NAPSNET Week in Review 16 March, 2001

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"NAPSNET Week in Review 16 March, 2001", NAPSNet Weekly Report, March 16, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-week-in-review-16-march-2001/

Korea 


1. US-DPRK Missile TalksSeveral US Congressmen urged US President George Bush to not commit himself to the 1994 Agreed Framework with the DPRK. US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a press conference that “We are monitoring the Agreed Framework, and we’ve continued to support the 1994 Agreed framework.”
“US-DPRK Missile Talks” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)

Wendy R. Sherman, senior policy coordinator on the DPRK for the Clinton administration, said this week that a US-DPRK agreement to end the DPRK’s long-range missile program was in reach near the end of the Clinton administration. Several important issues remained unresolved, including how to verify the agreements, whether the DPRK was willing to destroy missiles already produced, and the value of the non-monetary aid that the DPRK should receive in lieu of cash. US President George Bush told ROK President Kim Dae-jung that he would not resume negotiations with the DPRK on missile talks anytime soon. Bush was supportive of Kim’s attempts to warm relations with the DPRK, but told Kim that the US still regards the DPRK as a threat.
“US-DPRK Missile Talks” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)


2. US Policy toward DPRKUS State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher denied that there was a disagreement between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and the President George W. Bush on US policy toward the DPRK. Boucher said that the administrations policy toward the DPRK is based on “a number of essential elements.” Boucher said during a briefing that there are six “essential elements” to the new US administration’s policy towards the DPRK; he identified the six elements of US policy on the DPRK, but would say only that US policy was under “review.”
“US Policy toward DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, US)
“US Policy towards DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, ROK)

Joel Wit, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, said that the Bush administration “really don’t have their act together.” Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy and a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, argued, “…With an absence of any real changes, suggestions of concessions, political legitimization and perhaps even assistance is pretty much a debatable proposition.”
“US Policy toward DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, US)


3. ROK View of US-DPRK RelationsMarch 7, US President George W. Bush held two rounds of talks with visiting ROK President Kim Dae-jung, reiterating the alliance relations between US and ROK but ruling out the possibility of resuming dialogue with the DPRK in the short term. Kim said at a luncheon on March 8 that the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been alleviated significantly and he hoped that the tendency would continue to be maintained.
“ROK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)
“ROK View of US-DPRK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)
“US-DPRK relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, US)

ROK officials said Monday the ROK and the US plan to hold working-level talks in Seoul later this month to coordinate differences over their DPRK stances. The opening of the senior-level meeting is a follow-up measure to the summit talks between Presidents Kim Dae-jung and George W. Bush in Washington last week.
“ROK-US Talks” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, ROK)
“ROK-US Policy Coordination” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, ROK)


4. US View of US-ROK Summit MeetingRobert A. Manning, a senior fellow and director of Asian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, argued that an analysis of the recent US-ROK summit meeting reveals more common ground than the media coverage would suggest and that the DPRK will likely determine the path pursued by both the US and the ROK. A Christian Science Monitor editorial said that Bush “rashly” reversed the US stance toward the DPRK and cut off talks.
“US View of US-ROK Summit Meeting” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, Japan)
“US-DPRK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 15, US)

Evans Revere, acting US ambassador to the ROK, called for Seoul’s prior consultations with Washington in case that the ROK and the DPRK seek an agreement that would affect US military presence here. Revere also advised the ROK not to continue providing unconditional aid to the DPRK.
“US on Inter-Korean Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 15, ROK)
“US View of ROK-DPRK Policy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, ROK)


5. ROK View of Policy towards DPRKAides to President Kim Dae-jung said he will soon formulate his new approach toward the DPRK on the basis of his talks with US President George W. Bush and other US leaders. The aides said that overall, there will be no significant change in Kim’s reconciliatory policy on the DPRK, but that the relatively hard-line US position will be a minor factor in his future approach. Last week’s ROK-US summit talks and its ambivalent results have rekindled friction within domestic political circles over the ROK government’s DPRK policy.
“ROK Policy towards DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, ROK)
“ROK View of Policy towards DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, ROK)
“ROK Policy towards DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, ROK)


