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 20 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1a. Hwang Defection: Effect of Deng’s Death

Reuters (“N. KOREA DEFECTOR TALKS PUT ON HOLD,” Seoul, 2/20/97) reported that ROK officials said Thursday that talks with the PRC to decide the fate of Hwang Jang-yop, the senior DPRK ideologue currently in the ROK consulate in Beijing, have been put on hold by the death of Deng Xiaoping. “China and the ROK share the same Asian tradition and you just don’t want to disturb mourning people,” a ROK foreign ministry official said. “We will refrain from raising Hwang’s issue with Chinese officials for the time being,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. He said a short-term delay in the talks over Hwang would not seriously affect his fate since his departure from Beijing was not imminent. “Delay in our negotiations over Hwang appears inevitable but that progress could be speeded up after Deng’s funeral,” the official said. The PRC on Thursday declared six days of mourning for Deng, who died late Wednesday. Another ministry official said Hwang had videotaped a confirmation of his intention to defect, and that this had been passed to the PRC government even before the DPRK began signaling Monday that it might be ready to accept Hwang’s evident choice. The official speculated that the PRC might have shown Hwang’s videotape to DPRK officials.

1b. Hwang Defection: Wall Street Journal Analysis

The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition carried an editorial (“WHO PULLED PYONGYANG’S STRING?,” 2/20/97) discussing the DPRK’s apparent change in position regarding the evident defection of t

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NAPSNet Daily Report 19 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1a. Hwang Defection: Current Negotiations

Reuters (“TALKS ON NORTH KOREA DEFECTOR STALL,” Seoul, 2/19/97) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman Lee Kyu-hyung on Wednesday said talks were stalled on the fate of top DPRK ideologue Hwang Jang-yop, who sought asylum in Seoul’s Beijing consulate last week. Lee denied a Japanese newspaper report that the PRC and the ROK had agreed that Hwang could leave Beijing for the ROK as early as this week. “Unfortunately, we have not made any real progress in our talks with China and it is too early to talk about when Hwang could leave Beijing,” Lee said. Another Foreign Ministry official, who asked not to be identified, said: “He is not likely to leave within a few days. It could be weeks before Hwang can secure his departure.” Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper had reported that Seoul and Beijing had “basically agreed to transfer Hwang” to the ROK. The DPRK had earlier indicated it was softening its stance over Hwang, whose defection marks one of the greatest embarrassments for one of the world’s few remaining communist states. Meanwhile, Lee Hong-koo of the ruling New Korea Party said Hwang’s defection was pushing the DPRK’s leadership into desperation, and warned that Seoul’s policy of seeking reunification of the Korean peninsula by treating Pyongyang as an equal partner might have to be abandoned. “Severe food shortages and economic difficulties are driving the North Korean system to an irreversible

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NAPSNet Daily Report 18 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

I. United States

1a. Hwang Defection: DPRK Position Shift

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA EASES UP ON DEFECTOR,” Beijing, 2/18/97) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, in an apparent reference to Hwang Jang-yop, who sought asylum in the ROK consulate in Beijing last week, said Tuesday in statement read on a domestic radio broadcast monitored in Tokyo that “cowards” who wanted to leave the country should go ahead and do so. “As the revolutionary song says, Cowards, Leave If You Want To! We will defend the red flag of revolution to the bitter end,” Kim said. Kim’s statement came just one day after the DPRK indicated it could accept Hwang’s defection, and also appears to be the first official comment by Kim that could be construed as touching on the incident. However, the statement did not specifically mention Hwang and was not personally read by Kim. Shinya Kato, an editor at Radio Press, the monitoring service that reported the remarks, said the broadcast likely was aimed at the few high-ranking officials in the DPRK who may have learned of Hwang’s apparent defection. “It can be seen as a warning,” Kato said. Kato noted, however, that the vast majority of DPRK citizens have no knowledge of Hwang’s apparent defection.

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA EASES UP ON DEFECTOR,” Be

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NAPSNet Daily Report 17 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Past DPRK Defector Shot in Seoul

Reuters (“S.KOREA ON ALERT FOR N.KOREA ATTACKS,” Seoul, 2/17/97) reported that ROK armed forces went on alert Monday for possible DPRK terrorist attacks, following the shooting of Lee Han-young, a prominent DPRK defector, by suspected DPRK agents outside the apartment building in which he was living in Seoul. Lee, known as Li Il-nam in the DPRK and nephew of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s alleged ex-wife, was in a coma with head and torso wounds and was said by doctors to be unlikely to regain consciousness. ROK Home Affairs Minister Suh Chung-hwa denounced the weekend shooting as “an assassination attempt by North Korean infiltrators.” A police officer was quoted as saying that, in response to the shooting, “We have drawn up a list of defectors, senior officials and politicians to provide tight security against any possible terrorist attacks by North Korea. Security around ports, airports and other public places has also been beefed up.” About 10,000 police and soldiers searched for the two suspected DPRK agents.

