NAPSNet Daily Report 28 July, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 28 July, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 28, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-28-july-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks
2. US-DPRK Relations
3. DPRK-Japan Talks
4. DPRK-New Zealand Relations
5. DPRK-EU Relations
6. DPRK Missile Program
7. Reunion of Separated Families
8. ROK-Japan Relations
9. Albright’s Japan Visit
10. Japan-Russia Fishing Row
11. Russian View of US Missile Defense
12. US Policy toward PRC
13. US Trade Bill on PRC
14. Taiwan Entry to WTO
15. US-Philippines Military Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Talks
2. Reunion of Separated Families
3. ROK Aid to DPRK
4. ROK MIAs in DPRK
5. DPRK-Japan Talks
6. DPRK Diplomacy
III. Japan 1. Japanese-DPRK Talks
2. Japanese Aid to DPRK
3. Japanese-ROK Talks
4. Japanese Stance on DPRK Missiles
5. Japanese View of PRC Maritime Activities
6. Japanese View of PRC Missile Threat
7. Japanese View of PRC-Taiwan Relations
8. Japanese Defense Legislation
9. Japanese Stance on US Missile Defense
10. Japanese-Russian Talks
11. Japanese Nuclear Policy
12. Australian Involvement with TMD

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

The Associated Press (Matthew Pennington, “ALBRIGHT, N.KOREAN MINISTER MEET,” Bangkok, 7/28/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met on Friday with her DPRK counterpart Paek Nam-sun. Albright said, “My meeting with Foreign Minister Paek constitutes a substantively modest but symbolically historic step away from the sterility and hostility of the past.” Paek gave Albright no details of an offer made recently by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to transform the DPRK’s missile program into peaceful efforts to launch satellites into space. Paek said, “the atmosphere is not ripe yet.” for the DPRK to dispatch a high- level delegation to the US to discuss improving ties.

2. US-DPRK Relations

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (“DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT JULY 27 AT ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM,” Bangkok, 7/27/00) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott told members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) that the US is supportive of the efforts that regional leaders have made to improve their bilateral ties, particularly with respect to the DPRK. Talbott credited progress towards a more stable Korean peninsula to Japan’s support through the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group, the PRC’s assistance through its participation in the Four Party Talks, and Russian President Putin’s recent visit to discuss, among other issues, the question of ballistic missile development. He said, ” Nowhere is the need for regional cooperation more needed or more evident than on the Korean Peninsula. We regard its decision to join the ARF as evidence that Pyongyang will commit itself to support and respect the purposes of this regional gathering.”

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “U.S. HUSTLING TO A NEW BEAT IN ASIA,” Bangkok, 7/28/00, P. A1) reported that foreign policy analysts believe that the DPRK’s recent diplomatic activity has led to events in which the DPRK, the PRC, Russia, and the ROK have taken the lead, and the US is belatedly trying to regain its lost leadership role. Kim Hyung-kook, a scholar at American University, said, “There’s a lot of people who are enjoying the sight of Washington being left behind.” A senior US administration official said, “When your focus becomes how do you work most effectively to deal with a situation that is finally moving in the right direction to produce outcomes all of us want, that is the kind of problem I’d like to have every day. I have no concern that the U.S. is going to be marginalized in this whole process.” Bates Gill, an Asian security expert at the Brookings Institution, said, “It was palpable in Washington that the U.S. was an outsider during the summit. All of this unfolded, and the Americans were in the peanut gallery. This obviously pleases the Chinese.”

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “N. KOREA MEDIA SOFTENS ANTI-US TONE,” Washington, 7/27/00) reported that a US official said that while negative coverage of the US by the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) still occurs, the stories are being picked up from foreign media outlets, with internally generated articles exhibiting a markedly less hostile tone towards the US. The official said that this trend is reflective of changes in the DPRK’s international relations. The official said that KCNA’s restraint matches the Clinton administration’s restraint as it tries to draw the DPRK to talks, but this restraint has not been emulated by many members of the US Congress.

3. DPRK-Japan Talks

Reuters (“JAPAN, N. KOREA TO HOLD NORMALISATION TALKS AUG 21-25,” Tokyo, 7/26/00) reported that the Kyodo news agency reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun signed a four-point declaration calling for mutual efforts to improve ties and encouraging various exchanges. The most concrete result was their agreement to set August 21-25 as the date for a new round of normalization talks.

