NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, january 21, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

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I. United States

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1. Taiwan Elections

The New York Times (Mark Landler, "TAIWAN CANDIDATE EASES ON CHINA POLICY," Taipei, 1/21/00) reported that the candidate of the governing Nationalist Party for the Taiwanese presidency, Vice President Lien Chan, declined on January 20 to reaffirm the government's policy of dealing with the PRC "state to state." Lien said, "I'm not reaffirming it, because that has been the constant position." On January 20, Lien said that Taiwan wanted "parity" in negotiations with the PRC, "nothing more, nothing less." Political analysts said that Lien was trying to distance himself from Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui because the election is less than two months away and Lien is trailing in many polls. Lien said, "I hope that at this moment we could make ourselves very clear to them. Taiwan will not go independent. But Taiwan cannot reunite with the PRC for the foreseeable future, because it is simply impossible." Lien also said he would consider relaxing trade restrictions with the PRC if relations improved.

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2. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "PENTAGON WANTS TO DEAL ARMS TO TAIWAN," 1/21/00, 1) reported that US administration officials said that the US Department of Defense wants to make a deal for advanced weapons sales to Taiwan which would include four Aegis warships that can be equipped with anti-missile defenses. However, a final decision by the administration on the ships and other advanced arms to be transferred to Taiwan is not expected until April. Officials said that the US Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the US Pacific Command in Hawaii are in favor of selling the advanced weapons, arguing that the arms are needed to counter the PRC's growing military power. The State Department and the White House National Security Council staff are opposing the sales because of their expected impact on PRC-US ties. US Department of Defense officials said that the destroyers would not be equipped with anti-missile interceptors. They would carry the Navy's Standard air-defense missiles, but could be upgraded later with theater- wide missile-defense systems. US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon declined to comment on the Taiwan arms sales, citing a policy of not discussing the issue publicly. US State Department spokesmen have said that no decisions have been made about supplying missile defenses to Taiwan, but the senior admiral in charge of the US Pacific Command supports the idea. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 21, 2000.]

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3. US Missile Defense

The USA Today carried an opinion article by Baker Spring, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation ("DON'T DELAY THE SYSTEM," 1/21/00, 16) which said that individuals who are recommending that US President Clinton delay a decision to deploy a missile defense system are misreading the situation. The author argued that the national decision was already made when US President Bill Clinton signed the National Missile Defense Act of 1999 last July He stated that those urging Clinton to put off a deployment decision are actually recommending that he ignore the requirements of the National Missile Defense Act. However, the article argued, "the problem for them is that the act remains on the books and a test failure in no way alters its requirements. The president and the nation have no choice but to move forward." It concluded, "Congress adopted the National Missile Defense Act precisely because it recognized that some defense, even if imperfect, is better than no defense at all." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 21, 2000.]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution carried an editorial ("DUBIOUS MISSILE SHIELD," 1/20/00) which said that defense systems merely "stand in the way of real security." The article argued that the real solution to security lies in reducing warheads. It also suggested that the US administration or the US Defense Department should be pragmatic enough to realize that the idea of a missile defense has failed. The article said that the fear of massive retaliation by the US "still has deterrent value today, more so than any missile defense." It added, "A missile defense would be of no use against a nuclear device secreted into the hold of a freighter docking at a U.S. port or a suitcase bomb smuggled into the country. Sad to say, these frightful scenarios are more plausible than North Korea or Iran lobbing an ICBM in our direction." Noting that the building of a missile defense threatens to annul the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the article concluded, "Can there be any doubt that U.S. security would be better served by the drastic reduction of Russian nuclear warheads, as START 2 would achieve, than by the raising of a highly dubious missile shield?" [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 21, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-PRC Military Relations

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "KOREA, CHINA TO STEP UP BILATERAL MILITARY EXCHANGES," Seoul, 01/21/00), Chosun Ilbo (Suh Yong-won, "KOREAN, CHINESE MILITARY HEADS AGREE TO COOPERATE FOR PEACE," Seoul, 01/20/00) and The Korea Times ("CHINESE DEFENSE CHIEF EXTENDS SUPPORT FOR ENGAGEMENT POLICY," Seoul, 01/20/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that the ROK and the PRC agreed on January 20 to further promote bilateral military exchanges and cooperation starting this year. At their defense ministerial talks in Seoul, the two countries agreed in principle to have regular exchanges of high-level military officials, including defense chiefs. They also agreed to regularize mutual exchanges of student officers and military athletes' groups from the two countries as well as military delegations. The two countries, however, decided to hold working-level talks on possible mutual exchanges of naval vessels and joint military exercises. During the talks, the two sides reaffirmed that the security of the Korean Peninsula is vital to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to the national interests of the two countries. PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian stressed that the PRC strongly supports the ROK's efforts to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, while also fully backing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. Chi reaffirmed the PRC's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, missiles and other weapons of mass destruction, while supporting the notion that the two Koreas should settle inter-Korean issues in a peaceful manner.

