NAPSNet Daily Report 29 July, 1998

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 29 July, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 29, 1998, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-29-july-1998/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Announcement

I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN GOV’T SEEKS DIET OK FOR N. KOREA NUCLEAR PAYMENT-KYODO,” Tokyo, 07/29/98) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news said Wednesday that, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry sources, the government will seek Diet approval this year for the US$1 billion that Japan has agreed to pay for the project to build two light-water nuclear reactors in the DPRK. The sources said that the government plans to submit a bill concerning Japan’s financial obligation to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) during the 70-day extraordinary session that begins Thursday. Peripheral construction work for the two reactors is scheduled to be completed in August.

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2. DPRK Missile Development

The Washington Post (Walter Pincus, “BURIED MISSILE LABS FOIL U.S. SATELLITES,” 07/29/98, A01) reported that a bipartisan commission said that the DPRK, Iran, and other countries are concealing their ballistic missile programs from US spy satellites by using enormous underground laboratories and factories to build and test the weapons. The panel chairman, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, recently told the US House of Representatives National Security Committee that the DPRK, Iran, Russia, and the PRC “have made extensive use of the underground construction, which enables them to do things such as development and storage and, indeed, even launching from underground, hidden silo areas.” One panel member said that the DPRK has created “an underground city” to hide the development of its Rodong missile. William Graham, another panel member and former science adviser to US President Ronald Reagan, told a congressional hearing that the Rodong “was operationally deployed long before the U.S. government recognized that fact.” Graham said that the US has “ample evidence” that the DPRK “created a sizable missile production infrastructure and therefore it is highly likely that considerable numbers of No Dongs have been produced.” The commission also criticized US analysis of the available data. One commissioner said of recent analyses, “They looked for test firing stands, test flights and factory square footage. The North Koreans were not that concerned with safety and accuracy and for all we know only tested once.”

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3. Alleged DPRK Infiltrations

Reuters (“N. KOREA WANTS S. KOREA TO APOLOGIZE FOR ‘ARMED AGENT’,” United Nations, 07/28/98) reported that the DPRK sent a letter to the UN Security Council on Tuesday demanding that the ROK apologize for saying a body washed ashore earlier this month was that of an armed DPRK agent. Li Hyong-chol, DPRK ambassador to the UN, stated, “The so-called infiltration of an armed agent claimed by the South Korean authorities has nothing to do with us, and therefore, we are not concerned about it.” He added, “We demand an apology from the South Korean authorities and strongly urge them to stop aggravating the North-South confrontation at the United Nations forum.” Li argued, “South Korea is kicking up a ruckus against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea alleging that, on July 12, 1998, the body of an armed agent was found, along with propellant used for infiltration, at the coast of Mukho, south Kangwon Prince, which they concluded was an infiltration of an armed agent from us.” The letter did not ask for action from the council but requested it be circulated as a UN document.

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4. Food Aid for DPRK

The California State News Service (“VALLEY RICE HEADS FOR NORTH KOREA,” Sacramento, 07/28/98) reported that more than 14-thousand tons of Sacramento Valley rice was loaded aboard a ship in San Francisco Tuesday for shipment to the DPRK. Farmers Rice Cooperative Vice President Bill Huffman said that his group submitted the best bid for the rice contract under the federal Food for Peace Program.

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5. US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Laura Myers, “GEN. SEES U.S. VULNERABLE TO ATTACK,” Washington, 07/29/98) reported that US Air Force General Howell M. Estes III, the head of the US space command, said Wednesday that the US would be vulnerable to an intercontinental missile attack “sooner rather than later.” Estes stated, “The fact of the matter is, it’s going to come quicker, in my opinion, than I think many of us would realize.” Estes who is also commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said that intelligence-gathering satellites can not provide all the information needed to detect weapons development. He added, “We’re finding that countries who are developing these systems today are not doing it the way we did. They’re not going for accuracy. They’re going for having the capability, which in fact, is an indication of military might and national power.” Estes said, “I’m not here saying we ought to go to space with weapons. That’s the last thing I want to see happen. But I’m also smart enough to know that it’s a possibility and we sure want to be there ready to do what’s necessary.”

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6. Indian Adherence to CTBT

Dow Jones Newswires (“INDIA MAY MAKE DEAL ON NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY – REVIEW,” New Delhi, 07/29/98) reported that Jaswant Singh, the country’s top foreign-policy adviser, said in an interview with the Far Eastern Economic Review that India was already adhering to the substance of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by announcing a voluntary moratorium on further nuclear tests. Singh added, “We have announced simultaneously that we shall be endeavoring to convert it into a de jure obligation.” He said that domestic and international security interests were best served through a global, non-discriminatory disarmament, adding, “In the absence of that, a second tenet is equal and legitimate security for all.” Singh added that neither India’s strategic deterrence nor its missile development program were on the negotiating table. He said that due to the tests in May, “India now has sufficient data to continue with computer simulation, and to continue, therefore, with its scientific development program.”

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7. India-Pakistan Talks

Dow Jones Newswires (“PAKISTAN SHARIF REITERATES RESUMPTION OF TALKS WITH INDIA,” Colombo, 07/29/98) reported that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Wednesday that there is very little chance of an immediate solution to the dispute with India over Kashmir. Sharif stated, “India has to show some flexibility on Kashmir.” He reiterated his demand for third party mediation, saying bilateral talks so far had not produced the desired results. He added that no progress on other issues was possible unless Kashmir was “meaningfully settled.”

