NAPSNet Daily Report 30 May, 2000

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit
2. EU-DPRK Relations
3. DPRK-US Relations
4. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War
5. DPRK Nuclear Threat
6. Effects of US Missile Defense
7. PRC Missile Defense
8. Taiwan Missile Defense
9. Cross-Straits Relations
10. US Policy toward Taiwan
11. PRC-India Border Talks
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-Japan Talks
2. DPRK-US Talks
3. Remains of US from Korean War
4. US-Russia Talks on DPRK
5. Inter-Korean Summit
6. DPRK Reaction to Inter-Korean Summit
7. Broadcast of Inter-Korean Summit
8. Aid to DPRK
9. DPRK Famine
10. DPRK-New Zealand Relations

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, “MISSILES MAY BE ON KOREAS AGENDA,” Seoul, 5/29/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung indicated on May 29 that Japan’s concern over the DPRK missile program might be discussed at June’s inter-Korean summit. Kim alluded to the missiles at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who was on a half-day visit to the ROK. Responding to a reporter’s question whether he would raise the subject of the DPRK’s missile program, Kim said: “the Japanese concern and other international issues can also be discussed. We have not fixed the agenda for the summit. But by bringing up various topics (in the summit), each side can know what the other side thinks and misunderstands.” Kim said that he would not rush to reap a big success from the summit. He said, “I would rather try to agree on whatever is feasible. More can be agreed on at the second and third summit.”

2. EU-DPRK Relations

Japan Economic Newswire (“N. KOREA ASKS EU PARLIAMENTARIANS TO VISIT PYONGYANG,” Brussels, 5/25/00) reported that European Union (EU) sources said on May 25 that the DPRK has invited the European Parliament to send a delegation to the DPRK this year, saying it would contribute to the promotion of ties between the two sides. Sources said that the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly made the request in a letter to European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine in January. The sources added that the parliament is deliberating the DPRK request and that the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has “agreed in principle to accept” the invitation, but that no final decision has been made. In the letter sent to Fontaine from DPRK Ambassador to UNESCO (U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Ri Thae Gyun, the DPRK said that a visit by the EU delegation would help promote understanding and cooperation between the two parliaments.

3. DPRK-US Relations

Agence France Presse (“NORTH KOREA ACCUSES US OF HEIGHTENING TENSION AHEAD OF SUMMIT,” Seoul, 5/28/00) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 27 accused the US military of escalating tension on the Korean peninsula in a bid to chill the climate for dialogue with the ROK ahead of their summit next month. The accusation was prompted by a recent report from US magazine Aviation Week and Space Technology which said the US air force brought two B-1B bombers to its base into the ROK earlier this year. The story said that the strategic bombers were deployed in the ROK briefly several years ago and US officials were hopeful “the deployment this time will be the first of a series of such high-visibility moves. It is part of a larger US Air Force strategy to expand its war fighting capability in Korea, at least during certain times of the year.” The story said, “the political offering out of Pyongyang, as well as overtures to other countries, so far hasn’t shifted the balance of force on either side of the demilitarized zone.” KCNA denounced the reported deployment of B-1B bombers as “a new move to perfect its strategy for air raids” on the DPRK in contingency. The news agency said, “this is an irrefutable proof that the US is the very one responsible for increasing tensions, displeased with the climate created for a dialogue for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula. It is aimed to further escalate the political and military tensions on the Korean peninsula in a bid to chill the climate for the North-South dialogue.” The agency warned that the US should “bear in mind that it will be held entirely accountable for the consequences to be entailed by its reckless arms buildup. The US is well advised to behave itself, clearly understanding the DPRK’s will to counter ‘strength’ with strength.”

4. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

The Washington Post (Peter Slevin, “HUNT FOR MIAS OF KOREAN WAR MAY RESUME,” 5/30/00) reported that US President Bill Clinton announced on May 29 in Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery that the US hopes to resume the search for the remains of 8,100 missing US soldiers by the end of the year. US and DPRK envoys will meet in Malaysia next week, with an eye toward resuming the joint searches that ceased last year. Clinton said, “there is no more compelling way to understand how important our continuous efforts are to the hearts and minds of Americans than to hear it from family members themselves. Wherever it takes, as long as it takes, we will keep our commitment to seek the fullest possible accounting.” A US official said Monday that the US and the DPRK stopped working together last year and have not met to discuss disagreements on the issue for six months. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 30, 2000.]