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2. DPRK-Philippines Relations

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "MANILA TO SPEED UP NORMALIZATION PROCESS WITH NK, RP AMB. SAYS," Seoul, 01/20/00) reported that the Philippine Ambassador to the ROK Juanito Jarasa said on January 19 that Philippines Senate President Blas Ople's forthcoming visit to the DPRK will be crucial in speeding up the process of establishing diplomatic ties with the DPRK. Jarasa also said, "it is important for the executive and legislative branches to consult with each other, especially on the establishment of a diplomatic relationship with the DPRK. I hope this process of consultation will be undertaken after the visit of Senate President Ople." Although the Philippines Senate has not yet officially announced when Ople would visit the DPRK, many expect it will be relatively soon. With regards to the future process, the ambassador said that Philippine President Joseph Estrada will reach a final decision on diplomatic normalization after completion of the consultations between the executive and the legislature.

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3. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, "PRES.KIM PROPOSES SUMMIT WITH NK LEADER AFTER APRIL ELECTION," Seoul, 01/20/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday proposed a summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, during a ceremony in Seoul to launch his new ruling party, named the New Millennium Democratic Party. He predicted that the DPRK might turn hostile again toward the ROK government if it loses influence in the National Assembly. He pledged that the new ruling party would strive to protect the lives and safety of DPRK refugees, saying that he was shocked to hear the news that seven DPRK escapees were forcibly repatriated from the PRC.

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4. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K. CALLS FOR FREE BUSINESS EXCHANGES BY PRIVATE FIRMS," Seoul, 01/21/00) reported that the DPRK on January 19 reiterated its call for the ROK to ensure conditions conducive to free economic cooperation projects between private firms, while rejecting ROK President Kim Dae-jung's proposal for an inter-Korean economic cooperation body. The DPRK's official Radio Pyongyang said in a commentary, "while they refused to approve the private-level economic body, the South Korean authorities are pretending to promote it by making the politically-oriented proposal. Through this, they are clearly demonstrating their insincerity."

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, "NK DISGRUNTLED OVER COMPUTER BAN," Seoul, 01/21/00) reported that the DPRK government stated that the authorities in the ROK should protect free investment activities of its private companies, claiming that the ROK government's ban on exports of computers with speeds faster than 486 Mhz to the DPRK is a typical case of government intervention. The DPRK's Central Broadcasting Company reported on Wednesday that the ROK government is blocking free economic cooperation through political means. It also stressed that if the ROK is serious about the free-market principle--separation between economy and politics--the ROK government has to guarantee the proper conditions and environment for private companies to proceed freely with their economic activities.

Joongang Ilbo (Lee yong-jong, "HYUNDAI DONATES 'LEE'S BUS' TO NORTH," Seoul, 01/20/00) reported that the bus in which Lee Myung-hoon, the world's tallest basketball player, rode on his visit to the ROK last December was donated on January 20 to the DPRK. According to the ROK Ministry of Unification on January 19, the DPRK's Asia Pacific Peace Committee asked Hyundai to let the DPRK keep using the bus. Hyundai approved, considering that the move would be beneficial for public relations. The bus is a Hyundai "County" which was specially converted for Lee.

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5. OPEC Development Loan to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, "NK BORROWS $10 MILLION FROM OPEC," Seoul, 01/20/00) reported that the DPRK signed an agreement in December last year to borrow US$10 million from the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) to help rebuild its agricultural system. The money is the first loan from OPEC to the DPRK. The OPEC Fund, located in Vienna, Austria, confirmed on January 20 that it had concluded an agreement with DPRK authorities on December 2, 1999. The agricultural loan will be offered to the DPRK with an interest rate of 1.5 percent and commission of 1 percent on the condition that the DPRK repay the loan within 17 years following an initial five-year grace period. Some of the loan will be given to the DPRK early this year. DPRK authorities plan to utilize the loan in the construction of dams for agricultural use, the creation of a total of 154km of waterways, and support to DPRK farmers for improving agricultural techniques.

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6. Donated Rice to DPRK Defectors

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Byung-sun, "NK DEFECTORS ANGRY OVER DONATED RICE," Seoul, 01/21/00) reported that DPRK defectors in the ROK claimed that rice that was given to them by the Korea Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCCC) was of such poor quality that they could not eat it. On December 18, 1999, 100 kilograms of rice per person was delivered to 100 DPRK defectors living in the ROK. One DPRK defector said that the rice had a very bad odor and was not adequate to eat. He added that 5 bags of rice he received from the cooperation was so bad that he could not even make rice cakes with it. Rice merchants said that the rice looked imported from the Southeast for animal feed or making cookies. One defector said that he is very angry at the ROK government for giving them rice that is used for animal feed. One manager at KFCCC said that the rice could not have been imported since its local branches purchased it. He added that if the quality of the rice is so poor, he will take the rice back and give the defectors a new batch. The KFCCC has been giving rice to the defectors for the last 2 years.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese Policy toward DPRK

