NAPSNet Daily Report 26 June, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 26 June, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 26, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-26-june-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

I. United States

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1. Captured DPRK Submarine

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “S. KOREA MAKES SPY CLAIM VS. NORTH,” Donghae, 06/26/98) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday that the DPRK submarine found tangled in a fishing net Monday had been on a spy mission. The statement added, “North Korea must acknowledge that the incident was a serious act of provocation, punish those involved and take action to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.” The ministry said that it was asking the UN Command to lodge a formal protest with the DPRK. Lieutenant Colonel Kim Jong-sook, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that two shoulder-fired rocket launchers, two light machine guns, two pistols, four hand grenades, US-made diving gear, a camcorder, and three sets of frogmen’s flippers were found aboard the submarine.

The Washington Post (“9 FOUND DEAD ON CAPTURED N. KOREAN SUB,” Tokyo, 06/26/98, A22), the Associated Press (Paul Shin, “NINE BODIES FOUND IN N. KOREAN SUB,” Donghae, 06/26/98), and Reuters (Kim Myong-hwan, “NORTH KOREAN SUB CREW WAS SHOT DEAD,” Seoul, 06/26/98) reported that ROK commandos on Friday found nine bodies inside the captured DPRK submarine. Lieutenant General Chung Young-jin of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said that four of the men were shot in the head and the rest had multiple bullet wounds. He added, “It appears that four men, including the commander, shot the five men to death, then committed suicide.” The daily newspaper Joong-ang Ilbo criticized the ROK military for allowing the submarine to get through, arguing, “There is a fatal hole in defense.” Kim Chul, a spokesman for the opposition Grand National Party, likewise stated, “We cannot but express concern about the lack of security awareness of the incumbent government.” Meanwhile on Friday, ROK National Unification Minister Kang In-duk stated, “We need to cope sternly with the national security issue. But economic issues don’t need to be disturbed.”

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2. Korean-American Held in DPRK

Reuters (“KOREAN-AMERICAN CLERGYMAN DETAINED IN NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 06/25/98) reported that an unnamed US State Department spokesman said Thursday that Swedish embassy officials in Pyongyang met Wednesday for the first time with Reverend Kwang-duk Lee, a Korean-American clergyman who has been detained for several weeks in the DPRK. The spokesman said that the DPRK had confirmed on June 8 that it was holding Lee in the Ranjin-Sonbong region. He added that an earlier attempt by the Swedish embassy, which represents US interests in the DPRK, to visit Lee on June 20 was postponed due to bad weather. The spokesman could give no further details on the case, saying that Lee had not signed a privacy waiver.

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3. US Land Mines in ROK

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “U.S. COMPLETING DESTRUCTION OF 3.3 MILLION MINES,” Washington, 06/25/98) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon said on Thursday that the US Army next Tuesday will complete the destruction of 3.3 million “dumb” landmines, but will keep more than a million such mines in the ROK. Bacon stated, “I would like to announce that next week, the Army will destroy the last of 3.3 million non-self-destructing land mines. This is to comply with the presidential order that all of the non-self-destructing anti-personnel arsenal be destroyed except for a small number that are needed to continue our defense in Korea and to continue training.” He added that the US military is currently reviewing over 20 alternatives or concepts for alternatives to land mines. He stated, “Some are lethal and some are nonlethal … there could be the possibility of nonlethal barriers that could be erected quickly.”

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4. PRC-Taiwan Talks

Reuters (“CHINA INVITES TOP TAIWAN ENVOY FOR AUTUMN TALKS,” Taipei, 06/25/98) reported that the PRC’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait on Thursday invited chairman Koo Chen-fu, head of Taiwan’s semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to visit the PRC in September or October to foster conditions for political talks. The invitation said, “We hope our two organizations, through this expansion of exchanges and visits, can find consensus for opening political negotiations.” Taiwan’s state-funded Central News Agency quoted the SEF as saying, “We are pleased to see this development. Whether we accept must be discussed with the Mainland Affairs Council.”