5. DPRK Nuclear Threat

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “THREAT OF ‘ROGUE’ STATES: IS IT REALITY OR RHETORIC?” 5/29/00) reported that when US President Bill Clinton visits Russia next week for his first summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Clinton will attempt to convince Putin of the danger of nuclear development by “rogue” states. However, Jonathan Pollack, an Asia specialist at the Rand Corporation said, “the unexamined assumptions about this are extraordinary, and the biggest is the presumption that a variety of misbegotten states are not subject to the same constraints of nuclear deterrence that everybody else has been subject to.” Robert S. Litwak, a former director for nonproliferation policy at the National Security Council, argues in a recent book that the “rogue” epithet “demonizes a disparate group of states” and “significantly distorts policymaking.” An unnamed European diplomat said, “you speak about North Korea as an irrational country when you have been negotiating with North Korea for six years. The 1994 agreement was a rational agreement.” French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine noted that there is no translation for rogue state in French: “it’s not a geopolitical category we use. It is difficult for Europeans to imagine one of these rogue states attacking the United States.” Dmitri Rogozin, chairman of the international relations committee in the Russian Duma, said that the US was exaggerating the DPRK threat, adding, “a cannon is not the best weapon to shoot at flies.” He predicted that the US would react strongly if it detected DPRK preparations to fire a missile. Rogozin continued, “I highly respect the U.S. military, and I can’t imagine that the U.S. military would sit idly by and watch the threat from North Korea. They will simply smash this country.” A US official who has been deeply involved in negotiations with the DPRK said that despite its philosophy of self-reliance, the DPRK has always relied on outside assistance. The official said, “North Korea is one of the few totally parasitic countries. It has lost its host. But parasites don’t commit suicide. They are not going to nuke Hawaii because they realize they will be annihilated. People who say we need national missile defense because North Korea is crazy are only those who don’t know anything about North Korea. North Korea is mainly a threat to itself.”

6. Effects of US Missile Defense

The New York Times (Michael R. Gordon and Steven Lee Myers, “RISK OF ARMS RACE SEEN IN U.S. DESIGN OF MISSILE DEFENSE,” 5/28/00) reported that US Administration officials said that US officials will outline a scenario in an official intelligence estimate due in June that shows the implementation of antimissile defense could cause the PRC to add to its nuclear arsenal. A senior US official familiar with the analysis being prepared said, “if China increases the number of missiles it has, would India think it has to increase its missiles? And if India increases its missiles, then Pakistan does.” US national security adviser Samuel R. Berger said the PRC’s concerns may be eased not only by reassurances about the intent of the system but by general progress in economic and political relations. Berger said, “there are other dimensions to the relationship with the Chinese that are of far more long-term importance than national missile defense.” US Under Secretary of Defense Walter B. Slocombe said, “we don’t deny to the Chinese that the system has some capability against Chinese missiles, but that is not what it is designed to do.” A Clinton administration official said, “the Chinese tell us, ‘You may not be directing the system against us, but what about the next guy? How can we be confident that the next administration may not have a different policy? It could use the system against us, just as it does against North Korea.'” However, US Defense Department officials said that a US missile defense would have little effect on the PRC strategic modernization. They added that the PRC is more anxious about the provision of antimissile technology to Taiwan than it is about a defense to protect the US. A senior US official said, “we (the US) would expect them (the PRC) to continue and perhaps even enhance countermeasures. We have projected that they will have several tens of missiles by 2015. National Missile Defense might prompt them to do more than that.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 30, 2000.]

7. PRC Missile Defense

Agence France Presse (“CHINA CLAIMS SUCCESS OF NEW ANTI-MISSILE WEAPON,” Beijing, 5/30/00) reported that the PRC said on May 29 that it had successfully tested a new weapon which was capable of shooting down an incoming cruise missile traveling at low altitude. The People’s Liberation Army Daily said, “In the course of exercises carried out recently in the northeast, eight divisions of the Lanzhou military region successfully tested an anti-air raid missile which intercepted a simulated cruise missile.” The paper said that the weapon was mobile and could be carried by a single man, but it gave no further details.

