NAPSNet Daily Report 30 August, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 30 August, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 30, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-30-august-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US Troops in ROK
2. ROK-DPRK Military Talks
3. Japan-DPRK Relations
4. US-Japan SOFA
5. Japan-PRC Talks
6. Spratly Islands
II. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK-ROK Ministerial Meeting
2. Repatriation of DPRK’s POWs
3. Inter-Korean Railway
4. ROK’s View of Security Situation
5. DPRK-Japanese Relations
6. DPRK-PRC Relations
7. PRC-Japanese Relations
8. Russia’s Asian Diplomacy
III. Russian Federation 1. RF Far Eastern Military Exercises
2. DPRK-Japan Talks
3. RF President’s Japan Visit
4. RF-Japan Border Security Cooperation

I. United States

1. US Troops in ROK

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “SOUTH KOREAN SAYS NORTH WANTS U.S. TROOPS TO STAY,” Seoul, 8/30/00) reported that, according to ROK President Kim Dae-jung, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il said that it is “desirable” that US troops stay on the Korean peninsula, and said he dispatched a “high-level envoy” to convey that message to the US several years ago. In an interview on August 29, Kim Dae-jung said he was “surprised” by the DPRK leader’s comments made during their inter-Korean summit in June. Kim Dae-jung said, “This brought a great relief to me. I believe this is one of the most significant outcomes of the summit. I began the discussion by pointing out the American forces must continue to stay even after unification for stability in northeast Asia. The peninsula is surrounded by big countries, and if the American military presence were to withdraw, that would create a huge vacuum that would draw these big countries into a fight over hegemony. His exact response was, to my surprise, ‘Well, I read the South Korean newspapers, and I read your position on this issue. I said to myself, how similar was [your] view on this issue with mine.’ Those were his words. He further went on to say, ‘Yes, we are surrounded by big powers — Russia, China and Japan, and so therefore it is desirable that the American troops continue to stay.’ In fact, he added that several years ago he sent a high-level envoy to the United States to deliver this position to the American side.” However, Kim Dae- jung said that Kim Jong-il did not say how, or if, the US responded. Asked if their conversation had touched on when the envoy was sent, Kim Dae-jung said, “I don’t remember the exact year but I believe it was toward the final years of Kim Il Sung.” The US State Department had no immediate comment on the matter. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30, 2000.]

2. ROK-DPRK Military Talks

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREA PROPOSES REGULAR MILITARY TALKS WITH NORTH,” Seoul, 8/30/00) and the Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “KOREAS PLEDGE PROGRESS AT TALKS,” Seoul, 8/30/00) reported that ROK unification ministry spokesman Kim Hyon-du said that Unification Minister Park Jae-Kyu proposed during the second day of ministerial-level rapprochement talks Wednesday to hold regular military talks with DPRK to reduce tension. ROK media pool reports from Pyongyang said that the DPRK remained more interested in economic issues rather than sensitive military ones. According to the reports, Park said, “Let’s have minister- or working-level military talks to take concrete, full-scale measures to restore trust, reduce tension, and establish peace. At the (military) talks, both Koreas could discuss the exchanges of military information and personnel, and cooperation in relinking a railway (between the two Koreas).” In a more concrete offer, Park also called for the establishment of a military hotline. Park said, “South and North Korean leaders have already agreed to open a line of communication to avoid armed conflicts.” Reports from Pyongyang said that DPRK chief delegate Jon Kum-jin was reacting positively to the proposals. Jon was quoted saying, “The South’s proposal has something significantly in common (with the DPRK’s).” However, the reports said, the DPRK showed more interest in promoting economic cooperation, relinking a railway, and organizing more reunions of separated families, than in regularizing military talks. During the morning session Wednesday, Park also announced a proposal to build an inter-Korean highway to run parallel to the railway. In another proposal to help the DPRK attract more investment, Park proposed that both Koreas start working-level contacts to sign accords to guarantee investment and to avoid double taxation. The pool reports said that no formal agreements were likely to be signed until August 31 when ROK officials were expected to meet DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and hold another session with their DPRK counterparts.

