Daily Report Archives

Daily Report Archives

Established in December 1993, the Nautilus Institute’s *N*ortheast *A*sia *P*eace and *S*ecurity *N*etwork (NAPSNet) Daily Report served thousands of readers  in more than forty countries, including policy makers, diplomats, aid organizations, scholars, donors, activists, students, and journalists.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aimed to serve a community of practitioners engaged in solving the complex security and sustainability issues in the region, especially those posed by the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program and the threat of nuclear war in the region.  It was distributed by email rom 1993-1997, and went on-line in December 1997, which is when the archive on this site begins. The format at that time can be seen here.

However, for multiple reasons—the rise of instantaneous news services, the evolution of the North Korea and nuclear issues, the increasing demand for specialized and synthetic analysis of these and related issues, and the decline in donor support for NAPSNet—the Institute stopped producing the Daily Report news summary service as of December 17, 2010.

NAPSNet

NAPSNet Daily Report 10 March, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (“N. KOREAN INVITED TO WASHINGTON,” Washington, 3/10/97) reported that US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns said Monday that DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan and a few other DPRK officials who took part in talks with US diplomats last week in New York are spending this week in Washington on a private visit. The diplomats were invited to Washington by the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan group that examines security and international economics issues, and also will meet privately with other individuals and organizations. Burns said no official meetings with Kim are planned because of the many hours he spent with US officials last Wednesday and Friday. Burns also expressed hope that after Kim returns to the DPRK to brief his superiors on last week’s meetings, Pyongyang will accept the US-ROK proposal for four-party negotiations on achieving a permanent settlement of the Korea conflict.

The USIA reported (“U.S. OFFICIAL ON BILATERAL MEETINGS WITH NORTH KOREA,” 3/10/97) that US and DPRK delegations ended 10 hours of meetings March 7. The delegations gave no details about the substance of the talks, which reportedly covered nuclear nonproliferation, the remains of US soldiers from the Korean War, and reciprocally opening liaison offices. The delegations were headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim G

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NAPSNet Daily Report 07 March, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (“U.S., NORTH KOREANS HOLD TALKS,” Seoul, 3/7/97) reported that US and DPRK officials met at the US mission to the UN in New York on Friday. With the DPRK delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, and the US side led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Charles Kartman, the meeting represented the highest-level contact between the two countries in a year. US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two sides were to discuss whether to resume negotiations on the DPRK’s missile program, the joint search for US service members missing in the Korean War, and the opening of offices in each other’s countries. The DPRK also was expected to press for more help in overcoming its critical food shortages. The talks took place two days after Wednesday’s landmark joint US/ROK briefing of the DPRK on the four-party peace talks proposal. The US-DPRK talks appeared to be an allowance to the DPRK, which itself conceded in joining the earlier talks involving direct DPRK-ROK contacts on security issues. The DPRK for years has sought diplomatic contacts with Washington to the exclusion of its rivals in Seoul, and last week the DPRK’s official media reported that its delegation would meet with the US but made no mention of the earlier talks that included the ROK.

2. Hwang Defection

Reuters (“CHINA CALLS FOR COOL HEADS I

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NAPSNet Daily Report 06 March, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China.

IV. Japan

I. United States

1. US and ROK Cancel Joint Military Exercise

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, THURSDAY, MARCH 6,” USIA Report, 2/6/97) confirmed media reports that the US and the ROK have decided to cancel “Team Spirit” joint military exercises for 1997. “We made this decision taking into account the overall security situation on the Korean peninsula,” Burns said. “This cancellation will have no impact on the readiness of our military forces — American and South Korean — to defend South Korea.” Burns said the cancellation is part of an effort to build confidence and “to create an atmosphere to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula.”

Reuters (“UNITED STATES, SOUTH KOREA SCRAP WAR GAMES,” Seoul, 3/6/97) reported that the US and the ROK canceled this year’s Team Spirit military exercises as a goodwill gesture to encourage the DPRK to join Korean peninsula peace talks. The announcement comes after the Wednesday’s landmark meeting among US, ROK and DPRK officials in New York to brief the DPRK on the joint US/ROK four-party peace talks proposal. Pyongyang has bitterly denounced past Team Spirit exercises, which involve tens of thousands of troops from all branches of both countries militaries, as preparation for an invasion. The once-annual Team Spirit exercises have not been held since 1993, although a decision on whether to resume them is taken each year. A ROK defense ministry statement said the cancellatio

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NAPSNet Daily Report 04 March, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Announcement