8. Taiwan Missile Defense

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN PLANS TO TEST FIRE PATRIOT MISSILES,” Taipei, 5/30/00) reported that Taiwan’s new Defense Minister Wu Shih-wen said on Tuesday that the Taiwan military planned to test fire its Patriot missile defense system as a counter to what he said was the PRC’s continued military build-up. He did not go into details, but the Taiwan- based China Times quoted a defense ministry source who said the Patriot missiles would be tested at a base at Chiupeng in southern Taiwan in September next year. The paper said, “a tactical test and evaluation team from the US would be present at the venue.” Wu said, “the major threat comes from the Chinese Communists’ Dongfeng 11 and Dongfeng 15 ballistic missiles. How to work out counter-measures and offset the threat should be given top priority.” The minister would not say if Taiwan would join the theatre missile defense (TMD), but Wu said that joining the TMD would emerge as a “political issue.” However, he insisted that for Taiwan, building its own missile shield and seting up a long-range early warning radar system was a priority.

The Associated Press (Marcos Calo Medi, “U.S. TO TEST MISSILES IN TAIWAN,” Taipei, 5/30/00) reported that Taiwan Defense Minister Wu Shih- wen said Tuesday that Taiwan is close to getting US approval to test US- built Patriot missiles on the island. Wu brushed off the possibility of the PRC occupying any of the small Taiwanese-controlled islands off the eastern coast, saying that Taiwan’s military was well-prepared for any such attempt. Wu said, “we believe that if the Chinese military ever tries to occupy any of the outer islands, it will have to pay a very high price.”

9. Cross-Straits Relations

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “BEIJING SENDS MIXED MESSAGE TO TAIWANESE,” Beijing, 5/30/00) reported that the PRC published an editorial in the People’s Liberation Army Daily and the official New China News Agency on Tuesday which provided Taiwan with two visions of its future: emotional satisfaction and the prestige of a superpower, or an island engulfed in “a sea of fire.” The editorial said that “the 10 merits of peaceful reunification” include emotional satisfaction, mutually beneficial economic and technical cooperation and a chance for Taiwan to save “huge sums on defense outlays” and use them for social welfare. It added that Taiwanese delegates could sit in the PRC’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, and that Taiwanese could carry a PRC passport and have the backing of “a powerful motherland.” The editorial said that Taiwan would also be able to save itself from global imperialism. Without mentioning Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, the newspaper raised doubts about his goodwill gestures toward the PRC, and said that his ruling Democratic Progressive Party was packed with die-hard separatists. It said, “although some Taiwan separatist elements worked hard to cover up their true separatist face to deceive voters before the election with insincere words about better cross-strait relations and put on airs about improving contacts with the mainland, they have not changed their fundamental separatist nature. We must therefore maintain a high degree of vigilance toward future moves by Taiwan separatist forces.” It warned that the army would turn Taiwan into a “sea of fire” if it declared independence.

10. US Policy toward Taiwan

The Associated Press (“US WON’T PRESSURE TAIWAN OVER TALKS,” Taipei, 5/30/00) reported that Raymond Burghardt, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, said on May 29 that the US will not pressure Taiwan to accept the PRC’s conditions for talks between the two rivals. Burghardt repeated a US assurance that it would not pressure Taiwan to accept the PRC’s precondition and said that Taiwan and the PRC should solve their differences on their own. Burghardt said, “we will support any arrangement that is voluntarily agreed to by both sides.”

