NAPSNET Week in Review 11 September, 2000

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"NAPSNET Week in Review 11 September, 2000", NAPSNet Weekly Report, September 11, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-week-in-review-11-september-2000/

Korean Peninsula


1. DPRK Military Threats

Some missile experts theorize that the DPRK missile program was built with the help of Russian missile scientists who are continuing to provide key components for the DPRK’s missiles.
“DPRK Missile Program” (Daily Report, September 7, US)

Stephen Bosworth, US ambassador to the ROK, said, “It is important to recognize that at present, despite very encouraging developments in North Korea’s policy toward the South and the outside world, the physical threat posed by its military has not diminished at all.”
“DPRK Threat to the US” (Daily Report, September 8, US)

According to a document titled “North Korean Threat” that was compiled by the intelligence section of the US command in ROK, the DPRK has “an offensive military capability designed to prosecute a short and violent war.” It said that DPRK troops could overwhelm ROK and US troops “and occupy the Korean Peninsula” before reinforcements arrived from the US.
“US-DPRK Relations” (Daily Report, September 7, US)


2. DPRK Absence at UN Millennium Summit

The DPRK’s nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, blaming a “rude search” by US airline security officials, cancelled his trip to the UN Millennium Summit. ROK officials feared that the incident might hurt the DPRK ties with the US and international community, but DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon said that the incident would not affect relations between the two Koreas. ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn said that the US on Thursday sent a letter to the DPRK apologizing for the airline security checks.
“UN Millenium Summit” (Daily Report, September 7, ROK)
“DPRK Absence at UN Millennium Summit” (Daily Report, September 7, US)
“DPRK Participation in UN Summit” (Daily Report, September 5, US)

The US State Department and the White House said that they regretted the incident. US State Department confirmed on September 7 that a letter of “regret” was sent to the DPRK on September 5. The DPRK’s UN ambassador, Li Hyong-chol, stated, “The U.S. should understand that as long as they continue to resort to confrontation against us with such provocative acts, it will only disclose their true color as a destroyer of peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.”
“DPRK-ROK Relations” (Daily Report, September 6, US)
“DPRK Airport Security Incident” (Daily Report, September 8, US)
“US-DPRK Relations” (Daily Report, September 8, ROK)
“DPRK Participation in UN Summit” (Daily Report, September 6, US)
“DPRK UN Summit Cancellation” (Daily Report, September 6, ROK)

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said he was disappointed, but added that he remained willing to meet its leaders. Mori’s plan to announce the holding of a meeting with a top DPRK official in New York have been thwarted after the DPRK delegates pulled out of the UN Millennium Summit at the last minute.
“Japan-DPRK Relations” (Daily Report, September 6, US)
“Japanese-DPRK Talks” (Daily Report, September 8, ROK)

American Airlines said in a statement that the DPRK delegates allowed their baggage to be inspected but objected to a “pat down” body search; when they changed their minds there was insufficient time to process the delegation before the plane would depart. The airline endorsed the group’s tickets onto another carrier, but the DPRK delegates flew home instead. American Airlines had not been informed of the DPRK delegation’s travel plans by either the US Federal Aviation Administration or the US State Department and that if there had been an official US request for special treatment of the delegation, it would have been granted.
“DPRK Participation in UN Summit” (Daily Report, September 6, US)


3. ROK at UN Millennium Summit

ROK President Kim Dae-jung hailed the start of a “miracle” of rapprochement on the divided Korean peninsula, and thanked the United Nations for its support in easing tensions. He called the restoration of the peninsula under a single Korean sovereignty the “ultimate goal” of the talks, but said that it had to be achieved peacefully “no matter how long it takes.” Kim was also scheduled bilateral talks with leaders from the DPRK, the US, the PRC, Russia and Sweden. Talks are expected to focus on the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.
“ROK Speech in UN Millennium Summit” (Daily Report, September 7, US)
“Kim Dae-jung in UN Millennium Summit” (Daily Report, September 7, ROK)
“UN Summit” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)

ROK President Kim Dae-jung and US President Bill Clinton agreed in New York on September 7 to strive to establish a permanent peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula in conjunction with the DPRK and the PRC. ROK officials said that Kim reiterated his call for replacing the armistice with a new peace regime between the Koreas in order to secure lasting peace on the peninsula. ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn indicated that the ROK government would push for a so-called “two-plus-two” format to work out a new Korean peace system.
“UN Millennium Summit” (Daily Report, September 8, ROK)

ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn said that the UN will adopt a declaration by the General Assembly supporting the recent inter-Korean summit during the Millennium Summit.
“UN Statement on June Summit” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)