The Los Angeles Times (Sonni Efron, “N. KOREA SEEKS BETTER TIES WITH SEOUL AND TOKYO,” Bangkok, 7/27/00) reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Chikahito Harada said that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun agreed to resume talks on normalizing relations with Japan, step up exchanges and visits between the two countries, and try to “settle the past.” In a separate meeting with ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn, Paek agreed to cooperate with the ROK in international diplomatic forums, including the UN. Choi Young-jin, ROK deputy minister for policy planning, said that the nuclear and missile issues were mentioned during the meeting, but he declined to elaborate. He said, “I am not going into detail because this is the first meeting in half a century–this is an opportunity for us, and we have to nurture and cherish it.” He also said that he had no further information about the DPRK’s scrapping of its missile program in exchange for access to international rockets to launch space probes. US officials have said that they want to know more about this reported offer, prompting speculation that Albright may raise the issue with Paek on Friday. L. Gordon Flake, executive director of the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, cautioned against assuming that the DPRK’s regime had fundamentally changed. He said, “North Korea has now begun an active process of engaging the rest of the world. But I’m not convinced that it portends policy changes, let alone systemic changes.”

4. DPRK-New Zealand Relations

The Wall Street Journal (“NORTH KOREA, NEW ZEALAND AGREE TO ESTABLISH TIES,” Bangkok, 7/28/00) and the Associated Press (Matthew Pennington, “ALBRIGHT, N.KOREAN MINISTER MEET,” Bangkok, 7/28/00) reported that New Zealand agreed on Friday to normalize relations with the DPRK. A DPRK statement on the meetings said, “In the meeting, the ministers reached the unanimity of views that the establishment of formal state relations between the two countries conformed to the international trend toward reconciliation and cooperation.” It also said diplomats would hold a working-level negotiations on the issue at an “early date.” New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff said that Paek reiterated the DPRK’s denial that it has nuclear weapons but told him there was “no secret” that missile systems had been developed.

5. DPRK-EU Relations

The Wall Street Journal (“NORTH KOREA MOVE TOWARD OPENNESS IS IRREVERSIBLE: EU PRES,” Bangkok, 7/28/00) reported that Charles Josselin, minister of state for France and the current president of the European Union (EU), said Friday that the DPRK’s movement toward greater openness and better relations with the outside world is “is irreversible.” Josselin, representing the EU, met on Thursday with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. EU External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten said, “There is still, to put it mildly, some way to go before we share the same views about human rights and many other issues. But I think we’ve seen a thawing and I hope that it may continue.” He also raised concerns about the human rights situation in the DPRK.

6. DPRK Missile Program

The Wall Street Journal (“ALBRIGHT MEETS NORTH KOREAN OFFICIAL IN HIGHEST-LEVEL TALKS IN HALF-CENTURY,” Bangkok, 7/28/00) reported that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer echoed concerns that supplying the DPRK with technology to lift satellites into space could end up in missiles instead. Downer stated, “As far as we are concerned, it might save the region a great deal of security anxiety if such a satellite were to be launched from a third country.”

7. Reunion of Separated Families

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “KOREA FAMILIES ANTICIPATE REUNIONS,” Seoul, 7/27/00) reported that the DPRK said that it had found 849 relatives for 138 people living in the ROK, and the ROK said it had located 1,667 relatives for 198 people from the DPRK. The DPRK list included 109-year-old Koo In-hyun, the mother of 72 year-old Chang Yi- yoon, a laborer who lives in Pusan. Chang said, “It’s unbelievable that at that age, my mother is alive. It’s like a dream. If I meet her, I will make a deep bow and hold her in a long, warm embrace.”

8. ROK-Japan Relations

Reuters (“SOUTH KOREA’S KIM EXPECTED TO VISIT JAPAN IN SEPTEMBER,” Seoul, 7/27/00) reported that Seoul newspapers said that ROK President Kim Dae- jung will visit Japan for three days in late September. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono invited Kim during talks with ROK Foreign Minister Joung-binn at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting in Bangkok. An ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “We haven’t confirmed it yet, but it looks like Lee accepted Kono’s invitation. Kim and Mori are likely to talk about their policy cooperation toward North Korea, including establishing diplomatic ties between Japan and North Korea.”

