NAPSNet Daily Report 30 August, 1999

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 30 August, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 30, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-30-august-1999/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

The International Herald Tribune (Don Kirk, “SEOUL AIDE SEES DEAL ON NORTH’S MISSILE,” Seoul, 08/30/99), Reuters (“S.KOREA SAYS BERLIN TALKS COULD BE TURNING POINT,” Seoul, 08/29/99) and the Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “HIGH HOPES FOR US-NORTH KOREA TALKS,” Seoul, 08/29/99) reported that DPRK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won said Sunday that the US was ready to lift economic sanctions and expand relations with the DPRK if the DPRK abandoned plans to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile. Lim said he was “encouraged” by the fact that there were still “no signs” that the DPRK was about to launch a Taepodong-2 missile. He stated, “I expect the U.S.-North Korea meeting in Berlin next month to be a turning point in resolving Korea issues. It’s difficult to predict, but I’m hopeful of the results of the meeting.” The International Herald Tribune said that former US Defense Secretary William Perry is expected to issue his review of relations with the DPRK at about the same time that the US and the DPRK open talks in Berlin on September 8. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30.]

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA TO SEEK LIFT OF SANCTIONS,” Seoul, 08/28/99) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced Saturday that US special envoy Charles Kartman would meet with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan next month in Berlin. KCNA stated, “The talks will focus on such outstanding issues of common concern as lifting of U.S. economic sanctions against the DPRK.”

2. US Congressman’s DPRK Visit

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “AID COULD STOP N.KOREA MISSILE TEST,” Seoul, 08/30/99) and Reuters (“U.S. REP URGES S.KOREA, JAPAN TO HELP N.KOREA MORE,” Seoul, 08/30/99) reported that US Representative Tony Hall, Democrat-Ohio, said Monday that lifting economic sanctions and increasing food aid could prevent the DPRK from launching a new long- range missile. Hall stated, “North Korea wants to not only negotiate, it wants us to continue food aid and lift sanctions. If we do that, they will respond in a favorable way.” He quoted DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan as saying, “If the United States lifts sanctions, we will certainly respond with good faith. Sanctions drive the DPRK into a corner.” Hall added, “But he also said, ‘We know we are at an important and delicate moment.’ And he agreed that there is a good chance this problem can be resolved.” Hall criticized the DPRK government for trying to hide the truth about the food situation, but stressed that other nations should continue food aid. He stated, “As the region’s leaders, South Korea and Japan in particular need to do more.” Hall said that, in a meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, he urged Kim to resume the ROK’s humanitarian contributions to the DPRK without preconditions. Hall also said that Kim could convince Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to sell some of Japan’s rice stockpiles at “friendship prices,” either to the ROK or to the international community, which could donate the food to the DPRK.

3. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The International Herald Tribune carried an opinion article by ROK President Kim Dae-jung (“SEEKING TO PREVENT A NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST,” Seoul, 08/30/99) which said the DPRK has not responded to the ROK’s “genuinely friendly gestures” with any indication that it is becoming less hostile. Kim argued, “it is incumbent upon South Korea to wage a diplomatic effort to preclude the [Taepodong] missile launch. To deter the test firing, we have to try to both persuade and pressure the North Koreans. We are making it clear to the authorities in Pyongyang that they will pay a high price for such provocations while, on the other hand, a shift toward reconciliation and cooperation would bring them benefits.” He added, “Recently, North Korea has responded positively to South Korea’s offer of talks, and that is a very desirable change. Nonetheless, we have to prepare countermeasures to take when and if North Korea actually launches its missile.” Kim stated, “When and if North Korea decides to take a course toward peace, there will be a guarantee of North Korea’s security. Second, its economic reconstruction will be actively supported. Third, it will be treated as a respected member of the international community.” He concluded, “We will not give up under any circumstances. I am firmly convinced that the two Koreas will eventually be reconciled, grow together and contribute to world peace.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30.]

