NAPSNet Daily Report 28 November, 2000

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Relations
2. ROK-DPRK Military Talks
3. Reunion of Separated Families
4. US-ROK SOFA Talks
5. Cross-Straits Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. US Troops in ROK
2. ROK Military Purchases from Russia
III. People’s Republic of China 1. PRC Missile Technology Control Commitment
2. PRC-US Missile-related Disputes
3. US Attitude to PRC Missile Commitment
4. PRC-Russia Relations
5. PRC-ASEAN Relations
6. KMT Leader’s Visit to Mainland

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA DEEMS RAPPROCHEMENT WITH SOUTH ‘IRREVERSIBLE’: EU DELEGATES,” Beijing, 11/28/00) reported that according to Dominique Girard, head of a European Union delegation to the DPRK, the DPRK believes there is no turning back from its rapprochement with the ROK. Girard said, “We were quite happily surprised with the tone on the questions pertaining to the situation on the peninsula. We noted with several (dialogue partners) … the expression ‘irreversible’ about the present situation and in particular a big optimism about the continuation of the process (with the ROK). After President Kim Dae-Jung is gone they think the process will still be continuing. They expressed again rather optimistic views on different aspects of their conversations with the South Koreans and the Americans.” The delegation arrived in Pyongyang on November 25 and was received by DPRK foreign minister Paek Nam-sun. Girard said the EU delegation had made a determined case for European views on non-proliferation and human rights and that the DPRK showed “a certain flexibility” on the rights issue.

The International Herald Tribune released an adaptation of ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s speech in Singapore on November 27 (“NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA FIND COMMON GROUND,” 11/28/00) in which Kim spoke of his trip to the DPRK. After a series of long talks over three days, Kim Dae-Jung said, “I was able to engage [DPRK leader Kim Jong-il] in serious and sincere discussions that produced some significant successes.” He said one noteworthy agreement between them was that the DPRK withdrew its long-standing demand that a centralized federal government be established for all of Korea to achieve unification. Instead, he said, the DPRK proposed a “loose form of federation” as the formula for unification and common ground has been found on which the two sides can start negotiating eventual unification. Kim said the DPRK also “consented to the South’s view that US troops should continue to stay on the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong Il also agreed to visit Seoul in return for my visit to Pyongyang. This is very significant. We expect his visit to take place by next spring.” Kim noted that improvements in inter-Korean relations and the settlement of peace on the Korean Peninsula “will provide East Asian countries with greater economic opportunities. Because of its geographical location, the North can become a gateway to great economic opportunities in the three northeastern provinces of China, in Russia’s maritime region of Siberia, in Mongolia and further afield in Central Asia. All of the countries of East Asia should take an active interest in trading with, and investing in, North Korea.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 28, 2000.]

2. ROK-DPRK Military Talks

The Associated Press (“KOREANS STUDY CROSS-BORDER TRANSIT,” Panmunjom, 11/28/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK on Tuesday discussed cooperation between their militaries in reconnecting a railway and building a four-lane expressway across their heavily guarded border. The ROK Defense Ministry said that the two countries’ military officers met at Panmunjom, where the ROK proposed safeguards for smooth cooperation between the troops during construction. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that at the military talks, the chief DPRK delegate, Senior Colonel Yu Yong-chol, accused the ROK of raising tension on the Korean Peninsula by staging a joint military exercise with the US in late October. KCNA said, “It is necessary for both sides to refrain from undertaking any military action aggravating the situation on the Korean Peninsula.” US Ambassador to the ROK Stephen Bosworth said Tuesday that no matter who wins the US election, the US will maintain its basic policy of engagement towards the DPRK. Some analysts have said a Republican administration would get tough on the DPRK in a potential policy discord with ROK efforts to build political and economic engagement with the DPRK.

3. Reunion of Separated Families

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “N. KOREANS HEAD SOUTH FOR VISITS,” Seoul, 11/28/00) reported that the DPRK will send mostly state-decorated luminaries and other politically loyal citizens to see relatives in Seoul. The DPRK is dispatching 100 relatives to the three-day reunions that begins on November 30, and 100 ROK residents will travel north. The ROK held a computerized lottery to choose 100 finalists from more than 90,000 people who applied for the reunions with relatives in the DPRK. Jeong Joon-hee, a DPRK expert at the ROK Ministry of National Unification, said, “These are people who are loyal and can advertise the North’s political system.”