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER KONO SAYS REGARDING RESUMPTION OF FOOD AID TO DPRK THAT JAPAN WILL NOT WITHDRAW ABDUCTION ISSUE," 01/17/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said during a TV news program regarding Japan's resumption of food aid to the DPRK that Japan would raise the issue of suspected abduction of Japanese civilians by DPRK agents." Kono stated, "we must act according to our principle. (The issue) is a highly important one that touches human rights. It is important for the DPRK to show its sincerity to talk and sit at the table first. We would not do anything until the DPRK has entered the room." He added, "It is important to determine what should be our security for the talks.... It is not easy for both sides to have successful talks without the right chemistry between us." Kono suggested that resumed food aid could be an option for Japan. The report added that the second preliminary talks between Japan and the DPRK are slated for the end of this month to discuss the agenda for normalization talks.

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2. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Sankei Shimbun ("PUTIN PROPOSES 'TENTATIVE TREATY': TERRITORIAL ISSUE MAY BE SHELVED," 01/20/2000) reported that a Japanese-Russian diplomatic source revealed on January 19 that the current Russian government proposed to the Japanese government that the two sides reach a tentative treaty of some sort because it has become difficult to conclude a peace treaty after solving the territorial issue by the end of 2000. Although the Japanese government would not compromise its principle of solving the territorial issue and concluding a peace treaty at the same time, some sections of the government think that the Japanese government should reach some agreement to confirm what has already been agreed. They also believed that acting Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to win the next presidential election. The Japanese government wanted to confirm what the Russian government really has in mind through the coming diplomatic events, including the visit to Japan by the Russian foreign minister in late February. The report added that given Russia's stance that the Japanese proposal of territorial delimitation in 1997 should be separated from the issue of peace treaty, Russia may shelve discussion of the territorial issue.

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3. Japan Policy toward UN

The Daily Yomiuri (Mami Tsukahara, "UN ASKS MEMBERS TO OK REFORMS," 01/20/2000) reported that the United Nations (UN) urged its member states on January 19 to reach an early agreement on UN Security Council reforms, including expanding the council and reviewing the veto status of members. UN Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette said, "It is to be hoped that, without much further delay, there should be agreement on how to reform the Security Council." The report also said that UN member states have different opinions, especially on which and how many countries should join the council as permanent members, and how these members should be allowed to exercise their veto rights. The report also said that the UN dispatched a senior official earlier this month to recruit Japanese people for some of the organization's senior posts. According to the report, Frechette called this move a "special effort" by the UN to attract more Japanese to senior-level positions, saying, "the number of Japanese staff at the United Nations does not represent the size of Japan's contribution." Regarding Japan's efforts to strengthen its cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, Frechette said, "Japanese troops are always welcome in peacekeeping operations."

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4. Japanese Maritime Surveillance

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("JAPANESE MARITIME SAFETY AGENCY TO INTRODUCE LIGHTHOUSE TO DISCOVER AND WATCH SUSPECTED SPY AND ILLEGAL SHIPS NEXT YEAR," 01/19/2000) reported that Japan's Maritime Safety Agency decided on January 18 to introduce on an experimental basis a lighthouse surveillance system to improve the agency's coastal guard capability to discover and watch suspected spy ships and illegal ships. The existing unmanned lighthouses do not have the ability to watch and analyze passing ships and the agency wants to introduce a new system with advanced surveillance capabilities. The report added that although the agency refused to specify where to set up such a system for security reasons, the agency will set up one such system next year on the eastern coast of Japan.

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5. India's and Pakistan's Policy toward CTBT

The Asahi Shimbun ("JAPANESE AMBASSADORS SAY THAT INDIA AND PAKISTAN MAY SOON SIGN CTBT," 01/21/2000) reported that Japanese Ambassador to India Hiroshi Hirabayashi and Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Jo Kubota told the Asahi Shimbun on January 20 that India and Pakistan may sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). According to Hirabayashi, India may sign the treaty in "either late February or March." As for Pakistan, Kubota said, "It is a matter of time." The report said that the Japanese government already decided to lift economic sanctions on both countries if they really sign the treaty. Hirabayashi also said, "(In India,) many people think that further nuclear tests are necessary for the maintenance of minimum nuclear deterrence. Within the central part of the Indian government, there is a dominant view that from the viewpoint of international cooperation, India should sign the CTBT." Hirabayashi also suggested that India is likely to sign the treaty in late February, when the Parliament convenes, or in March, when US President Bill Clinton will visit India. As for Pakistan, Kubota said, "(The current regime) is taking the CTBT seriously, and Pakistan's signing may take place just about the same time as India's." Both ambassadors predicted that both countries' ratification of the treaty would be delayed because the two countries have to balance the timing of ratification with that of other countries.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia

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