NAPSNet Daily Report 28 October, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 28 October, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 28, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-28-october-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. DPRK Missile Development

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “NORTH KOREA CONTINUES TO DEVELOP MISSILES,” 10/28/99, 1) reported that anonymous US officials said that the Air Force National Air Intelligence Center, the US government’s missile monitoring center, stated in a classified report issued October 19 that the DPRK is “continuing Taepodong missile development.” They provided few details. One official stated, “They are still improving the TD-2 [Taepodong- 2] and proceeding with development. In fact, their level of confidence in the TD-2 may be high enough to have it available [for use] without any flight test.” An unnamed US intelligence official said Wednesday that while the assessment is that the Taepodong-2 could be tested at any time, “There are no signs” of an impending flight test. The report stated, “North Korea is more likely to weaponize the larger Taepo Dong2 as an ICBM that could deliver a several-hundred-kilogram payload to the United States.” It added, “A three-stage Taepo Dong-2 could deliver a several-hundred-kilogram payload anywhere in the United States.” Representative Benjamin A. Gilman, Republican- New York, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said Wednesday, “For the first time in our history, we are within missile range of an arguably irrational rogue regime. Regrettably, we cannot defend against that threat.” A US Defense Department intelligence agency reported earlier this month that the DPRK offered to sell the government of Sudan a factory for assembling Scud missiles. An official who has seen the report said that the DPRK also recently supplied Syria with 10 tons of aluminum powder obtained from the PRC. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 28.]

2. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA STILL HAS FOOD SHORTAGE,” Seoul, 10/27/99) reported that the ROK government-run Korea Agricultural Economy Institute said Wednesday that the DPRK would reap up to 3.6 million tons of food in this year’s harvest, an increase of 20 percent from last year. The institute said that the DPRK has increased potato farming and begun double-cropping, or planting two crops in the same fields in one year. In 1997, the DPRK produced 2.6 million tons of food, and about 3 million tons in 1998. The DPRK needs about 6.6 million tons a year to feed its 22 million people. Kim Un-keun, a senior researcher at the institute, stated, “North Korea will have a perpetual food shortage unless its inefficient farm industry is renovated.”

3. US Food Aid for DPRK

The Associated Press (Katherine Rizzo, “LAWMAKERS DEBATE N. KOREA FOOD AID,” Washington, 10/27/99) reported that the US House of Representatives on Wednesday held hearings about whether the DPRK should continue to receive food aid from the US if it cannot assure that the food reaches its intended recipients. Representative Tony Hall told members of the House International Relations Committee that it is not appropriate to put restrictions on food aid during a famine. Hall stated, “If you want to hold back on nuclear programs, if you want to hold back on development assistance, if you want to not lift sanctions, that’s one thing.” Regarding food, however, he said, “They are human beings and we should help them. Period.” Hall stated that a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) report “ignores two key facts, that [the World Food Program carried out] twice the usual number of spot checks,” and “that WFP is not policing the delivery of every grain of aid; it is simply ensuring that delivery systems in place are working.” The committee chairman, Representative Benjamin Gilman, Republican-New York, said that Republicans do not want to end the food aid but are worried about accountability. Gilman stated, “Despite assurances from the administration that U.S. aid will not go where food cannot be monitored, at least 14,000 tons of food aid, valued at $5 million was diverted to military counties where monitors are denied access.”

4. ROK-DPRK Trade

Reuters (“S.KOREA SAYS TRADE WITH NORTH UP 77.9 PCT IN 9 MONTHS,” Seoul, 10/27/99) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry said on Wednesday that trade between the DPRK and the ROK rose 77.9 percent to US$257.96 million in the first nine months of this year, from US$144.99 million in the same period a year earlier. The ministry said that the trade volume was the largest ever for the January-September period since the two countries started trading in 1989. It attributed the rise to an increase in non-commercial transactions, including the nuclear reactor project, tourism projects at Mt. Kumgang, and food aid. Non-commercial transactions rose 206.3 percent to US$130.37 million for the nine months, from US$42 million in the same period a year earlier. Commercial trading grew 24.5 percent to US$127.58 million from US$102.43 million a year earlier. The ministry said that the ROK’s imports from the DPRK increased 24.8 percent from the previous year to US$79.9 million, while exports to the DPRK rose 119.7 percent to US$177.9 million, compared with US$81.0 million a year earlier. In overall trade with the DPRK, the ROK posted a surplus of US$97.9 million, but excluding exports related to the nuclear reactors, humanitarian food aid, and tourism-related equipment, the DPRK posted a surplus of US$32.1 million.