4. PRC Views of Korean Peninsula

Reuters (“CHINA URGES RIVAL KOREAS TO IMPROVE TIES,” Beijing, 08/29/99) reported that the PRC’s Xinhua news agency quoted Li Ruihuan, a politiburo member and chairman of a parliamentary advisory body, as telling former ROK prime minister Lee Soo-sung on Sunday that the PRC is concerned about peace on the Korean Peninsula. Li was quoted as saying, “The North and the South are parties directly concerned with the peninsula issue, and the issue should be settled independently without interference from outside, through such political means as peaceful dialogue.”

5. DPRK View of US-Japan Missile Defense

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA VOWS TO BUILD UP DEFENSE CAPABILITY,” Seoul, 08/30/99) reported that a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry said Monday that the DPRK will build up its defense capability to counter an anti-missile defense system being developed by the US and Japan. The spokesman stated, “We will continue to increase the country’s national defense capabilities in every way to cope with any military offensive of the enemy.” He added, “In actuality, the US moves to develop and deploy the ‘TMD’ [Theater Missile Defense] system in Northeast Asia are very reckless, dangerous criminal acts which may seriously upset the balance of forces and revive a new arms race and a second Cold War in this region.”

6. ROK-DPRK Maritime Border

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jim Lea, “NK WARNS IT MAY ESTABLISH NEW SEA BORDER,” Osan, 08/30/99, 3) reported that DPRK Senior Colonel Pak Rim-su said that the DPRK will establish a new sea border with the ROK if the UN Command (UNC) does not agree to rewrite the armistice to specifically designate the line. Pak said that action will be considered after a meeting of DPRK and UNC generals. He stateed that the “right of military control over waters of the West Sea (Yellow Sea) and naval forces resides with the Korean People’s Army side and the US Forces side according to the armistice.” He added that security “in the waters can be ensured only when it is handled by” those two sides. Pak said that while the DPRK “wishes to solve the issue through negotiations, (there is) a limit to our efforts to seek a peaceful negotiated settlement.” The Korean Central News Agency said that the DPRK has proposed that the next general officers meeting be held in early September. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30.]

7. Russian Military Sales to ROK

The Associated Press (“RUSSIA TO OFFER SUBS TO SOUTH KOREA,” Moscow, 08/30/99) reported that a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev will try to sell the ROK three Amur class diesel-electric submarines and other weapons during a trip to the ROK September 2-4. The spokesman said that Sergeyev will meet ROK President Kim Dae-jung and other ROK officials during his trip. However, General Leonid Ivashov, who heads the defense ministry’s department for international military cooperation, said Monday that Sergeyev would not sign any specific agreements during his visit. Ivashov said that Sergeyev would discuss regional security, including US plans to build anti-missile defenses.

Agence France-Presse (“RUSSIAN ARMS SALES TO SEOUL DRAW N. KOREAN WARNINGS,” Seoul, 08/28/99) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Friday criticized Russia for planning to sell weapons and military hardware to the ROK. KCNA stated, “This move cannot but heighten our vigilance as it is a very serious matter, which will further aggravate the military confrontation in the Korean Peninsula.” It accused the ROK of engaging in a “massive arms buildup” ahead of attacking the DPRK. It added, “What cannot be overlooked is that some countries get embroiled in such reckless war moves and cooperate with the South Korean authorities without principle. Despite our repeated warnings, they are selling various types of war equipment including modern submarines and missiles and military technical facilities to South Korea for a petty amount of money and interfering in our matter of satellite launch.” It stated, “This is as good as an act of exacerbating the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula and undisguisedly joining the South Korean war hawks in war moves against the North.” It argued, “For those responsible for Korea’s division to sell weapons to one of its two parts … cannot be construed otherwise than an anti- North Korean deed of instigating the South Korean authorities to ignite a war against it.” KCNA said that the move by the ROK “and those who are cooperating with them” could not be justified and “will certainly meet deserved retaliation.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30.]

8. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

U.S. News & World Report (Paul Bedard, “CHINA WARMS TO POW HUNTERS,” 08/06/99, 14) reported that Larry Greer, a spokesman for the US Defense Department’s POW-MIA office, said that the PRC has invited office head Robert Jones to visit in September to discuss US servicemen formerly held in Chinese-controlled prisoner-of-war camps during the Korean War. Greer stated, “That’s a good sign, especially after the Embassy bombing.” Greer added that the US military is planning to hire some academics with good sources in Beijing to find POW-MIA files in the PRC, but he added that the proposal is “certainly not an advertisement for a spy operation.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30.]

9. Bombing of PRC Embassy

Reuters (“CHINA, U.S. IN TALKS ON DAMAGE TO MISSIONS,” Beijing, 08/30/99) reported that an unnamed official at the US embassy in Beijing said that US State Department legal adviser David Andrews began talks with the PRC government Monday on compensation for NATO’s destruction of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. The official stated, “They’re discussing both damage to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and damage done to U.S. diplomatic facilities in China” in protests against the bombing. The official declined to say how much each side was seeking.

The New York Times (Philip Shenon, “BESIEGED BUT UNBOWED, AMBASSADOR IS OPTIMISTIC ON CHINA,” Washington, 08/30/99) reported that former US Ambassador to the PRC James Sasser said that he did not believe that the PRC government was responsible for the anti-US violence following the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. Sasser stated, “They did not know the extent of it. What they were seeing on television — Chinese television — were peaceful student demonstrations. They weren’t seeing the rocks being thrown, the Molotov cocktails.” He added, “The Foreign Ministry just didn’t have any idea, I don’t think, of what was going on.” Sasser said that shortly before he left the PRC, President Jiang Zemin “said to me that ‘things happened that we did not intend to happen and should not have happened.'” He added, “I came back from China with a very optimistic view about our long-term relationship, and I say that because there were a lot of pro-American feelings there within the leadership.”

10. PRC-Taiwan Spying Row

The Associated Press (“CHINA OFFICIAL ACCUSED IN SPY CASE,” Beijing, 08/30/99) reported that the PRC’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Monday that Lin Kechang, the deputy head of the Hainan provincial government, has been fired and expelled from the Communist Party over a case of spying for Taiwan. Two other officials, Xiong Tianjun and Xi Shiguo, were convicted of taking money from Taiwanese intelligence agencies and sentenced in June to life in prison. The People’s Daily reported earlier that Xiong gathered economic, political, and other sorts of intelligence between 1990 and March 1997. Xinhua said that Xi, a Hainan provincial government researcher, stole documents on politics, the economy, and national security and gave them to an unnamed foreign intelligence agency. Seven other government officials were also disciplined.

11. Taiwanese Election

The Wall Street Journal (Russell Flannery, “TAIWAN’S RULING NATIONALIST PARTY PICKS LIEN TO LEAD THE GOVERNMENT,” Taipei, 08/30/99) reported that Taiwan’s ruling Nationalist Party on Sunday formally picked Vice President Lien Chan as its candidate for next March’s presidential elections. In his acceptance speech, Lien reaffirmed President Lee Teng- hui’s call last month for the PRC to treat Taiwan as a political equal. A poll Sunday by television station TVBS showed Lien’s support declining to 16 percent from 21 percent a week earlier. Nationalist Party splinter candidate James Soong remained at 31 percent, while the opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s Chen Shui-bian rose to 28 percent from 22 percent.

12. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

The New York Times (Eric Schmitt, “DEMOCRATS READY FOR FIGHT TO SAVE TEST BAN TREATY,” Washington, 08/30/99) reported that US Senate Democrats are threatening to prevent the Senate from conducting any business when Congress returns next month from summer recess unless Republicans agree to hold hearings this year on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Senate Republicans said that they do not want to ratify the treaty until they are assured that the US will quickly build a national missile defense system. [Ed. note: This article was the top story in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. US-DPRK Talks

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “BERLIN TALKS TO MARK TURNING POINT IN KOREAN ISSUES: LIM,” Seoul, 08/29/99) and The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “MINISTER LIM UPBEAT ON U.S.-N.K. MISSILE TALKS,” Seoul, 08/30/99) reported that ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won on Saturday expressed his expectations that the US-DPRK talks, set for September 7 in Berlin, will be a turning point in ROK’s efforts to address many pending issues on the Korean peninsula. Lim made the remarks at Kimpo International Airport upon returning from a week-long visit to the US. “It is hard to make predictions on the result of the talks but we are very optimistic,” he said. Lim stated, “[Former US Defense Secretary William] Perry’s mission to compile a report is already concluded. But I believe that Perry will submit it to the U.S. Congress after applying some finishing touches to it following the Berlin talks.” Lim also told reporters that the joint diplomatic efforts by the US, the ROK, and Japan to deter the DPRK from test-firing a missile are believed to have made remarkable headway thus far.

2. DPRK Missile Test

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “N. KOREA UNLIKELY TO LAUNCH MISSILE; KEEPS THREAT AS NEGOTIATING LEVERAGE,” Seoul, 08/30/99) reported that the DPRK’s latest willingness for negotiation may have eased the likelihood of a missile launch, but the absence of an official commitment by the DPRK and the nearing of the DPRK national anniversaries has officials and analysts concerned about the DPRK’s next move. In reaction to the threat, ROK analysts conjectured that August 31, the first anniversary of the DPRK’s first rocket test-fire, and September 9, the country’s founding anniversary, would be auspicious dates for a possible launch. However, the immediate launch of a missile is unlikely, said ROK intelligence and military sources. The ROK officials said that DPRK’s final response will become clear at the Berlin talks in September. In addition, the officials said that opinions on the value of a launch within the DPRK have remained divided. Proponents of a launch claim that obeying the suspension on missile launches damages the country’s hard- line military reputation, while opponents cite the economic damage, in the form of aid cuts, that is likely to accompany the defiance of international pressure. Until the DPRK can put a close to this argument, they are unlikely to launch a missile anytime soon, officials said. Still, the DPRK is not likely to drop its “missile card” completely, as it remains a key point of leverage in its negotiations with the US and Japan, the officials added.

3. Japanese Reaction to DPRK Missile Test

The Korea Times (“N.KOREA’S MISSILE TEST TRIGGERS STRONGER JAPANESE DEFENSE: ANALYSTS,” Seoul, 08/29/99) reported that as the DPRK wavers over test-firing a new ballistic missile, it may be pondering the vastly improved Japanese defense powers it sparked with the first launch one year ago. “North Korea’s missile test triggered Japan’s move to reinforce its defense strength,” Hideshi Takesada, professor at National Institute for Defense Studies, stated. “The incident made Japan fully aware of what the real threat to the country is and how Japan should respond to that,” Takesada said. “In Japan’s post-war defense history, the past year was, in a way, an epoch-making period.” “We have certainly learned a lesson from last year’s missile launching,” said Akitaka Saiki, deputy press secretary for Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. “And we have been taking necessary measures internally so that we are able to correctly respond to a situation where the national security can be challenged from outside,” Saiki said. The DPRK threat ironically also enhanced military ties between Japan and the ROK, which had been hesitant to team up with its former colonial ruler, analysts said.

4. US Forces in ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-weon, “DEFENSE MINISTER ‘REGRETS’ COMMENTS ON US TROOPS,” Seoul, 08/29/99) reported that ROK National Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae expressed “regret” for “creating misunderstanding” on Sunday over his recent remarks while on an official visit to the PRC. Many have said that Cho’s statement at the PRC’s National Defense College on August 25 was a de facto declaration of intent by the ROK not to exercise its sovereign rights regarding troops within its territory. Seeking to clarify his original statement, Cho said that US troops have been stationed in the ROK due to the DPRK threat, and that even after unification neighboring countries would, he assumes, agree to a continued US military presence here. Speaking to reporters before leaving the PRC, Cho explained that his statements had caused a “misunderstanding” and that he regretted this.

