NAPSNet Daily Report 31 August, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 31 August, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 31, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-31-august-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Trilateral Coordination Meeting
2. US Military Deployments in Asia
3. Former US Official’s Guilty Plea
4. PRC Missile Tests
5. PRC-Japan Relations
6. UN Views on US Missile Defense
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-Russia Loan Talks
2. ROK-DPRK Civic Group Talks
3. DPRK-PRC Summit
4. Russian Expert’s View on DPRK

I. United States

1. Trilateral Coordination Meeting

Reuters (“JAPAN, US, S.KOREA TO MEET ON N.KOREA ON SEPT 6,” Tokyo, 8/31/01) reported that the Japanese foreign ministry said Friday that senior US officials from Japan, the ROK, and the US will meet September 6 in Tokyo next week to discuss policy toward the Korean peninsula. The meeting will take place a day after PRC President Jiang Zemin wraps up a three-day visit to the DPRK. A visit to Russia by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il earlier this month will also be among the topics likely to be discussed by the three-nation group. The timing of the Tokyo meeting is seen as addressing ROK concerns that coordination among the three allies has not kept pace with the DPRK’s recent moves to strengthen ties with Russia and the PRC.

2. US Military Deployments in Asia

Los Angeles Times (Paul Richter, “ARMY SHIFT TO ASIA MAY INCLUDE TROOPS,” Washington, 8/31/01), Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “Army Secretary Sees Shift Toward Asia,” Washington, 8/30/01), and The Associated Press (Robert Burns, “ARMY SHIFTING EQUIPMENT TO ASIA,” Washington, 8/30/01) reported that US Army Secretary Thomas E. White, Junior, said on August 30 that US troops might be redeployed from Europe to Asia to serve as a hedge against potential conflicts there, and that weapons and combat equipment have already been shifted. However, White noted that no final decisions on troop redeployment have been made. The US Army has roughly 29,300 troops in Asia, including 27,482 in the ROK and 1,763 in Japan. White said he thinks that all of the military services – not just the Army – are going to consider whether to shift their troops so they can better deal with the security challenges in Asia. He said, “If the Pacific becomes of greater importance than it typically has in the past, relative to Europe and the other regions of the world, you’re going to reexamine the whole business” of troop positioning. White added that the movement of military equipment to Asia is “a signal, once again, that we’re going to shift our available resources around to fit the strategy.” Officials said that the military equipment has been moved from several European sites, including in Germany and Italy, to depots in Asia that have been short of some weapons and gear, but the amount shifted was not disclosed. Derek Mitchell, an Asia specialist at the US Defense Department during the Clinton administration, said that, while US allies in the region rely on US military support, they would be made uneasy by any sign of a sizable US military buildup. White acknowledged that any repositioning of US forces would be a sensitive issue abroad and said the US would try hard to ease allies’ doubts. He said that if the US Bush administration does adopt a strategy more focused on Asia, “we’ll have to very deliberately engage NATO, obviously, and our alliance partners, both [in Europe] and in the Pacific.” White said he will not recommend moving any of the four brigades of combat troops – which number about 20,000 – now stationed in Europe to the Asian theater. [Ed. note: The Los Angeles Times article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 31, 2001.]

The Associated Press (“PLANNED SHIFT IN U.S. ARMY STRATEGY REGARDING ASIA WELCOMED BY SOME,” Tokyo, 8/31/01) reported that officials and analysts in Hawaii, Guam and Taiwan said Friday that US Army plans to move some combat weaponry and equipment from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region was welcomed. Japan and the ROK did not immediately react. Park Seon-sup, a researcher at the state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analysis in the ROK, that said the US shift in its global military strategy has been expected since the danger of a war in Europe has diminished, while the chances of a conflict in Asia have risen. As a result, Park said, the ROK may even be willing to accept some new US Army equipment to bolster the preparedness of the 37,000 US troops that are guarding the ROK against possible attacks by the DPRK. However, he said, a large-scale deployment of more US military equipment in the ROK could set back inter-Korean relations. Park also said it could set off protests by ROK citizens who already oppose the US bases. Yang Chih-heng, a military expert with the private Taiwan Research Institute, said that Taiwan would welcome any US move that would place the island under its protection. Yang said that by moving weapons and possibly troops based in Europe, the US could deter further PRC military expansion in the Pacific region without significantly increasing its defense expenditure.

3. Former US Official’s Guilty Plea

Reuters (“EX-STATE DEPT. ANALYST ADMITS TAKING GIFTS,” New York, 08/30/01) and the New York Times (Tim Golden, “EX-STATE DEPT. AIDE GUILTY IN CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST CASE,” Newark, 08/31/01) reported that Kenneth Quinones, who had been an analyst on DPRK affairs with the State Department between 1992- 1997, pleaded guilty Thursday in Newark, New Jersey, federal court to charges of conflict of interest and lying to federal investigators about his relationship with David Chang, a New Jersey businessman and chairman of Bright and Bright Corporation. The charge said that while employed by the State Department, Quinones received and processed numerous requests from Chang and his representatives for advice on matters of doing business with the DPRK that required State Department approval, and accepted gifts from Chang. His lawyer, Peter H. White, said that his client deeply regretted failing to disclose his relationship with Chang in 1996, when he recommended Bright and Bright for a contract to supply a Defense Department team working to recover the remains of US soldiers missing in the DPRK. Separately, Chang is a cooperating witness in the government’s probe into whether Senator Robert Torricelli, Democrat-New Jersey, received unreported gifts from Chang, who was seeking Torricelli’s help in business dealings with the governments of both the DPRK and the ROK.