5. Mongolia Prime Minister’s Visit to ROK, DPRK

Reuters (“MONGOLIA LEADER TO VISIT NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA,” Ulan Bator, 10/27/99) reported that Mongolian officials said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Rinchinnyamiin Amarjargal will make official visits to the DPRK on November 4 and 5, then visit the PRC from November 5 to 8 before going on a visit to the ROK until November 10. The officials gave no further details on the agendas for the visits.

6. Korean War Massacre

US Defense Department Spokesman (“PENTAGON SPOKESMAN’S REGULAR TUESDAY BRIEFING,” USIA Transcript, 10/26/99) stated that the US Army would dispatch a team of investigators to the ROK to meet with their counterparts on the Nogunri massacre. Bacon stated, “The Army team will be led by the Army Inspector General, Lieutenant General Michael Ackerman. And they’ll leave [Wednesday], go to Korea for a one-day meeting on Friday, and then come back. And this will be the beginning of the information sharing that Secretary Cohen has promised in a letter to President Kim Dae Jung in South Korea.”

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “AIRING AN UGLY SECRET,” No Gun Ri, 10/27/99, A24) reported that US and ROK officials are worried that the reports of Korean War massacres may fuel resentment against the US troops in the ROK. ROK Foreign Affairs Minister Hong Soon-young stated, “There is room for anti-American elements to exploit this. We don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the U.S. was here to defend human rights and they were here at the invitation of my government and people.” Hyun In-taek, a political analyst at Korea University, stated, “This is a small Pandora’s box; we open that, and there might be more. It could be a very thorny issue between the two countries.” He added, however, “The Korean people know Americans saved Korea in the Korean War. We will never forget that.” Lee Shin-bom, vice chairman of the ROK National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee, said that the massacre reports are “not surprising news. In many, many hills here you will find the bones of massacres by North Koreans, South Koreans–and Americans.” He added, “It’s important for America to admit what happened and apologize to restore the honor of the people of the village.” Chung Eun-young, a survivor of the Nogunri massacre, stated, “Every time we raised the issue, the government tried to blame us.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 27.]

7. US Military Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (Jim Abrams, “U.S.-TAIWAN SECURITY EXPANSION EYED,” Washington, 10/26/99) and Reuters (“US HOUSE PANEL VOTES TO BOOST TAIWAN MILITARY TIES,” Washington, 10/26/99) reported that the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee on Tuesday approved the “Taiwan Security Enhancement Act” by a 32-6 vote. The bill would increase training operations and exchanges between the US and Taiwanese militaries and establish lines of communications during crises. It also states that it is in US national interest to make clear that the US will protect Taiwan from outside coercion and force. A spokesman for the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense said it was too early to comment on a bill yet to be debated in the full House. US Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth told reporters said that the bill could ultimately undermine Taiwan’s security, adding, “These types of changes can be particularly destabilizing given the current environment.” House Asia subcommittee chairman Doug Bereuter, Republican-Nebraska, warned, “We should not underestimate the sensitivity of U.S.-China relations when it comes to Taiwan.” Kurt Campbell, a senior US Defense Department adviser on Asia, said that the question of whether the US had refused to provide Taiwan with missile defense systems should be discussed only in closed session. He added that the US had made “extra efforts” in recent years to ensure that Taiwan had adequate defenses.

Reuters (“CHINA SLAMS U.S. BILL BOOSTING TAIWAN MILITARY TIES,” Beijing, 10/28/99) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on Thursday that the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act would threaten PRC-US. Zhang said that the bill “intrudes” on the PRC’s sovereignty and “interferes with China’s internal affairs.” She stated, “We strongly urge the United States to prevent the bill from being passed as a law, which will jeopardize China-U.S. relations.” She added, “If the United States’ ploy materializes, it will thrust Taiwan towards declaring independence, harming stability across the Taiwan Strait and the region.” She warned, “The approval of the bill to enhance Taiwan’s security is an attempt to broaden U.S.-Taiwan military contacts and it hinders Taiwan from being reunified with its motherland.”

