NAPSNet Daily Report 27 September, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Inter-Korean Talks
2. DPRK View of US Forces in ROK
3. Prospects for DPRK-ROK Relations
4. French-DPRK Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-DPRK Defense Ministers’ Talks
2. New KEDO Chief Appointed
3. New US DPRK Policy Coordinator Appointed
III. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK-ROK Defense Ministers’ Talks
2. DPRK-ROK Economic relations
3. DPRK-European Relations
4. Annual Japanese White Paper on Defense
5. PRC’s View on Military Alliances
6. PRC’s View on NMD
7. Russia’s View on NMD
IV. Russian Federation 1. RF Naval Deliveries to PRC
2. RF Anti-Aircraft Missile Deliveries to PRC
3. RF-Japan Relations Cooling Down
4. RF Scholar of RF-Japanese Relations
5. DPRK-ROK Cooperation
6. DPRK Asking Europe for Diplomatic Recognition
7. DPRK-ROK Military Contacts
8. DPRK Missiles Cane to Libya

I. United States

1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “MINISTERS DISCUSS N.KOREAN FOOD AID,” Cheju, 9/27/00) reported that a high-level government delegation from the DPRK arrived Wednesday to discuss improving ties with the ROK and plans to send food aid to the DPRK. The chief DPRK negotiator, Jon Kum Jin, met with ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu. Park said the two Koreas have already completed negotiations on food aid and the government was persuading political parties to support new food shipments to the DPRK. All major ROK dailies, quoting unidentified government sources, reported Wednesday that the ROK will buy 500,000 to 600,000 tons of Thai rice and Chinese corn at a cost of US$100 million and began shipping the food to the DPRK in October. Opposition lawmakers in the ROK have accused ROK President Kim Dae-jung of pampering the DPRK with massive food aid at a time of economic uncertainty at home. They suspect the DPRK of diverting outside food aid to its 1.1 million-strong military. Park and Jon planned to hold two days of official talks on September 28-29 to follow up on an accord reached at the inter-Korean summit.

2. DPRK View of US Forces in ROK

Reuters (“N.KOREA SEEKS EARLY U.S. TROOP PULLOUT FROM SOUTH,” Tokyo, 9/27/00) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Wednesday that the DPRK called for an early pullout of US troops from the ROK in line with the process of rapprochement on the divided peninsula. KCNA said, “The United States must abandon its anachronistic Korea policy … and go home at an early date.” Referring to last week’s comments by US Defense Secretary William Cohen, who said the DPRK had strengthened its military readiness and must reverse the trend if it hopes to get more economic aid, the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said: “The absurd remarks came when the world peace-loving people are loudly calling for the U.S. troop pullout from South Korea as the North-South reconciliation is rapidly developing.”

3. Prospects for DPRK-ROK Relations

Asia Times (Aidan Foster-Carter, “PYONGYANG WATCH: BREAKTHROUGH DÉJÀ VU,” 9/26/00) reported that despite the warm feelings caused by the united entrance of the DPRK and ROK during the opening of the Olympics, there is still cause for worry. A decade ago in an earlier phase of seeming inter-Korean reconciliation, the DPRK and the ROK entered a single team for the 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan. In the same year the two Koreas also sent a joint team to the world youth soccer championships in Portugal. But then, nothing happened and the situation fell back to into the usual hostilities. There were occasions, starting in 1972 when the head of the ROK’s KCIA met former DPRK leader Kim Il-sung’s brother in Pyongyang, which led to Red Cross and other talks, where the prospects for peace seemed possible but no progress resulted. In 1984 and in the early 1990s, the two countries tried again but no breakthrough was found. Viewing the recent developments between the DPRK and the ROK with the backdrop of such history, the author asks, “will it all go wrong again?” He answers his own question, “In theory, yes. But in practice, I think not – and the risk falls with each fresh tie. What is new this time is the sheer range and pace of contacts, creating a momentum that makes it ever harder to go back. Besides, South Korea has a wise, sincere leader – and a desperate North Korea has nowhere else to turn. Not a bad basis for dialogue.”

