NAPSNet Daily Report 27 November, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 27 November, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 27, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-27-november-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Light-Water Reactor Project
2. Clinton’s Visit to DPRK
3. US Congressman’s DPRK Visit
4. Kofi Annan’s DPRK Visit
5. ROK-DPRK Talks
6. DPRK Military
7. US-PRC Missile Deal
8. PRC-Taiwan Talks
9. One-China Principle
10. Spratly Islands Code of Conduct
II. Republic of Korea 1. Light-Water Reactor Project
2. Four-Party Peace Talks
3. Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks
4. Reunion of Separated Families
5. Rapprochement in Inter-Korean Relations
6. US Congressman’s DPRK Visit
7. DPRK-UN Environmental Evaluation

I. United States

1. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA FAULTS U.S. ON POWER PLANTS,” Seoul, 11/26/00) reported that the DPRK on November 26 denounced the US for a delay in building two nuclear power plants in the DPRK, saying that it will require a “corresponding measure” in compensation. The DPRK said that the delay caused a huge loss of badly needed electricity. The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper for the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, said in a commentary, “The United States is wholly to blame for the delay of the project.” It added that by dragging on the project, the US is trying to “weaken the DPRK’s economic and military potentials and watch for a chance to stifle the DPRK by force of arms.”

2. Clinton’s Visit to DPRK

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN LEADER SAYS US-NORTH KOREA SUMMIT INDISPENSABLE TO PEACE,” Singapore, 11/27/00) reported that while delivering the Singapore Lecture on Monday, ROK President Kim Dae-jung called for direct talks between the US and DPRK leaders. He also urged Japan to play a more active role to ease tensions with the DPRK. He said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was expected to visit Seoul by spring 2001. Kim said, “When I returned from the North after ascertaining his positive response, I stressed to President (Bill) Clinton that direct talks with Chairman Kim would be the only way to successfully carry out negotiations on various issues, including missiles. I also recommended to Japanese Prime Minister (Yoshiro) Mori to formulate an active North Korea policy.” He said that a meeting between the US and DPRK leaders “will be indispensable to peace on the Korean peninsula and all of East Asia.” Kim said that it was up to Clinton to decide on whether to make a visit to the DPRK or wait for the next US president to do so. However, he said, “From my perspective, of course we want all the pending issues between the two sides, including the North Korean missile issue, to be resolved as soon as possible. But whether the visit should be made by President Clinton or not, that has to be made based upon various consideration including the domestic political consideration of the United States.” Kim stressed that the easing of inter-Korean ties without parallel improvements in the DPRK’s relations with the US and Japan would be inadequate to take the peace process forward. Kim also stressed that a more open DPRK would provide business opportunities for East Asia and that the DPRK could serve as a “gateway” to the PRC’s northeastern provinces and Russia’s maritime province as well as Mongolia and Central Asia.

3. US Congressman’s DPRK Visit

Agence France Presse (“US LAWMAKER IN NORTH KOREA TO REVIEW FOOD SITUATION,” 11/25/00) reported that Tony Hall, a member of the US House of Representatives, on November 25 began a four-day trip to the DPRK which ROK officials said aims to review the food situation. The DPRK’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a brief report that Hall and his party arrived in Pyongyang on November 25. An ROK foreign ministry official said that Hall would meet DPRK officials to discuss “humanitarian issues, including the North’s food shortage problems.” The official said that after his DPRK trip, Hall will travel to the ROK.

4. Kofi Annan’s DPRK Visit

Japan Economic Newswire (“ANNAN TO VISIT N. KOREA FOR FIRST TIME IN JANUARY,” New York, 11/23/00) reported that diplomatic sources said on November 23 that United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan will visit the DPRK for the first time next January and is expected to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. UN sources said that Annan had expressed a strong desire to visit the DPRK, and the DPRK government recently told the UN that he would be made welcome. Annan is hoping that a face-to-face encounter with Kim Jong-il will help improve the peace process on the Korean peninsula.

5. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Associated Press (“KOREAS TO HOLD MORE TALKS,” Seoul, 11/26/00) reported that ROK officials said on November 26 that high-level ROK and DPRK officials will meet next month to discuss ways to further improve warming ties. The ROK Ministry of Unification said that the DPRK suggested on November 25 that they hold the fourth ministerial-level talks in Pyongyang on December 12-15. A ministry official said that the ROK is likely to accept the proposal. At the talks, officials will review the developments in inter-Korean relations since the June inter- Korean summit. They are expected to sign an investment protection treaty to boost ROK investment in the DPRK and try to set down a date for the visit to Seoul by Kim Yong-nam, the DPRK’s ceremonial head of state.

