) reported that Union Community, a company that is helping separated ROK families find their relatives, announced on April 25 that it and Hanvit Bank will handle money transfers and wiring fees for separated families seeking and sending money to relatives in the DPRK. Families in the ROK wishing to know the well-being of relatives in the DPRK can deposit money at Hanvit Bank, which will send it to the Pyongyang Koryo Commercial Bank account of the Mount Kumkang International Group through the mediation of the Hong Kong branch of the Dutch Rabo Bank. The DPRK side will take out the money if the DPRK families’ whereabouts are confirmed. The cost to look for one’s family (for parents, sisters, and brothers) is US$500 basic work process fee regardless of the total number of people, plus about a US$650 agency fee, including the insurance fee.

4. ROK to Revise Law on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Ko Jung-Ae, “PLANS TO REVISE SOUTH-NORTH EXCHANGE LAWS,” Seoul, 04/25/00) reported that the ROK government is planning to establish or amend as many as 205 laws and acts that regulate exchanges between the DPRK and the ROK. These laws will be revised with the highest priority in preparation for the new relations expected to be formed following the ROK-DPRK summit. The Ministry of Legislation reported the plan at the cabinet meeting on April 25. Laws which propose the new posts of two vice prime ministers will be submitted to the National Assembly in June, while acts for the establishment for consulting companies and capital management firms are scheduled for October. Laws to control cyber-terrorism will also be established.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. ROK-DPRK Summit

China Daily (“ROK PRESIDENT, OPPOSITION DISCUSS SUMMIT,” Seoul, 4/25/00, P12) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Lee Hoi-chang, head of the main opposition Grand National Party, met on April 24 and agreed to cooperate on ensuring the success of a summit with the DPRK. A joint statement issued by the two leaders said, “we welcome the South-North Summit and hope that it will serve as an opportunity to promote peace on the Korean peninsula and reconciliation between the two sides.” ROK conservative groups say that Kim’s government has been too soft on DPRK Government and given it too much economic aid. Apparently mindful of such criticism, Kim agreed in the meeting with the opposition leader that he will not make one-sided concessions to DPRK. The article said that the agreement could restrict the ROK president’s negotiating position in the summit with Kim Jong-il.

People’s Daily (Wang Linchang and Zhang Xinghua, “ROK AND DPRK HOLD FIRST PREPARATORY MEETING,” Seoul and Pyongyang, 4/23/00, P2) reported that ROK and DPRK officials held the first preparatory meeting in the Peace House south of the truce village on April 22 to discuss the agenda and procedures for the inter- Korean summit. At a press conference after the meeting, Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik, the ROK’s chief delegate, said that the meeting was held in a very friendly atmosphere. The two sides have agreed to hold a second preparatory meeting at Tongilgak, a house north of the truce village, on April 27.

2. DPRK-Japanese Talks

China Daily (“DPRK ASKS FOR COMPENSATION,” 4/25/00, P11) reported that the DPRK said on April 24 that talks with Japan on normalizing diplomatic relations could be threatened if Japan does not meet the DPRK’s demands for compensation for its colonial rule of Korea. A commentary in the DPRK’s official Rodong Shimbun said that unless Japan apologizes and pays compensation for its “brutal” colonial rule, the DPRK sees no reason to continue the talks.

3. ROK-PRC Relations

People’s Daily (Gong Wen, “ROK OFFICIALS ADMIT FMD WAS NOT TRANSMITTED FROM CHINA,” Beijing, 4/26/00, P2) reported that the ROK Embassy to the PRC sent a letter to the State Administration for Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine of China to formally admit that the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) had no relations to the PRC’s agricultural products. Not long ago, there were allegations from the ROK that the disease in ROK might have been transmitted from the PRC, which harmed the exports of the PRC’s agricultural products. The State Administration for Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine of China thus raised the matter with its ROK counterpart.

4. PRC Position on NPT

People’s Daily (Fu Fuyuan and Zhou Dewu, “AMBASSADOR SPELLS OUT NUCLEAR POLICIES,” United Nations, 4/26/00, P7) reported that PRC Ambassador Sha Zukang, head of the PRC delegation to the Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference, said on April 24 that more efforts should be made to ensure a stable global security environment based on cooperation and trust, which will be the basic guarantee for the prevention of nuclear proliferation. Secondly, he said, the prerequisite for the success of nuclear non-proliferation should be the abolition of double or multiple standards. Sha also said that the only correct and effective way to ensure nonproliferation is to enhance international cooperation and common efforts within a framework of collective security. Any trend or act of unilateralism runs counter to the main tide of non-proliferation efforts, the ambassador said. Sha said that the PRC has never avoided its responsibilities and obligations in nuclear disarmament and has been advocating complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. However, he emphasized that there are two basic prerequisites for the PRC to participate in any arms control negotiations: these negotiations and the treaties or agreements reached must not undermine the global strategic balance and stability, or the PRC’s important strategic security interests.

5. PRC Ratification of CTBT

China Daily (“NPC TO SPEED RATIFICATION OF NUKE TREATY,” 4/26/00, P2) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said on April 25 at a regular press conference that the PRC’s National People’s Congress (NPC) is expected to speed up the ratification process for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Sun said that the treaty has been submitted to the NPC Standing Committee and needs to go through the legal process. Sun said that the PRC’s position on nuclear non-proliferation is consistent and has not changed. He continued that, like any other sovereign country, the PRC has the right to take measures when its security is threatened.

6. PRC Nuclear Energy

China Daily (“NUCLEAR FORUM,” 4/26/00, P2) reported that experts at a forum on the PRC’s nuclear power industry said on April 25 that the PRC should ensure the sustainable development of nuclear power to better fit its economic growth and energy needs. They said that such development is also recommended to protect the environment. More than 400 experts and scholars from the Chinese Academy of Engineering and related organizations participated in the forum.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia 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: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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