9. Albright’s Japan Visit

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (“STATE DEPT. ON ALBRIGHT ASEAN MEETINGS, JAPAN TRIP,” Honolulu, 7/26/00) reported that US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will travel to Japan on July 29- 31 following the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Bangkok, Thailand. He said, “She expects to have discussions on a full range of issues including our strong bilateral relations, regional issues and developments on the Korean Peninsula

10. Japan-Russia Fishing Row

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA SEIZES JAPAN FISHING BOAT,” Tokyo, 7/28/00) reported that Toyoshige Matsumoto, a Japanese coast guard spokesman, reported that the Russian coast guard seized a Japanese boat Friday on suspicion of illegally fishing in Russian waters in the Sea of Japan, 240 miles northwest of the Noto Peninsula and 185 miles northwest of Tokyo. The Miyajima Maru No. 28 and the seven crewmembers were escorted to Vladivostok by the Russian coast guard.

11. Russian View of US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, “N KOREA WELCOMED INTO SECURITY FORUM,” Bangkok, 7/28/00) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, speaking on the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program after meeting on Wednesday with US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, said that NMD was first promoted as a means of protecting US troops in Japan and the ROK, but now the idea has expanded to all of East Asia, removing any ambiguity about whether the shield would cover Taiwan. Talbott said later that a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system would “not necessarily” include Taiwan.

12. US Policy toward PRC

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State (“TEXTS: ASIAN PACIFIC CHARTER COMMISSION BILL, REP. GILMAN’S REMARKS,” 7/24/00) reported that US Representative Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, said that the most significant challenge to peace and prosperity in Asia would be the rise of a regional hegemon, and that the PRC “is the most likely candidate” for that role. He said, “It is obvious that the Beijing government is bent upon a policy of regional expansion and domination, and to eventually expelling the United States from the Western Pacific.” He argued that the US needs “a new national policy toward Asia … which addresses in a forthright manner both the opportunities and challenges presented by a continent in flux.” Gilman made these remarks in introducing a bill to establish an “Asian Pacific Charter Commission” that would “promote a consistent and coordinated foreign policy of the United States to ensure economic and military security in the Pacific region of Asia,” to support “democratization, the rule of law, and human rights in the Pacific region of Asia,” and to advance “free trade and open markets on a reciprocal basis in the Pacific region of Asia.”

13. US Trade Bill on PRC

The Wall Street Journal (Mark H. Anderson, “CHINA TRADE BILL CLEARS KEY HURDLE IN US SENATE,” Washington, 7/27/00) reported that legislation granting the PRC permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with the US cleared a key Senate procedural hurdle Thursday on a vote of 86 to 12. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said that the Senate would return to the PRC trade bill the first week of September, and several days of debate are expected. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms said that he would fight the bill. The bill was delayed in part because Senate Republicans used the trade bill as leverage on an annual appropriations bills and because they insisted that a PRC nuclear- proliferation monitoring bill be brought up for a vote before going to the trade measure.

14. Taiwan Entry to WTO

Reuters (“‘ONE CHINA’ ISSUE CLOUDS WTO CHINESE TALKS,” Geneva, 7/27/00) reported that the PRC’s attempt to place the statement “on the basis of one-China, China will be a member of WTO as a sovereign state” into a key text on its eventual entry into the World Trade Organization has lead to a stalemate on negotiations between the PRC and the US. PRC negotiator and Vice Trade Minister Long Yongtu said that the stance was “a matter of principle for us.” US trade ambassador Rita Hayes said, “I think it is certainly clear that the United States will not accept this.” Taiwan is currently known in the WTO lexicon as “Chinese Taipei” and is linked with former British and Portuguese colonies Hong Kong and Macau as separate customs territories. Taiwan had been expecting admission as Chinese Taipei under an agreement accepted in the 1992 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade by which it would be admitted immediately after the PRC.