4. DPRK-ROK Talks

DPRK and ROK negotiators concluded two days of reconciliation talks by issuing a joint statement focusing on social and economic exchanges, but failed to agree on proposed military hotline and meetings between their defense leaders. Kim Hyung-ki, an assistant minister for unification policy with the ROK Unification Ministry, said that the ROK will move to hold military talks with the DPRK this month. The DPRK is placing top priority on economic cooperation, rather than military and political issues, but changed its stance at the end of the talks and accepted the ROK’s call for early discussions to open dialogue between their military authorities.
“DPRK-ROK Ministerial Talks” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)
“Inter-Korean Military Talks” (Daily Report, September 6, ROK)
“DPRK-ROK Talks” (Daily Report, September 6, RF)
“ROK Policy toward DPRK” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)
“Inter-Korean Relations” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)


5. DPRK-ROK Exchanges of Prisoners and Families

The ROK Defense Ministry said on September 6 that a total of 351 ROK prisoners of war (POWs) are presumed to be still alive in the DPRK. Kim Dae-jung admitted on that he estimates the number of ROK citizens held in the DPRK at between 700 and 800. The DPRK reported that tens of thousands of citizens in Pyongyang welcomed the 63 POWs with flowers on their return home.
“ROK POWs in DPRK” (Daily Report, September 7, ROK)
“ROK-DPRK Prisoner Exchange” (Daily Report, September 5, US)
“ROK-DPRK Prisoner Exchange” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)

DPRK spies released by the ROK returned safely to the DPRK through Panmunjom and approximately 500 people came out to greet the returning agents.
“ROK-DPRK Prisoner Exchange” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)

A proposal by the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC) to its DPRK counterpart for a second round of meetings met a cool response with the DPRK asking for a delay. Sung-kun, an official at the ROK National Red Cross, said that the ROK proposed last week that Red Cross officials from both sides meet to discuss more family reunions, but the DPRK sought a delay. The DPRK has failed to send responses to two of the latest ROK proposals for working-level contacts, sparking speculation among DPRK watchers about the DPRK’s protracted silence.
“Red Cross Talks” (Daily Report, September 6, ROK)
“Reunion of Separated Families” (Daily Report, September 5, US)
“ROK-DPRK Red Cross Talks” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)
“Inter-Korean Relations” (Daily Report, September 8, ROK)

The ROK government will allow all 76,000 people who registered for family reunions to exchange letters with their relatives in the DPRK as soon as they confirm their divided family members’ whereabouts. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said, “North Korea agreed to first allow those people who have confirmed their family members are alive on the other side to correspond with one another.”
“Reunion of Separated Families” (Daily Report, September 5, ROK)


6. DPRK Economy

According to visitors and other outside observers, the DPRK has emerged stronger and more stable from an economic and political crisis with key assistance from the US and other countries. These sources said that the DPRK economy is growing for the first time in nine years and the mass starvation of the past five years is largely over. The economy is estimated to be operating at only 75 percent of the level of a decade ago.
“DPRK Economy” (Daily Report, September 5, US)

The DPRK asked the ROK for one million tons of food in ministerial talks last week and wanted 200,000 tons delivered by the end of October, but ROK officials declined to comment on the news. Japan will soon announce food assistance worth 400,000 tons of rice to the DPRK, to be given through the World Food Program.
“ROK Food Aid to DPRK” (Daily Report, September 5, US)
“Japanese Food Aid to DPRK ” (Daily Report, September 5, US)
“Japanese Rice Aid to DPRK” (Daily Report, September 8, Japan)

US Ambassador to Korea Stephen Bosworth said on September 7 that if DPRK political leaders do not make fundamental changes to the way they operate their country’s economy, US businesses are not likely to make large-scale investment there any time soon.
“US-DPRK Relations” (Daily Report, September 8, ROK)


China


1. PRC Military Policy

Andrew Scobell, of the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College, assesses the political and economic determinants of the PRC’s effort to modernize its armed forces and the factors that will determine the selection of a strategy are examined.
“PRC Military Policy” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)

The Times of India covered a report issued by the Monterey Institute for International Studies that stated that the PRC has been a constant supplier to Pakistan of nuclear products and services. The report provides details of these transactions and of transactions related to missile equipment and technology.
“PRC Proliferation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.1, #33)