5. ROK-US Military Exercise

The Korea Herald (Roger Dean du Mars, “ROK-U.S. COMBINED FORCES MOST READY OF ANY MILITARY ALLIANCE,” Seoul, 08/30/99) reported that the combined forces of the US and the ROK are setting the world standard in levels of coordination and synchronization, said Thomas C. Richards, a senior US exercise observer. The retired four-star US Air Force general, who wrapped up a 20-day stint of special observations of the Ulchi-Focus Lens exercise on Sunday, said that ROK-US combined forces are the most prepared of any military alliance, including NATO. Richards, a Korean War veteran, was one of four senior US exercise observers who visited the ROK to offer assessments and recommendations on the ability of the two countries to coordinate their armed forces. One representative each from the US Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines observe the exercise each year.

6. DPRK Weapon Sales

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, “NORTH KOREA RANKED 27TH FOR CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS SALES,” Seoul, 08/29/99) reported that the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed on Sunday that the DPRK was ranked 27th in the world for sales of conventional military hardware for the period of 1994-1998. According to the SIPRI almanac, the DPRK sold US$118 million-worth of arms over the 5-year period while the ROK sold US$111 million, putting it in 30th place. Compared to the standings for 1993-1997, the DPRK dropped 3 places down the list from 24th, while the ROK dropped one position from its previous ranking of 29th. The top arms exporting nations during the 1994-1998 period were the US with US$53.8 billion and Russia with US$10.2 billion, followed by France with US$10 billion, England with US$8.9 billion, Germany with US$7.2 billion and the PRC with US$2.8 billion.

7. DPRK Defector

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yeol, “NK DIPLOMAT DEFECTOR SEEKS ASYLUM IN EUROPE,” Seoul, 08/29/99) reported that Hong Sun-kyeong, 60, the official who defected from the DPRK embassy in Thailand last March, is said to now be seeking to live in Northern Europe. An ROK government official said on Sunday that Hong had originally sought to go to the US, but that he has yet to receive any clear response from the US and does not wish to come to the ROK. The official added that the ROK government is, at Hong’s request, looking for an appropriate host country in Scandinavia.

8. DPRK Population

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “NORTH KOREA’S POPULATION AT 22.08 MILLION,” Seoul, 08/27/99), The Korea Herald (Sim Sung-tae, “270,000 NORTH KOREANS DIED FROM HUNGER BETWEEN 1995-1998: NSO,” Seoul, 08/28/99) and The Korea Times (“NK POPULATION AT 22 MIL.; LESS THAN HALF OF SOUTH,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that the DPRK’s population has been calculated at 22.082 million, which is about 47 percent of the ROK’s population. Women exceed men by 435,000. The average lifespans of men and women as of the end of 1997 appeared to be 59.8 years and 64.5 years respectively, which is 3.8 years and 4.8 years shorter than those recorded in 1993, due to the severe famine which claimed 270,000 lives from 1995 to 1998. The ROK National Statistical Office released on August 27 the report on the DPRK’s population, which was compiled with data from the DPRK’s census report in 1993 and interviews with DPRK defectors. The DPRK’s population is predicted to rise to 22.175 million in 2000, 23.455 in 2010 and 25.834 in 2030. The DPRK citizens gender ratio, which is the number of men per 100 women, is 96.1. The ratio climbed from 89.8 in 1970, 92.7 in 1980 and 94.8 in 1990. Classified by age, the youth population (from 0 to 14 years old) occupies 26.2 percent of the total population in the DPRK, while those of working ages (between 14 and 64) and the elderly population (over 65) occupy 67.7 percent and 6.2 percent respectively. The portion of youths is 4.4 percent higher than that of the ROK, while those in the working and elderly populations are 3.7 percent and 0.6 percentage points lower respectively. The DPRK’s mortality rate has jumped abruptly to 12.1 annual deaths per 1,000 during the period 1995 – 1997 from 8.8 people in 1994, due to starvation.