15. US-Philippines Military Relations

The Associated Press (“ESTRADA BACKS U.S. MILITARY TRAINING IN PHILIPPINES,” Washington, 7/26/00) reported that Philippine President Joseph Estrada, in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the US that he supports the Visiting Forces Agreement that allows US soldiers to train on Philippine soil. He said, “Our alliance has seen both bad and good times. No other ally in the region has stood by you through all the wars in the last six decades. Once the decision was made to pursue [the Visiting Forces Agreement], however, my administration stood its ground and faced the opposition head-on.” As a senator in 1991, Estrada was a leader in rejecting a treaty that would have extended the lease on the last US military base in the Philippines.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “FOREIGN MINISTERS’ TALKS OPEN NEW ERA OF INTER-KOREAN DIPLOMATIC COOPERATION,” Seoul, 07/28/00) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “S-N FOREIGN MINISTERS PLEDGE TO COOPERATE ON DIPLOMATIC ISSUES,” Seoul, 07/28/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK on Wednesday pledged to cooperate with each other in international matters, officials said. The pledge on mutual cooperation was made when ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn held a landmark meeting with his DPRK counterpart, Paek Nam-sun, in Bangkok, during the intermission of a regional security forum. As part of their diplomatic cooperation in the international arena, Lee and Paek agreed on the need to hold a meeting of the leaders from both Koreas on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit in New York, the officials said. ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Young-nam, are scheduled to attend the diplomatic event slated to open in early September. Lee and Paek also agreed to promote the establishment of dialogue channels between the foreign ministries and closely cooperate for the DPRK’s bids to join international organizations like the Asian Development Bank. During the 30-minute talks, Lee proposed that the DPRK attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting slated to open in November in Brunei as an observer.

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “NK NOTIFIES GOVERNMENT OF MINISTERIAL DELEGATION,” Seoul, 07/27/00) reported that the DPRK announced on Thursday its five member ministerial delegation to visit ROK commencing July 28. The group will be lead by Chun Kum-jin, chief cabinet counselor; and includes Kim Young-shin, vice Minister of Culture; Yoo Young-sun, a director of the Ministry of Education; Choi Seong-ik, a department head of the Peaceful Fatherland Unification Committee’s secretariat, and Ryang Tae-hyun, a member of the cabinet secretariat. Chun was vice-chief of the Asia Pacific Peace Committee, but used the name Chun Kum-chul there. He has participated in two vice-ministerial meetings in April 1998 and 1999 in Beijing. Chun started his career in 1972 and has participated in most contacts between the two Koreas. Some critics claim that Chun is not a minister level official. A total of 35 people from the DPRK including aides and media representatives will arrive in Seoul on Friday following the government’s safety guarantee delivered on Thursday.

2. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “EXPECTATIONS RUN HIGH FOR THOSE CONFIRMING WHEREABOUTS OF THEIR NORTH KOREAN KIN,” Seoul, 07/28/00) and The Korea Times (Lee Soo-jeong, “SEOUL REVEALS LIST OF RELATIVES OF S. KOREAN REUNION CANDIDATES,” Seoul, 07/27/00) reported that among the 138 families on the list that the DPRK relayed to the ROK on Wednesday, 126 families were informed that more than one of their relatives in the DPRK is alive. The DPRK plans to hand over additional information about DPRK families of the other 62 ROK citizens by Tuesday. After receiving additional information, the ROK government will narrow down the number to a final 100 who would visit Pyongyang on August 15-18 to meet their kin. Although the ROK has yet to decide on the criteria for choosing the final 100 visitors, officials have said that the government would give priority to people who have spouses, parents, children and siblings in the DPRK over the aged.

3. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SEOUL TO SEND 100,000 TONS OF FERTILIZER TO PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 07/27/00) reported that the Unification Ministry said on Wednesday that the ROK will provide 100,000 additional tons of fertilizer to the DPRK next month. It will mark the second shipment of fertilizer aid sent by the ROK this year. Some 200,000 tons of farm chemicals were donated to Pyongyang in May and June. “North Korea has requested we assist with more fertilizer, stressing that the previous aid had greatly help its farming,” said Hong Yang-ho, director-general for the ministry’s Humanitarian Affairs Bureau. According to a ministry report, the DPRK’s fertilizer demand this year was estimated at 1.96 million tons, but its production stood at a mere 770,000 tons. In addition to the government-level aid of 200,000 tons, ROK private relief groups have sent 6,584 tons of fertilizer during the second half of this year, it said. “This fertilizer aid is being implemented without any conditions, based purely on humanitarian concerns,” Hong said. The latest UN report predicted that the DPRK’s food situation would continue to worsen this year and next, citing bad weather and lack of fertilizer. “The government expects this fertilizer aid will help further improve inter-Korean relations,” Hong said.