6. DPRK Military

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA HAS ‘HUMAN BOMBS’ AND NEGOTIATORS AT THE READY,” Seoul, 11/24/00) reported that ahead of the arrival of a European Union delegation in the DPRK on November 24 for political talks, the DPRK’s state Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) highlighted an inspection of a military unit by DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il and other top generals. KCNA said that Kim was “Greatly satisfied to see all of them fully prepared as a-match-for-a-hundred fighters capable of firmly defending the security of the country and the people, he set forth highly important tasks which would serve as a guideline for significantly increasing the combat capability of the unit.” The Minju Joson newspaper condemned the US “‘strategy’ as a war strategy which makes the US military invasion of the DPRK a fait accompli.” The ruling party’s Rodong Sinmun daily said that US hard-liners were trying to create “a war atmosphere.” Some experts in the ROK believed that Kim Jong-il is putting on a show just for his own people. Chon Hyun-joon, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, stated, “North Korea seems to be strengthening its ideological grip over its people because of worries that increased relations with the outside world and possible opening up toward South Korea may undermine their ideology. North Korea did that before when they were evading dialogue with South Korea, tightening domestic controls and pushing ahead with military acquisitions.” Some analysts said that the DPRK now needs help too much to back out of the growing contacts, unless an event such as a hostile new president in the US forced Kim back into isolation.

7. US-PRC Missile Deal

The New York Times (Jane Perlez, “CHINA GAVE UP LITTLE IN U.S. DEAL ON BANNING SALE OF MISSILE PARTS,” Washington, 11/25/00) reported that US negotiators who took part in negotiations with the PRC on sales of missile parts said that they found the negotiations easier than usual. They said that missile sales were becoming less lucrative than the launchings of US satellites that the new agreement between the US and the PRC calls for. US officials said that an important element in the PRC decision to publish a list of missile-related items that would be banned for export was that deals with Pakistan have become less lucrative as the Pakistani missile program has become more developed, and now receives its most pressing needs from the DPRK. Another incentive was the increasing security threat on the PRC’s borders from the nuclear stand-off between Pakistan and India. Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a nonprofit group, said that the PRC has sent so much missile material to Pakistan that there was now less demand from Pakistan. Milhollin said that launching US satellites into space may be more financially rewarding for the PRC rocket companies, but for the most part, the PRC did not see launching services for US satellites and exports to Pakistan as an either-or proposition. He added that by failing in this new accord to impose sanctions on the PRC entities, the US was most likely allowing PRC companies to reap revenues both from US companies and from missile deals abroad. US administration officials acknowledged that a major uncertainty about the new accord revolves around the power of the PRC Foreign Ministry over the missile-parts factories, which are run by the PRC military. In the past, the PRC Foreign Ministry, which signed the new accord, has wielded little influence over the factories. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 27, 2000.]

8. PRC-Taiwan Talks

Agence France Presse (“CHINA NEGOTIATOR TALKS ‘ONE CHINA’ WITH TAIWAN OPPOSITION ENVOY,” Beijing, 11/27/00) reported that the PRC’s official Xinhua news agency said that Wang Daohan, president of the PRC’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), promised on Monday that the PRC would do everything possible to peacefully settle the Taiwan issue, but warned that it would not tolerate the island’s independence. During Monday’s talks, Wang urged more exchanges between the two sides of the strait in an effort to promote mutual trust. He also urged Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian to recognize “that the ‘one China’ principle is unshakable. Anything is negotiable under the ‘one China’ principle.” At a meeting with PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen on November 23, Wu’s suggestion that a “brother-city” relationship between Shanghai and Taipei be set up next year was given a warm welcome.