11. PRC-India Border Talks

Agence France Presse (“CHINA AND INDIA AGREE TO SPEED UP TALKS ON BORDER DISPUTE,” Beijing, 5/30/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and his Indian counterpart K. R. Narayanan agreed on May 29 to speed up efforts to resolve the two countries’ long-running border dispute. A source close to the talks said, “there was a general agreement that the process needs to be speeded up and both sides agreed to make new efforts to push the process forward.” Jiang was quoted by the PRC’s official Xinhua news agency as saying, “we hope the two sides can constantly create a good atmosphere on the basis of mutual concession and mutual adjustment … and seek a fair and reasonable solution to the issue through negotiations.” Xinhua said, “Narayanan stressed that as the two countries shared a wide range of interests in various areas, there is no excuse for the two sides not to properly resolve issues left over from the past.” The paper also said that in the May 29 talks, the two sides also discussed their joint vision of a multi-polar world, while calling for reform of the UN Security Council.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “MORI ASKS KIM TO CONVEY TOKYO’S DESIRE TO ESTABLISH TIES WITH NK,” Seoul, 05/30/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min- bae, “KIM AND MORI AGREE TO COOPERATE ON NK,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori asked ROK President Kim Dae- jung on May 29 to deliver Japan’s “strong commitment” to establishing official ties with the DPRK when the ROK leader meets with his DPRK counterpart, Kim Jong-il. Kim Dae-jung accepted Mori’s request and also indicated that he would touch on the DPRK’s nuclear and missile development issues. Kim and Mori said in a post-summit joint news conference at Chong Wa Dae that they fully agreed that improved relations between the DPRK and the ROK and the DPRK and Japan would complement each other. Kim said, “I told Prime Minister Mori that the improvement of Japan-North Korea ties contributes to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and that the South Korean government will cooperate in the development of Japan-North Korea relations.”

2. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “N.K. FORMALLY DEMANDS U.S. COMPENSATION FOR REACTOR PROJECT DELAY IN ROME TALKS,” Seoul, 05/30/00) reported that an ROK government source said on May 29 that the DPRK has formally demanded compensation from the US for the delay in the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors at their bilateral talks in Rome. The US and DPRK resumed talks in Rome on May 24 on a wide range of common concerns, including ways to implement the nuclear accord reached in Geneva six years ago. The two sides are expected to finish the latest series of negotiations after holding one or two more rounds of talks, officials said. A news report said on May 28 that the DPRK is calling for the US to provide 600,000 tons of food aid to compensate it for the construction delay. Officials at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, however, denied the report, saying that they were not aware of the reported DPRK request.

3. Remains of US from Korean War

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “NORTH KOREA, U.S. RESUME EXHUMATION TALKS,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that a spokesperson for the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced on May 28 that on June 7, a conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between the DPRK and the US. Representatives from the US and the DPRK will meet to discuss the cooperative exhumation of US soldiers killed during the Korean War. The two sides met previously in December of 1999 but talks broke down when the DPRK insisted it could not cover the costs of the exhumation.

4. US-Russia Talks on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“U.S., RUSSIA TO DISCUSS NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that according to Yonhap News Agency, during a CNN interview with US National Security Advisor Samuel Berger, the US and Russia will discuss the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program along with the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) pact during a summit meeting on June 4-5. Berger commented that it would be a good opportunity for US President Bill Clinton and newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin to share views on the threat from countries with a nuclear capability, such as the DPRK and Iraq. Berger explained that while the ABM pact would be discussed, it was unlikely that a final conclusion on its contents would be reached.

5. Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “NORTH GUARANTEES SAFETY OF S. KOREAN SUMMIT ADVANCE TEAM VISTING PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that the DPRK sent a letter on May 28 guaranteeing the safety of an ROK advance contingent scheduled to visit the DPRK on May 31 to prepare for the upcoming inter-Korean summit. The DPRK delivered the letter under the name of Prime Minister Hong Song-nam when liaison officials from the ROK and the DPRK met at the truce village of Panmunjom. The DPRK’s move is a reply to the ROK government’s delivery of the list of the 30 members of its advance team to Pyongyang. During its stay in Pyongyang, the advance party is supposed to finalize the protocol and other details for the summit talks through consultations with DPRK officials. The contingent will also conduct on-the-spot inspections of the summit venue. An ROK ministry official said that the advance delegation will enter the DPRK through Panmunjom and stay in Pyongyang until the end of the summit talks. The contingent is led by Sohn In-kyo, assistant minister for the ministry’s Office of ROK-DPRK Dialogue, and is comprised of working-level protocol, communications, media coverage and security teams. The protocol team will put the final touches on the itinerary for ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s visit, including the arrival ceremony, summit talks and a welcoming party.