8. US-PRC Talks

The Associated Press (“U.S. DIPLOMAT REASSURES CHINESE,” Beijing, 10/27/99) and Reuters (Lee Chyen Yee, “US ENVOY STARTS TALKS WITH CHINA TO MEND TIES,” Beijing, 10/28/99) reported that US Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering on Thursday met PRC Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. US embassy spokesman Bill Palmer stated, “He is holding talks on strategic and bilateral issues with the Chinese vice foreign minister, but I don’t have any specifics on the agenda.” Palmer said that Pickering would also speak with other PRC officials throughout Thursday. An anonymous US diplomat said that the US hopes Pickering’s trip could push ties “one more step toward normalization” after the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia. Pickering told the PRC Foreign Affairs College on Wednesday that future US-PRC relations will continue to be “marked by cooperation, punctuated at times by disagreements and misunderstanding.” He added, “No longer are we only trying to balance separate agendas. Instead we are often discussing how best to realize our overlapping agendas.” Pickering said that no decision has been made to deploy theater missile defense “except where it is necessary to protect U.S. forces.”

9. US Ambassador to PRC

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, “LIKELY U.S. ENVOY TO CHINA HAS PLAN,” Washington, 10/28/99) and Reuters (“U.S. SENATE PANEL OPENS HEARINGS ON ENVOY TO CHINA,” Washington, 10/27/99) reported that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday began confirmation hearings on the nomination of retired Admiral Joseph W. Prueher as US ambassador to the PRC. Prueher said, “We need to keep our powder dry” in dealing with the PRC on issues like Taiwan. Committee Chairman Jesse Helms, Republicans-North Carolina, said that Prueher’s confirmation is likely.

10. PRC View of US

The Christian Science Monitor (Kevin Platt, “CHINESE OFFICIAL LOOKS UPON U.S. AS ‘ROGUE’ STATE,” 10/28/99) reported that Sha Zukang, director-general of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of the PRC Foreign Ministry, said that the US is the biggest threat to global stability. Sha stated, “Because the U.S. believes it’s the only superpower in the world, it can act at will, without regard for international law and international norms.” He said that the US seems to be developing a stubbornness against abiding by weapons control treaties and a greater penchant to use armed force. Sha said that the end of the Cold War, instead of bringing in an era of global peace, has created a US that is drunk with its own power and technological prowess. He said that the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade “was an obvious violation of the Vienna Convention.” He added that the US “still has to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.” He argued, “We might have already ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) if not for the bombing of our embassy in Yugoslavia.” He noted, “The U.S. has the biggest and most sophisticated nuclear arsenal in the world,” and could have secured that advantage permanently by signing the CTBT. He also argued that “the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty] is a cornerstone of maintaining global strategic stability,” and that if the US violates the pact after refusing to approve the CTBT, it “could trigger a worldwide chain reaction.” He stated, “This has the possibility to destroy all the progress we have made in nuclear nonproliferation … in the post-Cold War era.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 28.]

11. Japanese Nuclear Industry

The Associated Press (Shihoko Goto, “JAPAN PLANS TO PROMOTE NUKE PROGRAM,” Tokyo, 10/28/99) reported that Yasuo Baba, an official at the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, said Thursday that from November, the ministry will hold seminars around the country to explain the virtues of nuclear energy to the public. Baba stated, “We need to increase public understanding of nuclear energy, as it is the government’s firm position to continue using nuclear power as a principal source of energy.” The program will target academics, schoolteachers, and journalists, as well as members of the general public. Baba stated, “The seminars were definitely not planned because of Tokaimura. Discussions about having these seminars have taken place since the end of last year.”

12. Japanese Atrocities in World War II

The Associated Press (Janelle Carter, “JAPAN WWII EXPERIMENT DATA SOUGHT,” Washington, 10/28/99) reported that members of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and the New York-based Alliance in Memory of Victims of the Nanjing Massacre met with US Attorney General Janet Reno and Defense Department officials on Wednesday to press the US government to persuade Japan to supply information about human experiments in World War II. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that government officials promised to look into the matter. Cooper stated, “The attorney general was quite passionate about this issue.” Representative Tom Lantos, Democrat-California, sent a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Wednesday urging that Japan release the documents. If the government does not comply, Lantos said he plans to sponsor legislation in Congress that would declassify US documents relating to World War II in hopes of finding information. An official at the Japanese Embassy in Washington refused comment.

