NAPSNet Daily Report 29 October, 1998

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 29 October, 1998", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 29, 1998,


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States


1. DPRK Underground Construction

US State Dept. Spokesman James Rubin (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, OCTOBER 28,” USIA Transcript, 10/28/98) announced that US Ambassador Charles Kartman will lead a US delegation to Pyongyang November 16 to 18 to continue discussions on suspect underground construction in the DPRK. Rubin stated, “We’ve made clear to the North Koreans that any attempt by North Korea to pursue a nuclear weapons development program would be unacceptable. We have specific concerns about suspect underground construction, and we will demand assurances that North Korea continues to abide by its commitments in the Agreed Framework. Verbal assurances will not suffice. We will press for concrete actions, including our access to clarify the nature of underground construction.” He added, “We don’t regard it as symbolic; we regard it as serious business to get to the bottom of the issue of our concern.” He noted, “It would certainly be wonderful if upon their arrival that access pursuant to our conditions were provided and they could immediately move from the negotiating table to get the access that we want. But having been around this block before with the North Koreans, what we are doing is making very clear to them that verbal assurances will not be sufficient and that access by us is going to be necessary. I wouldn’t expect that to overnight be accepted.”


2. DPRK Defectors

The Associated Press (“FOUR NORTH KOREANS DEFECT TO SEOUL,” Seoul, 10/29/98) reported that officials at the ROK Agency for National Security Planning said Thursday that four DPRK defectors arrived in Seoul from former Soviet republics where they had lived in hiding after escaping the DPRK a few years ago. The officials said that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees coordinated the defectors’ flight to Seoul.


3. ROK Economic Crisis

Dow Jones Newswires (“SOUTH KOREA EXPECTS ECONOMY WILL REVIVE SOMETIME NEXT YEAR,” Seoul, 10/29/98) reported that the ROK Finance and Economy Ministry said Thursday that the ROK economy is expected to resume growth in 1999. In a brief report on the results of two weeks of policy consultations with the International Monetary Fund, the ministry said inflation is expected to stabilize at 5 percent in 1999 from this year’s 8 percent. It added that an accommodative monetary policy will be maintained to achieve the inflation target and the stability of the won “in nominal effective terms.” It also said that foreign reserves are expected to reach more than US$45 billion by the end of this year, while the fiscal deficit in 1999 will account for 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.


4. US Policy toward Taiwan

Reuters (“CHINA HITS OUT AT U.S. CONGRESS OVER TAIWAN,” Beijing, 10/29/98) and the Associated Press (“CHINA ACCUSES U.S. CONGRESS OF MEDDLING, UNDERMINING TIES,” Beijing, 10/29/98) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang criticized the US Congress on Thursday for passing two measures that it said could bring Taiwan into the US missile defense umbrella. Tang stated, “China expresses its strong resentment and opposition to this move.” Tang said that the US Fiscal 1999 Defense Authorization Act and the Omnibus Appropriations Act contained “anti-China content” and would have a negative impact on PRC-US ties. He said, “By passing these acts, the U.S. Congress has gravely violated the fundamental norms of international relations, interfered in China’s internal affairs and seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.” Tang also demanded that the US end arms sales to Taiwan and cancel plans to develop a regional anti-missile system with Japan. He added, “We hope the U.S. government will explicitly oppose the legislation and refrain from transferring the theater missile defense system and its related technology and equipment to Taiwan in any manner.”


5. PRC Scientist Arrested for Spying

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “CHINESE MISSILE EXPERT UNDER DETENTION,” Beijing, 10/29/98, A43), the Associated Press (“CHINA CHARGES STANFORD SCHOLAR,” Stanford, 10/29/98) and the New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “STANFORD COLLEAGUES RAISE CASE OF IMPRISONED CHINESE SCIENTIST,” Beijing, 10/29/98) reported that Stanford University said Wednesday that Hua Di, a Chinese missile expert who has been researching and writing at Stanford’s Center for Security and Cooperation since 1989, has been detained in the PRC on spying charges. Hua was arrested in Beijing by Public Security personnel in January after he returned to visit his family. An unnamed US official said that PRC authorities are believed to have accused Hua of violating laws on revealing state secrets, specifically information related to the PRC’s attempts to modernize its missile program. The official said that the US has tried unsuccessfully to secure Hua’s release. Stanford said in a statement that former US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and John W. Lewis, a Stanford professor who collaborated with Hua in the past, have written to the PRC government appealing for Hua’s release. Stanford Provost Condoleezza Rice said that Lewis “had provided evidence to the fact that the source materials for publications written by him and Mr. Hua were provided by approved Chinese authorities or already were available through the Stanford University library.”