4. French-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse (“FRANCE SETS OUT CONDITIONS FOR CHANGING RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Paris, 9/21/00) reported that the French Foreign Ministry said on September 21 that France will consider modifying its relations with the DPRK on the basis of the development of the human rights situation in the country and commitments on nuclear nonproliferation. The DPRK has officially proposed in a letter to nine European countries – Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Britain, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands – and the European Union, the establishing of diplomatic relations. The Foreign Ministry said, “The European Union decided in July 1999 on a common position regarding the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of North Korea: the EU’s political and economic relations with the DPRNK will develop on the basis of the responses that Pyongyang gives to the European concerns on a certain number of points, at the head of which comes the human rights situation and the nonproliferation issue. France’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau said, “France’s position is part of this plan. The humanitarian and proliferation issues have not yet received a satisfactory response.” He said that even if “some progress” has been made in relations between the two Koreas since the inter-Korean summit in June, “it will be on the basis of the development of the situation, in particular in the latter domain, that entrance, in consultation with its European Union partners, will consider, in the relevant circumstances a modification of its relations with North Korea.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-DPRK Defense Ministers’ Talks

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “DEFENSE MINISTERS OF KOREAS AGREE TO EASE TENSIONS, END WAR THREAT,” Cheju, 09/27/00) reported that a joint statement said the defense ministers of the ROK and the DPRK agreed during talks on September 26 to ease tension and jointly work for peace to eliminate the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula. ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae and his DPRK counterpart, Kim Il-chol, agreed to hold a working-level military commission meeting early next month to produce details on the inter-Korean railroad project. According to the five-point joint press statement, the two sides further agreed to guarantee the safety of civilians visiting the other side for inter- Korean projects in all fields. Lieutenant General Kim Hee-sang said in a news briefing, “For the proposed inter-Korean railway and highway projects, the two sides agreed to allow each other to bring personnel, vehicles and equipment into their respective work areas inside the DMZ and guarantee their safety.” A DPRK expert said the agreement bears significance in that the DPRK has started to respect the truce agreement and the United Nations Command (UNC), which the DPRK has long ignored for political reasons. An anonymous military official said, “As the South has obtained approval from the UNC for the inter-Korean projects, the North can directly contact the South on all matters related to the cross-border ventures.” They also agreed to guarantee the implementation of the accords reached at inter-Korean summit.

2. New KEDO Chief Appointed

The Korea Times (“CHANG NAMED 1ST KOREAN KEDO CHIEF,” Seoul, 09/26/00) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry spokesman said on September 26 that Chang Sun-sup, chief of an ROK taskforce on the construction of two light-water reactors in the DPRK, was appointed as executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). His appointment came in an executive council meeting of the US-led international consortium, held in New York on September 25. Starting September 27, he will hold the post for two years and strengthen Korea’s central role in the KEDO. Chang, 64, is a retired career diplomat who once served as ROK’s ambassador to France.

3. New US DPRK Policy Coordinator Appointed

Chosun Ilbo (Joo Yong-jung, “SHERMAN REPLACES PERRY AS NK POLICY SUPREMO,” Seoul, 09/26/00) reported that the US State Department appointed Wendy Sherman to replace William Perry, the DPRK policy coordinator who resigned on September 25. Sources in Washington reported that Sherman is likely to decide whether to visit the DPRK or not, depending on the outcome of the US-DPRK conference to be held in New York starting September 27. Sherman is known as the right arm of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and although her official rank was only that of an ambassador, she was thought to be the third most influential figure in the State Department. III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-ROK Defense Ministers’ Talks

Xinhua News Agency (Gao Haorong, “INTER-KOREAN DEFENSE MINISTERS’S TALKS REACH CONCENSUS ON PEACE OF THE PENINSULA,” Seoul, 09/26/00) reported that DPRK and ROK Defense Ministers ended their first ever talks on September 25 vowing to work for peace. However, according to officials, substantive military issues were not broached. A joint statement said, “Both sides agreed that the easing of military tensions and the building of a lasting and durable peace on the Peninsula is essential.” However, several issues proposed ahead of the talks, including the establishment of a military hotline, the joint notification of troop movements and the granting of observation rights for major military exercises were not discussed. An ROK’s Ministry of National Defense spokesperson as saying, “You cannot expect too much from the first meeting of the defense chiefs. Issues of mutual concern could be discussed later when the two sides feel more comfortable with each other.” During the two- day meeting on the resort island of Cheju, ROK and DPRK Defense Ministers focused their talks, as expected, on a plan to build a rail and road link across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that has separated the two sides since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armed truce. Agreements were reached to allow construction personnel and equipment to move within the DMZ and to hold a working-level meeting in early October to discuss cooperation on such issues as the removal of landmines.