13. Japanese View on Pakistan

Reuters (Tahir Ikram, “TIMEFRAME URGED FOR PAKISTAN TO RETURN DEMOCRACY,” Islamabad, 10/27/99) reported that Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Ichita Yamamoto on Wednesday met with Pakistani President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar and sought a timeframe for restoration democracy and the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Yamamoto stated, “Japan will review resumption of its official development assistance if Pakistan shows a concrete process on return to democracy, like a timeframe, and a decision to sign the CTBT.”

14. US Nuclear Policy in Asia

Reuters (Jim Wolf, “U.S. MULLED NUCLEAR ARMS FOR ASIAN ALLIES IN 60S,” Washington, 10/28/99) reported that George Perkovich, director of the Secure World Program for the W. Alton Jones Foundation, said in a new book, “India’s Nuclear Bomb,” that the US considered arming India and other Asian states with nuclear weapons in the mid-1960s to counter the PRC and the Soviet Union. Perkovich wrote, “The basic idea was to make arrangements for friendly Asian countries to receive and militarily deliver low-yield tactical nuclear weapons that the United States would provide to them in the event of Chinese aggression.” He cited a declassified 1964 US Defense Department study that suggested the possibility of making nuclear weapons available to India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand, and the ROK. The book said the nuclear-sharing proposal called for developing facilities in partner states “to handle weapons if and when they were needed.”

15. Russian Exercises in Sea of Japan

The Associated Press (“RUSSIAN WARSHIPS PRACTICE FIRING IN SEA OF JAPAN,” Vladivostok, 10/28/99) reported that Russian officials said that warships of Russia’s Pacific Fleet conducted live firing training exercises in the Sea of Japan on Thursday. The warships, support vessels and naval aircraft fired at air and sea targets.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile bases

The Korea Herald (“N.K. BUILDING BASES FOR SCUD-C MISSILES,” Seoul, 10/28/99) reported that military authorities of the ROK and the US have confirmed that the DPRK is constructing missile bases at six different places for its Scud-C missiles. The DPRK is building bases in North Hwanghae, Chagang and Kangwon Provinces, with the one in Pyongsan County, North Hwanghae Province, comprised of three battalions with some 40 Scud-Cs. At other bases, the DPRK is constructing underground launching pads and tunnels, said military officials.

2. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Herald (“LAWMAKER TO VISIT N.K. TO ARRANGE PERFORMANCE,” Seoul, 10/28/99) reported that ROK ruling party legislator Kim Kyung-jae plans to visit the DPRK early next month as head of “Primo Cantante,” a group of vocalists, to arrange a performance in Pyongyang. “I have already received an invitation from North Korea and am taking necessary steps for the visit,” Kim said. ROK Unification Ministry officials said that although Kim is an incumbent lawmaker, he will make the visit solely in a private capacity. A group of 12 legislators went to Pyongyang in 1991 to attend an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference there. Kim will become the first incumbent lawmaker to enter Pyongyang alone.

3. ROK-US Joint Military Exercise

The Korea Herald (“ROK, U.S. START COMBINED MILITARY EXERCISE FOAL EAGLE,” Seoul, 10/27/99) reported that the ROK and the US on Wednesday kicked off a 10-day combined rear area protection exercise, code- named Foal Eagle, in various locations across the ROK. Some 300,000 ROK soldiers and 35,000 US troops are participating in the exercise, which includes river-crossing drills in Kyonggi Province, amphibious landing exercises on the east coast near Pohang, and a chemical decontamination exercise in Pusan.

4. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “MINISTER HONG URGES PYONGYANG TO GIVE UP ‘MILITARY-FIRST’ POLICY,” Seoul, 10/27/99) reported that ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hong Soon-young on Wednesday called for the DPRK to give up its military-oriented policy and instead focus on improving its unproductive agricultural sector. “The North Korean authorities must realize that their present conditions will keep deteriorating if they stick to their present policies and means,” Minister Hong said during a speech at a forum held to commemorate the 54th United Nations Day. He noted that under the DPRK’s “army-first” policy, most resources available in the DPRK will continue to be set aside for military build-up and missile development, saying, “These resources should be redirected to other industries, in particular for agricultural reform.” “We are prepared to help, if the North changes course to this direction,” Hong told the forum, which included about 70 foreign diplomats. He also dismissed the DPRK’s accusations that the ROK government’s engagement policy aims to foster antagonism and confrontation and absorption of its socialist society. The engagement policy aims to help the DPRK rebuild its economy and return to normal, peaceful activities in the international community, he said, stressing that it does not aim to isolate or absorb the DPRK. Hong then appealed to the international community to pay more attention to the increasing numbers of DPRK defectors. “The fundamental solution to the refugee problem is to eliminate the cause of their flight and to help them return and a lead stable, secure life in their homeland,” he said. “The same prescription holds true for the North Koreans who have left the country in search of food.” The foreign minister also reiterated the need to establish a security dialogue in Northeast Asia, saying the countries in the region should strengthen mutual trust through dialogue.