6. Hijacking of PRC Airliner

Reuters (Alice Hung, “TAIWAN REBUFFS CHINA’S CALL TO HAND OVER PILOT WHO HIJACKED OWN PLANE,” Taipei, 10/29/98) reported that Wu Hsin-hsing, spokesman for Taipei’s semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, said on Thursday that Taiwan would not heed the PRC’s call for the repatriation of an Air China pilot who hijacked his plane to Taiwan. Wu stated, “Cases of mainland people hijacking planes to the Republic of China (Taiwan) come under our jurisdiction.” He added, “The case is now being handled by our judicial authorities.” The PRC State Council on Thursday demanded the repatriation of Air China pilot Yuan Bin and all other mainland hijackers imprisoned by Taiwan “as soon as possible.” It said that there now was a precedent for Taiwan to follow in repatriating hijackers–an apparent reference to the PRC’s May 1997 handover of a Taiwan man who had hijacked a domestic airliner to the mainland. Liu Teh-chen, chief prosecutor in Taoyuan county, stated, “We have no such precedent.” He added, “It’s highly unlikely that Yuan Bin and his wife will be sent back before serving out their sentences.” He said that he was shocked by the naivete of the couple, who told prosecutors they saw the move as a protest against unfair treatment by Air China. He stated, “They must not have known the seriousness of hijacking in Taiwan. If they had known, I don’t think they would have done something that would ruin their future. They are facing long prison terms and then they will be repatriated. That is the law.”


7. Indian Nuclear Command System

Reuters (“INDIA CAN BUILD NUCLEAR COMMAND SYSTEM,” New Delhi, 10/29/98) reported that A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, scientific adviser to the Indian defense minister, said Wednesday that India has the ability to put in place a command and control system for its nuclear arsenal. Kalam stated, “When nuclear bombs could be designed and developed, command and control could not pose any problem.” He added, “The scientific adviser to the defense minister has dismissed the suggestion that there is a problem with nuclear command and control.”

II. Republic of Korea


1. DPRK Windpower Project

Hankook Ilbo (“THE FIRST U.S. WINDPOWER TURBINES IN DPRK,” Seoul, 10/28/98) reported that the Berkley- based Nautilus Institute announced they had completed construction of seven wind turbines in Unhari village, DPRK, and turned on the system on October 5th. According to the Institute, the project represents a new style cooperation between International NGOs and the DPRK, because so far such cooperation has been confined to delivering food aid to the DPRK. The Nautilus Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes international cooperation for security and ecologically sustainable development. Nautilus became interested in building safe windpower plants in the DPRK as the future of the 1994 Geneva Framework on the DPRK nuclear program became uncertain. There was much opposition in the US Congress to providing two light water reactors to the DPRK because of the suspicion surrounding its nuclear activities. The Nautilus Institute windpower team consisted of Dr. Peter Hayes and 5 US technicians who have been working with the DPRK officials and 50 workers since last May.


2. UNDP’s Aid to DPRK

Korea Herald (“UNDP’S INITIATIVE COMPLEMENTS ‘SUNSHINE POLICY’,” Seoul, 10/30/98) said that the UN Development Program’s initiative to bring DPRK agriculture back to self-sufficiency will be a complement to President Kim Dae-jung’s “sunshine policy.” The UNDP plans to phase out food aid to the DPRK by raising money to rehabilitate the already existing cooperative farming system under a plan called “Agricultural Recovery and Environmental Protection” or AREP. “We hope the international community, including the ROK, will see this as one of a number of steps which are being taken for the careful, constructive engagement of the DPRK with international affairs and the outside world,” said James Gustave Speth, the program’s administrator. He said that if the UNDP can raise US$320 million for the AREP project over the next three years, which is less than half of the food aid that would otherwise be needed, it can be implemented in the already existing cooperative farming system. Speth, who just recently toured flood-damaged areas in the DPRK, is in Seoul to attend the UNDP’s “regional millennium meeting for Asia and the Pacific,” which will be held today through Sunday at the Shilla Hotel.


3. ROK-Japan Free Trade Zone

Chosun Ilbo (“ROK, JAPAN TO REDUCE INVESTMENT OVERLAP,” Seoul, 10/29/98) reported that representatives from both the ROK and Japanese corporate sectors have agreed in principle to reduce and realign excessive and overlapping investments in industrial areas where the two countries compete against each other. A delegation from the Federation of Korean Industries and its Japanese counterpart opened the 15th ROK-Japan business sector conference in Tokyo Thursday, agreeing the same day to launch an industrial cooperation promotion body to cope with the excessive investment. All findings would be subject to final bilateral consent. The two parties also agreed to set up the so-called “Asia Monetary Fund” to function as a reserve fund to guard against economic emergencies and financial speculation. Industry leaders from both countries discussed the necessity of a bilateral “Free Trade Zone,” and agreed that their respective federations would begin a joint feasibility study on the free zone.


4. Cruise Linking ROK, Japan and PRC

Hankook Ilbo (“CRUISE LINKING ROK, JAPAN, AND PRC PLANNED,” Seoul, 10/29/98) reported that the ROK government is pushing ahead with a plan to encompass the three East Asian countries of the ROK, Japan and the PRC within a single tourist zone. The program is designed to complement the planned opening of the DPRK to the world tourism market as well as the upcoming 2002 World Cup which will be co-hosted by the ROK and Japan. The tourism promotional scheme, revealed in a press briefing by Culture-Tourism Minister Shin Nak-kyun at the Kwanhun Club Wednesday, is the highlight of the mid-to-long term plan to place the ROK on a solid footing in the East Asian tourism industry. “Should the cultural and historic assets of each country be offered within one tourist plan, it would create enormous market competitiveness against resort areas in other parts of Asia, while greatly appealing to Westerners visiting Asia,” said Shin. The triangular pleasure boat route was “favorably” discussed between Shin and her PRC counterpart during her September visit to the PRC, while negotiations with Japan will take place during a scheduled meeting of tourism officials next month, said the minister.

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

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.