I. United States

1. Briefing Session on Four-Party Talks

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “US HOPES KOREA TALKS PROGRESS,” Washington, 3/4/97) reported that all arrangements are in place for the upcoming US-ROK briefing of the DPRK on the proposed four-party Korean peace talks. Although the modest agenda calls only for the US, the ROK, and the DPRK to talk about the proposed talks, officials see the meeting as something of a breakthrough, considering the impasse between Pyongyang and Seoul less than 10 weeks ago. In addition, the DPRK’s agreement to engage in talks in the presence of the ROK represents another breakthrough, given the past DPRK insistence on dealing exclusively with the US. The main message the US will be taking to the Wednesday meeting is that it is attaching no conditions on the part of the DPRK to attend the formal negotiations, a senior official said. Leading the respective delegations will be US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman, DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan and ROK Assistant Foreign Minister Song Young-shik. The report noted that the briefing will be held around three tables joined together as a triangle. The DPRK twice canceled the briefing session earlier this year, and agreed to the current date only after the US and the ROK pledged US$16 million in food relief.

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPT. BRIEFING, MARCH 3,” USIA Transcript, 3/4/97) said that the US “is looking

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NAPSNet Daily Report 03 March, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Assessment of Korean Situation

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “KOREA PEACE PROCESS ASSESSED,” Washington, 3/1/97) reported that US officials said Monday that the Clinton administration believes the DPRK will not be prepared to enter into formal peace talks with the ROK at least until this summer, even if the preliminary “briefing” this week in New York on the US-ROK proposal for four-party peace talks goes well. US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters that at the briefing US and ROK officials “intend to explain our ideas concerning the goals of the four-party talks, and we want to propose arrangements for the negotiating process options for the negotiating process itself. We hope it does provide the North Koreans with sufficient information that they will want to accept this proposal nearly one year after it was made.” Later, a senior official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the DPRK crossed a major political hurdle by agreeing to sit at the same table with the ROK, the first time that will happen since the Korean armistice was signed 44 years ago. But the senior official expressed doubt that the DPRK will be ready to move quickly to the peace table. Even if the DPRK commits itself to peace talks, Pyongyang probably will not agree to begin negotiations until after July when important party meetings are scheduled and the country will observe the third anniversary of the death of their longti

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NAPSNet Daily Report 28 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK Defense Official Dies

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA DEFENSE OFFICIAL DIES,” Seoul, 2/28/97) and United Press International (“N.KOREA DEFENSE LEADER CANDIDATE DIES,” Seoul, 2/28/97) reported that DPRK radio monitored in the ROK and Japan said on Friday that Army Vice-Marshall Kim Kwang-jin, 78, vice minister of the People’s Armed Forces and a leading candidate for the vacant post of defense minister, has died from an undisclosed illness. The defense ministry leadership opened less than a week ago with the February 21 death of Defense Minister Choe Kwang, who was considered to be the DPRK’s second ranking military official. Like the late defense minister, the 69-year-old Kim was part of the so-called “revolution generation” of old guard leaders who rose to power under DPRK founder Kim Il-sung. ROK analysts have said that Choe’s death provides Kim Jong-il the opportunity to shore up his power base by naming younger replacements loyal to him. The funeral arrangements for Choe, particularly the decisions to include some officials on the planning committee and not others, have suggested that just such a shake-up is in progress.

2. Implications of DPRK Defense Officials Deaths

The Associated Press (“N.KOREA MILITARY LEADERS CHANGE,” Seoul, 2/28/97) reported that the deaths of the DPRK’s two top army generals in less than a week are expected to accelerate a generational change in the country’s aging m

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NAPSNet Daily Report 27 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. Hwang Defection: ROK-PRC Talks

Reuters (“S. KOREA-CHINA TALKS ON DEFECTOR BOGGED DOWN,” Beijing, 2/27/97) reported that ROK-PRC discussions Thursday over the fate of DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop produced no progress. “It’s still going on,” ROK Embassy spokesman Chang Moon-ik said. When asked when Hwang might be able to leave the PRC, Chang said, “Not this month.” Chang declined to say what issues, if any, were holding up negotiations on Hwang. “It’s very hard to say when this case will be over,” he said. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang called for calm and said Beijing did not wish to see new tension on the Korean peninsula. “We hope that all sides concerned seek with a calm and objective attitude a solution to appropriately resolve the matter to maintain peace and stability in the Korean peninsula,” Tang told a news briefing. “We do not wish to see this matter giving rise to new tensions in the Korean peninsula. Whether the problem is resolved fast or slow hinges completely on when and under what circumstances (the) concerned sides find a way to appropriately resolve it,” he said.