Reuters (“CHINA TOLD ITS TAIWAN INDEPENDENCE FEARS OVERBLOWN,” Shanghai, 11/27/00) reported that Wu Poh-hsiung, the Nationalist Party vice chairman who met with PRC officials during a twelve day visit, said Monday after meeting with Wang Daohan, chairman of the PRC Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, that PRC fears that Taiwan will declare independence are overblown. Wu said, “(The PRC) always thinks there is a danger that Taiwan will suddenly declare independence. I think they really don’t need to think in this direction. I think they really don’t need to think in this direction. Taiwan’s constitutional system and the political reality are that there is no chance of this happening.” Wu clarified the Nationalists’ policy, which is to follow Taiwan’s longstanding national reunification guidelines and return to a 1992 agreement that enabled cross-Strait talks in 1993. Wu said, “I also expressed Taiwan and especially our party’s policy to return to the 1992 consensus … but on the content of the one China principle, there is a big gap between us so we have to explain this very clearly.” Wu also said that the PRC’s dealings with the Nationalists were not a replacement for resuming normal talks between the PRC and Taiwan. He said, “We hope the mechanism for coordination will be resumed and I stress that our party’s involvement is absolutely not a replacement for these mechanisms. We also expressed that due to the long period of separation, we need patience and goodwill to strengthen communication between Taiwan and China and reduce differences of opinion.” Wu also invited Wang to visit Taiwan.

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “TAIWAN NATIONALISTS HINT AT CHINA TRIP,” Beijing, 11/25/00) reported that officials said on November 24 that a senior official in Taiwan’s Nationalist Party appears to be laying the foundations for a visit to the PRC by Nationalist party chief Lien Chan. Nationalist Party Vice Chairman Wu Poh- hsiung said in an interview that he was looking for an opportunity to facilitate a visit by Lien, but that Lien would go to the PRC only if it were “appropriate.” Wu said, “If he just comes to look around and say hello, it won’t be of much use.” Some critics of the Nationalist Party accused it of currying favor with the PRC’s Communist Party as a way to hurt Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian. Others said that the Nationalists risk a backlash if they are perceived to be selling out Taiwan’s interests for short-term political gain. Wu responded, “We have the interests of the 23 million residents of Taiwan foremost in our hearts. My goal is peace and to avoid war.”

9. One-China Principle

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISERS FAIL TO REACH CONSENSUS ON ‘ONE- CHINA’,” Taipei, 11/27/00) and the Associated Press (William Foreman, “TAIWAN GROUP OFFERS ADVICE ON CHINA,” Taipei, 11/26/00) reported that Joseph Wu, the deputy director of National Chengchi University’s think tank, the Institute of International Relations, said that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s advisers on November 26 failed to reach a consensus on how to respond to the PRC’s demand that the island embrace the “one-China” principle, an observer said. The 22-member advisory group, led by Lee Yuan-tseh, who also heads Taiwan’s top academic research institution, the Academia Sinica, failed to come up with a concrete proposal to the PRC’s one-China policy. Hsiao Hsin-huang, the spokesman for the group, said, “The Republic of China has been operating a democratic system and any attempt to change the status quo must obtain the approval of the people via a democratic procedure.” The group also recommended that any response to the PRC demand be according to the constitution, without providing details on what this would mean. The long-awaited response reportedly followed seven rounds of heated cross-party debate.

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENT NUDGED TO EMBRACE ‘ONE CHINA’,” Taipei, 11/26/00) reported that Taiwanese newspapers, United Daily News and the China Times, said that top Taiwan business leaders have urged Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian to accept the PRC interpretation of the “one China” policy. They also recommended that the government lift a decades-old ban on transportation, commerce and post trade links with the PRC. The reports said that Chen listened to the business leaders but did not spell out his own views on the “one-China” policy.

10. Spratly Islands Code of Conduct

Agence France Presse (“CHINA PUSHES PEACE BUT IGNORES SPRATLYS CODE,” Singapore, 11/25/00) reported that in a speech to leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on November 25, PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said that the PRC was “positive” about progress towards a code of conduct in the South China Sea, but made no mention of the Spratlys. Zhu said that the PRC wanted an early conclusion to consultation “which will help and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. We should also continue to coordinate our positions in regional and international affairs and work together to safeguard the rights and interests of developing countries.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Chosun Ilbo (“NK PART ORGAN WARNS WASHINGTON ON REACTORS,” Seoul, 11/26/00) reported that the DPRK warned on Sunday that it would take corresponding measures if the US continues to “deliberately” delay the construction of light water reactors. The Rodong Shinmun, the DPRK’s party organ, said in a column that “North Korea suffered enormous economic losses due to the US’ unfaithful action that deliberately put off the building of light water reactors. If Washington keeps reluctant to comply with the US-North Korean Basic Agreement, Pyongyang will take corresponding measures.” The paper in particular, emphasized “US attempts to undermine our capacity to generate self-sufficient nuclear energy and weaken our economic and military potential by intentionally delaying the construction of light water reactors, watching for a chance to oppress us by force. Therefore, the US will have to take all the consequences in case the Basic Agreement is nullified due to the suspension of construction.”