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5. Taiwan Issue in US-PRC Relations

Reuters (“CLINTON SAYS NO CHANGE IN TAIWAN POLICY,” Xia He, 06/26/98) reported that US President Bill Clinton on Friday reiterated that the US will not change its policy towards Taiwan as a result of his state visit to the PRC. Clinton stated, “Our position with regard to Taiwan is embodied in the three communiques and in the Taiwan Relations Act and in the facts of our relationship over the years.” In Taipei on Thursday, independence advocates launched a three-day sit-in outside the US unofficial diplomatic outpost to protest the “selling out” of Taiwan.

The New York Times (Steven Erlanger, “AS CHINESE SEE IT, TAIWAN REMAINS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE,” Washington, 06/26/98) reported that, in negotiations with the US, the PRC has offered to limit its missile cooperation in the Middle East for US commitments to cut arms sales to Taiwan. However, the US has argued that PRC missile assistance to countries that may use the weapons offensively is different from US supplies of defensive weaponry to Taiwan. In January, the US sold Taiwan three Knox-class frigates and antisubmarine missiles and launchers worth US$300 million; last year 21 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters worth US$479 million, and, in 1996, two sales of Stinger ground-to-air missiles and launchers that totaled 1,764 missiles for US$885 million. Winston Lord, former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and a former ambassador to the PRC, stated, “We have a legal and moral obligation to provide for Taiwan’s security, and if Taiwan feels secure there’s more likelihood for a real cross-straits dialogue between Beijing and Taipei about the future.” Lord argued that even the sales of F-16 fighter planes to Taiwan were legitimate given the PRC’s growing military capacity.

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6. Russian Nuclear Policy

The Associated Press (“RUSSIAN STRATEGIC CHIEF: NUCLEAR ARSENAL NECESSARY-INTERFAX,” Moscow, 06/26/98) reported that Russia’s Interfax news agency said Friday that Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, the chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces, said that Russia needs to keep its nuclear arsenal in place into the next century as a deterrent to potential military aggressors. Yakovlev said that the service life of existing nuclear missile systems would be extended as far as possible and modernized to maintain the preparedness of strategic rocketry. He stated, “Depending on financing, we will try to keep 450 to 650 launchers fully deployed.” He added that Russia’s missile stockpiles will be maintained within restrictions set under the START-2 arms limitation treaty.

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7. Russian Military Aid to India

The Associated Press (“INDIA TO BUILD NUCLEAR SUB BY 2004 WITH RUSSIAN HELP,” Bombay, 06/26/98) reported that reports by science writer Gopi Rethinaraj and Andrew Koch, a senior research analyst at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, in the latest issue of Jane’s Intelligence Review said that India, with Russian help, plans to build its first nuclear-powered submarine by 2004. Rethinaraj said India would arm its submarines with nuclear warhead missiles, but not immediately. Analysts estimated production of Sagarika missiles, which can be fired underwater, would begin by 2005. Jane’s said that India is planning a fleet of five submarines. According to Rethinaraj and Koch, a land-based prototype of the submarine’s engine has been tested at Kalpakkam in southern India. The report said that Russian assistance to the Indian project is mainly in non-nuclear areas such as hull design and underwater navigation. It said that Russia is also helping India develop the Sagarika missiles and supplying a limited amount of turbojet and guidance technology. Jane’s said that the recently concluded US$2.6 billion contract with Russia to build two nuclear power reactors in southern India was reciprocation for Russian help on the submarine project.

II. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

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1. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The following is the partial transcript of a translation by the US Foreign Broadcasts Information Service of a commentary in the DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun (“THERE CAN BE NO ‘RECIPROCITY’ IN NORTH-SOUTH RELATIONS,” 06/23/98, 5).

“These days, the South Korean authorities are voicing a weird allegation that ‘the principle of reciprocity’ must be applied in North-South relations. Describing ‘reciprocity’ as its brilliant ‘contrivance,’ they have even called it ‘a new framework’ and ‘basic principle’ for inter- Korean relations. At the inter-Korean vice-minister-level contacts held in Beijing some time ago, pertinent officials from South Korea’s ‘Ministry of National Unification’ presented such a bargaining chip for the first time. While showing off their worthless good, they tried to bargain its price with our side. It reminded us of a peddler in a market place. ‘Reciprocity,’ in which one must receive something in return for giving something, is the logic of a typical merchant. Handling inter- Korean relations, which is a national issue, and the country’s reunification issue on this vulgar logic is outrageous and is nothing but an expression of snobbery. Our national issue is not something that can be resolved through equivalent exchanges between the North and South. Improving North-South relations and realizing the country’s reunification cause are sublime patriotic causes that must be settled by giving priority to the nation’s common interests, aside from either side’s interests. Handling such an important issue with the merchant’s logic does not suit with the character of our national issue nor can it be a solution to the problem. If the North and South, caring for their own pockets, engage in the bargaining of the national cause, just like merchants, both sides will always confront each other and will not able to resolve the fatherland reunification issue, a long-cherished desire of the nation. In this perspective, the South Korean authorities’ ‘reciprocity’ is a thoroughly anti-national logic of division and confrontation….