3. Japan-DPRK Relations

Reuters (“N.KOREA ACCUSES JAPAN OF PREPARING TO INVADE KOREA,” Tokyo, 8/30/00) reported that the DPRK on Wednesday criticized Japan’s defense program, saying that Japan was showing signs of getting ready to reinvade Korea. The DPRK’s official newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, said that Japan was trying to reorganize its army, the Ground Self-Defense Force, ahead of schedule, adding that this was “a clear indication that the Japanese reactionaries are frantically stepping up their preparations for overseas reinvasion.” Earlier this month, the Japanese government began drafting the second of three five-year programs in its 15-year defense plan running until the year 2010. The final program, to be officially set by the end of the year, is expected to call for countermeasures against nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, including a special unit to deal with guerrilla activities. The Rodong Sinmun said that Japan was concentrating its Self-Defense Forces in the western area of the country facing the Korean peninsula “to carry out their scenario to reinvade Korea. If Japan stages a comeback to Korea it will not escape self- destruction.”

4. US-Japan SOFA

The Christian Science Monitor (Ilene R. Prusher, “MOTHERS’ HELPER … WHEN GIS BEHAVE BADLY,” Okinawa, 8/30/00) reported that Okinawa’s governor will present the Japanese government and the US Embassy in Tokyo with a proposal that would make it easier to prosecute US military personnel for any crime under Japanese law, and would encourage the military to garnish a serviceman’s wages if he fails to make child-support payments. The 11- point plan, agreed on two weeks ago by the Okinawa prefectural government, proposes to revise the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which allows US military personnel here to be prosecuted in Japan only for very serious crimes, such as murder and rape. Eddie-Callagain, a lawyer in Japan fighting for more child support laws, said, “The US has been begging Japan to enter into an agreement, and Japan is reluctant to open up this country to child-support enforcement.” Without such an agreement, she said, the proposal from the Okinawan government is well-meaning but “kind of pathetic,” because most of the men in question are no longer in the military – so garnishing their wages would rarely be an option. Eddie-Callagain added, “They’re trying to put a band-aid on it and make it sound like it’s a military problem, but it’s really a social problem, and the two governments have to do something about it.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 30, 2000.]

5. Japan-PRC Talks

Reuters (“JAPAN AND CHINA MISUNDERSTAND EACH OTHER,” Beijing, 8/30/00) and Agence France Presse (“JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER BLASTS CHINA’S PRESS, QUESTIONS MILITARY MOTIVES,” Beijing, 8/30/00) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono warned on Wednesday of rising distrust between Japan and the PRC because of failure to understand each other. Kono cited PRC state media reports which he said wrongly claimed that Japan was undergoing a revival of wartime militarism and spoke of “bewilderment” that Japan’s annual economic aid to the PRC of 30 billion yen (US$282 million) was virtually unknown to the PRC public. Kono also warned PRC Communist Party cadres that some Japanese saw the PRC’s fast-growing military spending and expanding missile arsenal as threatening. In a speech to the Central Party School in Beijing, Kono said, “The reality is that against the background of various issues that arise from time to time in Japan-China relations, the peoples of our two nations still do not know each other very well. Many Chinese media reports have expressed concerns about Japan’s ‘military expansion’ and ‘revival of militarism’. Anyone who has actually come to Japan and lived there knows that the people of Japan, too, were themselves victims of militarism.” Kono also acknowledged that remarks by what he called a “tiny majority” of Japanese denying Japan’s 1931-45 aggression against China had engendered Chinese distrust.

Reuters (“CHINA PM ZHU LIFTS CLOUDS BEFORE HIS JAPAN VISIT,” Beijing, 8/30/00) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, slated to visit Japan on October 12-17, tackled a variety of issues during talks with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on Wednesday. Zhu said that a “misunderstanding” occurred over the cancellation of a visit to Beijing next month by Japanese Transport Minister Hajime Morita to promote Japan’s train bid against rivals Germany and France, and that the PRC Railway Minister would reschedule the visit. Zhu acknowledged the Japanese public’s concerns about incursions in waters near Japan of PRC research vessels and naval ships, while maintaining that the PRC had not done anything wrong.