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8. Clinton Trip to South Asia

The Associated Press (“PLANNING GOES FORWARD FOR CLINTON TRIP TO INDIA, PAKISTAN,” Washington, 07/28/98) reported that the US government has not set any conditions for a planned trip by US President Bill Clinton to India and Pakistan this fall. Karl F. Inderfurth, assistant secretary of state for the region, said that the recent talks between US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and officials from both countries were designed to reconcile vital US, Indian, and Pakistani interests with the interest of the entire world in stopping nuclear proliferation. Inderfurth stated, “We are not asking either country to do anything that country feels is contrary to its self-interests.” He said Tuesday, “The president was and remains very interested in traveling to the region.” He added, however, that the trip would only be made “when circumstances permit his visit to look to the future with the kind of relations we hope will characterize the 21st century, not the 20th.”

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Participation in ARF

The DPRK was urged Monday to join the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to complete the “geographical footprint” of the only established security forum in Asia. “The DPRK know that they would be welcome,” Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon of the Philippines said at the end of an ARF ministerial meeting in Manila, during which Mongolia became the 22nd member. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the forum Monday that the DPRK’s membership “could play a role in helping to reduce tensions in the Korean peninsula.” This year’s hosts said earlier that the DPRK first wanted to set up diplomatic ties with all nine members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which alternate hosting annual ministerial meetings to discuss security issues. The ROK last week said it would not block an entry bid by the DPRK into the ARF. (Korea Times, “NK URGED TO APPLY TO JOIN ASIAN SECURITY FORUM,” 07/29/98)

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2. US Naval Deployment near Korean Peninsula

The US on Monday defended its stepped-up naval presence in waters off the Korean coast, after the DPRK accused the US of “war-mongering.” US State Department spokesman James Rubin said, “We wouldn’t be in this situation if they hadn’t taken actions that did violate the armistice,” referring to a series of DPRK spy infiltrations into the ROK. In response to those infiltrations, the US last week announced that it was increasing its naval presence in waters off the Korean coast, although US officials have provided few details. “We have raised these incidents through the military armistice commission, and we urge the DPRK to refrain from actions that violate the armistice,” Rubin said. (Korea Times, “US DEFENDS STEPPED-UP PRESENCE OFF KOREAN WATERS,” 07/29/98)

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3. ROK Military Diplomacy

ROK Admiral Yu Sam-nam, chief of naval operations, embarked on a nine-day tour to Japan and Russia Wednesday. Yu will meet naval and defense leaders of the two countries to exchange views on the DPRK’s submarine infiltration and other maritime security issues in Northeast Asia, a Navy spokesman said Tuesday. (Korea Herald, “NAVY CHIEF EMBARKS ON TRIP TO JAPAN, RUSSIA,” 07/29/98)

III. Announcement

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1. Tumen River Environmental Workshop

The Tumen Secretariat, in association with the United Nations Development Programme, will hold the 1998 Workshop on Environment for the Tumen River area in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 3-4, 1998.

Economic development in the Tumen Region is increasing, necessitating much greater attention to the region’s environment. Recognizing this challenge, the TRADP participating countries signed on 6 December 1995 a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Principles Governing the Tumen River Economic Development Area and Northeast Asia (MOU).

To coordinate and guide implementation of the MOU, working groups or a task force on the environment (WGE) have been set up in all member countries. As part of the effort to implement the MOU, the TRADP countries successfully sought support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the preparation of a Strategic Action Programme (SAP), focusing on the Tumen Region’s international waters and biodiversity needs. The first GEF-SAP Environment Workshop was held in Vladivostok on 14-16 May 1997. The WGEs met for the first time to discuss the implementation plan for the MOU and a preparatory phase for the new Tumen GEF project.

To review the progress of the TRADP environment program and discuss further actions to be taken in 1999, the Second Environment Workshop is planned for September 3-4, 1998, which will be managed by the Tumen Secretariat, involving the WGEs, environmental NGOs, interested environmental scientists and various UN organizations.

The objective of the workshop is to ensure environmentally sound and sustainable development of the Tumen Region through cooperation in protection of the regional environment. More specifically, the workshop will (1) review the progress of the TRADP environment program; (2) inform the stakeholders of the progress of the GEF/SAP initiative to enable them to prepare for its commencement; and (3) outline further priority areas for action in a regional context.

The contents of the Workshop are as follows: (1) A Status Report on the Current Environmental Situation in the Tumen Region will be presented and discussed; (2) a Report on Harmonization of the existing Environment Impact Assessment procedures of the TRADP member countries will be discussed and further actions will be outlined; (3) bilateral and multilateral cooperative mechanisms will be explored to control the pollution of the Tumen River; and (4) Biodiversity Conservation through Cooperative Efforts. Also, findings of a Tumen Secretariat-funded survey on Siberian Tigers and Far-Eastern Leopards will be presented and future actions involving regional efforts will be outlined.

To broaden involvement of NGOs and other interested parties, the Tumen Secretariat would like to encourage a strong participation of national and international NGO communities. Unfortunately, the Tumen Secretariat is unable to fund the travel and accommodation costs of NGOs and other participants. Unfortunately, too, the total number of participants in the Workshop must be limited to meet capacity constraints. In the event that not all applicants can be accommodated, the selection will be after consultation with the five member countries. Any organization expressing interest at the Workshop that cannot be accommodated will be notified about the results of the workshop and follow-up activities.

Early notification to the Tumen Secretariat is necessary in order to facilitate pre-workshop arrangements. All interested parties are kindly requested to notify the Tumen Secretariat before 15 August 1998.

Additional information will be provided upon request. Should you have any further inquires, please contact Ms. Yu Fei, Project Assistant, Tumen Secretariat, 5-2-41 Ta Yuan Diplomatic Compound, No. 1 Xindong Avenue, Chaoyang District, 100600 Beijing, China Tel: 86-10-6532-6871/6467/5543 Fax: 86-10-6532-6465 E-mail: yf@public.un.org.cn

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Wade L. Huntley: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon: cily@star.elim.co.kr
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


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