5. ROK View on DPRK Refugees

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, “LAWMAKERS CALL FOR STEPS TO HELP NK REFUGEES,” Seoul, 10/26/99) reported that ROK lawmakers of both the ruling and opposition parties on Tuesday called for government efforts to find a solution to the problems of DPRK refugees. “In order to help resolve the situation, the government needs to prepare a budget rather than simply leaving the matter to non-governmental organizations (NGOs),” said Representative Kim Sang-woo of the ruling National Congress for New Politics (NCNP). In an Assembly interpellation on foreign affairs and unification policies, Kim went on to call on the government to continually raise the human rights issues facing the DPRK citizens at international organizations.

6. DPRK Food Shortage

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “NORTH KOREA MAY SUFFER FROM FOOD SHORTAGE OF 3 MILLION TONS NEXT YEAR,” Seoul, 10/28/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Lee Jun, “NK TO FACE GRAIN SHORTAGE OF 3 MIL. TONS NEXT YEAR,” Seoul, 10/27/99) reported that despite a sharp increase in the DPRK’s grain output this year, it will still likely suffer from a food shortage of about 2 to 3 million tons next year, a report said. The DPRK’s grain production is estimated to reach between 3.4 million and 3.86 million tons this year, an increase of 10 to 20 percent from last year. However, the DPRK would still need almost as much as its output to meet its total food demand, estimated at 6.57 million tons in 2000, said the report by the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI), a government think tank. “By deciding to focus on agriculture as a prerequisite to building a strong nation, the North has allocated its resources to the farming sector ahead of all others, while pushing for plant breeding, double cropping and large-scale rearrangement of farmlands,” the report said. This notwithstanding, the DPRK will still suffer from chronic food shortages, and the international community should keep helping out, it added. The report suggested the provision of not only food, but also fertilizer, agricultural technology and farming equipment. The report pointed out that DPRK’s “farmers’ markets,” where capitalistic transactions take place, have played a key role in the distribution of farm goods and various other necessities of life among DPRK citizens, adding that the number and scale of the markets have been increasing. There are about 300 to 350 such free markets, many of which are concentrated in the regions bordering the PRC, it said. In addition to basic supplies, banned items such as medicinal supplies and precious metals are also available, the report said.

7. Mt. Kumgang Tour

The Korea Herald (“FOREIGNERS MADE TO WAIT OUTSIDE MT. KUMGANG,” Seoul, 10/28/99) reported that Hyundai Group officials said on Thursday that a group of foreigners taking the tour to DPRK’s Mt. Kumgang were denied entry for a few hours for unknown reasons. Hyundai’s cruise ship “Pungak-ho” arrived at the DPRK port with 290 passengers, including 11 foreigners, early in the morning as scheduled, but foreign tourists were refused admittance and were forced to stay behind. They were finally allowed to disembark around 10 a.m., two and one-half hours after ROK tourists left the ship, after negotiations with Hyundai officials. The reasons for the refusal and content of the negotiations were not immediately known. Sources said that the DPRK indicated on Sunday, when the first group of foreign travelers arrived at Mt. Kumgang, that working-level negotiations had not yet been concluded and that Hyundai should not send another group of foreigners.

8. Canadian Firm in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “CANADIAN FIRM BUILDING DELUXE HOMES IN NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 10/27/99) reported that a Canadian housing construction company has reportedly been building 10 western-style houses complete with large yards and gardens in the DPRK. The Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) announced on Wednesday that the DPRK recently contracted a Canadian firm to construct 10 pre-assembled houses, and apparently 4 out of the 10 have already been completed. Twelve Canadian workers are in the DPRK for the construction, whose location is about 100 kilometers from the capital Pyongyang. The DPRK administration already paid US$2 million in cash to the company, and the houses are probably intended for either Korea Workers’ Party members’ exclusive summer house or foreign dignitaries who visit there.