6. Spratly Islands

Agence France Presse (“CHINA SAID NATIONS NEED TO SHOW SINCERITY AND FLEXIBILITY IN SPRATLYS,” Beijing, 8/30/00) reported that the PRC on Wednesday said that nations involved in the dispute over islands in the South China Sea needed to show political sincerity and flexibility in order to agree on a “code of conduct” to ease tensions. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao defended the PRC against criticisms that it had refused to agree to a code during a meeting with diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the northern PRC city of Dalian. Zhu said that the PRC put forward the draft of a code last October and actively hosted the Dalian consultation, which again demonstrated the PRC’s good faith in the formulation of the code. Zhu added that the existing difficulties do not lie on the PRC side. Zhu said, “We hope that relevant countries will show necessary political sincerity and flexibility in line with the spirit of seeking common ground and leaving differences aside so as to make active contribution to the formulation of the code.” Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Lauro Baja said on August 29 that the meeting between ASEAN and PRC diplomats failed to make progress because all the officials taking part lacked a mandate. Baja said that the issue should be taken up by higher-ranking officials such as deputy foreign ministers, possibly at an ASEAN senior officials’ meeting in Hanoi in October.

II. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-ROK Ministerial Meeting

Jiefang Daily (“ROK DELEGATION ARRIVED IN PYONGYANG,” Pyongyang, 08/30/00, P7) reported that an ROK delegation led by ROK Unification Minster Park Jae-kyu arrived in Pyongyang on August 29 to attend the second round of DPRK-ROK Ministerial-level meetings from August 29-31. The two sides were to hold talks on such issues as setting up direct DPRK-ROK military phone lines, establishing a meeting place for separated families, carrying on a second exchange visit of separated families, and economic cooperation.

2. Repatriation of DPRK’s POWs

Xinhua News Agency (“DPRK WILL ACCEPT POWS IN ROK,” Pyongyang, 08/24/00) reported that DPRK confirmed the acceptance of 63 prisoners of war (POWs) who have refused to abandon Communism from the ROK. Under a deal signed by Red Cross officials from the DPRK and the ROK, the POWs and their family members have been set to be repatriated to the DPRK. The DPRK Red Cross officials expressed the welcome for their return home.

3. Inter-Korean Railway

Jiefang Daily (“ROK WILL REBUILD KYONGUI RAILWAY,” Seoul, 08/25/00, P7) reported that the ROK government formally settled down and issued a plan for the construction of Kyongui Railway on August 24, which would link Seoul with Shinuiju in DPRK. The ROK has determined to finish this project before September 2001 to make it more convenient for DPRK-ROK cooperation and exchange. According to the plan, the ROK will hold the opening ceremony on September 14. The ROK government hoped that DPRK would also start the construction work at the same time. The ROK also expressed their willingness to consider the DPRK’s possible request for assistance on the rebuilding of the eight-kilometer railway track in the northern part of the demarcation line.

4. ROK’s View of Security Situation

China Daily (“MILITARY READINESS STRESSED,” Seoul, 08/25/00, P12) reported that ROK President Kim Dae- jung said on August 24 that the ROK needed to remain on a security alert. Kim was quoted at a National Security Council meeting as saying, “There is much hope for peace after the summit talks, but in reality there’s no guarantee (of peace) yet.” Kim said his country welcomed a new phase in inter-Korean relations after the June inter-Korean summit, but the two sides are still confronting each other militarily. He declared the continuing need for his country to remain on security alert as the DPRK warned that joint ROK-US war games could freeze a recent thaw in inter-Korean relations.