4. US-ROK SOFA Talks

Agence France Presse (“US TROOPS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AT SOUTH KOREA TALKS,” Seoul, 11/28/00) reported that the ROK and the US will start talks on November 29 regarding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) under review. Officials and experts from the ROK and the US will hold two days of talks to prepare a full session of the SOFA accord talks starting November 31. The US delegation is led by Frederick Smith, deputy assistant defense secretary in charge of Asian and Pacific affairs. Song Min-sun, director of North American Affairs at the foreign ministry, will head the ROK negotiating team. The ROK hopes the latest negotiations will lead to a conclusion on a revised jurisdiction over criminal offenses committed by US soldiers. A foreign ministry official quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying, “We will also try to make a joint draft on environment and labor issues. Both sides feel the need to conclude the talks as soon as possible and the United States has shown its willingness to do its best.”

5. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse (“NO ROOM FOR US MEDIATION OVER TAIWAN: CHINA,” Beijing, 11/28/00) reported that the PRC on Tuesday rejected calls by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian for US efforts to defuse tension between the two sides and warned that it would not accept any foreign interference on the issue. PRC Foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “Regarding the role of mediation by the United States in cross straits relations, I would like to stress that there is only China in the world and Taiwan is part of China and the internal affairs of China. The Chinese people are entirely capable of handling this issue on their own. There is no need for other countries to participate or interfere in this question.” Chen said on November 27 that although the US had already ruled out playing any mediating role between Taiwan and the PRC, he felt US officials could do more to calm troubled relations between the two sides. Zhang rejected reports that the PRC was prepared to soften its stance on “One China” to allow a compromise on the thorny issue and pave the way for dialogue. She said, “There is no change at all on this most fundamental principle. There is just one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to this same country, I think that is very clear.”

Reuters (“TAIWAN CONFIDENT TIES WITH CHINA WON’T WORSEN,” Taipei, 11/28/00) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told visiting former US Vice President Dan Quayle on November 27 that he is confident that the island’s relations with the PRC will not worsen in the next 12 months. Chen’s office said in a statement on Tuesday that Chen’s government was committed to stabilizing ties with the PRC to create a healthy investment environment. Chen said that the government would “continue to use its wisdom, be responsible and prudent” in dealing with the PRC. In a separate meeting with a group of workers, Chen stated, “Resolving the cross-strait problem needs time, wisdom and creativity. I hope everybody will give the new government some space and time.” Chen shrugged off criticism of recommendations by his top advisory body on the PRC, saying an internal consensus was needed before the rivals could sit down and talk.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Troops in ROK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL, WASHINGTON LIKELY TO CLASH OVER SOFA,” 11/28/00) reported that sources said ROK and US officials will likely enter another heated debate over where to place the revised provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) when they hold another round of negotiations early next month. Sources said that the US is demanding that the revised contents be included in subordinate documents of SOFA, including the Agreed Minutes, Understandings on Implementation or Exchange of Notes. The two sides have discussed the revision of the SOFA clause on criminal jurisdiction over US military suspects and the establishment of new clauses on the environment, labor and quarantine. ROK officials said that it is too early to discuss where to include the revised contents with the US as the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the changes themselves. During the upcoming talks, the ROK is aiming at reaching an agreement on the revision of the clause on criminal jurisdiction, which would enable ROK authorities to take custody of US soldiers at the time of indictment. ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn earlier said ROK President Kim Dae-jung and US President Bill Clinton had agreed to complete the SOFA negotiations before Clinton leaves the presidency on January 20. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 28, 2000.]

The Korea Herald (“LAWMAKER CALLS FOR CUTS IN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR U.S. TROOPS,” 11/28/00) reported that ROK Representative Chung Jey-moon from the Grand National Party (GNP) on November 27 called for a further reduction in ROK financial contributions to the overall cost of maintaining US troops in the ROK. In a report to the National Assembly, Chung said that the ROK’s defense cost-sharing for fiscal year 2001 would amount to 493.4 billion won (US$429 million), accounting for 3.21 percent of the total defense budget. Chung said, “The cost-sharing figure has risen from 2.17 percent in 1995.” He said the nation’s financial contributions to maintaining US troops in the ROK amounted to 240 billion won in 1995 and rose to 290.4 billion won in 1997, 400.4 billion won in 1999 and 468.4 billion won in 2000. Chung said, “What is worrisome is that the increase rate of our defense cost-sharing is rapidly surging beyond that of the overall defense budget.” The ROK’s overall defense budget amounted to 11.07 trillion won in 1995, compared to 13.78 trillion won in 1997 and 14.47 trillion won in 2000. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 28, 2000.]

2. ROK Military Purchases from Russia

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “DEFENSE MINISTRY WEIGHS BUYING $500 MIL. WORTH OF RUSSIAN WEAPONS,” 11/28/00) reported that an official said that the ROK Defense Ministry is considering introducing about US$500 million worth of Russian defense equipment as repayment of part of the ROK’s US$1.8-billion loan to Russia. The official said that among the items the ministry wants to purchase are transport planes, refueling aircraft, decontamination helicopters, trainers for cadets and hovercrafts. He said, “At last week’s meeting of Korean and Russian defense officials in Seoul, we expressed our interest in buying the Russian weapons and asked the Russian side to send us detailed information on them. We have yet to decide on the purchase amount from Russia, but it could be about $500 million, roughly half the amount with which we earlier weighed buying three Russian submarines.” The ROK government has so far introduced some US$210 million worth of Russian weapons, along with about US$240 million worth of other materials. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for November 28, 2000.]

III. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC Missile Technology Control Commitment

People’s Daily (“CHINA ON NON-PROLIFERATION ISSUES,” Beijing, 11/22/00, P4) reported that on November 21, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sun Yuxi made the following statement on the issue of nonproliferation. “China is opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction…. China has no intention of assisting, in any way, any country in the development of ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons (i.e., missiles capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg to a distance of at least 300 km.)…. China will, based on its own missile non-proliferation policy and export control practices, further improve and reinforce its export control system, including by publishing a comprehensive export control list of missile-related items including dual use items. Logically speaking, this control list will include equipment, materials and technology that can be directly used in missiles, as well as missile-related dual use items. In establishing its control list, China will take into account the relevant practices of other countries in terms of scope and detail with a view to strengthening the effectiveness of its control system. As part and parcel of its efforts to enforce missile-related export control in accordance with this control list, the Chinese Government will naturally require all Chinese entities and individuals to obtain a government license for the export of items on the list. In making export-licensing decisions for items on the list, the Chinese Government will take into consideration the proposed end-use and end-user for the item and the risk that the item will be diverted to programs for the development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. In the case of transfers to countries that are developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, China will exercise special scrutiny and caution, even for items not specifically contained on the control list.”

2. PRC-US Missile-related Disputes

People’s Daily (“CHINA ON NON-PROLIFERATION ISSUES,” Beijing, 11/22/00, P4) reported that on November 21, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sun Yuxi answered questions regarding PRC’s position on the nonproliferation legislation targeted against PRC by a number of US Congressmen. “A few US Congressmen have been attempting to push for the passage of nonproliferation legislation targeted against China this year, to which the Chinese Government has expressed its strong opposition,” said Sun. “The US Government has repeatedly reiterated its position on this issue to the Chinese side that it has taken effective measures to oppose nonproliferation legislation targeted against China, because the US does not believe that additional sanctions legislation is the most effective means to pursue US nonproliferation objectives with China.” Sun added, “The US side also made it clear that it will recommend the same approach to the incoming US administration.”

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “SPOKESMAN REFUTES U.S. ALLEGATIONS OVER MISSILES,” 11/24/00, P1) reported that at a regular briefing, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi called the US allegation of the PRC sale of missiles to Pakistan and Iran as “rumors with ulterior motives.” He said that the PRC has serious policies and regulations concerning missile-related exports, and has exercised strict and effective control on the export of missile technology. Sun defined the “ulterior motives” as undermining PRC’s international image. Commenting on the US State Department’s sanctions on Pakistan and Iran for the alleged acquisition of missile technology from PRC, he said, “Our position has always been to oppose it.” “We hope that the US will honor its commitments,” Sun said when responding to the US’s decision not to impose sanctions on PRC on this issue.

3. US Attitude to PRC Missile Commitment

People’s Daily (“US WELCOMES PRC NEW COMMITMENT,” Washington, 11/22/00, P4) reported that the US Government welcomed the PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s statement regarding the PRC’s policy commitment on missile-related issues. The US State Department spokesperson said this development can strengthen cooperation between the US and PRC to achieve their common objective of preventing the spread of ballistic missiles that threaten regional and international security. Considering the PRC’s commitment to strengthen its missile-related export control system, the US has decided to waive economic sanctions required by US law for past assistance by Chinese entities to missile programs in Pakistan and Iran, the spokesperson said. He noted, given the relationship between missile nonproliferation and peaceful space cooperation, the US will now resume processing of licenses necessary for commercial space cooperation between US and Chinese companies, such as launching US satellites in China. In addition, he said, the US and China will resume discussions as soon as possible on extending the 1995 US-China Agreement Regarding International Trade in Commercial Launch Services. The US stands ready to continue to cooperate and hold consultations with China and other countries on the issue of nonproliferation with a view to strengthening their respective export control systems for missiles-related equipment and technology, said the spokesperson.