China Daily (Shao Zhongwei, “KOREAN TALKS PRAISED FOR CONCRETE RESULTS,” 09/27/00, P1) reported that the PRC is pleased with the “positive results” reached at talks between Defense Ministers from the DPRK and the ROK. Commenting on the five-point statement issued on September 26 by the two Defense Ministers, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sun Yuxi said PRC welcomes and appreciates any efforts that improve inter-Korean ties and increase trust across the Peninsula.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic relations

Jiefang Daily (“INTER-KOREAN FIRST CONTACT ON ECONOMIC AFFAIRS,” Seoul, 09/27/00, P7) and China Daily (“DPRK-ROK AGREE IN PRINCIPLE TO SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS,” Cheju, ROK, 09/27/00, P10) reported DPRK’s three- member economic delegation, led by Jong Un-op, Chairman of the National Economic Cooperation Federation, was in the ROK for economic talks which began on September 25 and focused on issues of investment guarantee and double taxation avoidance. The meeting is expected to pave the way for the two sides to put their economic exchanges on track.

3. DPRK-European Relations

Xinhua News Agency (“DPRK PROPOSES TIES WITH EUROPE,” Seoul, 09/22/00) reported that the DPRK said on September 21 that it has proposed opening diplomatic relations with member nations of the European Union. The Korean Central News Agency said DPRK Foreign Minster Paek Nam-sun had recently sent a letter officially proposing ties to the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and the External Relations Commissioner of the European Commission. The letters proposed to “expand and develop these relations in political, economic, cultural and all other fields in keeping with new changes taking place in their relationship at the historic turn of the century. The establishment and development of the relations between (DPRK) and those countries will give an affirmative effect on finally liquidating the leftovers of the Cold War and ensuring peace and security in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world.” The European Commission said in July that DPRK had asked to establish diplomatic relations with the 15-nation European Union, but the EU had yet to take a position on the request.

4. Annual Japanese White Paper on Defense

China Daily (Sun Wen, “MILITARISM BREWING IN JAPAN,” 09/25/00,P4) carried a commentary about the Japan’s annual white paper on defense released on July 28. Responding to the assertions in the paper that Japan will step up research on its planned TMD system with the US and that the PRC is posing a threat to Japan’s security, the author said that Japan’s stance shows that “to become a military giant, it would even dare to go against world opinion.” The author added that in spite of the heated opposition from both domestic and overseas pacifists for its military plan, “Japan’s die-hards still go ahead to try to amend its pacifist constitution,” which forbids Japan from collective self- defense. The author noted that the Diet’s announcement of the establishment of a Constitutional Review Council on January 20 in a bid to prepare for the amendment of the Constitution to facilitate its military expansion has its profound political background. Domestically, Sun wrote, the conservative’s in the Diet, who advocate the amendment, have the upper hand. Sun noted that because of its own interests, the US has turned a deaf ear to the amendment clamor in Japan. The author pointed out that, being in alliance with Japan, the US hopes to maintain the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region by acquiescing in Japan’s military ambition to contain PRC. Sun concluded that the constitutional amendment will only be a matter of time judging from the current situation, stressing that, if passed, the amendment will assist Japan’s continual efforts to become a military superpower, which will definitely pose a peril to world security.