4. ROK MIAs in DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “GOV’T REPORTS 2 VIETNAM WAR MIAS ALIVE IN N. KOREA,” Seoul, 07/28/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said on Thursday that six ROK soldiers were listed as missing in action (MIA) during the Vietnam War. Two of them are presumed to have been sent to the DPRK and are likely still living there, it said.

5. DPRK-Japan Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Sang-un, “NORTH KOREAN AND JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTERS HOLD FIRST-EVER TALKS,” Seoul, 07/27/00) reported that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono held the first-ever meeting between foreign ministers of the two nations on July 26 in Bangkok. At the meeting, the two ministers discussed the possibility of reopening negotiations aimed at establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. As a result of the discussions, the two ministers agreed to hold another round of talks in Tokyo from August 21-25. They also agreed to resume discussions over further visitations to Japan by women who married Korean husbands and immigrated to the DPRK. In their joint communique, the two parties agreed to do their best to establish friendly relations between their countries and to promote mutual exchanges in a variety of fields.

6. DPRK Diplomacy

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “NORTH KOREA JOINS ARF, RAISING HOPES FOR FURTHER TENSION REDUCTION,” Seoul, 07/28/00), Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha- won, “NK OFFICIALLY JOINS ARF,” Seoul, 07/27/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “NORTH KOREA WINS INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION AS ‘NORMAL STATE’,” Seoul, 07/27/00) reported that the DPRK on Thursday formally joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF). Foreign ministers from 22 countries approved the DPRK’s bid to enter the regional consultative conference on security matters during the ARF session in Bangkok. “The North’s admission into the ARF is a signal that it would begin dialogue in earnest with capitalist countries on security matters,” said an ROK official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The DPRK’s admission into the ARF is expected to contribute to further lowering tensions on the peninsula because the dialogue forum calls for member countries to make public their white papers on defense, exchange visits of high-level officials related to security, and give prior notice of military drills. As a member country, the DPRK is also required to attend ARF sub-conferences on confidence-building measures, disaster control and peacekeeping operations. “In these contexts, the North’s joining the ARF is expected to help secure transparency on the reclusive regime’s security system,” said an unnamed diplomatic watcher.

III. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Talks

The Nikkei Shimbun (“DPRK’S DIPLOMACY STARTS AT ARF: FIRST-EVER JAPANESE- DPRK FOREIGN MINISTERIAL MEETING WAS HELD,” 07/27/2000) and the Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPANESE-DPRK NORMLIZATION TALKS TO BE RESUMED ON AUGUST 21 IN TOKYO,” 07/27/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun signed a joint statement at a hotel in Bangkok on July 26. The joint statement says that Japan and the DPRK would resume normalization talks between August 21 and 25 in Tokyo, that both countries would do their best to establish new friendly relations, and that both countries would strengthen their bilateral exchange. Paek said, “We would like to normalize our relations with Japan as soon as possible. But for that end, it is important to clear the past. If Japan came up with some political decision to clear the past, many other issues would also be solved.” Kono, on the other hand, said, “(Regarding the DPRK’s suspected abduction of Japanese civilians and the DPRK’s missile issue,) it is important for both of us to promote mutual confidence by understanding each other’s concern and national emotions and dealing with these.” The Yomiuri Shimbun added that Kono also requested Paek that visits to Japan by Japanese women married to DPRK men be resumed as well.