9. ROK View on Disarmament

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “HONG URGES WORLD POWERS TO DISMANTLE NUKES,” Seoul, 10/26/99) reported that ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Hong Soon-young on Tuesday urged the US, Russia and other nuclear powers to make a concerted effort toward dismantling their nuclear arms. Under the theme of “The United Nations and Korea: Challenges of the New Century,” he made the remarks in a speech during a luncheon hosted by the United Nations Association of Korea on the occasion of the 54th UN Day at Lotte Hotel. Minister Hong singled out nonproliferation and disarmament as the most important missions the world body should carry out amidst accelerated globalization. “Nonproliferation and disarmament should be advanced, and terrorism must be stopped. The spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including missiles, has yet to be effectively controlled. The efforts of the United States, Russia and other nuclear powers to dismantle their nuclear arms have not met our expectations,” Hong said.

10. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Kang Hyo-sang, “US NOGEUN-RI TEAM TO VISIT KOREA,” Seoul, 10/26/99) reported that the US Embassy in Seoul announced on Monday that a US investigation team, led by US Army Inspector General, Lieutenant- General Michael Ackerman, will visit the ROK for three days from October 28 to look into the Nogun-ri massacre incident. The team of seven or eight investigators will meet and talk with survivors of Nogun-ri and discuss cooperative measures with the ROK government’s investigation team. An official at the embassy said that it was possible the US delegates might suggest the granting of immunity for people involved in the massacre so that the truth could be revealed as early as possible. The official added that the ROK government’s opinion is to respect the views of the victims.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. ROK-US Military Exercise

People’s Daily (“ROK, US HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE,” 10/27/99, A6) reported that the ROK and the US began a massive joint military exercise on October 10 in the area south of Seoul. According to the report, the “Foal Eagle” military exercise is designed to test rear area protective operations and the command and communication system. The exercise is also used to accumulate experiences of field operations and to improve the cooperative capability between the ROK and the US in combat, the report said.

2. Northeast Asian Economic Cooperation

Business Weekly (Zhang Yan, “NORTHEAST ASIA FREE TRADE ZONE CONSIDERED,” 10/24-30/99, A1) reported that Chulsu Kim, president of the ROK’s Sejong Institute, said it is time to seriously consider creation of a free trade zone in Northeast Asia. While addressing a seminar on Northeast Asian economic cooperation organized by the ROK Embassy in Beijing last week, Kim said that although the current economic scale of the three Northeast Asian economies – the PRC, Japan and the ROK – as a whole is smaller than that of the European Union or North American Free Trade Agreement, it will exceed the latter two entities in the future, when the huge potential of the three economies is considered. “The establishment of closer ties among China, Japan and South Korea will greatly benefit the three economies,” said Kim. However, historical factors and a complicated security situation in the Northeast Asian region are likely to impede collaboration of the three economies in the short term, Kim said. He proposed that a Trilateral Economic Commission consisting of high-ranking governmental officials be established first to pave the way for a cooperative circle.

3. PRC View on Korean Peninsula

People’s Daily (Xu Baokang, “THREE BRIGHT POINTS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA,” 10/22/99, A7) carried an article saying that recently there have arisen three bright points on Korean Peninsula. The first bright point according to the article is a positive change that has appeared in DPRK-US relations. It said that a policy adjustment has been made by the US in its DPRK policy from “isolation and containment” to stress on “coexistence,” as the US has partially lifted its half-century economic sanctions against the DPRK. The second is an easing of tension to help build up a peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula. This is an important step made in line with the “four-party conference,” and each party has made clear its stand to push forward the cause of peace under a “consultation mechanism” on the Korean Peninsula. Third, an active effort has been made to develop people-to-people exchanges and non-governmental economic and trade cooperation between the DPRK and the ROK, with positive results achieved. The article said that the PRC has always given its support to the DPRK and the ROK in their effort to strive for national independence and unification without interference from the outside. The PRC has played an important constructive role in protecting the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, said the article. According to the article, Japan as a neighbor has also made known to the DPRK its desire for an improvement of DPRK-Japan relations following the great tide for an easing of tension on the Korean Peninsula. The article said that the appearance of the three bright points on the Korean Peninsula is by no means accidental. It serves as something for the countries concerned to reflect on. Meanwhile, it may serve also as an effort for the countries related to explore in the future so that new advances are made on the Korean Peninsula, the article said.