5. PRC’s View on Military Alliances

China Daily (“MILITARY ALLIANCES NOT HELPFUL TO REGIONAL PEACE,” 09/22/00, P1) reported that, when responding to a question requesting comments on the US Defense Secretary William Cohen’s proposal to increase military exercises with countries in the region, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sun Yuxi maintained that strengthening cooperation and promoting mutual trust are the most effective and correct ways to safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Sun said the overall situation in the Asia-Pacific region is relaxing, adding that seeking peace, development, and cooperation has become the main policy choice of the majority of countries in the region. Under this circumstances, Sun said, countries in the region should abandon the “Cold War” mentality and adopt a new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation to join efforts for peace and development. He stressed that “enhancing military alliances and increasing milit! ary exercises will not be helpful to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”

6. PRC’s View on NMD

China Daily (“CHINA CRITICISES NMD,” Geneva, 09/23/00, P1) reported that PRC Ambassador Hu Xiaodi, when addressing the closing meeting of the 2000 session of the Conference on Disarmament, said that space is set to become the next arena of an arms race, if the US goes ahead and deploys its NMD system. Hu again called on the international community to negotiate an international treaty to prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space. Refuting the argument that the development and deployment of the US NMD system is to defend against a so-called missile threat from certain “countries of concern”, Hu said that the countries being referred to by the US are simply not in a position to pose any military threat in the foreseeable future, at least not to what is the most powerful country in the world. More importantly, the Chinese representative said, there is no motive for any small country to attack or threaten to attack the US with intercontinental missiles that carry weapons of mass destruction (WMD), unless that small country had decided to commit an act of suicide. “Providing such a reason for the NMD plan is not convincing at all. It is only a poorly designed excuse,” he said.

7. Russia’s View on NMD

China Daily (“RUSSIA JOINS IN CRITICISM OF NMD SYSTEM,” Geneva, 09/23/00, P1) reported that at the 2000 session of the Conference on Disarmament, Russia’s representative Vasily Sidorov urged the US to preserve and comply with the 1972 ABM Treaty. Sidorov said, “We are strongly convinced that the ABM Treaty remains the cornerstone of international stability and that it continues to serve as a basis to ensure further reductions in offensive arms.” The Russian representative warned that the collapse of the ABM Treaty would in effect disrupt the entire range of disarmament agreements drawn up over the past 30 years. Stressing that the non-proliferation of WMD as a principle is increasingly under threat, Sidorov said “the creation and development of the US NMD system would give a strong impetus to the proliferation of missiles and missile technologies. There would then be a shift in the positions of many countries on the issue of nuclear disarmament. The deployment of the NMD system is motivated by the perceived necessity to counter strategic ballistic missiles from some countries. However, the proliferation of such ballistic missiles is not likely to happen either today or in the near future. The changes in the international situation, which the proponents of amending the ABM Treaty are citing, can be in no way compared to those changes in the situation that could occur if this treaty is undermined and the process of disarmament is brought to an end.”

IV. Russian Federation

1. RF Naval Deliveries to PRC

Nezavisimoye voennoye obozreniye (“THE SECOND DESTROYER”, Moscow, 6, 09/22-28/00, #35(208)) reported that cruising and state tests of the second project 956E destroyer build by Saint-Petersburg “Severnaya Verf” Joint Stock Society for PRC had been successfully completed. The destroyer is to be delivered to PRC this November.

2. RF Anti-Aircraft Missile Deliveries to PRC

Nezavisimoye voennoye obozreniye (“BEIJING ACCEPTED S-300 “, Moscow, 6, 09/15-21/00, #34(207)) reported that “Oboronitelniye Sistemy” [“Defense Systems” in Russian] RF-Byelorussian finance industrial group had completed its contract to deliver S-300 anti- aircraft-missile system to the PRC. Tests were conducted and relevant acceptance documents had been signed by the PRC.

3. RF-Japan Relations Cooling Down

Segodnya (Aleksandr Chudodeyev, “TOKYO DENIED MOSCOW ITS CONFIDENCE”, Moscow, 3, 09/16/00) reported that Japan cancelled a visit of 30 officers of its Self-Defense Force to RF and refused to host a team of RF Defense Ministry representatives who were to visit Japan next week. Observers contributed the steps taken on the spy scandal that erupted a week before in Japan, when an RF Military Attache in Tokyo Viktor Bogatenkov was caught meeting Sigehiro Hagesaki and was accused of spying for RF. RF intelligence service experts doubted the official Japanese version of the events, saying: “There’s not even a smell of a real spy case here. The Japanese simply wanted to show Moscow its irritation with RF President’s unwillingness to solve the Southern Kurils issue in an accelerated manner.” During their summit RF President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Premier Ioshiro Mori agreed that RF Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev would visit Japan this November.