2. PRC-Taiwan Dialogue

PRC Foreign Minister Tien Hung-mao urged US President Bill Clinton to help restore the PRC’s stalled dialogue with Taiwan. Liu Xiaoming, the Minister of the PRC Embassy in the US, said that the PRC is not satisfied with the US policy towards the PRC. He said, “We are very concerned about the Democratic and Republican conventions and their party programs… The US has promised to follow the one-China policy and it should earnestly implement the three communiques between the Chinese and US governments and fulfill the series of promises it has made.”
“US Role in Cross-Straits Relations” (Daily Report, September 7, US)
“PRC-US Relations” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)

Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian urged the PRC to start a dialogue with the island, but to leave the issue of reunification for future generations to resolve.
“Cross-Straits Relations” (Daily Report, September 5, US)

For the eighth straight year the PRC has blocked Taiwan’s bid to join the UN.
“Taiwan Bid to Enter UN” (Daily Report, September 8, US)


3. PRC-Japan Relations

PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, in talks with the visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, called on young people in the PRC and Japan to learn the history of Sino-Japanese relations and appreciate the hard-won friendship.
“PRC-Japanese Relations” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and PRC President Jiang Zemin on September 7 discussed the need for Japan and the DPRK to establish diplomatic ties.
“Japanese-PRC Talks on DPRK” (Daily Report, September 8, Japan)


4. PRC-US Relations

On September 11, US senators will debate whether to punish the PRC for alleged exports of nuclear weapons technology, in a move seen as a serious threat to the prompt passage of permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) bill. A senior US administration official gave a briefing about the meeting between US President Bill Clinton and PRC president Jiang Zemin, and said they discussed such key issues as cross-strait relations between the PRC and Taiwan; missile proliferation; the current debate in the US Congress over granting the PRC Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status; the PRC’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO); Tibet; religious restrictions in the PRC; the inter-Korean summit; the DPRK’s missile proposals; and a review of Sino-US relations.
“PRC-US Relations” (Daily Report, September 8, US)


5. South China Sea

PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao said that the PRC and ASEAN countries continued to exchange ideas and they reduced divergence during the re-negotiation of the “Code of Conduct” concerning South China Sea.
“South China Sea ‘Code of Conduct'” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)


Japan


1. RF President Putin’s Visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori ended two days of talks without progress over claims to four islands off northern Japan that Russia seized at the end of World War II. However, they pledged Tuesday to press on toward a peace treaty. Mori said that there was no change “at this stage” in the Japanese position of demanding the simultaneous return of four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, referring to what is called the “return-of-two-islands theory,” or the reversion of Shikotan Island and the Habomai islets.
“Japan-Russia Talks” (Daily Report, September 5, US)
“Russian-Japanese Relations” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)
“Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue” (Daily Report, September 8, Japan)

RF President Vladimir Putin said that the RF recognized the existence of the Kuril problem, but there was no talk about “a return” of the isles. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said that he hoped for signing a peace treaty with the RF before the end of the year. Additional coverage from Russian media is available at the links below.
“RF President’s Visit to Japan” (Daily Report, September 6, RF)
“RF-Japan Territorial Dispute” (Daily Report, September 6, RF)


2. Japan-PRC Maritime Disagreement

The Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party approved a special 17.2 billion yen loan package for the PRC despite Japanese protests over recent PRC naval activities near Japanese waters. The Japanese government spotted PRC maritime activities in Japanese exclusive economic zone on September 7, and the Foreign Ministry asked the PRC Foreign Ministry to stop the activities. The PRC Foreign Ministry announced, “We expect to cooperate in immediately setting up a framework to mutually communicate.” Both the Japanese and PRC governments already agreed on August 31 to set up such a framework.
“PRC Naval Activities” (Daily Report, September 8, Japan)


Russia


1. Russian Nuclear Policy

The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry conducted three sub-critical nuclear tests from August 28 to September 3 in the North Sea. The tests were the second of their kind conducted this year.
“Russian Subcritical Nuclear Tests” (Daily Report, September 8, Japan)

By the end of 2001, the Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will lose a division as well as 26 launchers of R-36M missiles, five regiments will be disbanded, and by 2003 the Russian armed forces will become transformed into a three-branch structure composed of the air force, navy, and ground forces.
“Nuclear Weapons Deployment” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said that Russia wants to reduce the number of nuclear weapons “to the minimally allowable point.” and still maintain its great power status. Russian President Vladimir Putin offered pay raises and higher pensions to the nuclear sector but appears loath admit Russia may have too many military commitments for the post-Cold War order.
“Russian Nuclear Policy” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)
“Russian Military” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)