2. Japanese Aid to DPRK

The Asahi Shimbun (“KONO TOLD PAEK NAM-SUN THAT JAPAN WOULD RESUME NORMALIZATION TALKS IN SEPTEMBER,” 07/28/2000) and the Daily Yomiuri (Kazuo Nagata, “JAPAN MAY GIVE N. KOREA RICE AID, KONO SAYS,” Bangkok, 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said on July 27 that Japan would consider providing the DPRK with additional rice aid if the DPRK was confirmed by international organizations to be suffering from a food shortage. Kono said, “If international organizations, such as the World Food Program, say that (the DPRK) is suffering from a shortage of food, or ask us (to send the aid), we will consider how to deal with it.” Kono also told Japanese reporters that food aid to the DPRK was not discussed when he met his DPRK counterpart, Paek Nam-sun, on July 26. The Daily Yomiuri said that Kono set out two conditions under which Japan would extend food aid to the DPRK. Kono said, “(One condition would be) if North Korea’s social and political situations become more transparent so that we can clearly see that there is a food crisis.” Kono also said, “The other condition is that international organizations determine that a food crisis really exists.” The Daily Yomiuri added that the Japanese government has been considering extending rice aid to the DPRK to more than 150,000 tons. The Asahi Shimbun , however, quoted Kono as saying regarding the amount of possible additional rice aid to the DPRK, “We have no idea about (specifically) how much.”

3. Japanese-ROK Talks

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Kazuo Nagata, “ROK PRESIDENT TO VISIT JAPAN IN LATE SEPTEMBER,” Bangkok, 07/27/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and ROK Foreign and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn met at a hotel in Bangkok on July 26 and agreed that ROK President Kim Dae-jung would visit Japan in late September. They also decided that both governments would begin coordinating details of Kim’s visit. The report added that Lee said to Kono regarding G8 countries’ support for realization of the inter-Korean summit meeting and promotion of the inter-Korean dialogue, “I express my gratitude to Prime Minister (Yoshiro) Mori and Foreign Minister Kono for their efforts.”

4. Japanese Stance on DPRK Missiles

The Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER 2000 SAYS KOREAN PENINSULA STILL NEEDS CAUTION,” 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Kazuo Torashima reported at the cabinet meeting on July 28 on this year’s defense white paper. Torashima said, “Although the realization of the inter-Korean summit meeting is expected to lead to detente on the Korean Peninsula, it is necessary to continue to cautiously see if it would really lead to the resolution of the DPRK’s nuclear and missile issues.” Torashima also pointed out that the DPRK’s Rodong missile can still cover the whole land of Japan and that the DPRK still holds “special forces” consisting of approximately 100,000 agents.

5. Japanese View of PRC Maritime Activities

The Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER 2000 SAYS KOREAN PENINSULA STILL NEEDS CAUTION,” 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Kazuo Torashima pointed out at the cabinet meeting on July 28 that PRC maritime activities are increasing. Torashima specifically pointed out that a PRC ice-breaking and intelligence- gathering ship may have thrown some unidentified machine into the sea near Sea of Japan in May. Torashima said, “We need to closely watch (the PRC’s) increasing maritime activities.”

6. Japanese View of PRC Missile Threat

The Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER 2000 SAYS KOREAN PENINSULA STILL NEEDS CAUTION,” 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Kazuo Torashima reported to the cabinet on July 28 that this year’s defense white paper stated for the very first time that the PRC’s mid-range ballistic missile covers Japan.

7. Japanese View of PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER 2000 SAYS KOREAN PENINSULA STILL NEEDS CAUTION,” 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Kazuo Torashima reported to the cabinet meeting on July 28 regarding the cross-strait issue between the PRC and Taiwan, “Basically, there is still a gap (between the PRC and Taiwan) stance. Careful attention is need to moves toward peaceful resolution of the issues surrounding Taiwan.”

8. Japanese Defense Legislation

The Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE WHITE PAPER 2000 SAYS KOREAN PENINSULA STILL NEEDS CAUTION,” 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Kazuo Torashima reported to the cabinet meeting on July 28 that this year’s defense white paper states that the Japanese government thinks it necessary to legislate a contingency law, which would instruct how Japanese Self-Defense Forces would act in case Japan is directly attacked. The report added that the expression “The Japanese government thinks it necessary” is a major change from last year’s “The Defense Agency thinks it desirable (to legislate a contingency law).”