6. DPRK View of USThe DPRK’s Radio Pyongyang said in a commentary, “We have watched the United States’ attitude toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since the inauguration of the Bush administration, and we have found that it is assuming a defiant attitude toward us. …All this shows that the United States has no intention to improve ties with the DPRK and rather hopes to squeeze us to death with its hostile policies.”
“DPRK View of US” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)

Sir John Kerr, British foreign undersecretary, who recently visited DPRK, suggested that despite Washington’s harder stand on Pyongyang, the DPRK hopes that the current inter-Korean rapprochement will continue.
“British Envoy’s Brief on DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 15, US)


7. Japanese-US-ROK Policy CoordinationJapan, the US, and the ROK are now jointly working to set a meeting of the Trilateral Policy Coordination Group in Seoul on March 26. However, experts in the two countries have voiced concerns over the results of the US meeting as Mori has signaled his intention to resign and is expected to leave office in April.
“Japanese-US-ROK Policy Coordination” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, Japan)
“Japan-US Talks” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)


8. Inter-Korean RelationsThe DPRK on March 13 postponed meetings planned for this week between DPRK and ROK cabinet members on major topics affecting inter- Korean relations. There was speculation in the ROK that the DPRK, by canceling the meeting, was sending a signal that its leader, Kim Jong-il, was unhappy about comments in the US last week by US President George W. Bush after his meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-jung. ROK officials searched for reasons other than DPRK anger with Bush for the cancellation of the meetings.
“ROK-DPRK Talks” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)
“Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, ROK)

The ROK government on Monday decided to provide about US$6.3 million worth of humanitarian aid, including winter underwear and surplus fruits, to the DPRK this month, officials said.
“ROK Aid to DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, ROK)
“Food Aid to DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, US)


9. DPRK Domestic IssuesROK diplomatic sources said DPRK officials expressed hope it will become a member of the World Bank during their visit to the US early this month.
“DPRK Desire to Join World Bank” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, ROK)

On March 12, the DPRK conducted a civilian air raid evacuation exercise in Pyongyang from March 6-8. The report said that Pyongyang residents evacuated to underground or air raid shelters after a siren beep.
“DPRK Air Raid Evacuation Exercise” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, Japan)

The ROK’s main government intelligence agency said on March 10 that twelve DPRK citizens arrived in Seoul after escaping their country.
“DPRK-EU Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, ROK)


China


1. PRC Proliferation IssuesIndian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh stated that India’s concerns had been conveyed to PRC leader Li Peng about the possible transfer of PRC missile and nuclear technology to Pakistan.
India Nuclear Program” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)

PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan rejected US allegations that PRC companies helped improve Iraqi air defenses in violation of UN sanctions.
“PRC Aid to Iraqi Air Defenses” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)


2. US-PRC Military ExchangesUS Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of the Pacific Command, was to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday for the first of about 30 high-level military exchanges and “events” between the US and PRC militaries set for this year. US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has limited the program of military-to-military exchanges set up by the previous administration to three months and is reviewing its benefits before continuing beyond that.
“US-PRC Military Exchanges” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)


3. Bush Visit to PRCPRC Premier Zhu Rongji made public an invitation to US President George W. Bush for a state visit during conciliatory remarks towards the US, just three days before a key visit to New York and Washington by PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen. US administration officials said Friday that US President George W. Bush intended to make a state visit to the PRC in October, but that the White House was holding off on an official announcement of the visit. Bush had already announced plans to visit Shanghai in October to attend the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
“Bush Visit to PRC” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, US)
“PRC Invitation for Bush Visit” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 15, US)
“US Visit by PRC Official” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, US)


4. US Arms Sales to TaiwanPRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan warned that the US should realize the serious danger of continuing to sell advanced military hardware to Taiwan. The sale of advanced weapons, such as AEGIS missile destroyers and the Patriot anti-missile defense system, will send “a very wrong signal” to the Taiwan authorities, he said.
“US Arms Sales to Taiwan” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)