“Of course, we do not oppose reciprocity in general. Reciprocity is generally applied in relations between countries. However, as stipulated in the North-South agreement signed by the South Korean authorities themselves, inter-Korean relations are not relations between countries. It is wrong to apply reciprocity, which is applied in international relations, to North-South relations, whose characteristics they recognized as explained above. However, what cannot be all the more overlooked is that they regarded North-South relations as relations between countries and described the agreement as an international treaty, ignoring the agreement. We ask the South Korean authorities whether they, who completely deny even the basic contents of the agreement that determines inter-Korean relations, if they truly have any intention to implement the agreement….

“We cannot know whether the so-called ‘reciprocity’ was first hatched by the new ruler who wants to attract the people’s attention or by the unification minister who attempts to get good marks from the ruler. According to their remarks, they are advocating ‘reciprocity’ because they were taken in unilaterally in the past North-South relations and that they now cannot help but consider ‘the people’s sentiments.’ This is truly a pitiful excuse which shows that they do not know shame or feel responsibility. They went so far as to say that ‘humanitarian aid’ to us was ‘unilateral’ and that they have not received anything in return. Having forgotten what they owe us in the past, they are now talking about ‘unilateral’ aid. What they said are brazen-faced, imprudent remarks. They want something in return for humanitarian aid and ask us to pay something for exchanging help between compatriots. This is a shameful way of thinking, reflecting that they have lost the consciousness that we are the same compatriots. The South Korean authorities seem to have forgotten the fact that the people in the northern half of the Republic sincerely prepared and sent a large amount of relief goods with warm feelings of kinship at the time of floods in 1984….

“The intention of the South Korean authorities, which are holding the signboard of reciprocity, is obvious. Their real goal is not to seek reciprocity out of good intention or to resolve the issues of North-South relations and the country’s reunification from a patriotic position. Their real goal is to disorganize us from within by using some pennies and goods as a bargaining chip. The South Korean authorities still talk nonsense about ‘opening up’ at every opportunity. This well illustrates that they are in a foolish fantasy. We cannot tolerate the wrong idea that money and goods can buy anything. We want to give a piece of advice to the South Korean authorities. They had better apply ‘reciprocity’ to their relations with the United States. How shameful that they could not say a word of protest even though they have lived without independence and national dignity over a half century under US occupation! The South Korean women have been physically abused by the US imperialist force of aggression, but they cannot say a word. Do they have enough face to talk about ‘reciprocity’ to us, the fellow countrymen, when they keep mum about the disgrace with which South Korean women are physically abused by US imperialist force of aggression? …

“Now we have opened wide the door for dialogue and the improvement of relations between the North and South. The great leader [yongdoja] Comrade Kim Jong-il announced a work on fatherland reunification on 4 August 1997 and the historical work on the great national unity on 18 April 1998, thereby elucidating to all the people the road toward reconciliation, unity, and the reunification of the fatherland. Especially, it is significant that he has presented a reasonable step for improving inter-Korean relations as one of the five-point policy for the great national unity. The South Korean authorities should learn something from this. It is meaningless to be obsessed with the snobbish merchants’ logic and principle of ‘reciprocity,’ to pursue confrontation, and to dream an unachievable dream. It will only bring disaster. As agreed with us and vowed before the nation, the South Korean authorities should assume a patriotic position as soon as possible and set on the road of collaboration and reconciliation with the North according to the spirit of independence, peaceful reunification, and great national unity. Time will not wait.”

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

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

Shin Dong-bom: dongbom_shin@wisenet.co.kr
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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