4. PRC Missile Tests

Singapore Straits Times (“CHINESE SUBS SCORE 3 MISSILE HITS IN WAR GAMES,” Hong Kong, 8/29/01) reported that the PRC scored three successful hits recently with its submarine-launched missiles fired at targets 5,000 km away. The missiles – all Julang-21A submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) – were fired simultaneously from PRC submarines as part of the recent war games centered at Dongshan Island, off Fujian province. The Chinese- language Sing Tao Daily said on August 28, citing a report in the latest issue of Jane’s Defence Weekly, that the missiles were shot from three different locations in the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea and all fell within the radius of 15 meters demarcated for their respective targets. Apart from the Julang missiles, a newly- formed electronic warfare unit also test-fired – for the first time – the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) latest Dongfeng-31 intercontinental ballistic missiles. The report said that the test-firing was conducted with feedback from military reconnaissance satellites that cruise above the Taiwan Strait. According to the Defence Weekly, navy vessels involved in the exercises also test-fired for the first time the Hongniao-2 cruise missiles, which can reach 1,000 km in range. Meanwhile, advanced airborne warning and control system aircraft and airborne refuelling planes were also deployed during the exercise. The maneuvers were the largest the PLA has ever conducted in terms of scale, duration, numbers of personnel and advanced weaponry deployed in recent decades. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 31, 2001.]

5. PRC-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (“CHINESE AMBASSADOR URGES SMOOTH RELATIONS WITH BEIJING,” Tokyo, 8/31/01) reported that PRC ambassador to Japan Wu Dawei said Friday that Japan’s relations with the PRC are at their worst in 30 years. Wu said both sides must create an atmosphere for fostering better ties, but urged Japan to take the initiative. Regarding Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s possible visit to the PRC, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shinichi Iida said, “Under present circumstances, the ‘proper environment’, as the Chinese call it, has not been achieved yet.”

6. UN Views on US Missile Defense

Reuters (Michael Christie, “KEEP SPACE WEAPONS-FREE, UN URGES,” Sydney, 8/30/01) reported that the United Nations on Thursday urged US President George W. Bush to keep his plans for a missile shield down on earth and to preserve outer space for peace. UN Under-Secretary General for disarmament affairs Jayantha Dhanapala in an interview, “Hitherto outer space has been militarized we concede but not weaponized. There has been no placement of weapons in outer space. I believe it is vitally important that we should preserve outer space for peaceful purposes and the development of missile defenses should in no way violate the present non-weaponized state of outer space.” Dhanapala said that a commission chartered by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had endorsed a view that the US should seek total domination of space, indicating that that could be a future direction of US policy. Dhanapala also expressed more general reservations about Bush’s missile defense plans and his intention to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. While UN member states had the freedom to decide on their own security arrangements, he said any abrogation of the treaty or multilateral push to build a missile shield could carry an “enormous cost.” Dhanapala said, “It’s going to certainly, according to the stated intentions of some countries, lead to the production of more missiles. So what we are going to see is perhaps an increase in tension…we are probably going to see a deterioration in the international peace and security situation unless of course there is some kind of collective agreement among the nuclear weapons states which will help to salvage the present situation.” He said that the PRC had made it clear to him that that it would accelerate its military modernization if the US went ahead. He said, “My discussions with the Chinese, discussions I’ve had in Beijing and elsewhere, indicated this.” He also said that he had taken note of a suggestion by Bush that the US would be willing to unilaterally slash its nuclear warheads as part of a missile shield plan; however, Dhanapala said the UN preferred multilateral treaties to unilateral promises for the simple reason that they were irreversible, and could be verified and legally enforced.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-Russia Loan Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “N.K.-RUSSIA TO HOLD LOAN TALKS IN SEPTEMBER,” Seoul, 08/30/01) reported that the ROK’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) disclosed on August 29 that the DPRK and Russia will hold another round of vice-minister level meeting in Moscow for further discussion on bilateral loan adjustment in September. The two nations expect to determine the exact scale of the loan extended from the old Soviet Union (USSR) to the DPRK back in the 50s. The two nations also expect to conclude on the methods of repayment at joint economic meeting slated for late this year between vice-premiers.

2. ROK-DPRK Civic Group Talks

Joongang Ilbo (“SOUTH CIVIC GROUP TO SUGGEST SEPT. 12-14 FOR WORKING-LEVEL TALKS,” Seoul, 08/30/01) reported that the Headquarters for the Promotion of the 2001 Joint Events of the Nation for Implementing the ROK-DPRK Joint Declaration based in the ROK suggested to hold inter-Korean working level talks September 12-14. The Headquarters said, “We have decided to settle on the date first and come up with appropriate location later.”

3. DPRK-PRC Summit

Voice of Russia (“N.K. TO NOTIFY ON SEOUL VISIT AT DPRK-CHINA SUMMIT,” Russia, 08/30/01) reported that the Voice of Russia (VOR) said on August 29 that the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il will inform PRC President Jiang Zemin of his preparations for an ROK visit during his summit meeting with slated for next week. VOR went on to report the two sides would also discuss the latest issues about the Korean Peninsula, which will mostly be security issues that affect not only Northeast Asia but internationally as well.

4. Russian Expert’s View on DPRK

The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, “NK OFFERS CONTACT ON CIVILIAN EXCHANGE,” Seoul, 08/29/01) reported that in an apparent move to assuage criticism in the ROK regarding the disputed inter-Korean Liberation Day festivities, the DPRK proposed on August 28 that festival organizers from the ROK and the DPRK soon hold a meeting to implement civilian exchange programs. The statement released by the DPRK’s Council of National Reconciliation emphasized how the DPRK values the agreement struck up during the August 15-21 inter-Korean festivities in Pyongyang, in which 337 ROK citizens participated. The statement said, “We will make every effort to implement them.”

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

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
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

 


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