6. DPRK Reaction to Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Times (Lee Soo-jeong, “NK HALTS ANTI-SEOUL BROADCASTS AHEAD OF SUMMIT,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that an ROK Defense Ministry official said on May 28 that the DPRK has recently halted anti-ROK broadcasts over its loudspeakers along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), helping create a conciliatory atmosphere ahead of the June summit. The official said with the inter-Korean summit scheduled to take place on June 12-14 in Pyongyang, the DPRK appears to be refraining from criticizing President Kim Dae-jung and the ROK system. The ministry official also said there had been no signs of military provocation from the DPRK. After it was announced in early April that President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il would meet for the first time in Pyongyang, the DPRK media starting using the term “president” whenever they referred to the ROK’s Kim. Analysts also noted that the DPRK is making an effort to create a friendly atmosphere ahead of the summit. In return, the ROK government is also making efforts to maintain a conciliatory atmosphere along the DMZ, as it has stopped using the words “North Korean puppet regime,” and has asked publishing companies to refer to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il as either National Defense Commission Chairman or the Highest Authority.

7. Broadcast of Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Times (“INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT TO BE BROADCAST LIVE,” Seoul, 05/26/00) reported that an ROK senior Unification Ministry official said that ROK journalists will be allowed to carry their own satellite transmission equipment to broadcast the June inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang live to the outside world. The official said, “South Koreans will take a satellite news gathering (SNG) system to North Korea to cover the major events of the summit.” However, both sides have yet to agree on which events will be broadcast live, the official said, adding that it would be decided when a 30-member ROK advance team visits Pyongyang on May 31.

8. Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEOUL DENIES REPORT THAT U.S. TOLD SOUTH KOREA TO LIMIT AID TO NORTH,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that the ROK dismissed a Japanese newspaper report that claimed that the US urged the ROK to limit economic assistance to the DPRK until suspicions about the DPRK’s weapons programs were cleared up. A statement released by the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said, “it is not wholly true that Washington recently delivered this position to our government through a diplomatic channel.” Quoting an unnamed ROK government source, Japan’s Asahi newspaper said on May 28 that the US told the ROK that economic assistance for the DPRK should remain at a “basic and limited” level after the inter-Korean summit slated for June 12-14. It also reported that the US said that it, Japan and the ROK should decide on subsequent support depending on the handling of DPRK’s suspected nuclear and missile development programs. The newspaper quoted a source who said, “the United States conveyed the same message to Japan and received Tokyo’s basic agreement.”

9. DPRK Famine

Chosun Ilbo (“NK REQUESTS US$250 MILLION IN AID,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that David Morton, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the DPRK revealed on May 27 that the DPRK has asked for US$250 million in aid from donor countries by June to revive wasted farmland and agriculture. Morton said that the money would be used to produce an annual 5.5 million tons of basic self-sufficiency provisions until 2002. The funds provided so far fall short of the amount needed for the DPRK to recover its agricultural capacity and food production. The DPRK’s harvest amounted to 3.4 million tons last year including the 800,000 tons provided by international organizations. Although the food crisis in the DPRK has improved during recent years, the north and northeastern regions still suffer from food shortages. Morton added that multiple factors such as the aggravation of public health and hygiene, as well as pollution of drinking water, all contributed to continuing deaths of DPRK residents. As to the question of whether food aid actually went to the people in need, the UN coordinator said that he believed the DPRK retained enough self-harvested rice to feed its huge army which lessened the possibility of food being systematically pilfered for military use.

10. DPRK-New Zealand Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Seo Banseok, “NEW ZEALAND TO OPEN PYONGYANG TIES,” Seoul, 05/29/00) reported that New Zealand news agencies quoted Prime Minister Helen Clark as saying on Monday that her country will be seeking to follow Australia’s lead in establishing diplomatic relations with the DPRK. Clark was quoted in The Press as saying, “In the normal course of events establishing diplomatic links with North Korean wouldn’t have been a very high priority,” but that “given Australia’s moves now I think we would probably have an interest in moving on from there” in regards to diplomatic relations with the DPRK.

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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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

Chunsi Wu: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
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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