2. DPRK Woman Defects to ROK

The Associated Press (“N.KOREAN WOMAN WALKS ACROSS DMZ,” Seoul, 2/27/97) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that on Thursday a DPRK woman walked across the Korean Demilitarized Zone to defect to the ROK. Lee Kyu Sun, 25, was spotted by ROK border guards near the east coast, t

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NAPSNet Daily Report 26 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. US Official Statements to US Congress on Korean Policy

I. United States

1. Four Part Talks Briefing

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPT. NOON BRIEFING, FEB. 26,” USIA Transcript, 2/26/97) stated: “Next week, as you know, the Secretary announced in Seoul that we will be having the first briefing on the Four-Party Talks among the South Koreans and the North Koreans, including with the United States. That will be followed by a bilateral meeting with the South Koreans and the United States, and a bilateral meeting with the North Koreans. The briefing, among the three, will be on March 5. There is going to be photo opportunity for those of you who would like to cover it. There won’t be a speaking part to this. But for the first time, you’ll be able to record a meeting on camera with the North Koreans and the South Koreans and the United States.” Burns later added: “What the North Koreans should know is that the United States has a fundamental commitment to the security of South Korea; that our 37,000 troops in the Republic of Korea are dedicated to defending South Korea. That’s why we want to go to the Four-Party Talks: to reduce this climate of suspicion and distrust, to reduce the level of military tension along the 151 miles of the Demilitarized Zone, and to try to point towards eventually a peace treaty that would end effectively, after 46 excuse me, 43 years, the Korean War.” In response to a question noting that the DPRK agreed to attend the briefing after the US promised food aid, Burns said: “The

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NAPSNet Daily Report 25 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Meeting

US Acting State Department Spokesman Glynn Davies (“REPORT ON STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, FEB. 25,” USIA Report, 2/25/97) said that US and DPRK officials will meet in New York on March 7. Among the bilateral issues the two sides will discuss is the possibility of opening liaison offices in each others’ countries. This meeting is in addition to the previously announced joint US-ROK briefing of the DPRK on the four-party peace talks proposal scheduled for March 5, also in New York.

2. Past DPRK Defector Dies from Shooting

Reuters (“N.KOREAN DEFECTOR DIES OF GUNSHOT WOUNDS,” Seoul, 2/25/97) and the Associated Press (“SHOT KOREAN DEFECTOR DIES,” Seoul, 2/25/97) reported that past DPRK defector Li Il-nam, known in the ROK as Lee Han-yong, died on Tuesday after being shot on February 15. Doctors at the Cha Hospital in Bundang, a suburb south of Seoul, said they could not remove a bullet in Li’s head because it was too deeply planted. He had been in a coma since the shooting and had not been expected to survive. Lee, 36, was the nephew of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s former wife. At the time of the shooting, police asserted that the assailants were DPRK agents. Although not abandoning that theory, police have since suggested the shooting might have been the result of a failed business deal or a personal dispute. On Monday, police distributed 300,000 copies of a photo of a man suspected in

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NAPSNet Daily Report 24 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

IV. Text of Albright-Yoo Joint Press Conference

I. United States

1. DPRK To Attend Four-Party Talks Briefing

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA TO JOIN PEACE TALKS,” Seoul, 2/21/97) and Reuters (“N.KOREA TO ATTEND BRIEFING ON PEACE TALKS,” Seoul, 2/21/97) reported that on Friday the DPRK agreed to attend a joint US-ROK briefing on the four-party peace talks proposal. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency, quoting an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that the briefing session is scheduled to take place March 5 in New York. According to officials in Seoul, the delegations to the briefing will be led by US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman, ROK Assistant Foreign Minister Song Young-shik, and DPRK Assistant Foreign Minister Kim Kye-kwan. Attendance of the briefing would mark the first time DPRK officials have sat down for direct negotiations with ROK officials. The briefing is intended to explain to the DPRK the four-party Korean peace talks proposal first put forward by US President Bill Clinton and ROK President Kim Young-sam in April, 1996. The peace talks, aimed at achieving a permanent peace treaty to replace the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, would be attended by the DPRK, the ROK, the US, and the PRC. The DPRK’s agreement to attend the briefing came after the US and the ROK announced earlier in the week that they would provide a combined US$16 million in food aid. The DPRK previously backed out of an agreement to attend the briefing in January after

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