4. PRC Views on US Policy to DPRK

People’s Daily (Zhao Jiaming, “A FAVORABLE TURNING IN DPRK-US RELATIONS”, 10/22/99, A7) said that the US decision to partially lift its sanctions against the DPRK and the positive response from the DPRK are conducive to maintaining mutual contacts and gradually establishing mutual trust. Those tendencies and steps are positive to normalize the two countries’ relations, the article said. However, there still are important differences between the DPRK and the US. The DPRK insists the US should withdraw its troops stationed in the ROK and the two countries should sign a new peace agreement. These are regarded as signs of the US hostile policy towards the DPRK and the barriers to realizing complete normalization of DPRK-US relations, the author said. However, the US believes that it accords with US interests on the Peninsula to maintain troops in the ROK and claimed that it will not withdraw troops from the ROK at the current stage. The US also required the DPRK to attach importance to the ROK’s status and roles in solving the Korea problem. The US emphasized the importance of improvement of ROK-DPRK relations and said that it will coordinate with the ROK on the issues related to relations with the DPRK. According to the article, the rancor between the DPRK and the US cannot be removed in the short term. The improvement of DPRK-US relations is restricted by the situation on Korean Peninsula, the article said. It will be influenced by the DPRK-ROK relationship, especially by incidents that occur suddenly. All of those indicate that the normalization DPRK-US relationship will not be a smooth process.

An article in People’s Daily (Ma Shikun and Zhang Yong, “FROM BLOCKADE TO DE-FREEZING,” 10/22/99, A7) said that the US decision to partially lift its sanction against the DPRK reflected that the US self-examined the ineffectiveness of its policy to the DPRK. The international community’s efforts also pushed forward the adjustment of US policy, the article said. While describing adjustment of US policy as a realistic and wise choice, the article also pointed out that there still are many variables and negative elements in DPRK-US relations. The US policy of “engagement and containment” restricts the further and wider improvement of DPRK-US relations, the article said. Considering that the US generally does not adopt important diplomatic actions in election years, the article said, US- DPRK relations will not see essential changes before 2001 unless something special happens.

5. PRC Views on ROK Policy to DPRK

An article in People’s Daily (Wang Linchang, “ROK PURSUES CO-EXISTENCE AND COOPERATION,” 10/22/99, A7) said that it has always been the ROK government’s major goal to pursue the improvement of ROK-DPRK relations and realize the long-term stability and durable peace on Korean Peninsula. Facing the easing of US sanctions against the DPRK and the change of DPRK-US relations, the ROK government announced that it would continue its “sunshine policy” toward the DPRK and take more active and positive attitude to further push forward economic cooperation and non-governmental exchange with the North. However, the article pointed out that the official contacts between the ROK and the DPRK still stagnate, although the two sides have made progress on economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. The ROK government has always expected and pursued direct dialogue between the ROK and the DPRK to resolve the Korean problem, the article said. However, the article said the conditions and time are not mature at present, although both the ROK and the DPRK have recognized the necessity to make high-level dialogues.

6. PRC Views on Japanese Policy to DPRK

People’s Daily (Yu Qing, “JAPAN: DIALOGUE AND CONTAINMENT,” 10/22/99, A7) carried an article saying that the current policy of Japan toward the DPRK is the combination of dialogue and containment. As improving relations with the DPRK will be more beneficial to Japan’s security, Japan, as a neighbor of the DPRK, will not give up its efforts to resume the establishment of diplomatic relationship with DPRK, the article said. According to it, dialogue belongs to political behavior, while containment has more of a military meaning. Japan did a lot of preparatory work in the media to carry out containment actions, the article said. According to it, Japan seized the issue of DPRK’s launching of “missile” to exaggerate matters. This was not only to expand the operation area of Japan’s military forces, the article said, but also to pave a way for the amendment of Japan’s constitution. People have to maintain vigilance on Japan’s political tendency and military strategy, the article said.

7. PRC-US Relations

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “BOMBING COMPENSATION NEGOTIATIONS PROGRESS,” 10/27/99, A1) reported that the fourth round of negotiations between the PRC and the US on compensation for the NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade in May has achieved some progress. Referring to last week’s negotiations as “frank and in- depth,” PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on October 26 that the two sides have agreed to continue discussions. Turning to Monday’s Joint Economic Committee meeting between US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and PRC Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng, Zhang said both participants were in agreement that such dialogue can promote mutual understanding in economic and financial fields, thus contributing to bilateral relations. The spokeswoman said that the PRC and the US have agreed to resume talks at the vice-foreign minister level. US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering is scheduled to come to the PRC later this week to “hold political consultations on strategic and bilateral issues,” according to the US Embassy in Beijing, the report said.