2. Four-Party Peace Talks

The Korea Times (“SEOUL TO PROPOSE REOPENING OF 4-PARTY TALKS,” Singapore, 11/27/00) reported that a senior ROK official said on November 26 that the ROK is expected to propose shortly that the DPRK join the ROK, the US, and the PRC to resume the four-party peace talks, in which the parties will discuss ways to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty. The official said, “When the North pulled out in August last year, relations between Pyongyang and Washington were at their low. But the situation has improved now and the government is convinced that it is time to resume the stalled talks aimed at making the way for a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.” The official indicated that the talks will be resumed late this year or early next year at the latest. The official also said that the ROK had in-depth discussions with the PRC regarding the resumption of the talks. He said, “China has promised full support to the resumption of the talks, should we propose,” adding that the US has long been in support of reopening the talks. He said that the proposal will be conveyed to the DPRK and expressed optimism that the DPRK will respond positively. He said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s visit to the PRC in May could be read as positive sign indicating the increasing influence that the PRC wields over the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 27, 2000.]

3. Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “INTER-KOREAN RAPPROCHEMENT REMAINS ON TRACK,” Seoul, 11/27/00) and The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, “4TH INTER-MINISTERIAL TALKS TO BE HELD DEC. 12-15 IN P’YANG,” Seoul, 11/25/00) reported that the DPRK made a counterproposal Saturday to hold another round of inter-Korean ministerial talks in Pyongyang December 12-15, two weeks later than originally scheduled, ROK officials said. The ROK will likely accept the counterproposal, the officials added. “North Korea cited the reunions of separated families that could overlap with the minister-level talks for delaying the ministerial talks,” said the Unification Ministry spokesman, Lee Kwan-se.

4. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (“KOREAN AMERICANS TO REUNITE WITH N. KOREAN KIN,” Seoul, 11/27/00) reported that Korean-Americans will resume family reunions with their relatives in the DPRK after suspending them since the inter-Korean summit talks in June, a US-based radio station reported Saturday. An association of Korean-Americans in western regions of the US agreed with the DPRK to resume the reunions and began receiving applications to visit the DPRK, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA). The association plans to send a group of visitors to the DPRK in the early spring after selecting them from among US citizens or permanent residents of Korean origin, said the broadcast.

5. Rapprochement in Inter-Korean Relations

The Korea Herald (“N.K. ENVOY ATTENDS S’PORE CEREMONY FOR KIM,” Singapore, 11/27/00) reported that a senior DPRK diplomat attended the official arrival ceremony for President Kim Dae-jung thrown by Singaporean President S. R. Nathan on Saturday. It was the first time that a DPRK diplomat attended a welcoming ceremony for an ROK President on a state visit to a foreign country, ROK officials said. Hong Won-jun, acting DPRK ambassador, along with other foreign envoys, was waiting in line for Kim after the ROK President and Nathan reviewed an honor guard at the Istana presidential palace. “This reflects the recent rapprochement between the Koreas fostered by the Pyongyang summit between President Kim and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in June,” said Kim Ha-joong, the chief presidential security adviser.

6. US Congressman’s DPRK Visit

The Korea Herald (“U.S. REP. TONY HALL TO VISIT NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 11/25/00) reported that Representative Tony P. Hall of the US House of Representatives was to make a four-day visit to the DPRK starting November 25 to examine its food situation.

7. DPRK-UN Environmental Evaluation

Joongang Ilbo (“UN TO HELP NORTH ON ENVIRONMENT,” Seoul, 11/24/00) reported that the DPRK and the United Nations Environment Program have agreed to jointly conduct an evaluation of the DPRK’s environment, possibly next year, according to Dr. Klaus Topfer, executive director of the UN program. Topfer briefed the ROK’s minister of the environment, Kim Myong-ja, about his visit to the DPRK early this month. They talked on the sidelines of a global environmental conference in the Netherlands. The ROK minister sought help from the UN group to help the DPRK join an international environment organization and to take part in environment-related meetings in Northeast Asia.

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