9. DPRK Human Rights

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yeol, “NK HUMAN RIGHTS MADE ISSUE AT UN,” Seoul, 08/29/99) reported that the ROK Government decided it would strongly raise the DPRK human rights issues at the 54th United Nations General Assembly that begins September 14 in New York. A high level ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) official stated on Sunday that Foreign Affairs Minister Hong Soon-young will participate in the UN General Assembly and plans to make issue of DPRK’s record on human rights during his keynote address scheduled for September 29. Minister Hong will take the opportunity to go beyond his previous proposal made last March at the Geneva UN Human Rights Commission where Hong emphasized matters of the famine, DPRK defectors, and families separated by the division of the peninsula. Minister Hong’s address aims to plead for international attention to the disregard of basic human rights at DPRK political “correction” facilities, the repatriation of kidnapped foreigners, the lack of freedom of press and printing, and the lack of freedom to choose one’s place of residence or to move.

10. ROK National Security Law

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “KCTU MEMBERS TO BE QUESTIONED OVER N.K. VISIT,” Seoul, 08/30/99) reported that the ROK prosecution said on Sunday that it will summon this week 10 representatives of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) for questioning over their recent visit to the DPRK. Prosecutors said that their investigation would focus on whether the union representatives violated the National Security Law while in Pyongyang. The KCTU said it does not plan to comply with the prosecution’s summons and that its visit to Pyongyang was an authorized one. After returning home, the union presented the ROK Ministry of Unification a report on its visit.

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, “NORTH KOREA DENOUNCES SOUTH’S ARREST OF PRIEST JINKWAN,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that the DPRK Central Committee of the Buddhist Federation gave a statement on August 26 denouncing the ROK government for its arrest of the priest Jinkwan, who led a pan-national unification festival, as an attack on the national desire for unification. The federation spokesman said in the statement, “The South Korean government arrested the leader of a unification festival, priest Jinkwan, for a breach of the National Security Law. This provoked the fury of all Buddhists in North Korea.” The DPRK’s Buddhists urged that Jinkwan has striven for unification, protection of human rights, and the repatriation of long-term DPRK prisoners who refuse to renounce their DPRK citizenship. The ROK government should release priest Jinkwan and abolish the National Security Law, the federation insisted.

11. Russian Mission to ROK

The Korea Times (“RUSSIAN MILITARY MISSION VISITS ROK,” Seoul, 08/27/99) and The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, “RUSSIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN SEOUL FOR GOODWILL VISIT,” Seoul, 08/28/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that a Russian military delegation arrived in Seoul on Thursday to discuss ways of promoting cooperation and exchanges with ROK military leaders. The Russian mission’s visit is in accordance with an agreement on the exchanges of military delegations between the ROK and Russia in May last year. The Russian mission will visit the ROK Military Academy, military bases and ROK’s main tourist sites and industrial complexes while staying in the ROK until September 9. “The visit will mark an occasion to enhance mutual understanding and expedite bilateral military exchanges,” an ROK ministry spokesman said.

12. ROK Army Chief’s Overseas Trip

The Korea Times (“ARMY CHIEF EMBARKS ON O’SEAS TRIP,” Seoul, 08/27/99) reported that ROK Amy Chief of Staff General Kim Dong-shin left Seoul on Thursday to make an official visit to Turkey and Russia. An Army spokesman said that Kim will discuss ways of promoting military exchanges and examine military reforms being conducted in the two countries. Kim will also attend the inaugural Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference to be held in Singapore September 6-8 on his way back home. The conference is to be attended by army chiefs from 23 Pacific countries.

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