8. PRC Policy on Taiwan, Tibet Issues

China Daily (“PRESIDENT SPELLS OUT KEY ISSUES,” 10/26/99, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin expounded on the PRC’s policies on major domestic and international issues in a written interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro before his visit to France. During the interview, the president reaffirmed the PRC’s basic policy of “peaceful reunification and one country, two systems” in resolving the Taiwan issues. He said that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui’s “state-to-state” remarks are a brazen provocation to the world-acknowledged “one-China” principle. “Taiwan compatriots are our blood brothers and sisters,” Jiang said. “The fact that we do not undertake to renounce the use of force is not directed at the Taiwan compatriots but at foreign forces that interfere in China’s reunification, and at the attempts of splittist forces in Taiwan that call for ‘Taiwan independence’.” The Chinese government and people will not sit idle before any political attempt to separate Taiwan from China, he said. During the interview, President Jiang also outlined the conditions for the central government to open talks with the Dalai Lama over his personal future. Jiang said the Dalai Lama must truly give up advocacy of “independence of Tibet” and stop his activities to split the motherland. In addition, the Dalai Lama must declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and recognize that Taiwan is a province of China. He must, Jiang said, acknowledge the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.

9. Across-Taiwan Straits Relations

China Daily (Sun Shangwu, “TAIWAN TO STUDY QUAKE EXPERIENCES,” 10/28/99, A1) reported that nearly 50 people from Taiwan, including seismologists, architects and members of the island’s “legislative yuan,” will tour the PRC from Sunday to Thursday to gain some experience in dealing with earthquakes. They will travel to Beijing and Tangshan — a city in northern Hebei Province hit by a devastating earthquake in 1976, the report said. They will also probably visit Shanghai, an official from the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) said on October 27. If they do, it is still unclear whether ARATS President Wang Daohan will meet them, the report said. The official told China Daily that the delegation members come from three of the island’s political parties: the New Party, the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party.

10. PRC, Russian Position on ABM Treaty

China Daily (“DEFENSE OF ABM TREATY SUPPORTED,” United Nations, 10/23/99, A1) reported that the PRC voiced support on October 21 for Russia in its effort to defend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which represents the cornerstone for maintaining global strategic balance. The PRC also voiced strong opposition to any attempt by the US to amend the treaty, the report said. Ambassador Hu Xiaodi, PRC delegate to the First Committee of the 54th General Assembly, made the statement during a press interview at the UN headquarters in New York. Hu said that he supported the Russian draft resolution, entitled “Preservation of and Compliance with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.”

People’s Daily (Liu Gang, “RUSSIA SAYS ‘NO’ TO ABM TREATY REVISION,” 10/28/99, A6) carried an article written by the daily’s residential reporter in Moscow saying that US Undersecretary of State for Disarmament John Holum has been seen earlier to have a two-day talk at Moscow with Russian Vice Foreign Minister on the Third-Phase Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM). Because of firm opposition from Russia to a US proposal for a revision of the ABM Treaty, nothing has come out of the Moscow talks, the report said. The official view of Russia is that nothing could have been expected from the US-Russian anti-ballistic missile talks, the report said. So as things were during the Moscow talks each party just hung on a different tone, it said.

11. PRC Position on CTBT

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “CHINA STANDS FIRM ON TEST BAN TREATY,” 10/25/99, A2) reported that Sha Zukang, director-general of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of the PRC Foreign Ministry, said that the PRC’s stance on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban (CTBT) remains unchanged after the US Senate’s recent decision not to ratify the treaty. Sha said during an interview with China Daily that the PRC will ratify the treaty to encourage its earliest possible adoption by the international community. “The National People’s Congress (NPC) is expected to make a decision on the ratification, upon its thorough deliberation of the treaty as well as the international security situation and the possible future developments in security environment,” said Sha. “The guesses on what China will do in response to the US Senate decision are groundless,” said Sha, adding, “They have emerged out of either ignorance or ulterior motives.” He promised that the PRC would not conduct any nuclear tests nor carry out any activities in violation of the treaty even before the NPC ratifies the treaty.

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.
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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
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage: 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: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

Leanne Paton: anjlcake@webtime.com.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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