NAPSNet Daily Report 26 October, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks
2. PRC View of US-DPRK Relations
3. Japanese Aid to DPRK
4. DPRK View of US-ROK Military Exercise
5. Reunion of Separated Families
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Missile Program
2. ROK-US-Japan Policy Coordination
3. ROK Views on DPRK-US Relations
4. DPRK on ASEM Declaration

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

Agence France Presse (“US TO PRESS NKOREA HARD NEXT WEEK FOR DETAILS OF KIM JONG-IL MISSILE IDEA,” Anchorage, 10/26/00) reported that a senior US official said on Thursday that the US will press DPRK officials hard next week to clarify a vague outline hinted at by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for abandoning missile launches and exports. The official said, “It’s just a beginning, it’s a taste. That’s why the specificity that has to come out of it is what we need to get. We need to be very careful here in order to make sure that what he is saying is real. It’s in a paper bag, you need to figure out really what’s in it.” US officials said that it appeared that Kim had expanded the original idea of a trade to include abandoning not only indigenous missile development and launches but also the export of missile and related technology. They added in addition to including exports, the DPRK now seems willing to consider dropping all types of long-range missiles, not only ones with space- launch capability. However, a senior official said that without serious and detailed elaboration of the entire concept and what it includes and would require in return, the US will not pursue it. The official said, “We have to figure it out. It’s a big step but I think we have to be really careful about we’re hearing … we have to understand it.”

2. PRC View of US-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse (“CHINA A NERVOUS SPECTATOR OF NORTH KOREAN-US THAW,” Beijing, 10/26/00) reported that analysts said that the PRC was unnerved by the warmth of the welcome given to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the DPRK and is concerned that it may lose influence over the DPRK. A Beijing-based Asian diplomat said, “China is worried by the quick warming of relations between North Korea and the United States, because North Korea used to be in China’s sphere of influence.” Joseph Cheng, a Sinologist at City University in Hong Kong, said, “Chinese cadres are a little bit unhappy with the spectacular reception given to Mrs. Albright.” Officially, the PRC has been very supportive of the DPRK’s tentative opening up and its detente with the US, but analysts pointed to the fact that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian arrived 24 hours before Albright, stayed throughout her visit and met DPRK leader Kim after her departure. A European diplomat said, “That was no simple coincidence. The Chinese are shadowing every move by the Americans to ensure they keep playing an important role on the Korean peninsula.” Analysts also said that the diplomatic game would likely continue if US President Bill Clinton indicates he will visit the DPRK before he leaves office. The European diplomat noted that the PRC has used its purported influence with the DPRK government to obtain concessions from the US. He said, “The Chinese are worried the rapprochement between Washington and Pyongyang and an eventual reunification on the Korean peninsula could have a negative impact on their security. They will do everything they can to ensure American troops stay well away from their border.”

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREAN LEADER VOWS TO MAINTAIN STRONG TIES WITH CHINA,” Beijing, 10/26/00) reported that the DPRK’s state media said on Thursday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il vowed to maintain close military and political ties with the PRC despite the warming of ties with the US. Kim told PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian after his talks with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that relations between the PRC and the DPRK were strong. Kim told Chi on October 25, “Korea and China keep not only good relations between the two parties, but also between the two armies. In the future we will develop further our traditional friendship and increase the number of friendly exchanges and visits.” Kim said that Chi’s five-day visit had “encouraged me enormously.” The PRC’s official Xinhua news agency said that Chi and his delegation left Pyongyang for Beijing by plane on Thursday morning.

3. Japanese Aid to DPRK

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN CONSIDERS NINE-BILLION-DOLLAR SUPPORT TO NKOREA: REPORT,” Tokyo, 10/26/00) reported that the Tokyo Shimbun reported Thursday that Japan’s government is considering extending financial assistance worth US$9 billion to the DPRK, including some US$5 billion in aide. The newspaper said that of the total of about US$9 billion, 60 percent, or about US$5 billion, will be granted in aid while the remainder will be in the form of loans. The daily said, “In return for the massive economic assistance, the government intends to get answers out of North Korea over its missile launch and the issue of alleged abduction of Japanese nationals. At the same time, the government wants to gather momentum for boosting its normalization talks with North Korea.” Part of the support may also be used to help reduce the debt of more than 100 billion yen (US$926 million) which the DPRK owes to some 30 private Japanese firms since it purchased a chemical plant from them in the 1970s.