5. DPRK-Japanese Relations

China Daily (“JAPAN, DPRK FAIL TO HEAL OLD WOUNDS,” Kisarazu, Japan, 08/25/00, P12) reported that negotiators from Japan and the DPRK failed to resolve differences that have been a source of tension for decades on the final day of talks in Japan on August 24, but they agreed to meet again in October. The talks on the final day were moved to a hotel in Kisarazu, a city east of Tokyo, in what one Japanese official said was an attempt to “refresh their minds by moving to a different setting.” Despite a change in venue, both sides made little substantial progress on key sticking points. The Japanese delegation said that Japan would not accept demands for compensation because Japan was never technically in a state of war with DPRK. However, a Japanese official noted that Japan was willing to “settle the past,” adding that the people of DPRK were told how Japan provided financial aid worth about US$500 million to the ROK when Japan normalized ties with ROK in 1965. One Japanese official who attended the talks said that the meeting helped “deepen understanding” of their respective positions, and the fact that talks went on later than expected was not the result of a conflict between the two sides. The negotiators agreed to promote the exchange of diplomats and business people. However, according to a senior Japanese official, more talks were needed before the DPRK and Japan could normalize ties.

6. DPRK-PRC Relations

People’s Daily (Zhang Xinghua, “KIM YOUNG-NAM MEETS YE XUANPING,” Pyongyang, 08/25/00, P6) reported that Kim Young-nam, Chairman of the Standing Committee of DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, held friendly talks in Pyongyang with Ye Xuanping, the Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the PRC People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Kim said that it is the DPRK government’s consistent position to develop and strengthen DPRK-PRC relations. He believed that the visit of the CPPCC delegation to the DPRK will surely bring positive influence to bilateral relations. Kim expressed his optimistic attitude toward the peaceful unification of Korean people. Ye echoed the importance of bilateral relations and the long-lasting friendship between the two neighbors. Ye thought highly of the inter-Korean summit, saying that the PRC will support the process and the reasonable proposals raised by the DPRK government for the independent and peaceful unification. He added that the PRC hoped that the two sides would improve their relations by means of dialogue and negotiation.

7. PRC-Japanese Relations

Jiefang Daily (“TANG JIAXUAN TALKS WITH YOHEI KONO,” Beijing, 08/29/00, P7) reported that, in an official talk in Beijing on August 28, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono expressed optimism about PRC-Japanese relations. Tang said that both sides should bring every positive factor into play and overcome negative factors to promote bilateral relations in the new century. Kono consented to Tang’s assessment of PRC-Japanese relations. He stressed the importance of the “Japan-China Joint Declaration,” which is the cornerstone of bilateral relations. Kono expressed the same attitude toward PRC Premier Zhu Rongji’s official visit to Japan in mid-October, which, he believed, will propel PRC-Japanese relations forward. He said that the Japanese government thinks highly of Zhu’s visit and that the preparatory work is in full swing. The two foreign ministers also exchanged views and reached wide-ranging agreements over the cooperation on IT industry, environmental protection, the PRC’s westward exploration, cross-border organized crimes, and other issues.

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “DISPUTE OVER EAST CHINA SEA RESEARCH MAY BE ENDING,” 08/29/00, P1) reported that, as a step to resolving their dispute over scientific investigations in the East China Sea by PRC ships, PRC and Japan have agreed in principle that each side should now inform the other about its research in the disputed waters. However, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan stressed on August 28, when meeting his Japanese counterpart Yohei Kono in Beijing, that the exchange of information is an independent act by each side, and does not affect the PRC’s position on the demarcation of boundary lines in the East China Sea. Tang said that PRC research in the East China Sea is not unusual and conforms to international laws. He attributed the dispute to the fact that PRC and Japan have not yet reached an understanding on the demarcation of boundary lines in the East China Sea.

Xinhua News Agency (“JAPAN HAS NO INTENTION TO ESTABLISH OFF-THE-ISLAND FORCE TO COUNTER CHINA’S SHIPS,” Beijing, 08/29/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that the PRC has noticed a Japanese newspaper report that Japan will establish a new “off-the-island” force to counter the PRC’s ships near the Japanese offshore. He said that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono has claimed that the Japanese government will not and is not going to establish forces that aim at PRC’s ships.