2. Russian Foreign Policy

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ report “Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation” said Russia will seek a multi-polar system of international relations and calls for the enhancement of strategic and regional stability through arms control, nuclear force reductions, nonproliferation agreements, nonintervention in state’s sovereign matters, and increased cooperation between Russia and NATO and Russia and the US.
“Russian Foreign Policy” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)


Nuclear Weapons


1. US Decision on NMD

US President Bill Clinton has decided to forego deployment of a National Missile Defense (NMD) system and decided not to initiate the construction of a key NMD radar site in Alaska. The US Defense Department and the US State Department are sharply divided over how far work on a limited NMD system would proceed before the US needed to give formal notice that it would withdraw from the ABM Treaty. Extensive coverage is available at the links below; further coverage will be available in next week’s report.
“US NMD System” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)
“US Decision on NMD” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)
“US NMD Diplomacy” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)
“Effect of US NMD Policy” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)
“NMD Alternatives” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)


2. PRC and Russian Responses to US NMD Decision

PRC President Jiang Zemin spoke to the UN Millennium Summit but made no mention of the US national missile defense (NMD) system. Instead, Jiang said, “The Cold War mentality must be abandoned once and for all and a new security concept — based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation — should be established. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao said that the PRC has taken note of this issue and thinks the US attitude is reasonable.
“PRC Political Stance” (Daily Report, September 6, US)
“PRC’s Response to US’s NMD Decision” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)

Putin stressed that Clinton’s decision does not necessarily mean that the US and Russia have reached consensus on ABM Treaty. However, Putin added that Russia will keep working with the US and other countries to cut nuclear arsenals, improve the non-proliferation regime, and strengthen strategic stability.
“Russia’s Response to US NMD Decision” (Daily Report, September 5, PRC)


3. Nuclear Weapons Deployment

Viktor Mikhailov, director of the Strategic Stability Institute and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said nuclear missile weapons will be a reliable instrument for ensuring global stability in the foreseeable future. Stephen Younger, chief weaponeer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, argued in a US Defense Department-sponsored paper that the US should develop “precision low-yield” nuclear weapons that could be used for attacking “modern targets” such as buried bunkers and mobile missiles.
“Nuclear Weapons Deployment” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)


4. Preventing WMD Proliferation

US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson promised $13 million to accelerate the transformation of a nuclear weapons production facility into a civilian technology park and also announced that two-and-a half tons of weapons-grade plutonium were secured from the BN-350 breeder reactor in Kazakhstan. Sources at the RF Pacific Fleet Headquarters said, “the fleet has got no money. So, as Richardson promised money, rather big money, the Russian military will 100 percent fulfill his request for confidentiality of the terms and the very subject of agreement.”
“RF Nuclear Waste Re-Processing” (Daily Report, September 6, RF)
“WMD Proliferation” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)
“US Nuclear Conversion Programs” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)

According to a biannual US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on global weapons of mass destruction (WMD) acquisition, proliferators are continuing their efforts to develop WMDs and insulate those programs from external interference.
“WMD Proliferation” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)


5. Military Hardware: Submarine Fleets

The British attack submarine HMS Tireless broke off operations near Sicily after it developed a hairline crack in its reactor coolant system. The Royal Navy said it repaired the Tireless in Gibraltar because it was safer than returning it to England, despite the fact that the Gibraltar base is not authorized to perform nuclear rector repairs.
“UK Submarine Accident” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)

Several experts have published statements to the effect that submarine fleets are dangerous to themselves and to strategic stability. The US and Russia persist in maintaining expensive submarine fleets, and other countries are following their model in the belief that they are necessary to be a modern nuclear power.
“Nuclear Submarine Non-Proliferation” (NPP Flash, V. 2, N. 29)


South Asia


1. India Nuclear Policy

An editorial in the Times of India argued that India should not pander to US beliefs about nuclear proliferation but should present the US with a new regional security concept, one which demonstrates that the PRC’s influence can be contained by regional actors. VR Raghavan argues that South Asia is victim of two contrasting trends: the imperative of India and Pakistan to become recognized as nuclear weapons states, and their unwillingness to engage in official talks on nuclear issues.
“Nuclear Policy in South Asia” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.1, #33)


2. International Agreements

Indian President Narayanan gave his assent to the parliamentary bill related to implementing India’s obligations as a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Indian Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s primary secretary Brajesh Mishra stated that India does not intend to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in the near future.
“International Agreements” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.1, #33)


3. India-PRC Military Exercises

India will send two warships to the PRC to participate in politically symbolic naval exercises. VV Paranjpe argued in The Hindu that India-PRC ties have improved but relations are still not “friendly.”
“India-PRC Relations” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.1, #33)

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