During the next few weeks, the US administration will decide what kind of weapons to sell to Taiwan, though neither Taiwan nor the US has publicly disclosed what the Taiwanese are asking for this year. Kurt Campbell, a former senior US Defense Department official said, “The whole Aegis issue has taken on extraordinarily symbolic overtones. It determines whether you are for or against Taiwan.” Many US officials doubt whether Taiwan’s unsophisticated and outdated military could operate the destroyers. Taiwanese Lieutenant-commander Hsu Ming-huang said on March 13 that Taiwan faces its biggest military threat from the PRC’s growing missile arsenal. US ambassador to the PRC Joseph Prueher defended US arms sales to Taiwan and US criticism of the PRC’s human rights record. A new report by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee finds that Taiwan urgently needs access to high-tech arms, training and intelligence from the US if it is to repel a growing military threat from the PRC.
“US Weapons Sales to Taiwan” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)
“US Report on Taiwan” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, US)


5. Cross-Straits RelationsThe PRC reiterated Friday that it would not reopen talks with Taiwan until the Taiwanese government clearly affirms the “one-China” principle. US spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US has reassured the PRC that US Secretary of State Colin Powell did not imply any change in policy when he referred to Taiwan as the Republic of China last week.
“Cross-Straits Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, US)
“New PRC Missile Base” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 15, US)
“One-China Principle” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)
“Taiwan Question” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)


6. PRC MilitaryThe PRC announced an increase its military budget by 17.7 percent jump to $17.2 billion this year. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that the budget increase has nothing to do with US NMD development or threatening Taiwan. However, he stressed the need to maintain a rising income for PRC servicemen in tandem with other rising incomes and the need to modernize the PRC’s national defense system and to introduce reform to its military structure. Shen Dingli, a PRC military expert at Shanghai’s Fudan University, said, “We’re increasing our military capability in order to ensure that Taiwan doesn’t declare independence. But what China is adding to its arsenal is far from what’s necessary to challenge the United States in the Asia-Pacific.”
“PRC Military Budget” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)
“PRC Military Budget” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, US)

The Washington Times reported that a US spy satellite detected a newly completed PRC missile base opposite Taiwan where the PRC has placed its newest short-range missiles. Taiwan on Friday warned the PRC that it faced “grave” consequences if force was used against the island.
“Cross-Straits Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, US)
“New PRC Missile Base” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 15, US)


Japan


1. Domestic PoliticsJapanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori denied his intention to resign at the Upper House preliminary session on March 15. Mori stated, “I have no intention to resign for the time being.”
“Prime Minister’s Resignation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, Japan)


2. US Submarine AccidentRear Admiral David M. Stone stated that there were a number of missteps leading to the crash of the US nuclear submarine Greeneville into the Ehime Maru: An important piece of sonar equipment was on the blink, an unqualified trainee was manning one sonar station, and many crew members normally on board were not on the voyage.
“US Submarine Accident” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)


3. US Troops on OkinawaKeiichi Inamine, the governor of the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, on Friday called on Japan’s central government for a reduction in the number of US troops stationed in his prefecture.
“US Troops on Okinawa” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, US)

Japan and the US agreed on March 8 to begin talks on reviewing part of a military pact on the status of US forces in Japan, a move that may give Japan more say in handling crimes committed by US servicemen.
“US-Japan relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)


South Asia


1. Nuclear WeaponsIndian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee stated that, while India would not “use the nuclear option for destruction,” it would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons to protect the safety and territorial integrity of the country. Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes stated that India began its nuclear program because of threats from the PRC that were not met by security guarantees from the Soviet Union or Western countries.
“India Nuclear Program” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)

Amitabh Mattoo, Director of the Center for National Security Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, stated that India and Pakistan should discuss nuclear issues, because it is no longer to eliminate nuclear weapons from South Asia and because the nuclear safety of South Asia should not be held hostage to the Kashmir issue.
“South Asia Nuclear Dialogue” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)


2. Indian Defense BudgetAn editorial in The Dawn by Tanvir Ahmad Khan discusses the budgetary increases in Indian defense spending over the last two years. Afzaal Mahmood writes in an editorial for The Dawn that this year’s hike in India’s defense budget, when combined with the previous year’s increase, demonstrates that India is seeking to play an ambitious role in Asian strategic issues.
“Defense Budget” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)