4. DPRK View of US-ROK Military Exercise

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA DENOUNCES JOINT EXERCISE,” Seoul, 10/26/00) reported that the DPRK accused the US and the ROK militaries Thursday of hurting thawing relations by holding the 10-day Foal Eagle exercise, the biggest of several joint training maneuvers held annually. A spokesman for DPRK’s Foreign Ministry said in remarks carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, “The maneuvers prove that the U.S. is still pursuing the policy of strength in its strategy towards the DPRK and that the South Korean authorities are following with increased zeal the U.S. strategy. It is as good as spoiling the good atmosphere created in favor of reconciliation and cooperation.” The Foal Eagle exercise, held since 1961, is to test rear area protection operations and major command, control and communications systems and involves field training for US and ROK troops.

5. Reunion of Separated Families

Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “KOREAS POSTPONE NOV. REUNIONS,” Seoul, 10/26/00) reported that Park Jae- kyu, ROK’s unification minister, said Thursday that all exchanges between the ROK and the DPRK, including the planned November reunions, will be delayed by one or two months because of a lack of preparations by the DPRK. Park said the delay became inevitable because the DPRK concentrated its resources on preparing for this week’s visit by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Park dismissed such concerns that the indicated that the DPRK may be shifting its policy focus from the ROK to the US, insisting that the delay was only temporary. Early this month, the DPRK cited “internal reasons” for a postponement of a second round of inter-Korea economic talks, a day before its scheduled start on October 18.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Program

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, “ALBRIGHT REQUESTS NK JOIN MTCR,” Seoul, 10/25/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin, “NORTH TO HALT MISSILE FIRINGS,” Pyongyang, 10/25/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was learned on Wednesday to have requested during her three day visit to Pyongyang that the DPRK join the missile technology control regime (MTCR). A diplomatic source in Seoul said that Secretary Albright conveyed to the DPRK the US general position on the development, testing, deployment and exporting of missiles. He continued that the US was preparing a comprehensive negotiating package with the DPRK that includes launching its satellites, the suspension of its missile exports and joining MTCR, and assistance in economic cooperation and international financing.

2. ROK-US-Japan Policy Coordination

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “THREE ALLIES TO REINFORCE N.K. STANCE; IN RESPONSE TO PYONGYANG’S MOVES TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH U.S.,” Seoul, 10/26/00) reported that in response to the DPRK’s moves to improve relations with the US, the foreign ministers of the ROK, the US and Japan on Wednesday agreed to reinforce their three-way cooperation in dealing with the DPRK. The three allied nations also reached an agreement to work closely to improve the DPRK’s human rights record and to urge the DPRK to respond to international calls for easing military tensions. “We decided to further strengthen our teamwork in dealing with the North,” ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn said in a joint news conference. Albright said that progress had been made on the idea of exchanging commercial satellite launches for the DPRK abandonment of its missile program, adding that expert-level missile talks would be held next week. Asked if there was progress on the removal of the DPRK from the US list of states supporting terrorism, Albright said she that had discussed the subject with Kim but that it was not a “central aspect” of their talks because the DPRK knows what it has to do to be taken off the list.

3. ROK Views on DPRK-US Relations

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM URGES CLINTON TO VISIT NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/26/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday urged US President Bill Clinton to visit the DPRK, officials said. “President Kim said the U.S. president’s visit to the DPRK will help establish stability and peace not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in East Asia and the whole world,” Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young said. He added the President noted that the DPRK hopes to improve its relations with the US out of its own necessity. Kim previously said that the DPRK wants to better relations with Washington to secure international assurance for its security and economic development.

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “ALBRIGHT-KIM MEETING SHOWCASES PROGRESS,” Seoul, 10/26/00) reported that despite the fact that few agreements seemed to have been reached during the visit to the DPRK by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, ROK officials and analysts on Wednesday hailed the meeting as a crucial development for normalizing bilateral ties. “The meeting demonstrated that relations between Washington and Pyongyang are developing in a positive direction,” said Park Young-ho, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government think tank. It is widely believed that Clinton will visit the DPRK immediately after his participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit scheduled for next month in Brunei. Observers said that the US president is expected to decide the exact date of his trip to the DPRK after the outcome of the missile negotiations next week.

4. DPRK on ASEM Declaration

The Korea Herald (“N.K. WELCOMES ASEM PEACE DECLARATION,” Seoul, 10/26/00) reported that the DPRK on Tuesday welcomed the Seoul Declaration for Peace on the Korean Peninsula adopted at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Saturday. A DPRK foreign ministry spokesman said via the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency that ASEM participants supported the inter-Korean joint declaration on June 15 and unanimously adopted the ASEM declaration. The spokesman pointed out that the ASEM declaration comes at a time when positive changes are underway on the Korean Peninsula. The spokesman also welcomed the intent by some ASEM countries to open diplomatic relations with the DPRK.

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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Moscow, Russian Federation

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

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Clayton, Australia

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