4. RF Scholar of RF-Japanese Relations

Nezavisimaia gazeta published an article by Professor Vladlen Sirotkin, Diplomatic Academy, RF Foreign Ministry (“WILL WE PLAY ‘GOLDEN BALL’ WITH THE JAPANESE”, Moscow, 3, 09/26/00), which criticized RF President Vladimir Putin and RF foreign policy establishment for their failure to counter Japan’s territorial claims to the RF with demanded the return of Russian Imperial gold paid by Russian anti-Communist White Guard leaders to Japan for weaponry supplies in 1920. Sirotkin said the supplies never came, but the gold did reach Japanese banks. The total amount of the gold with the interest accrued in 80 years is US$80 billion. Sirotkin did not ask for the gold to be returned, but that Japanese fund the interest for financing a construction of a nuclear power station in the RF Far East to sell electric power to Japan. According to Sirotkin, all document certifying to the gold transfer are safe and available, but for some reasons RF authorities, including RF President Vladimir Putin, do not mention the issue. The author also argued that a return of Southern Kurils to Japan would create a dangerous precedent breaking down the whole system of the post-World War II arrangements concerning both Asia and Europe.

5. DPRK-ROK Cooperation

Nezavisimaia gazeta (Dmitry Kosyrev, “TRAINS WILL RUN FROM SEOUL TO PYONGYANG”, Moscow, 6, 09/21/00) reported that earlier in the week ROK President Kim Dae-jung announced the start of reconstruction works at a railway uniting ROK with DPRK. ROK Construction and Transportation Minister told RF journalists that from now on the ROK were to become a peninsula in transportation terms, as it had been kind of an island before. After the construction it is planned to intensify ROK railway communications with RF, PRC and DPRK, with trains going from Pusan to “Transsib” to Europe, thus lowering the costs. The author noted that the DPRK-ROK rapprochement causes a gradual push out of US forces from the peninsula, with ROK therefore striving to increase its own defense capacity. In particular ROK would like to bargain for its right to increase the range of its missiles from 180 kilometers as stipulated by arrangements of 1979 to 300 kilometers.

6. DPRK Asking Europe for Diplomatic Recognition

Segodnya (Igor Dyomin, “PYONGYANG COMING OUT OF ISOLATION”, Moscow, 1, 09/22/00) reported that DPRK Foreign Ministry sent messages to nine European countries, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Great Britain, asking for establishment of diplomatic relations. The DPRK had previously established relations with with the Philippines, Australia and a number of European countries, chiefly Scandinavian.

7. DPRK-ROK Military Contacts

Segodnya (Natalia Roslova, “THE MILITARY OF TWO KOREAS BEGIN A DIALOGUE”, Moscow, 4, 09/27/00) reported that the first ever meeting of defense ministers of DPRK and ROK took place in ROK on September 26. However, no substantial issues were discussed. The ROK planned to discuss creation of a military hot line, mutual notification of on military units movements and exchange of observers to military exercises, but it was agreed that those issues were not appropriate to be discussed at the first meeting. It was agreed to continue negotiations.

8. DPRK Missiles Cane to Libya

The Izvestia (Vladimir Dunayev, “QUADDAFI THE MISSILE-CARRIER”, Moscow, 4, 09/26/00) reported that, according to the British “Daily telegraph,” the DPRK delivered to Libya some launching devices and several “Rodong- 1” missiles this summer. The 1000 kilometer range missiles can not only hit Israel, but Rome and Athens. Experts are concerned that Libyan leader Colonel Muamar Quaddafi may equip the warheads with chemical and nuclear weapons. The deal cost was approximately US$0.5 billion. The missiles were accompanied by nine DPRK engineers and technicians. Similar deliveries were disrupted twice in the past: first by the British customs and then by the Indian customs. According to the Research center on Defense and International Security of Lancaster University, Great Britain, at least 36 countries already possess various ballistic missiles, while 14 are busy developing them.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
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

Robert Brown: 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

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
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

Leanne Payton: lbpat1@smtp.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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