3. Unilateral CeasefireIndian Home Minister L.K. Advani stated that Pakistan’s response to India’s unilateral ceasefire was inadequate. Manoj Joshi reports in the Times of India that Indian Army soldiers are complaining that the ceasefire conditions prevent them from patrolling areas outside their inadequately protected perimeters, and therefore open them to attacks by militants. Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee reportedly hinted at the resumption of talks on the future of Kashmir, though he did not state whether such talks would be with Pakistan or with Kashmiri groups. Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani stated that the Indian government was ready to hold talks with various Kashmiri groups, but would not seek a mediation role for the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.
“Unilateral Ceasefire” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)
“Militant Groups” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)


4. Kofi Annan VisitUN Secretary General Kofi Annan is in the middle of a trip to South Asia, where he is to visit Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and India, in that order. While in Pakistan, he stated that a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue rests within the Lahore Declaration, and not with implementation of the UN resolutions on the Kashmir or on a human rights commission. The Times of India reported that this statement is supportive of India’s position on the issue.
“Kofi Annan Visit” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)


5. Pakistan Missile TestThe Pakistan Navy successfully test-fired from its submerged Agosta 90-B submarine a French-made Exocet SM-39 subsurface-to-surface missile.
“Missile Test” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)


6. Sri Lanka Peace ProcessAfter meeting with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim traveled to London to meet with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief negotiator Anton Balasingham. Solheim stated that the differences between the two sides appear to be narrowing.
“Peace Process” (SANDNet Weekly Update, Vol. 2 #11)


Nuclear Weapons


1. Alleged Russian Nuclear TestsThe New York Times reports that some intelligence officials and nuclear analysts in the US have concluded that Russia is lying when it said it conducted only non-nuclear underground tests on an Arctic island and is instead detonating small nuclear blasts.
“Alleged Russian Nuclear Tests” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)


Missile Defense


1. Missile Defense Debate in EuropeWade Boese reviews the missile defense debate and reports in the March 2001 Arms Control Today that Europe is beginning to accept the prospect of a US missile defense system, while potential US adversaries such as Russia and the PRC continue to oppose NMD. US Secretary of State Colin Powell has promised the Danish government that the US will discuss its plans for a missile defense system “very thoroughly” with NATO and also consult Russia and China on the issue.
“Missile Defense Debate in Europe” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)

US Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld held talks with the NATO Secretary-general and his German counterpart, and said afterwards that he is considering renaming the “National Missile Defense (NMD)” system as the “Missile Defense” (MD) system, to show US allies that the planned system can not only protect the US homeland, but its forward-deployed forces and allies.
“US Missile Defense” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, PRC)

Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said, “The only reason the United States has for deploying NMD, in our opinion, is its desire to achieve strategic domination of the world.”
“Russian Missile Defense Proposal” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)


2. Missile Defense Debate in AsiaIn an e-mail dispatch sent to US Secretary of State Colin Powell and tens of other prominent Americans over the weekend, Representative Jang Sung-min of the ROK’s Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) stated that the National Missile Defense (NMD) system will bring negative consequences to the fledgling detente on the Korean peninsula.
“ROK Lawmaker on US Missile Program” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 12, US)

The National Institute for Defense Studies, the Japanese Defense Agency’s research institute, stated, in its annual East Asia Strategic Outlook on March 10 regarding the PRC’s missile development, “The PRC would increase the power of its inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) regardless of US national missile defense (NMD) deployment.”
“Japanese View of PRC Missile Development” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 16, Japan)

Sha Zukang, director general of the PRC Foreign Ministry’s Department of Arms Control, on Wednesday criticized the US National Missile Defense (NMD) proposal as “a U.S. program of unilateral nuclear expansion.”
“PRC View of US Missile Defense” (NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, US)


3. US Missile Defense SystemThe US General Accounting Office said in a report issued this week that the US Defense Department’s Space-Based Infrared System Low is “at high risk of not delivering the system on time, at cost, or with expected performance.” The Council for a Livable World published selected quotes from the Annual Report from the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation. CLW states that the report delivers a critical indictment of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s testing program for National Missile Defense.
“US Missile Defense System” (NPP Weekly FLASH, V.3 #10)

 

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