Reuters (“SHOOTING WORRIES KOREAN DEFECTORS IN SEOUL,” Seoul, 2/17/97) reported that the shooting of Lee Han-young has sent shock waves through Seoul’s community of DPRK escapees, many of whom live in fear for their lives, some of its members said Monday. More than 600 DPRK defectors live in the ROK. Lee’s shooting was the first assassination attempt on an escapee since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, a sen

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NAPSNet Daily Report 14 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1a. Hwang Defection: Hwang’s Statements [Ed. Note: please see the Special Reports issued earlier to day for excerpts from various Hwang letters.]

Reuters (“N.KOREA DEFECTOR THREATENS TO DIE IN BEIJING,” Rome, 2/14/97) reported a statement from the ROK embassy in Rome (but datelined Seoul) that Hwang Jang-yop, the DPRK official seeking asylum in the ROK, has said he will die in Beijing if his request is not granted. The statement quoted him as saying, “I want to make it clear that South Korea is the place where I want to go, and I will not go to any third country.” The embassy report also said Seoul’s foreign ministry had issued a statement Thursday hand-written by Hwang. It quoted Hwang’s note as saying, “My remaining life will not be long. I am a failed man in politics.” It also quotes the note as saying, “I don’t have a slightest intention to take a share in any one side. I only wish to give help to south-north relations and unification until the last minute of my life.”

1b. Hwang Defection: Embassy Events

The New York Times (Patrick E. Tyler, “DEFECTOR FROM KOREA IS HOT POTATO FOR BEIJING,” Beijing, 2/14/97) reported that Hwang’s case is extraordinary not only because of his rank, but also as a result of the defection drama playing itself out in front of the ROK embassy in Beijing.

The Los Angeles Times (Rone Tempest, “CHINA GRAPPLES WITH DEFECTION DILEMMA,” Beijing, 2/14/97) quoted ROK embassy spokesman Chang Mo

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NAPSNet Daily Report 13 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1a. Hwang Defection: Current Diplomacy

The Associated Press (Renee Schoof, “KOREAS MANEUVER OVER DEFECTOR,” Beijing, 2/13/97) reported that the PRC, the DPRK and the ROK were involved in frantic diplomatic maneuvering Thursday in the wake of the apparent defection of Hwang Jang-yop, the 72-year-old high-ranking DPRK official and party ideologue who on Wednesday sought asylum in the ROK embassy in Beijing. Defecting with Hwang was Kim Duk-hong, 59, identified as the president of a DPRK trading firm in Beijing. The ROK pressed the PRC to allow the ROK to bring Hwang immediately to Seoul, and enable ROK officials to learn all Hwang knows about the DPRK’s secretive government. The DPRK continues to insist Hwang has been kidnapped, and DPRK nationals have made attempts to get past PRC police guarding the ROK embassy to reach him [Ed. note: see item below]. The DPRK urged the PRC to take “appropriate measures” and threatened unspecified retaliation if Hwang had been kidnapped. The ROK responded by putting its entire 650,000-member military on higher alert. The PRC Foreign Ministry issued a brief statement calling for calm. PRC media did not cover the story other than to report the statement. PRC officials appeared to be seeking a way to navigate through the situation without offending either the DPRK, a long-time ally, or the ROK, an important new trading partner. Ultimately, however, the PRC government will have to decide whether Hwang will go to Pyongyang or Seoul.

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NAPSNet Daily Report 12 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. People’s Republic of China