9. Japanese Stance on US Missile Defense

The Asahi Shimbun (“KONO SAYS MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM IS NECESSARY, SUPPORTING US AT ARF,” 07/28/2000) reported that at the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting in Bangkok on July 27, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono supported the US regarding the controversial missile systems. After both the PRC and Russia criticized the US National Missile Defense (NMD) and the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems as tipping the current strategic balance and leading to arms races, Kono said in support for the US, “The problem is that (there are nations that are trying to) build ballistic missiles or proliferate them.” The report also said that Japan chose to be silent about the issue of missile defense systems at the recent G8 summit meeting in Okinawa, but that Japan made clear its stance toward missile defense. Kono said, “Japan, which was chair nation at the summit meeting, had to moderate the whole meeting,” according to the report.

10. Japanese-Russian Talks

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Kazuo Nagata, “RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV SAYS SUMMIT MEETING SHOULD ALSO EXCHANGE VIEWS ON PEACE TREATY,” Bangkok, 07/28/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met at a Bangkok hotel on July 27. They agreed that during the visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan September 3-5, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Putin should discuss a peace treaty between Japan and Russia. Kono, however, said to Ivanov, “Although exchanges between Japan and Russia at all levels are important, the issue of peace treaty lies at the center of everything.” The report said that Kono’s statement refers to Putin’s suggestion at the last meeting between Mori and Putin during the G8 summit meeting in Okinawa that bilateral exchanges at all levels should come before the solution of issue of peace treaty. Ivanov, in response, only said, “Everything should be on the agenda of the (upcoming) meeting.”

11. Japanese Nuclear Policy

The Daily Yomiuri (“LONG-TERM N-ENERGY PLAN SUBMITTED TO AEC COUNCIL,” 07/25/2000) reported that the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) submitted to its internal council on July 24 a draft of the next long-term plan for Japan’s nuclear policy in terms of the study, development and use of nuclear energy. The draft calls for more private-sector involvement and government commitment to the issue of radioactive waste disposal. The council, according to the report, is to compile long-term policies and will be chaired by Sho Nasu, an adviser to the Tokyo Electric Power Company. The draft plan strongly urges shifting some of the onus of nuclear industry operations from government policy and entrusting decisions on the details of nuclear energy use to the private sector. The draft stresses, however, that the government should take the lead in measures for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. In the first part, the draft points out that nuclear power has become an essential energy source supplying about one-third of the nation’s electricity since 1973. It also said however that recent accidents, especially the criticality accident in Tokaimura last September, have increased public anxiety about the safety of nuclear energy and that public trust needs to be restored. The draft says, “For nuclear energy to play roles in supplying energy and developing science and technology, it goes without saying that safety must be ensured. The active disclosure of information and increased transparency in operations and companies in the nuclear energy industry are needed.” The latter part of the draft pointed out that long-term plans in the past presented specific numerical targets for nuclear plants’ electricity output, schedules for the development of a fast-breeder reactor, and a project to build facilities for processing mixed oxide fuel made of uranium and plutonium. The draft, however, removes as many numerical targets as possible to weaken the government control of the nuclear industry. The report added that instead, the draft calls for a shift to a policy, which would give more operational discretion to electric power companies and nuclear fuel processing companies.

12. Australian Involvement with TMD

The Japan Times (“AUSTRALIA REPORTEDLY WORKING ON MISSILE SHIELD,” Sydney, 07/25/2000) reported that according to the Sydney Morning Herald on July 24, Australia has been an active partner in US-led missile defense shield research. The report said that Australia’s Defense Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) has been conducting joint experiments in Australia with the US Defense Department on the early detection of ballistic missile launches as part of US research on theater missile defense (TMD) systems. The report also said that the TMD experiments in Australia is code-named Project Dundee, which stands for Down Under Early Warning Experiment, and have included over-the-horizon radar in tracking US-built rockets fired out to sea from the northwest coast of Western Australia. Senior researcher David Cartwright said in a DSTO report, “(T)he experiments compliment Australia’s long-standing cooperation in the US missile early warning program … aimed at developing a defense against theater ballistic missiles.” The report also said that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told the Sydney Morning Herald that the Australian government would support tests of the proposed national missile defense NMD system at the US electronic spy base at Pine Gap in central Australia. Downer said, “I don’t have any particular problems with that,” according to the report.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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

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

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

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.