4. PRC-Russia Relations

Xinhua News Agency (“WANG KE MEETS RUSSIAN GUESTS,” Beijing, 11/22/00) reported that Wang Ke, a member of the PRC Central Military Commission and Director of General Logistics Department of the People’s Liberation Army, met a Russian Armed Forces Finance delegation led by first Deputy Chief of the General Military Budget and Finance Board of Russian Defense Ministry. Reviewing the friendly exchanges between PRC and Russian militaries, both sides admitted that PRC-Russian military-to-military relations are working well. Wang pointed out that it is a historical choice for the PRC and Russia to establish and develop a strategic cooperative partnership, which is also the need of world peace and stability. The PRC is willing to be Russia’s “good friend, good neighbor and good partner” forever, he said. Wang noted that the visit of the Russian delegation is helpful to facilitate development of military-to-military relations of the two countries, which will drive other cooperation between the two militaries. The Russian Chief said that Russia and PRC should strengthen military exchanges and cooperation.

5. PRC-ASEAN Relations

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “PRC PREMIER STRESSES IMPROVED LINKS,” Singapore, 11/25/00, P1) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji met with Indonesia President Wahid and his Malaysia and Thailand counterparts Mahathir and Chuan Leekpai, on the sidelines of the main ASEAN+3 (a meeting of ASEAN nations plus PRC, Japan and ROK) meeting on November 24. Zhu stressed that Indonesia is an important nation in East Asia, which was echoed by President Wahid, who said that the PRC’s increasing cooperation with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will promote economic ties between PRC and Indonesia. During a meeting with Mahathir, Zhu called for exploration in the Mekong River Basin and the establishment of pan-Asia highway and railway links. In talks with Chuan, Zhu praised the sound cooperation between the two in the fight against drug trafficking. The two leaders expressed their optimistic views about economic ties between the two.

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “COOPERATION WITH ASEAN TO INCREASE,” Singapore, 11/24/00, P1) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said while meeting Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong that PRC impending entry into the World Trade Organization will provide more opportunities for cooperation between the PRC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Relating to the positive role ASEAN plays in the region, Zhu said that the PRC attaches great importance to developing links with the organization. He added deepening relations through cooperation is in the interests of all countries in the region, noting that PRC supports the development of the Mekong Basin. Echoing Zhu’s remarks, Goh expressed ASEAN’s wish to enhance relations with PRC. He pointed out that it is necessary for countries to further support each other through voluntary efforts. The newsletter said that in this year’s ASEAN+3 meeting, several topics would be touched on such as the establishment of a free trade zone, currency swaps and development of the Mekong Basin. It also quoted Zhang Yunling, Director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, as saying that it is necessary for East Asian countries to enhance cooperation to deal with economic globalization. “In order to achieve long-term and substantial development, East Asia has to deepen relations not only in the economic field, but also in the areas of science, education, culture and even security, where mistrust still prevails,” he said.

6. KMT Leader’s Visit to Mainland

Jiefang Daily (“ONE-CHINA PRINCIPLE IS STRESSED,” Beijing, 11/24/00, P2) reported that Qian Qichen, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met on in Beijing with visiting Vice-Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung of the Kuomintang (KMT), urging Taiwan to stick to the one-China principle. Qian said that one-China principle is unshakable and cross-Straits relations will develop steadily as long as the leader of the Taiwan authorities recognizes the principle. Qian said that since July this year, he has been repeatedly stressing that there is only one China, that the mainland and Taiwan are both integral parts of China, and that the PRC will not tolerate any activities aimed at challenging the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. Qian said that the PRC is adopting a practical approach in adhering to the one-China principle. He concluded the meeting by expressing the hope that the people of Taiwan will understand the sincerity of the PRC on the issue.

China Daily (Liang Yu, “ENHANCED TIES HINGE ON MUTUAL TRUST,” 11/28/00, P1) reported that Wang Daohan, President of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), met on Monday with the visiting Vice-Chairman of the Kuomintang Party of Taiwan Wu Poh-hsiung, stressing that the PRC will try its best to resolve the Taiwan question by peaceful means. Wang said that both sides of the Taiwan Straits should strengthen exchanges and enhance mutual trust. He urged the new leaders of Taiwan to “show sincerity” and admit the one-China principle. “On this basis, we can talk about any issues,” said Wang. Both Wang and Wu agreed that a crucial task now facing the mainland and the Taiwan authorities is to resume the consensus that the two sides of the Straits both adhere to the one-China principle. “The KMT has always stuck to the one-China principle when dealing with cross-Straits relations,” said Wu, the most senior KMT Party figure to visit the mainland in the past 51 years. “We do not wish to allow the situation to retrogress,” he said. “I keenly felt the mainland’s eagerness to settle the Taiwan question with the peaceful return of Hong Kong and Macao,” said Wu. Described by Wu as “a graceful and wise man,” Wang said “he had always been prepared for a visit to Taiwan,” according to Li Qingping, spokesperson of the delegation. Sharing Wu’s idea that the peaceful reunification is a complicated issue that needs a great deal of coordination, Wang stressed the importance of cooperation across the Straits. “Both parties need to join hands and work for the future of China,” he said, “That’s simply because we are both Chinese.”

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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

 


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