I. United States

1. DPRK Official Apparently Defects

Reuters (“N. KOREA’S TOP IDEOLOGUE DEFECTS TO S. KOREA,” Seoul, 2/12/97) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Hwang Jang-yop, a close aide to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, defected and sought asylum at Seoul’s embassy in Beijing along with his assistant Kim Dok-hong. “Workers Party secretary Hwang Jang-yop expressed his intention to defect at 10:05 a.m. (local time) at the consular section of the embassy,” Ryu Kwang-sok, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asia-Pacific Bureau, told reporters. “Our embassy in China has notified Hwang’s defection to the Chinese authorities [sic] and we are trying to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels,” Ryu said. However, the DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quickly denied the report, issuing a foreign ministry statement saying the defection was “inconceivable and impossible” and that the ROK’s claim was a ruse to cover the kidnapping of the official. Hwang, 73, played a leading role in shaping the policy of Juche, which provides the ideological underpinning for communism in the DPRK, and is one of eleven secretaries on the powerful secretariat of the ruling Workers Party. He is also a member of the party’s central committee and is in charge of its foreign policy, according to Seoul officials who rank him number 24 in the Pyongyang power structure. The report of the defection comes four days before Kim Jong-il’s much heralded 55th birthday. The ROK minist

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NAPSNet Daily Report 11 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Food Aid to DPRK

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, FEB. 10,” USIA Transcript, 2/11/97) condemned the editorial article by Andrew Natsios in the February 9 edition of The Washington Post, and the accompanying staff editorial, which criticized the inadequacy and politicization of the US response to the DPRK food crisis. [Ed. note: For a summary of the Natsios editorial, see “Food Aid to DPRK” in the February 10 Daily Report.] Burns said: “This was very puzzling to me — very puzzling, indeed. Because we said several times last week, publicly … that the United States had met previous food appeals from the World Food Program; that we did treat as an urgent matter the humanitarian situation of the people of North Korea.” Burns added that the US is expecting another appeal from the UN World Food Program this week, and that the US “will very seriously study its analysis of the food situation in North Korea. We will make our decision to provide food assistance to North Korea based solely on humanitarian considerations.” Burns said that “as always” the US is consulting with the ROK, adding that, “We are doing what we must to fashion a good, consistent policy on the Korean peninsula for peace.” Burns concluded: “It’s very puzzling to see this strong editorial criticism from a major national newspaper when it is completely undeserved. We’ve been paying attention to the situation. We’ve been talking to the United Nation

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NAPSNet Daily Report 10 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Japan

I. United States

1. DPRK Nuclear Plant Construction Talks

The Dow Jones News Services (“S. KOREA, JAPAN, U.S. TO MEET FOR N. KOREA NUCLEAR TALKS,” Seoul, 2/10/97) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said Monday that officials from Seoul, Tokyo and Washington will meet later this week for talks on providing new nuclear reactors to the DPRK. The two-day working meeting will be held in Tokyo on Wednesday and Thursday, and will include discussion on various issues, including membership of the European Union in the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the international consortium set up to build two light-water reactors in the DPRK. The meeting also will discuss the dispatching of a survey team expected later this month, ministry officials said. Stephen Bosworth, KEDO Director, has said construction on the reactors would begin in April.

2. Four-Party Talks Briefing and DPRK Food Aid

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (Steve Glain, “N. KOREA BOYCOTT PLOY FOR MORE AID – S. KOREA OFFICIAL,” Seoul, 2/10/97) reported that ROK National Security Adviser Ban Ki Moon said in an interview that the DPRK’s decision to boycott the US/ROK joint briefing on the four-party peace talks proposal is a ploy to win new concessions in the form of food aid. DPRK officials last week that they would not participate in the briefing, a preliminary step toward formal talks, until negotiations with a US company for a large shipment of grain were concluded

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NAPSNet Daily Report 06 February, 1997

In today’s Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations: Food Aid, Briefing

DPRK Ambassador to United Nations Kim Hyong-u, in an interview with CNN world affairs correspondent Ralph Begleiter (WorldView, “NORTH KOREAN TALKS ABOUT HIS COUNTRY’S FOOD CRISIS,” 2/4/97), replied to a question concerning the DPRK’s postponement of attendance of the scheduled US/ROK briefing on the four-party peace talks proposal. Kim said: “On our side, the delegation to participate in the briefing has been composed. But what we have agreed upon is that we shall be participating in the briefing on the understanding that, on condition that both sides undertake simultaneous actions. However, the United States has not moved in the direction of providing us with food which it has promised in previous meetings with the United States and my country have had. Therefore, the problem, the matter of when the participation from our sides in the briefing will take place depends solely on whether the United States has implementing its promise that it has made to us or not. I think that reason behind the non-implementation of the promise on the part of the United States is because that the United States has been affected by the ill-minded forces that do not want the improvement of the relations between my country and the United States.” Kim also said that claims that the DPRK is diverting resources from its people to support a massive military “are totally incorrect,” and added that no DPRK military personnel are assigned to the delegation chosen to attend the briefing. Kim also discussed recent reports concerning the depth of the food aid the DPRK n

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