8. Russia’s Asian Diplomacy

People’s Liberation Army Daily (Yu Qi, “RUSSIA’S ‘NEW ASIAN DIPLOMACY’,” 08/24/00,P5) carried an article on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “new Asian diplomacy.” The writer said that Russia’s plan was to participate actively in the Asia-Pacific affairs and to expand its influence in this region. It would be based on the principles of good-neighborliness, equality, mutual interest, and cooperation and aimed at putting the development of relations with powers in Asia-Pacific on high agenda, especially the strengthening the strategic partnership with the PRC. The plan also hopes to establish strategic partnership with India while maintaining the traditional relations; to conclude peace treaty with Japan after solving territorial disputes; to strive to be involved in the “Four-Party Talks” concerning the Korean Peninsula, and to extend cooperation with ASEAN countries. He attributed the motives of Russia’s policy to: 1) uniting countries in the Asia-Pacific to check the US’s hegemony and facilitate the achievement of Russia’s ideal multipolar world; 2) developing this region as a market for Russia to expand its economic interests; and 3) establishing a stable security environment in Russia’s east, which is vital to its domestic economic development.

III. Russian Federation

1. RF Far Eastern Military Exercises

Segodnya (“MILITARY EXERCISES BEGAN IN THE FAR EAST,” Moscow, 4, 08/24/00) and Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Vladimir Mukhin, “FRONT EXERCISES IN THE EAST OF THE COUNTRY,” Moscow, 2, 08/30/00) reported that command staff exercises of the Far Eastern and Siberian military districts of RF under the command of Anatoly Kvashnin, Chief of General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, began Tuesday. The maneuvers are designed to help to improve actions to localize and neutralize an armed conflict, as well as interaction between RF Armed Forces command bodies and those of the troops of different subordination at various stages of an armed conflict escalation. Yuriy Baluevskiy, Chief of the Main Directorate of Operations of the General Staff, said that those exercises were the first of such scale and level since 1998. The RF Interior Ministry, Border Guard Service, Railroads Ministry and Emergencies Ministry have been involved in addition to the RF Armed Forces, altogether comprising 100,000 servicemen.

2. DPRK-Japan Talks

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Andrey Ilyashenko, “PYONGYANG AND TOKYO HOLD THEIR RESPECTIVE POSITIONS,” Tokyo, 5, 08/24/00) reported that the 10th round of talks to normalize DPRK-Japanese relations began on August 23 in Tokyo. The DPRK was expected to stress the progress in its relations with the ROK and the RF, as well as the US and the PRC, as an incentive for Japan “not to miss the train.” However, the writer notes, no other country in the region, except Japan, is endowed with financial and technological resources needed for economic modernization of the DPRK, and Japan is aware of the fact. Besides, Japanese diplomats said that “in Seoul they also talk about the necessity of rendering Japanese economic aid to the DPRK.”

3. RF President’s Japan Visit

Segodnya (“VLADIMIR PUTIN WILL VISIT JAPAN,” Moscow, 4, 08/29/00) and Nezavisimaia Gazeta (“PUTIN WILL VISIT JAPAN,” Moscow, 1, 08/29/00) reported that according to the RF Presidential Press Service, RF President Vladimir Putin is to visit Japan on an official visit from September 3-5. Putin will also have a meeting with Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Premier Yoshiro Mori.

4. RF-Japan Border Security Cooperation

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Nikolai Plotnikov, “BORDER GUARDS JOIN EFFORTS,” Moscow, 6, 08/23/00) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan in early September entails a plan to sign a Memorandum of cooperation between RF Border Guard Service (BGS) and Japan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) as well as other documents. Lieutenant General Aleksandr Manilov, Head of the Department of Treaties and Law of RF Border Guard Service, said that the parties were to complete the draft in a few days. Border guards of the RF and Japan plan to join efforts to combat drug traffic, arms smuggling and illegal migration and to perform rescues at sea. The plan calls for interaction in “identification of unidentified vessels carrying illegal activities in maritime areas close to the territories of both states” and take mutual commitments to fight marine environmental pollution. All are to be done through information exchange, meetings and consultations, visits of ships and exchange of delegations. In the second half of September, MSA Chief Arai will visit Moscow to meet with BGS Chief Colonel General Konstantin Totskiy to discuss the cooperation in more detail, in particular an exchange of permanent representative offices possibly to be located in the RF Far East and in Hokkaido, rather then in the capitals.

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

Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

Leanne Payton: lbpat1@smtp.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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